I have really enjoyed this class so far, especially because it feels like we are all seeing the same knowledge and understanding. We all have a shared purpose to understand “Connected Learning” and how it can be utilized in the classroom to help better our students. It is not often that I have taken a graduate level course in which all students really seem to be on the same page in terms of having a common goal, and I think that this course is unique in that way.
This course is a shared purpose within a shared purpose. Not only is our shared purpose to learn about connected learning, but through that shared purpose, we also share another purpose, to connect and learn from each other. Never in a class have I learned so much from my classmates. Usually classes are run by the professor and discussions guided by the professor, However I think this class is unique in that we are spending so much time learning from others, especially our classmates, that we all feel more connected to one another. Though I have never met any of my classmates, I feel I understand their backgrounds and their learning styles and interests even more than in a traditional classroom setting.
Each week I seek out other classmates’ blogs to see what they are learning about, what they are finding in terms of connected learning. This demonstrates a principle of connected learning in that I am learning about connected learning, by participating in connected learning! It is all a bit cyclical and it is a process that keeps me invested each and every week.
The other major example of “shared purpose” that I have experienced in my teaching career is the Lower Merton STEM cohort I participated in. All 15 teachers and I took 5 courses together, all under the shared purpose of bringing STEM to our district, I absolutely loved these courses because our shared purpose connected us together and kept us motivated each week. By the end of the 5 courses together, we were not just a bunch of teachers taking the same classes together, we were a major movement for change in our district. We continue our shared purpose even outside of the classroom walls; our classes have ended but we still connect together on a regular basis to discuss STEM in the district and how we can continue to push for an overhaul in our curriculum and ways of teaching. Due to this shared purpose we have created a strong network that continues to grow in strength and knowledge as we each learn on our own and then share that knowledge and wisdom with each other on a regular basis. This shared purpose has definitely made us stronger individuals and teachers and has greatly affected and increased our ability to implement true change and reform within our district.