Learning in communities – networked collaborative learning
I had the perspective on this ONL course as a student, remember that I am not a teacher. First I thought collaborationg and meetings online was a “waste of time”. Because the skype-meetings took time before everybody was online and had good connectivity etc.
But now it´s different, after a few meetings we all found our place, we had good headsets, no annoying background noise and when some of the participants didn´t had enough bandwith he/she turned of the camera and used the chat to emphasize what she said. The meetings are effective and now we get something out of it.
It´s a long process, people think its easy but it´s not. Especially when you only meet online and never in real life you´ll have to be prepared that it´s ok with all these imperfections in the beginning.
It´s important to inform all participants that before starting to work you have to get to know each other and this takes time. This is new to most people and it´s new ways of working and learning.
In this ONL-course we use a lot of new tools, it´s fun but it takes lot of time. People are different, people learn in different ways. In the course there is now “how-to”, it´s “try-and-fail” we have to find information ourselfes. It’s a challenge but stil frustrating and takes a lot of time. It doesn´t suits everybody. I think it´s important to inform that you don´t have to learn all about every tool. Sometimes it´s enough just to try and see how it works. It´s always someone in the group that have knowledge of the tool and here is where collaborating starts. -To ask for help, to help each other.
In our PBL-group we always use tools that is new for us. The most important tool is the collaborative tool where everybody can follow the progress, comment and feel comfortable. One question is how does the participants work togheter? –How can we make them work together? It´s also important that even if we don´t ever meet, we can have fun.
But to ask for help you need to feel comfortable, dare to fail and admit mistakes. So back to the beginning of this blog. –You need to make time in the beginning to get to know each other.
Instructions are interesting, Someone said: -The more instructions you get the less you understand. It´s important that the participants have access to the instructions and know how to understand them.
It´s also difficult to motivate the participants when you only meed online. Which tools shall we use to communicate to the student? How can we give feedback to the students etc.
I´ve read a lot about this topic and after reading about rizomatic http://davecormier.com/edblog/2011/11/05/rhizomatic-learning-why-learn/ I changed the way I looked at “education”. I´ve worked with a lot of teachers, seeing them as collegues. But when I think of my childrens teacher I look at them from another view. I don´t know why I do that. But now I have a different view: Who am I –as a parent- to have opinions on their education…..? This got me thinking.