Featured L4C Participant:Gladys Gahona
Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom. -- Albert Einstein
My name is Gladys Gahona, I am a Mexican private teacher. For over thirty years I have taught mathematics, physics and chemistry mainly in face-to-face environments. I have been in touch with computer technology since 1980 and started navigating the Internet since the early 90's.
As a perseverance learner and having a passion for challenges, I have spent thousands of hours seeking new ways to integrate personal learning experiences into my teaching activities. Last October, I started attending Nellie Deutsch’s live online English classes and other different topics at WiZiQ in order to improve my English speaking capabilities. Nellie alerted me to an upcoming WikiEducator free wiki skills workshop as a great opportunity to learn and collaborate with others in developing open educational resources.
I registered for the 15th L4C online workshop in November 2008. At the beginning, I knew nothing about wikis, so, the temptation to take a free workshop to learn new skills was extremely strong. I must confess the first steps were a bit disconcerting since I expected to learn the usage of a new WYSIWYG editor. Instead, editions had to be made the old fashioned way, having to learn the wiki markup and manually write the codes in the editing box. Excited newcomers who want to quickly start adding content to WikiEducator are not prepared to deal with technology issues like this, and have to accept the fact that they should focus firstly on figuring out how to build a well formed wiki page before concentrating on content development.
Being an experienced web page developer (HTML & CSS), wiki markup was very easy for me to learn. I soon started learning advanced codes, exploring possibilities of HTML & CSS markup language and learning TeX markup language. Wikis are, by definition, online databases where users freely create and edit content on a collaborative basis. The power comes from their simplicity. After trying and comparing various wikis, I realize Mediawiki (open source software) is the most powerful wiki platform, once authors overcome the challenge of learning the wiki markup. In my opinion, this is one of the most important reasons for taking a L4C free wiki skills workshop.
As soon as I was certified as a skilled educator-author, I started adding educational content to Wikieducator, making wonderful friendships at the same time, assisting and being assisted by educators from all over the world; building capacities, learning from everybody, understanding and enjoying the tremendous value of collaborative learning and its benefits to my personal and professional development.
I am currently involved in several wiki-activities: developing open educational resources, participating on workgroups, assisting and facilitating on Learning4Content workshops, participating on discussion groups, promoting our community outside, assisting in learning design projects, etc. Now, thanks to all the ongoing roles I perform on Wikieducator, I definitely consider myself a more collaborative educator.
I can say without doubt that Wikieducator offers not only the opportunity to learn wiki skills, Wikieducator offers itself: sharing the most precious gift, freedom … learning, collaborating, teaching, hosting, encouraging, training, supporting. Everything in Wikieducator is as free as our right to drink from the fountain of human knowledge.
--Gladys Gahona 05:50, 11 June 2009 (UTC)