Lessons learnt – future practice

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41t6o0This is the last topic for this Open Network learning (ONL) course. What have I learnt and how can I use the contents? Well, my earlier blogs (topics 1-4) talks for themselves, as they mirrors some parts. Above that, the course has given me different perspectives of making a good course. Making a course, can be seen as a journey for the students 8it has for me). The teacher is the train driver, coaching the students by learning activities stimulating them to be ready for each ticket control, i.e. assessments. However, making an online course demands higher or other pedagogical skills than face-to face courses. I’m very aware of and humble of that insight.

Emotions is an important part in education, and must be a part in online learning. By emotional learning activities, the students may be more motivated as this has an influence on socialization in a group but also for the cognitive presence.

I will bring this emotional feeling with me working with colleges creating online courses. Each of us have responsible to improve new pedagogical skills and be creative, there are so much out there….but as a working team we can encourage, share our experience and be humble to each other during this process.

The digital technology has developed during my time working as a teacher. It is important to learn and be curious about new tools. However, it is better to be good at some few tools than to many, which probably will be confusing, both for myself and my students.

As a result of my involvement in ONL, I will be humbler to my students about online learning, both from learning and technology perspectives. Why? The quality of learning is often more important than the quantity. If the pedagogical quality is good and the students are feeling trust and comfort, the quantity will come naturally during the course and after the three-year program as a whole, I believe.

So, what is my suggestions for development of eLearning in my own teaching? Well, first…..Just DO IT! I will try to be more creative in making learning activities that influence student motivation of learning themselves, making them curious of learning but also to reflect on their own learning process. Of course, this is natural parts within higher education, I know that. But to find tools and implement that in eLearning is another step to take, at least for me.  Here, I’m very humble, having listening to experts explaining the teaching, social and cognitive presence as important part in a community of inquire (see Topic 2-4 in my Blog).

I want to thank my wonderful PBL group 3 and our facilitators, you have made this course very valuable and inspiring. I have learned so much from you, thanks for sharing!

Take care and be aware!

//Ulrika

P.S. Next ONL course starts 14th September 2020, do apply!

Design for online and blended learning

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person using black and silver laptop computer

Photo by Peter Olexa on Pexels.com

This course, Open Network Learning (ONL), was a strategical choice for me to apply for this spring, as I’m together with my colleges at Karlstad University are planning for the new Dental hygiene program, starting in August. One part of our “new” program is related to the theoretical parts in the courses, that will mainly be online. I have had online course within higher education before, how hard can it be…? (so very wrong of me)

During my stay at the Ohio State University (thanks to a STINT scholarship “Teaching sabbatical”) in the fall 2019, I was impressed by their pedagogical ways to use both face- to face and online as complementary. I also took part in some of their courses about online learning. They had a lot of learning activities keeping the students active and both the teachers and students felt presence the whole course. They were also good at giving the students feedback in different ways. This was of course based on the good preparations by the teachers planning the course design and then progresses to facilitate and direct instructions to ensure the successful resolution of the tasks. This ONL course, have indeed increased my awareness about that this is what Blended learning is about. However, new pedagogical skills, for example about the “Community of Inquiry (COI)” as well as knowledge about digital technology (as a tool), is needed. Here, I can recommend prof. G Salmon (2013) “The Five Stage Model” which focuses on online blended learning, but also Prof. M Cleveland- Inns & D Wilton (2018) and Majeski et al (2018), talking about COI and emotional presence in online learning.

My experience from OSU together with the ONL course have given me opportunities to further develop my knowledge within the area, but also increased my cognitive ability to better understand the possibilities and quality but also challenges with open network learning. This is about a way of think and approach teaching in another way. I think this is one of the most important things that I will bring planning for online courses in the future.

In the time for the Covid-19 pandemic, I have listening to teachers at high school (in Sweden). It has been (still are) difficult and demanding, both for them and their pupils in different ways. Online teaching has been a challenge. However, many teachers have also described that this is also a good thing. For some pupils, the online teaching has been very suitable for their learning. For examples, pupils who are introvert now feeling that they can join the class activities in a better way and they can concentrate on tasks in a better way not being disturbed. Only traditional face- to- face teaching is maybe not the best way for every one? Maybe Blended learning, i.e. a combination of both, is the best way? Actually, this is also something that is discussed now. However, based on my new experience from the area, time to prepare and get the pedagogical skills for this is important, and must be seen as a progress, both for the teachers and pupils/student’s perspective.

