Can I say I have thoroughly enjoyed this course! As terrified as I was the first 6 times I read the syllabus, this course has expanded my thinking in way I never thought possible. When I signed up for this course I thought I would be making some videos about events in my life, I am so glad that I was wrong! I will not lie, that first week was scary and a lot all at once but as you can see I stuck with it and survived.
As a Learner
As a learner in this course I think I can say I learned in ways that I never thought were possible. This course takes to heart its teachings, meaning it does what it tells you to do and does not fall into that old adage of “Do as I say, not as I do.” It has been a very different course as far as structure goes but that it what made it so enjoyable and left an impact. It is hard to be a learner in this course without doing something. You can just watch others do and and discuss what they do but you actually had to participate. Even the course reading reiterate this same notion that being engaged and active in a community of learners is the best way to learn. As far as what this course has taught me for future learning experiences, I would say I will approach everything head on and ask questions and try things that scare me. I have learned that in order to learn you have to not be afraid and take part in the world around you. I thought I was a connected learner before this course but I don’t think I truly knew what that meant and how to utilize that connection. Now as a connected learner I reach out to people in the class or even just to anyone who follows me for help and support and share the things that I find. I want to take DS106 back to my students to be part of this community. I want to find was for my students to become connected learners to others outside our school and I have started researching was that people have done this with things like Google Hangouts. I want to keep growing and help my students grow in the same way.
Co-design of this course
Because we are a community of learners it is hard not to be a part of the design. If I didn’t ask critical questions on a reading would the discussion have happened? If I didn’t do each of my assignments would my group mates suffer? I can’t say for sure but I know that I look forward to reading Haley’s work because it related back to my focal theme and she often questioned some of my posts that made me a deeper thinker and helped me to consider what was important. I looked forward to her annotations on my blog because I knew she had a similar viewpoint based on her focal theme. I love the structure of this course even though it scared my the first week. I think each and everyone of us learned things we would have never considered by sharing our own themes and then taking part in reading or viewing other’s themes. I often catch myself saying something to someone at work or home that came from what I had learned in this course. Each and everyone of us has a voice that should be heard, we don’t have to agree with it but we need to listen or it will diminish the value of the stories we have to tell.
In terms of designing this course differently I would have liked there to be more interaction with the Assignment bank creations because I feel like they were created but not really payed attention to after. I think a possible integration with digital critiquing would be nice. Even if it were up to 3 a semester that you critique a peers creation because then there is authentic feedback. Other than that I enjoyed the structure of the course and feeling a part of something greater even though I never met anyone of my peers face-to-face. I think that is a huge accomplishment because I often feel disconnected in an online course and that was definitely not the case with this course.
Understanding of Pedagogy
PULL- When I think about the meaning of the word instructor, I want to immediately change it to facilitator or co-learner. I feel that an instructor is now someone that gives a starting point but then becomes part of the learning. I think seeing your students as instructors is important because there are many things that we can learn from them. I know that I still have to “be in charge” because I teach elementary but I want my students to teach me new things each day. Pedagogy is open for interpretation, meaning it needs to have the purpose of community building and participation. I think we often get sucked into the policies that have to be done to be considered an effective teacher. I want students to explore the world around them and drive their passions to share. The design of the course allows for freedom and the “pull” that L&K discussed in their chapter. I don’t want push information at students I want there to be discussion and buy-in. I hope that my students feel as welcome as I have felt in this course.