This page contains my reflection of various ideas and assignments done throughout the semester for EDTECH 521.

This is a reflection of my thoughts, questions, and comments on various quotes, websites, and ideas that I received over the semester.


June 11-17

Online Community Building Activities

Description of original activity
Building Community in an Online Learning Environment: Communication, Cooperation and Collaboration by Misanchuck & Anderson. Even though this article is somewhat dated, what I like is the inclusion of a framework, grounded in theory, that can be used in practice.

Assignment: Use the framework provided in the article as a template and identify community building strategies for use in your own classroom. Provide a rationale for each. I don’t usually like to put minimum and maximum counts on assignments, but some of you will ask, so let me suggest that you include between 5 and 10 strategies. What I’m most interested in is that you think carefully about how you will incorporate strategies for building community into your online classes.

See an example I created for some of the activities in this class:
Online Community Strategies EDTECH 521

Activities I chose
Icebreakers are a fun and interesting ways for students to get their feet wet in the class and to introduce themselves to their fellow classmates.
Discussion boards allow students to put what they are learning to work outside of basic question and answer. They allow the students the chance to voice ideas and opinions about the subject being covered and to get feedback from their fellow classmates.
Role-playing is fun as students get to act out various roles and to learn in ways different then the norm.
Jigsaw activities allow students to teach each other and get a chance to be the teacher and experience what it is like “on the other side”. Teaching also helps to integrate the concepts being taught and allow the students to internalize them.
Debates allow students to decide what works best for them or to determine what side they are on and then defend it. This activity truly gives each student a voice and helps to facilitate greater discussions and thoughts as topics are discussed and dissected.
Portfolios allow the students a chance to put together their best work and make a compilation of work done over the year. It can help the students see how far they have come and how much they have actually learned.

The greatest impact
For me, I feel as though the jigsaw activities would have the greatest impact on a student. When you teach something, it truly helps to internalize and integrate the thoughts and concepts more deeply. Students also have a great way of saying the right things to help others understand what they are trying to say. Sometimes they are better at communicating ideas to each other than any teacher, no matter the skill level.

June 18-24

Sometime during the next week, facilitate a real-time chat activity and reflect on the experience. Feel free to combine this activity with the group collaboration assignment for this week. There are any number of tools to that you can use for this activity. Moodle even has a built in chat tool. I have not used it yet so feel free to experiment with it and share your experiences with the class. Or choose another tool if you prefer. All of your BSU Google Apps accounts have built in chat, voice and video tools.

This week and every week, I have tutor center hours for my teaching job that I have with IDLA.  I am able to Elluminate for this purpose.  This week I had a student come and I was able to have a live math tutoring session with her.  It was fun and great.  I have used various real-time collaboration tools and really like Elluminate.  It has easy to use white board tools, chat, and voice tools.  It is always fun to work with a student one-on-one and get live real communication and feedback.  Sometimes the students forget that we are actual people too and this allows us to really help them in a real-time atmosphere.  I like this tool and the opportunities it gives not only me but all the students that I teach and that are working on classes through IDLA.

June 25 – July 1

This is just a followup to the previous week.  I wanted to add the link to the live discussion that the Emerald group had when we worked together to come up with the netiquette assignment.  This is an example of using Blackboard Collaborate (Elluminate).

View the Blackboard Collaborate recording

July 2 – July 8

Once you have a good idea about your own learning style, brainstorm a list of online technologies and strategies that you feel would be best for your learning style and for a learning style that is different from yours. Your list should have at least 4 technologies and/or strategies for each learning style. For example, an auditory learner might benefit from a LIVE presentation where she can listen to the instructor give a demonstration. Just as many of the learning styles can overlap and each student can have a unique combination, so can the technologies and strategies used to teach them. Record this list in your reflective journal. You can also share your results with the class in the discussion forum.

I found that I am pretty well rounded in my learning style.  I scored high in 4 areas: linguistic, bodily/kinetics, logical/mathematical, and interpersonal.

I think that the quiz hit me very well.  I am a math/English teacher that coaches volleyball, soccer, basketball, and track.

July 9 – July 15

Self-evaluation can be an effective way to prepare learners for the final process in project development – grading. Practice this strategy using your work in this class. Use the rubric for the lesson development assignment and evaluate your own presentation.

Here is my self-evaluation as of July 14.

July 16 – July 22

View the video in the resources above and reflect on you own teaching style. Is it primarily teacher-centered and lecture-driven? In online environments, the lecture component of any lesson can often be delivered asynchronously as preparation for live meetings that are reserved for those times when interactions are critical for learning. Think about this shift and what it means in terms of your own teaching. Create a list of lesson ideas or strategies that might be especially suitable for live meetings using synchronous delivery tools. Post this in your reflection journal. As an option, you may also want to post your ideas in the partner discussion forum.
Lesson ideas or strategies for live synchronous delivery
  • Give students time to play with and explore the delivery tool
  • Provide a opening activity that students can participate in as others are coming to the meeting
  • Put the students in charge
  • Use Web 2.0 tools
  • Record sessions for students unable to attend live session
  • Use color and diversity
  • Call students by name and have everyone participate
  • Use inter-actives

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