There appears to be no way around it. I must cultivate my inner ‘resident technology user’ within me. I must “see the Web as a place, perhaps like a park or a building in which there are clusters of friends and colleagues whom they can approach and with whom they can share information about their life and work” (White & Le Cornu, 2011). I have been a ‘visitor’ my whole life to the world wide web, as White and Le Cornu (2011) would describe: I use the internet like a series of tools or as “an untidy garden shed” full of tools. My goal and purpose to support the cultivation of my digital presence in this course is to meaningfully utilize the current technology I have in order to make them more than just tools, but agents of change. My approach to doing this is to take greater responsibility in the tools I already use, so as to increase my digital presence. Watters (2015) states “the importance of giving students responsibility for their own domain cannot be overstated.” Watters is speaking about students having their own domain, or arguably, their own digital presence, within their learning institutions. White (2015) argues, “this can be a way to track growth and demonstrate new learning over the course…something they themselves can reflect upon.” If my goal is to meaningfully use my current technology, then I need to cultivate my digital presence by using my course blog effectively and with purpose, and not just because the course states I need one. Campbell (2008) simply states “any technology gradually creates a totally new human environment.” By using my blog effectively, according to Campbell, I can create my own human environment. Campbell (2008) goes on to propose that “students with this kind of digital fluency will be well-prepared for creative and responsible leadership in the post-Gutenberg age.” My skills in technology are not superior; however, my drive to learn and achieve my goals overshadows any technological deficiencies I may encounter throughout my digital cultivation process. In the end, I know I will have accomplished my goal and purpose through the reflective comments and replies of the technology I will be using. I look forward to creating my own human environment for people to experience and learn from.
Campbell, G. (2009). A personal cyberinfrastructure. Educause Review, 44(5), 58-59. Retrieved from https://er.educause.edu/articles/2009/9/a-personal-cyberinfrastructure
Watters, A. (2015, July 15). The Web we need to give students. Bright. Retrieved from https://brightthemag.com/the-web-we-need-to-give-students-311d97713713
White, D. S., & LeCornu, A. (2011). Visitors and residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9). Retrieved from https://firstmonday.org/article/view/3171/3049
It is official, my MALAT journey has begun. What could be better to initiate this expedition of collaboration and higher learning then with a Virtual Symposium. Experts in the field of education and virtual learning were able to give arousing personal insight into their occupations and in turn, allowed for thoughtful reflection and learning to take place by the select watching. I consider myself humbled yet emboldened to start this excursion into learning, education, and technology.
Nelson Mandela once said, “education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world” (Strauss, 2013, p. 1). Reflecting back to the symposium, a common theme brought up numerous sessions was the development of change through educational or learning leadership. A theme that not only intrigued me, but one that I was keen in learning about. One instructor stated it best during her webinar when stating, that the role of instructional designers (IDs) and learning designers is to be “agents of change” (Cleveland-Innes, 2019, 15:50). Ironically enough, my main reason for starting this program was to be that ‘agent of change’ with regards to air traffic control learning within the Canadian Armed Forces. Garrison & Vaughan (2013) when documenting change and leadership within higher education summarized that “transformational institutional change…is predicated upon committed collaborative leadership that engages all levels of the institution” (p. 28). Cleveland-Innes and Garrison & Vaughan (2019; 2013) indicate that leaders of change and the institution of education are not separate entities within educational and learning frameworks, a position I thoroughly support and agree with.
Another overarching concept I was able to unravel this past week: collaborative learning. Gokhale (2012) describes collaborative learning as: “an instruction method in which students at various performance levels work together in small groups toward a common goal.” I learned from this Virtual Symposium that a key aspect to collaborative learning is teamwork. Gokhale (2012) went on to state that, “advances in technology and changes in the organizational infrastructure put an increased emphasis on teamwork.” Overall, putting these two big learning epiphanies together have led me to conclude that I want to be a leader of change by committing myself to be a team player within a collaborative learning environment. This further led me to ask how does one accomplish the above? The answer is not simplistic in nature, yet one part of the answer could lie in the concept of open educational practices. In one presentation during the symposium, openness was described “as a vehicle for educational change” (Childs, 2019, 9:34). If the above goal is to be a leader of change, then it is not unfair to say that open educational practices is one aspect that may aid in that realization. In my current field, the instructional aerospace control community may have to adopt more open educational principles and pedagogy in order for change to be realized. In conclusion, this Virtual Symposium has been a thought-provoking and collaborative experience. I have a renewed sense of inspiration and intrigue into learning and technology.
Childs, E. (2019, April 15). Openness and Networked Learning M.A. Degree (video webcast). Retrieved from http://ow.ly/fFHu50qnns9
Cleveland-Innes, M. (2019, April 18). The Role of ID in Higher Education Reform (video webcast). Retrieved from http://ow.ly/s79f50qR2iq
Garrison, D. R., & Vaughan, N. D. (2013). Institutional change and leadership associated with blended learning innovation: Two case studies. The Internet and Higher Education, 18, 24-28. doi: 10.1016/j.iheduc.2012.09.001
Gokhale, A. A. (2012). Collaborative learning and critical thinking. Encyclopedia of the sciences of learning. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_910
Strauss, V. (2013, December). Nelson Mandela on the power of education. Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2013/12/05/nelson-mandelas-famous-quote-on-education/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.dc303a39d4d8
Hey MALAT Program 2019: This is my first post and a test post for that matter. Here’s hoping it works