Online Learning

This week, I reflected on my own teaching practices and the expectations in my current programs at work.


Menchaca’s presenation on brain research and online learning really resonated with me.  There were areas of confirmation such as metacognition with problem-solving, reflection, prediction, and trial and error.  However there were also new research ideas to me that made much sense to me in my learning as well as my students.  Dual coding helps both me and my students in learning, but now I have a term to call it.  These materials could help support teachers with their instruction as well as teach school staff, families, and community about community schools.


The Quality Matters Rubric Standards would be useful in my work with teachers.  While our teaching platform is not online, the standards on the rubric are applicable to learning with technology.  Learning objectives, assessment, measurement, and instruction materials are all important.  In classes that integrate technology such as iMovie, student interaction and engagement are high.  Areas where we’ve lacked in our program are learner support and accessibility.  Outside of teacher instruction, the student did not have access to other support.  A computer is so powerful, and teaching students to use it to access information would empower the children.


There are key considerations for online learning.  First, multimodal designs benefit students.  As learning is increased with dual coding, it allows students to input the information in multiple ways.  I know that am challenged when I read long informational text without any diagram, chart, or representation.  Animation, text, and manipulation could be included.  These pictorials help to understand concepts.  Next, with online tools, students are more likely to collaborate.  I’ve seen students gravitate to technology.  Thus I believe they will gravitate to online tools.  Students struggle with group work in the classroom.  I could see my own students going to a computer to show, teach or illustrate something to a classmate.  Accessing prior knowledge is also another key component.  Retention is greater when connections are made.  If a concept is really new, students need support.   Next, depth and relevance is important in learning.  We often hear it called “rigor and relevance.”  Students are more engaged when topics are relevant.   Students think critically when there is depth.  Lastly, metacognition strengthens learning.  This is also related to the depth.  By problem solving, reflecting, predicting, and learning by trial and error, knowledge is constructed.  These considerations should not only be considered in online learning, it should be considered in all learning.


While R2D2 has a systematic way of teaching and learning, I struggle with reading or a type of lecture before a hands on activity.  While I am able to read and reflect, it is my belief that learning takes place in active engagement.  However, I’m not sure what that looks like or even if that could happen in an online format.  While an online course has many benefits, there will also be limitations.


After reading the materials this week, I plan to do the following:


1. Reflection is one of the key learning pieces in project based learning.  I plan to encourage teachers to use technology to support their reflection instruction in class.  Students can learn to blog including video blogs or use social media.


2. When meeting with parents, community, and school staff, I’d like to include multimedia in teaching.



Online Course Suggestions

What are the 2 most important tips for succeeding in an online course?

  1. Be organized:  Keep a calendar or use an online tool like Trello to be oraganized with assignments.
  2. Create a schedule:  As scheduling is flexible in an online course, it will be important to have your own shedule of worktime.

How would a course designer or instructor address these types?

  1. Offer tools: Online course designers can offer tools such as Trello to keep students organized.
  2. Create weekly schedules:  A daily weekly schedule as Dr. Bert offered can help students  with a suggested schedule for the course.

Twitter…the Secret World



Twitter…the Secret World

I’ve used Twitter in a few different ways, so I thought this week’s topic would be a simple one.  I’ve followed friends, bloggers, and public figures.  I’ve also participated in Twitter parties with bloggers.  During conferences and workshops, I’ve read tweets on my phone and on large screens.  After reading through the Twitter articles, I found that the Twitter world involves much more than this!  There is a secret world in which I wasn’t aware.

The Twitter world is very vast.  I learned how to find new followers, other sites I can use with Twitter, how to brand, about mastermind groups, and how to create a twitter group.  There are so many twitter terminologies.  I will surely need to review the list again.  There are so many rules in the world, and I didn’t realize that Twitter had it’s own set of etiquette.  I never imagined that people were meeting in person for a “Tweet Up.”  One can even find a job on Twitter!  The Twitter world is new to me.

One idea that wasn’t completely new to me was the use of Twitter in Education.  At conferences, I’ve heard other teachers use it to share learning and writing summaries.  Students often have trouble in keeping a summary short, and Twitter only allows 160 characters.  Elementary students may not actually use Twitter, but may use the concept.  They can write tweets as part of an assignment with 160 characters or less even though it may not be tweeted online.  It can be used as a back channel too.  While teachers may be uncomfortable with this, students will be still on topic.  Students are using social media outside of the class, and there can be a role for it inside of education also.

I am exploring the use of Twitter in a couple of new ways.  First, I’d like to use multiple twitter accounts and an online site to manage it.  I didn’t want separate accounts because I didn’t want to log out of one to get into another.  I have a young friend who tweets random thoughts.  Yesterday, he tweeted about a fart that he was anticipating.  I couldn’t respond because I didn’t want my new classmates, the professor and the teaching assistants to see me tweeting about such a topic!  If I have another account that can be easily managed, I won’t have to worry about this again.  I’m also considering the use of Twitter or Facebook in my new position as a community school site coordinator.  Newsletters and websites have not been very successful in the past.  However, this summer a Facebook page was well attended.  The world is using Twitter, and I will need to explore how this may play a part in my life.

Hello world!

This semester I am taking my first class in 13 years!  Follow my journey in the ETEC 622: E-learning Theory and Design via this blog.  I will explore the world of elearning and Educational Technology.  I’m considering a Master’s in ETEC.  I’m hoping to learn more about the degree this term.

In the meantime, I hope that the topics in this calss will help me at work.  Is there a way to use technology more effectively and efficiently with elementary aged children?  As a site coordinator of a community school, how can I use technology to communicate with colleagues?  What tools can help us to be more effective?  How can I communicate and share with community and families?

The goal of this blog is to explore electronic technology for use at home and work.