We are in our last module and I am thinking about how everyone in this course has been so inspirational. I am surrounded by a group of educators that are thoughtful, intelligent and really question what is effective teaching and how that impacts education. It is so important that we have these conversations and look at ourselves as learners to then reflect on how our students learn. When I watched the Penn state videos on managing online workload, I realized how powerful connection, sharing and collaborating is. Professionals from around the country put together a 2-5 minute video to create an advice bank of over 70 videos that guide us to be better teachers. Why is it that we (educators) don’t connect more? It is so inspirational to hear ideas and be empowered with the ability to pass on wisdom and knowledge to the next generation. We have the ability to make a difference if we create spaces to inspire each other.
I LOVED the presentations A Vision of Students Today and The Machine is Changing Us. I could feel myself back in the lecture centers of undergraduate school. I am pretty sure that the professors did not know my name as I sat in Intro. to Biology in Lecture Center 7. The physical space itself is not designed for interaction, and educational experiences. What I have realized in this course, is that teaching presence and social presence and cognitive presence come together to create meaningful learning environments for students and teachers. We want to facilitate this in our classrooms but also in our schools, buildings and districts. We want to create shared spaces where teachers are working together connecting, asking questions, working together to find solutions. When we look at the Seven Principles of Effective teaching, all of these principles are centered around communication and interaction. It is about forming relationships and understanding each other. It is about connecting, creating and understanding.
What I am learning is that together we can make a difference in our classrooms. That educational research needs to be put into practice, not just online, but in our schools and communities. The tools of the 21st century are creating avenues to share ideas to inspire connections, to make visible our message to the world. My message today is thank you for teaching me and pushing me to be a better teacher and student.