Hi this is Jim Sullivan thanking you for an amazing year. Your contributions have dazzled me with your insight, creativity, and determination.
To wrap things up, we ask you to create one final post. In that last contribution to our year long conversation we would like you to 1) create links to each post you made over the past year and offer a brief comment on each post and 2) provide a summary of your thoughts about the program.
We believe this final post will help you better understand the development and ultimate scope of your experience this year. For this reason, we use these final posts to document your work and to assess whether or not you have completed the work required for the certificate.
Please review Pilar’s video and our final task list for the semester.
And remember, we very much hope that you will return next year to guide others along this journey!
Our Final Action Plan!
Review the POT Certificate Class Rubric and create a post containing a list of links to all your posts for the year, labeled by Week number*. Make a brief statement about the quality of each post and what it showed about your learning.
This week is dedicated to sharing a 4-5 minute presentation (or equivalent) showcasing your learning as part of the Certificate Program or from your activities here at Pedagogy First! We do this by creating intro videos or audio presentation for next year’s class.
Select one of the topics from this Google Doc and putting your name on it (only one person per topic). Please read the instructions carefully.
All presentations should be viewed and commented on by everyone!
Some Guidance on Presentations from Jim Sullivan:
I had a choice. I could give you paragraph after paragraph of inspiring advice on how to craft brilliant presentations that would highlight your genius (and ours), or I could share a two and a half minute Powerpoint of ideas with U2’s version of “Helter Skelter” for background music.
I’ll leave it to you to figure out which plan I adopted…
Yesterday, I (Jim Sullivan) spent the day in UCSD’s Geisel library catching up on recent scholarship and consulting with students on their research projects. This experience reminded me of how much information is out there in each of our fields and how simultaneously essential and difficult staying on top of new trends and new ideas can be. Here, as elsewhere, I recommend focus and selectivity. My PLN (personal learning network) now operates mostly out of my web browser (although I do sometimes also play with cool toys like netvibes) and pairs a few key overview sites feeding me the hottest topics with a few key journals in my discipline(s). I particularly focus on journals including annual reviews of the publications in my fields. I no longer use my PLN to gather the ten million cool things I have seen on the web that I wish I could keep track of. Instead, I focus on a more compressed set of tools as a springboard into the larger conversations I wish to monitor.
In the week ahead, I look forward to hearing about your ideas on creating personal learning networks for yourselves and with your students.
Catching up? This can be easier than you may be imagining. You are not required to summarize or react to everything we assign each week in your posts. Yes, I know that some folks are doing that as their way of processing their learning experience–and that is obviously working for them–but a post that zooms in on one idea from the week and works with it can be just as powerful for you (and certainly a blast for your readers!). If you are a few weeks behind, why not narrow your scope a bit and process something rather than everything?
Looking Ahead: Remember to sign up for presentations on the Google Doc. This is a great way to not only wrap up the year but also to contribute to the next year that we offer this learning sequence.
This Week: And, finally, you will find our plan of action below Eric’s video (which I urge you to check out!)
Read: Ko & Rossen, Chapter 14: Taking Advantage of New Opportunities
Read Gardner Campbell, A Personal Cyberstructure(2009) – can also see video if you wish (about 35 minutes) Faculty should lead by example, “students must be effective architects, narrators, curators, and inhabitants of their own digital lives” .
This week, I (Jim Sullivan) was struck by this quote from Helen Crump’s post: “Although, the POTCert course has given me great insight into the use of technology, I’m aware that my knowledge in this respect is still quite superficial.”
I think this is a healthy reminder that this course can only touch the rapidly swirling surface of online teaching and learning. Each of us must then decide where and how we will more fully develop our knowledge and skills. For me, developing as an online learner / teacher feels like a balancing act between keeping an eye on the ever-changing surface while also finding a few places to dive deeper and more fully explore the complexities and possibilities.
Like each of our previous week’s, the readings in this unit present some big ideas, but they do so from the premise that you will decide how far to walk down the new paths they introduce. Collectively, they suggest an interest in and restlessness about the big questions in our field that can fuel a career long commitment to exploration, experimentation, and targeted “research and development.”
As you work through this twenty-first week of tasks (can you believe that!!), I hope you will also think ahead about your final presentation and go ahead and sign up for a topic at our Google Doc.
