Although I don’t think that I am able to exactly transfer to you how my feelings and reasoning have evolved, I can tell that working with a diverse group has opened my eye on aspects that I have never been aware of and helped me understand how other educators think and solve problematic issues. As the time passes, they became family and I started to constitute my own thoughts about everyone in the group. We are a combination of characters, the wise, the funny, the organised, the quiet, the online courses-expert, the leader and the artistic. I don’t know if I am allowed to send judges, but I feel that creativity lies within heterogeneity.
I loved the idea of having a small group to collaborate with and the bigger community discussions. It’s more like working with your home family, and then, you can make visits with your relatives together and if you are unable to attend, no worries there has been someone who has recorded the good moments for you. In fact, at the same time of the commencement of the ONL course, I participated in a 3-days workshop that offered training to a good number of educators on similar concepts. I must say that I was more comfortable with expressing my emotions and discussing the raised topics in the online environment that the ONL offers, yet face to face discussion has its splendour that mesmerises me.
My conceptualisation of dealing with the issues proposed at the ONL course has moved to different levels. I am ashamed to tell you that before I joined the ONL course, my understanding of the Google Drive and how it works was unclear. Now, I can work on a range of online tools, maybe not proficiently, but I can develop my skills on the instrument I prefer and the most importantly, I learned how to search for the tools that I need for a certain task. I know that I am not lonely and that I can relay on supportive people who share the same passion of raising the level of education, even if I meet them in a 20-minutes break room during a webinar. These people with their smiley faces can make you talk, regardless of your culture, experience or maybe your language literacy.
One thing that I would love to have it in this course is how to train my students on dealing with the available resources, since this is a very important role of the faculty even for facilitating tasks required in traditional courses.
Once I get back to active work at my university, I have few objects I need to concentrate on:
– start supporting my students before the course begins and set rules together on a digital platform.
– begin exchanging feedbacks with my students and co-teacher as early as possible and write them down to see the progress of my students.
– go open through helping my colleagues as much as possible and giving away my resources.
– keep developing my digital and language skills.
Although they seem very simple steps, it can be a good start for me 😊