Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dusting This Blog Off: Thoughts on Online Ed

Today I've watched two World Cup games while learning more about online platforms for education via Global Online Academy. I am taking their two week course on "Blended Learning" OLE 1 - and we just started today.

I am wading in before posting to my classmates, not that I am shy, but for all the blogging and online tools I have used over the years... my thoughts continue to evolve on blended learning. I am writing here to think out loud again.

Just when I felt comfortable at my previous school, a boarding school with an extended block per week and readily available Chromebooks and reliable wifi, I switched to a day school with shorter classes and no block - and let's just say limited access to devices on a daily basis and challenges with wifi at times.

The good news: the 1:1 program in the middle school will migrate to the upper school with the freshman class next fall - and a block period is being discussed in committees...we'll see.

The bad news with 1:1 program is that it requires more than minor shifts in pedagogy or what's the point, right? It's proven lecturing to digital stenographers doesn't work - for a variety of reasons - one being lecturing may not work.

So what role does technology play in the classroom?

My latest thoughts for next year is to go hybrid - old school journals and bring your own devices, even phones, for polls, quizzes, questions, quotes, posts, etc.

Time management is the key to engagement - in short spurts use both old (a private journal to explore thoughts) and then new technology (a public place to share potentially more refined written ideas) then intermix with discussion and questions.

For example: 

Start class with opening journal question for handwritten journal on last nights homework: traditional text or online content (video or student posts) - students can use devices if applicable.

Discussion after written meditation.

Journal some more following discussion - further synthesis.

Then read poem or excerpt aloud in class.
Students use devices to post initial reaction and connections to journal.

Discuss more: conversation continues as students engage and teacher moderates/facilitates.

Homework: read more text and respond to class comments from class discussion or online discussion.

Goal: Ongoing synthesis and conversation building towards an analytical essay - or even op-ed piece connecting topic to other works, politics, current events, history, etc.

The reason to bring this blog back - to share thoughts that may lead to later discussion.

No comments:

Post a Comment