We met 10 times with about 200 students of 18 curricula distributed in 7 classes, so far. We have discussed with the students all the options they have as well as the first steps they must take to begin the course.
Among other things we agreed that my posts with their assignments and suggestions will be written in english because they may be seen as contributions to the Connectivism and Connective Knowledge Online Course that I’m trying to follow, in some way. It’s interesting that the students can see their teacher playing the role of a learner. I think this is good.
These students are brave in accepting this proposal because they have problems in reading english texts, generally. It’s not their fault but it’s because the italian school is not able to teach foreign languages in an adequate way. Not only english and not only the italian school, incidentally. There may be exceptions, of course, but in the vast majority of cases this is a fact. When I give assignments where the use of english is implicit, such as try or look for something in the scientific literature, about the half of the students claim to have problems with language. And they have studied english for 5 or 8 years. I have problems too, you see it very well from my floundering english. Well, in the ’60 I wanted to learn english because I liked sciences but the school bureaucracy imposed me to learn (badly) french and german. My english is self-learned. That’s one example of poor connections between schools and needs of society.
Any way, dear students, since I know that sometimes you may have some difficulties, I’m proposing you the following.
You are so many that for sure there is someone of you who knows english very well, probably better than me. I propose that you provide the translation in italian of my posts and that you do it in a collaborative way. If you see a translation has been provided by someone else but something is missing, go and update it. You are also encouraged to find english errors in my posts and tell me. My posts will be improved and I will get an extra chance to improve my english, I need it!
I created a wiki page for this post. Just go and try.
Those who will contribute in this way will get an extra grade.
In this sense this is a kind of assignment. Yes, because assignments in this course will be often fuzzy, just suggestions, and they will be very much oriented to foster cooperation and sharing of knowledge you may have. Your personal initiatives in this sense will be graded as assignments. In doing all this you will develop or improve your digital literacy (which is the title of the course) but as a kind of by-product where in reality you will be focused on expressing yourselves about your interests, on sharing them, on reflecting about the role that digital technologies may have in your life, on cooperating, on helping others.
In the meanwhile about the half of you wrote your email addresses in the appropriate wiki page. Very good. In the next few days I will send you the form to complete your enrollment. Please, answer to the form when you will be sure about the path to follow: 1) conventional multichoice test, 2) contribution to wiki contents, 3) blogroom activities.