This last year has been one hell of a learning experience. I have taken two for-credit courses on teaching online, neither of which came close to the vigor of this program. Hopefully some day it will be recognized by the powers that be as just that, a credit-worthy program.
I really enjoyed the first semester, full of hands on learning. I played with lots of programs that I never would have used or maybe even heard about otherwise. The second semester was mostly reading, contemplating and writing. To be completely honest, it was a bit overwhelming at times. For instructors like myself that are teaching full-time, I often found myself having to decide between spending time to stay current with the blog and reading list or dedicating time to my classes. As you saw, sometimes I was forced to fall behind with the blogging.
As far as the most effective elements, I really liked the hands on boot camp, even though that was not necessarily part of the program. Maybe it should be. Anyone thinking about teaching online for the first time knows that there is not only a big learning curve, but also a huge time investment in the simple preparation and setting up of the course. If a person could come out of the program with not only ideas and knowledge of Web 2.0 tools, but almost an entire course, that would really be something.
Some of the readings were fabulous while others were a bit too theoretical for my liking. The same is true for the videos. I really liked two of the videos, Sharing: The Moral Imperative, by Dean Shareski, and One laptop per child, by Negroponte, though I didn’t care at all for Schwier’s History of Educational Technology. I like the idea of including a history of educational technology but it seems to me that it would make more sense to present it towards the first semester instead of saving it for the end.
I looked at your plan for next year and think it is excellent, and definitely more do-able. You have done an amazing job of putting this program together and are to be applauded [standing ovation please with clapping and loud applause]. I wish there were a way to compensate you moderators, organizers and presenters for your time. You are definitely living the message presented by Shareski in his video on sharing, except y’all took it one step farther.
A great experience over all. Thanks again to you moderators for your brilliant insights and for your patience, and thanks to my cohorts who have blogged alongside me during the journey. I applaud your dedication as well, and have enjoyed reading your insightful comments. Here’s to building virtual space ships!