Saturday, November 2, 2013

Starting on the Journey

Paths to Learning was started as part of my own path of learning as I work towards a MSEd degree. As I learn more about the technical and psychological sides of education, I will be sharing my journey here.  Blogs offer a way for me not only to work out my own understanding of topics, but also allow me the opportunity to read and learn from those who have traveled this same path before me.  I have found several blogs that I think are going to be helpful to me not only as a student, but also as an educator and curriculum developer.

As a curriculum developer mandated to design open educational resources (OER), I am very interested in finding more information on open education and particularly the design of OER materials.  One blog I found is iterating towards openness. This blog by Dr. David Wiley offers not only information on OER and Creative Commons licensing but also on issues relevant OER designers.  I found his October 21, 2013 entry “What is Open Pedagogy?” to be particularly timely for my current situation.  On reflection, I realized that several of the assignments I have in place now fit his description of a disposable assignment.  They are busy work for both me and the student and serve no real purpose.  On the other hand, his discussion helped me understand why students particularly enjoy one assignment that has them design and implement something that is useful.

In Learning Snippets by Matt Guyan, I have found a resource that should prove valuable.  In his October 18, 2013 post titled, “Showing My Work #2,” he presents the process by which he develops eLearning modules.  While my position requires me to design instructional materials, my background is very different, and the simple diagram shown by Mr. Guyan in that post has made an impression on me.  My planning at this point has been haphazard and is similar to the process shown below.  This is not a productive model.  I look forward to reading more from Mr. Guyan!

Finally, there is EdTech Digest.  This resource promises to provide a variety of articles and interviews on various trends and tools in technology used for education.  The use of technology can enrich content and create a wider variety of opportunities for students to learn and process information.  The field in which I work is electronics and one of our challenges is in creating meaningful activities for laboratory experiments.  Circuit simulation software is either expensive or limited.  Our primary objectives include lowering student costs while also creating virtual hands-on circuit simulation and experimentation for students.

As I move forward on this path to learning, I hope that this blog will serve as a chronicle of that journey, and will be a repository of information gathered from other sources as well as from the input of my fellow students and professionals.

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