Not very active but still learning #fslt12

My participating in the course First Steps into Learning & Teaching in Higher Education is just how I do my learning now-a-days. All mails arrive in my mailbox and I scan the content. I read here and there and I think about how I did for instance my reflection and how I asked students to reflect. With colleagues I discovered a lot of non-reflection because students had to use standard forms instead of had the possibility to do it in their own way. Not good at all I think. And also there were much to many moments in the curriculum students had to write a reflection paper, boring!!! Make your course attractive, let them see why it sometimes can be very good to reflect on your own learning and participating in education, but let them discover self how it works for them. The theory often used in The Netherlands, Korthagen, and formulated goals have to be SMART, Specific, Measurable, Activating, Realistic and with Time-planning. My experience is that students in later years of their study don’t like such theoretical formats and can be better reflective persons if they are allowed to work with own ideas and open possibilities. Let hem start a weblog and after certain time they appear in a position to be reflecting without it is prescribed on just that moment…

And about working in groups. Learning is certainly not the same as working. I have experienced that making a choice for a certain group to study is better than have to study in a group the teacher has chosen. Of course it is true that during a job it is not always possible to choose the people in your team, but to force students in certain groups to study together is not the right way to handle that problem I think. Let them choose their study partners and make the chance greater they enjoy studying wich is very important in my opinion.

I’ll go on reading, thinking, studying and occasionally reflect a bit on this weblog.


First steps

Today I do my first steps into the MOOC First Steps into Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, #fslt12 . I am working in Higher education for 28 years now. Though I felt a strong need I want to be a part of this online course and use the possibility to learn and share. For me learning is always going on. I did MOOC’s earlier and it was great to do. But…., I am more a lurker as a participant. I did not write my blog, I did not participate in all readings and meetings on line. But for me this is a wonderful way to be in touch with inspiring people all over the world. Twitter has become my most valuable source of information about education and all new possibilities trough the internet and all the tools there are. I love working with my iPad. I teach colleagues in my institute to use all the new stuff in their courses and I also teach students doing a Master Learning and Innovating.

What I like the most on my job is the possibility to help people to learn and to discover new ways of learning and teaching. Given many evaluative responses to my work in all the years I do my job, I think I can say I am a good teacher :-). Because of my physical limitations I can’t work many hours anymore, but what I can do, I do still with a lot of fun and pleasure. I think that’s a very important ‘skill’ for working as an educator. Not alone, but surely also, in higher education.


And again I start this blog.

So, a new start (again). I now am 62 and will never stop learning. I suffer from chronically diseases a big part of my life. And now I can’t do much work anymore. My work in the institute now is for 12 hours a week. I help Master students with using new media, web-tools and so on. And I do workshops for my colleagues to help them help their students. After my participating in CCK8 my world was so broadend. So many contacts international and in my own country, a new way of living opened up for me. Now I decided to participate in #change11. Not to0 intens, a bit lurking, but with good mood and pleasure. And it stimulated me to start this blog again. Maybe this time it will work. Once a week will do I think :-). I am an experienced MOOC-er. I know how overwhelming it can be. But for me that’s no problem at all. I am very good in let go if necessary. My use of English is much better now then when I started CCK8 however it never will be the same as writing and talking in my own language. Sometimes the chat during the sessions is going to quick but I always dare to ask whatever I want to know. My advise to starters is like the facilitators try to tell over and over again, take your time, try to build your network, asked them, the people in your network I mean, all you need to know. They are all very busy of course, but my experience with Twitter is that you always get an answer on any question you leave there. So, build your social network!!

