Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Third course and technology still causes me trouble

Orginal Post:  October 31, 2010

Note:  I have been able to retrive my orginal blogs.  Therefore, I am cutting and pasting this blog into my old blogs.  I have decided technology will either kill me or I will conquer it.  Sorry for the sites that do not open now.
Technology--It is giving me a headache. I have been in and out of my blog many times as a matter of fact for the last 2 classes and the begining of this one. Then I go to enter again and it wouldn't accept my password! Of course the only way to get the password is they email it to you but, my blog in made with my old email address that I have no access to anymore, lovely. So I had to restart my blog because no one knew how to get it going again.  Now that I have digressed from my orginal blog... I shall begin again
In my previous blog I said “you can’t eat and elephant whole or it overwhelms you”.   As we have proceeded through this course we have been building our lesson design piece by piece that statement says it all.  I remember seeing in the first lesson the design process in a graphical format and thought to myself this is really going to be a huge undertaking.  Then as the weeks progressed and we began to build the course it made sense.

Just like building a house, we built the foundation in lesson 2.  We looked at what course we wanted to put on line, who would take the course and the constraints or considerations.  This really was an important part of the course building as in a house if this isn’t well done it can really cause problems—your house falls or your course fails.  The need for all my constraints to be addressed as well as the concerns was really important as I began developing my online class. 

Writing the objectives, developing assessment strategies and breaking down the course into units seemed to fall into place –once I knew what to put where.  In looking at my constraints I could see that many of them were out of my control and I really had to be creative to work within them.  This was true of the many college mandates that accompany an online course, such as the syllabus is approved by accrediting bodies therefore without college or department approval changes cannot be made.  The changing from out dated webct to Moodle for a management system is something I must work with even if I don’t like it and last that there is no money available to purchase the use of wimba or any other enhancement to the course.  But thank goodness for free site$.   

Then there was the learner issues, this was a really interesting and really gave me food for thought or so to say.  This was an entity that I had not realized was so interesting.  One of the readings in this course for this topic was Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age:  Universal Design for Learning this was an interesting book by Rose and Meyer.  In chapter 2 they talked about brain differences and the research done on learning.  I didn’t know that there were 3 interconnected networks to receive and analyze information the strategic, affective and recognition networks.  As I read this I thought of a person with brain injury or a stroke and why we see different relearning taking place depending on the damage.  The whole processing of information being so unique to each one of us and that is why learning has to be more than when I was in school.  I thought of my son with the learning difference, he is dyslexic audio and visual, but has a verbal score that is gifted when tested.  These chapters we read really had me thinking about the various media that is available in online teaching and how much more a student can learn because of this. 
The use of technology is really growing and growing rapidly.  I can see
more and more happening in the realm on technology.  We use Skype  
and can have conversations in a learning environment with people in  
different parts of the world.  We can watch surgery as it is being perform in the confines of the classroom or in our home via the computer.  Today’s students want the information now, they are very techno savvy. I think of my son who is a college sophomore and realize he was never alive without computers and cell phones. If we are going to be good, no great educators of tomorrow’s society I think we really have to look at the world they live and learn in.
I know for my courses discussions of various types is something that really gets the critical thinking going.  I encourage the use of outside sources not just their text book and try to introduce them to web sites available.  As they challenge me in learning the new technology and learning to teach within it I will also challenge them to perform at their highest.  Who knows what tomorrow learner issues may be?  But, for know my main one is learning within the technology

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