Laura Gibbs

#TotalCoLearner Week 11.  We Are All Online Learners

Blog Post created by Laura Gibbs on Nov 8, 2018

I just realized I forgot to do my #TotalCoLearner post here over the weekend, but it's not too late to reflect on Week 11... in fact, it's a good opportunity to snag some times from Twitter conversations that happened by chance yesterday, and some Canvas folks chimed in along with others.


It all started with a post from Kelvin Thompson (I wish we could lure him here to the Community; I have learned so much from our intersecting online -- if you are on Twitter or thinking about giving Twitter a try, connect with Kelvin: @kthompso). He shared this article from IHE with an important pull-quote: Putting Standardization Second (or Lower) in Online Learning (the article itself is definitely worth reading!).


Kelvin Thompson tweet


So I retweeted that with a comment:


laura's tweet resharing Kelvin


So that got retweeted as you can see there, with some good comments back from people too!  Gerol Petruzella chimed in with this note about how things work at his school, which sounds GREAT, the complete opposite of my school: 


gerol's tweet


Here's Steve Covello: eye-opening is exactly what I am talking about! If you are going to be teaching online or designing online courses, you need your eyes wide open to see all the possibilities that you perhaps have never even seen before:


Steve Covello's tweet


And just as Steve made the connection with IDs, Kona Jones chimed in with a great observation about how this is also important for admins:


kona's tweet

I really like Lori Fuller Rusch / Lori Rusch walk-a-mile-in-their-shoes metaphor... which was my excuse to invoke TotalCoLearner:


tweet from Lori Rusch


And the ever-awesome Michael Berman chimed in too:


Michael's tweet


And then Ian Simpson made me realize I had forgotten my TotalCoLearner post for this week, but all this Twitter traffic could make a good topic:


ian simpson tweet


So, there are a few closing observations I will make in light of those exchanges at Twitter:


1. How do we learn online? This #TotalCoLearner experiment is not just about learning about my classes (design, content, procedures, etc.); it is also about myself as an online learner. What are the different ways I can learn online? How can I stretch and challenge myself as an online learner? And then that lets met bring it all back to my classes, thinking about how my own learning online is a way for me to help my students with their online learning.


2. It's fun having online colleagues! One of the best ways to develop the skills you need to connect with your students online is by connecting with colleagues online. If all your colleagues are face to face, it is going to be hard to really connect with your students online. For me, all my colleagues are online colleagues! Of the people I've mentioned on this page, for example, I have only met Gerol and Kona in person (thank you, Instructure, for both of those opportunities!), and even then I was very connected with both of them before we met f2f. I even knew Gerol online from way back when in Classics mode before I had anything to do with Canvas at all! Learning how to connect and collaborate with your own peers online is an essential part of teaching online IMO.


3. Expand your spaces, expand your knowledge. I also think it's important to always be trying out new tools and spaces online so that you can become a better connoisseur of tools and spaces. By being able to appreciate the advantages and disadvantages of a wide variety of tools/spaces, you can then make good choices and also participate in conversations about those choices. Because I use Twitter every day and because I use the Community space every day also, I am aware that there are many things that Canvas as a tool/space cannot do, and I can lobby for those Canvas features which I know would be really valuable, based on my experiences with these other tools and spaces.


So, this post was not exactly about my class per se and what I did in Week 11... but you can always find that out at my class blog (here's the Week 11 label which shows those posts). And I'm glad I had a chance to document this flurry of activity at Twitter. It was a fun part of my day yesterday. 


Keep on learning, people!


And if you want to give Twitter a try, do it! It's fun! You can find me there @OnlineCrsLady or at the account I have for my classes: @OnlineMythIndia. :-)