It’s been quite a week of learning for me. I’ve been challenged with technical difficulties getting blog admin privileges, never mind needing to develop a new vocabulary to even participate in the conversation. I started the week off having no idea what a blog is, never heard of WordPress, wondering where Moodle was, trying to conceptualize teaching in a distributed learning environment, not knowing what one is or having the faintest idea of how to create a learning design to teach my new students.
I also began a new job as a combined school based resource teacher/k-7 online/homebased learning teacher and was busy figuring out my case load, student needs, administrative work and fitting my Animal-Assisted-Therapy dog into the mix. Given the new setting and job challenges, the week was somewhat stressful for the both of us!
I’m breathing slightly easier tonight as I met for an hour with my professor from EDDL 5101 who helped me sort out some of the more complicated questions I’ve gathered this week and developed a bit of a game plan to help me navigate my new worlds – between work and online university, I am pretty stretched but have faith that if I take it one day at a time, I’ll get through this. My goal this term is to finish both EDDL courses successfully.
I have begun to appreciate the importance of developing a learning community (both in person – at work, and online) to help me learn. I have already learned a ton from the readings, and importantly in a collaborative manner – from my colleagues through their posts and blogs. I feel connected to my instructors through their timely communication (emails and phone calls), and I can see the importance of the activities we are being taught in terms of how I can apply this learning to my future teaching. It’s all so very exciting! I believe the learning design of this program, thus far is within my zone of proximal development (though bordering at times on my edge), and hope that Mary continues to differentiate for me if things get too far over my head. Three cheers for special education!!