MOOCs: thoughts from the front line of Blended Learning Essentials


Two weeks into mentoring as a digital champion on the FutureLearn ‘Blended Learning Essentials’ #FLble1 course and it’s been a fascinating fortnight working with over 10,000 teachers and trainers from across the world.

So what has struck me about themes from the 2 weeks?

Firstly, I think what a self-effacing and self-critical bunch educators are – certainly when they are chatting on the open discussion forums. I have seen just one post commenting ‘I was aware of all of this’ and hundreds exclaiming ‘I have so much to learn’ (or words to that effect) when it comes to digital literacy and the use of technology-enabled learning. We can only have experience with a small subset of the vast range of tools for digital learning which are now out there. We’re all learning and adapting all the time, so be kind to yourself, I say. Follow Siemen’s ideas on connectivism and embrace the fact that we’re all lifelong learners and provided you know what you need to when you need to, it’s OK!

Secondly, we now need to give educators time to naturalise and adapt technology and make it their own when it comes to learning – and that means investing in practitioners’ development in terms of time and collaboration opportunities. There’s been much high level policy-making and many conference and research recommendations about integrating technology into learning. We now need to invest the time, funding and resources to allow those who are actually working with the learners to make technology-enabled learning their own and develop it to meet learners’ needs.

I’m very much looking forward to reporting back on week 3 of this fascinating course!

Published by ltaylerson

I am a former FE Computing and Teacher Education Curriculum Leader and ex-BBC engineer and trainer. Worcestershire-based, I specialise in teacher education and CPD, educator mentoring, digital skills and pedagogy, I am director of Real Time Education, an independent provider and a keen commentator on further education and digital skills on social media @realtimeedu. I completed a PhD in Education investigating teachers' use of informal social media dialogues for professional learning in April 2020.

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