Course Philosophy

As one former student points out in her ONID portfolio, you might feel a little silly as an experienced educator taking a 400-level course with the term “fundamentals” in the title. However, as the comment on that post argues, this is an area of immense change and constant newness, to the point that the title of the course (specifically Web 2.0) almost no longer seems appropriate.

It is my goal to make this course relevant to your current and future practice as educators and build a foundation, comprised of the ONID porfolio, a nascent PLN/PLE, and the other assignments and explorations that we will undertake. In order to do this, and to also practice the preachings of The Open Web and the notion of true cohort-based collaboration, I will strive to be as responsive and radically oriented to the ways we build learning and competency around the very big concepts that this course attempts to cover.

To do this, I’ve reimagined the already solid and well built course design to be as relevant as possible to the state of society and our own presences on the web in the current moment. This is my first time teaching this course, so I am open to your suggestions about ways that it can be improved and changed.

Here are the design choices that I think will create a valuable experience for you in this course:

1. Consider me a member of the cohort.

I have enough experience and educational credentials that both myself and the UAF School of Education have deemed me qualified to teach it. But I am not an expert on every technology or on every teaching practice. In  will be learning from you. We will be learning together, as a community of inquiry.

2. You have the ability and my permission to edit any part of this site, with the exception of the syllabus.

Wow, such power. What if one of you commits internet graffiti or deletes a page? Well, the student code of conduct still applies, and I’m going to bet that won’t happen. I will actually be thrilled if someone goes beyond fixing a spelling error here or a broken link there. But as a matter of practice, it’s both a symbol of trust and a potentially powerful structure for working together, and could potentially be useful to you as you decide how to structure your own personal blog portfolios. This course site will also remain in place after the completion of the course, with relevant links to portfolios and other resources. I want you to have shared ownership of this site, which is nothing more than a locus for our other activity. If you change your site or your Twitter handle down the road, you can come back here and update it. Fine by me.

3. Tools don’t matter.

Ok, they matter, and the evaluation and informed implementation of them is extremely important. But as you will learn throughout the ONID program, tools should never lead pedagogy and should always support the goals you are trying to achieve as well as harmonize with your own teaching philosophy. This is why I am going to allow you to choose the ways in which we collaborate in this course, by completing the Initial Survey which attempts to gather your preference from a set of choices