This tutorial series was a logical thing for me; I wanted to make sure that students who missed class were able to finish their work without being left behind, and I wanted to allow for students who were ahead to simply go forward and work on a new tutorial. So, I put these tutorials online, and everything was working hunky dory, with me just going from student to student when necessary. They all worked at their own pace; they were happy, and I was happy. It was a very relaxing class to run, and I allowed for so much customization of the results, the students really enjoyed it. I caught one student asking another, the following semester, "What's your favourite teacher?" and the student answered, "Mrs. J!" and he started describing how I had been so cool and had allowed for him to make a composition with dragons and swords on Photoshop, and how I let them have their own pace.
Only when I started course 502 from my masters, I realized that what I had been doing for the past couple of years was basically blended learning. It's interesting how you can do something and not realize that the thing has a name.
I feel that way about many things in regards to Education. There was this paper we were supposed to write during the Education program, and it was an action-based project in which we had to observe students and take conclusions. By the end of it, I thought I had figured out some things all by myself, such as that when content is given less weight, it allows for other, more important qualities and strengths to emerge -- I thought it was interesting how all of the qualities I thought of started with a C -- and how these were the qualities we should be focusing on. As it turns out, these things I thought I had come up with had a name: 21st Century skills. Not being a part of the education community and living a very different life before I started this path, I have no knowledge of the buzzwords and the truths that so many Educators take for granted, and I find that most of my 'knowledge' is still based on what feels right, what looks right and what works.
I would like to read more and have time to learn all the theory. I feel there is so much I don't know by heart yet. Although I am very new, I can at least take comfort that some of the things that I believe in are considered right by people who are way more knowledgeable than me, if that makes sense. Einstein said once that "Imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand". So maybe the fact that I think of how things should be without knowing what is the proper way, makes me a decent educator. Sometimes, just like the Road Runner, not knowing the way things are done can be a good thing. If you don't know the limits, then the laws of Physics don't apply... and it's harder to fall.