What a week! I started writing this reflective post Sunday morning but with traveling and visiting, I just couldn’t get it finished until today. It’s been that kind of a week.
Week 2 of SCOPE’s ISWo online facilitation course is now officially over and I’m still playing catch-up. This week was my turn to co-facilitate a mini-session, in a 4 day week that started from a long weekend focused on eating (Thanksgiving), working with two educators who had busy, busy schedules, as we tried to elicit analysis and creativity from a group of online participants who also have busy, busy lives and who also had two mini-sessions and readings to conquer. Whew!
All I can say is I’m glad I was on holidays and only had some family obligations and one day of meetings to deal with. I’m not sure how everyone else managed but most of them did.I’m proud to say that my group was stellar and posted a creative Prezi on top of last minute insightful analysis of the course case study we had presented to them.
So..my reflections on the week. I love facilitating with such enthusiastic instructors and I love trying to think of ways to help learners see a problem clearly. What I am finding most challenging about the ISWo is finding the time to think critically about the readings and find a way to bring some of my readings and experiences into play to contribute to the community. Oh, well, I still have a few weeks to get better at this.
So, how do I think I did – my rubric report card:
Timeliness & Qty – 4 (did well on my own mini-session; not so well on the wiki session)
Relevance – 3 (didn’t actually cite the readings very often and didn’t bring in outside resources except in wiki activity)
Community – 5 (had a great time getting to know my Amigos and my WonderWomen team. Helped out a couple of times in the 2 other groups so I’m feeling like I did my part in the community this week!)
Overall participation – 5 (kept up fairly well although I didn’t participate as much as I would have liked in the wiki activity)
Exploring Learning Technologies – used a couple of new tools – Creately (for creating illustrations) Simple Minds (don’t laugh that’s what it is called) for mind maps. Also tried to use Google Docs (drive nowadays I guess) to produce a collaborative spreadsheet to create visual pie charts but had to go back to desktop version cuz of a flaw in the cloud-based tool that wouldn’t let me edit the labels on the pie charts – too bad.
Finding a nugget for the group from this week’s readings/videos…
I’d already read several of the readings for Week 2 and I find it hard to engage too much with the tools to identify which learning style(s) I might be. When I was at university, I was involved in endless debates about the issues that learning styles raise for many educators, starting from the lack of adequate research to support many of the popular models (see comprehensive study from the former Learning & Skills Research Centre report: Learning Styles and Pedagogy in post-16 Learning if you’re curious) to the almost evangelical belief that some educators have about them.
One of my facilitators for my FDW workshop had a very pragmatic approach to them and I tend towards a similar perspective. I talk about them when I facilitate workshops (and encourage people to also explore the Teaching Perspective Inventory that Dan Pratt developed while at UBC, but I also emphasize that the important thing to take away is to try and present ideas, concepts and learning in different ways, using different media, and varying the activities and tools you use. Lately I’ve gone to suggesting that people think more broadly and consider the whole gamut of ways to support learning for their increasingly diversified groups of learners. I point people to the revised Universal Design for Learning Guidelines 2.0 cuz they are a target to aim for, not necessarily achievable, but valuable to pursue.
So, that’s my main nugget for this week. Week 3 looks even more interesting – I peeked !