EDDL 5141 Week 2 – personal philosophy

It’s interesting that I am interested in online learning as a part of my experiential wilderness and nature skills programs. Most students that join my programs do so because their parents want to get them outdoors and away from computers!

Online learning, though, offers a great contribution to the educational experience that I am trying to provide. The teachings begin with the inspiration of the natural world and the skills and activities that the student’s experience at camps in wilderness settings.

What I find is that after the camps are over and the students return home they lose the connection between their life at camp with all the great experiences they had and connections they made, and their home life. Nature is everywhere and the learning can continue at home – even in downtown NY we have students studying nature in the park or in their yards.

What an online learning course can provide is the structure and connection to other students in different geographical locations, and to a continuing relationship with Mentors. Research in field guides and journaling can take up precious time at camp; time that is best used to absorb and be in a timeless state. Experiencing the oral tradition of storytelling with the scents and sounds of the campfire and nature all around. There is so much to learn from experts and books and videos to augment the experiential learning and this is learning that is well suited to an online learning experience.

Response to the readings
I related most to the progressive style of education whereby the student is at the center of his or her learning (including the organization of curriculum around problems and situations which relate to the experiences of the students) with a focus on experimental, problem-solving and situational approaches with the role of the educator as facilitator.

It was interesting seeing that the technological drawbacks or arguments against this style were less daunting than with several other philosophical paradigms.

It was also interesting for me to read about the various other philosophies and recognizing in them the many home-schooler parents I have been dealing with over the past decade; specifically the radicals.

EDDL 5131 Week 2: Activity 3

EDDL 5131. Week 2: Activity 3

http://natureskills.com/

This website is an information site linked to the wilderness awareness school website wildernessawareness.org

The site uses articles with text and photos which have been contributed by instructors at the wilderness awareness school. There are also links to the school and their college level program and also a pop up to suscribe to an online course.

This media resource would be useful to provide students with background information and also extra research materials for an online study program related to the skills being taught.   The content primarily relates to a North American environment and to the Pacific NorthWest in particular as this is where the Wilderness Awareness School is located, in Washington State. The information, though, is very relevant to our school in coastal British Columbia.

The specific links to the School in Washington could be seen as competing with our own school in BC, but as our schools are loosly affiliated and in different countries, this is not really a problem.   As I know the School well and know that the instructors who have posted the information are experienced educators, I feel confident providing this linked information to my students. The knowledge presented has been verified before posting by Master Instructors at the School. This is very important and many survival and nature education resources are not verified by practical experience and there is a lot of dangerous misinformation not only on the web but also in print.

The media uses blog posts provided by the contributors using just text and pictures. To use the resource, students would need an internet connection.   To produce this resource a knowledge of web design is needed. The technical expertise used doesn’t seem to be too advanced but the layout is well designed for easy navigation. Each posting uses a different format designed by the contributor. There isn’t any conformity in design of each contribution.   It also seems that this resource has not been expanded on for some time.

There was a great initial amount of contributions when the site was first created but it seems that the time needed to expand the resource has not been available, especially as the site is non income generating. What information that is there, however, is solid for nature and survival students in the Pacific North West.

introduction

IMG_1437My name is Tashmyra. I have been teaching for the past 12 years. At present I am living in Lake Cowichan on Vancouver Island, teaching a one day a week outdoor program for homeschoolers from ages 7-11 and a 3 day a week program for teens. I have been running these programs for the past 10 yrs and am now looking to put together a BC certified equivalency program for high-school graduation. The programs I run close for a few months in the winter and I often head south to Mexico, Belize or Ecuador where I have been arranging exchange programs for teen and family groups, so putting together an on-line curriculum for my students over the break would be a perfect addition.
Previous to the programs I run now, I taught ESL; in China at a kindergarten, working with the 7 intelligences model, and a couple of years teaching middle school in Thailand in an English Immersion program, teaching science, socials, and health science through ESL. I also spent several years arranging exchange programs for Thai and Canadian school groups.