Please also take the time to check out Jenny Mackness’ video introduction to the week.
Usually I (Jim Sullivan) like to burden you with some form of reflection and/or pep talk in these introductory posts. But this week, Chris Chrissman and Jim Julius have given us two wonderful resources that I do not wish to distract you from:
For an excellent summary of last week’s action, check out Chris Chrissman’s Storify on Pedgagogy First Week 19. Aside from the superb summary of the ideas and resources people have shared, Chris provides a concrete introduction to the impressive teaching / learning possibilities this tool offers.
For a thoughtful introduction to this week’s material, please invest your time in Jim Julius’ video. Jim presents some of the key issues and questions you can explore this week in his usual clear and helpful style. Start your POT journey this week with Jim Julius!
You will find this week’s plan of action below Jim’s video.
This topic intrigues me (Jim Sullivan here) because at my institution we can barely agree to what these terms mean never mind engage in thoughtful conversation about how to explore, maximize, develop, enrich, investigate, scrutinize, and experiment with and upon these variations in online learning schemes. So once again, I find myself turning to POT for the thought provoking analysis we so rarely have time for within our campus governance and departmental processes. Personally, I think of all of my classes as web enhanced, but I am struggling with two of our three terms for this week’s discussion: hybrid and open classes. Both terms seem full of such rich possibility, but my limited observations have left me more disappointed than inspired by the realities so far. In this spirit, I look to my fearless POT colleagues to re-engage and re-ignite my thinking about these possibilities and remind me how intriguing they are in the right hands!
Here is our agenda for this week:
Read: Ko & Rossen, Chapter 13: Teaching Web Enhanced and Blended Classes, to p. 371 (to heading “Tips for Teaching Blended Courses).
Points: concerns about blending, f2f time for complex issues, online discussion for an on-site class, using the web for class discussion, quizmaking, office hours, group projects, student presentations, don’t make it optional, calculate total student time on task, interact with class online weekly.
Thanks to all who posted for this week, and I also want to give a shout out to those who are working so hard to catch up: Never give up, Never Surrender!
While you are all welcome to summarize the readings and the key points of them if you wish to do so, I want to point out that the certificate program does not require you to do so.
If you look at this week’s list, the task we wish you to complete in your post is the evaluation of a Learning Management System or Course Management System (or whether such a thing is even necessary!). That is all you are required to post, so please do not knock yourself out responding to each reading or summarizing everything you look at unless for some reason that is something you wish to do for yourself.
I know, I know, that’s what some people are doing, but that does not mean you need to do that. The last bullet point in the week’s activities sums up all you are required to do in your post.
And do check out my friend and hero Eric Robertson’s video before you move forward on your own journey this week. Eric is awesome! I encourage you to visit his Bettter Educator podcast series, too, if you can.
Our Plan of Action:
Read: Ko & Rossen, Chapter 11: Classroom Managementand Facilitation, pp.318-end and Chapter 12: Special Issues if you wish. Points: Student activities and participation, tips for synchronous and asynchronous discussions, team teaching / privacy, identity, noisy/quiet./disruptive student behaviors.
Last week we focused more on where are students were–which was fun and so vitally important. To some degree, this week’s work focuses on our side of the equation–how to find some balance and create a manageable teaching load for ourselves.
I continue to find this a huge challenge. Next fall, I will be returning to teaching a fully online class again for the first time in two years. Although I have many ideas about how to make my course more efficient for me to manage (and better structured for my students, who also need opportunities to function efficiently in an environment that makes sense to them), but I will be reexamining this week’s readings and your comments with a renewed sense of urgency!
Here is our plan of action. Please be sure to check out Aslam’s video before you dive in on your own.
Read: Ko & Rossen, Chapter 11: Classroom Managementand Facilitation, to p. 318 (to heading “Finding a Balance between Student-Centered and Instructor-Centered Activities”). Points: record keeping, always store files and content on your own machine, announcements, Twitter, protocol for questions, using groups to decrease workload, adjusting for class size.
Seven Things I’d Want to Know (Lisa blog post, January 2011)
Post: use any format for this week’s comment on class facilitation (audio, video clip, quick slideshow) and embed it in your blog post. Feel free to use alternative methods from now on.
