The ONL journey

The ONL 2021 was an even better experience than I anticipated. I was very pleased to learn so much from my colleagues around the globe. We started by getting to know each other and talked about many aspect of learning, pedagogy, tools and structures. The beginning was a bit slow for me and it was hard to find the time to get to know even more. My group consisted of very interesting people from various backrounds and we bonded very well.

Our first topic was digital literacies. This raised a lot of discussion and to me many aspects I hadn’t thought of previously. We talked about the webinar on digital literacies where David White presented a dimensional mapping – Visitor/Resident, Institutional/Personal. As group work we presented a collective mapping of the digital tools we are using. Most of the platforms were those that are frequently used worldwide not only in schools but also in free time. Some are strictly institutional, such and various learning platforms created for educational purpose. I realized that here we land on the map depends on what we need and how we need it to be shared. The concept of privacy varies from individual needs to school requirement and all the way to social constructs, beliefs and personal tendencies.

The second subject was about openness and how it is viewed and defined. It was interesting to see that coming from different background we also had different aspects to value and see openness and what its limits are. After a deep soul searching and several maps we came to the conclusion that there is no clear dichotomy between openness and closeness.

We continued our journey by talking about group work. In my blog I presented a game where students examine (trough several small tasks) their typical role in a group and afterwards form a situation where they intentionally mix them up. This contributed to the awareness of how roles affect group communication. As group work we made a very fun recipe book [1] for collaborative learning with a book creator tool I hadn’t used before.

The final topic was about designing online and blended learning. We made a map of modes of learning [2] based on Prof. Richard Elmore’s model [3] and also talked about hybrid and realized we had quite different definitions to it. Our group decided to try out the ABC learning design toolkit which one of us had luckily used previously. We arranged a workshop where we analyzed the design of the course Open Networked learning. The aim was to learn the tool so we could use it for our own teaching in the future.

For future practices I will take with me much of what I have learned. It was amazing to get to know all of my group members and hear and discuss with them. This has been one of my most mind-opening and fun learning journeys during my time in Aalto. Hopefully we will continue exploring new techniques and keep valuing peer learning and especially discussion and sharing. Thank you ONL212, organizers, facilitators and group members!


[1] I. Tarling, S. Pérez Läherinta, S. Lau, H. Karlsson Pacheco, M. Gan Joo Seng, K. Minkkinen, J-P. Murara. Open networked learning, Course 2021, recipe book. (2021)

[2] ONL Groups. Map of learning modes for ONL. (2021)

[3] Elmore R. 4 Learning modes. (2021)


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    1. Thanks Bahareh, it felt like a journey. 😀