My learning process during this course was a constant adaptation to meet the requirement of working in an intense collaborative learning community. I forced myself to get outside my comfort zone. I experienced frustration, anxiety, and joy when learning or exchanging with others in a productive experience. I have a better notion of my strengths and areas to improve in social learning practices. I definitely finished with additional questions and plans to act upon that I am sure will be transforming and evolving constantly.
During this brief amount of time I increased my connection with digital communities related with bilingual community and also with other areas of knowledge like art appreciation, digital design, video production, politics, and social change projects. It was an integrative experience where cross cultural practices were reflected in diverse ways.
The accelerated approach focused on daily commitment and active interaction with peers and other networking participants and required adopting pull production practices that I was unfamiliar with. I acquired better understanding of the meaning of contributing building an online platform. As part of the group I shared similar interest with other participants. In the underlying process I tended to interact more with the members who had similar personal and professional interest.
This course happened mainly using social media sites and tools outside our Canvas Learning Managing System. It was addressed in a permeable and public approach where we interacted with others inside and outside our course. It was an enormous difference to have a real digital connection with the networking space. We really applied in practice the challenging and demanding task to develop an online identity, to create a meaningful product, and to attract others to review, comment, or follow your work. I also understand the value of reciprocity in digital relationships. To achieve success in online communities or to become an active part of affinity groups required pertinency, persistency, reciprocity, commitment, and developing a variety of technical skills.
This class required us to assume different roles such as student, supportive partner, co-designer, learning guide, contributor, and critic. Each participant had to be responsible for their own learning, to contribute by developing specific parts of the course, to share our expertise and experience with other members, and for maintaining a constant production flow. We became a strong participative community of learners characterized by being responsible, respectful, and supportive. We also developed a collective understanding of the theory shared by Lankshear and Knobel. I identified common concerns and agreements that shaped our group identity.
Dr. Remi Holden, our instructor applied successfully an ecological pedagogical approach. Students developed passion and enthusiasm in a motivational approach. Participants engaged with the course working through challenges, accelerated immersive practices, and encouraging production of personal-driven interest.
In my opinion it could be beneficial to provide an introductory orientation ahead of time incorporating pushing practices to provide participants with a better understanding of the course practices, requirements, successful examples, setting up their spaces to contribute and so on. I understand this is difficult in a limited summer time frame, but maybe it can be posted as an optional previous preparation for the course, and can be place outside Canvas. I also think I would like to have more opportunities to know more about my peers’ projects. We spend our collaborative time mainly sharing our ideas about digital stories we found in the network. In my opinion it would have more value to provide critiques of our peers’ focal theme production to understand their interest and provide meaningful comments to their specific media production development. I enjoyed the story critiques, but maybe our required comments could be split between classmates’ productions and the ones in the network space.
I think this a recommended course to take at the beginning or at the end of the program. Since It can be a powerful introduction to new literacies or a practice integration of the knowledge acquired during the program. I took it as additional course when finishing the Master, I am glad to decided to participate in it even if with the personal difficulties I faced this summer. I found it very useful to apply and develop in a more constant approach for my professional network. I truly appreciated the opportunity to interact in such an active way with this great learning community and hope to continue developing meaningful relationships with my instructor, peers, and others interested in developing innovative pedagogy.
Finally, I created a section on my working in progress ePortfolio dedicated to highlighting some of my participations and contributions during Learning with Digital Stories. To review the site click on the image provided below: