Week 23: Meaning-making and metaphors / A3: Thinking about your own learning

learning , resources and tools
learning , resources and tools

Think about your own learning – the resources and tools you use, where and when it takes place

What is your experience of being a learner?

I consider myself to be an open practitioner, and by the same vein an ‘open’ learner. I think the whole idea of being able to learn in an open and honest way suits my learning style and personality. I think this may have had something to do with the fact that I have been brought up on distance learning. I prefer being able to direct my own learning and much prefer to be able to do this at my own pace although this is inevitably not quite as flexible as I would like.  I also think I am quite a bit of a social learner and the advances in technology have really helped me interact and engage with others.

What tools and resources do you use? What are your views on different technologies?

I tend to be a bit of a tool and resources butterfly … I tend to flit around using new tools as I come across them. Some I settle on and stick with such as wordpress for blogging and twitter for microblogging but others I have to revisit a number of times before I really get used to using them. I cant quite get a handle on what makes me engage with a particular tool yet though but I have a feeling it might have something to do with a) ease of use  b) cost and c) how pretty it looks !  That probably sounds fairly shallow  …

Can you think of examples where technology has made a significant difference to the way you learn?

I think blogging has probably had the most major impact. I’ve been blogging now for just over 18 months and I think it has really enhanced my reflective thinking skills as well as improving my connections with like minded people.

Can you think of counter-examples where you had a bad experience of a particular technology ? What did this do to your motivation for learning?

Yep I used a particular VLE on a short online course at work towards the end of the year. I just didn’t get on with it. I was really surprised as having had quite a deal of experience with online learning I really wasnt prepared for the impact that the VLE would have on me. I found that the desktop version was cumbersome, really difficult to navigate , full of technological quirks that were quite frustrating to overcome and above all quite boring. This really affected my motivation to engage with the course. I did find though once I stumbled across the mobile app ( by accident) this did work much better and consequently improved my motivation and engagement with the course …

How did you deal with the situation?

I guess I dealt with it by searching out possible solutions – hence looking for and finding the mobile app. I suppose I also did rather a lot of moaning and complaining inwardly and in some cases outwardly ( which did give me an awful lot of material to reflect on ! )

You have already sketched an outline of your own Personal Learning Environment in Weeks 21/22. We want you to return to this now, but this time we want you to explore how you might articulate and represent your learning experience and environment.

My blog post on my PLE is here …  I’ll be revisiting this shortly ….

Flexible, Open and Social Learning Course : Debs Reflections Part One

Blog Posts …

I’m in awe of people that manage to write a blog post on a daily basis. I’ve found it impossible this week. I did however manage to engage on twitter using the #FOS4L hashtag quite a lot and the odd posting on Google+ Community so that’s something ay ?

I’m glad that I had some advice from the very wise @suebecks  to try and record my reflections of the Flexible, Online and Social learning course on a daily basis  though as I did manage to get some thoughts scribbled down. Even though I didn’t in the end actually get around to actually writing a blog post per day … Reflecting on this I wonder if a little bit of me is still a bit hesitant with putting myself out there when it comes to actually deep and meaningful thought ?  Or maybe it really is just the lack of time … ?  In my defence I have had a manically hectic week this week with lots of unplanned things cropping up .. perhaps I would have managed to do a daily post if it had been a normal week ? Not sure …

Anyhow, having had some time on the train today to actually sit down and scribble some thoughts, I managed to find one of my two word docs ( note to self to get better at storing documents so I can find them again !)  so I have tried to weave my somewhat bizare notes into something that captures my experiences on Day 1 and 2 as both a facilitator and participant … ( Sort of ). This is part one .. part two still to come …zzzzz


Day 1: Monday ( Digital Literacy and Identity)

I really enjoyed today although I must confess I found it really hectic but so enjoyable all the same. There is such a friendly atmosphere in the #fos4l community. So many familiar faces and loads of new ones. I’m always amazed just how quickly I can feel a connection with someone in an online space. I love learning new things particularly when you don’t realise you are learning.

Twitter Showers !

We had our first Twitter question shower on Monday evening too. I have taken part in tweet chats before but this was my first experience of a question shower.

