Every year I am looking forward to the Teachers Day event. Throughout the years I have noticed how important and at the same time scarce the moments are when inspired teachers can just connect without being short on time or having an explicit agenda.
New ideas, agreements and collaborations just emerge in these situations. Looking at the program you can try to guess what would be interesting but every year unexpected talks turn out to be what puts new ideas into actions. One of things on this year’s program where I was able to predict some usefulness was the revealing of the new LMS (learning management system). As a teacher who is searching for valuable blends between offline and online environments the LMS is an important aspect of the design of my courses. With the course Presentation Skills I have built a monster course in blackboard, consisting of hundreds of elements and created by thousands of clicks. All this to find a strong blend for this specific course. The setup worked but the platform failed, so in order to succeed in deepened learning I needed to migrate to another application called FeedbackFruits.
With the decision for Brightspace who knows I might be able to return back to the university wide platform. Brightspace looks promising with a clearer structure and seemingly intuitive navigation but before migrating the whole course back I will count the clicks. This is what many times strongly determines flow in an online learning system. The valuable moments were there throughout the day again.
As every year it already starts at the opening with drinking tea or coffee and re-connecting with the sleepy coffee-craving faces of long unseen co-teachers. Another interesting aspect of this year was the high number of colleagues of our chairgroup Education and Learning Sciences that facilitated sessions. One could think that you know most of the things your colleagues do but it is beautiful to see with how much clarity and engagement they present in a situation where they have the opportunity to inspire people that are not familiar with their material, and how much better insight you also gain into their projects because of that.