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Kim Aling

MOOC Blended Learning Essentials: Reflection on Week 2

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Edited by Kim Aling, Sunday, 15 Nov 2015, 22:09

It's been very interesting reading all the posts.  I've followed people who are either in the same job as me, or whose posts have been interesting.  I can then focus on a narrower range of posts.  I look at recent posts on a thread when I add my thoughts and reply to as many as a I can.  Managing interaction in a MOOC is quite hard and I'm sure I'm missing a lot more interesting comments.  I've been introduced to some additional tools that I have passed onto others to evaluate at college.  Some have interesting possibilities.  I felt there was a little too much technological determination at times and wondered if pedagogy might have been tackled earlier and given more emphasis.  The pedagogy part was quite basic.  Developing digital literacy is another area that needs more investigation.

Some of the tools used in the course are interesting and have demonstrated how they can be integrated into learning.  The survey tool is good, particularly the feature to email the responses. I've been using Quizlet in the Dutch MOOC, which is really fun and I think it would be ideal for a lot of our teachers at college.  I am hoping to plan a training day so that we can share good practice with technology.     

Interesting points to consider:

  • The issue of cost, both in the UK and in developing countries. How can we implement blended learning at low cost?  What are the simple things that we can do? BYOD is one way, but risks excluding poorer students who have no technology. 


  • How can be make sure that blended learning is inclusive? Technology has the potential to exclude poor students and students with disabilities if not introduced well.


  • How can we develop a culture of Technology Enhanced Learning?  We need to be aware that teachers and students can be resistant to new ways and we have to find ways to change their views.  Change has to be managed carefully to ensure success.  There needs to be more research into managing change. 


The arguments for using technology were good and I liked the way they stemmed from the features of technology:  Storage, Access, Multimedia, Personalisation.  I am still of the view that blended learning has massive benefits for learners and teachers. 

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Kim Aling

MOCC: Blended Learning Essentials- the technology for blended learning

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There are so many tools, Web2.0, mobile apps, desktop applications, that the offer so many opportunities for teachers and learners.  They offer novel ways to learn, authentic ways to leave, collaborative ways to learn.  It is an amazing choice, probably more than ever before.  Having just some from a demonstration  of the new HP Sprout (not a small green vegetable), it is clear that there's even more on the way.  Teachers are faced with a tremendous amount of choice.  It can be incredibly confusing.  Talking to a maths teacher recently, he was confused as to whether he should use voting pads or Socrative, or some other voting tool a colleague had recommended.  


However, the main point to remember is that whatever choice you make it should be based on pedagogy, not novelty, not wow factor.  Technology is not at the centre, learning is.  We need to avoid technological determinism: I have this tool, what can I do with it?  It should be: My learners need to be able to ...  What tool would help my learners the best?  

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