martes, 10 de junio de 2014

Digital Citizenship MOOC, Week 5 Final Questions and answers

As the last week of the DCMOOC starts and in order to prepare myself for the upcoming Core Session 5, with Alec Couros and the rest of the participants of this course, I sat down to write down my reflections on several things regarding not only this particular topic that gathers us together here, but also about learning in general and where I stand as someone who has been a regular attendee to several opportunities for free open learning ventures.

Before the computers arrived to the school my son´s Physics teacher invited us to a parents meeting where our son would present on Energy Resources in our country as well as exhibit a lamps they had made in groups as part of their semester´s project.  I had been asked on several occasions to participate as part of an audience for teacher friends´classes from USA or Germany who presented on different topics, and felt that my son, his friends and teacher were missing an opportunity to broadcast their work to the world.

Looking back I remember asking several teachers about the digital policies in their schools.  The arriving of the goverment computers (in the picture above) made me want to investigate the subject of how schools dealt with questions such as safety or privacy.  I received several general answers, however the practices were tied to the teachers´ unique classroom settings.  I also tried google and posting general twitter questions without much success, the information was too much, theoretical or did not apply to my own country.  So I ended up ignoring the questions that came to me.

Then I joined this MOOC.  A group of teachers reflecting together, adding experience and a little theory, but mostly practical ideas about real classroom issues which come up on a regular basis.  The reflections produced content that was shared.  Simple idea.

I strongly agree with Matthew Johnson when he talks about the efficiency of the Digital Literacy/Citizenship model over the Safety Model, as I come to think about it that is the approach I have applied with my own children as they grow older and gain more rights and responsibilities. A model based on trust with clear rules where adults and students together concentrate on the positive uses of social media and build from there.

We shy away from the internet sometimes because of fear.  Fear of things we don´t know.  The best thing we can do, in my humble opinion, is to talk about those fears in a spaces such as this one, where it´s ok not to know and it´s ok to ask questions, knowing that the person next to us may not be an expert but someone who will do their best to collaborate because we are on the same boat after all.

The big answer today is learning together.  I have my own favourites: my friends from Hello Little World, teachers skypers, whom I interact with on a daily basis, Learning2gether, by Vance Stevens, who organises Sunday or Monday meetings to talk about general topics that concern educators, and my last discovery the people from EdTechTalk, who broadcast via You Tube regular meeting called IHAQ (I have a question).

I guess that what I am trying to say here is thank you to all of you who made this MOOC possible and for sharing all this with the world.  It´s our turn now to spread the word and start the discussions in our own environments.  See you around!

(a view from the country surrounding my city, Santo Tomé, Santa Fe, Argentina)

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