Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Taking charge!

Following a discussion about the difference between communities and networks, I was given a link to Stephen Downes, who describes and discusses the difference between these two concepts. Stephen's web site is an exciting resource for people wanting to know about Web 2.0 and e-learning. In particular I enjoyed a web cast that can be downloaded entitled 'Web 2.0 and Your Own Learning and Development'. It is a very simple explanation of the principles of learning and teaching using Web 2.0 as well as a overview of social networking tools such as blogs and wikis.
I would recommend it as a resource for students, especially
as an introduction to e-learning.

The elements that really resonated with me was the emphasis Stephen laid on the learner taking charge of his/her own learning. I have spent a lot of time thinking about how the teacher interacts with students. Is she a facilitator or curator? Does she take 3 stages, 5 levels or dance the okey dokey?! So its great to think about how I am as a learner, particularly as I am being challenged by the course I am doing at the moment. As I have said in a couple of posts, I feel as if I am on a rapidly speeding roundabout. But Stephen talks about how you must put yourself in the center of the web/information/resources/learning opportunities and pull content to you rather than allow it to be pushed onto you. I really like the idea of being at the center with things revolving around me-this is why I have the picture of the carnie or roustabout-he stands in the middle of the merry-go-round, controlling it. At last I feel as if I am taking control of the information out there by using tools such as Google Reader although I acknowledge there are still a number of steps I can take to improve my organization.

PS: How cool are web casts/podcasts!?! A brilliant tool for very busy people who lead unstructured lives such as midwives who are on call or work unsocial hours. I definitely want to learn how to make one!


Carolyn McIntosh said...

I can see that being center stage might really appeal to you Sarah. i also listened to Stephen Downes and got a lot out of his lecture although i think I need to go back an have another listen. George Siemens I am afraid did not inspire me similarly. I felt that his model was really disconnected the teacher and the students and did not really fit well with some of his other thinking along the topic of connectivism. One of the challenges, and things we will have to work hard at, in the online environment will be to keep students connected with the teacher, the learning environment and with their fellow students. George's model did not really do this for me. I think I might need to blog this having thought it out a bit here

Leigh said...

Hi Sarah,

EDC used to run regular workshops on how to podcast... along with other things. Poor turn out caused them to fall over. If you can round up 5 people who also want to learn podcasting, we could arrange a time.. sometime after mid October.

To start you off, try the resource we used to use in those sessions. There are no doubt better ones, maybe my bookmarks for podcasting will lead you somewhere also.