Thursday, August 7, 2008

SO here begins my blogged learning journey.

First up, a short intro on me:

  • first generation Aussie to Dutch parents; grew up in gorgeous Tasmania.
  • biology science degree and ecological research (freshwater invertebrates)
  • moved to teaching, primarily maths/science (with a couple of years at AQIS)
  • NOW: teaching on a remote island (Groote Eylandt) in the Northern Territory (Australia) and involved in a PLC with growing interest in online learning.

I added this smattering about me, since one of the factors I believe are important in online communities is connecting socially. More on that in the future.

The idea of this blog has been around for a while, and has now achieved actualisation with the impetus of informal participation in the course Facilitating Online Communities, run by Leigh Blackall.

Excerpt from the wiki: This course has been developed by staff in the Educational Development Centre of Otago Polytechnic and is designed to help both formal and informal learners access and interpret models, research and professional dialog in the facilitation of online communities. After completing this course people should be confident in facilitating online and/or be able to critique and offer advice to other people in the facilitation of online communities.”

My life-long learning journey is now taking me along the path of studying and facilitating professional learning, and how this can benefit from connecting online.

I am involved in facilitating a Professional Learning Community of school teachers and allied professionals seeking to improve the competence and confidence of teachers of Mathematics, recognising that teacher quality is a key factor in determining student outcomes, which (as in many countries) are not what they should/could be.

I hope to achieve from this course a greater insight into the technical, structural and social factors involved in creating an online learning environment that would support a blended learning community. In fact, I hope to create such an environment for the maths PLC by the end of the year. This has great potential, since there are many very remote teachers who suffer a ‘tyranny of distance’ with limited access to support and limited opportunity for collaboration and discussion with other maths teachers.

I am keen to link with anyone out there interested in PLCs and improving teacher professional development.

I have seen some great things happening in the PLC I am involved with. Many teachers are becoming actively engaged in improving the way they teach. We are only in the early phase of development, but the journey is exciting.


No comments: