What a title hey? I started thinking about how this course allows for us to have open communication versus having a closed forum, then I though about the door for learning being opened or closed. I like to sleep with my bedroom door open but my husband prefers it closed. I guess that having communication forums closed could be a preference for some people but just like my bedroom door, I like it open.
As a learner I have not had much experience outside of this course in terms of open online space. I appreciate the Google+ Community for so many different reasons. I love being able to post a quick question or even a fabulous article or medium that I feel reliant to our course. Our Google+ Community is so supportive and helpful of one another, I find that just by reading different posts it saves me from running into common pitfalls. So far I have taken eight Grad Courses and feel that a Google+ Community would have been an asset to all courses, it allows us to pose different questions, share insights or ask each other for help as needed. University students are often given information in UR Courses but I think the experience would be so much different if there were a way to allow students to communicate in an open space. I think that our course has really come alive with the use of the Google+ Community. The community can offer us so much more than what is being taught in the course. Allowing students to become each others’ co-teacher. Our blogs have also allowed us to learn from others, Amy mentions that “we learn from others’ perspectives while considering our own”.
I agree with Ashley that we must consider the age of the students when we decide to use an open or closed forum. I definitely think that younger students should have closed forums in order to protect them. Although, I think that allowing parents, caregivers, or even classmates the opportunity to comment or share would allow for meaningful learning. Amiee also mentions that student safety is a valid concern for educators. Shes also points out that students may have already become immersed into social media, but we should still consider that we are putting them into a wide open public space where we may not always be able to protect them in an open forum.
Although, educators such as myself have to realize that students are developing their own digital footprint, this is where we have the teaching moments! I think that teachers can help students understand that there is no going back once pictures or even text hits the net.
Like Ashley, I too have enjoyed the break from blogging and being able to focus on my content creation has been wonderful. My group even had time to meet up last week and go over some of the fine tuning of our course prototype. I feel that my group has made some great strides in getting our course up and running. I know that with just a little more tweeking my module will be up and running.
Have you ever experienced any negativity in using an open forum?