Hello visitors! This post is part of my new year’s resolution to become more active in my online communities. I’ve joined a “MOOC” or if you have been hiding under a rock, what is known as a “Massive Online Open Course” on “ET” or “Educational Technology”. This #ETMOOC is an attempt to gather a large group of people (thousands at least) to share their knowledge, expertise, ideas, challenges and successes with each other in using Educational Technology. I’ve tweeted it out, I’ve joined the Google + community, and now I’m starting to blog about it. Please, consider joining me!
Normally, in previous MOOCs I’ve joined, I’ve been more of a lurker, reading everything, processing ideas, collecting resources, but not giving back as much. I was taking lots away from these opportunities, but never contributing. So, this is the start of my chance to flip it around and become more active in my community participation. I think I do have lots to offer to a large group of like minded people, gathered together to learn about Educational Technology.
For those that don’t know me, I’m an online educator for the Vancouver School Board. I have been involved with the Vancouver Learning Network, a Distance Learning school for over 9 years now. When I first started there, it had a different name, and a different purpose. Back then it was a ‘paper-based’ distance learning school, one that continued the long held purpose of providing education to students far far away in paper-based course packs that would be mailed back and forth through the post office. This was the standard way of doing distance education for over 80 years! When I started, it was the birth of our switch to online delivery, to take this old model and to modernize it, make it more active, less isolated, more personalized, a bigger community, and to make the activities and learning more problem based. While at the VLN, I’ve also created a digital Library, or E-Library, an online space that tries very hard to replicate a real school library and the resources and services it would provide to students. We have tutorials, a reference desk, online databases, ebooks and other digital services to help our distance learning students from afar.
I’ve also recently started teaching as a sessional online instructor with the University of British Columbia, in the Teacher-Librarian Diploma program. I am teaching LIBE 477B – Special Topics in Teacher-Librarianship, and this course is all about Web 2.0, and how to extend your School Library out into the world, and to connect and collaborate with your peers online. There is a ton of over-lap between my day to day job, this UBC course, and this #ETMOOC, so I am all reved up to go!
I hope that you are enjoying your experiences in the #ETMOOC and that you call home once in a while to check in and see how everyone is doing!