Well, I have really realized that online learning and teaching is far more than I thought before, it is another kind of pedagogic which demands knowledge from us as educators. It also takes time to learn and to practice. You also need time to reflect of what Blended learning is for you as a teacher, and in what way you can adapt it for your students. There are some good literature and articles to read, even you tube videos about the area (see ONL web site for different topics).

Our PBL group3, made an illustration of our view of an online and blended learning course design, seeing the course as a journey. I want to share tour work “The Journey to Blended Learning“.

Take care and be aware!

//Ulrika

Learning in communities – networked collaborative learning

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blåsippaOnline learning – What is that really about?

I have been a teacher within higher education for many years now. Working with online learning feels like a gradually transition in different ways during this time, both from a technology and pedagogical perspective. My own Personal Learning Networks (PLN) have developed from just e-mail communication to different social medias (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin) but also to a number of digital tools in my professional work. However, I must admit that I could be more creative. The use of technology can enable networks for learning processes but it is not always easy and there are both benefits and challenges.

I remember my first online teaching project (1990s). Just after the implementation of the computer (at my university), we (me and my colleague), introduced an e-mail project, where our students had an online discussion with students in another country. They worked pair wise with different oral health topics and were then instructed to share their new knowledge and reflections to the other students. Our intension was to learn from each other.  Our biggest challenges that time were; 1) not all student had computers, 2) limitation of the language (English), 3) limitation of knowledge using the computer, and 4) writing e-mail.

Since that time, both technology and online teaching has developed. Our students are also more or less familiar with all those things that were seen as challenges before. However, there are other kind of challenges today and, the transition is still going on for both teachers and students.

The knowledge of digital technology is important in online learning, but the pedagogical aspect must also have a prominent influence choosing digital tools and methods. You can’t just record online lectures for the students, add articles and literature online for them to read, divide the students into groups and then have a final written report at the end of the course. I don’t think I am the only one…..No, it is about learning in a community (the students in a class) working together collaboratively.

Online learning is about participation and interactivity but can varies in quality and quantity of interactivity dramatically from course to course. The students need to be guided.

“I don’t know how to do, then I don’t do anything”.

Thus, we (teachers) need to create an environment for the students that promotes participation and collaborative activities. Here, we can allow us to be creative with the digital technology, but also mixing face- to- face activities. This picture illustrates different tools for collaborative learning activities.

collborative learning

Figure. Collaborative learning (flickr.com, public domain)

Pedagogical benefits of collaborative learning include; development of critical thinking skills, co-creation of knowledge and meaning, reflection and transformative learning. You can read more about this here.

During this ONL201 course, I have taken an important step in my personal learning network development. This include an active participation within my community (my online PBL group), learning from my colleagues’ diverse experiences and contexts, self-reading, webinars, own and others blog, twitter shat, face-to face synchronized discussions etc.  This is also a good example of a collaborative learning experience.

To be a student in an online course about online learning is of great value!

Can Covid-19 influence Oral health?

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

In times of Covid-19, openness and sharing are important! So, why not apply this to the Topic 2 “Open Learning – Sharing and Openness“, in my ongoing course Open Network Learning (ONL201). Even within Dental care, openness and sharing is of importance in times with Covid-19.

Why be open and share?

As for health care, dental care also is involved and have taken precautions. This will probable also have consequences for oral health later on.

How?

To help ensure that general healthcare has access to hygiene materials, a lot of the Dental Public and Private clinics are closed or have a limit access. Thus, dental care in most regions encourages patients to reschedule to a later appointment if not an acute situation.  Your regular dental checkups will be canceled or postponed, and this will also include outreach activities in the nursing homes and schools.

