Throughout our Learning with Digital Stories course this summer I continued to be amazed by how much I learned from my peers. I believe I learned the most from their stories and our discussions via Hypothes.is. I was impressed by the quality of their work and the resources they shared on their blogs, whether it be in the form of a video, article, or just a comment on our readings. With the help of our Lankshear and Knobel readings, along with other authors, I saw first-hand how all of us were interpreting the content differently based on our skills and discourse styles. The sharing of these interpretations allowed me to look at the content through varying lenses. I have a new respect for collaborative learning. This course has encouraged me to reevaluate my own teaching practices. I feel like I have more tools to incorporate technology into my classroom. Also, as someone that was extremely skeptical of the use of social media I have a new understanding of its benefits in education.
This course could not have been more different from my prior graduate courses. First, I have never taken a technology course. Second, I have never taken an online class, only hybrids. (In the past I’ve always avoided online courses.) Third, the hands off approach of our professor Remi was very different from anything I had ever experienced. Remi really encouraged us to learn and explore on our own, or with the help of our peers. At first it was frustrating, I was not use to the ambiguity, and I wanted a nice to do list. However, I now understand how powerful this type of self motivated learning is-I had talked about it in my education classes but never experienced it for myself until this course. With the help of my peers and a lot of trial and error I was able to complete all of our assignments. This productive struggle really helped me to learn more than I think I could have otherwise. I also really enjoyed the fact that I chose my own focal theme. I don’t think this class would have been as helpful if this was not the case. I think there could have been a bit more guidance during our first week when everything was new to me, but overall I am happy with the course design.
The design of the course also made me rethink how I teach my own lessons in an elementary school classroom. I now see greater value in student driven classrooms, and project based learning. I think Remi and Lisa really embrace the Freire concept of teaching, where the teacher is not the giver of all knowledge. There is so much that educators can learn from their students and I plan to use my student’s own backgrounds to help design fun and engaging lessons that meet the curriculum.
So thank you for joining me on this journey into storytelling. For more reflections and a portfolio of my work please check out my story via Storify: My Portfolio.