I really enjoy online learning. My first week in EDUC 4150 has reminded me how great it feels to get curious and dig into a topic I really know very little about. My only real challenge right now is time. With the girls at home I am limited to working at nap-time and after they go to bed. And to be honest with three or four other high priority projects on the go, this course really should not be top of the list. But the articles and assignments have been a nice distraction from all the other “work” in my life. It also has given me a sense of control that I do not have in other areas, given these turbulent times. I am however a bit concerned that I will go to in depth on particular topics and get behind. My strategy to combat this is to keep asking myself, “How will I apply this learning? What does this look like in one of my classes?”
And so far one of the most important learnings to date has been around the different roles of effective online teachers. Bernard Bull explains in a June 2, 2013 Faculty Focus post that there are 8 roles to consider when moving from the traditional classroom to online: the tour guide, the cheerleader, the learning coach, the individual and group mirror, the social butterfly, the big brother, the valve control and the co-learner. I was inspired to see co-learner on the list because next semester I will learning right alongside my students!