Welcome! Whether you are a member of the class for which this blog is an assignment, or a traveler of cyberspace stumbling into my little corner, welcome.
As part of the requirements of a Walden University graduate course
called Cognition, Culture, and Learning, my posts will explore
innovations in learning and instruction in the context of two-year colleges. SPARK!, along with the blogs and comments of my classmates, provides a space for an experiment in connectivism, providing a way for us to establish a knowledge network among ourselves and others who may comment or contribute. Our blogs also provide a safe place to learn about blogging itself, to understand the ways blogging can enhance learning in our own classes. In this graduate course as well as in our own teaching, a blog can provide a place where students can focus attention on particular topics, create relevance, synthesize information, and create learning through the process of writing for an audience. And of course, seeing one's thoughts in print engenders both fear and pride.
Community colleges have always been innovators. After all, we accept (as
a colleague of mine once aptly pointed out) the "top 100% of those who
apply." We pride ourselves on providing access to higher education and
upward mobility for anyone who walks through our doors. And, because we
have such a diverse student body, we seek innovative ways to serve them.
The current environment is challenging: We must do more with less
funding, fewer full-time faculty, and more under-prepared students.
Although we focus on the students and their needs, providing financial
aid, academic support, and a myriad of other services, too many of our
students never achieve their goals. How can we teach them, serve them,
support them better? Innovation is a constant if we are to serve these
students well and maintain our mission as "democracy's college."
I welcome your comments!