I am getting ready to teach an on-line course on Curriculum Development and Design. I've taught the class before in face-to-face style (which I prefer), but now I'm going to teach it to a faceless group of students. I like technology and the amazing things we can do as a result, but I also like the personal connections that one gets from talking to people face-to-face. I took some on-line classes when working on my Master's degree several years ago, but I had the added benefit of taking the same courses with a friend and colleague with whom I could bounce ideas and make sense out of the learning. So my challenge is not only to learn how to operate this on-line system, but to help make the impersonal more personal so my students find a connection with me; with each other; with the content; and with their own teaching practice. I am a story teller and fortunately, I am a writer too. Hopefully I can blend those two skills into something meaningful.
The irony in this whole situation is that I am having to learn the whole on-line teaching system in my least favorite learning mode... through a pre-recorded webinar. I am so easily distracted... and that seems to be getting worse with age... and want to "do" while I listen so I can make a connection between what I am learning and what I will need to do. And because it's pre-recorded, I can't ask questions and have them answered in a timely manner.
Lest you think I'm whining, I'm not. Because when it is all said and done, I will learn this (I already feel a lot better than I did 2 days ago!), and I will be better for it. I hope I never get to a point where I think I'm too old to learn something new. I believe that keeps me informed, interesting (or at least potentially interesting), and in touch. It may take me longer or require more practice, but it will be worth it in the end. I don't want to be that person who just sits around (although I know how to do that very well!). Who would want to be friends with me then? How boring could I become? How effective would I be as a consultant for schools if I just relied on what I already know instead of learning new things to share with them?
So while I'm not big on New Year's resolutions, I am big on identifying things that I need to do or improve on all through the year. Staying current with what's happening in education is important to me. Being able to effectively use technology is important to me as well. It opens a whole new world... I marvel at what my grandsons can do with their mom's iPad or my iPhone. They will never know a day when the world will not be at their finger tips. But you have to access it... you don't get it intravenously! I may be somewhat retired... but I am always working on upgrading myself! Happy New Learning!