The start of a new semester

I’ve just commenced another semester of Uni, and as I tackle 2 children, 4 subjects and working, I find it important to be organised.  In order to be organised for Semester 1, 2014, I’ve started working through subject introductory material.  Interestingly, this blog will form part of my assessment for an ICT subject.  Blogs fascinate me, as we use the platform to write anything from personal to professional, thoughts and musings to theories and research.  The audience is so varied, and almost intangible.  Who actually reads this? Who really finds what I have to say interesting?  Am I writing this for the benefit of an audience, or for selfish reasons – finding something cathartic in writing what’s on my mind.  I guess through the course of this semester I will explore this more, but for now, I’m going to enjoy the cathartic effects of blogging.

After viewing and reading all of the introductory material, I was interested in the information on the theory of connectivism (see the video link below).  While I haven’t read any further material on this subject, the video on connectivism was inspiring and engaging.  An observation I would make is that engaging in a connectivism style of learning is something that occurs in many ways, in many environments.

For example, I am a mother of a prep student, and spend time discussing some topics from my study with teachers at her school, other parents and staff.  These discussions provide a really authentic, meaningful insight into the various learning experiences of children, their families and educators.  I have also worked at a school where I regularly engaged in meaningful discussion with educators, parents and staff.  These discussions unfortunately aren’t on an rss feed.  I’m looking forward to the use of blogs in this course to hopefully document these discussions and experiences in a way that will enable others to engage in them and benefit from these authentic processes.

I was also struck by the statement in the introductory material that ICT is to be used to ENHANCE learning.  Interestingly, I have seen many examples where ICT is used in a “token” manner-  using youtube to play a video clip every morning to ensure ICT is incorporated in the students day.  Using ICT to enhance learning, and integrate it in such a way that students are more engaged, and involved in the process not simply viewers of the results is something I’m very interested and passionate about.  When integrated correctly, used to enhance learning, ICT will make the difference between 21st century learners ready to participate and lead in a technologically advanced society, or learner requiring additional training in the workforce in order to operate in society.