Every week, Scottish educators; John Johnston and David Noble, broadcast an online radio show; Edutalk in which they talk to people doing interesting things in the world of education, ICT and digital technology. Last Wednesday John interviewed Ania Rolinska, an English and Technology officer and tutor from University of Glasgow, who helped facilitate the HANDSON MOOC together with Ian Guest, Head of e-learning at an all girls school in Sheffield, England. Ian was a participant in the 3rd Pilot of the MOOC.
After providing some background on the history and variety of of MOOCs, Ian shared his personal experience of the HANDSON MOOC. Ian described some the eclectic mix of international educators that he worked with, participating in the MOOC, including Grant, a Design and Technology teacher in Australia, Natalia who co-ordinated online learning for medical practitioners in Russian and Uzbekistan and Ida from Portugal who worked with learners who had assistive needs. It gave Ian “a completely different perspective” by working internationally with people he doesn’t meet or work with on an every day basis.
Ania described the HANDSON MOOC and explained its real value for project-based learning in combining a range of structured activities that are underpinned by theory, linked to personal projects selected by the participating teachers. Participating teachers were also supported and encouraged through peer review and mentoring. In addition to using the MOOC’s Canvas platform some participants used their own online spaces and social media to augment the course. The peer review process worked because there was always a critical number participants available to exchange ideas and feedback on the forums, (even with seven language strands). Ania explained how the Learning Design Studio approach enabled people to design authentic teaching and learning activities including lessons, short workshops or whole courses that they could then take away and use.
Ian noted taking the MOOC was clearly linked and relevant to his work in School and that it also allowed him to become familiar with working in a MOOC environment and provide honest professional feedback to peers. “It was an incredibly powerful piece of professional development and I would advocate anybody to have a go” The broadcast also discussed the role of mentors, facilitators and the open nature of the content and course.
Finally, Ania also mentioned that the HANDSON team plan to run a face to face version of the MOOC in Glasgow, towards the end of the project, probably in April. This should be of particular interest to teachers who wish to integrating ICT in their practice using the Learning Design Studio approach. More details will be posted here shortly. And of course as with the online course participants will gain and open Badge and A certificate of completion.
Click on the link below to listen, and/or download the podcast.
I would also like to thank John for choosing to feature HANDSON in Edutalk together with Ania and Ian for these fascinating insights. EDUtalk is organised by David Noble (@parslad) and John Johnston (@johnjohnston) who are happy to provide help and information.