First Steps!

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So in my contribution to my group’s presentation, I included the oft-used line you see in the caption. Now I’ve finally take that first step where this blog is concerned; here’s hoping these writings will go the distance too!

I did struggle a little in what I should say, hence the hesitation with blogging. What should I put down? Would it be intellectual enough? Would I be able to apply what I’ve learnt to support faculty in my uni? What if I have questions? What if these were stupid questions?? I don’t pretend to know enough about online and networked learning (I’ve been constantly reminded consciously and unconsciously that I need to read more, SO MUCH MORE) to be able to form anything other than the most basic of arguments. However, what I can do in this post (and the rest of the blog) is to provide the most honest response to my experience in participating in this course thus far.

So… what have I learnt since the first week? A good starting point is to look at what I’ve managed to do so far, and in this regard, the checklist provided by the ONL171 folks has been helpful!

Getting Started and Connecting

  • Getting acquainted with the Google platform and joining a Google+ community. Pre-ONL171, I was most familiar with Gmail and Google Docs, but not with the rest of the apps available on the platform. As such, navigating the platform, learning how to use Google Drive and joining the ONL171 Google+ Community took some getting used to. That said, the learning curve wasn’t as painful as I expected, not least because members of the community (facilitators + members alike) were generous with advice and tips on making optimal use of various apps. I’m starting to appreciate how powerful and efficient it can be!
  • Engaging with the ONL171 community. This was both easier and harder than becoming familiar with the platform. Easier in the sense that you’re not learning a completely new tool/software, but also harder because having to post what is essentially a “Getting to Know You Post” to a fairly large community forces you to consider how you wish to present yourself on an individual and professional capacity. It also meant that I had to give some thought into why I wanted to participate in ONL171 and what I hope to achieve by the course’s end. It was a small but necessary exercise in self-reflection!
  • Getting connected with PBL01 and reading up! This is the first time that I’ve been part of an online workgroup and frankly, I was scarcely sure what to expect (or what was expected of me)! So I was quite relieved when I found my facilitators (Lars and Beata) as well as my group members to be friendly and open during the group discussions. I’ve also managed to dip my toes into some of the references provided (David White’s theory on the visitors-residents sliding scale held particular resonance), and I find that the more I read, the more assumptions get overturned which I suppose is what learning is all about!

Next Time: On MOOCs & Students: What New Instructors Need To Know

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12 thoughts on “First Steps!

  1. Nice post! I like the way you take stock of your current learning experience in ONL. It’s really courageous to even take the first step! Look forward to more of your postings!

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  2. Now you’ve taken that step who knows where it will take you. A blog is all about reflection, asking questions, reaching out rather than providing answers to everything. It’s a place to share ideas that maybe aren’t fully developed yet but as you continue writing things become clearer. I’ve been blogging for 8 years now and can’t imagine life without it.

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  3. We are in a similar space.. Im also amazed at how quickly I became accustomed to the online space in the last 2 weeks. I guess growth is possible at 40 (thats for me now) 😉

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  4. I found your willingness to be fearless in your transparency and truth refreshing in a world were our digital image is becoming so groomed as to loose the essence of our human nature! Stay true to yourself, we are all feeling the same things 🙂

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