I did the optional reading on my computer, where I’d downloaded it. I have to admit that finding one more book was a bit defeating, and when I saw all the links to different programs to do different parts of a course in the Hockley & Clandfield reading, I was starting to feel even more concerned that there’s no way I could set up an online course. At high school, the support isn’t really there for programs that a teacher might purchase or create, and teaching five periods a day already often takes me at least ten hours a day at school.
But then I remembered a friend’s advice to keep things as simple as possible, and resolved to choose those applications that are easiest for me to acquire and connect, while also trying to use the ones that offer the most flexibility. The beginning of anything is a learning curve!
As a fast reader, I didn’t like the video very much because I would have preferred to read it in slides, rather than listening to it. I tried clicking on the transcript of the video, but as it’s through voice recognition, and the author didn’t correct mistakes, it’s frustrating to read. It’s good for me to remember that students might feel the same way about readings.
I appreciate the tips, such as keeping due dates in a single spot. I like what our course is doing with the check boxes. And I really like the level of response on the initial VT videos. It makes me feel connected. In Alaska, working with Yupik teachers, I had to relearn that the beginning of every group meeting is a recitation of where the group members have come from. The first time I co-taught a workshop, I was frustrated to find that two hours ended up going to the long explanations of family and personal history. But later, I realized that those connections made our group a much tighter one, and led to greater trust among members, and now I encourage that kind of sharing, continuing through a semester with more detail, in every class. I like the way that these videos and requirements to ask/answer questions are helping us get an early connection as well.
Other tips: keep source files, but use pdfs as much as possible, esp w/PPoint presentations.
Jing? Software tool for screencasts. Also on mac: preview. Use for tour of program.
Don’t design, create and teach at the same time.
Unlock content with prerequisites completed, as in APEX classes.
Use resources that already exist.
Hold virtual office hours
Run from the email monster: the ACTFL people should learn from this! When we five were submitting our portfolios, they answered our questions individually, and the answers to such questions as page limits on specific documents were not the same. Sometimes they answered a question with an email one way, sometimes they directed us to the the general information that had a different answer, or to the rubric, with still a third answer. Having a forum or even answering all our questions with group emails would have been better. It was just luck that three of us knew one another.
Assessments: rubrics, low-stake quizzes, revisions allowed.Audio/video feedback, text comments, mobile app grading.
On Voice Thread: I have 82 unread messages in these threads. I don’t have time to go check them all out, though they’re really interesting. I like this as a way to get acquainted, but I have a feeling that it is too much to really keep track of. Make that 85 unread messages. Now I understand why my kids balked when they had to respond to messages on Edmodo. There really has to be a limit, so I’m glad it’s “respond to your own small group” here.