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Learning is togetherness

 

In the Open Networked Learning course, I have learned to understand and appreciate the social aspects of learning, the need for building networks and communities around what people learn or teach. I have always been part of various groups, both online and IRL, for fun, for help with solving practical problems, for achieving tasks that no one can do on his own and sometimes for making the world a better place, but I haven’t connected it to so much to learning before. That also means that I got an understanding that just making the lectures on zoom or record them isn’t by far enough to make a proper online course. You have to facilitate networking and social interaction even more in an online context.

 

I already use a forum in one course and found it even more used and useful in an online context, but I will probably expand further on that, maybe make some exercises more group oriented.  

 

Digital literacy

But from the beginning we were discussing digital literacy. Smashing the Natives – Immigrants dichotomy makes sense out of my experience. I myself met digital technology at an age of about 25. After that I have spent much of my working life and some of my spare time teaching and helping younger people handle digital stuff. During the course I have been more convinced that many “digital” skills are not so uniquely digital. Social skills, writing, drawing, explaining, talking, acting, storytelling in pictures or movies are ancient “analog” skills becoming even more important in a digital context.

 

Open Educational Resources

I have also learned that some teachers are sceptical to making their learning resources open. As an open-source advocate, I think this is sad. At least in Sweden the material is made with taxpayers’ money and should in a much higher degree be available to the taxpayers. Much of my stuff is available on the local Kaltura instance (play.lnu.se) for what I do at work and YouTube, Instagram etc for the private works.

 

To do list

In IRL contexts I will make more movies instead of lecturing and save the precious time together for more interactive discussions and also practical training.

 

In my IT-support role I already have begun recommending opening Zoom-rooms 15 min before the actual lecture or meeting begins and welcome all participants. That gives time for “sound check” and technical problem-solving and hopefully also for some social chat or some questions. The actual lecture or meeting can start at the scheduled time, sharp.

I will add to this list and maybe fail some more …

 

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