Although I am an active user of Facebook within my own community of friends, I have not used Twitter, and have only started blogging this year. Thus far my focus has been on getting a blog running for my class and students at www.walkthisway1.edublogs.org . The focus of this blog has been to support the work we are doing around environmental sustainability. My interest over the last few years has been in promoting critical place based education within my classroom. The article Critical-Pedagogy-of-Place by David A Gruenewald has been foundational in my thinking. However, as many of you will know, one of the powers of social media based professional development is in how you start in one place and end up somewhere different!
When I first decided to start a blog for my class I started following other class blogs from around the world to see what other teachers were doing. What I discovered was an interesting, active, thoughtful community of people talking about the possibilities of technology and social media offer for transforming education. These blogs brought me to to some excellent teacher blogs, including The Principal of Change by George Couros. George Couros blogs passionately about education leadership, and the transformative possibilities of educational technology. His work brought me to the work of his brother Alec Couros at Open Thinking. Which brought me to Alec’s ETMOOC.
I am now very intrigued about how I might integrate more technology to support my practice around place based learning. What are the implications for pedagogical practice? It may seem at first that the philosophy underpinning environmental education would be at odds with practice that promotes more technology, but I am not sure this is necessarily so.
When I shared with my family that I had joined an ETMOOC my two boys (6 and 9) thought I was being French cow (et moo..). But no, ETMOOC stands for Educational Technology and Media Massive Open Online Course. After spending seven years (!) completing my Masters of Education at the University of Calgary in Interpretive Studies I find I miss the intellectual challenge of participating in course work. Family needs, and professional responsibilities make it difficult for me to participate in extensive course work, but an online program seems to be an excellent fix.
So, what do I hope to get out of my participating in ETMOOC 2013? Well, I know I will get what I put in!
1. I am hoping to simply have an opportunity to develop more skills using different technology (although I have had a twitter account for a while now I have never posted until tonight!
2. I want to start developing a PLC where I participate more actively (so far I mostly just lurk on different sites.
3. I want to consider some of my pedagogical questions above more carefully.
I am very excited for the opportunity to participate in this community, and hope to learn lots, and possibly even contribute as well. I know I am starting here and will inevitably end up somewhere, but I love that I don’t know where that will be!