Final Reflection on Learning – Edtech 501

This is a final post for EDTECH 501 and a reflection on what I’ve learned in this course.

There were a few challenges in this course. One was feeling “out of sequence” since I had finished a certificate for online learning in May and then decided to continue on with the full M.E.T. While it was a little strange taking an intro course at this point, I now know what our community college students might feel if they have stopped out of a degree for a while and are trying to start up again in the middle of the school year. The social support from classmates and the fact that it was so easy to get onto Google+ and just read what others were thinking and doing made it seem alright after a while. And having a professor who was jumping in and posting guerrilla videos while on the road, creating an online learning community and basically doing what he expected us to do with the tools in Google+ made it waayyy more fun!

Of course the other challenge was time. I am just ending my first year as an instructional designer at the college and I’ve learned to go with the flow as I figure out what I need to do that will help the college and my fellow faculty. An ID is a resource they have never had, so it’s been interesting as they figure out what I do for a living. The result has been a steady increase of consultations and production work that sort of reached a peak in the past two months. But that’s a good thing – job security and all.

One creative resource I had at my fingertips was doing work with two faculty members who teach the project management courses. We’re designing online versions of two of their courses and I’ve learned a lot about managing a big design project by working with them. They have spreadsheets, to-do lists…all that project management stuff! It has been enlightening to be part of the process with them and I’m refining my time management and project management habits accordingly.

Luckily, most of the work I did in this course transferred right to work I am doing in my job so it could not have been a better experience in that respect.  The best artifact for me was my Digital Divide /Digital Inequality presentation. It took a lot of time to prepare, script, create and caption, but I’d definitely want to use an improved version of it for my final portfolio. I think creating persuasive multi-media like this is one of my creative strengths and this kind of content can help get ideas across in a visual way.

There are a lot of things we touched on in this course that gave me ideas for projects at work, but I think the Horizon’s Report had a lasting impact on my ‘big picture’ thinking. I’d like to bring some of those ideas into the future planning I’m doing at the college – maybe start a faculty learning community for like minded techies who want more exposure to emerging technologies and provide opportunities to try things out.

While most of my classmates are starting on their journeys, mine is coming to an end with two classes to go. If I had to give anyone advice, I would say try to make each course count in terms of doing something that relates to the work you are doing now – making those connections makes the learning meaningful and long lasting.  Oh and practice your “elevator speeches” because someone, somewhere, sometime will ask you what an educational technologist does for a living.