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Back to School October 7, 2009

Posted by IaninSheffield in TELIC.
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Last academic year was my first on the “Technology Enhanced Learning, Innovation and Change” or TELIC Masters degree programme at Sheffield Hallam University.  Tomorrow evening is our first session of year 2 and I’m really looking forward to getting back together with the group . . . even though two of the six of us won’t be there.  No, they’ll be at home as usual . . . in Belgium.  The course content and study activities have been stimulating, challenging and have provided me with new perspectives; I’m anticipating the second year will be equally enjoyable.  But the one thing that’ s set it apart from other professional development activities I’ve experienced, is that our group is geographically separated.  As a result, our communication has to be mediated through a digital interface – last year’s weapon of choice was Elluminate which provides a raft of visual and auditory tools to aid collaboration and co-learning.

In some ways the technology got in the way of the learning – there’s always the set up time, the possibility of dropped connections, agreeing on protocols and so on.  But the one thing it challenged us to do was to rethink and reformulate the way we interact with others . . . which surely is what learning is all about?

Why I liked my lessons:

  • Made new friends from a different country and enjoyed a glimpse into another education system
  • Got to try some great new tools
  • Even still had a session when the snow played up – we were all at our own homes
  • Was still able to attend a session though I was away on hols. . . . from a pub with free WiFi  (Hmmm. Idea brewing!)
  • Was able to directly link activities on the course with projects and developments at work, to the mutual benefit of each.
  • Assessment was based on the cumulative contributions over the duration of each module

So what do I hope to get from my second year?  More of the same please, as we begin to focus more on technology and learning from the organisational viewpoint, rather than the personal.

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