It’s time to write about stuff for ds.106! Our first task, after establishing a digital home for ourselves, was to think about some of the ideas posed by Gardner Campbell on personal cyberintrastructures. In this article in particular, he questions the effectiveness of the LMS, or Learning Management System. This was particularly timely and relevant to me, as the institution where I work has just announced that we are upgrading our LMS. I have been involved with this upgrade process to some degree since I started the job I’m in, and it will play a big role in my daily work life for many months to come.
How am I involved, do you ask? Primarily, my job is to work with instructors to teach them how to use the system, and find ways to use it effectively for learning. As an instructional designer and technologist, part of my job is knowing the system’s affordances inside and out, so I can help make design and implementation decisions that best support learning. Right now I’m maintaining a website with announcements and training resources, an LMS-related twitter account, and working on a comprehensive training plan that involves thinking up the most creative and effective ways to help people manage this change.
While I need to be a critical consumer of any learning technology, I also feel like in this case, it’s my job to be positive about these things. After all, I spend my day-to-day helping people and trying to make the best of things. I figure anything I say won’t be very effective if I don’t stand behind it, right? And if I hate what I’m doing, I’m in the wrong job, right? And then there’s the fact that I honestly believe we can do something good with this type of technology. Maybe that’s my youth and naivete talking.
THE GLASS IS HALF FULL, DAMMIT!
But I’m not going to lie, sometimes my job feels like this:
(Not sure why this is funny? Read about it here)
So this is where I’m coming from. See why I might have a hard time sorting out my ideas? I feel like I’ve still got lots to say, but I had to start here. I hope to think and write more about: how design thinking might help us deal with this issue a bit better; how magical thinking ruins educational technology for everyone; and how technology affordances are very often a reflection of institutional policies rather than problems inherent with the technology itself. Sound good? Good. I look forward to some discussion!