Source: created by the author and Copilot Designer

The final week is behind us, so I hesitated  with my reflection because I did not want to end this great journey. Only when my academic year ends, will I be able to fully contemplate what we learnt and lived through together. So, what have I learnt?

Regarding my teaching practice, I will explore further how to engage my students more fully in collaborative activities and expand their digital literacy skills. My teaching context could be best described as blended, so some of the activities are done through LMS, which is complementary to what we do in face-to-face classes. In the future, I would like to develop more online material and even a fully online course, that would be based on OER principles, and it’s ONL241 that inspired me to really start planning it already.

AI in learning and teaching

As Alfred Korzybski (1879-1950) [2] said ‘the map is not the territory’, which means that it is only a representation of reality, a map is not the physical terrain itself. General semantics teaches us the difference between the word (i.e., a symbol) and the real object it refers to, which limits the human ability to think, i.e. it can be manipulative. I would extend this thought to AI – it is powerful, but we need to be able to critically evaluate its usefulness and applicability in learning and teaching, and not let it manipulate our way of thinking  and impede our own creativity. I say yes to AI , but it is as useful as we make it/want it to be. Btw, I love what the copilot designer did with my prompts for the image in this post.

Community experience

Having participated in the great PBL05 ‘Take V’ group, made me think about how we all belong to shared humanity, regardless of the constraints that classify us into different categories.  The entire experience had a profound impact on my personal and professional life. All our different backgrounds, interests, principles were put together, mixed and remixed and we would end up heading safely to the shore. It was really inspiring to engage with everyone, to challenge each other and to join forces. I learned a lot by seeing things  from different angles and by finally trying out some of the digital tools and AI apps. I understand that community work can be frustrating on occasion, but isn’t it how children learn, to begin with? If frustration is turned into a challenge, by dealing with it we grow and learn.

What’s next?

As Daniel J. Boorstin [3] said ‘ The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge’. So don’t shy away from digging deeper and challenging yourself.

Thank you ‘Take V’ – Alexandra, Annee, Cvijeta, Jamile, Shashank and our great facilitators Filip and Suzana, and the entire ONL241 team.


[1] Leonardo da Vinci Quotes. (n.d.). Retrieved May 10, 2024, from Web site:




TOPIC 4: From HI to AI

In our PBL05 group ‘Take V’, we really played with the AI and came up with our slogan for the presentation ‘HI, carefully choose your ‘AI’. We all had a different specific goal we wanted to achieve by experimenting with ChatGPT, summarized benefits and drawbacks and also put together some remedies for specific issues one might have when using AI.


The great webinars and hands-on experience in our break-out rooms we had, along with our joint PBL groupwork made me test AI  further and try out new things. So, for the illustration given above, I used Copilot Designer with the following prompt:

Create an image that shows IoUTs in the ocean which demands high data rate, high security, high transmission speed, and long‐distance wireless communications.

 Here is the Copilot’s answer that accompanied its image creation:

I’ve created an image that visualizes the Internet of Underwater Things (IoUTs) in the ocean, emphasizing the need for high data rate, robust security, swift transmission speed, and the capability for long-distance wireless communications. These elements are crucial for the effective operation of IoUTs, ensuring reliable and secure data exchange in marine environments.

Just to note down that the image nicely fits into our final webinar where our group islands are gravitating towards the main island or motherboard!

For me as a language teacher, especially for teaching English for specific academic and professional purposes, AI can really be helpful in the creation of teaching material, getting additional references, creating images, videos, interactive and personalized activities. Through ONL241 I  learned about some new tools that I didn’t use before and by trying them out I could see how to adapt them for my teaching context. Since, in the group we have experimented with ChatGPT, SWOT analysis could summarize my perceptions based on the webinars, our PBL05 ‘Take V’ collaboration and our joint insights in this way CHATGPT SWOT

More importantly, it is important to apply critical thought and see how to approach the task of leveraging AI  and using its potential to the fullest. This is why we need to choose specific learning design, to align teaching and learning goals, methods of assessment and desired outcomes. So constructive alignment approach is a good starting point when developing a course [1]. You also need to see what fits best to your context in terms of the content you need to create for your specific course, modes of learning, compliance with your institution’s guidelines, privacy and security issues, and accessibility of the tools. Based on what I have learned at ONL241, for my teaching context, the best way is to apply blended learning [2], so I plan to explore these options further and implement what I have learned here in my own teaching.