CCK09 not in the group, for sure in the network; week 3

This week was all about groups and networks. Looking at the readings and other resources, much came back from last year, cck08. I read all the discussions in Moodle, there were many tweets in Twitter, I read a bunch of blogs, but did not participate in discussions. Yesterday-morning at 9 I was waiting for the Elluminate-session of this week. It was a bit dumb because this was in the middle of the night for George and Stephen, and indeed, it was wrong. Nice was to have a little chat in the Elluminate-room with 2 other Dutch-speaking participants (had read my tweet :-)), Joost Robben and Dieter Blancquaert. In the evening, 21 h our time, I was in a restaurant having a nice dinner. This evening Martin Aasbrenn Bohr @maasbreng on Twitter, started some tweets about the session of last night. He brought me to listen to the session and discus some of what has happened and was said during the session. I had read his weblog. His question was mainly if recording this kind of discussions will make that people stay silent, afraid to make a failure. The language-problem can play a role in this. Last year I once was in a session and felt quit lonely, wrote a post about that feeling, so I can see his point. This year I have not participated very active, but I feel much more comfortably I think because of knowing how this kind of learning works. I smile and enjoy and let go and learn. There is nothing to be ashamed of. I can not tell to any other what Connectivism is, but I have a good image of how I see networked learning, how I can discus groups and networks with my “students” being my colleagues and Master-students. I love it to be learning so much from so many different people. Without cck08 this was never the case I think, so I will encourage everyone to take part in this kind of courses even if it is to difficult to really understand everything said en written. I like the Daily very much, this year again. I should miss it a lot if it was not there every day. And it is a pleasure to read the mails in my iPhone on any time a day when I have some time from-out the Moodle forums. So, it was a good cck09 week for me. I am glad Martin brought me to listen to the session, because that gave me also the courage to write this blog. My Dutch one has to wait till tomorrow. It is 0.30 now and I have to rest a while.

Second week of CCK09

The second week of the course CCK09 is nearly done. I followed all the discussions in Moodle via mail and Twitter. I did not read much. I did not discus anything myself. Still I was enjoying being a participant very much. I miss the Daily, but the other ways to be connected are OK for me this year. It is much easier to see what is happening then last year in CCK08. Discussing what Connectivism is, is not where I am able to. I don’t know enough to do so. For me it is of very great importance to live connected and to learn from so many sources via the Internet. I made an account in the course of Alec Couros. I listened to the Elluminate Sessions of CCK09 and that course. The last ones not life. I was happy to finally has discovered how to understand a PLE. Eduardo Peirano was of great help in that question. Of course there were others with PLE’s, but I can’t work with too much information, so I worked with his example. I am not ready yet, but I think my Google Profile is a sort of Personal Learning Environment also and I will be working on a better and more helpful PLE next week I hope.

This week I was finally back at work for a few hours after almost 3 month of holiday, hospital, rehabilitation. That feels very good. Working-spirit will be strengthened by working in my case. I have to write a program for my part in the Master Learning and Innovating about connected learning, using web 2.0 tools, why, when, which. The students are working in different kinds of education-institutes from school for little children (is that K12?) till Higher Education. Choosing why you should use the tools of this time is thus very various and also is choosing which tools are useful. I loved the video record in learn 4 life about using iPods with children, I saw many other very interesting sites, ideas, and so on coming by and collected them all in a map master-material. Enough to discuss and train to use many many hours! So, I am a happy person, I am going to the good side with my physical condition, will never be all healthy, but can very good live with that for almost 35 years now, thus no problem.

CCK09, I love it to be a participant, but I shall not ever be wise enough to say, that is Connectivism.  Still going strong and enjoying learning so much every day.

Start again; cck09

After wintertime I did not use this weblog anymore. After hesitating a while I decided to take the course cck09 and now I am here again. I have very good memories on cck08, but also I have feelings I did not enough with all I learned, namely theoretical. In my work I do very much with all the ideas relating to being connect world wide, but I still find it difficult to explain the theory Connectivism. This time I am more prepared to this phenomenon and I only will enjoy what is coming and not make it to a problem. Listening to the first 2 Elluminate Sessions and reading many of the Introductions let me know that I am not alone in being more practical than theoretic. It’s alright. All philosophers George and Stephen and others are talking about, I am familiar with their names and sometimes a bit with their ideas but not enough to make necessary consumptions about links between them and learning theories. To say what I have learned, like we often asks our students, is always difficult for me and yet I learned very much. I feel good having so many contacts all around the world, I like it very much I learned to work with RSS and I am on Twitter almost every day to share something interesting I read. My colleagues, whom are mainly my students, tell me they learn a lot from me because I give them interesting readings, theoretical ideas, I share all I think all that can be of any value for them. OK, I am not a person developing own theories, but I am 60 now and it is time to accept what I can do and what not. Next week a new Master program, Learning & Innovating, will start at my institute and one asks me to do a program there about using the web and new tools in education. I was very glad with that offer and accept it because I think I have a lot to offer to the students, all grownups working in the field of education. I will start with tell them my place in the world of learning theories and my ideas about being connect and of course I will let them see how enriching it can be to be connected.

