Personal Impressions and Experiences from the Workshop Module for Open Education Practitioners Facilitated by Dr. Chrissi Nerantzi and Dr. Javiera Atenas
April 24, 2023
First week and first class of the new subject. Workshop module for Open Education Practitioners. I usually have a great interest in workshops. They often show me how things are done. I like to put my hands to work and dive into it. I have always been a person who prefers doing over philosophizing. And whatever I learn, I also like to try experientially and feel whether it’s something for me or not.
What I learned in the first week: I questioned who I am and why I do these things. We played a very interesting game to introduce ourselves to others and also became aware of who we are. We had to put three objects in a jar: one symbolizing our past, one for the present, and one representing our future.
For the symbol of my past, I put a book in my jar, „Pravopis srpskog jezika“ (Serbian Language Orthography). Why? Because over twenty years ago, I decided to study Serbian language and literature and pursue this subject. One of the fundamental books, the basic literature I still use today, is precisely that one. It represents everything that comes to mind when thinking of a Serbian language teacher.
The second object in my jar was a pair of glasses. They symbolize reading and learning for me because I am a lifelong learner. I am in love with the idea of lifelong learning and enjoy developing myself in that area, exploring things that are unusual and new to me. A Serbian language teacher interested in digital learning? Who could have imagined that when I started studying? What does that have to do with my subject? Apparently, nothing, but fundamentally, it does. We must never forget that we live in the era of the digital revolution, and excluding the understanding of the real situation in which society finds itself is not good. Everyone uses mobile phones and devices; we must come to terms with that, regardless of whether we like it or not. It is our reality. To detach education from reality means to completely destroy it. So, what is the most important thing to teach a child? Of course, how to navigate the modern world. Can they do that without a digital device today? Of course not.
The glasses are another sign: a sign of aging because I didn’t wear them when I was younger, and now they are part of my essential equipment. Yes, I am getting older. But the fact that I have accumulated so many years and that my body is slowly wearing out doesn’t scare me. On the contrary, all these years have left a mark on me; I am better and stronger than I was. Experience is valuable and may seem underestimated, but it isn’t. What I know about learning and methodology, some young people have yet to experience. Maybe I can help them with that once I cross that generational barrier between us.
The third object was a rhinoceros. A rare creature, especially in Serbia. Engaging with OER (Open Educational Resources) in Serbia means belonging to a small number of people, being rare. However, rhinoceroses have their mass; they are large and endure for a long time. I hope the story of OER in Serbia will thrive and endure. Although I am now one of those who are rare, I hope there will be more of us. Not rhinoceroses, of course, but OER practitioners.
This game made me aware of self-reflection and a model I also learned. It is the Reflective model ((Rolfe et al., 2001) in which we should ask ourselves:
1. What? – describe a particular situation, then focus on achievements, consequences, responses, feelings and any problems
2. So what? – discuss what you have learnt about yourself, relationships, models, attitudes, cultures, actions, thoughts, understanding and any improvements.
3. Now what? – identify what you need to do in the future in order to improve future outcomes and develop your learning.
This model prompts the idea of observing the issues that need to be solved. Why am I involved in OER and how should it be utilized going forward?
|What||There is a shift in teaching materials and resources around the world.|
I enrolled in a master’s program on that topic.
There are few people who deal with this problem especially in my country.
|So what||I hope this new learning experience of mine will make a difference.|
An emotion of hope awoke in me.
|Now what||I want to see if OER can be a solution to the problem of access to teaching materials and content.|
I want to try to make a change.
Great, I have WordPress and I know how to work on it.
Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D., & Jasper, M. 2001. Critical reflection for nursing and the helping professions: A user’s guide, Palgrave Basingstoke.