Facilitating the Facilitator #ONL162

supportCollaboration is not necessarily only for teachers/educators.  For every aspect of our working and personal life we need support in various formats and levels and at various times.  If we limited ourselves to our own perspectives our visions, experiences and interactions would be extremely limited.

With this in mind I have found as a new facilitator for Group 4 in the #ONL162 space, the group collaboration (albeit a very new group) has been resourceful.  I find myself in a new space into which I need to grow in order to support the group, simultaneously the group find themselves in new spaces which require thought, direction, guidance and research.
According to http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/ a facilitator is ‘someone who helps a person or organization do something more easily or find the answer to a problem, by discussing things and suggesting ways of doing things: e.g. I see my role as that of a facilitator, enabling other people to work in the way that suits them best.’
https://www.learning-theories.com/ defines Problem Based Learning as:  ‘Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is an instructional method of hands-on, active learning centered on the investigation and resolution of messy, real-world problems.’

Both as a facilitator and as a PBL participant I am finding my way around encouraging conversation, looking at and investigation suggested scenario’s and learning from the group and the community as a whole.

A journey of learning and discovery where as the facilitator I feel comfortable saying that I too am learning and that this course we have endeavour on together will be enlightening and realising that there is no absolute right or wrong answer – there are ways of engaging and trying out new ways of teaching and learning.

 

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And we are off……ONL162

ONL162 is off to a great start.  My co-facilitator Lotta Hilli and I had a quick chat today on Google Hangouts.  An incredible lady with whom I felt an immediate cohesive link with a shared passion for education.  I have met some of the group on the community page and on our group page.  We need to get to know one another as a start and find common ground within our group so that we have a firm foundation on which to start our Problem Based Learning and start asking questions that will lead to further questions generating inquiry and sharing of ideas, thoughts and processes.

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Open Educational Practices #ONL152

Open practices seem to generate argument, pessimism and reluctance.  Whether one is in business, education, personal or professional – sharing seems to be the one thing you don’t do.  Through the non profit organisation of Women In Business I have found that the members and contributors often get confused or question my keeness with be open and sharing.  Through this open platform I have managed to meet, interact and share with many people, not just women, have made remarkable contacts, have learnt so much from the vast array of linkages.   Continue reading “Open Educational Practices #ONL152”

Collaborative Learning & Communities #ONL152

Collaboration is a term loosely used in various scenarios.  It can be used in education, business, family, socially.  Team player was the term used for someone who worked well with others – do we now refer to team players as collaborators?   Continue reading “Collaborative Learning & Communities #ONL152”

Online Learning confusion

My journey with the #ONL152 community continues together with my Community (Group 7) as a journey of discovery.  We have had three “hangouts” together (feels so young to be using the term hangout) and we heading to our fourth one today.  The mist and confusion seems to be starting to clear as we spend more time together online and collaborating, chatting and interacting on the various platforms. Recently I was forwarded an article that appeared in the Business Brief (38 October/November 2015) Education and Training, titled “Reject the Spoon, written by Dr Najma Agherdien and Hermien Geldenhous. Follow on twitter @theworldofwork
The paragraphs that made me sit back and think about what and why I am on the #ONL152 journey read as such:
“The workplace-ready approach means that technologically-focused learning should be structured not to transmit content only, but to let students grapple with the content in its real world application.  For instance, don’t just teach them how to use PowerPoint or Excel, but let them use these programmes to resolve actual scenarios”
“The workplace of today demands problem-solvers and critical thinkers who are able to deal with ever-shifting challenges and that the workplace-geared learning model is not only effective in terms of the learning itself, but also in rendering workplace skills second nature, so that the mechanics of resolving a task does not take focus away from the actual task that needs resolving.  Students respond positively as soon as they overcome some of the initial anxiety that comes with not simply being spoon-fed”.

This rings so true for the expectations I have had and I think also some of my fellow learners on the ONL152 community.  This made me think about my expectations and what I am wanting out of the course.  A big wake up call to be a big girl and allow the openness of on-line learning to be embraced.

ONL152 – New Ideas for learning

#ONL152 is an exciting journey that I have joined.  The introductory Webinar was encouraging.  I signed up without too much thought as to what lies ahead because I wanted to learn new skills, meet new people and participate in new ideas, tried and tested ideas, thought processes, exchange ideas and knowledge.  I then experienced my first Hangout on Friday 25th September.  This was our first meeting as a group. Meeting and exchanging personal introductions was our first priority.  Within a week I had many new experiences working online and getting to know new platforms.  Very exciting.

Now we need to look at what do I want from this ONL process?  Why do I need to do this?  How am I going to fit this into my already chaotic schedule and how am I going to use this knowledge that I will take from this experience?

Firstly – what do I want from the #ONL152 experience?  To learn.  To be encouraged.  Venture into territories I have not been into before.  Motivation to try new platforms.  Yay, tick that box.  Done 🙂

Secondly – why do I need to do this #ONL152 course?  The world is becoming an increasingly vibrant, ever changing place.  The demands, needs, wants of our world as we knew it have changed and will continue to change.  Unless I make an effort to keep up with the changes, how do I help myself to navigate my own uncertainty in regards to these changes?  Unless I make an effort how do I help and support my students and lecturing staff to navigate changes?  Current teaching methodology is out dated, needs to be changed.  Learning environments have changed.  Our student cohort has changed and will continue to change.  That’s why I need to do this – to keep learning, to keep changing.

Thirdly – How?  This question has two parts.  How do I fit #ONL152 into my already chaotic schedule?  Priority and enjoyment.  I am enjoying the short journey I have already experienced therefore #ONL152 has to be a priority – make time.  The next part of the “How” is how am I going to use this knowledge?  That’s the journey I have undertaken.  The how is going to evolve with time, interaction, discussion and collaboration.

Yes indeed a busy journey ahead, but an exciting one filled with opportunity.  ...

Deep Meaningful Learning is hard work

Alta Greef contributed via The Witness (local newspaper South Africa) in a featured article September 25, 2015 ‘Deep, meaningful learning remains hard work.  Teachers need to understand why we learn, what we learn, and how we can improve our ability to keep on learning.  South African teachers need to be smarter than ever before’.

I so agree with Alta!  The traditional environment where students are “force fed” information can no longer be sustainable with the rapid change in the work place environments together with the growth in the entrepreneurial arena.  Jobs, business, research, living, way of life, communication are all changing rapidly.  In order to adequately prepare our future generation of leaders, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurially minded employees the current status quo of education has to change.  But how do we get a dinosaur system, based in deep seated preparation for the ultimate matric exam, then get a qualification and get a job.  This is no longer possible as we have no idea what our current group of first year undergraduates will be faced with when they “qualify” let alone what is lying ahead for a pupil going into the schooling system for the first time.

The human is a naturally curious being.  Education needs to work with this natural curiosity and encourage problem solving, diversity, critical thinking together with being open to new ideas which challenge the established norm.

So what lies ahead?  How do we tackle this huge mountain?  One step at a time, thorough research, through dialogue and most of all through life long learning.  Lets take this journey, be adventurous and exploratory.