Monday, June 15, 2009

Let's Roll!

Now that you have a good sense of the types of online activities and the rhythms of an active participant, what steps will you take to be successful in this program?

I will schedule my time to allow for reading the materials and browsing information online early each week so that I can post in a timely manner and allow time for reflection and further discussion.

I will check in to the Discussion Board regularly to post my comments and to respond to those posted by colleagues. I will advance the discussion when possible and probe for deeper understanding. I will expect my colleagues to push me to deeper and richer meaning in my posts.

If I am struggling with something, I will check in with the facilitators and/or classmates to get help so as not to fall behind. In online learning, I think it’s even more important to keep up with the pace.

How will you be a contributing member of your team? How will team activities impact your time management?
I intend to be a regular contributor to my team’s discussions, tasks, and activities. I will organize my weekly schedule in such a way that I can post and check in on discussions on a regular basis. If we are to get the most out of our experience together, it’s important that we each carry our weight and contribute our thoughts so that together we create products, generate ideas, and create knowledge that is richer because of the group’s commitment and ongoing participation. I expect all my teammates to be as committed and participatory, as I’m sure they’ll expect it of me. In fairness and in the hope of getting the most possible out of this experience, I will do my part.

What have you learned about your communication style? How will this impact you as an online learner?
The assessment designated me as a “thinker,” but that was no surprise. I tend to be very organized, logical, and detail-oriented. My mission when given a task is to accomplish it, straight and simple. (Some attribute this to me being a Virgo.) However, cohorts are not made up of all thinkers or intuitive types and therefore I will have to be sensitive and open to the other communication styles. I think we can provide good balance to each other, as long as some of each style is assigned to each team. Thus, we will not only be learning content, but also how to coexist and collaborate with colleagues whose style is different than our own, which will serve us well in administrative positions in the future when we will surely have a mix of all styles.

Where do you still need additional support?
I may still need additional support with the Google tools, like Google docs and Google calendar. I am new to the Google world, having used it up until now only as a search engine. But in this short time, I am already seeing the great potential of integrating it in the learning environment and thinking about ways to use it with students in the coming school year. I also know that I will have to discipline myself to make the time necessary each day to complete the component activities, reading, and discussions. Other than that, I'm ready to rock and roll!

Monday, June 8, 2009

TLC in the ELC

Right now I feel very comfortable with the ELC. If it was my first online course, I'd be a bit overwhelmed, but having been through several online platforms already, and not being afraid to click on the unknown, it's pretty straightforward. There's an added comfort in having gotten to know my new classmates from all over the world in such a short time, and having something to go on when we actually meet f2f at the end of the month at NECC. Might even be able to recognize folks from their thumbnails!

My biggest concern with online learning right now, as it has been in the past, is time management. Here it is, Week One of Orientation, and I'm already swamped on the last day of the first week trying to make deadline. I don't want to make this a habit. I won't survive. It's just a crazy time with all the end-of-year closeout business to take care of at school on top of preparing to transition to a new position and school and teaching a brand new online course. Meanwhile, summer's kicking in for a lot of folks, and the pools, patios, and porticoes are calling my name.

I have taken one or two courses online per year for the past five years. Now it's time to kick it into high gear and integrate this coursework into my lifestyle for the next year. I looked at the course calendar on the ELC site and December never looked better! Okay, enough with the griping. This program and opportunity seem awesome, the others involved seem very talented and excited, I've made it this far, it's going to be an awesome ride!