• Sun, 28 Apr 2013 23:02:57 +0000: Week 24 – POTCERT - POTCert2012

    Thank you POT leaders for sharing your knowledge & expertise!!!!!

     Week 1: 

    This post was an introductory post in which I shared a little bit about myself and talked about my excitement for online learning!  It was fun to look back and remember that enthusiasm.  I still have it today :)

    Week 2: 

    This week we organized a getting started chart.  I have noticed that my vision has changed a bit, but I continue to like my initial thoughts on course organization and believe I will keep it this way.  I may not incorporate everything listed into each week’s activities, but the general outline will stay the same.

    Week 3:

    This week I fully developed a lesson plan in week 23′s post.  My guiding force continues to be the SLOs and the textbook.  I shared my initial documents with some of my colleagues and received invaluable feedback.  This week was the starting point for my course design.

    Week 4: 

    This post is INVALUABLE and I must re-read it as I develop my online class this summer.  I have great ideas in here!  The question is whether I will be able to reach all my goals in my first class.  My guess is that it will be a work in progress and will be continually evolving as I gain more experience in the online teaching world.

    Week 5:

    Looking back on this post makes me smile.  Why? You ask…  because I have so much of this already done!  Halelulyah! I have created many of this documents that will just need to be uploaded to Bb and posted.  Exciting!

    Week 6:

    Ha ha!  This week reminds me of the difficulties I had posting a video in WordPress.  Ah-hem, I never quite learned how to do it because I had the same problem in last weeks post.  I have read the tutorial and followed everything to the tee and it still doesn’t work!  This is a good lesson for me.  I will know how frustrated my students feel when they can’t get something right!

    Now, anyone out there want to sit me down and help me with this??

    Week 7:

    I got lots of good feedback on this week’s post.  Namely, the texting issue.  I am going to poll my students to see if they would like to receive communications via text or e-mail.  What will be important and challenging is the way I choose to build community.

    Week 8:

    Hey!  I met a goal from this week’s post and I didn’t even take myself out for a glass of vino!  Ha!  I stated using BB’s gradebook this semester and boy is it easy!  Shoulda done that semesters ago… but MTG served it’s purpose for the last 10 years ha!  Using voice threads for sure next semester!!!!!

    Week 9:

    I posted this question in this post:

    Do students have to have Diigo accounts in order to see my notes?   Or can I share a special url with them?

    Does anyone know the answer to this?  I want to use Diigo for sure next semester.

    Week 10:

    By re-reading this post, I was reminded to not just throw something up on my Bb site without knowing and reviewing “Why” I am doing it.  I also need a rubric for commenting.  I must say I wasn’t a very good at commenting in the class.  I just didn’t know what to say so often.  This will be invaluable experience for me as an instructor when my students come back telling me the same thing :)

    Week 11:

    A valuable lesson on copy writing.  Guess what ?  I haven;t changed my practices a bit!  I’m still “stealing” images from all over the web.  This was a good reminder to get it together!

    Week 12:

    This was the half way mark when I revisited the last 11 posts.  Most of my views have stayed the same, but with a little more knowledge under my belt this time.  I must say that going back and blogging about each post is invaluable!  I wonder if any of my colleagues have their students go back and view their beginning posts?  It would be great for studnets to see how their language skills have evolved!

    Week 13:

    In this post we annotated photos on Flickr.  When I clicked on my link it asked me for my user name and password!  Anyone sick to their stomach about all the damn user names and passwords we have to remember??????  Just read my finger print for goodness sake!  Anyway, will use Flickr for my class.  The idea I have is placing a photo on Bb and having students “chat” about it.  I’ll place little notes on it to engage/spark conversation.

    Week 14:

    I like the slideshare idea quite a bit, but my PPT didn’t upload correctly and all of the spacing was off.  It looked terrible. Also, the colors were changed on many of the slides.  I’ll have to continue to play with that site.  Can I just say I looked awful in my eyejot?  haha!  I will be using this great software to e-mail students.  Maybe weekly??  To start out each week of the course??  Oooh cool idea!

    Week 15:

    This was by far the heaviest week in the program.  Potheads:  you might consider spreading this out over various weeks….  this post took my 8+ hours to complete.  Just sayin…  I loved eveything we learned in this week’s material.  Surveys are used in my f2f classes to see how students are doing.  The brain is cool software, don’t know how much I will use it, but love the concept.  Prezis rock!  I have made and copied and modified many since I learned about them.  So thanks!!

    Week 16: 

    This post rocks!  It’s ready to go on to my Bb site.  All I have to do is link a few more items and we’re ready to go!  Love!

    Week 17:

    This post is perfect for me. When I’m setting up my class, I will revisit this post to remember all of these tidbits of information.  It also reminded me to e-mail Louis to get her syllabus.  Doing that now…

    Week 18:

    This is another invaluable post that I will revisit when creating my class this summer.  So many great time saving tips I learned this week!

    Week 19:

    This weeks post made me think quite a bit.  The first thing I have decided to do next semester is require an on ground midterm and final.  These will be mandatory and held on Saturday mornings.  I know this will limit my audience to local people, but this is the way it has to be for now.  I will be rallying for a proctoring center as I move forward as an online instructor.

