I venture into the hybrid sphere heavily armed. In the first place, people I rely on to get the latest news and relevant research on blended learning theory and practice constitute my Twitter PLN. It is a growing list of English teachers with vast experience in use of educational technology, instructional designers, distant learning coordinators, teacher trainers, ed tech consultants, and people generally passionate about using ICT to enhance learning.
Secondly I turn to several excellent blogs that you can find in my blog roll. Also, digital journals are a valued resource. One of my favorite is Hybrid Pedagogy whose posts give a remarkable insight into the challenges and traps of blended learning with a constant reminder to think about teaching.
Thirdly, there are amazing educators who work with me on the project of implementing blended learning at my institution, starting with my colleague Aleksandar Jovanovic who co-authored the project. He’s an ingenious professor who cares a great deal about who, how and why he teaches which I find inspirational and refreshing in my work environment. Going on this journey together is priceless; because we are very distinct types when it comes to learning and doing, we constantly learn a lot from each other’s trials and errors. There-is-an-e-tool-for-that guy in our team is Alastair Creelman, the sheer magnitude of tools and resources he can provide from the top of his head when I’m in need is staggering. Also, he has a job to die for, working for Linnaeus University in Sweden as a distance learning coordinator. David Röthler of ProjektKompetenz.eu is an exceptional consultant on all things social media, online conferencing and crowd-sourcing. Having such people by my side makes me challenge myself further and further.
Finally, I learn best by doing and experimenting on my own. I started moocing. First, I enrolled in Coursera’s infamous Fundamentals of Online Education. Though the course was closed for reasons you all heard or read about, it was a learning experience. So, I wished to try again. I now attend Canvas’s Social Media course led by the wonderful Maria H. Andersen. Besides learning about the power of social media and networking, and their application in education, I’m witnessing structured online learning in action, hoping to apply the experience to my own courses when the time comes.