Thursday, March 27, 2014

ED 722 Personal Case Study

The final assignment for ED722 requires us to reflect upon ourselves as a learner and describe the knowledge, skills and dispositions employed that make or “could” make us successful  as an online or blended educator.

During this semester our courses we focused heavily on Deeper Learning, Project Based Learning, Academic mindsets and student work. All of which were very interesting and engaging. I learned how to use more online tools as well as become more comfortable with tools I had already used in past courses. I began to use Twitter more and more as we were required to tweet responses to some of the learning we did in the DLMOOC but I also tweeted other educationally related material and found myself seeing Twitter as a very valuable tool. I also became very comfortable with using Storify as that was the tool we used to record and reflect upon our learning for the week. I also felt as if I learned even more about the various topics by reading my classmates Storify posts.
I feel that I could use these tools as well as others with students and be very comfortable embedding this technology into my lessons. Starting tomorrow I will be guiding a group of students through the book Crossover by Kwame Alexander, and the first assignment involves an activity using the online tool Glogster. I am looking forward to the task and seeing what the students create.

I have also realized as a learner that perseverance is key, especially when dealing with the unknowns of technology. What I mean is that by sticking with a tool or topic involving new technology and learning I now have a more confident outlook as I see the many benefits of e-learning. You might say that I have a “growth mindset” when it comes to exploring new areas of teaching and learning. I have begun adding  another unit to My Digital Learning Hub and along with a classmate have created a website titled NHPS Math Media Hub where teachers can post and borrow math performance tasks.

When I look forward into my career as an educator with a background in IT & Digital Media Literacy the future looks exciting. I know as I experience more topics and tools involved in blended learning that I can become a more proficient online educator.  I will continue to encourage both the teachers at my school and the students to use a more 21st Century approach to teaching and learning. I hope to share what I have learned about blended learning with them as well as others in my district. I plan to continue curating my online identity through my Digital learning Hub and my Blog page. It has been such an eye-opening experience.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

ED 722 Week 12 Final Reflection

Our final week of the DLMOOC asks us to reflect on our own deeper learning during the course.

As I mentioned in my blog at the start of the DLMOOC that this was the first Massive Open On-line Course that I was a participant in. I wasn't sure what to expect or even how it worked. So I began by introducing myself on the DLMOOC Google + page and I reading other participants introductions as well. There was definitely comfort in knowing there were a number of us new "MOOCies".

I thought the whole course was very organized. The weekly readings and panel discussions were very pertinent to my course of study at the University of New Haven as well really interesting. High Tech High was a school that was highlighted and I was thoroughly impressed with their philosophy, project based learning and teacher & student engagement.

My favorite part was using twitter to communicate and post interesting items. I also enjoyed reflecting and sharing what I learned each week using Storify.

I believe my participation was pretty good in tweeting a number of times with the hashtag DLMOOC and I posted my weekly Storify reflections on the DLMOOC site. I engaged in a few conversations/discussions with other members of the course, however I think I could have joined in on more conversations with members of the MOOC.

Overall my experience with my first Massive Open Online Course was very positive.   

Sunday, March 16, 2014

ED 722 and Global Literacy

This week I decided to combine the assignments from our DLMOOC and my tweets from the #walkmyworld project into my Storify. The topic from DLMOOC was reflecting upon deeper learning and one of the resources for the week focused on student work - curating, creating an audience and exhibiting work. I thought since my tweets for the #walkmyworld project also had a focus on student work that it would be a good way to share what I learned with where I "walked". Hope you enjoy my Storify.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

ED 722 Week 10 Reflection

This week of ED 722 and #DLMOOC we explored Digital Badges and Assessment of Deeper learning. Lots of interesting resources and ways in which we should or could assess students as 21st Century Learners. For more on these topics please visit my Storify for the week.

Global SchoolNet Micro-Talk Reflection

This was a really exciting week in that my classmates and I were to present a Micro-Talk on a website pertinent to our global literacy class. I was really impressed, but not surprised, at  the quality of work and effort that went into each of my classmates presentations. And as usual we learned so much from each other. More specifically we were informed of the many online websites that offer exciting and engaging programs to teachers and students with various opportunities to learn and share globally.

As I began researching an initial sight for my micro-talk, I started with one called ThinkQuest. It looked overflowing with exciting projects, student competitions, and resources for teachers and students. Unfortunately, as I delved further into the website I realized that it was no longer in service and the links to past website projects tended to be unavailable. So I went on a mission to find another website. I stumbled upon one called Global SchoolNet.   As I looked into it more and more I realized this would fit appropriately into the assignment and I decided to use it for my Micro-Talk.

GlobalSchoolNet offers a variety of programs and projects to link students around the globe.  There are links within each page of the website so at first it can be a little challenging to stay on track and find the information you started looking for. I found this to be true in the tab “Online Expeditions and Virtual Field Trips”. There were also some tabs that were not accessible due to being in the process of re-formatted to a new version yet. However there are other parts of the website that are easier to navigate through and find project information as well as students sample work, as was the case with my Micro-talk example of the “Santa’s Letters” project. All in all I think there is a lot to offer teachers and students within this free website.

My classmates feedback on my Micro-talk was positive and there were some questions as to how to find more project samples and how it compares to the  iEARN website. I agree it can be somewhat limited in the areas of student work, but perhaps that is because I was just getting to understand how to navigate through it. If anyone has questions there is a place to send questions and feedback regarding the site. In reference to how it compares to iEARN, I found both were based on the same premise of learning,sharing and linking globally through project based learning but found the iEARN site a little more user friendly.  

Feel free to take a look at my Micro-Talk by clicking here.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

ED722 Week 9 Response

This weeks DLMOOC and ED 722 course focused on academic mindset. I find the idea of fixed verses growth mindset to be very engaging. This topic caused me to reflect a lot on what type of mindset I demonstrate as well as what type of mindset my students have. I also reflected on how I foster a growth mindset among my students or am I praising their intelligence and ability in a way that is counter productive. Carol Dweck's book mindset has such interesting examples of both the fixed and the growth mindset. In my Storify I included resources that look at mindset between girls and boys, in the area of sports, with age, etc. I really enjoyed learning more about the topic this week.