Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Final Blog

It's over! four tough semesters and boy did I learn allot.  This has really been quite the experience.  It started out as an adventure that I thought would be fun and exciting and turned in to an adventure that was more work than I ever thought possible.   I learned so much about computers and what they can do. 

September 13,2009 I wrote my first blog and as I went back and read through my blogs I began to reminisce.  I remember writing:

"Well, I now understand what my students mean when they say their brains hurt after class. My brain is really hurting—it’s on overload. This is really a computer intensive course and I will know about my computer by the time I finish this course of that I am sure. I have never taken an online course and I’m learning very quickly that there is a lot of reading, going to various links, and being dropped by the online provider while I am reading or thinking."

That was quite the experience.  Just trying to even figure out how to blog I thought was going to cause me to have a computer meltdown.  Then we began putting our courses together in the later courses.  I was so thankful that the first couple of courses got me through all the understanding of teaching online and understanding the technology available.

As I proceeded into the 3rd course and began putting together the design of my online course things really came into perspective.  There was so much available to make the course my own; I would put my personality to the course.

I have learned terms or as I call it a new language in these courses like, Wiki, Wimba, Blogging, Google Docs, Wetpaint, podcast and buffering.  Even the HTML language, which I still struggle with.  I know why students do enjoy learning a foreign language.  Just when I thought I had been through it all I entered this last course...

I can't believe I ended my last blog with... So, as I begin this last course in this online teaching journey I look forward to the challenge and the excitement of putting digital content to my online courses.  Let’s go Digital!!!!    What was I thinking??  Well now I am at the end of the course  and I have designed a multimedia presentation, put the first 3 lessons together and made so many modifications to the course.  It took hours and hours and hours and.....  I could keep going but I am sure you understand.  First I didn't like the way I sounded and then I was at war with the technology. Then I didn't like the way things looked.  Of course there was the I have to be perfect piece and the constant tweaking.  My lap top almost was out the window of the 4th floor.  But, I survived.  I have attached the multimedia presentation for your viewing at the top of the blog.

Another thing that I learned is that a sick computer is really frustrating.  This has been a tiring time to get programs to work, open and compose.  My computer was in the computer hospital twice during this last class for at least 2-3 days and boy did that make it hard for me to complete assignments.  Technology is only as good as the one working it and the age of the computer.  This has really taught me patience and the need to back up.  The final out come from the checkup was hard drive with "plaque build up" causing inability to "circulate information" properly or in other words I need new computer.

The entire process of putting together these first 3 lessons in our course was really a learning process.  I have decided to use much of this in my course for fall.  I will have to transfer it to moodle and hopefully it will work.  I'd really like to add a podcast to each lesson.  Of course the final answer is YES! I will continue to teach online and improve my classes, maybe even design another one to teach online for our program.  Maybe even do a few more multimedia presentations; after a good rest or vacation. 

I really can't believe how much I have learned as I look back and how much more comfortable I am with the online learning environment.  But I really believe it is time for a vacation.