I have had a real problem connecting with this course and I think the main reason is that it has been difficult for me to envision how I can apply what we are discussing to my own teaching practice. My student base is mainly younger ESL students and this course, like many I have taken, relies heavily on discussions as a primary tool of instruction. Given the varying English language skill levels of my students, it has been a problem seeing how I could implement a similar online course for my students.
Then I started thinking there is no reason that I have to follow the same pattern of this online class or any other that I have taken. Last week I read something Kurt Squire wrote in his book Video Games and Learning: Teaching and Participatory Culture in the Digital Age that really resonated with me, something I think it should be embroidered and hung in every teachers’ room throughout the land; he wrote that there is a “moral imperative” for the creation of “enlivening experiences” by educators “who are responsible for shaping the daily lives of children attending school out of compulsion. Any time that we turn a child off to learning rather than awakening their intellectual curiosity, we’ve failed” (Squire, 2011. P 15).
So in thinking about the course I want to develop my guiding principle should be to create “enlivening experiences”. I don’t have to follow a template, but should try to find a way to take what I know works well in the classroom and try to design a similar learning experience online. My vision is still very cloudy, but at least I am starting to see an outline in the mist.
Squire, K. (2011). Video games and learning: teaching and participatory culture in the digital age. New York: Teachers College Press.