Here I am. On the verge of something new again. This is my introductory post as a participant in #etmooc.
Oh ya, I teach middle-years Language Arts and Social Studies. I have a sort of experiential and project-based learning teaching approach. I believe in not yelling at students, being respectful & approachable, and forging relationships to increase engagement.
How I Got Started with #ETMOOC
Whilst on the Twitter one day, I see a hashtag on my screen: #etmooc. “Hmm.” Then I see it again. “Hmmmmmm”
And again…and again. ‘”etmooc” ha, that’s a silly word. I guess I should look into it.’
After sifting through the hashtags, I find etmooc.org and check out the website. The words, “Massive Open Online Course” grabbed my attention. I read the introductory message and decided to jump in and register.
The Question: Why Am I Doing This?
I’m participating in #etmooc because I love using technology in the classroom and I love learning. But why do I love tech and why do I want to participate in #etmooc? Is it because it’s trendy? Does it make me a better teacher? Does it make my students better learners? Does it make my job easier? Does it appease the higher-ups regarding “innovation”? Or is it more engaging than traditional teaching?
I know that #etmooc won’t “make” me anything. That’s up to me. Please bear with me for my two part answer.
The Answer 1.0
I love history. I love it because it’s deep and layered. It’s dynamic, has a variety of versions and viewpoints, has lots of lessons hidden within, and it is being created everyday.
Maybe I’m just young and naive, but I feel we (humanity) are on the cusp of something grand. All of a sudden we have the technology to easily communicate around the globe, not just with text, but with video, pictures, and more. I believe the advent of the Internet (including all the technologies that it has spawned) is a pivotal point in human history because it has revolutionized communication. My over-simplistic evolutionary overview of communication looks like this: Oral Traditions > Text > The Printing Press > Internet. Just because we move onto something new doesn’t mean the past is discarded, it is built upon. Educational methods change in the wake of the evolution of communication. I want to be on the crest of a change that sweeps through education, and I believe ICT is the wave, so I want to ride it through. I want to be a part of history. I want to be a part of the discussion of how to make education better and more accessible. I want to participate in what I believe is something revolutionary and democratic. Collective learning. Understanding. Learning intrinsically. Building community. Sharing. I believe in these things and that they’ll help shape a better future.
The Answer 2.0
ICT is the way of the younger generation and the generations that follow. In school, I want my students to engage with the world around them and learn. There are authentic information experiences everywhere, being made everyday. We just need to connect.