1. Where are you now, in terms of your own teaching and professional practice and the inclusion of educational technology in that process?
I consider myself pretty advanced in terms of my own teaching as I have established myself as an International Baccalaureate (IB) teacher of Economics and Business Management. And not only am I a teacher of those IB subjects but I also consider myself a successful teacher judging by the results that my students are achieving. Up to 2012 I was teaching in a face-2- face environment in an international IB schools. The results of my students were consistently above the world average, which is a very positive and rewarding thing for a teacher in such a demanding program.
Since 2007 I have also been an examiner for IB Business and Management, which has helped me a lot to understand clearly the external assessment in the subject and to guide my own students towards achieving high scores on the external exams.
Since 2009 I have been a workshop leader and have facilitated many workshops in both Economics and Business Management since then. This allowed me to share my experience with fellow teachers and also to experience new ideas and enrich my own teaching practice. Part of the workshop is closely related to implementation of technology in the process of teaching the subject matter and the sharing of ideas and experiences have been valuable in the workshops.
Also since 2009 I have joined Best Education *, facilitating the first trial online IB course in Economics. At that time the course was delivered through the First Education * and I was lucky to work with a team of professionals and especially the lady in charge of the project, who was versatile in many online tools and made sure to prepare me for working with all those tools. The LMS at the time was Blackboard and as later I had to review and make changes to the course together with a colleague we were trained really well to work on instructional design and to work with the platform fluently.
Later on Best Education decided to deliver the courses themselves and the platform was changed to D2L (Desire2Learn). Another valuable experience was gained while transferring the content to D2L and also later on when me and a colleague had to develop the course for the new syllabus and implement the changes made to the syllabus by the IBO* (*note: each syllabus has a 7 year cycle after which time it is changed and sometimes there are only minor changes but other times the changes may be more substantial).
The course development experience was valuable as this was the first time when I encountered the notion of instructional design and the different theories related to online learning. Looking at the various theories and models for e-learning now and reflecting on what we have created as a new IB online course in Economics, the new course seems to be a mixture of constructivist, cognitive and activity based sequence of knowledge.
So since 2009 my work with Best Education has given me an exposure to two LMSs (Learning Management Systems), to the work as an online instructor and instructional designer, as well as head of department with around 15 teachers. The challenges have been multiple while the online offerings were expanding and new teachers needed support and help to online teaching.
2. What kind of change do you hope to see as a result of this class?
As a result of this class I hope to gain more understanding of the different applications and methodology of educational technology in developing a meaningful e-learning content and creating strong learning environments with the help of technology. I also hope to experience hands-on practice and become more skillful in determining the needs of learners and how those can be met with the help of educational technology.
3.How might your knowledge and experiences influence the actions of those around you?
I can transfer this knowledge to my organization by becoming more proficient in meeting our learners’ needs via the tools of educational technology. Also my online colleagues would get better support from me when I am more familiar with educational technology theory and its application to creating e-learning environments.
I am sure there will be other influences as well but at present , as far as educational technology theory is concerned, I am uncertain of the influence on others. Overall my present knowledge of technology in education, online learning and instructional design has benefited the teachers in my department and the organization I am part of in a positive manner.
1. G. Conole , M. Dyke, M. Oliver ,J. Seale: Mapping pedagogy and tools for effective learning design, Computers & Education, Volume 43, Issues 1–2, August–September 2004, Pages 17–33