After reviewing my initial hopes for the course, I can honestly say that it has lived up to (and surpassed) my expectations. With a tendency to enjoy ticking things off on 'to-do' lists, I can't resist looking back at each expectation in turn:
>  Learn about technologies that will enrich my current work environement, with a mind to creating a better communication link between long distance trainers, and an online method for course development <
*Now have a broad understanding and practical experience of Web 2.0 developments and functions which will hopefully help to enrich communication between training staff. This will be explored more in assisgment.
>  Learn about technologies that can be used in a class room, to aid learning of children and/or adults <
*Now have a better understanding of the current digital divide, and a few ideas about how technologies might be integrated with mainstream teaching. Am now stronger in my belief that learning instituations must attempt to teach and engage younger pupils with technology and media that they are used to, but also that there *are* limitations and even dangers of persistent technological immersement which must also be brought into consideration.
>  Learn about the psychological and social impacts of sustained virtual networking <
*This we have touched on in various discussions at the beginning and end of the semester. Particularly interesting and relevant as use of social networking sites has mushroomed even since the start of term. Look fwd to exploring this topic further later on in the course.
>  Learn how games can assist learning <
* Just really got a tast of this with the two weeks spent on Second Life and Labyrinth. Particularly inspired by SL (now that I can run it on my computer), tho filled with equal concern at how sustained use might affect individuals and society as a whole. Once again really looking fwd to exploring this topic further doing GBL next semester.
>  And finally, the bigger picture - how are we all likely to be affected by online technologies in future societies.
* Feel I have a much greater appreciation for how online technologies are likely to play a growing role in social interaction, business, shopping, entertainment, as well as of course, education. After initially being a vast library of information, the internet is beginning to develop layers and functions which are already changing the way we relate to each other (15% of couples formed last year met over the internet) and the way we live in general. While PCs were once the primary means of accessing the Internet, we're now seeing Internet-enabled devices such as PDAs and cell phones that send and receive e-mail and access the Web. Soon, everything from your car to your refrigerator will be connected to the global network, communicating with each other wirelessly. Welcome to a brave, new world.
So as for prior concerns:
> I hope that above all that course will be enjoyable and stimulating - tho judging by my recent excitement at setting up and involving myself with the course so far, enjoyment seems inevitable (ask me again when first assignment due!). <
* The assignment IS now on it's way and I'm still smiling, even relishing the challenge it poses. Have thoroughly enjoyed the semester, and found the content varied, stimulating, and well managed and presented (not trying to sway the mark here, honest!)
Until next term...