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Week 1: A Google Search Story Intro

Here is a thirty second take on who I am via Google Search Stories.  I am repurposing this from a P2PU course that I took in July as my intro there, but I think it still works for online as well. Update:  Thanks to Ted for finding the elusive link for creating Google Search Stories. Much appreciated.

About me

I am a business consultant in the field of Learning and Development and Performance Management. This means that I am  always involved in Instruction Design as well as delivery of learning solutions. While I mainly work with the Corporate world I've been very interested in the field of main stream education for several years.

I love learning and helping others discover, learn and hopefully have lots of aha moments

Last year I joined PotCert 2011/2012 but was unable to participate fully and continue until the end due to different reasons including but not exclusively work. I am happy to be able to join again, this time with stronger resolve to get more involved, learn, offer and ask for help whenever there's a need.

I am Egyptian but I live and work in the United Arab Emirates which means that I attending some of the synchronous sessions can be a challenge but I am happy to see more participants from time zones that are closer to mine, something that is already giving me some ideas :)

Hello all!

My name is Håkan but you can call me Hocke. I think it´s easier to say for most people in the anglosaxian world :-)  I live happily in Uppsala, Sweden and work at an education organisation called Studiefrämjandet. My specialty is eLearning and social media, and I have both had online classes of my own and learned other teachers about online pedagogy.

I’m looking forward to attend the class of ”Pedagogy first!” and meet all of you. Though one year feels like a long time… I’ll give it a try!

Interesting times

Hello everyone,

I’m Claire Major, professor of education at The University of Alabama. I am in a unique position this semester. I am teaching courses about technology and higher education as well as about distance learning programs in higher education (these are face-to-face courses in which we are broadly considering how these forces are changing higher education and vice versa), and I’m doing this while I also will be learning about teaching online with potcert!

The assignment to set up a blog has been an interesting one for me. I’ve had to think through issues such as who my intended audience is for my blog in general as well as what kinds of posts I might make for particular and perhaps multiple intended audiences. Doing so in turn has required me to think through issues such as what feed to send to Lisa, what categories I need to establish, and what I want to tag as what.

All of these activities make the writing feel somehow different to me than writing for a book or article. For the book or article, I would likely think of single intended audience, whereas for the blog, I’ve had to think about multiple audiences and how to structure things (the technology) so that I’m saying what I intend to say to whom I’m intending to say it. So writing so far feels to me more structured and more parcelled (and more technical). Yet at the same time, the audience for a book or article doesn’t necessarily (or likely) have a face, and I’ve seen many nice photos here of participants and their families, so I have a better sense of what part of the audience for my musings actually looks like; therefore, the writing seems in some ways more personal and more conversational. Interesting times.

Looking forward to more interesting times this year and to learning with and from all of you.

Getting started with online learning about online teaching


This is a post for the Program For Online Teaching class at Pedagogy First.

Week 1 introduction and reflection.

I’ve been quietly following the potcert activity on my newsreader and reading the textbook. I guess its time I join the conversation before the week gets away.
My own teaching experience is much more like the second example in the text, the so-called blended course. My classes have all been face to face classes, but I have used a lot of internet technology to supplement my classes – web sites, blog-like announcement pages, discussion forums and email as well as SMS. I have not had the opportunity to work in an LMS such as Blackboard or Moodle.
Its clear from the reading and textbook examples this week that online teaching includes a range of environments from purely online to blended or hybrid classes. One thing that caught my attention was the advice on page 14, that not all activity, even for a fully online course, needs to be online. The idea that students may still need to do library research or make lab observations is noteworthy. It got me wondering about dealing with remote students who may have Internet access but very little else. The internet is so pervasive today, I could imagine students from regions with internet access but no access to say a university caliber library or laboratory.  That’s part of the appeal of online learning, is it not? – the opportunity to get an education from a place where it wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by yewenyi

So is it fair to ask students in cases like this to do the kind of research we would expect from students who have access to campus resources? Or do we have to provide them with (possibly expensive) online research databases? Should we let them know before signing up that they’ll have to have that access? Or is the open internet sufficient for all scholarly research?  (Many of my on campus students seemed to think they could do everything from a Google search. It was hard to get them to use online databases that the school library subscribed to – but that’s another story)
The point  I think is that even when a student’s interaction with a course is completely online, the learning may not be purely online.

I often remember a cartoon showing a nervous patient checking into the hospital and the recptionist says “Don’t worry Mr. Jones, our new doctor has seen your operation on YouTube many times.”

Let me know if you have any questions.

Hi potcert, who says you have to meet someone to teach someone

Well now that I have created a blog for myself I guess I will have to write on it (actually I was planning on using my blog from last year but since WordPress charges for embedding media I had to redo it through MiraCosta).

First let me introduce myself.  My name is Eric Gregory and I am an associate faulty member at MiraCosta in the history department (hey Lisa).  I have an M.A. from the University of Chicago and was in the Ph.D. program at UCLA but for the past 8 years I have been teaching at MiraCosta and a variety of other community colleges mostly in the San Diego area.  Now I have relocated to the Inland Empire (which while truly inland from the southern California coast, is not much of an empire), and I hope to cut down on my commuting one day.

