Approaches, concepts and a few new faces

19/04/2013 in Course information

Here’s a brief round-up of the first week of the course. This week was all about TEL Concepts and Approaches, but we also welcomed a number of new faces and quite a few who had missed the induction period. So welcome to all!

This week the aim for you was to:

  • become familiar with a range of concepts and approaches relevant to TEL
  • start reflecting on how these could be applied with your students
  • get a feel for what learning technology is and what learning technologists do
  • contextualise your approach within a wider field of theory

and many of you engaged with these aims by reflecting on the five stories about how technology has enhanced learning and the questions Liz Masterman was thinking about in this week’s webinar.  At time of writing there have been 56 posts on the forum for Week 1’s Powerful and relevant TEL approaches. Imogen Bertin “couldn’t pick one” so started one topic about five stories. Eric Mazur’s talk and the flipped classroom stimulated a really interesting discussion as has the Sugata Mitra video and the theme of collaboration.

Via the Course Reader you can browse some of the activity across the course including bookmarks and tweets, but one things I’d like to mention is our aim to encourage and engage with “fledgling” bloggers. Martin Hawksey has blogged about how we’re identifying such blogs. So if you have started a new or a first blog for ocTEL, we hope to find and include you! Please let us know if you have other suggestions for how we should target our support.

Another thing that caught my interest this week was a little Twitter conversation started by Martin Hawksey, with the question

which turned into a mini-poll (see Google Spreadsheet of results) and that made me think of the immediate feedback terminals they have at Heathrow Airport arrivals, when while walking from passport control to baggage reclaim, you can press buttons on terminals to indicate happy (green smily), ok (yellow) or unhappy (red). While we hope that is course is more inspiring and engaging then this kind of airport journey, the end of the week if a good time to take stock and see where you are. If you are #B, then don’t worry – next week is starting on a fresh slate, so you can #A if pressed for time or get back #T.

This week we also, belatedly, got to introduce the team who have authored and designed this course. While we are curious to learn more about who our participants are and what works (or doesn’t work) for the delivery of this course, this page gives you a starting point to finding out about us. Many of those involved are also tutors on different weeks of the course, so you will be seeing us around, commenting on blogs and in forums.

The feedback we received during the first two weeks has also been instrumental in helping us develop and improve the course, which we have commented about in one of our regular updates called “Taking Advice”  and we hope that the changes we’ve made will improve your experience of the course. If you are feeling lost and don’t feel like the help forum is the right place to seek help, you can simply drop us a line .

As we arrive at ‘Understanding learner needs’ next week, we hope that one thing you will have gotten out of the course thus far is a real appetite for applying theory and answering big questions in your own practice.

The materials for Week 2 will be emailed round on Monday. If you’re eager to get under way with them, they will be available on the website by Saturday morning (UK time), under Course Materials.

Posted on behalf of Maren Deepwell

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