Earlier this week i made a tweet about how the form of this mooc and my scandinavian mindset wasn’t getting well together. Melissa Joel, the instructor wanted to hear more about so here goes:
I might be considered as one of the millennium generation, digital natives or what ever we are called. Been born in the early 80’es i been a ICT user for 20+ years now, i’m also a teacher educated from The Independent Academy for Free School Teaching where i had ICT along with math, religion and theater/drama as the main things i can educate kids in. This combination have made me interested in how we use ICT in various courses and today i study a Master of Arts (Education) in ICT based learning design. This background makes a heavy user of various online technologies and social platforms.
My background in the free schools system here in Denmark, has given me an alternative way to look at education than the more streamlined that the public school system uses. The famous danish poet and thinker N.F.S Grundtvig once said: First enliven, then enlighten and totally agree. We teachers need to step aside from our curriculum sometimes and look what the students actually interested in. We cannot just hope that we way we do it is the way the student learn stuff. But this is a whole other discussion.
Then i did the first weeks videos of this mooc, my first though was: this should be trending technologies, then why am i watching a power point presentation with voice over. Here in Denmark, that was the way to spice things up 10 year ago, there are so many ways of enhance video these day or make more interactive power points. I felt like i could go over to slideshare and find the exact same information and only use around 5 min on it. Then suddenly the quizzes popped up, at one of the question i was getting wrong answers because i was actually reflecting over that i would do and i wouldn’t do all the right stuff in my classes. This chocked me quite a bit, how could a mooc that say i should reflect over a certain case at the same time limit my answers. I have grown up with and adapted my old teachers mantra: There are no such things as a stupid question, there are only stupid answers. I know that the american educations system is built upon lectures, where students do a lot of quizzes to see if they learned something of a certain topic, but here in Scandinavia we don’t use that alot. We us try to make debates instead talking about what we learning reflecting with our students and not just them filling out a paper. I have been told that Dewey’s thought of education is still to be considered dangerous in some areas of the US, if its the case i’m don’t know for sure, but it still makes me think how big a difference there is across the Atlantic then looking at our school systems.
Many of the other things where was talked about in the first week is already well in use in Europe, take for an example Moodle, many universities around germany uses it or have used it earlier on. Then i was at the academy, we were already heavy users of google docs and starting to use google apps for education. 1 particular answer in the first week hit me with great surprise, twitter wasn’t a legal target then asked there good places to find new course matrial. Twitter is the biggest hit among teachers in Europe atm, closely followed with Edmodo/Schoology, this is what i call trending technologies. Taking “old” technologies and transforming them into something new and much more useful that they were designed for.
The 1:1 device/ipad/chromebook wave has hit Denmark to, but many teachers around here are a bit sceptical about it, because they might be afraid of to use it and not getting a situation where the students just sit and play at them instead of learning that the curriculum says they should learn. In my eyes we should start to rethink the whole way we communicate and teach on, with all these new technologies are we still suited for sitting down 20 people in a room doing the same thing?
All this being said i’m still venturing further into this mooc to see what it brings.
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