I’m been running a form of connected courses since the January-May 2015 semester here at the Tecnológico de Monterrey. I have this tendency to throw a new power tool into my teaching toolbox every January which has been happening for about five years now. The list of courses I have setup is growing so much that I’m struggling to keep them maintained (see Alan’s tweet about needing an updater) and really should list all of them somewhere on the landing page for kenscourses.com. You can just find the current semester courses there now, go ahead and tweak the URLs to find the past semester.
I cannot even count them. I need a maintenance mode for me.
— Alan Levine (@cogdog) August 6, 2016
I think the tool side has matured and is leaving room for more focus on making actual connections. I want to listen more than I want to be heard and that aligns with so much I’ve been reading, discussing and hearing about lately.
So what am I focusing on this semester?
More love for and in teaching and learning. Amy Collier spoke so well about this in our Virtually Connecting hallway conversation (joined that day by Stephen Downes). Just last week I had a (in-the-flesh) lunch conversation with my colleague Pille here on campus and we found a connection there that institutions (through fear) want to remove so much personal communication between students and teachers when we know that students (and teachers) need personal connections that allow us to feel the confidence and have the strength to struggle at this thing we call learning which can be so messy.
I’m known locally and in my network as the “flipping guy”. That label is descriptive in some ways but limiting in others (like most labels). For me the key to my flipped classroom is the flipping of responsibility for the learning. I talk less and listen more while guiding my students. I think I’ve done a good job so far but need to push myself to be sure I am listening to the students that don’t have such a strong voice. This came up in another Virtual Connecting (see a pattern?) hangout which involved our first student participant: Andrew Rikard.
I recently discovered the HybridPod podcast and gave all eleven episodes a listen while leaving the feed on my phone for further updates. The latest episode was about the concept of Openness in the context of sexual orientation and I applaud Chris Friend and his guests for being open about how important (and scary) that can be in a classroom environment.
Their discussion led me to consider how my sharing and interaction with my students online and in person needs to come from a context of me showing my own vulnerabilities when confronted with something new, uncomfortable or scary.
Lately I have found myself hanging out online with a group of educators that frankly intimidates me (see Bonnie‘s reply below). This is a new group and I’m the new kid on the block. I don’t know the language (all of my education is in computing science, not education) but I can be aware of my own deficiencies while also being aware of my strengths.
lol. if you mean us, see previous tweet re imposter syndrome. we's all got it. ;)
— Bonnie Stewart (@bonstewart) August 13, 2016
When the pendulum swings from teacher focus to student focus I wonder if my diving to deep into active participation will lead to a danger of going native? We’ll find out as I try to spend more time in the habitats of the Tec student.
Thanks for People
Thanks Laura for pushing me to get a post out. You do amazing work (and intimidate the heck out of me) and I appreciate that. I love all the people that go out of their way to spend little moments of their day to help others.
cooommmeee onnnn. My family partied til 5A this AM. I stopped at 9P last night so I get up & blog. You can get ONE out the door.
— Laura Gogia (@GoogleGuacamole) August 15, 2016
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