Me as a learner
My first couple of weeks in this class was filled with some apprehension, uncertainty , and fear that I might struggle to complete the required work properly. I have taken a couple of hybrid classes in the past; but this is the first 100% online class that I have taken. I did not quite know what it was going to be like. However, as I stated in my first reflection “I was both excited to learn more about Digital storytelling, and a little nervous about having to use, for the first time ever, all the programs mentioned in the syllabus. Programs such as Twitter, Flickr, SoundCloud, WordPress, etc.” With time and the help of the class community, including the DS106 support staff, I became more and more comfortable with manipulating the different tools used in the class. For instance I was very relieved when I successfully posted my first Daily Create onto DS106. I really struggled with understanding the step by step instructions and ended up engaging in a conversation via e-mail with the DS106 support stuff who helped me better understand the process. My confidence level soared after that day and I started posting my contributions with much less technical issues. I am very glad I took this class because I can now use a lot of the programs I have never used before. I am definitely going to continue using Twitter, WordPress, Soundcloud, and all the programs I have discovered along the way. The Gallery walk was a great opportunity to learn more from my peers by reviewing the work they have done and the tools used. For instance, I learned more about the Green Screen tool by looking at Lisa’s Gallery walk submission.
My co-design of this course
This class is different from any class I have taken before because the daily interactions with my peers and instructor are solely via the internet. I learned from this class that online classes require for the student to really develop self-discipline and time management skills in order to avoid stressing over meeting deadlines. It is very easy to procrastinate if one does not have to show up to a class at a given time.
Through my weekly posts and my comments and questions after reviewing work submitted by my peers, I contributed to the development of this course and of the learning community. This course was a good opportunity for me to share my experience and to learn about other people’s. It was also a platform where different perspectives were shared on different issues. In most other classes the feedback received is from the instructor solely. I learned more in this class by receiving feedback from multiple sources – instructor and peers.
My understanding of pedagogy
This class helped me develop my technological proficiency and confidence. Therefore as an educator the benefits of taking this course are already visible in my classroom. Before this class I was mainly using written stories and PowerPoint in order to provide the students with an opportunity to use the vocabulary and rules learned in context. With the introduction of digital stories in my practice, I can now be sure that I reach more students than before. I am now not only reaching visual learning style students, but also the auditory students. Additionally the rise in my technological confidence level has inspired me to explore the limits of the Promethean board available in my classroom. The physical interaction with the board has allowed me to reach the tactile students as well.
I tremendously enjoyed this class and am very happy that I took it over other course options that were offered to me. The instructor was very responsive and helpful.
A piece of information that I think would to be beneficial to novice users of DS106 is that the posts do not show right after they are published in our blogs. I learned from talking to the DS106 staff that they check and push the posts every hour.