Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The 23 Things for Learning 2.0: Post #1

Hello! Welcome to a special series of blog postings for the online instructor. This series is brought to you by the Instructional Designers from Distance Education at TWU as a professional development self discovery program. It is designed for you to do on your own.

On future posts, you will encounter the tools of Web 2.0 that are bringing users in touch with the entire world through social networking, video, audio, and and more. The Instructional Design Team encourages you to take time to explore and enjoy all the tools of this new Internet and discover how they may be applied to learning.

Read on!

For this series of postings, there are 23 Things for you to complete. Each post will show you one more web tool. There are many places for you to explore, experiment with, and think about creative ways to use 2.0 tools in your courses.

Learning 2.0 is a discovery learning program created by Helene Blowers. Content and style for Learning 2.0 have been borrowed and duplicated with permission, under a Creative Commons License.

Each post begins with a brief explanation of a new web 2.0 topic or tool, followed by Discovery Exercises. These exercises give you the background you need to understand the tools you're learning about. After the Discovery Exercises, you'll find a Thing -- activity -- to complete. After each Thing you will write about the experience on a blog you will create. In other words, you will comment or "post" to your online log (Blog.) You will learn how to set up a blog on the 2nd post of this series. This is a tool to communicate your thoughts, new found skills, ideas, questions, and favorite websites. It's your space!


Post 1:
#1. Please begin by reading & finding out about the 23 Things program.
#2. Discover a few pointers from lifelong learners and learn how to nurture your own learning process.

#1 (Post 1) This 23 Things for Learning 2.0 series of blog postings has been set-up to encourage all of us to experiment and learn about the new and emerging technologies that are reshaping the context of teaching, learning and information. The Instructional Design Team modified The Learning 2.0 program designed by Helene Blowers, Technology Director, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County and is loosely based upon Stephen Abram's article, 43 Things I (or You) might want to do this year (Information Outlook - February 2006) and the website 43 Things

Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How does this work? This is a self-discovery program which encourages participants to take control of their own learning and to utilize their lifelong learning skills through exploration and play. This content is web-based and not tied to any particular computer. In fact, you may want to work at home or in your TWU office.

2. Is this program open to everyone or just some? This program is open to all who want to learn and grow. Participate individually or as a group. The benefit to participating as a part of a group is that your cheer one another along. Participants tell us this is incredibly rewarding and also a way to learn from one another. Don’t we all like positive reinforcement?

3. How long do I have to complete these activities? This is a series of 9 blog postings. The idea is that you work on a new “thing” or activity every other week. However, you may work ahead or take a week off here and there. It is up to you how fast you decide to work!

4. How do I track my progress for the 23 Things? You will be asked to make a blog of your own to track your progress. Please use your blog to write your reactions and add any ideas you may have on how to use web 2.0 tools for yourself and your courses. This is YOUR time to experiment, have fun, and learn at your own pace.

We recommend you to label your blog posts this way: Include THING # in the heading of each post. It will help you track your progress. It is also helpful when you want to refer back or add something new on a specific topic or tool.

5. Will there be any training classes offered to show participants how to do this? No, this is a self-directed learning program. We will provide helpful hints, encouraging words, and post comments from time to time. You are also encouraged to be resourceful and to find a co-worker or another staff member who can help. Be sure to share your knowledge and expertise too!

6. Why Do This? Web 2.0 is a phrase that was coined in 2004. It refers to the fact that the Internet is now an interactive medium rather than a ‘place’ to go to get information. Since it is the young who are flocking to these Web 2.0 sites, it is important that those of us who work in with learners be up-to-date with the latest trends in education and technology and learn how they can be utilized in or with our classrooms and courses.

#2 (Post 1) Lifelong Learning Habits

It makes sense that before we embark on this online learning and discovery journey that we review a few habits that can assist in creating lifelong learners. These habits, called the Seven and 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners, will provide you with a refresher on what it means to be a lifelong learner.

The Seven and ½ Habits tutorial is a great introduction to Helene Blowers, the person who put together the very first “23 Things.” [Please note that at the end, where she invited her staff to submit their comments and questions to the We Value Your Opinion! link, DO NOT use that link. Instead, post your comments here on this blog or on your own blog. Here are instructions on how to leave a comment on this blog:]

Discovery Exercise:
1. Make sure you have headphones or speakers attached to your computer.

2. Open up the 7 & 1/2 Habits online tutorial and view the online tutorial. The tutorial was developed by the training specialists at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.

3. As you watch and listen, write down which habit among the 7 & 1/2 that is easiest for you and which is hardest. You will use your personal blog (which you will set up in the next post in this series) to post your thoughts about lifelong learning. Have fun! If you haven't jumped on board yet, it's never too late to become a lifelong learner. This is a great time to create a “learning contract” for yourself.

Next Up: Creating a blog so you can begin tracking your journey.

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