This video shares my thoughts regarding my current level of digital learning and leading. This reflection was created using Keynote with a voice-over.
Before I started my job as a Blackboard Technician at Lamar University in 2012, I didn’t know what Blackboard was. I was unfamiliar with Learning Management Systems and what they entailed. I did have a strong computer background because of my major in Management Information Systems and somewhat advanced knowledge and skills regarding computers and the Internet. I spent two years as a Blackboard Technician which entailed supporting faculty and staff with Blackboard issues. I learned Blackboard inside and out.
An eLearning Support Specialist position came open in our department and I applied. I got chosen for the position and I was thrilled at the opportunity. Soon after I began working in this capacity, I was urged by our Director to take some professional development courses online.
The workshops that I attended were through the Online Learning Consortium (OLC). The purpose of taking these courses was to get acquainted with online technology and various other information and communications technologies, ICT. It was imperative that I get up to speed with the technologies I would be using and sharing on a day to day basis. I completed 4 workshops and earned an Award of Completion for each:
Introduction to Collaboration Tools (Aug. 2014)
Introduction to Audio & Video Tools (Sept. 2014)
Introduction to Online Presentation Tools (Dec. 2014)
Creating Infographics for Learning (July 2015)
These workshops introduced me to so many valuable tools that could be used for learning and assessment in an educational setting such as online courses. Tools such as Google Hangouts, Mozilla PopcornMaker (now retired), Google Drive and Popplet are among some of my favorites. I learned that many of these tools could be incorporated into assignments, discussion boards, and other collaborative activities. It helped me think about how ICT could be aligned with curriculum and used for achieving course objectives.
In addition to attending workshops on OLC, I also joined edWeb.net. It describes itself as a professional social network which hosts many learning communities that share and collaborate on ways to improve teaching and learning. A large number of the learning communities focus on digital learning and technology in education. So far I have read many discussions over several topics and participated in one webinar in June 2015: Using Padlet to Collaborate with Mentors & Colleagues.
Participating in learning communities such as edWeb.net and attending professional development workshops have helped me discover new ICT, enabled me to collaborate with others about ICT, it’s inspired creative applications of ICT and web 2.0 tools. It has increased my overall tech literacy, increased my productivity professionally and personally, and allowed me to share new ICT with peers in my organization.
I have been able to share some of what I learned over the last 2 years by presenting at a few of our LU online workshops that we host for Faculty and Staff on our campus. These workshops help them discover new technology that can be incorporated into their courses. Some of the presentations I’ve done include: online presentation tools, Blackboard assessments and free Web 2.0 tools.
I feel I still have a lot to learn, especially when it comes to the sheer amount of ICT out there. I have a strong foundation, but I am lacking some knowledge as to how to align it with curriculum, meeting course objectives and choosing the most effective tool. I don’t have a lot of experience leading in a teaching capacity but I am always learning. I think as long as we are always seeking to learn something new we are on the right path. After I complete this program, I plan to have a better understanding of how ICT can fit seamlessly into the classroom and ways it can benefit learners the most. I ultimately want to inspire faculty and staff that are new at incorporating ICT in their courses and give them the support they need to improve their technology literacy. This will ultimately give the students the skills they need to be successful in this ever changing digital world.