When I read about POT last summer I knew I wanted to be part of Cohort 3. I was not teaching online, but I wanted to explore online teaching and hoped to learn new ways to encourage students in my on site class. Everything was new to me, so it's hard to say what element of the program helped the most. It all helped me! Since I can not technically have a hybrid class (according to an e-mail I received last month) I hope to keep exploring ways of using online tools to enhance classroom learning.
I feel like I've been introduced to a whole new world. I've thought about aspects of online learning I would never have considered had it not been for POT. I have options. And as I consider my options, I have some insight about the pros and cons of those options.
I still am technologically challenged compared to many instructors, but I am more confident that I can learn how to use new tools, and am looking forward to exploring in the months to come.
Years ago I began taking martial arts classes with my son. I kept thinking when I tested for my black belt I would be done. For years I practiced and trained. When the day came for my black belt test, my sensei said having a black belt simply meant I was ready to learn. I hadn't "arrived". I had a foundation and was ready to begin.
I am not a "black belt" in online education by any means, but I do feel I've gained a foundation. Looking over the program for Cohort 4, I think people will gain a solid foundation in online education. I like the changes and think additions like Jing presentations will help people practically apply tools they are exploring. I like the overall organization and visual presentation of the weekly assignments. The only idea I could think of to add would be a discussion of online pedagogy with examples of how different pedagogy could be used to reach the same learning outcome. It might be helpful to have people in the next cohort apply some of the weekly assignments to a lesson plan from a class they are currently teaching. I like Richard's idea of building a portfolio.
Many, many thanks to all who make POT possible. Sigh. I wish there was a POT: Part 2 or POT: The Sequel. Being part of a cohort kept me accountable, and I learned from reading other posts.