CTL 1799 Holistic Ed and Tech – Treading Water in the First Week

Whew! I’ve barely survived this first week, and it hasn’t been easy. I haven’t taken an intercession course online from OISE before and I should have known what I was in for, as the mere 6-week course brings online time to a whole new dimension! Not to mention the added stress of a job interview (successful! yahoo!) and finally getting my classroom all moved and put away (for July at least).

It was an exhilarating week getting to know our class of about 24; about 5 or so folks I recognize from other courses and many new classmates. We are using 3 CMC environments in this course, which is pretty overwhelming at the onset. Knowledge Forum, BlackBoard and OISENet for IM chats and mail.

The first three readings discussed separate but very complementary topics to get us started with an understanding of what we can expect with online learning and holistic education (there are a few students new to technology and online learning).

Dale Lugenbehl’s article Personal Attachment to Beliefs suggested that we as teachers and learners we should question our attachment to beliefs and understand that this can have a negative impact on our ability to see other viewpoints and impact the time and energy we spend defending ideas. Lugenbehl suggests that non-attachment promotes a less competitive setting and a better inquiry model:

  • start with a question; a desire to know
  • collect and evaluate evidence on all sides
  • choose a belief based on the best possible information, understanding that upon reflection and new information this belief may change

Personally, after reading Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Wherever You Go There You Are this year, I found this article congruent with my beliefs about collaboration, exploration, and project-based inquiry, and very much related to Holistic Education, the topic of this course.

Mark Kassop’s Ten Ways Online Education Matches, or Surpasses, Face-to-Face Learning, was a great review of the bonuses of OLE’s and I’m in agreement 100 percent.

  • Student-centred learning
  • Writing Intensity
  • Highly interactive discussion
  • Geared to lifelong learning
  • Enriched course materials
  • On-demand interaction and support services
  • Immediate feedback
  • Flexibility
  • An intimate community of learners
  • Faculty development and rejuvenation

I can’t comment as an instructor, or as a teacher of secondary school students, but certainly as a graduate student I’m a believer….granted a very tired, overwhelmed and stressed believer!

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