After a long interruption (18 months!), I am back blogging, and I will soon be back tweeting… My sabbatical is well and truly over (and yes, I had a fantastic year!), I have been back teaching since last September, and I am just as busy as ever. So much so that I haven’t had time to go near my site until now. And now, I have no choice :). First, all my students at Dublin City University (DCU) have been blogging for the past month as part of their French modules and it is time that I blogged again! And second, I have just enrolled with Open Learn (Open University) on an Open Education course, which recommends that participants use their own blog to take part in the course activities.
So, why did I decide to study this course? When I read about it on the March edition of OpenNews (Alumni edition), I was immediately drawn to it. I have toyed with the idea of studying a MOOC for a good while, but I never got around enrolling in a course. Having done my PhD with the Institute of Educational Technology (as a part-time external student), and having close links with colleagues in the Department of Languages, I felt quite confident that this could only be a good experience… if I manage to keep up with the course, that is!
I am keen in learning more about Open Education, and there is no doubt in my mind that participating in an open course on open education will be extremely beneficial to me. For the last two years, I have been involved in a Lifelong Learning Programme project, SpeakApps. The project finished last month, and during those two years we have developed open source tools and resources for the teaching and learning of languages online. My team was responsible for piloting the tools and tasks for the Irish language and for coordinating (with the University of Jyväskylä) the development of a sustainability framework and exploitation plan. I wish I had done the Open Education course before the project started :)! Still, I believe that studying this course will help me make sense of and continue to build on the SpeakApps experience as well as give me tools and methods to make my own courses more ‘open and innovative’.