I have to confess that I am finding really difficult to cope with all the information at etmooc. I need time to read the posts, go through the links, watch videos, presentations, make comments, write my own posts and contribute with my own ideas to keep the stream going…Difficult to manage if you are a full-time teacher (and English is not your mother tongue!)
Today, I have had some time to reflect and make some comments on other people’s blogs and also on twitter, but I find it really difficult to start writing posts. It’s not just the lack of time, but also that everybody seems to be so well prepared and experienced that I am not sure I can say anything interesting.
One thought that have come to my mind these days is that we (I mean myself, mainly) need to change the way we approach learning. Most of the tools available today to teachers and students weren’t unimaginable 20 years ago, when I was still a student. It seems to me more and more obvious that the way we learnt stuff at Uni before the arrival of internet, blogs, FB and Twitter is not the right way any more.
Some time ago, a colleague of mine asked me if I could explain to him how to start using a blog, just the basics. As I readily showed him the initial page on WordPress and started to point out some of the main features, he took out his notepad and his pen and started to take notes of what I was saying, step by step. He didn’t even care to look at the computer screen, he just took notes. I felt stupid. I had learnt everything I knew about blogging on my own, just by doing it, visiting other blogs, reading what others who knew more than me were saying, making mistakes, trying out new things, reflecting on what, how and why to do something… My learning had been active, self-motivated and led by own interests. And now there he was, this colleague of mine, trying to learn all that from me (the teacher!), taking notes, pretending skip all the learning process I had suffered and enjoyed at the same time, as a student would have done 20 years ago.
With all the technological advances available to us nowadays, it is clear to me that way of learning is not working any more. The problem is, I am not sure I have yet found the right approach to how to learn and enjoy the process, without feeling overwhelmed, stressed by so many new things to learn, ideas to reflect on…