Why I (want to) teach

Playing a bit of catch-up here, going back to the first unit of Connected Courses and thinking about the whys of teaching and the whys of a course. One of my favorite links during this unit was Mike Wesch’s talk about Why we need a “why?”

As a relative newcomer to these types of discussions, I tweaked the question to why I (want to) teach. I’m in the middle of a grad program in Learning Technologies. When I entered the program, one of my driving questions was “What does high-quality, engaging online learning look like…and how do I do it?” One year into it, I’m finding out that learning online is really fun! There’s elements of play that can be incorporated into a class which make it enjoyable. (I recently read a great post about this topic…still searching for the link to it…) I want to be able to bring those to a class that I teach, and show what online teaching and learning looks like in different ways. (hint: it can be so much more than just PDFs and discussion forums. Once you get hooked into ds106, you can never go back…)

In a perfect world, there would be the option to construct a course from scratch. In reality, that may not be the case. Sometimes instructors find out they will be teaching a course close to the start of the semester, or there are existing materials from previous courses available for reuse. Perhaps there are departmental reasons for a standard course to be delivered…it may have to deal with accreditation requirements. All of these reasons and factors come into play.

For now, let’s dream big and imagine a space where those stipulations do not exist. Fortunately, an imagined course is starting to take shape…in the form of a final project for one of my fall semester courses. I will be using resources from Connected Courses as well as my class readings to create a course of my own. The course’s overarching theme will be the history of the internet/web from a feminist perspective and why it’s important in edtech to talk about it. I haven’t started thinking about specific course topics (mostly as I’d want the course to be co-constructed by the facilitator and participants). General offshoots might include current topics such as SOPA, the many forms of open – OERs, scholarship, pedagogy, etc.

hmm…even though there’s a great post on how to write one…I think I need help on how to end one! (Vania – you are not alone in this respect) Moving on to unit 2…

Countdown to Connected Courses

In just under a month, Connected Courses begins. This brings together many of my favorite people in higher ed and ed tech. Through Mike Wesch’s classes and videos (going back to 2007 – yep, he’s been at this awhile!) I saw what anthro on the web might look like. It was fascinating, and drew me into the world of teaching and learning on the web and student-centered learning.

On a deeper level, this course weaves together many strands of thought that have been linked, up until this point, through my feed reader. It’s amazing to see how these ideas and thinkers have coalesced to this point of collaboration. Over the past few months of reading about connected learning, I am wondering how connectivism may shape it. Is connected learning an extension of connectivism, a new way of seeing it? That will be one of the points I would like to bring to the discussion.

To learn more about the principles that underpin the course, head on over to the Connected Learning Alliance. Or register for the course, and explore the hows and why with us.