Posted by: lindapemik | September 20, 2010

Tunngasugiitsi. Welcome to my blog. I am about to set out on a journey of learning into what is to me an uncharted and somewhat forbidding land. Like the Inukshuk pictured here I hope that this is a site that will help others who follow me to chart their own course along the way.

I began my learning journey last Tuesday night with my first class in U of R’s ECI831, an on-line course called Social Media and Open Learning; it was my first experience with Illuminate and it took me what seemed forever to click on the microphone icon and introduce my self to my classmates….”my first embarrassing moment”.  I am a senior administrator at Nunavut Arctic College and I am very good at my job.  I direct people and manage complex projects every day.  I am a mother of 4 adult children and grandmother of 8, and am becoming a respected elder/wise woman in my community.  I am not used to feeling inept and incompetent.  I am also a very private person who rarely exposes my inner thoughts to others.  So why am I doing this—taking this course and sharing my experiences so publicly with you?

 First, I will say that I have wanted to set up a blog for some time now but hesitated to get started because I wasn’t convinced that this kind of communication tool would be of value to me or others.  ECI831 gives me a purpose in blogging as it is a requirement of the course and naturally being a “good” learner I am now motivated to succeed in this class.  But even that motivator wasn’t enough to inspire my thoughts and to engage my heart.  It wasn’t until I was responding to an email from a friend and trying to describe my on-line class experience that I realized that perhaps I do have something of value to say by sharing my reflections about learning and what I have learned not only with my class but also with my colleagues at the College, our students, my friends, and anyone who is interested in how people learn and how to become a better learner and teacher.

 Secondly, I believe that open on-line learning offers a new and useful path to the people of Nunavut and to our College.  Nunavut Arctic College is a comprehensive community college serving the people of Nunavut and is widely dispersed across the territory.  We are challenged by distance and the widely diverse needs of our learners and employers in Nunavut.  The option of on-line learning appears to have merit but debates have raged for years within the College about the efficacy of distance learning.  Limited and unreliable internet access and band width issues have weighed in on the side of the nay sayers but that is all changing now.  Access to the Internet through the Nunavut Broadband Corporation, http://www.qiniq.com/, and increasing cell phone services through Northwest Tel’s Latitude have provided the means for the people of Nunavut to become “connected” and very few students at the College come to us now without some experience on the web. Facebook, Twitter, email and texting, music downloads, and on-line games have motivated many to learn how to use computers and the Internet so why not use it for learning?  As I think about a change of careers and a move back into the classroom I am intrigued and challenged to learn how to use social media and open learning as tools to enhance my teaching. 

 I invite your feedback and hope that this site will become a place where we can explore, debate, and learn togther.

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Responses

  1. Well done, Linda! You have just introduced me to the blog!!
    Martha gave me your site and it was very interesting to me!
    Good on you!!
    jan

    • Hello Jan, long time since last we met–great to see you on my blog, thanks for your interest. My goal with the blog is to connect with people like me who are perhaps somewhat overwhelmed by all the possibilities presented through the Internet and social media. By sharing my learning maybe I can contribute to their learning as well. Drop by again.

  2. You are off to a great start. You sound like a very wise person who has much to share. Keep it up!

  3. It’s really wonderful to hear what you are doing to assist northern Canadians to connect and learn. For the last 18 months I was doing an online degree and a number of my classmates were from a virtual school in Saskatchewan. The Director, and a number of staff at Credenda Virtual College, have become long distance colleagues. Located in P.A. Sk, the school has been servicing the needs of the many small communities in the northern half of the province. If you haven’t already heard about the school, you may wish to contact them http://www.credenda.net/ and share knowledge and ideas about distance education. They use Elluminate for all their instruction. Vince Hill, the director, was in Toronto a while back so we met up for the first time and I was asked to be the guest speaker as the school’s virtual assembly. It was quite exciting to speak to students sitting at their computers across the province and beyond. Many of the students are in small communities and First Nations who cannot get complete educational services where they live. The Internet has changed all of that, hasn’t it?

    • Hi Rod and thanks for the link to the virtual school, credenda. I was particularly interested to see the link to Virtues. What Credenda is doing illustrates a more holistic approach to on line learning. Fascinating. I wonder what others are doing to make the heart-head connection in a virtual learning environment?


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