Slowly I am coming back in the work-sphere. I received a (second) new hip 5 weeks ago and was busy to rehabilitate this weeks. Had to courage myself to pick up normal life. Starting with cck09 was heavy but a very happy start! And I am glad today was the day I started again with this English blog, the language still difficult however less then last year :-).

You can find all my web-places here:

I enjoy very much my participating in the Flickr-group 365 photos 2009. It makes me look at the world in an other way because every day I have to make a picture and I have to think about what it will be. And being at home several weeks made it necessary to make pictures of small things in house and garden. I can think of using this tool, not every day for a whole year perhaps, in education-situations were students have to discover what is most important in their coming profession or with children to learn to look in an other way to their surroundings.

 Well, my first blog in cck09 is a fact!

Christmas Holiday

This was my 33th Christmas holiday while being an educator. The first 20 years I worked 50 a 60 hours per week (with great pleasure!), then gradually reduced to 45, so you don’t have to work in holidays (:-)). Meanwhile, to stand and to carry bags was almost impossible, so I did go on with a special chair to sit – stand in the classroom and to give colleges and a rollator (a walker?) to sit on doing little conversations in the hallway and for wearing my bag. About 5 years I so continued. Although all I was doing was working. No more energy for socializing, entertainment, cooking and so on. Already a number of years, after a gradual reduction,  I now work only 12 hours per week. And in all those years, I’ve always worked in holiday periods. I never made a hard difference between work and further daily life and did not mind that the work activities did not stop when the holiday began.
But even all those years my plans for the Christmas holidays to do tasks that are really needed, were not released. This year I again was able to NOT do the work I had planned. But now, since I just work a few hours a week, I have a good social life. I cook (good and with pleasure), I do wine as a hobby, I see what the children do in theater and on TV, and since April 2008 I added a new dimension to my life starting in the project Homo Zappiens. And with doing the course CCK08 I discovered blogging, Twitter, Jaiku, etc. etc.  This holiday I was really very busy with work-related things like the Internet, Web 2.0, social media, e-learning and so on. I have, really!, kept my many feeds, I think I have almost daily said something on Twitter, I read documents recommended by others, but I have NOT written the parts I had to, and now still has to, for my work. That ‘s not a great problem, because that is of course possible next week too. And work under pressure, I luckely still can. And if your week-task is so little like mine is now, the amount of work is also not very much. From tomorrow it again is business as usual. Holiday over. Going to work with pleasure and do what is expected of me.

Oh yes, where I have used this holiday for: trying out what the iPhone can do, added apps, some useful, some purely for fun as iLava, iSteam, the Wine Guide, Wine & Dine, Free Drinks, BigOven. So work and daily life come together. Without Homo Zappiens and CCK08 I was not started with something like an iPhone! And for the first time in my life I started shooting photo’s and it seems I do well. And now I participate in 365photos, make every day 1 photo and save it in the Flickr Group 365photos .

Life is (despite all the misery in the world and sad things in my own small live) fun. I hope in this year again to enjoy what comes on my path.

Happy Christmas and a very good 2009

My house smells good, I am baking a cake for after dinner tomorrow when the Christmas Eve dinner with the children is nearly done. I have to go shopping for a few things I need. I am working at a school, so the holidays has began yesterday.

On this moment I don’t have enough courage to write about all things I learned this year, especially all things about Connectivism. I need time to recover from hardworking. But I know, there will be a day I can give more insight in what it has done to and with me to be a participant in this great online happening.

I wish all readers all the best for the coming year. I hope it will be possible to stay cyberspace friends with all of you!



#cck08 My Final Project, a paper.

