Themes and terminology

In the spirit of IDEL, I thought it was about time to start experimenting on this blog with a few different online tools. I’ve pulled some of the recurring themes and new terminology (for me) that I’ve picked up during the course so far and pulled them into a wordcloud. It’s not hugely different from a list but the aesthetics are certainly more appealing!

Some quick thoughts on themes and terminology from weeks 0-4:

  • I’ve been surprised to see so many political themes used throughout the readings, I didn’t anticipate this. Again it may because I’m not part of the ‘education’ world per se, but the political influence in this area is very apparent with papers such as Hall, R. (2016). This was quite an eye-opener – not particularly due to the content but the author’s (rather militant?) approach to the subject.
  • I’ve dipped my toe into certain learning theories before. Cognitivism is certainly a recurring theme in my circles, and I think this may be as a result of the on-going strive for efficiency. Given the online training is largely delivered under the rationale of knowledge transfer, it makes sense that those developing it what want to understand the workings of the mind, and use this as a basis for their approach. It’s been interesting to explore other approaches such as cognitivism, which seems (from my experience at least) to be a much broader, and richer way of looking at education and learning. I’m looking forward to exploring how this can be used as a tangible framework.
  • It was reassuring on the recent skype to hear that some of the terminology and concepts used so far were new to many of us and not just me! It’s certainly a big learning curve so far to get to grips some of the recommended reading materials, but feel the papers are becoming easier and quicker to digest. Admittedly it’s still taking time to familiarise myself with the key concepts (‘trans-humanism’ and ‘post-humanism’ are still a challenge), but I’m starting to recognise these. The course itself has been very approachable, and this has been the glue that has binded it all together (as it should!).
  • I’ve very much enjoyed experiencing the different forms of communication. The mix of asynchronous (forums, introductory videos and blog feedback) and synchronous (skype chat and skype voice) provides different benefits, and on the flipside different challenges. I felt a strange feeling of relief after the first skype chat session, I think this was because I didn’t feel that I was on a different ‘playing field’ as the others and could add to the discussions. It also reduced that sense of isolation, which I feel is unfortunately common in many online learning/training experiences.
  • Following on from the last bullet, having read and re-read Biesta (2012) I’m certainly aware of my own tendency to ‘learnify’, which may not be the right choice. I’m increasingly becoming more aware of the role of a teacher, and the importance of this, and this is something I’m sure I will continue to ruminate on.

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