Digital me

Welcome to my blog, where I reflect on flexibel on-line learning as part of a course (FDOL 141) at Karolinska Institute. I am a family doctor, researcher and teacher. Here are my first reflections. The theme is ”digital me”.

I have found digital connection with people who I know from real life, such as family, friends and working pals, extremely useful. I correspond a lot by email and text messages. However I am not very familiar with digital open platforms. The openness frightens me because I do not know who will share my thoughts. I also find the technique confusing and think that I miss information somehow by not knowing who in the community that I should connect with or missing information in a long thread. A reflection so far in the FDOL course is that it takes time and experience to understand the structure of an on-line community.

However, in this first two weeks of the FDOL course I have managed to start a blog, twitter account and have joined a google+ group. I liked the picture of “being in the driving seat of your learning” that was given in the interview “learning through problems” with dr Leslie Robinson Right now I feel like entering a car for the first time trying to find the gas pedal and brake by just reading the manual.

Since I am in the driving seat I must decide where I shall drive, what I would like to get out of the FDOL course.  My goal is to achieve skills that can help me to create on-line courses for education of medical students in the area of family medicine. I would also like to be able to create open platform (not a closed university platform) national on-line courses for doctors at vocational training in family medicine and maybe international on-line courses for specialists in family medicine. I think that on-line learning is a valuable complement in education. One of many advantages is that the learner is forced to be active and cannot hide being quiet in the classroom. Another advantage is the flexibility, both in time and place, which makes it possible for more students to join in. My dream is to increase online learning in specific courses for family medicine. Currently digital platforms are used widely in family medicine to obtain information. However, as far as I know, there are still very few courses given in digital form in family medicine. I would like to change that.

I have just started to get into the literature of flexible on-line learning. Coomey et al a present a “paradigm grid” for on-line learning in the paper “Online learning: it is all about dialogue, involvement, support and control-according to the research”. This grid is a good help when starting to think and learn about online flexible learning.

                                                      Specified tasks

 NW                     NE

       Teacher controlled                                                Learner managed

SW                     SE

                                               Open-ended, strategic                  Coomey et al a

I think that the FDOL course is in the south-east quadrant (SE) of the grid with “learner managed and open-ended activities”. I will surely experience how this type of on line learning works by attending the FDOL course.

And hopefully I will soon drive on a motorway………….