Aslam Sharif’s video:
Program for Online Teaching | 3 March 2013 | Comments are closed
Thanks to all who posted their experiments from this past weeks. From polls to prezi, I saw people stretching to connect to and evaluate some new resources. I was happy to see people offering frank appraisals of whether each tool would work for them along with some reasons why and why not.
To me, having the confidence to say “I am not going that way now” is a key to surviving the exciting but always swirling seas of online pedagogy. I would add only one caveat: what does not fit today may be just what you need tomorrow. So keep your mind open to new and old tools and ideas as your pedagogy evolves over the weeks, months, and years to come. A good example from my own online teaching experience is screen casting: something I once scorned that is now a staple of my teaching in both onsite and online classes.
As you explore the invaluable information about online students in this week’s readings, I hope you will resist the impulse to “other” students, to see them as alien beings engaged in behaviors that border on the insane to we wise educators.
When I am honest with myself, I admit that I do many of the same things I am so shocked to see my students doing (here I am right now, writing a blog post at 10:30 on a Saturday night–less than six hours before it goes live!). Recognizing that degrees of disorganization, confusion, incomplete preparation, procrastination and tech anxiety are traits many teachers as well as students suffer in varying degrees helps us more realistically and honestly assess our own approaches and organizational systems. And I believe that honesty can make the courses, activities, and learning tools we share much more effective.
I also hope you will remember we have an amazing opportunity to teach our students lifelong learning skills in online settings. Moreover, these skills may very well outlive the content we teach. If changing lives by opening new doors to thinking and learning is something you signed up for, then helping people develop as more effective online learners is potentially an enormously fulfilling opportunity for you (and a transformational experience for the people you are working with and for).
End of pep talk–on to all of the cool work for this week.
Read: Ko & Rossen, Chapter 10: Preparing Students for Online Learning
Points: terminology and navigation, helping with distance, student readiness, creating orientations, FAQs, anticipating problems.
I had three big takeaways from this week’s conversation:
1) the multitude of options (and the time it takes to play with them) can be overwhelming,
2) eyejot is very fun for direct emails (I have been tormenting colleagues, friends, and family with it for the past week),
3) and the 3D cube that Norm passed along (and Rachéle also modeled) is awesome
I would like to share a few thoughts on managing the overwhelming multitude of cool ideas and tools out there (you can skip these reflections and get right to the to do list if you wish). I too feel this acutely and have dealt with it in three ways (lots of lists for me tonight):
1) I only skim all of the zillions of cool tools people tell me about (including my POT colleagues!), looking for the things that seem to really connect for me and to the ideas I want to bring to my cyber classrooms.
2) When I find something interesting I play around with it a bit to see if investing my time in it would bring me a high rate of return and to see if my brain works with that tool.
3) And then I focus on making myself proficient in the things I really want to regularly use. For me, that list is pretty short: snagit (for images), powerpoint/keynote for presentations, whatever LMS I need to use as a gateway for online resources (if indeed I really need to-some semesters yes, some semesters, no), and camtasia (a screencasting software). I am not promoting any of these tools (notice that absence of links) but I have invested enough in them to be able to create things I would like to share with my students and colleagues and proficient enough to follow the inevitable changes that have and will come to all of them. Occasionally I bring in other toys (I really like prezi but have not yet found the time to make it work for me yet), but I do so only after I have kept my core skills where I want them to be.
So, as you travel on this week’s journey, be a discriminating diver. Skip lightheartedly around the many different launchpads you see out there until you find something that just might rock your teacherly world a bit. Then, jump off that one enticingly bouncy diving board and see what it feels like to twist and spin a bit before slipping gracefully into that bright blue pool (belly-flops and cannon balls are cool too!!)
Diving boards and tantalizing pools are cool, but a few leaps, in my view, are better trying to jam a dozen into a busy teaching week. For me, constantly diving in and climbing out, over and over again, trying new flips and turns and spirals..well…that gets a bit exhausting and does not necessarily make me a better diver.
Ok, enough metaphorical pep talk stuff, let’s get to this week’s plan of action. After you review it, please take the time to watch Jean’s helpful video.
Read: Ko & Rossen, Chapter 9: Creating Courseware and Using Web 2.0 Tools, pp. 269-end.Points: Screencasting, student-generated content, polls and surveys, avatars, mindmapping, multimedia.
Take a look at Prezi, a more visual presentation application.