I have just recently read a post on 'The Thinking Stick' by Jeff Utecht in which he poses a series of questions that you can use to assess yourself in order to ascertain if you are a Web 2.0 teacher or not. Keeping in mind that I am involved with teaching undergraduate and postgraduate midwives online, I thought it would be fortuitous if I assessed myself using Jeff's questions.
Jeff has used three levels at which to 'grade oneself:
- Basic User: Can use the program in its simplest form
- Average User: Can use the program and can give examples of ways to use the program in the classroom for teaching and learning.
- Advanced User: Can give an example of using the program in the classroom as part of learning process. Has or is willing to teach others how to use it.
I am an advanced user of Word and feel extremely confident about PowerPoint especially since I have been learning about Web 2.0 presentations. Have been passing onto students that presentations are not about the PowerPoint technology as such, but the way it is used to get a message across. I have also started publishing slide casts. I would probably rate myself an average user of Excell because I only use it to record results, and I do not use Publisher at all, although I would still feel fairly confident to use it if I had to.
Am an advanced user of email: Outlook, Groupwise and Gmail for work and pleasure. I have been extremely resistant to using Groupwise to manage my appointments, so maybe should look at that more closely this year.
Verifying information on the Internet
Am very confident about how I judge the quality of information found on the Internet and have taught this for some years to students. I highlight the important of checking who the author is; credentials; site where the information is being hosted; what the 'agenda' of the author is; contact details and references. I am extremely knowledge about the credible sites that are used in midwifery so have no qualms about using them in my teaching. The only thing that Jeff mentions that I have not heard of is 'WHOIS', so will investigate that.
Philosophy regarding the filtering of Internet sites
This isn't something I have thought about in any real depth because I teach adults, not children. However, I think I would take the view that it is better to teach children good practice habits rather than censure what they have access to. Having said that, I have closely 'monitored' my own children's use of the Internet rather than actively filtered it.
Do you read any blogs? If so, which ones?
Yes, I read blogs mostly about e-learning and professional development, but also a few about midwifery. Some of the blogs I read are on the front of my blog but I also read the likes of Stephen Downes, Nancy White and George Siemens. I also have my own blog which is now an essential part of my own personal development.
Do you have an RSS reader? If so, what do you subscribe to?
Yes, I use Google Reader and would not be without it. I track my comments with co.mments. I have attempted to teach students about their use but need to look how I do it in a way that is meaningful for them.
Do you belong to any online communities?
Yes, I belong to three education Google groups including 'Teach and Learn Online'. I also belong to the Midwifery Research List, AOIR and ASCILITE discussion groups. I would like to explore Second Life education communities more this year.
Tell me a story of something you learned from your network?
Don't want to be boring with this answer because it has been a theme throughout this blog, but everything I know about Web 2.0 comes from my networks especially people like Sue Waters, Michelle Martin and Leigh Blackall.
Tell me how you think the future you are preparing [midwives] for will be different?
The main thing I can think of is that as we move into flexible delivery of midwifery education at Otago Polytechnic, especially at undergraduate level, to students that live at a distance from campus, we will need to prepare them to be autonomous learners in a way that maybe they are not now. They will have to look at how to build networks to support their learning in a way that does not happen now. And I believe it will be virtual networks that will support their learning.
What is your favorite gadget and why?
Favorite gadget has to be my laptop and wireless broadband. My favorite online tool....ahhhhh! Can't make up my mind ... probably my blog.
How often do others come to you for guidance in using technology?
Often. I am also purposely trying to lead colleagues in this area in order that we all become Web 2.0 teachers. I do not believe our flexible program will work if we are not all up to speed with e-learning philosophy, pedagogy and tools.
Describe the last new technology that you used and how you used it — and how you learned it?
Slidecast - here's how.
Describe the last thing you learned related to your work, that you didn’t learn in a classroom or from a book, and describe how you learned it.
How to develop a blog and how to learn from it. Learned about this in an online course about developing online communities, reading blogs and having 'conversations' with people via mine or other people's blogs.
Well, I think I haven't come up too bad according to this criteria and I certainly see myself as a Web 2.0 teacher. This year it is my goal to incorporate this learning into my teaching practice, and in an informal way on this blog.
Image: 'Mapa Visual de la Web 2.0' Álvaro Ibáñez