Topic 3: Learning in communities or who is on board?

Photo by Peter Scholten on Unsplash

Our ONL journey has started with the FISh document, which inspired me thinking of the experience as a sea journey – which actually is my favourite environment. So, let me continue with my cruise excursion which has suddenly grown into a two-months long voyage across the world. If we can just briefly embrace the picture above – on the left is a smaller boat – aka ‘tug boat’ (i.e. PBL group)  with a small but selected crew, and on the right is a huge cargo ship (with the outstanding ONL crew and goodies). You are surely getting the idea, what it takes.

We have been gradually unpacking the scenarios, resources, participating in webinars, PBL groups, and with our joint effort we have been getting the huge ship out of the departure harbour into the new destination, unloading the containers as we go. By working together both in our PBL groups, and communicating, interacting and exchanging ideas with our lecturers and facilitators (thank you Filip and Suzanna), meeting other crew members,  we are finally getting there to the other end. What awaits us there, on the other side?

Photo by Lee Lawson on Unsplash

Being part of a learning community is no easy task, but it is hugely rewarding. Especially, in the context of PBL group Take V, coming from different academic and cultural backgrounds, it is both somewhat challenging and hugely gratifying. By addressing the challenges, we create opportunities.

Photo by Estela Romero on Unsplash

Are these stairs going up or down? I think Take Ver’s could discuss that fiercely for a very long time. This is how we would approach our scenarios. You know the Six Thinking Hats of Eduard de Bono , we have all of them and we even exchange them sometimes. The point I want to make here is that some key aspects regarding the topics we discuss may be obvious, clear-cut to one person, and completely vague to another. This can be a burden, but it is also a great opportunity! You learn about a different approach, you acquire a different skill, you try out a new collaboration tool, you get a lot of great research references from another academic field that you would hardly come across.

For Topic 3, we truly collaborated on the Mural, both synchronously and asynchronously. What I like about our approach is that we start with connecting the scenario to our personal experiences, then present a specific example from our professional practice to others and get into a discussion, with a specific purpose – to extract key points worth sharing with the big ship.

As Wlodkowski  (2004) points out, for adults to strive in collaboration and learning, respect, communication and sharing resources are needed in addition to the appreciation of cultural diversity. Culturally responsive teaching (Wlodkowski and Ginsberg 1995) creates the environment for inclusion and equity by enabling learners to engage in activities and deal with the topics they value and find relevant to their personal experiences, and connect them to the others. This approach has been implemented in our PBL group, which I have found greatly motivating.

Let me finish with a thought I have recently learnt from Prof. Darla K. Deardorff (, one of the well-known specialists in intercutural communication, in her keynote speech – it is that we all belong to a ‘shared humanity’ no matter where we come from. The term has derived from the South African Zulu language saying ‘Ubuntu’ which most simply translates into ‘I am because you/we are’ referring to the interconnectedness of all humanity. Such a challenge in today’s world, and a chance, don’t you agree?


Wlodkowski, R. J. (2004). Creating Motivating Learning Environments. In M. W. Galbraith (Ed.), Adult Learning Methods: A guide for Effective Instruction (3rd ed., pp. 141–164). Krieger Publishing Company.

Wlodkowski, R.J. and M.B. Ginsberg (1995). Diversity and Motivation: Culturally Responsive Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.




The second lap of our ONL  journey has got us thinking more about what it means to be open, and whether we can really keep our private and professional lives separate.  In my fantastic PBL group Take V, I think we have managed to establish an atmosphere of trust so that we can freely share our thoughts on all aspects of the topic. It is even more challenging and far more inspiring that we come from diverse backgrounds in terms of our geographical and academic contexts, as well as having different life experiences. If we want to enjoy the process and our ONL experience, we  need to be open to new people, views, challenges.

Being open and sharing requires trust, and also the acknowledgement of other people who inspired us create new content.  Open education calls for sharing resources in an ethical and democratic way, so that we carefully choose the material that we want to adapt or use, respect the copyright licences, always mention the authors and enable others to share the material further under the same or similar conditions that we used.

