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Connectivism – my own little experiment

Ok, I’m convinced about the pros of Connectivism. Not in every circumstance or subject, but as Hung (2001) advocates ”teachers are ‘pedagogical engineers’ with the responsibility to plan a lesson(s) with the most relevant instructional approaches and technologies at his or her disposal.”

I decided to try it in my own course. I teach Web design in a class of unemployed students in which they get different courses. During their course Drupal (which is a strong and difficult CMS) we also study the use of Joomla and WordPress. I decided to become a coach, instead of a teacher. I made some screencasts (6 times 5 minutes – figure 1). They also got access to my (own written) course material (figure 2) and I shared some resources. I set up a web conference (figure 3) in which I shared my resources (figure 4). Using the chat function they could ask questions. After a session of 1 hour, everybody could work with WordPress. They had to present and share their results with each other. Using the whiteboard we made a conclusion by searching the pros and cons (figure 5).

I tried to use web 2.0 tools exclusively: screenr.com, dropbox.com (figure 6), wordpress, etc. Only the web conferencing tool Webex is a paid version.

Not the real stuff?

I realize this wasn’t Connectivism at casu, I shared resources and was online at the same moment as they were. So it wasn’t asynchronous education.

Pros:

  • I can reuse my screencasts during the next session.
  • The students were excited to do their own “research”
  • I got a very quiet lesson in which I only had to answer very few questions
  • Being independent is a very important skill for web designers who are very often confronted with new developments. This kind of education helps in the growth to independence.

Cons:

  • This kind of education isn’t suitable for every occasion
  • The teacher has to have the right skills to use and find web 2.0 tools
  • When a new version of WordPress is introduced, I have to make new screencasts.

Figures:

Figure 1:
screencasts-overzichtscreencast-voorbeeld

Figure 2:
cursus

Figure 3:
webex-troubleshooting2

Figure 4:
begeleidend-document

Figure 5:
webex-conclusion
Figure 6:
dropbox

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