Developing Intellectual Diets for the Digital Generation: A Reflection

It’s hard to believe that the first six weeks of Term 3 have already flown by and I have reached the completion of my first online course, Developing Intellectual Diets for the Digital Generation.  During this time, not only have I participated in a fabulous course but also, by chance, other things have come together to signal a significant time for me and my colleagues.

What have you learnt during the course?
I came into the course wanting to learn more about teaching and learning approaches and the use of web 2.0 tools and social media in today’s digital landscape.  The course webinars, movies, online discussions and other resources, all tied together via the Ning, provided the perfect platform to achieve this goal.  I had used these types of tools before when conducting Professional Learning with my colleagues, so found it very affirming to know that others were also taking a similar approach.

How has it challenged you?
One of the most challenging activities was to “Create a Digital Learning Experience“.  Devising the actual learning activities was not the challenging part for me, it was articulating the Learning Outcomes, etc… My current role involves assisting teachers in the use of ICT in their curriculum and, until now, had focussed mainly on the tools – the “what”.  For example, “What tool can use to blog?”  “What can I use for online brainstorming?”  I can now see a real shift from the “what” to the “why” and “how”.  “Why do I need to change the way I teach?”  and “How can I change the way I teach?”

How will you build on what you have learnt?
A couple of weeks ago I attended the Expanding Learning Horizons Conference in Lorne, Victoria.  My colleague, Ian Riethoff, put it perfectly when he said, “Lucy, when I came to this conference in 2009, it was all about the ICT tools.  This time it’s all about the teaching and learning.  I get it now.”
Just before we attended the conference, our Director of ICT forwarded a link to the 21st Century Fluency Project and, by chance, a copy of a book from this project, Understanding the Digital Generation arrived at our school.  The ideas behind the 21st Century Fluency Project are simple, yet so powerful and I now understand how important it is for me to continue to stay motivated and work to the best of my ability to assist my colleagues in developing teaching and learning approaches for today’s digital generation.

What’s next for me?
We are currently planning our next ICT Professional Learning session for staff, coming up in Week 9.  The session will feature content that has come as a direct result of my participation in Developing Intellectual Diets for the Digital Generation, our attendance at the Expanding Learning Horizons Conference and the 21st Century Fluency Project.  Never before have I witnessed such enthusiasm from staff after returning from a conference as I have seen with ELH.  We are on the same page and ready to make the commitment to improve our teaching and learning!  The above image links to the movie, We are the Future on YouTube and was featured during our online course.  I think it will be the perfect way to motivate staff during our upcoming ICT Professional Learning session.

Many thanks to our wonderful Digimuve Course Facilitator, Sylvia Guidara, to the organisers of the Expanding Learning Horizons Conference and the creators of the 21st Century Fluency Project!