Monday, 28 April 2014

The lure of the #ocTEL badge

ocTEL is the Open Course in Technology Enhanced Learning led by ALT, the Association for Learning Technology. This is the second year it has run. 

What drew me in

Below is the opening invite on the enrolment page. What struck me immediately was the clear message that it was ok to drop in and learn when I can and focus on my choice of topic. Having been involved in a number of MOOCs I know from experience that life and work have a habit of getting in the way and best laid plans for dedicated participation have for me gone out the window. The message below is both reassuring and inviting. 
ocTEL doesn't follow a traditional format and whilst we'd love everyone to complete 'the course' you can drop-in for the material and events most useful to you (currently outline of weeks below). Ultimately our aim is to help you make connections between people and knowledge to aid your personal development. ocTEL is an ideal opportunity to consider the connection with your existing skills and experience and Certified Membership of ALT (CMALT).
I then took a look at the course hashtag #ocTEL to see who talking about it. A few tweets later and I already felt part of the start of this new community.
For me this is what it is all about. An opportunity to learn more about technology enhanced learning with other like minded people in bite sized nuggets, but also to discuss and debate, make new connections and expand the rich and valuable personal learning network I have. Opportunities like this would not be possible on such scale without such free and open courses. 

The lure of the badge is an incentive! Why? Because it requires me to reflect on my learning and evidence this as blog posts. I have written before that this particular aspect does not come easily, but have discovered that short posts are manageable and you find that once you get in to the flow words start to tumble out. This isn't polished report writing and you have 'permission' to write as much or little as you wish. This is writing for you. If others read your posts and find it useful, well that's a bonus. 

I look forward to this new MOOC, the conversations I will have and the opportunity to continue my learning with a community of educators who I am sure will open my mind to new ideas and approaches. 

Maha sums this up with her tweet:
The ocTEL course information page further inspires with its intro

the open course you cannot fail......unless you fail to find something interesting
Somehow I doubt that very much!
Week 0: TEL & the future (induction) - 28 Apr 2014 
Week 1: Concepts and approaches - 5 May 2014
Week 2: Learners and learning - 12 May 2014
Week 3: Materials, platforms and technologies - 19 May 2014
Week 4: Support, feedback and assessment - 2 Jun 2014
Week 5: Leadership, management and keeping on track - 9 Jun 2014
Week 6: Enhancement, review and evaluation - 16 Jun 2014

Key links

Hashtag: #ocTEL

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