Happy Holidays

To everyone in the POT program – thank you for a wonderful first half! Special thanks to Lisa, Jim, Pilar and my mentor, Greg. I’ve throughly enjoyed the assignments each week and am looking forward to continuing in February.

To all my classmates, thank you for the feedback each week and the insightful engagements of the tools and pedagogies. I love blogging now and responding to blogs 🙂

Happy holidays everyone! – Erica

Week Twelve: My postings Week One-Twelve

So, I often posted more than once in a week. I like posting, sometimes, one post for each of the assignments required. I’ve linked to the multiple posts during each week that occurred, so every link you see is a link to my original posting. In terms of assessing my own learning, I tried to focus on what tools/pedagogies I found useful and plan to use in my courses and why.

Here goes!

Week One: Yay! We began our POT program this week. I introduced myself very early on (two weeks or so before the class began) and was anxious to start. I joined Diigo, which I had never heard of, and managed to join the MCC Pot group as well. I immediately realized in this week I was jumping into some foreign waters, but was excited to learn.

Week Two: I really enjoyed week two because we were able to go and visit other teaching blogs and learn from those (like learning about course flipping!). I had not seen one before, and I was really impressed with what I saw. We also had to watch a lecture by Alex Couros, which I enjoyed very much. I had not heard of him before, but I am now a fan. We also learned about RSS feeds and I set up a GoogleReader account and added three RSS Feeds there. The RSS fee portion of this week felt like Greek to me!!

Week Three: This week was about Pedagogy and Course Design, which I liked. I got a lot out of this week’s assignments (especially the rubrics!) and felt that it was a good combination of assignments to have early in this course. These offered a way for us incomers to evaluate where we are and what we prioritize in our teaching before moving forward into the online world. That created a pause for us to reflect and really think about how to translate ourselves into the online environment.

Week Four: I managed to write a massive post for week four, so you only have to click on one link! We looked at Prezi, which I was smitten with at first and now am beginning to see is a bit dizzying, but with strong potential in my future teaching. We discussed HTML and how much of it we feel we might really need and finally we talked about Chapter Three from Ro and Kossen.

Week Five: I enjoyed week five’s readings and videos about the online and interactive syllabus. We were encouraged to think outside the box and reconsider how much of our syllabus was set up, I suppose, for us versus our students! I liked that. I also like that the syllabus for an online class really should be different in many ways than that of a F2F course.

Week Six: We had to create either a Jing or a Slideshare this week and then embed it into our blog. I did create a Slideshare presentation, but didn’t do a very hot job of embedding it! Tutorials and all, I didn’t seem to make this look like anything other than a link 😦

Week Seven: I had to post this a bit late, as I had too many personal things going on that particular week that interfered with this class and my others. We joined Facebook (I did not blog about this, but did join and am friends with Lisa and have participated in discussions on the wall), engaged in a two week discussion with our classmates about a topic of our interest related to online teaching, and watched a workshop by Pilar on building online communities.

Week Eight: We had to join Google+ and I did this late, but did it. I then added a few friends from the POT class. Overall, after surfing through Google+, I found I really preferred Facebook. I find Google+ less user friendly in so many ways, but the biggest difference I saw between Facebook and Google+ was the atmosphere. I feel that Facebook is relatively welcoming and comfortable, whereas Google+ literally feels like I’m inside a webshell that I should be entering some HTML. I had the overall impression it was quickly constructed to compete with Facebook, and nothing more. I’ll be honest, I did not end up having a “hang-out” because I do not intend to use Google+ any further. We also explored Elluminate, which I DO love for educational purposes and have used in my class this semester (since my blog post) and thoroughly enjoyed. This is a helpful tool for my purposes as a composition instructor. We also continued our two week discussion. I was a little late to the game (not posting my own question for classmates to respond to in week seven, but I did comment on theirs). My question in week eight was whether or not schools hiring for online instructors should prioritize a terminal degree in a discipline over online teaching experience and online curriculum development if the person is being hired into a position that specifically requires those. I found everyone’s feedback very insightful and corroborative 🙂

Week Nine: So, this week was pretty interesting because we entered into Second Life. I had some conflicting feelings about this program. It is FUN, but I don’t see the educational value in it (yet). I’m not saying it won’t happen, but I’m unlikely to use this in my online courses because of the age group I see enrolled in my classes. I discussed this at length in my post. We also were introduced to MERLOT, which I found pretty helpful and fun and do plan to use in the future, but were not required to post on it, so all of my bookmarks are in Diigo. We also commented on the week’s readings by Rossen and Ko.

Week Ten: This week we created mini Google Site (lots of fun!), discussed the usefulness of blogs, and explored Engrade (also very cool). Overall, I really enjoyed all of the tools we used on week ten. I will use these further in my actual classes.

Week Eleven: In addition to reading about student accessibility issues, which I enjoyed, we watched a presentation by Larry Lessig that was very informative and creative. He really made me think about how this current generation is interacting with media in ways I suppose I had no previously considered. We always hear that this generation of ‘kids’, if I may, is the most technologically advanced and connected, but Lessig breaks it down so that you really think about what that means. This means we used to “watch movies” and they can “make movies” simply because of what is available online. I enjoyed his presentation immensely.

Week Twelve:  This was our final week and in addition to posting up link to all of our blog posts (which you are reading now), we also had homework J I really enjoyed this week’s assignments because we were introduced to Project Guttenberg, OpenTextbook, and the Internet Archive. I was aware of PG before this course, but not those other resources. I was impressed by the volume of work that is free and available to folks who are NOT enrolled in a program or college. For some reason this just made so many connections come together for me and I also realized the real power these texts could have, too, for a MOOC.

(My apologies if this was double posted somehow. My dial-up was giving me some trouble loading, and I may have posted this twice!)