This is an archive of the 2013 version of ocTEL.

Intro from a week 5 joiner

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    Bill Smith

    Greetings! Others may have joined late, but I am currently the latest…

    I currently teach computer technology at ECPI University in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA. Though I earned an MS in Educational Technology in 2000, I haven’t particularly put it to use in my practice. Now I am stimulated to learn more and change my practice.

    As a student, I have completed two MS degrees (EdTech and Network Architecture) from online universities. Except for one course, all course work was done online, with discussion posts, collaborations via email and chat, etc. However, the courses were structured pretty traditionally, with textbook readings, research papers, design projects completed as papers, etc. It seemed the only innovations were in not being on campus, and in being asynchronous with discussions. Ironically, the one course that met in a classroom was a two-week practicum in using technology for education (we had to develop a PowerPoint slideshow, a web page, and a word-processed document.)

    As a teacher now, I use an open-source learning management system (Moodle) for class scheduling, assignments, additional resources, etc. But, the classes are still on-campus and in-seat. Yet, we as an institution, and I peronally, endeavor to increase in the application of TEL. So here I am!

    Last month I attended an online educational technology conference, the TCC Worldwide Online Conference. The keynote speaker was Alan Levine, an innovator in the use of technology. Through his influence, I am now an open participant in the University of Mary Washington’s ds106 Digital Storytelling course. As an open participant, I am not a credit-seeking student, but participate at various activities based on my own criteria (namely: time, fun, and possibility of learning something).

    What do I hope to gain by participating in ocTEL? Primarily, exposure to the experience of others in applying the tools of the internet and alternative media into education. I will reflect and experiment with ways to incorporate such activities into my in-seat technology classes. And I hope to have interaction with many others about our mutual learning.

    To learning! To life!

    Bill Smith



    Sounds like you have a lot of fantastic experience that you’ll be able to draw on for this course.

    I’m hoping that you’ll include some reflections on DS106 in activity 5.3, I’ve only ever heard wonderful things from participants of previous iterations.







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