Social connections are important now just as in Robert Putnam’s “Bowling Alone” only the format has changed. Social capitalism is here to stay and evolve. I find myself learning as I go, but would like to be ahead of the usage of technology instead of catching up to technology.
The MS-OTL program has broadened my scope of what online education and learning should encompass. Definitely, on–line learning is more than posting the syllabus and lectures onto the learning management system, which the student could obtain in the traditional classroom. Creating the social community of learning, where there are meaningful exchanges requires nurturing by the instructor.
My first thoughts was the online learning was more of a self study as opposed to group projects. I still find the group process online to be challenging, but in this program the experience has been very positive. Blogging is new to most of our group, but everyone is working and not shying away from the challenge of creating a blog. I plan to continue to work on this evolution of social community and collaborative learning by locating the central point that brings the community together. There is art in composing a photograph as well as structuring an online social community.