    Students will also be required to attend a mandatory orientation session which will also be held on ground on the Saturday before the semester starts, but they will have the option of joining virtually through Elluminate.   This post has got the ball rolling for me in various ways!

    Week 20:

    This week was more of a “think” week for me.  I’m assuming that was the point…  ah!  can’t get much passed this genius!!  :)  I did enjoy taking a blast to the past and remembering how history always repeats itself, sometime wearing a different mask.  This was refreshing to review and see with inspirational lecturers.

    Week 21: 

    This was a great review of instructivism, constructivism, and connectivism for me.  It helped me to look into myself and put things into perspective.  Plus, I got to read some comments from colleagues that I missed somewhere along the way!

    Week 22:

    I enjoyed reading about sharing.  That’s what our POT team is doing with us right now!  If they weren’t inclined to share their knowledge with us and put together this awesome program, we wouldn’t be here learning right now.  So thanks guys!  I will return the favor…  In fact that is already happening, a dean at my college asked me to put together an online teaching workshop for fall FLEX week.  :)

    I also ranted in this post and I’m glad I got that off my chest!

    Week 23:

    This week helped me to put together some documents for my class and share them with you all.  I also e-mailed them around to various colleagues to get their feedback!  I got so much wonderful feedback and I am so excited to get my course started.  I need to wait until the semester ends because I’m up to my eyeballs in work!

    Overall Reflection:

    This has been a wonderful learning journey for me.  The best parts were experimenting with all of the web 2.0 tools, listening to experienced colleagues share their experience and tips, and finally having the chance to put them all together to create usable documents for my online class.

    I love the stress free environment that allows you to post late and catch up along the way.

    I needed to make better comments….  that’s my own fault!

    I’ll be back in the fall to help mentor other newbies!  I’ll probably be buried in work, but I’ll make it happen :)

    Thanks again for the great opportunity & experience, you’ll never know how much I truly appreciate the thoughtfullness that went into this certificate program.

  • Sun, 28 Apr 2013 08:43:55 +0000: Pedagogy, practice and learning theory - POTCert2012

    When I was a teacher trainer, we used to debate whether trainee teachers should be introduced to learning theory before or after they went into the classroom to teach.

    On the Pedagogy First programme (an online course to learn how to teach online) learning theory comes very near the end of the 24 week course (at Week 21), perhaps reflecting a view that theory follows practice, or that theory needs to be understood as a culmination of prior learning. Quite a few participants have struggled to keep up with the course, so only a small number have engaged with the week on learning theories, although those that did made interesting posts. (See the Pedagogy First course site )

    As luck would have it, Claire Major, a participant on the course, is writing a book on how teaching online changes our work as teachers and so has a particular interest in learning theories – and this led to some great discussion and outcomes.

    Claire bemoaned the fact that what has been written on learning theories seems to be a confusing mess and said she needed a diagram to pull it all together. I agreed.

    Donald Clark wrote a series of 51 blog posts, each about a different learning theorist. Here is a screen shot taken from his first post in the series about Socrates.

    Screen shot 2013-04-28 at 08.39.22


    Source of screenshot: http://donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=Socrates

    But this is not the diagram that Claire was looking for.

    However, inspired by Claire to hunt for a diagram I found this cMap by Richard Millwood for the Holistic Approach to Technology Enhanced Learning Project.

    Screen shot 2013-04-28 at 08.45.39

    Source of screenshot: http://cmapspublic3.ihmc.us/rid=1LGVGJY66-CCD5CZ-12G3/Learning%20Theory.cmap

    But ultimately Claire took up the challenge herself and produced this presentation which she has shared as her final presentation for the Pedagogy First course.

    What a great final outcome to a 24 week course!

    Tagged: learningtheory, online learning, potcert, Research, theory
  • Sun, 21 Apr 2013 21:36:01 +0000: Theory-informed TEL and Connectivism - POTCert2012

    This week I met Seb Schmoller  who recommended that I have a look at the ocTEL MOOC , a 10 week open course in technology enhanced learning which is being run by ALT (Association for Learning Technology) here in the UK.

    Seb is a former Chief Executive of ALT. I was vaguely aware of this MOOC, but had put it to the back of my mind, because for me there are just too many MOOCs about at the moment – it’s difficult to know where to focus.

    But Seb’s prompt made me have another look and ‘Yes’ ocTEL does seem well organized with some interesting discussions and useful resources. However, I don’t think I will be getting fully engaged as I am already committed in part to FSLT13  due to start on May 8th 2013 – and Growing Old Around the Globe   due to start on June 10th 2013.  More of them later in other posts.

    So far in the ocTEL MOOC I have checked out the Week 1 resources and listened to the recorded presentations .  One slide from Liz Masterman’s presentation has stuck in my mind.

