Online perticipation & digital literacies

… or that very tricky point of view

I am still just in the beginning of this journey about online networked learning. It is exciting, but also frustrating. In fact, I notice a strong resistance going on in my mind. Resistance towards what? I am not sure, but many times when I decide to get active online, when I decide to learn about and try out a new digital tool, I end up sitting in front of the computer doing something else. This “something else” could be something that needs to be communicated online. I communicate using the same tools as I always did, mostly email. Is it the best solution? Is it the most time effective solution? Probably not. But I know how it works, so in the short run, it is the best solution. Silly, isn’t it?

I realized that I had to take a deep breath and think this over, but first, I needed to do some digging and pinpoint the problem. For this purpose, I actually used a digital tool: Points of you. This tool was really helpful in a simple kind of way. Just by asking me 3 simple questions and cards with images associated with some short text blocks, my mind got inspired and I found myself being quit amused. For me, this concept really worked! I actually can’t wait to try this game on my students.

So, how did it work? In the beginning, I asked this rather vague question to myself:

How can I be a better online communicator?

Qu. 1: What works? I could conclude I do communicate online. It goes on routine, just like knitting a sock.

Qu. 2: What does not work? The thing is that I am knitting the same pattern over and over again. I don’t follow the new styles and trends. I am too afraid to get out of my overused socks! I need to knit new ones, but where do I find a new pattern that suites my needs and that I feel comfortable in? I don’t know how to start. Should I start with my own needs or by checking out all these new patterns in the catalogue? It really gets me a headache justing thinking about all the time and effort I would need to spend on this…

Qu. 3. What is my next step?

To get out of my comfy zoon! To get out of my habits! But where should I start? I must go from both ends in parallell, meaning both from my needs and from the tools points of views.

In our community group we are getting experienced wist the presentation tool: “Padlet”. I find this rather challenging. I has a great potential, but it takes time and effort to create something that is attractive, reader-friendly and informative for a potential viewer. You need to be skilled to be able to produce something worth viewing and reading. And you need practice to get skilled. Practice takes time. Practice takes effort.

I have come to realize that it doesn’t have to be perfect from the beginning, neither my communication intentions nor my usage of the tools. It will be better with more practice, so I just need to get on with it. I need to be more patient towards my own online performance skills!

Published by Helena Elvén Eriksson

I live in Skåne in Sweden, and work at Lund University. My main duties are within teaching in Geographical Information Science (GIS) and I belong to the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science. I am thrilled about the pedagogical part of online teaching and many of the courses where I teach are performed online. Besides of teaching at Lund University, I also coordinate a student mentorship program at the Science Faculty named SI-PASS, and work as a resource for the teaching staff at the University regarding online teaching using the CANVAS platform. At present, I participate in the online course Open Networked Learning (ONL), which I am really excited about. One part of this course involves personal reflections about the learning process and outcomes in the form of blogs. Otherwise I'm interested in all kinds of outdoor activities, such as running, winter swimming, gardening and lately also canoeing. I live near to Slottsparken and Ribbersborg in Malmö, which is a perfect spot of all these activities. I also enjoy music, both listening and playing or singing.

One thought on “Online perticipation & digital literacies

  1. Hi Helena,
    I like how you illustrate your reflection with the knitting. I guess it can be easy to find a new pattern (tool), but to actually figure out how it works takes time and effort. I believe that you’ve already taken a big step and are on your way. /Cecilia

    Liked by 1 person

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