At the end of the 2nd week I find myself reflecting on these 3 Ps:
One of the main things my MSc in Technology-Enhanced Learning is teaching me is that I have a bit of a mental block about this ‘P’ word. I am very conscious that I am not a teacher and the bits where I have to teach actual students fill em with terror. (although I love staff training and would happily define myself as a facilitator…). However, I can see that looking at pedagogies when planning Blended Learning can be very helpful – we used this technique at the start of our Learning Futures project and it seemed to work well- we used the LSIS Ten Pedagogies Underpinning Lifelong Learning but also used the opportunity to consider important related issues such as accessibility, usability, flexibility and reliability.
- Prescription (or is the VLe dead?)
There is certainly a lot of great things out there that tutors can be using and while I am keen to support our staff in using as many new and innovative things as possible (and they normally find the new stuff quicker than I do), as a librarian I feel it is very important we consider discoverability too – I think colleges should have a ‘one-stop-shop’ (VLe or equivalent) where students know that they can go to find the ‘blended’ element of their course – for us this is currently Moodle but I can see how it could be Google Classroom or OneNote in the future. I think choosing this main college system is important and it is the one area where some sort of ‘enforcement’ and standardisation is needed so it needs to be user-friendly (single-sign on makes the world of difference) and capable of linking seamlessly to everything else out there people want to use as well as providing tutors with the data they need to see who is using what, when and how effectively. As I say , at present Moodle does this well for us but it will be interesting to see how things evolve.
- Paranoia (or can I learn to love Facebook)
This week there have been a lot of comments about the use of social media and this has brought home to me an issue where I am not sure I am effectively separating the emotional and the rational. I love Twitter, can see the attraction in Edmodo, am happy using LinkedIn and have used Yammer successfully as part of my course but … I have yet to be convinced that Facebook is a good idea in education.I use Facebook personally but still feel Facebook has become associated with the negative aspects of social media (and in our college with one particular violent incident). Many students I have spoken to are against the idea of using it as part of their course as they see it as their own ‘personal space’. As learning technologists, we have no admin rights to Facebook groups and so cannot provide support (e.g. fixing broken links). Tutors have argued to me that Facebook is good because ‘students already know how to use it’ but I have found most students are OK with learning to use another system as well, it’s the tutors who struggle!
For now, I will continue to recommend other alternatives, particularly ‘closed’ systems such as Moodle forums, Edmodo and Yammer where tutors intend to use social media to communicate regularly with their students – am I wrong to do this?