Media AQ – Early Reflections
I am working my way through the first unit of my Media Specialist AQ. I am in that strange situation at the beginning of these online courses when you have access to all of the reading and assignments, but are not yet able to post (this begins on Monday). This means that I am completing the assignments (a trip to England beckons and I don’t want to fall behind!), but don’t have the benefit of the discussion groups, sharing, and inspiration that comes from reading the posts of others in the course.
Experiencing this in the context of media has me reflecting on just how much the learning experience has changed for me over time. When I was in high school (pre-internet, early PC), learning was an individual pursuit. There may be any number of reasons for this (school culture, teacher practice, English emphasis on discipline etc) but the common approach was to be given an assignment and a period of time to complete it and not to dare “copy” or “share” ideas with others in the class. Again, I don’t know for sure if this was just my experience or the common one for my generation, but talking with friends I am comfortable assuming it wasn’t just me.
Fast forward twenty years to today and I am feeling a sense of isolation in knowing that there are a small group of other people, somewhere on the internet, working on the exact same topics and reading the exact same things as I am, and I am desperate to know their thoughts to help me further develop my own. Since the beginning of time learning has been a collaborative pursuit. It is one of the big regrets I have looking back on my own schooling that this was something very rarely afforded to me in my secondary education, and something that I remain conscious about with every class I teach.There is no doubt that the impact social media and the internet have had on education has taken the concept of collaboration to a level unimaginable to me as a student in the early 90’s, and I am always conscious of not imposing the same limitations on my students that I experienced.