venerdì 5 agosto 2016

MMVC16 Together we learn more

Friday 5th August  2016

Day 1  Webinar by  Professor Ludmila Smirnova 
" Together  We learn More: Creating Learning Communities in F-2-F and Blended Moodle courses"  

I watched the webinar online and it was a great presentation!!
It was focussed on the idea of learning together, a sort of a slogan while learning also online. It was really " engaging" as she described her activities and what to do while teaching to get the students interested. She wanted her students to become active learners while working in groups too. 

Who is the Presenter?

It was a presentation which focussed on the features of creating a good collaborating learning environment while the tutor online cared and thought about the best ways for running the course online.

I really liked the video which she shared with us online: a great metaphor of what students can achieve while working in projects or collaborative tasks. It focussed on the necessity of helping other students to achieve the same objective. This is the best way for learning online:

The key ideas which were presented were aimed to an educator who works online but they  are similar to what we do in class: we start lessons by introducing ourselves and by asking our students to tell us something about themselves when we first meet them in class. The same happened online as the tutor wanted to focus on course interaction and to create activities that would motivate the learners online. It is more difficult or it could be more difficult but if we care, we can manage.
From the beginning she had to create a community of learners, so she presented tools which could be used by the learners to introduce themselves. They had to socialize online and she was really great as she created a friendly learning environment. To begin with, she used ice-breakers  to get them enter the new learning environment and she also provided a lot of help online - course orientation - from the beginning. Socialization online was crucial as learners had to work and interact online and later they would present their project work online.  
I really liked the idea of self-presentations made by the students by using modern tools : see some examples

Ludmila had created the setting- the framework- for them : they could work on the web tools and she had introduced some tools and the students  used them to work in the first stages of the course.
She had to establish rules about the best ways for working online and I really liked the idea of writing a self-reflection after the students had finished their  group projects online.
I cannot but appreciate what she reached at the end of the course online: she had been successful as the learners had worked online and had worked together!! They had learnt a lot and relied on collaboration.

I connected online and really understood what the presenter wanted us to realize. She could establish relationships with the learners and among the learners who worked together.
I think that the content is not similar to what I have experienced so far- I have always worked in class with face to face lessons and I have only started some flipped learning  but what has been presented in the conference might provide me ideas for helping my learners when working with PBL. 
I do not work on any  LMS right now but I am thinking of starting something new so I might rely on the way the presenter has faced blended learning.
How I felt while watching and chatting online
I felt engaged and really liked what I saw but I also thought that  teachers and educators are required to work hard in order to meet the learners' needs.
The challenges
I would like to underline that  professional development and new approaches to learning and  working in the cloud require a lot of training. Teachers need to learn and I am aware that more and more web 2.0 tools and new LMS are now offered to educators.
Next steps
Learning more about  Moodle  and other LMS so that I can find the ideal learning environment where I could start my first experience. I might be interested to start it in my next n a new, so  I will have to check what I can do.

What I am going to do   
I am going to start working more in the cloud and I will think about ways for getting my students more engaged, I am also worried as some students might not be interested and might decide to  be less active. I might use  Padlet or Google tools for creating online activities where my students can work online and share their tasks.   
Now I am going to search more about other LMS or  Virtual Learning Environments so that I can see which ones might best suit my classes in September.

  Link to the video:

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