My learning project is a bit of a double-edged sword, but first a look at what I accomplished this past week…
Last week I was a bit worried about my process on my learning project. I would consider myself an overachiever, which can sometime be problematic. I am also very product motivated and look forward to the end task, so it is sometimes hard for me to focus on the process, even though that is what I encourage my students to do and is one of my foundational beliefs about education. With that being said, I set some goals for myself last week that would emphasize the process of what I am learning and make my learning visible.
My goals were to:
- Practice prenatal yoga 3 times this week (one face-to-face session, one YouTube session, one session on my own). SEMI-ACHIEVED – I was able to practice more than 3 times; however, I did not make it to a face-to-face session. The timing for the Bodhi Tree prenatal yoga class was not working with my schedule, so I decided to look elsewhere. I am signed in for a class tomorrow at Everyday Sacred and look forward to giving it a try!
- Play music when I am practicing on my own to help with mindfulness and focus. ACHIEVED – This really helped me focus on the task at hand. It also told my husband that I was busy and he shouldn’t bug me :).
- Videotape at least one of my sessions and post onto my Instagram account. ACHIEVED – I did 2 hyperlapse videos this week and posted them to my Instagram account. This was WAY out of my comfort zone, but a very neat experience!
- Post at least 3 times this week to my Instagram and Twitter account using the hashtags: #eci831, #learningproject, #babybootsyoga. ACHIEVED – I posted more than 3 times this week. I also tried to grow my PLN by following other yoga accounts and using hashtags… more below on this one.
- Complete a vlog at my check in next week that includes my week experience and 3 new poses I have learned. ACHIEVED – See below!
Now back to the title of this post… There are two reasons I would say this project is like a double-edged sword.
As I mentioned above and in a few of my other blog posts, I am trying not to get caught up in the final product aspect of this project. It would have been way easier for me to choose the other option of the major project and integrate social media in my teaching practice or integrate/develop open educational resources related to my practice. I have some experience with both of these routes and have been successful implementing them, so I could have just continued on that path and know I was headed for success. However, I chose the other option where I am expected to learn and share online. Although this process has proven to be a struggle at times, I am very thankful I chose this learning process and experience the learning process while thinking critically about it. I believe through this learning process I am examining the idea of rhizomatic learning and I am connecting though social media in my “classroom”. It may have been easier for me to participate in a MOOC, integrate social media in my teaching practice, or develop OERs, but to actually go through the process is a learning experience I will never forget.
As I mentioned before, making learning visible has been a challenge for me in this learning process. Last week I made a goal to ramp up my online presence on both Instagram and Twitter to build a new PLN. In the past my PLN was solely for educational purposes. The people I followed on Twitter and through other networks all dealt with my teaching practice. If I was learn something new, it would be limited to the course and the people in that course to find my information. How hypocritical of me! Here I am preaching to my students and fellow course mates about the importance of a PLN, yet I limited my PLN to only education. So this past week I began following yoga accounts through various social media tools.
I also learned firsthand about the power of the hashtag. I wanted to build my network on Instagram and gain more followers, so I tagged my posts with some key hashtags. I have been getting more ”likes” on posts and I now have 22 followers! This may seem small to those people who are Instagram famous, but this is a huge accomplishment for me! Using appropriate hashtags is essential to your online presence when trying to connect online.
Now here comes the double-edged sword… I am feeling nervous about sharing this process online and with my new PLN. I am usually quite reserved, don’t post many photos, and keep my identity (online) quite neutral. I have my privacy settings high and don’t overshare. So to be sharing this vulnerable learning process with the whole world is a huge learning curve for me! Additionally, I don’t really know who is following me and there is always the risk of people “stealing” your identity. But at the same time we face these risks whether we are private, public, online, or offline. It is better to take control of your online (and offline) identity, know the risks, and be aware.