I have signed up for Stephen Downes and Rita Kop’s Critical Literacies online course. This has not come at a good time for me. Not only am I going trekking in Kashmir between 10th and 21st June (no internet access in the foothills of the Himalayas!), but this in itself has meant that all sorts of work deadlines have piled up in front of me to be met by next Thursday – June 10th. I will not be able to meet all my commitments – not a nice feeling.
So – you may ask – why add the Critical Literacies online course to an already overloaded workload. Two reasons.
1. I am very interested in open courses and how they are designed and run. This seems to me the way of the future, if we can just overcome the hurdle of assessment – so I am exploring this and online communication in as many ways possible (with some wonderful online colleagues) . I have already noted that in the introduction to this online course, expectations of online working have been made much more explicit than they were in CCK08.
2. I have been interested in reflective learning and critical thinking for a number of years, so feel I can’t miss this opportunity to explore further how critical literacies link with this. When Stephen talks about Critical Literacies, he seems to definitely be linking these to technology – which is a thought provoker in itself as I know many people who are not in the least interested in technology.
For myself – I can align myself with Heli. I don’t know how old Heli is, but I suspect we are a very similar age. Is age an issue? Yes and No. No because as Heli points out in her blog post we are increasingly seeing post retirement people setting up personal learning environments. Yes because we are the people that can remember a time when there were no computers!
So I will apologise in advance for not being able to contribute to this course as much as I would like to, but also to point out that the nature of these open online courses is that it is likely to attract at least some people like me, and also to thank Stephen once again for his generosity in freely providing an open course, with all the associated materials.
I will try and engage as much as I can – very likely to the exasperation of others who may feel that my time would be better devoted to my commitments to them! The management of time, workload and prioritising of these must surely be critical to Critical Literacies.