My Learning Experience

Gaining wisdom on adult education.

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Learning from Reflection

This attached video is one of the best videos that I have seen in a long while that mirrors what the PID program has been teaching to all the willing participants of these courses. This video focuses on the benefits of the learning zone and continuous reflection to help us improve our various roles in life. Take a look and see what you think.



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Quotes to Inspire

I am such a sucker for quotes. They have the ability to inspire great thoughts and ideas in just a few short words. They are amazing and powerful tools.

“Education must not simply teach work – it must teach Life.” W.E.B. Du Bois

When I read these words and then sit back and really savour them, I notice the many ways that these words can be applied to my current life experiences.

For example, the course that I teach is a competency based course, and the base of the curriculum is that I do teach to a job. But when you look at the job postings for the career that I prepare my students for what are they really looking for? Someone who can collaborate, communicate, think critically, and all of those other soft skills. Is that what this quote is referring to? Those 21st century skills that are so desirable to industry today? Somehow, that definition seems a little too simple, but I think there is more than a hint of truth to it.

That is the wonderful thing about quotes, they are so subjective. Where are you mentally, emotionally, intellectually in your life? What experiences simmer under the surface as you read these words. I think the purpose of all quotes is to take what works for you in the right now, and use it to inspire.

What is your favourite quote?


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When the teacher becomes the student

While killing time in the doctor’s office I opened my email to this article published today from Faculty Focus titled, “When the Teacher Becomes the Student” written by Maryellen Weimer. It is a good read for any teacher or instructor who has forgotten what it is like to be a student. Some good suggestions are made by the author to create a more student centered environment which may help increase learning opportunities. Take a read.

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Sharing my new tool set

I have been researching, learning and applying many different web-based tools this past little while through my online PIDP media course.

But all of this work on my end should be able to benefit more than myself,  one solitary instructor. So today during our program meeting, I volunteered to share and demonstrate a couple of these new tools with the other instructors in my portfolio.

In my PIDP course we have a discussion board to help create a learning community. I read some of the posts, but there isn’t time in the day to read all of them. I see the value in the shared learning as witnessed by the large amount of resources that we have amassed, however, I also know that I am surrounded by another learning community here at work. This is my opportunity now to make sure that I am sharing my discoveries with my colleagues, because there will be a time when I will be the one using their tools.

So take the time to enrich your own teaching community that surrounds you on a daily basis. This is a life lesson, not just an 8 week one.

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My Struggle with Technology

I admit it, it takes me almost 3 hours to figure out how to create a voice recording on my computer… I think my 9 year old son could have done it faster if he was home. The learning curve is very steep for me, but without challenge and struggle there really is no learning. I always tell my students that learning should be uncomfortable and I can’t tell you how many times I swore at my computer tonight. What a great lesson tonight was (said in a serious voice, do not insert sarcasm here).

Here is the link to my very first podcast. Our assignment in PIDP 3240 was to create a podcast based on an educational article that we had read and to summarize it for the class. I really do see great value in this format and it will be useful for my distance course that I teach each year. Now I just have to figure out how I can best apply it.
The other part of the assignment I chose was to create a 20 slide Power Point where each slide remains visible for 20 seconds and record a voice-over discussing each slide. For some reason, this seemed harder on paper, but was a lot easier than my podcast. Go figure.

This week has been full of ups and downs, including a cold, a weekend workshop and my personal introduction to these two new technology based education tools. I will definitely walk away from it feeling like I struggled, but that I made great strides in my own education.

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Student Centered Learning

I am currently part of a redesign team for one of the two programs that I teach in the School of Health and Public Safety at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). I have also been given the very cool job title of SME, and yes we say it like it is a word, ‘sme’. It stands for Subject Matter Expert, and I am currently creating two new courses from the ground up. Oh my, right!?

These past few months have been challenging, engaging, motivating, trying, exhausting, and I am not even close to being done. But I have learned so much about program design and curriculum that I didn’t think would be available to me in only my second year of teaching post secondary.

One of my goals for the courses I am designing is to try to find a way to make them more student-centered. How do I create new assignments, assessments, and activities that will create self motivation in the student’s own learning. How can I encourage them to go beyond the modules and textbooks? How can I engage them in deeper conversations and critical thinking? How can I engage them outside of the classroom? I have been reading, exploring and doing my own homework in this area, and it has turned into a learning opportunity for me as well. The instructor that is the student.

My search led me to TED talks once again and came across this video about a teacher challenging her own teaching assumptions and giving her students power in their own classroom. Enjoy!

The power of student-driven learning: Shelley Wright at TEDxWestVancouverED

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Online Learning Communities (TED Talk)

I have recently been talking a lot about online learning tools and during my own internet search, came across this great TED Talk called “The Nerds Guide for Finding Everything Online” by John Green posted on July 2015.
Check it out!

On a side note, while watching this talk I realized that I link a lot of Green’s ‘Crash Course’ A&P videos onto my Medical Terminology D2L class page.