We are getting started! I feel that during the past two weeks, PBL group 5 has been growing into a team while we were working on topic 1. 

During our first meeting we had quite an animated, multifaceted and really engaging discussion about various angles from which to approach the scenario. The “focus” part of our FiSh document, however, quickly started looking a little bit less than focused, and we eventually decided that if we could not discard enough of what we had come up with to narrow our work down to one aspect, we might as well spread out and research various different ones simultaneously. Which is what we did from then on, and as it turned out, our different paths led us to a lot of common points eventually. We chose to create a “ThingLink” to present our findings as it allowed for enough space to present multiple facets of online learning and digital literacies in an easy to navigate, well-structured way. So far, so good. 

As I was tasked with the “ICT”-aspect of digital literacies, I got to look into the technical side of our scenario: I did some reading up on frameworks for aspects of ICT literacy in both students and educators, I learned about models for increasing confidence and competence in this field and investigated how this fits in with other required competences in education. Personally, I found the TPACK model very helpful as it strikingly visualizes how technological knowledge plays into successful teaching just as much as other aspects like content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge do. This realization goes two ways, of course: The model makes clear that technological skills alone are nothing worth speaking about in a teacher who does not know their subject well or lacks the pedagogical skills to get their students to engage with it. 

I am really happy with what we came up with, and I learned a lot along the way. But I realized somewhere about halfway through that it just would not do for me to try and write small academic articles about every single interesting aspect of our topic that I came up with (I had been keeping an increasingly bloated file with comments on all the stuff I had found). A little bit further down the way I understood that it would not even be possible to read all the papers by others that I came across. I had to restrain myself to a very cursory, superficial approach in order to make do with the time available for the task. This is something I will have to work on in upcoming parts of ONL: Find the right balance between engagement and restraint. 

On a very different note, I realized my own prejudices about gender and technology! As the members of our group are all very tech-savvy and our work really profits from the interesting tools and platforms that each of us knows and shares, I decided to contribute with a quick simpleshow video to visualize the first scenario. So I created Tina, the insecure newbie to professional online residency, and it took me almost a day to realize that I had reproduced a cliché. Why, I am still asking myself, did I jump to the conclusion that the person in our scenario had to be a woman? I fully intended to create a complementing “Tino”-video there and then, but just did not get around to doing so in time before the end of the week. So here it is, a lasting sign of how we sometimes cannot escape certain mindsets, however hard we try.