In order to be able to share our resources and to access open resources, we still need the support and guidance of our colleagues and institutions. This is why I found the webinars for this topic really useful even though they served quite a different purpose. Maha Bali  ( really encourage us to think about ourselves as people of the world and how we can all contribute to a more open, democratic and generous surroundings, both in our professional and private lives. The talk and the tasks were really inspiring, and it provided inspirational quotes and gave solid foundations for exploring the topic further. On the other hand, Jorg Pareigis ( gave a fantastic workshop on creative commons licensing and presented great open educational resources we could use to create our own content. It actually inspired me so after the workshop I created materials for my students for that week. For me, his workshop was a great experience because we do not get this sort of institutional support, i.e. until now through participating in ONL via EUGLOH project.



The open education resources (OER ) are like a huge ocean you need to navigate, but you can’t do it on your own. You need to be open to contact and consult others, collaborate with your boat crew, but also communicate with other boats so that you don’t crash into each other, or prevent some of your crew members falling off the boat.

Namely, both using and creating OER brings a lot of challenges. Some of them can come from the availability of technology around the world, different copyright issues and ways of quality assurance. The other factors are more personal, i.e. individuals might be hesitant when it comes to changing their ways of delivering courses. Or they might not receive enough institutional support to implement the open course.

What can help is for the institutions to organise professional development, set clear guidelines, show best practices, foster community collaboration and get accessible technology. Easily said than done, right?

Although OER fosters accessibility to education and social justice, it is still not free of charge to establish it and it is available to a larger extent in well-developed countries. The institutions need to ensure that they have the necessary technology infrastructure, as well as support system for educators and learners, which all requires additional funding. However, if we take it step by step, we will get there eventually.


Petrides, L. Jimes, C., Middleton-Detzner, C., Walling, J. Weiss, S. (2011).  Open Textbook Adoption and Use: Implications for Teachers and Learners. Open Learning, v26 n1 p39-49



Topic 1: Online participation and digital literacy


My initial motivation for applying to an open networked learning (ONL) course and becoming a more active participant in online learning, was to experience it as a learner but also to be able to transfer what I have learned to my students and my work in general in the future.

The learning is organized around topics related to our presence in the digital world, with plenty of input in the form of webinars, further readings, blogs, etc., and through a collaborative process within a problem-based learning (PBL) (Savin Baden 2020) group we are assigned to. The activities in the PBL group are guided by the FISH (Nerantzi & Uhlin, 2012) document (hence the title of my blog :-)) which should help us lead fruitful discussions.

Let me elaborate here on the fish metaphor to describe what it feels like to experience the first two weeks of the PBL and ONL course. I would say that most of us started as a shoal of fish which is a group of scattered fish, everyone for themselves kind of feeling, yet hanging around together, and then slowly but steadily becoming a school of fish, which is a more organized group of these lovely creatures heading in the same direction. I suppose as our topics change, we will be switching from one type to another as we go along our ONL learning path.

The PBL Group 5 I am in, which we collectively named Take V, is a great place to be since we all come from diverse backgrounds professionally as well as culturally, which is a challenging but also a very inspiring experience for me, helping me grow both professionally and personally. In my opinion, it is important to implement both collaborative and critical thinking skills to be able to successfully participate and contribute to your group’s work. This is true both for the digital and analog worlds. We need to see beyond our perspective, be open to others, and be ready to share and interact. It is not always easy to do that, in particular when we have different views on the topic, but that is what makes this experience so significant and powerful. On this journey, I feel that we will learn a lot about ourselves as well as others.

Regarding our topic and the scenario, after very insightful discussions on digital literacy, online participation, and the problem in the scenario we opted to concentrate more on critical thinking skills as a tool that is helpful in our daily lives, enabling us to thrive in the context of our education both as learners and educators.

What I have learned exploring the resources (David White ; Doug Belshaw; ONL), our group discussions and through my experience as a teacher, digital literacy is a range of skills and competencies required to thrive in the digital world both privately, academically, and professionally. It is vital to understand that the digital environment and digital tools can contribute to the concept of global citizenship and democratization of society and increase the outreach of education to the most geographically / culturally remote communities. For an individual, it is important to learn and acquire abilities to plan their online actions, select content critically, use adequate tools, engage creatively and critically with others, evaluate and reflect on digital activities that lead to solving life’s tasks, and boost one’s digital literacy competence.

To sum up, on our ONL journey we might sometimes be swimming, paddling, sailing, or even speed boating, yet we are all in this together, challenging and supporting each other.

Belshaw, D.
Nerantzi, C. & Uhlin, L (2012) FDOL131 Design, available at
Savin Baden, M. (2020). What Are Problem-Based Pedagogies? Journal of Problem-Based Learning 7(1): 3-10.
White, D.

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