Sunday, December 18, 2011

Week 6 of CED 550

This weeks module was about online courses and the shift towards 21st century skills, my school districts current online course involvement, and the Virtual Schools Legislation in Wisconsin.

During the module I was excited to watch the Learning to Change/Changing to Learn video and the Shift Happens video. Videos like these always provide me with the inspiration I need to continue moving forward with the changes that I am trying to make within my own classroom. My favorite part of the learning to change/changing to learn video was the quote at the end. "This is a very exciting time for learning. It's the death of education but it's the dawn of learning, and that makes me very happy". This is a reflection of how we need to change and how this change is positive for our students.

We needed to complete a Scavenger Hunt to determine our districts involvement in online learning. I felt like my district is positively working towards the changes that we need to shift towards 21st century learning. This is a very slow process but I am glad that I am actively involved with this change and I am excited to pilot a flipped classroom next year.

My flipped classroom model will provide my students with an opportunity to gain 21st century skills by fostering their ability to connect, create, and collaborate in an online environment. The students will be utilizing Moodle as their main Learning Management System. This online environment will be a place to watch/read lectures, take assessments, collaborate on discussion boards, complete lab simulations, and share information. I hope to utilize in class time for collaboration on labs and homework. The pacing of the course will be determined by the student. This is a more student centered approach that will hopefully benefit my students and help them develop the necessary skills to become life long learners.

The last assessment that I completed this week was a review of the Virtual Schools Legislation in Wisconsin. It was interesting to read the concerns about virtual charter schools. I have not previously considered the financial concerns that are connected with this trend. I now understand the Virtual Schools Legislation in Wisconsin and am concerned about the lack of focus on the benefits for students. It appears that most people are concerned with districts losing money to virtual schools instead of how a virtual school may benefit the student. Another concern is that outsiders may view virtual schools as a money making opportunity since they typically have lower costs of operation. My hope is that we get all of the political and financial aspects worked out so that we can focus on the most important issue, the students.

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