One week as a Masters student

Recently I wrote about the first four weeks of my new job – Four weeks in. To add excitement to my life (because working in a new school isn’t enough!) I have also started studying for a Masters of Education (Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation). The course is taught by distance education through Charles Sturt University. This video from the course director Judy O’Connell will give you some idea of the scope of the course. I certainly hope that through study I’ll understand everything she is talking about soon!

So this first week of study has been a lot of setting up, joining, reading, developing systems and connecting. The first subject I am undertaking is called Concepts and Practices for a Digital Age; as one of only two compulsory subjects it is considered the “keystone” subject for the course. This week we went through the Introduction, watching a talk by Douglas Thomas at TEDxUFM, A New Culture of Learning, to provoke some thinking about the nature of learning; joining the Diigo group; following and contributing to #inf530 on twitter; learning about the library resources available to us; thinking about how we will manage references; introducing ourselves and sharing our goals on the subject forum, and setting up a new blog for reflection, a compulsory part of every subject in the degree. A twitter chat was held on Tuesday evening. Surprisingly, for someone who has used Twitter for a long time, I’d never used TweetChat before – it was a good way to concentrate on a hashtag at a high-use time and saved being distracted by the other columns in Tweetdeck.

So far I’m feeling pretty good about what is to come. Unlike some of the other students I’m already very comfortable with Twitter, Diigo, blogging using Edublogs/Wordpress etc so the structural/techno things won’t hold me back. I’m very happy that, working 0.8 this year, I have a full day each week to devote to study and with the commuting I do, around an hour a day to read or keep up with other things. As always, though, when faced with intellectual dialogue, I start doubting my ability to engage at the expected level. Just reading some of the early blog posts from other students has me gasping in admiration at the depth of their perception, the academic eloquence of their words. I do fear that, intellectually, I’m not actually up to this. I hope to prove myself wrong!