For those who have joined Connected Courses, here’s a bit about my who, where and why:
My name is Tania Sheko, and I am a teacher librarian at Melbourne High School, a selective secondary boys’ school 9-12 in Melbourne, Australia. ‘Teacher librarian’ usually requires a bit of an explanation. I think it’s a ‘School Librarian’ or ‘Library Media Specialist’ in the US and Canada. Often people are not sure what my role is, and it’s not easy to define. I like to think of it as the focus on ‘skills’ and ‘passion’ which exists in the spaces between the teaching of curriculum which is the domain of teachers. Some of my areas of focus include all sorts of literacies (information, digital, critical, network, etc.), collaboration with teachers as a kind of third hand (curating resources, differentiating learning, experimenting with blogs), and connecting people to ideas and an understanding of self and others through reading.
Although I’m not working in the tertiary sector, Connected Courses is exactly what I’ve been looking for in professional development. Most of our students go on to university, and we are always thinking about how we can best prepare them for the world of university and work. I’m interested in the educational environment, behaviours and directions of tertiary institutions, particularly as they move from traditional to innovative practices with connective courses.
Connected learning makes sense to me, and I’m concerned that schools are often still envisioning learning as a passive consumption of content delivered by individual classroom teachers. With so much research-based evidence about student-centred, interest-driven and collaborative learning, and with the findings from the NMC Horizon Project, identifying and describing emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in education, I really think it’s time we woke up to ourselves about the anachronistic nature of our educational practices and took action.
I have learned so much even in the orientation phase of Connected Courses by connecting to the facilitators and participants, reading their blogs, interacting with them on Twitter, exploring the wealth of their shared expertise online. This is what excites me about learning – connecting with people globally for a shared purpose. I look forward to the course and also to a continued connection with my expanded network.