Monday, February 18, 2013

Why I Need More Than Six Words: Hemingway I Am Not

I really enjoyed the last topic for the #ETMOOC Massive Open Online Course on Educational Technology and Media. The problem? I'm working more than usual, so my attention span is too frenetic to get any real thoughts down. Papers to grade, posts to update, content to write--all too much to focus on to really engage with the content. But I'm taking notes. I'm bookmarking. This is my first MOOC, and I want to write and research about the potential--both good and bad--about this type of learning.

I took on the Six Word challenge (obviously) and that felt like a bit of real success and a bit of failure. Turns out, I need way more than six words. (If you know me, I hear your laughter). 
Mr. Hemingway, I'd love to walk in your shoes but I like verbosity. I like to talk. 

Case in point: This weekend was our campus faculty retreat, and I was asked to speak for 10 minutes. How long was up there? Almost 18 minutes! Blah. So much for practice and planning. 

I hope that the audience got something out of what I said, and here are a few of the Big Ideas I took away from the other speakers.  

An astronomy teacher reminded us of how little we know about the universe.
An IT worker made a video so he could be with us and his pregnant wife.
A history teacher made me see her passion for her subject.
A poet reminded me that students, like writers, work in isolation.
A nurse showed us the amazing technology our future nurses are using. 
A welder explained how his program had to become viable or it was going away.
An early childhood educator showed us how children have a need and a right to question.
A cosmetology teacher showed how her students chart their success over time. 
An art teacher made me work as a graphic designer, and I laughed really hard with my group. 

This summary is one of the many reasons I love teaching at a community college. 

By the time I was done listening to all of them speak, I was ready to go back to school so I can be their students. Turns out, I get bored with Theory when there is no Practice. These folks walk their talk in their classrooms, and I left inspired. I left understanding a bit more about their practice. The retreat theme was titled "Illuminate" and although I've been teaching at this school for ten years, this is the first time I've attended. I'm glad I went. My corner of the country never disappoints. 
Here's a photo of Saturday's sunset from my phone. 
So back to the business of this MOOC. What are we doing now?

Topic 3 (Feb 17-Mar 2): Digital Literacy – Information, Memes & Attention

Here are the questions we are supposed to explore over the next two weeks.
From the initial blog post for Topic #3:  

  • What does it mean to be digitally literate? 
  • What is the difference between being digital literate and web literate?
  • How does digital literacy relate to participatory culture?
  • What digital competencies and skills do your learners demonstrate through their daily use of technology?
  • What digital competencies and skills are required by our emerging knowledge economy/age?
  • What are the differences between digital literacy and digital fluency?
  • What is the role of attention within the spectrum of the 21st century?
  • What are the problems inherent in defining literacy, fluency, skills, and competency today (e.g., using terms like 21st century literacies, digital fluency), and how do these affect curricular development, pedagogy, and the work of teachers and students?
I'll see what I get to over the next two weeks. I've bolded the ones I'm most interested in on the first reading. I'll leave you with a quote from Ernest Hemingway that I think applies to teaching with (and without) technology.

                      "We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master."

No comments:

Post a Comment