In this paper I will answer a few questions as they are asked in the wiki cck08 for the final project.

What is the quality of my learning network? Diversity, depth, how connected am I?

I think that I have given a part of an answer in earlier blog posts. I am a member of a learning community Homo Zappiens and this is a group, a place, to learn mainly about how to give an educational answer to the challenges of this time, the internet and all the possibilities for learning it provides. Trough the time I am working and learning in this group, I have chosen to make accounts on many social sites.  Some of them I don’t visit often, others more and more since I made connection with participants on the course cck08. Twitter and Facebook are the most used on this moment I think. On Flickr I am a beginner. I never took photo’s till I bought my iPhone about 6 weeks ago. And till now I never made a video or film, so I did not try sites like Seesmic and You tube. My partner bought a camera with witch one filming is possible, so I will try in the coming time.

In the last half year I started two weblogs, one in Dutch and one in English. The English one was especially for cck08, but other people, colleagues,  has commented sometimes also. In the course it showed up to be a good place to be “seen” or “heard”. Several other participants read my blog and gave a comment that I liked very much. The Dutch blog is now seen by some my following Twitterers and of course by a few colleagues, though I think too few to be good.

Throughout the course I find many very interesting sites. On this moment my Google Reader is filled every day with more than 200 feeds. Most of them about e-learning, e- technique,  education, didactics, pedagogies,  media, general science, life hacking, delicious and iPhone J.  Weblogs from interesting writers and educators are among them, a lot par the course!  I have learned to manage so many feeds in a for me good working way. When not possible to read them all, no time or holidays or so, I just  click on Mark all as read and no problem at all. Someone told me that every interesting paper will come again one time and yes, that works!

I am satisfied with how I am connected to networks, people, learning possibilities. It costs a lot of time to hold contact and I don’t know if I can do so intense  in the future now the course has stopped. I am not very healthy and the last 12 weeks has cost me a lot of pain and fatigue. No problem I wanted it dearly. But…..

How has this course influence my view of the process of learning?

Years ago, when I was an adult and teacher a long time, I studied Nursing science. It was not possible to end the study because of my condition, but I was nearly at the end, did not make a dissertation. I learned  much about studying theories, but during this course I discovered that not being trained as a scientist is not easy to do a course like this. Nevertheless I had a lot of experience as a teacher and innovator, so I knew a lot about learning theories, pedagogic and didactics. Before starting this course I never had read or heard about Connectivism.  I had not thought a lot about all consequences of a new way of learning though I had made a very flexible and measured e-learning course before (see other blog post) . So on this moment I think I am more conscious about the way education shall and have to change. I also think it will take a lot of time to do so. But changes are already happening here in The Netherlands. Not enough, not on a large scale, not fast enough perhaps, but coming.

What types of questions are still outstanding?

No real answer on this question. There are always many questions about learning and teaching. The most important quality of a teacher is to inspire and motivate the learner what, how- and  wherever he or she is learning. Not the circumstances in itself are making that to learn gives a good feeling. However, new times need new methods, and they will rice new problems and new questions.

How can I incorporate connectivist principles in my design and delivery of learning?

It’s funny, though I have learned very much throughout this course, I think I was a connectivist all the time J. My way of living and my way of teaching has always been based on connections and to be connected to others. New is the full blown connection par the internet now. My work is to teach the teachers working in my institute Hogeschool Rotterdam. During my last years of professional teaching, I am 59 now, I surely I will use my knowledge of connectivism in every contact there is. I do so already and it will go on.  I cannot change my whole institute but I can inspire the few people I see to discover what is going on in teachers-land and make translations for their curriculums and their students. In January 2009 there will be a decision to start a new Learning Community for learning to design new courses using the possibilities of the internet and the world wide web, a community like Homo Zappiens is now. I will be involved in that decision and the program. That is a great moment to incorporate my new knowledge about connectivism!   

At last.

Again I will thank George Siemens and Stephen Downes very much for this opportunity to study in such a fascinating and inspiring way with so many people from all over the world.  Also thanks to all participants from whom I learned so much. I am glad it is done (because of my condition, I need more rest J), but I also will miss it very much!