Original Post: Sunday, October 11, 2009
Well we are 6 weeks in to this online class and I am learning an awful lot about myself and the use of the computer. I thought about starting my blog with Palms 23, but then wondered if that would even help me. I am finally learning who to use the Web CT for the class and add attachments-- sometimes it has been very interesting. The online learning environment has been different. I have always been in a face to face setting for my education and now having to person contact with my teacher or fellow classmates it is really hard for me and my people personality. But, I am learning to have contact through email and be in the chat room.
I was thinking back to my first bolg and how I waqs frustrated by just learning how to use the computer for more than a word processor and email. I remember writing the discussion post on constructivism as a paradigm and how hard it was to just get the posting right. Now I can post in the discussion board without any difficulty. Finding my way to post a new blog to my previous blog was another story. The site wouldn't let me in and I had to redo my password because they said I didn't have a blog site. If that wasn't bad enough, when I got the email to reset the password they said it could take up to 24 hours to reset-- love technology.
After much crying (LOL) and praying, they sent my ability to get in to my blog, what a relief. So here I am again trying to learn about technology at its finest. A wise computer person once said to me, “the computer is only as smart as the person putting the information into it." that person was my son at 10 years old. I really love children, :)
One of the assignments we did was learning styles; I was somewhat familiar with this because of the courses and conferences I attended as a nursing faculty. I really wasn't that surprised. I am an active, sensing, visual learner, but can go both sequential and global in my learning. I always knew I had to be doing something in order to learn it, which is probably why I am in the profession I am. I had never takes a learning style survey myself but had heard of Felder's breakdown on the different styles. What I was interested in was the Multiple Intelligences by Gardner. This was a really interesting way to look at how people especially children learn, and how maybe as educators we could educate them better by focusing on their learning style which wasn't the conventional breakdown. I know as a faculty in the nursing program I am much more cognisant of the various teaching methods I am using to try a touch all learning styles.
What I was really surprised at was my teaching style survey results, I never thought of myself as being formal authority and personal model as the top two teaching styles for me. The article by Felder and Soloman really pin pointed me as a teacher. As I said in my discussion, when I looked at how I taught and became really aware of my teaching styles I taught like my teachers taught me with some "fun stuff" put in. I am using power point where as my faculty taught strictly lecture format, but I still lecture and when I look at our syllabi they are pretty straight forward and rigid so we can meet the outcome objectives set by the accrediting bodies. I also realized my teaching styles changes as to the location of my teaching. If I am in the clinical setting I am really formal authority and personal model, but if I am in the classroom I can use more of the facilitator, personal model and expert. So, in knowing this I am aware of my need to sometimes calm down the formal authority and maybe step up the personal model and facilitator to assist the students in learning the content better.
We did a group project in this first part of the course and I was introduced to google docs.com it was really a great tool for posting and writing a document as a group. The only problem was that I thought I had posted it properly to my online class assignment and found about after being gone for an entire day the day after the assignment was due I had posted it somewhere else. I will learn--help! but in doing this group project it took me to places in the web area I didn't know existed. I found there are lots of ideas and creative ways to teach the Declaration of Independence. I also, learned that it isn't that bad to work as a group on the web. My group learned to really use the chat room I just tend to want to have it work as fast as you could carry on a conversation in real life. I had to keep reminding myself I need to wait for the person to read my response before they can respond this can be frustrating for my personality. It was a really great experience putting the learning piece together.
As I end these first six weeks of this course I realize I have learned a lot, but have so much more to learn about online teaching. I keep reminding myself of Mr. Norman Coombs when he said "Suddenly there's this whole new world that I can seize and I guess part of what I'm interested in doing is trying to show other handicapped people and non-handicapped people what a person can do in spite of a handicap. It makes me wish I were 30 years younger, when I think of all the opportunities that are starting to unfold." I am a computer handicapped person and after reading about him I know with patience and perseverance I can do it.