We were asked to do some pre-reading on Digital Capabilities by Helen Beetham

http://digitalcapability.jiscinvolve.org/wp/revisiting-digital-capability-for-2015/ and this proved quite stimulating with what seemed like hundreds of questions being posed and lots of answers flying about … It was great fun but really REALLY hectic … The lovely Sue Beckingham has done a great introduction to Twitter showers which you can see here (this explains it much better than I can do I’m not even going to go there )

This is my first role as facilitator and I’m really enjoying that too. As I’m also a participant there is a whole lot of FOS love going around in my house at the moment. Even the kids refer to me as “mummy’s in the dining room ‘fossing’ 🙂

Day One Activity – Making a Digital Me

Very proud that I managed to actually do a visual representation of the places that I visit online and even do a Debs Online Places blog post on the right day !


Day 2 Flexible Pedagogies

It’s always the way isn’t it when you plan to do something and then something else comes up. I found myself finishing an assignment at around midnight last night and today I have been preparing for an interview tomorrow so my head has been in the shed. That said I did manage to do the odd bit of FOS today and was pleased to have caught the last bit of the Twitter shower this evening. Disappointed though that I didn’t get to do as much as I wanted today as I joined too late and then didn’t have time.

I hope to do a visual representation of my week when I get a chance though as I have been experimenting with sketch noting recently with an app called Zoomnotes.

Twitter Shower

We were asked to do some pre-reading tonight on Flexible pedagogies: new pedagogical ideas by Alex Ryan and Daniella Tilbury ..  quite interesting stuff.

Wish I had time to try one of the main activities tonight but that’s just the way it rolls I suppose and the bonus activities look so much fun .. maybe tomorrow ?

The storify of tonight’s Twitter shower is here .



Flexible, Open and Social Learning – Reflections on Digital Literacy and Identity

New Friends … Old Friends

 What do points make ? Badges …

Twitter Shower

We were asked to do some pre-reading on Digital Capabilities by Helen Beetham http://digitalcapability.jiscinvolve.org/wp/revisiting-digital-capability-for-2015/ and this proved quite stimulating with what seemed like hundreds of questions being posed and lots of answers flying about … it was great fun, if somewhat hectic.


The storify of the shower can be found here 

#FOS4L : Day 1 Digital literacy and identity – Making Activity – Places that I visit online

Making: Which places do you visit regularly when online? Where do you stay a bit longer and why? Create a map of your digital me. (ilo-3)

I’m not sure it will come out ok but here is my map of my personal learning environment (PLE) where I engage ( at the moment ) of places where I go online….. as for the places where I stay the longest – I think for me this is a combination of wordpress, twitter and also more recently Google+, I think the main thing in common is probably the sense of connectedness and social presence that I get from these places which helps me to feel part of something .. if that makes sense

2015-07-05 17.37.04 (2)

Day 1 : (Monday) Flexible,Open and Social Learning

Flexible, Open, Social Learning
Flexible, Open, Social Learning

Well Day 1 is finally here …  there has been a buzz of activity going around as people start to join in the fun and games.  We are looking at Digital Literacy Today and Connecting with others …


So just what is this FOS thing all about then ?

Flexible, Open, Social Learning
Flexible, Open, Social Learning

Well FOS stands for flexible, open and social learning and I’m part of the co-facilitator team for a new  5-day open learning event developed by Chrissi Nerantzi and Sue Beckingham. We start tomorrow Monday 13th July to Friday 17th of July 2015.   It is an an openly licensed learning event for educators working in higher education who are interested to learn more about flexible, open and social learning.

The topics we will be exploring using a playful enquiry-based approach are:

  • Digital literacy and identity
  • Flexible pedagogies
  • Supporting learning
  • Communities and collaboration
  • Open education

The 5 C Framework

The FOS event uses the 5C  framework  (connecting, communicating, curating, collaborating and creating) using freely available digital technologies.  Oooh and I nearly forgot … it also has the opportunity to claim open digital badges … and of course I do love a badge #deblovesbadges 🙂  so I am really looking forward to that.

The 5C Framework

 From Participant to Co-Facilitator and back again …

I’m really looking forward to this as I had so much fun and learnt such a lot when I was a participant on the Bring Your Own Device course https://byod4learning.wordpress.com/ earlier this year so it will be really interesting to take part in this event not only as a participant but also to see how things go from the other side as a Co-facilitator !

So there are lots of really exciting things to keep us busy … including apparently a Twitter Shower …. !  I’m hoping to write a blog post reflecting on my thoughts for each day … fingers crossed …

Twitter Showers ….

If you want to know more check out the FOS google+ community or follow the#FOS4L hashtag on twitter !

I would highly recommend it … organic participative learning at its best ( to ‘almost’quote the lovely  Chrissi Nerantzi)