I was fortunate enough to teach EC&I 831 last year. It’s an online, open graduate course focused on educational technology. I had a wonderful group of students registered in the course, and before long, we had a wonderful network of informal learners that became an important part of the course experience.
And, we’re back! In fact, I have two open access courses running this semester. See ECMP 455 (undergrad) and EC&I 831 (graduate). In both courses, one of the main assessments is based on the reflection and development of a personal learning network (PLN). I am hoping that I will be able to help students build their PLNs, and have them reflect on the types of activities and experiences they have. I am hoping that their discoveries will help us understand more about PLNs, how they form, and their implications for teaching and learning.
In terms of the open access, in a nutshell, I am in a process of “thinning the walls” for my students. We began with private conversations about connectivity and networking (this is new for most students), and I am hoping that students will slowly emerge themselves in the more public spaces. Some have already taken the plunge and can be found on Twitter and in other spaces. If you look in the “participant directory” of each course site, you will be able to see their shared biographies. Some have already developed short introduction videos (posted to Youtube).
There will be synchronous events that may be of interest to many of you. To start with, in EC&I 831, Dr. Richard Schwier will be joining us Tuesday (Jan. 13/09), 7 p.m. (CST) to take us through a brief history of technology in schools. From my discussions with Rick, he’s got some really neat things up his sleeve and I know this will be a great session! I’ll be information on how to join this event (for those interested) via Twitter shortly before the session.
I invite you all to help, and would love if you could engage these individuals, help them with their questions and concerns, and support their learning. I am hoping that this will be an important experience for all of us!
Hi Alec – Great to hear you are working with another two groups and look forward to connecting with them. Please feel free to send them over to visit.
I’ll definitely be connecting them with you, especially on all the work you’ve been doing on developing PLNs!
Look forward to it Alec.
Was watching your conversation about your students and developing their PLN on Twitter re “one of the things I want to avoid is to have all their PLNs look exactly like mine”.
Will be interested to see how you encourage those in the group that are new to PLN to develop their PLN. Give lots of options overwhelm, give too few and run the risk of too much influence.
Assume you’ve seen my new PLN Yourself website? Had similar issues with it – too much choice or too little – becomes hard.
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