Blended Learning Essentials: Getting Started
I can’t believe where these last five weeks have gone as we come to the end of our Blended Learning Essentials getting Started course. As I write my reflective blog each week to record what I have learnt during the course week have allowed me to recap and refresh some of the points again, which is something totally new method of learning and recording I have ever done before. I say new because I am sharing my notes albeit my learning experience globally via my blog which may or may not be of any benefit to anyone but my intention is to share nonetheless. So I guess for me this sums up all about the use of technology and blended learning approach which is inclusive of everyone and everything.
This course is offered on FutureLearn as part of MOOC from the University of Leeds in England which started five weeks ago. If you are reading this and interested to do the course, there is still time to enrol and complete last five weeks’ worth of contents and catch up. Here is the link if you wish to find out more and enrol or alternatively follow the link I have placed at the end to view all videos and help sheets: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/blended-learning-getting-started
We looked at the knowledge gap particularly for our learners in digital skills this week. I find the digital knowledge and skills is depended largely on the younger age demographic as they are brought up using technology for social life in all their lives and for this group it is a lot easier to introduce emerging technologies in contrast to the older age demographic. The challenge we face is ensuring that these emerging technologies are used in the right way for the right purpose to maximise its full potential.
In the recent years with the introduction of MOOCs the door to learning has been widely open for everyone. All that is required of us is the will to enter through that door and the desire to learn which is what many people are doing now. Promoting learning platform such as MOOCs is one way to make sure education is available and accessible for free to everyone and not just for the privilege few. This course is one such example, which otherwise would have been beyond the reach of many people.
I have thoroughly enjoyed doing this course and looking forward to the follow up course next year. It has been very inspiring and got me thinking how I can improve my teaching and promote learning which I love doing. This course has been one of the best MOOC courses so far and credit goes to all the staff involved. We should also thank all the learners taking part and making the difference by sharing some brilliant comments, suggestions, links which are so useful and for their constructive support to everyone during the course week on course site and via twitter tags. It is this ethos of shared community learning I love which makes the MOOC courses so successful (at least for me anyway).
I would love to specialize in this field as suggested in the course but sadly I cannot afford the fees but I will do all I can to learn from MOOC courses and networking with the experts. I feel passionately childish about promoting learning and making knowledge available for everyone not just for the privilege few. I have learnt a lot from this course and will endeavour to expand my knowledge further to share with everyone around me and beyond.
Here are some of the useful links I explored during the final BLE course week along with some which were recommended by the course providers.
Deciding what to trust online
Deciding who to trust online
My digital identity: making a good impression online
Selecting the right online tools
The information universe
Target your Google search
I prefer YouTube for presentation as it can combined visual and audio with the possibility of subtitle. It is also easy to publish on the go these days with most smartphones are capable of deploying high quality, high resolution videos. Above all it is a platform everyone knows and very easy to access from any devices and easy to integrate with any LMS or share via social media sites.
For collaboration work and for synchronous teachings Google Hangout is a brilliant tool. However it would appear some people I have spoken to underestimate its capability and some are not even aware of its existence as the free resource tool.
I did think about creating course videos repository for future reference but brilliantly as ever, full collection of Course Videos to browse and refresh along with all the crib sheets has been already provided towards the end of week five. Also Blended Learning Essential Glossary to update new terminology and to refresh as and when required is so useful to have.
Finally I would like to say thank you to our course providers Neil Morris and Diana Laurillard and all the staff involved behind the scene as we look forward to next year’s course Blended Learning Essentials: Embedding Practice.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2016 to everyone and hope you never stop learning.
Check my other reflective blog for the past four weeks where I share my learning experience and some really useful tools.