Hey Bill, do you think you’ll be able to join us in Dubai tonight?
My response: sure! I live in Los Angeles and don’t own a time machine, so I decided to join the Dubai cohort via Google Hangout. Thus began my experience in the Leading Edge Certification program. (Bonus points for using the word “thus.”)
If you’re not familiar with Leading Edge Certification, here’s the official explanation:
Leading Edge Certification (LEC) is a national certification program in educational technology and curriculum innovation. Created by an Alliance of nonprofits, universities and educational agencies, LEC is the first national certification program of its kind, and is platform and vendor neutral. There are five areas of certification offered by LEC: Online and Blended Teacher, Administrator, Digital Educator, Teacher Librarian, and Leading Educator.
Most of my classmates live in Dubai, which is arguably the perfect backdrop for a course on blended teaching. Despite living 8000 miles away, I feel surprisingly connected–weekly discussions, reflections, and activities definitely help create that connectedness.
I love that I’m learning to teach these skills in a forum where I’m experiencing these same skills. In other words, I’m learning how to teach online, and I’m learning it online. EduAwesome! On a larger scale, this is the same reason I love teaching teachers. I not only teach them, I also model how to teach them. I often stop mid-lesson to punctuate the point: “Do you see what I’m doing here? You can do this with your students!” It’s a subtle, but significant difference from teaching elementary students.
In the next eight weeks of the Online and Blended Teacher certification, we will be focusing on online learning, online pedagogy, building community, online accessibility, assessment and evaluation, policies, and online closure. As a teacher, I tend to spend most of my time teaching. It’s so important for us as teachers to continue to learn. I thought I had this area of professional development covered–I regularly attend conferences, and educators on Twitter are constantly teaching me things. Being enrolled in a formal program, however, is a whole other beast. Being responsible for weekly posts and being assessed on my work is stressful. It’s a good reminder for how my students feel when I assign a project or give an assessment. It’s intimidating, and I had forgotten what that felt like. Since this is an online course about teaching online courses, I’m looking forward to seeing how this experience is facilitated. I’m not as concerned with the content (aka web 2.0 tools) as much as how it’s delivered and how I’m engaged. As I continue through Leading Edge Certification, I’ll be blogging about new tools, and my experience in the program.