Recently in Strategies Category

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Wrapping up the seat time for explorers but yet so much to do! Whew. Learned a great deal from the IT team and my fellow explorers. Feel like this has been great overview of what technologies currently exist (and hope that they are around awhile) and to mull over how to implement different pieces into several courses. Maybe not all right away, but as I teach in the fall that new methods of delivery will come to mind now that I know they exist. Thanks to Dean Quam, Dave and the IT team to making this learning experience happen and allowing us to move forward in delivering exciting and engaging courses!

The weeklong encounter was a great experience in learning and sharing. I look forward to trying out new applications and making teaching and learning more effective and engaging. Thanks again for all the oppotunites.

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Wrapping up the seat time for explorers but yet so much to do! Whew. Learned a great deal from the IT team and my fellow explorers. Feel like this has been great overview of what technologies currently exist (and hope that they are around awhile) and to mull over how to implement different pieces into several courses. Maybe not all right away, but as I teach in the fall that new methods of delivery will come to mind now that I know they exist. Thanks to Dean Quam, Dave and the IT team to making this learning experience happen and allowing us to move forward in delivering exciting and engaging courses!

Learning more everyday

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As several people have already said, the individual attention and opportunities to see a variety of sites, tools, and programs have been very helpful. I feel like I have a clear idea of tools that I will use this fall and how I will build my expertise and experience again in the spring. I am very fortunate to be able to teach the same courses over multiple semesters so that I can continue to add and refine my technology integration.

A dental emergency prevented me from attending the morning session today. I was so disappointed. I was even more disappointed when I heard there was more done with the "technology stations" while I was gone. The afternoon session was great, though! I thought it was great to hear from someone who is known in our department (Michelle Everson) as a phenomenal teacher and effective technology user. I learned much from her presentation about on-line courses, generally and I appreciated the specific tips related to online discussions.

I will be developing a Moodle site for FSoS 8001 for the fall and also use Moodle for an asynchronous Extension course on retirement saving/investing for 20 and 30-year olds. So today was great because I learned some basics about the course management program, Moodle. I learned its possibilities so that now I can think more about how to utilize some of the features in the course. Since I have a lot of content to develop for the course, I may not be able to utilize all the features I learned about today, but then I can add features later if I know that potential.

It appears that there is much work to get the course set up in Moodle, but then you can tweak it or further develop it from there. For example, I might not have the time to use the grading function this year, but that might be the goal for another year. I have also learned a couple of options to use with the discussion groups that I want to incorporate so that these groups can function on-line outside of the classroom discussions that will occur.

I am not just learning about technology in this class, but also learning about all kinds of teaching ideas techniques, problem-solving possibilities, ideas that I had not even thought about yet since I am at the beginning stages of preparation for rethinking and developing this course. I appreciate the willingness of everyone to share their work.

Wow--another jammed packed day of learning and playing with so many different technology tools! My favorite tool of the day was Google!!! Google has everything--e-mail, calendars, chatting, discussion platforms, document sharing, website creation, and so much more! I saw endless possibilites as I sat talking with Angela and the other members of my group. I became especially excited about the use of Google sites with my history and philosophy class!

My students are expected to write a 4-5 page athlete biography paper, and now I anticipate my students also creating a website in Google sites based on their paper to highlight their athlete. The websites are a fun way for each student to share information about their athletes in more depth (i.e., they can upload pictures, video footage, etc.), as well as to promote discussion about the athletes (as there is a discussion tool students can use). Angela (who, by the way, was so patient with me as we talked about the many options of Google sites) and I even built an example website help for this assignment! We had a great time putting it together, and within 20 minutes we had a rough version of the website up! I think my students will love this addition to the assignment! I can't wait to explore even more of what Google sites (and Google in general have to offer), as well as see what my students think of the project as I implement it this fall!

Strategies

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I find myself easily caught up with the various integration and collaboration technical skills. By 10:00 a.m. today I thought I had figured out all the technologies (moodle, media mill, video ant and google docs) that I would integrate into three courses I teach. After talking with the IT fellows and my fellow treks explore cohort members I realized that I need to take a step back and clarify my goals prior to integrating these technologies. It was so helpful to talk through my current course assignments and goals and gain so many new and thought provoking ideas. I am also thinking more about the practical pieces to making these changes, such as accessing vidoe equipment and teaching students about the process for uploading videos to media mill and generate a link for video ant. I am also thinking about better ways to support cohort collaboration during the student teaching practicum.

