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Sunday, 4 March 2012

Activity One Intro and goals

Hi, As this my first time completing a blog post, I am already learning something new!

Something about me: I have a passion for travelling and new cultures. I enjoy meeting new people and finding out about them and where they live and what they do in their day and lives. I guess this plays into my profession as an OT- finding out about others, their roles, structure in their day and differences in societies.

I have taken on the role as a lecturer for the School of Occupational Therapy (based in Hamilton) for Otago Polytechnic- utilising my occupational therapy practice experience and skills to facilitate others learning in a tertiary environment. I have a lot to learn about being an educator and still define myself as an OT first.

As we work in a blended learning environment, I 'think' we are flexible in how we offer our programme, but is it/ are we/ am I? We ensure that students complete the VARK assessment at the beginning of the course for learning styles. This then is an indicator of how to present material to students and structure a tutorial/ whole class session.  I know flexible learning is more than this though- just can't list everything flexible we do!   Technology has played a big role in being able to run the program across 2 sites (Dunedin and Hamilton).

My goals for the course vary and some revolve around a general increase in knowledge  from an educational perspective.  Some more specific goals are:  Define what is flexible learning within different learning environments and use what I learn to ensure that what I am presenting and facilitating is flexible. I am interested in looking into strategies for flexible learning that will benefit students. My question as I am moving through the course:  Am I planning my sessions to meet the majority of students learning in a 'flexible' nature?  I am interested in the culture and being flexible within this.
One day I hope to feel like I have all the skills and knowledge to identify as an educator first! I plan to build on this introduction through blogs and look forward to activity 2 with Annette here in Hamilton.

2 comments:

  1. A first post and a great post Jayne. Once done it gets easier from there on. Your goals look manageable. I think your question is one which many of us grapple with: "Am I planning my sessions to meet the majority of students learning in a 'flexible' nature?"

    Sometimes it seems inhibiting to always have to consider the students who may not have access. In reality taking an inclusive approach rather than catering to difference is probably harder because it means that the principles of Universal Design have to always be considered. For example, if you had a cohort of people with no electricity, and therefore little chance of using a computer - online learning would have to take a back seat, but this would compromise people with fast internet access who prefer to learn using computers. So what to do?

    One thing in this course that we will be considering is the learning preferences of not only existing students but also potential students. Have you heard of solar powered laptops or the wind-up laptops? Some people have to use a wireless stick to access Internet - anyway some things to think about - how does the teacher choose appropriate technologies and strategies to support learning for everyone in class?

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  2. Thanks Bronwyn, I would need to think more about lack of resources in regards to delievery using a flexible learning approach- rather than 'just' distance learning that I have considered so far due to circumstances with the 2 OT sites and the type of learner I am working with at the moment. Potential students- and flexible learning- Definitely something we need to look at and this could impact on who we market our course to. I will ponder on these thoughts!

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