I've been slacking on my blog but hope to dive into this a lot over the next little while and get into the blogs of all the rest of the distance ed students.
I've been thinking about what we discussed tonight and here are a couple of take home messages I pulled from the discussion:
Don't take technology and just do what you would do in a F2F setting with it. One of the things we should think more carefully about as designers and teachers is taking technology and distance ed tools and using them to figure out how its strengths and differences can transform pedagogy for the better.
Another way of putting this is--use blended learning to change pedagogy rather than enhancing what's already there. Use technology to do things we cannot do otherwise. Transform the class not just make it more productive.
I like this idea but do struggle with it a little bit. In the little experience I have this seems very difficult. I haven't seen any kind of "products" including technology, or other materials for that matter, that have changed pedagogy. What I have seen is that it can help reinforce a change in one's learning/teaching philosophy, methodology, and style or take away from that change but not actually make it. There has to be something more to make a shift like that. With that said I think there are isolated instances where the technology seemed to change the dynamic of a course which appeared as a change in pedagogy. My personal feeling on this is that the teacher using that technology has already begun to transform their pedagogy and the technology is reinforcing that change.
In addition, I will shamelessly generalize and say that the tendency of most teachers, myself included, is to use technology to improve what is already there. Because of that tendency I think we are much better off trying to figure out and look for ways to use technology to do things we cannot do otherwise despite the argument that it may not transform our pedagogy.