In completing my CSU course on Web Pedagogies, my second assignment will revolve around designing and creating a lesson or group of lessons that make use of a web tool (ex. Blogs, Wikis, Social Media etc.) and an online learning resource (ex. Websites, YouTube, Google Maps, etc.). When it comes to content and focus, the assignment asks us to support a learning goal or objective that supports a curriculum area in our current line of work. With my current position as a Learning Technologies Coordinator, my focus is not directly linked to a classroom or course or subject area but rather the support and development of educators and their integration of technology in their respective classrooms. As a result, my topic will focus on teaching educators about a particular piece of technology.
Identifying a Need
Over the next few months, our school district will be moving on to the Windows 8 operating system. Up to this point, part of my work has been to help facilitate the switch to this new operating system. Identifying software and hardware that will be carried forward as well as marking technology that will need to be dropped in favour of this version of Windows has been a slow and challenging process. Consequently, there is also a need to support teachers and students with new software applications and programs. One such program is Windows Movie Maker 2012 which presents a drastic departure from its XP version.
The use of video in the classroom provides a wide range of opportunities to support learning and instruction across many subject areas and grade levels. Podcasting, presentations, story-telling and self-reflection can all be documented with video and provide choices for students to engage and demonstrate learning. Developing a lesson or series of lessons supported through online tools and resources will help acquaint teachers with this new video editing software and hopefully encourage educators who are not currently using video production in their classrooms to now jump in with Movie Maker 2012.
Things to Consider
Course notes and resources identify some important features to consider when developing an online learning resource or tool (Nelson, 2007). Some features that I found particularly compelling were:
1. Linked to curriculum standards – an obvious point but it can easily be pushed to the back burner when the tech fun begins. I also felt compelled to have this placed first on the list (although the list does not really present these in features in any particular order of importance) because it is inline with the critical question, “What do we want our students (kids or adults) to know and do?”.
2. The task or activity presents a worthy challenge that is not too easy nor impossible to solve or overcome. What makes this more difficult is that different students will most likely be capable of handling different levels of challenge that will be linked to their own relative ability and prior knowledge. Tiering and choice is a strategy or feature that one can use to accommodate different levels of ability but how will I execute that support structure within my own lesson or series of lessons?
3. Opportunities for collaboration – this feature is particularly challenging for me as my particular line of work is in supporting and teaching teachers. Traditionally my time in supporting educators is limited to one, perhaps two workshops with very little opportunity to reconnect together as a learning group. This is a challenge that I particularly look forward to addressing as their are a number of different online platforms that may provide the opportunity for collaboration to continue.
4. A clear and final product presents another opportunity to infuse some choice for the participating learners/educators. Whatever the product, it again brings me back to the first point of linking it to a curriculum or learning objective.
OK, Now What?
Moving forward, I need to think more on isolating two or three learning goals or objectives for this lesson or series of lessons. Linked to these objectives will be the final product(s) that I intend to have my learners create as a way to document learning.
I hope to have the opportunity to better document my progress throughout this assignment and perhaps post my thoughts on this blog. Again, perhaps this serves as yet another opportunity to investigate another interest of mine, podcasting.
Nelson, K. J. (2007). Designing internet-based activities. Teaching in the digital age: Using the internet to increase student engagement and understanding (2nd ed.) (pp. 1-17). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.