I am a little late with this blog – which is about my reflections on the first topic of the ONL191-course. I have been travelling. I was in Mexico, and had huge plans about writing this blog post during my travel to Mexico from Oslo. This should have been possible during the 15 hours spent in the airplane, but no – my toddler refused to sleep. In Mexico, the internet was not as available as I am used to back home, and also the warm weather and much to do and see challenged this. However, I have been thinking a lot about the topic, and now I will try to type my reflections and share with you!

I was happy about this first topic; in particular, Digital literacy has been the core theme in my own work as researcher. My PhD was pretty much about students’ and teachers’ digital literacy (also called digital competence, ICT literacy, TPACK etc). This made me believe that I had a huge advantage. Yet, I learned that knowing things theoretically and experiencing things do not always go hand in hand. Also, it gets a little more challenging when this is happening in a group with others that you do not know on beforehand. Hence, I have learned a lot about myself as an individual in an online learning community. And more importantly, now I know how it may feel for others to for instance be part of an online course. During the first online meetings I really felt that I need very structured and well-planned sessions to get the most out of it. Also, that I have to be prepared, interested and active in order to benefit and not have the feeling of wasting time. Also, 1 hours which is so little in real feels a lot if the conversations and discussions do not float well, and the members are not prepared. I realized that for me the beginning of the course is critically important, and the way this was done in the ONL-course has been inspiring. It helps that everyone presents themselves – saying something about their professional life, but also their private life (e.g., interests, family etc). I will take this with me when planning an online course.

Secondly, even though I emphasize that teachers and educators need to have a certain level of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK, e.g., Scherer et al., 2018; Tondeur et al., 2017) in order to teach in digital environments and develop teaching and learning materials, I realize that having experience with several types of technological resources is vital. This has striked me as an even more important aspect as compared to earlier in which I thought that having pedagogical and didactical knowledge should be sufficient to select the relevant technological tools for the specific educational purposes. I find that still critical, but do also see the value of knowing and experiencing several tools to be able to evaluate their use in teaching. Also, because the tools can be alien to some users, exploring them together seems to be a good way of building ones technological repertoire!

I will end
here, wishing you all a great weekend ahead!

Cancun, Mexico

Reflections on topic 1: Online participation & digital literacies