Looking back at my blog posts over the course of the last three years I’m struck by the extent to which technology imbues my life and my work. A cursory look at my blog’s tag cloud is enough to give the game away. I made a point of tagging key words and phrases in my blog posts and now when I look at my blog’s tag cloud (see below) I can see the names of lots of different technologies, some of which are educational and some of which are not. These include BitTorrent Sync, Flipboard, Minecraft, Internet of Things and my new favourite, blockchain. In my defense, not all of the words and phrases in my tag cloud are centred around technology. Indeed, I am heartened to see that the phrase ‘design thinking’ is the most prominent tag in my tag cloud followed closely by ‘Personal Learning Network’, ‘PLN’ and ‘Game based learning’.
The fact that ‘design thinking’ is larger than all the other tags correlates rather nicely with how my views, knowledge and understanding have changed and developed as a direct result of this program. In particular, when I started this course I had never even heard of ‘design thinking’. Fast forward three years and design thinking is a cognitive activity that informs my work as an educational designer such that I make a concerted effort to keep an open mind and leave room for serendipity.
One of the things I talked about in one of my assessments was this idea that we’re all responsible for inadvertently creating our own filter bubble thanks to the technology we use on a daily basis. This course has exposed me to a wide range of ideas and technologies that I would probably not have encountered for quite some time if at all.
Here are some of the highlights in no particular order:
- INF533 Literature in Digital Environments exposed me to digital literature including SHERLOCK: Interactive Adventure, The History of Jazz: An Interactive Timeline and Al Gore – Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis.
- INF536 Designing Spaces for Learning exposed me to the concept of transmedia storytelling, Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) and Massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) as well as the work of Henry Jenkins and James Gee and Tim Brown’s fabulous book Change by design.
- INF541 Game based learning gave me permission to embrace my inner child and play cool games such as Ingress, Plague Inc, Fate of the World and World of Warcraft plus I had the absolute pleasure of reading Jane McGonigal’s fabulous book Reality is broken: Why games make us better and how they can change the world.
I’m also much more ‘edumacated’ than I was at the start and have added some awesome words and phrases to my vocabulary including:
The colloquia were a fabulous opportunity to engage with one another whilst sharing personal insights. I particularly enjoyed Simon Welsh’s fascinating colloquium on learning analytics. What was really interesting for me was that I was a student discussion moderator for that particular colloquium along with Jerry Leeson and Nadine Bailey.
As a moderator, it was really great to see and hear participants share their personal experiences both synchronously and asynchronously. In particular, Simon’s colloquium provoked some interesting conversations in the virtual classroom and later in the discussion forums. From my point of view, it was great to be able to work collaboratively with others, and to share my view with learners from across the world.
All in all, it has been a wonderful experience but not one I want to repeat anytime soon. Maybe in another 10 years or so. Over the course of this program I have learnt much about myself both as an individual and as an educator plus I have learnt much about technology and the way in way it interfaces with learning and teaching.
Brown, T. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation [Kindle DX version]. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com.
Clark, G. (2014). Personalization, privacy and the filter bubble. Retrieved from http://tracks.roojoom.com/r/9413.
McGonigal, J. (2011). Reality is broken: Why games make us better and how they can change the world [Kindle DX version]. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com.
Pariser, E. (2011). The filter bubble: What the internet is hiding from you [Kindle DX version]. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com.