In times of this, our habits may change in different ways. Maybe you are laid off from work, work from home or actually are ill and feel alone. We need something to cheer us up with! We like to take a little extra break with coffee and sweets and soft drinks are a comfort for many. This is understandable and is okay, if it goes on for a short time. However, if this goes on for a longer time and become a habit it will probably have consequences such as caries and gum disease. When access to dental care is limited, this will be a problem.

What can I do?

The best part is that you actually have the chance to prevent these problems by yourself. Oral health prevention actions will not just help yourself but also others by not having to seek out dental care in these times with Covid-19 and also later. Help yourself and you will also help others!

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes
    with two centimeter fluoride toothpaste (2+2+2). Clean all sites on the teeth!
  2. Clean in between the teeth using for example interdental brushes, tooth pik or floss.

3. Cut down on sugar and reflect on how often you eat during a day.


Take care!

//Ulrika

(Images made by U. Lindmark (created using mural.com)
Creative Commons:  by

 

Readings and tips in English

Healthline and Bloggs about oral health:
https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/best-blogs-oral-health#1

Readings and tips in Swedish

“Så håller du tänderna rena”, 1177:
https://www.1177.se/Varmland/liv–halsa/tandhalsa/sa-haller-du-tanderna-rena/

Podden “Blodad tand”:
https://www.blodadtandpodcast.se/pdf

Topic 1: Online participation & digital literacies

  • Who am I as an individual in the digital age, and what characterizes your journey so far?
apple device cellphone communication device

Photo by NEOSiAM 2020 on Pexels.com

Topic 1 in our ONL201 explores “Online participation & Digital literacies” which I find both interesting but also sometimes difficult to understand. My experience is that it has happened so much in a very short time. Maybe, it depends on my digital age. And what does that mean? Well, for me, it means that I red books, borrowed books at our local or school library and didn’t use digital tools in school at all. Me and my boyfriend (now husband) went to Australia with no mobiles to use for calling our parents. We used telephone boxes or just an analog telephone. I also remember my farther in law in 1980th, when he had bought a new digital mobile phone, weight of 5 kg. It was amazing! When I began my work at the University in 1994, most of us had a simple typing machine. In 1996 (I think) me and my colleges got a computer to our office. How old am I, you may think? Not to old….55 years 😉

  • How about my own digital literacy and identity in personal and professional life, and how they are linked or how you separate them?

This topic is about digital literalities. What is that may you think? I do. One definition is described as “Digital literacies are those capabilities which fit an individual for living, learning and working in a digital society”. Link 

Digital literalities are about behaviors, practices and identities within the digital world. It is not about function and techniques according to the literature. Digital literalities are also changeable, are depending on the context and people’s interests. Doug Belshaw have made an interesting presentation about “The essential elements of digital literacies” at TEDxWarwick (recommended). He uses for example Memos as an example describing digital literacies (very funny, interesting but also scary). Link
He says it is about individuals’ interest about important issues and a Remix of eight elements: Communicative, Civic, Critical, Creative, Confident and Culture. eight elements; Cognitive, Constructive. It is more than just “elegant consumption”.

  • So, how about my own digital literacy…….

David Wight talks about digital literacy from two perspective, the Visitors and Residential perspective, which I find interesting. From my perspective, I (as many other) have moved from a visitor (inactive) to be like a more of a residential (active) user. In a same time, I can change to be more of a visitor, i.e. take a break of being active and creative. It is also about me acting as a person or as a professional. I try to separate that most of the time. I would say that I’m in the middle of an active digital transition where digital litaricity is of importance. To be continued…..

//Ulrika

ONL201 – Connecting week

This 1st week is focusing on connecting to the international course Open Network Learning 201 (ONL201) and my PBL-group3. On the first webinar our PBL-leader and Co-leader presented themselves and the course. I met all the 8 group members representing Sweden, Finland, Asia and Australia. In total, there are 13 international groups. Fantastic!

The course is based on Problem Based Learning (PBL), which I have some earlier experiences from, but not in this digital context. Read more about PBL for universities here and here. Very interesting! This blog is also an important tool in the course. Except a way to present my self, the blog will also be used for reflection and feedback from members on the topics including in the course. Thus, each topic will be added here including my reflections. Hopefully, this can be of interest even for cyber readers also.

