#ocTEL Week 0 – Expectations, Familiarisation & Practice

So, #ocTEL started last week (Week 0), and already I’m playing catch-up, but I’m determined to see it through this year!

week-0-tel-explorer-100x100Firstly, I was really disappointed to read that the ‘digital badges‘ being issued aren’t ‘Open Badges’ – in the sense that they can’t be added to my Mozilla Badge Backpack – something which I believe they are working on, and I really hope they manage to sort out!

I attended the Week 0 Webinar, which was an introduction to the award, although, having started (but not finished) the award last year, I felt as though I already had a reasonable sense of what to expect.

Activity 0.1: Big and little questions

My ‘Big’ question in TEL at the moment involves establishing the strategic direction for Technology Enhanced Learning here at YSJ. The Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy 2012-2015, subsumed technology enhanced learning to a single bullet point – Make best use of technology enhanced learning tools. With the bringing together of the Learning, Teaching and Assessment and Research Strategies, along with the unrelenting pace of change in technology, is it an appropriate time to develop a structured and planned approach to how we use technology to enhance learning?

Activity 0.2: Small group reflection

I joined the ‘Open Badges’ group on the #ocTEL site, but I haven’t participated in any online discussion just yet. However, myself, a couple of colleagues (@DanielMackley & @ThatWhiteRose), and one of our 3rd year Education students (@RickySnodgrass) have formed a small #ocTEL gang here at YSJ, in order to support & motivate each other through the course.

Activity 0.3: Exploring and experimenting

Each of the communication channels suggested has it’s pros & cons (obviously). I think the #ocTEL Groups are a great way for people with shared interests about a specific topic/trend/technology to share ideas, whereas the #ocTEL Forums might be useful for more general discussion. I’ll be using Twitter and this blog as a way of communicating throughout the course. I can’t see myself using the mailing list at all, except maybe to reply to questions if I think I could contribute something to a discussion.

Activity 0.4: Active listening online

This bit isn’t easy, I think the conversation in the Forums & Groups is yet to really ‘take-off’, but I like how people are engaging on Twitter using #ocTEL – the vast majority of the Course Reader so far is made up of Tweets (1300/1500). Already there is a lot of reference to participants time pressures, which is why I imagine people are turning to Twitter to share quick ideas, links and articles etc., it’s an idea tool for filling in the spaces in between activities.

Activity 0.5: Interesting examples of Technology Enhanced Learning

Having already read ‘Effective Practice in a Digital Age‘ & ‘Transforming Higher Education Through Technology Enhanced Learning‘ it’s safe to say that there are loads of examples of TEL that I find interesting, but finding examples that are relevant us, or can be adapted to our own context, is always the challenge.

I’m looking forward now to Week 1 – Concepts and strategies for Learning Technology…just need to set-aside some time…


Phil Vincent

Phil’s focus is to work across Faculties to support the implementation of the Academic Strategy, and in particular contribute to the effective development and implementation of technology enhanced learning.

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