It’s pretty sad to see that I haven’t posted anything since early January – although I have three drafts partly written – just never got around to posting them. This is what happens when you get carried away by opportunities and fail to consider that you can’t really do everything that interests you!
So I began the year by scanning all the amazing MOOCs, TOOCs (go here for an explanation of the initialism), free and open discussions on SCOPE, the face-to-face options offered by our local SCOPe, and thought I was being organized and rational by skipping the potentially fascinating MOOC with Dave Cormier (to explore rhizomatic learning which I’ve touched on before but this discussion would be nudged along by Dave himself!) and signing up (but ultimately withdrawing) from the equally intriguing TOOC (truly open online course) offering from UofSaskatchewan’s Heather Ross, and finally signing up for the Deeper Learning MOOC from High Tech High (primarily to see how they would utilize the technologies and integrate the principles of deeper learning).
Sadly (on one hand), I was an infrequent observer of the dlMOOC activities (although they’re in my ReadLater collection in Diigo) but happily (on the other hand) I was too busy with a couple of fun and challenging contracts to spend any spare time on MOOCs, TOOCs or even my blogs!
I completed two educational (for me!) ISW sessions for two groups who work for one of the local first nations in Whitehorse (Kwanlin Dun). As always, I learned lots from my participants, but I found some additional challenges in making my content/expertise meaningful to these groups of participants because:
a) none of them were teachers (in the sense of teaching classes regularly or for an educational institution);
b) many of them were actually members of KDFN as well as being employees.
What these two sessions highlighted for me was how Eurocentric my teaching resources were; much of my pedagogical insights were based on educational research that had been done on white, middle to upper class, primarily young (18-30) adults. With these new audiences, my quotations, references, topics, and even some activities were meaningless. I did a lot of listening, research and reflection and I believe that all of my participants walked away with a lot to think about and some new skills and confidence in their abilities. I walked away with a long list of learning activities I want to revise and revitalize, and a collection of references to follow-up and read/watch/discuss in the near future.