When I enrolled and started the ONL162 course, I did not know how many hours it required nor how much time I was going to invest on it, but as the course moved forward, I became very much engaged since I became interested on every topic that was going to be covered. At first, I felt lost in the course, as well as overwhelmed given that I had given birth to my first child only few days after the course had started. I was off schedule and behind assignments. However, I found my way back into the course after contacting and meeting one of my moderators, Mohammed Seed Ahmed, who helped me to get back on track. Thence, I started catching up, listening to the webinars, reading the papers and blogs – of course, all at my own pace. The course was a good learning experience and taught me a new ways of thinking and methods when it came to teaching, its perspectives, and how digital information is disseminated today.
My peers in the PBL group #9, Miriam Mosing, Sonja Sharp, Åsa Kneck, Gizeh Perez Tenorio, and Raphael Masesawere were all very talented and quite experienced with digital media tools for online teaching. I learned about their skills and contributions as I went over the FISH documents and read their thoughts and feedback on the respective topic. Their blogs also showed that they were very knowledgeable not just in their pedagogic training, but also in their subjects of expertise as well as in the structure of the ONL course. Everyone in the PBL group #9 had great enthusiasm and brought her/his own contribution and perspective to the group. Thus, cultural and intellectual diversity was obvious. One aspect that I found quite impressive about our group was the positive feedback despite some frustrations the group faced while tackling assignments. The group had good dynamics and high-level teamwork, and of course, our moderators Franscisca Frenks and Mohammed Seed Ahmed, were a tremendous component of this contribution and to the development of the team. I think the moderators’ enthusiasm and dedication was very important throughout the course. Their work propelled everyone in the group to continue contributing and learning through the assigned activities. Networking was also very present among us. In the online meetings that I participated, my peers were very supportive and receptive towards my input and feedback. They appreciated my input and contributions in past FISH documents, where I wrote my thoughts on the proposed scenario even after the assignment’s deadline had past. Everyone appreciated my wanting to be part of group and the course, and therefore my contributions were valued. In se, the fact that everyone considered my inputs, even though they were late, it motivated me to continue in the course. I guess this is the strength of being in a strong team and enriching the concept of “teamwork”… no one is left behind and everyone’s opinion matters!
The assigned activities performed by the PBL group #9 using the FISH document were very comprehensive and remarkable. Reading and learning about each other’s thoughts and ideas for the scenario being tackled prompted new ways of thinking for me and stimulated me to go to the web to learn more about the topic itself. Moreover, the applications and suggestions for using the various digital tools such as padlet, sway, prezit, piktochart, canva, pixlr, etc. that are available for creating online courses persuaded me to learn how to use them and consider them in the near future. Certainly, I found that to be exposed to new tools and learning in a short time can be challenging, but at the same time, it can quite exciting since it triggers one’s curiosity to explore further many of these tools. The digital exposure that I experienced during the interactions with my peers reminded me the constant need to grow my skills toolbox for future perspectives and opportunities. During the course, I also recognized that the usage of social media, such as Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, etc., is so important nowadays. This type of social media has become the major channel for exchanging and delivering information, as well as for establishing collaborations, networking, and reaching out to colleagues, therefore making me realize that I need to be more active using these networks. I realized that it is crucial to establish a professional online identity in order to keep up to today’s research, and meet new colleagues in the field.
Overall, the ONL162 course has been fruitful and worthwhile. I have met amazing individuals through the PBL group with whom I shared many experiences and emotions by working together on the digital platform. I have gathered new knowledge, improved my pedagogic training, and enriched my skills toolbox. And most of all, I have learned many of the components of digital literacies, that is, (1) information literacy, (2) digital scholarship, (3) learning skills, (4) ICT literacy, (5) career and identify management, (6) communications and collaborations, and (7) media literacy. However, my journey in this field is just at the beginning and there is more to do!