Welcome to The Pitch

23.10.2018 - 6 min. Read

Welcome to The Pitch

The what? Answering that question would require an origin story, so sit back, relax and settle in for a very short tale. Way back less than a year ago, eCampusOntario launched a regular blog post called The Catch, which is a round up of things going on in technology-enabled teaching and learning with an educator focus. So why not create a space that highlights cool and interesting things happening in tech-enabled learning with a learner focus? The Pitch will feature contributions from both students and non-students with the goal of highlighting issues and ideas that directly affect learners.

Like The Catch (The Pitch & The Catch, get it? Of course you do!), these stories will come at you in bite-sized chunks, with links to more if you’re interested in following the thread. Enjoy hearing about what your peers are up to. If something you are involved in comes to mind, we would love to hear it and share it here in a future issue of The Pitch. Special thanks to The Fleming College Student Hub, for the inspiration. Introducing the categories:

Feel The Learn

The Feel the Learn section is a place to share ideas and plans for how to get through this whole learning thing. There are probably things you are excited to learn, and other things you’re maybe not so stoked about. We need to have some learning strategies, especially for the latter. Here we will share some of the best that we can find. For our inaugural Feel The Learn section, we are going to send you out to The Open Learner Patchbook to read some tips on how to get through all that scholarly reading that you have to do. The Patchbook is a place to share your short stories and advice on how you go about your learning. This short piece was provided by Kate Burgess and, unlike most of the scholarly reading you need to do, it gets straight to the point. What are your learning strategies? Let us know.

Techno

Technology is usually right in our faces: literally and figuratively. It can often be helpful, but it can also hinder our learning. The Techno section will try to point you to some of the more useful ways technology has been used to enhance learning. For example, the thing we are about to share helps you in a few ways:

  • It never goes anywhere near your bank account (it’s free!)
  • It gives you something you may really need for your courses, even before you are in those courses. (Open access!)
  • It allows you to have these things in a variety of digital formats, so it doesn’t weigh down your backpack.

What is it? Why, it’s our Open Textbook Library, of course! These are over 240 professionally made and then openly released textbooks that we hope your instructors make use of in your coursework. Have a look to see if any seem to match your studies. If they do match and are not being used, feel free to let your instructors know about them.

Let us know how you use technology to learn for a future issue!

Unsolicited Advice

This section is where we just offer up some possibly useful advice in your direction even though you didn’t even ask us for it.  Skip ahead if you didn’t come here for any of that kind of thing. In future issues, you will be given the opportunity to unceremoniously push some advice to your peers as well. This is where we try to slip in some of the really boring, yet still important things you maybe want to think about as you work through your program.

Our unsolicited advice this issue is really basic: read, share and contribute to this blog! We’re going to release one every month, and the more readership and more contributions we get from you, the more effective it will be.

Think about policies and procedures that, although dry and unexciting to consider, really helped you to know about and follow. Let us know what those are for future issues: email us with the subject headline “Hey, here’s something that’s important to me, the learner.”

Portfolio Padding

Portfolio Padding is here to share a thing that you could do to add to your overall awesomeness. It’ll be a thing that will enhance your mystique and aura. Or maybe a thing you can list on your resume that employers will look at and go “Huh. Cool!”

Remember way back about two minutes ago when we shared a piece from the Open Learner Patchbook? You can add to it yourself by writing a short piece about one of the ways that you learn. Heck, most of the “patches” that are there already are written by your peers across Ontario. Have a look at some of the other “patches” to see that there are stories not only about how to get things done, but also about how to advocate for yourself and others. The Patchbook will become richer and richer the more stories are added. If you’re interested, check out this link: Find Something to Write About. All published “Patchers” receive a digital badge and a t-shirt!

Show & Tell

Let’s be real, Show & Tell is the greatest educational activity of all time. We each get to share something cool we have done and everyone else gets to benefit from hearing about it. As we get older, we forget about how awesome it is and then rediscover it and call it something else, like Open Education. This section will be simply to share interesting learning activities. If something you did in one of your courses really excited you, let us know about it for this section.

For example, The SXD Lab (Student Experience Design Lab) is an eCampusOntario program in which various projects are run by students to generate purposeful learning experiences for each other. Read about the project My Meaningful Life by Chantale Brunet, Hannah Carriere, and Samantha Zoe Germain in which they developed a way to help students identify their preferred future.

We hope you enjoyed the inaugural issue of The Pitch! Please share it all over the place if you liked it and consider sharing your own experiences for a future issue by emailing Chris Fernlund at cfernlund@ecampusontario.ca.