Ideas Galore

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Today in small groups (with my partner in crime, Pat), I was able to get some excellent information about Wiki's, Video Ant, and Media Mill. The wiki, in particular, prompted me to think of many new possibilities for technology integration in the social studies methods courses. For example, a wiki can be set up to jigsaw the Students with Special Needs assignment and also for workshops where (home)groups of students can "workshop" their lesson plans, offering constructive criticism to peers. In addition, the VideoAnt application can be used to enhance the video assignments that students perform in both the fall and spring semesters for CI 5742 and CI 5744. In fact, one whole day of "workshopping" can be used to implement VideoAnt technologies for the videos.

I am excited to have had another day of "playing" with various technologies, and I am learning about myself that I do not necessarily enjoy being talked at as a learner. This had been my primary way of taking in information in the past, but clearly, I have evolved ... at least to some degree:)

Looking forward to tomorrow when I will focus more on taking all these ideas and putting them in a more "ACTION plan" format!

JB & I are psyched

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Today things really started coming together. JB and I have a list of ways we can enhance our social studies program. For some of the group projects and jigsaw readings we're currently doing in our classes, we're going to use Wikis. We already have our students videotape their student teaching, but Media Mill and VideoAnt will make sharing the videos and reflecting on them much easier. We're also thinking of having our students Tweet each day they are student teaching--Tweets because they are short and sweet, and our students are too stressed and busy to write more elaborate reflections each day. There is a place in the program for more in-depth, elaborate reflections, but the tweets will keep the supervisors and the instructor abreast of what's happenin'.

time to work

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Another day, more great ideas. I am wondering why I haven't sought out the IT Fellows in the past. These folks strike me as both knowledgeable and "tinkerers" - people who, if they don't know the answer, will tinker around until they find it.

With the wealth of ideas presented, it is now time to sit down and work through our syllabi. I hope we have time to do this tomorrow with the support of the Treks team.

Vygotsky would be proud of all the scaffolds present this week!

Clarification

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Today was a great day in the IT Treks class. Yesterday I thought that UM Connect was the only way to go with taping and storing videos of speakers to be used by students and to start a video library for both BME & SMGT. I was wrong - Pete explained how the simpler Skype can be used to reach my goals. The equipment and softwear needed was also identified. My TA and myself will be meeting Pete in the near future to put together protocols for taping and Skype.

Michelle Everson also gave me an excellent idea to be used in my SMGT class. We will be doing 3 to 4 debates on hot topics in the financial aspects of sport. The idea of using on line discussion groups as part of the process to prepare for the debates pop into my head while Michelle was presenting discussion groups as part of her on line class.

Day 3 by Lesa

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The more I learn, the more I find that I need to know. I look forward to the work ahead. I have to mention the irony of leaving an experience like this everyday and walking into a classroom for my summer school course that still has a blackboard. Remember those? White chalk that gets all over your clothes...

Rich with Strategies

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After this session, I'm full of ideas about strategies to incorporate technology in my courses. For example, I' m considering using a discussion assignment in Moodle around a question with specific instructions for a small group. I would be able to track each student's level of participation and contribution. The group would be required to write a summary of its discussion.

I also considering the UNTHINKABLE -- at least before I started this training -- developing an online course on cultural diversity!!!

Today was another useful day at Treks Explore. Though, at the end of the day, I'm thinking of how much technology is always changing and improving, which is great for teaching and learning. The downside for this is that using these online technologies will require constantly changing our courses and constant upgrading of our skills in order to use them effectively and be "up to date". This is a large time investment, which is daunting on top of research/administrative responsibilities.

I spent part of the morning getting help in trying to see how to switch my class platform from Ning (which, while a great site, had a failed business model, and is going to a paid site) to a new site. Maybe www.grouply.com, or www.grou.ps. While they look promising, I don't have enough time to switch now and am clinging to ning for the time being. Then we had a long discussion about the switch to Google Apps at the U, which has a lot of promise and is exciting, but also will involve a time investment (and also worries about what will be "lost" in transition). Finally, in the afternoon we saw an impressive WebVista site, which has had so much work put into it and is quite elaborate and has so much thought put into helping students learn. I would have loved to take statistics this way. But the technology is now outdated and also doesn't have many newer Web 2.0 features that students probably expect, and there will be another large time investment for the instructor when she has to switch it all over to Moodle.

I've seen that myself. I taught an online class in 2001, and then taught the same class again in 2006. Everything changed completely in that time frame. Now that I'm teaching it again, it again is a new world.

Austin said to me today that switching platforms makes us smarter! While that may be true in the long run, it seems a bit overwhelming (and almost futile) to me today.