I woke up this morning with a start. It was about 6:30 AM, which meant it was early enough to be almost light out, but late enough that going back to sleep was an exercise in futility. I was having a dream that I was giving a speech in front of my colleagues, the faculty of the Language Studies department. After being introduced by the dean of the department, I gave my “farewell” speech. Or at least it felt like it. Here’s what I recall of it:
I hope that my absence will not be seen as a reason to abandon e-learning, but a platform for you to take the next step. I have shown you different tools to use, now you have to use them without my aid. The shift from e-teaching to e-learning has already happened. E-learning is not e-teaching. You are no longer in control of what happens in the classroom. The students are in control. You are a guide, not a director. Show people how to learn, don’t teach them.
Clearly, all this theory work in the CCK08 course and the facilitation course are starting to sink in. Even in my unconscious state. I think though my subconscious though brought forth an interesting idea. E-learning is not e-teaching. So many people use e-learning as an e-teaching place. They use the new technology with the old rules because they don’t see the distinction, even though it’s right there on the name. E-learning. Learning, not teaching. Subtle difference I suppose, but it’s there. It’s spelling out the paradigm shift that’s already shifted (and I’d say that we’re in the process of shifting again, beyond a learner centred focus).
CCK08 – This week was interesting in that the ideas put forth have been things I’ve been saying for a while. Life is complex. Nothing is simple. Chaos and complexity is illustrated well by the everyday classroom, and the things that can occur in it. The same material taught the same (and it could be argued that it’s never exactly the same) way has different outcomes depending on the contextual.
Complexity. It’s funny how the two courses I’m currently taking and the myriad of stuff I’m doing outside of schoolwork has a way of intertwining. I’m applying some of the things that the Connectivism course is doing to my Distance Ed course I’m teaching. The stuff that the Brock facilitation course talked about this week was context-heavy: that’s a big piece of the Connectivism course. Serendipity? Maybe. I don’t want to believe that anything is that mystical. Might as well start believing in unicorns and pegasii too. It does, however, speak to the idea that things are interconnected in ways that we don’t always see. Could that be the real-world application of connectivism?
1. Think about your teaching practise, what are you passionate about?
I really love those moments where you can see the learner just grasping the material and taking it somewhere that you never envisioned. That moment where they realize they get it, and you in turn can give yourself a short little pat on the back (which is a bit higher than one probably deserves).
2. How is that evidenced in your practise?
Well, I try to build in those a-ha moments and allow learners to run with the ball I’ve tossed them. I’m not locked into my material, and we have plenty of time to deviate from what I bring to class. In fact, I’m liable to be short when we don’t deviate from the planned course of action, which is why I’ve always brought in some sort of back up “oh, this is an interesting sidebar to the topic tonight” kind of moments.
3. Where do you hope this will all lead?
I’m kind of fortunate in that I get to teach computer skills that are probably going to be life skills. Searching the Internet is a very fundamental skill to have in a modern society, so it’s important to understand what you’re doing when you’re searching and what you’ve got when you find it. It’s very open ended. I hope my introduction to this huge topic begins their journey to being able to discover whatever information they need to that’s out there, and to have some level of confidence in the information that they’ve found. Hopefully, when things change in the future, they won’t have to take a class to figure out the new way of doing things, they can discover it themselves.