Sunday, June 10, 2007

EDU5471 Self Reflection of Key Themes

I had never known much about how to do self-reflection. In fact, I had always found disabilities to do my own self-reflection. Through the duration of this course, I was continuously engaged in self-reflection exercises through the course activities, assignments, discussions, debate and blogging. And as this course draws to its end, I can say I have been able to develop skills in self-reflection, which I could not have done before. I have learned a life-long skill which can develop me into a better person in all facets of life. I am still learning and hope this piece of writing enable me to further develop my self-reflection skills.

Throughout the EDU5471 course, I had found matters outside the course subject but directly or indirectly related to the subject very intriguing and interesting. My key theme which I have reflected through the duration of the course has been on educational ICT (such as Web2.0 tools, multimedia and internet tools, learning management systems, adaptive technologies) and also its impact on the different learning process (such as constructivist, critical, higher-order, self-reflective, meta-cognitive thinking).

In terms of Web2.0 tools, I had managed to use features such as blog (which I had never used previously) for self-reflection, wikis (for group collaboration for the online debate) and learned about how to create podcasts and how it can be used in education (assignment 1). I had also learned more about other Web2.0 tools such as social networking sites (e.g. MySpace), video-sharing (e.g. YouTube), photo-sharing (e.g. flickr,, syndications, twitters, GoogleEarth, Second-Life. I also got to read an interesting paper on “What is Web 2.0” by Tom O’ Reilly (2005). All of these enhanced and added better understanding of Web2.0 applications and I have started use most of them in my personal and professional life.

I had initiated a discussion thread on free and open source software and what were other students’ thoughts about its future and use in education. Many thought (including me) that the ability to customize programs to individual needs and its ease of use was the way forward for cost-effective delivery of education. I had also able to broaden my understanding about learning management systems and how future learning management system will be designed and its impact on different learning processes. Through the discussions generated, I learnt that future learning management systems will offer media editing tools, incorporate Web2.0 tools and will offer greater customization and personalization and these will be based around the theories of constructivism and connectivism. These have enabled me to create online courses around those theories at my workplace.

Through the course discussions, activities and assignments, I have managed to gain greater understanding of the different learning theories such as constructivist, connectivist, transformative, differentiated, situated, network and collaborative learning and how it can be applied. I had previously been involved in these learning processes but never knew what the proponents of these processes are until I did this course. My understandings from these theories have and will enable me to better organize and plan my studies and as well my teaching.

These theories and this course have offered me a great experience in using critical, higher-order, distributed, self-reflective and meta-cognitive levels of thinking. These experiences have offered me a greater understanding of the educational pedagogy which I could use when I am designing courses for distance and flexible learning at my work place. Not only at work, but also these are life-long skills which I can use in my personal life and in my studies as well.

I also found interesting reading materials such as readings on (digital natives and immigrants, web2.0 tools, connectivism) software (such as photo story, scribefire, comic life,) and web resources (such as, citation machine) which other students had posted in the forum. I had not previously known about these resources. I can now learn it and use it to improve productivity.

Overall, this course has been a great experience in which I have been able to learn and develop my self.

No comments: