Woohoo I now have a blog..continued..

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Now that I am getting into my assignments for the NGL course I am taking a moment to reflect my posts. “Woohoo I now have a blog’ was the first post I made on Pushing the Boundaries with Networked learning”. It showed the excitement I had at getting involved in the NGL course and finally making a space of my own online.

Looking at the initial posts of my peers in this course, it was nice to see that this enthusiasm was shared by others.  I can even relate to the sense of nervousness expressed by another peer.

What has also been valuable for me was that others have shared their frustrations.

One of the frustrations I have experienced is that sadly, I somehow seem to have deleted my first post “woohoo, I know have a blog”- just another example of me as a new learner in the Blogging world, trying to find my feet and getting my head around how to use this new technology.

I’m grateful to Mari in sharing the link to Keith Brennan’s article which has helped me to better understand my fluctuating feelings and also frustrations with connectivist learning as a novice.

Keith Brennan discusses the idea of cognitive overload and its effects on our self-efficacy, which is key to our confidence and success in connecting online. From this article I can also see that being able to see how other the feelings of other people in the course, have also fluctuated over time, did in fact help with making sense of WordPress and the course, and with building my confidence to keep posting. The feedly tool proposed by David Jones, also helped me with this cognitive overload.

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My One Minute Paper

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1. What is the most significant thing you’ve learned from the above?

That there are so many great new ways of learning and tools available for us to use. I can’t wait to see what more I can learn from this course, which I can apply to my own learning environment.

2. What question/problem remains uppermost in your mind?

How? How can I do this, how can I overcome some of the barriers I have identified? What tools can I use to achieve the best outcomes?

Me as a teacher

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What is your role as a teacher? Who are your students? What is the context?

As already discussed in my earlier post, I am with an Institution where I will be involved in the development and delivery of learning and training activities to people to help them to learn and implement new and improved work processes. This is my role as a teacher, to facilitate training of our organisation’s staff (my students) and help them achieve results in their work.

What role does NGL currently play in that context? How do you think NGL might help?

NGL offers a new way of doing things for our organisation. It offers a way to us to offer training in a way which better fits with the world we currently live and work in and will generate better learning outcomes for staff both in their work and personal lives.

What difficulties might you face with implementation?

I can already see some difficulties in implementing NGL, namely our existing prehistoric technology and strict security firewalls which significantly limit staff use of online programs or the cloud. I can also see the conservative attitudes of staff and a history of resistance to change and new technologies as a barrier which I will have to overcome in introducing NGL.
But I am up for the challenge!
Image credit:unlimitednovelty.com and cartoonstock.com

Me as a learner

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What would you like to learn? Why?

AS part of the assessment for this semester’s course, I have been asked to learn something new to NGL and by using NGL.

As an avid musician with a penchant for folk music and playing the fiddle, I am always interested in learning a few new tunes. So I have set a goal of learning a new reel ‘In the Tap Room’ and perhaps a second ‘Over the Moor to Maggie’ using NGL.

Irish Arts Week 2006 042 by georgikeith, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  georgikeith 
How suited do you think it will be to learning via NGL? What will be the benefits and the barriers?

While trying to come up with a learning goal for this course, I was shocked to realise how much learning traditional Irish music is actually suited to NGL. Unlike many other forms of music, Irish music is predominately learned by ear, and in an ideal world, to be learnt from the masters/or greats, or through attending sessions (like the music groups playing in pubs) where you can learn how and where to play the variations in particular Irish tunes. While notation is available for Irish tunes online or in books, it is very basic and does not adequately capture the traditional variations, rhythms and lilts required to play the tunes authentically. Of course, like all art forms, the “proper way” to play a tune is certainly a subjective concept. However, without being able to fly to Ireland and book in with a certified Irish fiddle teacher, I am keen to look closer at what I can access and harness in the NGL space to learn tunes and how to play them in an authentic style/manner.

While I already play some Irish music, I know that there are many more tunes I can learn and there is also much more to master in terms of ‘Irish fiddle technique’.

The biggest barrier I face at the moment, is not yet having explored, to a great extent, the online and collaborative (NGL) possibilities available to help me to learn these two new tunes and improve my technique.

I hope that through breaking down and making public my learning process through this exercise, I will be able to help many other existing and budding Irish musicians and fiddle players out there who are also learning tunes and trying to improve their playing.

What is learning?

The article: Ladders, Learning and Lessons from Charlie: exploring the potential of public click pedagogy by Chris Bigum & Leonie Rowan, talks about the process of learning as Climbing a Ladder, with the many rungs, being the learning steps towards mastery.

I like this metaphor for learning. In this exercise, I look forward to breaking down and making public the ‘rungs” or different stages I go through in learning Irish tunes.

Me as a student

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Describe your prior experiences as a learner in this program. What did you like? What didn’t work? What haven’t you seen that you would like?

The ‘Networked and Global Learning Course’ I am currently completing brings me to the halfway point in the USQ Master of Education program.

I am finding the delivery and student participation in this particular course certainly unique and also challenging. While I would ordinarily consider myself pretty OK in the online/tech space, I have found myself learning many new things and using programs which I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of before (e.g. Diigo, Mendely etc).

Most of the subjects I have completed previously have been taught following a very traditional structure – reading and essay writing. As a creature of habit and one who loves structure and logical progression, I am struggling to adjust to the seemingly haphazard nature of this course and find myself yearning for a set of readings I can print out neatly and work through chronologically. Although I am confident I will get past my initial reservations and get a lot out of the increased social interaction and ‘walking the talk’ opportunities this course offers.

What is NGL? What do you currently know about it?

At the commencement of this course, I imagined NGL would be about harnessing online and social networking technologies to better do our work. After working through the articles and links listed for Week 1, I have come to realise that it is much more than just about the ‘tools’ for learning. It is about redefining traditional methods and ideas of learning – it is about focusing more on the methods/process behind how we and others learn in order to respond to the unique internal and external pressures of the modern world.

What have you previously learned that is related to NGL?

The other courses I have completed for the M.Ed program have explored constructivist learning and have also dealt with the ‘end to the scarcity of knowledge’ education dilemma. This prior learning has been a useful foundation for understanding why we must move towards NGL to effectively support others to learn and cope in our perpetually advancing technological environment and increasingly globalised society.

How have you previously performed your student role? What practices and tools do you use? How do these fit with the idea NGL and what you know so far of this course?

Previously, my role as a student involved: taking in knowledge from the study desk, saving readings on my computer or printing them out, supplementing my learning with some online and journal article research, taking notes and organising my notes in hard copy, transcribing my ideas into an essay in a word document (with appropriate referencing of course!), and finally submitting this evidence of my learning back through the study desk. Based on what I have learnt so far from this course, these methods of learning seem so tedious and out-dated.

Already I have changed my methods of study and learning thanks to this course. I have already started highlighting and creating notes directly online with Diigo and Mendeley and am loving it! Although this could just be week 1 enthusiasm, let’s see if it sticks around for the rest of the course

What do you want out of this course? What aren’t you seeing from the course that you’d like to see?

I currently work in Organisational Change in an Institution. In the coming months I will be involved in the development and delivery of learning and training activities to a large number of people to help them to transition successfully to a new, and hopefully improved, way of doing work.

I am hoping that this course can enable me to push the boundaries in our organisation (hence the name for my blog)with some best practice strategies, tools and ideas that I can incorporate into my work, to achieve best results for our staff and the institution.

I have already gathered a few new ideas and tools through this course (just in the week 1 material) that I can look at harnessing in my work place. I look forward to seeing more of this from the course in the coming weeks.