Monday, October 3, 2011

#Change11: Competence and Collective Learning

October 3, 2011 - Week 4 of the #Change11 MOOC and I am catching up today.  As I reviewed materials from previous weeks and then read today's post on collective learning, I am struck by the lack of discussion around competence.  I admit it, I like to learn from a subject matter expert.  Now, with that said, I also remember college courses - especially my computer courses - where I knew as much and sometimes more than my instructor.  I definitely believe in learning from the collective.  But, I think filtering out those that speak and don't know what they are talking about is sometimes the hardest part.

Learning for the sake of learning is one thing.  Learning for the sake of solving a problem is another thing.  Learning in order to achieve a level of competence on a given subject is yet another thing - one which I contend requires greater structure and accountability.  In the world of education, the one thing we know about our students is one size doesn't fit all.  This applies to much more than just the individual.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My first MOOC #Change11

As a participant in the #Change11 MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), I decided it was time to start my second blog focused on my career in education.  (I have written another blog for years which is all about my family's racing hobby).  The MOOC is focused on contributions in the field of instructional technology.  I have some unique perspectives in this field and have found my experiences are also somewhat unique.

First, I have taught high school, college, and university courses before moving to the corporate world of training and education.  Second, I was lucky enough to be in high school at the dawn of the PC (personal computer).  In fact, during both my undergraduate and graduate programs, I was able to take independent study courses focused on instructional technology using the latest computer tools.  I actually created a web site for a major university before universities had web sites (and received college credit for it).  And, I was showing faculty new ways to teach online before anyone had created the words google, blog, or tweet.

I worked in IT at a Medical School and accurately made a predication to our medical doctors that there would come a time when patients would bring in information they had found on the web during the office visit.  No one really believed me until it starting happening.  The tools have become easier to use, but are rooted in many base technologies that started on BITNET (a University only form of the Internet before there was an Internet).

Now there are so many ways to do the same thing, or close variations of that it can be a bit of a maze.  And keeping up is definitely more challenging now than ever before.  I look forward to this MOOC to explore new ways of learning and working.  Challenging ourselves is the first step in learning new things!