Posts Tagged With: instructional design

I’m Takin’ a MOOC, and this is actually my first assignment….

Yes, yes I am taking a MOOC  (that’s a Massive Online Open Course for the uninitiated….and yep – it’s just about as geeky as it sounds, and definitely more fun!) I have tried this before, and wasn’t really impressed. HOWEVER,  this course, titled “Today’s Blended Teacher: the Blended Schools MOOC” is all about blended classrooms, so it is more relevant, and is much better organized. Whether you call this format blended, hybrid, or flipped (which is not quite the same thing), it appears to be the direction that much of education is going.  For those who are uncomfortable with a fully online class – whether it is in higher education, or elementary and secondary schools, it can really create functional and exciting ways for teachers to teach and learners to learn.  As an instructional designer and an instructor, I frequently suggest that my faculty use this technique, especially for certain subjects – those requiring field work for example, or if they would benefit from complicated real-world projects where the student can go out and get the information online (maybe even doing some ground work), then come back to the classroom to discuss, create, and question.

Blended classrooms are, by definition, at least 50% online and 50% face-to-face. They allow students to do their own learning and discovering, but maintain the hands-on guidance that many instructors and students desire, and some subject matters require.  Some of the examples that we have created in my office are a virtual reality airplane accident for an Accident Investigation class, a crane accident for a Safety class, a three course “block” of blended courses for Early Childhood and Elementary education, and a World Diversity course which is allowing students to discuss some very touch subjects in more protected ways. This course design is allowing these teachers to develop projects and assessments that meet more than one Learning Objective at a time, thereby giving them more time for learning and demanding less time for assessing.  How can that not be a good thing!

Blended learning is here – and it has great places to go. I really am excited about this course I am taking. I have even enrolled my 13 year old son in a MOOC, and if he can keep up, I’m sure he will enjoy it as well. Yes, MOOCs are kind of “geeky” – but then so Runescape and Minecraft….and that being said, I will revel in my Geeky-ness, and continue my search for a certain police box driven by a man in a bowtie….and continue to learn about blended classrooms while I wait.

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ASCD Express 8.14 – Five Findings for Leading Common Core Implementation

ASCD Express 8.14 – Five Findings for Leading Common Core Implementation.

Common Core is the “latest and greatest” at the k-12 level. I saw this while browsing through my Zite account (AWESOME tool, if you haven’t yet tried this one). I thought my fellow teachers might like it – enjoy!!

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5 Disruptive Education Trends That Address American Inequality | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation

HI All! I’m sorry it’s taken so long to get anything new up – I hope people have actually been reading what I post, so I’m sorry if you have and I fell short. I think you might like this article – it’s really interesting. It addresses many of the new trends I have seen at various levels of education: software that learns learning styles, MOOCs, Flipped Classrooms, Gamification, and online (Free) tutors. I’m not totally sold on MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) or learning software, but they are definitely on the horizon (and some of these are even mentioned in the Horizon Report – Gamification is given a “Time-to-adoption” of 2 – 3 years, and MOOCs are 1 year or less! I’m getting ready to take 2 myself, just to see how they work!

So – those of you who have been patiently waiting for me to show back up – what are your thoughts on this? Is it as exciting and scary as I think?? Will it help American Schools regain our standing in the world? Or at least keep us competitive?

5 Disruptive Education Trends That Address American Inequality | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation.

Categories: Instructional Design | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Well – it’s almost here..

The election is Tuesday, and I’m ready to see if I win or lose. Either way, Positive Connections is staying, even though the outcome may affect the direction it takes.  I have visited with teachers, general voters, and Seniors. I have shared my views through FaceBook and through this wonderful venue. I hope that I have explained myself well, and that the voters will understand what I am after, and will support me in my quest. I really do believe that communication and cooperation between parents, teachers, administrators, and the board will lead to positive connections, and that will lead an already good district to be that much better. I have learned of many problems that need addressing, and many strengths that need nurturing. I know a board member is only one of 7, but that one can offer support to many and encouragement to others, and I want to be that one.

I hope to see you Tuesday – but however and wherever you do it, don’t forget to VOTE!!

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Education Week: Which Path for the Common Core?

Education Week: Which Path for the Common Core?.

I have been wondering more about the Common Core, and whether it is a progress or a limitation. I can see both possibilities. This article makes some good points about what needs to be included in curriculum when following Common Core – it is definitely something that should be in the discussion!

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I have heard the public school system identified as a workforce producer repeatedly in the past couple weeks, but I know most of our teachers are trying to nurture their students' creativity.  This guy is fun to listen to, and really lays it out well, I think.

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Education Week: Ed-Tech PD Focuses on Student Learning Needs

Education Week: Ed-Tech PD Focuses on Student Learning Needs.

A very insightful article with a point of view I think get lost in all the hype about new technology. Don’t misunderstand – I LOVE new technology – I am an Instruction Technologist, after all – but if the best technology is a book, then use a book; if it’s virtual reality, then by all means move into the VR world! But how can we know what works if we don’t focus on what we are trying to teach first??

Categories: Instructional Design, School Board | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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