This week’s hangout session was really helpful in learning about the scope of work in this course. I also enjoyed reconnecting with Dr. Lee and previous coursemates as well as meeting new peers. I am excited about the MinecraftEdu projects and also to design a distance/online learning unit; I started a brainstorming board to write down ideas and resources over the next couple of weeks. The opportunity to work with Survivalcraft teachers is also an appealing aspect of this course. After being a MinecraftEdu course designer, I’m very interested in focusing on supporting the teachers because it was an area I felt that we lacked enough of in the previous Givercraft experience.
Reading the course materials is always so insightful and learning more about the history and research about distance learning was all new to me. I am interested in formulating my philosophy of distance learning through this course and especially about the potential of teaching a distance learning course!
Blogging is quickly becoming one of my favorite assignments, but I also think it’s because I am learning about topics that are very interesting to me and I enjoy organizing my thoughts and reflection on my learning process. Dr. Lee was reminding me that a typical blog is at minimum 500 words long; typically I edit down to something that is twice as long as that, so I’d like to work on refining my writing style (so my audience can actually make it to the end of the blog). I enjoyed reading the blogs from my peers and hearing more about their experiences either teaching or studying through distance learning. Knowing that we were incorporating MinecraftEdu into this course, I used an article about gaming to illustrate important elements of distance learning. On my initial blog entry I was also very focused on what distance learning is and how it is used, but it wasn’t until I received feedback and read other blogs that I got a better sense of what I think about distance learning. While I initially wrote that distance learning is convenient, I am realizing that rather than just being an option that is convenient, it actually opens our thinking to communicating and learning in different ways. My own experience is an example of that; I had to adapt what I “believed” were my best strategies for learning because of the structure or design of this distance learning program. In addition, the dialogue that is used in this and my other courses has also taught me to communicate in new ways that I hadn’t tried before. If anything, I’ve had to be more intentional about how I communicate because I am “at a distance.” Amanda reminded me of the personal and working relationships that I have developed through my distance learning, which I believe only strengthen my practice and make me a better learner.
I’m looking forward to meeting everyone in MinecraftEdu this coming week!