While I am interested in moving into online teaching.  Like a number of you I have had some experience online, I have taught a number of hybrid classes and for the past 4 years I have supplemented my in person classes with optional online elements but the thought of teaching an entirely online class is somewhat disconcerting.  I am quite technologically savvy, I assembled the computer I am typing this post on, and probably the 5 to 6 computers I have used before it, so it is not the idea of using new software or modes of communication which is intimidating.  Rather it is the challenge of how to replicate, or more accurately provide something different but of comparable richness, the classroom environment in an online setting.

Actually here is a picture of my current setup:

Anyway I look forward to learning with and from all of you over the next few semesters.


cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Vintage Lulu

To start off the first post of this new year, I’ll let you all in on a little secret: I hate writing biographies of myself. I read other people’s that seem pretty cool, but mine? Either dull or pretentious. How’s that for being self-conscious?

I’m coming to you from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where I teach business and paralegal courses at a two-year college. This is my tenth year of teaching online classes, and I completed the certificate class last year. It was so much fun, that I’m back again, looking forward to getting to know more of my distributed colleagues.

cc licensed ( BY SD ) flickr photo shared by ted_major

Week 1

For this week I’d like to introduce myself, I am Judy an associate librarian blogging from North San Diego.  At this time I am not teaching any online courses but wanted to take this opportunity to learn more about teaching online.  I am eager to learn more as the semester evolves.  I am not a blogger and found getting set up for the course to be a bit of a challenge, let’s just say I have a domain hanging out there in cyberspace.

As far as this week’s reading, in Ko and Rosen one of the things that resonated with me was that students who might not normally be participative may find their voice in an online environment (p 21).  As a former distance student myself I found that in an online environment the ability to collaborate with students abroad (various cultures and backgrounds)  provided for a rich an interesting learning environment.  I anticipate this experience to bring the same opportunity.

Iterating toward … what exactly?

One year ago, I was still settling into my brand-new position as Faculty Director of Online Education at MiraCosta. I dabbled with POT(Cert) last year and my first POTCert post was full of questions that I think I now have answers for. Of course, many of those answers are, “it depends,” “we’re not sure” or “you tell us.” I feel more comfortable with the ambiguity, more aware of where the immediate opportunities exist to make a difference, and also more settled with taking a long view when it comes to being part of significant institutional change/growth. And aren’t all of those things part of life as an educator?

If I begin to think I have it all figured out – whether it’s content, pedagogy, students, technology, my institution, my colleagues – I probably am becoming a bit stale. Thus my blog’s title and tagline – Education Everywhere: life = growth = learning = change.  For me, the fundamental excitement of online education is that it offers an opportunity to rethink the conceptual (not just physical) boundaries that come to us with time- and place-bound education. And rethink not just once, but continually.

Thus the concept of iteration – as Wikipedia says, “the act of repeating a process usually with the aim of approaching a desired goal or target or result.” So what might that goal/target/result be for an educator? Clearly, student learning is at the top of the list. But even that raises questions: learning what? And how do we know if learning occurs? And how do we find a link between our process (course design & teaching) and that learning?  And so we think about more specific aims … which then adds a further iterative aspect to what it means to be an online instructor.

David Wiley’s blog is called iterating toward openness; he is a key leader in improving education through development and use of open educational resources. What I like about this is his goal is really a principle. It is not a concrete, black-and-white target. Measurable outcomes are often thought of as destinations, with broader principles as guideposts/roadmaps, but I think it’s the other way around.

So, to wrap up this introduction of myself for Potcert 12 … what drives me? What am I “iterating toward”? As an educator, leader, manager, coach, and parent, my ultimate hope is to co-create an environment in which people thrive: that is, they find safety, health, and respect; they discover connection and meaning; they express caring, creativity, and joy. Is there a way to express that more succinctly? I look forward to elaborating (iterating) on this theme in the weeks to come …

Tagged: potcert, Week 1

POT Cert Week 1: Introduction

Hello, fellow POT Cert participants! I’m currently in Amherst, MA, but I’ll be blogging from Kathmandu, Nepal in about two weeks. I’m a Ph.D. student at Emory University, but I’ll be working for the Rangjung Yeshe Institute (RYI) in Nepal this fall, developing online courses in Tibetan language. I’m looking forward to this course. While I have experience teaching in a hybrid situation, using tools on the web to augment face-to-face classroom instruction, this year will be my first time teaching a course entirely online. 

I anticipate two major hurdles in teaching Tibetan online through RYI, and I’d love to hear some ideas about these from folks with online teaching experience:

1. Teaching a language with non-Roman characters.  Before students will be able to participate in the course, they will have to figure out how to install Tibetan fonts and keyboards on their own computers. I plan on giving some general guidelines, but I anticipate that this will be a major hurdle for students who wish to participate. It might even keep some students out of the class. Obviously, since I can’t meet face to face with all of my students, I can’t help them with all of the little idiosyncrasies in their individual systems. Does anyone have any recommendations for making this process smoother for students, and less of a headache for me?

2. Synchronous vs. Asynchronous tasks.  The students in this course are enrolling from all over the world. I suspect that it won’t be possible to require students to participate in synchronous activities, but should I provide some opportunities for synchronous sessions throughout the course of the semester? Would this give students an opportunity to connect with me – and with each other – in a new way, or would it simply alienate those who cannot participate due to time zone differences? Should I provide several synchronous sessions at different times of day to allow more students to participate?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions. I look forward to reading everyone else’s blogs over the course of the year!