    Liz Masterman

    Liz Masterman interviewed academics in Higher Ed and asked them which theories informed their use of technology in their teaching. This Wordle is the result. The two tiny words are ‘constructionism’ and ‘behaviourism’. This slide resonates with me because I was recently asked to create a presentation about learning theories for Lisa Lane’s Pedagogy First Online Teaching course. Whilst I am familiar with everything that is on Liz Masterman’s slide (although there are some models in there as well as theories), I only mentioned a few of these in my own presentation. Maybe I should have tried to take a broader brush, but at the time less seemed more.

    For me an omission from Liz’s slide and therefore from the interviewees’ thinking and experience of technology enhanced learning in Higher Ed is ‘Connectivism’ or anything to do with networked learning – although communities of practice can be thought of in terms of networked learning.

    In terms of the slide I don’t think it matters whether or not we think of Connectivism as a theory, since some of the other items listed on the slide are not theories – but could its omission be a ‘telling’ statement on where academics are in Higher Education in relation to their understanding of learning in new landscapes of practice?

    Tagged: #fslt13, #ocTEL, #OldGlobeMOOC, Connectivism, potcert, technology, TEL, theory
  • Sun, 21 Apr 2013 06:12:44 +0000: Week 23 – POTCERT - POTCert2012

    Hello all,

    My video is on Pedagogy & Course Design. Enjoy!


    I’m sorry people, but I can not get this darn video to embed properly. I’m giving up!  You’ll have to click the link :)

    See you next week!

  • Mon, 15 Apr 2013 04:55:31 +0000: Week 22 – POTCERT - POTCert2012


    I was really excited to watch the video about sharing and how we are morally obligated to do it as professionals!!  I couldn’t agree more!  As a new teacher, I started teaching in a low income high school.  I had only an emergency teaching credential and basically didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing!  Not a single teacher shared anything with me!  I was literally left to fend for myself.  I took my teacher credential classes at night and did my student teaching in my own classroom.  I had no master teacher and not a single administrator observed me.  I could have been teaching Chinese basket weaving for all they knew and/or cared.  How sad!!  I didn’t know any better at the time and just assumed that was how the teaching world worked.

    Four years later, I transferred to a much more affluent high school… welcome to a new world.  I sat with language teachers at lunch and shared ideas, discussed pedagogies and bounced ideas off of each other.  Everyday there was a new lesson idea in my mailbox ready for me to try in my classroom.  Once a month an administrator  was in my class observing me and giving me genuine feedback.  Had  I died and gone to heaven??  This is the way it should be!!

    I then started teaching as an adjunct at various community colleges…. back to my lonely world of autonomy.  Everybody was so busy hustling from one campus to another, who had time to share ideas and discuss pedagogy?

    Fast forward fourteen years and I am a full timer….  back to heaven!  I’m discussing pedagogical practices and trying out new ideas almost weekly.  I love it!

    But we are in a new world now…  the information super highway is at our finger tips.  Does anybody even call it that anymore??  ;)   We can share with each other in so many different ways, we no longer need to be face to face.  From all of my past experiences, I do believe it is our moral obligation to our profession to share what we know so that all teachers and students can benefit.  It takes a village!!

    I loved Alec Couros’s video.  He’s a very charismatic and dynamic presenter! This particularly caught my eye:

    Stephen Downes wrote for Huffington Post, should move beyond the idea of education as being something provided for us, and toward something we create for ourselves. Schools are valuable, but schools need to make the transition or will be only one node of possibilities instead of the primary node for learning. We are on the cusp of a revolution and can contribute to that.

    Student centered!  Isn’t that what we are striving for?  Students must create for themselves…  not have everything spoon fed to them.  I am so excited to be part of the revolution!

    Gardner Campbell’s video put me to sleep.  Did anyone else feel that way?

    There’s one other thing I want to blog about this week and that has to do with a discussion I had with my colleagues regarding the proper training for online teachers.  There is a push for all community college teachers to be certified to teach online.  I do agree with this; in fact, that  is why I am taking this course.  However; many people drop out of the courses, as we can see here in our own course.  Why?

    According to the colleagues I spoke with, they believe that instructors should take these courses in order to be able to teach online.  However, there is no financial incentive to do so.  My point being that the instructor is not receiving any credits in order to be able to advance on the pay scale.  Why not?  This course is rigorous and those taking it are advancing themselves professionally. Why shouldn’t they be compensated for this extra training?

    My colleagues argued that the incentive for an adjunct professor is that he/she does not have to drive around the county and can teach from home in his/her pajamas.  Really?  You spend an entire year taking a course and the way you are rewarded is by staying home and teaching in your pajamas?  To me that is like saying, you have earned a master’s degree and now you get to teach at the community college level instead of high school, but you will not be paid anymore.  It just doesn’t seem right to me.  Education is education and this online teaching degree is no different from a teaching credential, for example.  By not receiving credits for this degree/certificate some how devalues it and sends the message that “this is not a real program”  and “online teaching certificates are not that important.”  I couldn’t disagree more!!

    I didn’t want to make waves with my new colleagues, so I left it at that.  But I truly believe that an online teaching degree is just as valuable as any other degree.  Instructors should be able to use the units to advance on their pay scales.  Especially adjunct professors who work just as hard as full time professors.

    Done ranting…  see you next week :)