Archive for November, 2010

Nov 30 2010

Reflecting on the journey

Published by under Etec 511

As a culminating activity for etec 511, we asked the class to write a reflection about Spirituality and ET or just about their experiences with this course.  It seems fitting that I should be writing this as I am at the end of my MET journey.

Many students know that I am leaving for Australia to teach for a year starting in the new year.  That is the main reason I have chosen not to continue beyond my Grad certificate at this time.  My husband is encouraging me to continue when we return.  I am undecided.  Being an online student is very distracting, if nothing else.  Since Sept 2009, I’ve spent most of my free time at the computer, reading countless discussion posts and learning a lot about my approach to teaching using technology.  In the process, I discovered I am a social learner, preferring to read others’ understanding of our assigned readings and enjoying the opportunity to discuss, even if asynchronously, my ideas, reflections and experiences.

Educational technology has changed tremendously since I started teaching in the late 80s.  Back then, the prof at the faculty of Ed was thrilled to show us the Olivetti wordprocessor she had purchased for us to use and learn to teach.  Computers in the classroom consisted of networked Icons or Mac Classics, nothing that resembled the corporate world I had just come out of.  Later on, when I took my first online university course (a Godsend for a single mother), the course consisted mostly of questions to answer and research to post.  Very little discussion was possible as we spent more time researching than reading each other’s posts.  Not really discussion, even though they called it that.

Eventually, I was part of some interesting projects such as creating a webquest for the school board and writing their first online courses.  I also got to review online courses from around the province – a very enlightening experience.  The Ministry of Education wanted to create a resource repository and a series of online courses to allow students from even the most remote areas to access quality (and diverse) education.  I thought I was very well equipped to participate in this initiative and felt it would be a perfect evolution of my career.  Which is the path that lead me to MET.

In these months I have come to realize I had a lot of rich experience to offer but I had little theoretical background to ensure my course design was pedagogically sound.  What I had done by intuition has been validated by much of the learning theory I have acquired in this program, and hopefully, my skills have grown and deepened as a result of this experience.

As I end this journey, I continue to believe that we have so much to offer each other, either as a community of practice or just to validate each other’s ideas.  And again, I am reminded that it’s the process that teaches us, not the product of our work.  It’s a lesson that I have to internalize and ensure it colours my own teaching activities.

I wish you all a wonderful and fruitful journey.

No responses yet

Nov 23 2010

Thought Question #4

Published by under Etec 512

Learning online is not theoretically differently from classroom learning. As I deconstruct the various elements of a successful online experience, I begin to see elements of many of the learning theories we have analyzed in this course. However, it is possible that online learning might require the elaboration of some existing theories.

Elements required for a successful online learning experience: (bearing in mind that some technological determinism exists)

  • an easily navigated framework
  • clear statement of expectations
  • clear instruction on how to access knowledge (scaffolding) or construct it (constructivism)
  • the ability to access community or expert knowledge (ZPD)
  • the ability to share knowledge (distributed learning)
  • accessible and timely feedback (scaffolding and distributed learning)
  • appeal to multimodal learning
  • the ability to make learning meaningful (Ausubel) by transferring knowledge beyond the virtual world into other contexts (activity theory)

It seems to me that there are only two real innovations in web based learning – hypertext and social interaction on a global scale (web 2.0). The question then becomes “do these two innovations require the elaboration of a new learning theory or do they fit into existing learning theories?”

The easy answer for social interaction on a global scale is that it certainly fits into the category of Social Cognition. It provides the means for Distributed Learning enhanced by quasi instantaneous results to the learner’s queries. As for hypertext, I find answers in Scardamalia’s article about CSILE. Hypertext has allowed us to accelerate “knowledge building” in that it allows ideas to develop naturally (not linearly) as research can occur in any direction the learner chooses. This seems to be part of the scaffolding process that can be purposefully built in to online courses. If however it is not built-in, the learner still retains the option of accessing knowledge through his desired path.


Kanuka, H. (2008). Understanding e-learning technologies-in-practice through philosophies-in-practice. In T. Anderson & F. Elloumi (Eds.) Theory and Practice of Online Learning, Chapter 4 (pp. 91-118).

Scardamalia, M. (2004). CSILE/Knowledge Forum. Education and Technology: An Encyclopedia (pp. 183-192). Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.

No responses yet

Nov 13 2010

The Economics of ET

Published by under Etec 511

It’s a difficult balancing act, knowing what ET will maximize learning while remaining relevant for some time.  Administrators might see ET as an expenditure they would rather avoid.  Parent council might think its use need to be justified before they buy in.  Even teachers are resistant to change.  And change for the sake of change is not optimal.  Here’s my take on it:

No responses yet

Nov 13 2010

Here’s a wordle

Published by under Etec 511

Based on Feng & Patrina’s new book:

Wordle: Spirituality of Technology

I created it for my DLG 11 presentation.

No responses yet

Nov 05 2010

My alter ego, using xtra normal

Published by under Etec 511,Uncategorized

Here’s a link to my xtra normal movie where I become another persona.

No responses yet

Spam prevention powered by Akismet