Sunday, November 20, 2011

CED 550 - Week 3

This week we prepared to lead a 15 minute discussion on a topic of our choice in one of the upcoming lectures. We also need to prepare an asynchronous discussion thread that corresponds to our topic. The topic that I chose was blended learning. I choose my particular discussion topic because I am interested in flipping my classroom within the next 3 years.

One of the greatest challenge that I am anticipating as an online teacher/facilitator is keeping tabs on all student activity. I will need to carefully monitor the chat window, emoticons, hand raising, technical issues, and whiteboard. I hope to manage this challenge by providing clear directions for student activity and allowing them to control the flow of the lesson. I plan on regulating student conversation by requiring students to raise their hands when they want to talk. I may even utilize the mic restrictions that eluminate offers. I also hope to keep the students engaged. I plan on having all the students use the whiteboard to complete a graphic organizer. While the students are completing this task, I will be able to monitor the chat window, emoticons, hand raising, and technical issues.

As I prepared for my synchronous and asynchronous lesson, I realized that planning a lesson for an online learning environment is very similar to planing a lesson for a regular classroom. Preparation is the main focus of all good lessons (in class or online). I really needed to take the time to research my topic and think about the best way to present my material. I needed to consider my audience and determine the best possible way to keep them engaged. This is a similar check off that I use when preparing any lesson.

We also needed to create rubrics to evaluate the synchronous and asynchronous discussions. My focus for creating these rubrics was to keep it simplistic and easy to evaluate. I wanted to have clearly defined ranges that would allow me to quickly and easily evaluate student participation. I wanted it to be as clear cut as possible.

That is my plan for my synchronous and asynchronous lesson. Check my lesson and my discussion topic. Feel free to give any feedback.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

CED 550 - Week 2

This post will discuss a list of statements/questions that we are supposed to be able to answer after this weeks class. I wrote my response below each question.

Identify at least two synchronous and two asynchronous online learning tools that would be appropriate for your targeted online learners.
  • Two synchronous online learning tools that I could use with my students are Eluminate live! and Google + Hangouts with the interactive shared whiteboard.
  • Two asynchronous online learning tools that I could use are my moodle page or my edmodo page.

List four different types of activities that you might use with your targeted online learners and identify an appropriate online tool to use in implementing that activity.

  • Student discussions about Labs - I would facilitate this through the forums activity that moodle provides
  • Screencast homework tutorials - I would use screener or Eluminate live! to have the students demonstrate how to do the homework. I chose these two options because they are web based and don't require any software installation.
  • Blogs - I would have the students use the wiki feature in moodle because it is protected
  • Lab Simulations - I would use to complete online lab simulations that demonstrate concepts discussed in class

Is my initial contact warm and inviting? Are there things I did particularly well or could do better in the future? Is my initial contact clear and concise and yet user friendly? What are some strategies that help to format your contacts to make them as clear and concise as possible?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

CED 550 - Week 1

This is the first week of CED 550 - Facilitating Online Learning. This course is designed to develop the skills of an effective online instructor. This week we focused on the similarities and differences of online learning, the strengths and weakness of online learning, and how to use Eluminate (a synchronous online learning environment). The main focus of this week's blog is how I can relate the examples of online learning to my own experience.

I have taken a quite a few online course prior to this one. This course is unique because it allows me learn about the skills and the process of creating an online learning environment. I find this to be of great value because I am interested in creating a blended learning environment within my own classroom. One thing that I enjoyed was having the moderator controls in eluminate during class this week. Eluminate is a great way to meet with a group of students and interact in a synchronous online learning environment. Moderators can truly control and guide a productive lesson in an online environment. This is something that I hope to utilize more as I explore the option of a blended learning environment.

I also looked at interactive online science lessons from the online learning gallery. The specific lessons were not as useful as I hoped because they did not relate to my subject area or age level. I did however find them to reinforce the benefits of interactive online learning. This is a great way to test student comprehension of content. Whether it is a quiz, memory game, or labeling activity; all of these activities allow the student to apply their knowledge and receive feedback. I have used interactive simulations from within my classroom. These have been a great online lab alternative. I hope to continue to explore and discover more simulations and webquests so that I can incorporate them into the online learning aspect of my class.