//Ulrika

Open network learning ONL201

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Grand Canyon

This year I will start to write on my blog again. Online teaching inspire me and within my work as a teacher I will use this in different ways more and more.  I have decided to join an open networked learning course https://www.opennetworkedlearning.se, and this is the Blog that will be used to present my learning experience in this area. A new perspective and challenges …

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Kunskapstörst!

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Gunhild Stordalen älskar mat. Hon säger att det är val av mat som kan rädda världen. Hon gör det väldigt bra, ett fantastiskt flyt och med en värme förmedlar hon detta budskap. Hon påminner mig om den tyvärr framlidne professorn Hans Rosling. Han kunde också förmedla viktiga budskap på ett lättsamt och populärvetenskapligt sätt. Jag har nu två idoler! Men bakom denna fantastiska kunskap ligger det en hel del timmars arbete med att ta del av fakta och vetenskaplig evidens som styrker det de säger.

Att förmedla vetenskap till allmänheten på ett lättsamt, begripligt och medryckande sätt, är ett av de stora utmaningarna vi som forskar har. Samtidigt är det ju det som är en del av meningen med forskningen. Det finns dock olika och mer eller mindre svårbegripliga områden och som intresserar allmänheten. Vissa områden lämpar sig bäst för vissa professioner och är till för deras utveckling helt enkelt. Då har vi yrkesspecifika konferenser och andra forum, vilket också fyller sitt syfte. Denna blogg har ett sådant syfte. Eftersom jag också arbetar på tandhygienistprogrammet, känns det naturligt att även förmedla lite kring utbildningsfrågor.

I morgon blir det disputation på Hälsohögskolan i Jönköping. Johanna Norderyd försvarar sin avhandling ” A biopsychosocial approach to functioning, oral health and specialist dental health care in children with disabilities – Swedish and international perspectives”. Förra veckan var jag i Malmö där Åsa Wahlin försvarade sin avhandling ” Periodontal health and disease in two Swedish adult populations”. Det är många dagar och timmar som läggs ner på en doktorsavhandling som ofta består av fyra delarbeten i form av empiriska studier och en ramberättelse där ämnesområdet och studierna beskrivs. Ofta ligger dessa ute på nätet och är tillgängliga för allmänheten och profession.

Kunskapstörst och nyfikenhet är moroten till kunskapsutveckling. Vi kan välja att läsa studier och avhandlingar själva eller lyssna till andras mer populärvetenskapliga sammanställning. Det viktiga är att kunskapstörsten alltid finns där.

//Ulrika

Att glömma…

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 ”Kunskap är det du kommer ihåg efter att du glömt det du lärt dig”, eller? Vissa saker jag hör och läser fastnar bara inte och annat stannar kvar. Varför är det så? Vad är kunskap egentligen?

Om jag tycker det jag läser och ser har praktisk nytta  blir det intressant. Det kommer jag också ihåg. Kunskap är något jag arbetar med på många olika sätt i mitt arbete. Jag försöker förmedla och ge verktyg så att studenter kan använda sin kunskap i kommande yrkesutövning. Min roll är att hjälpa studentern att se nyttan och praktisk användning av kunskapen. Ett sätt är ”learning by doing”, dvs man blandar teori (förstå) och praktik (begriplig). Kunskap måste kännas meningsfull och finnas i ett sammanhang som vi kan relatera vår verklighet till! Kunskap utvecklas också i samspel med andra människor, i ett socialt erfarenhetsmässigt samspel. Detta är ett pedagogiskt resonemang från pedagogiska filisoferna Dewey och Vygotsky, men rimmar också väl med sociologen Antonovsky (Känslan av sammanhang). Det borde även vara av intresse för tandvårdspersonal.

I tandvården är kunskapsförmedling en central del i arbetet i syfte att bl a påverka munhälsobeteende. Kunskapförmedling till patienter i olika åldrar, kunskap till föräldrar och kunskap till vårdpersonal är några exempel. Hur vet vi att kunskapen kommer till nytta, förstås och blir begriplig? Utifrån vems verklighet förmedlar vi kunskap? Hälsopedagogik är absolut något även för tandvårdspersonal!

//Ulrika