Keep Calm and Carry On

Here I am taking a deep breath and trying something new. Something that is exciting and scary at the same time. Something that makes me feel both energized and vulnerable. Something that reminds me how our students often must feel. And for that perspective and reminder alone, I am grateful. This blog is one of the many risks I am taking this year as I leap off the virtual edge of teaching and learning. I have physically and metaphorically removed the walls of my classroom by taking a professional leave from my school to work on my Master’s in Educational Technology and Design at the University of Saskatchewan. As I live in Calgary, I am a student in a way I have never before experienced. My learning is entirely online. For an elementary school teacher who holds relationships and connections at the heart of my work I struggled at first to truly understand this world of online learning. However, I have quickly realized that everything at the core of learning is still present even if it is not immediately recognizable or it takes a different shape. In fact the learning is far beyond what it has ever been for me as a student. I feel invigorated, renewed and enthused. To have the time and space to think deeply, wonder widely and connect richly is unbelievable to me. I am so inspired.

This blog is my first assignment in EC&I 831(Social Media and Open Education). The theme of this course is taking risks and exploration, and creating a blog certainly fits both for me. I have been a teacher for 13 years and my experiences have included Kindergarten to Grade 6, special ed, a range of schools, team teaching and leadership. I am grateful for the rich diversity in my career as it continually challenges me and pushes my practice forward. Technology has always been a part of my teaching and in many forms. I love the variety, richness and depth of experiences that it makes possible for students and teachers. I am excited this course will move me outside my comfort zone and encourage me to ponder big ideas, but I am also really looking forward to being connected to a network of educators that will support me in discovering new ways of “doing”.

Doing means connecting learning to essential skills, such as collaborating, communicating and creating. Doing means to go beyond basic literacy to include information, media, network, intercultural and ethical literacies. Doing means taking advantage of technology tools that allow students and professionals to create personal learning networks. (Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, http://www.globallyconnectedlearning.com/)

6 thoughts on “Keep Calm and Carry On

  1. It is an amazing experience to put oneself formally back into the learner’s seat, especially one that is so foreign to our “typical way of being”. The very nature of our jobs relies heavily upon our abilities to foster genuine face to face relationships with colleagues, parents and the students in our care. To become an on-line learner, relying on technology to connect us over the miles, seems so isolated and lonely at first glance. I vividly recall questioning my own abilities to make effective connections through an on-line course with the University of Alberta. Would I be engaged? Would this experience be meaningful? Would I feel anonymous? Would I walk away enriched and rejuvenated by the process? What could I possibly have to contribute to the discussions? I was absolutely amazed when I discovered how little time it actually took to be drawn into the magic of on-line learning. What began as fear with the unknown soon became one of my most memorable and treasured learning experiences. Let’s hear it for the magic of technology! It is good to move out of the comfort zone. It is a healthy reflection of lifelong learning – a characteristic we strive to encourage in every student we work with. I look forward to being inspired along with you as I follow your blog!

    Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.
    ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

  2. Welcome to the bloggosphere Tannis! It’s such a great forum for thinking and putting your thoughts out there, but you’re right, there is a certain element of vulnerability that is inherent in blogging. I wish you the best on this journey and I’ve subscribed. (mine is tangoedtech.com….also on wordpress).
    I call myself a ‘shameless self-promoter’ as I tried to grow my own readership.
    We have to promote ourselves….if we don’t…..who will?

    • It is nice to join a seasoned veteran like yourself! I shamefully promoted myself on the 873 session tonight…did you see? I am following your blog now and I am grateful to be on this journey together.
      Tannis

  3. Your blogs are insightful, honest and enjoyable to read. I understand the reticence to go public as it were, and become vulnerable. However, Nelson Mandella’s words fit here I think: ‘who are you to not let your light shine?Shine on!
    I did not respond to all your blogs but I have enjoyed reading them. Carry on and be encouraged!

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