Friday, March 12, 2010

cSED 7762 Journal #5

Well, I am finally coming to the end of the course. I have completed all assignments (excluding the webquest)...collecting all data, posting all findings and feeling as though I finally understand assessment in the technology world. Sounds weird or strange that a teacher "finally understands assessment" doesn't it!? Well, I have never really put thought into the way I assess. Most assignments or tasks in my teaching have been knowledge based. I think I am finally ready to start branching into assignments that require deeper understand and are based on continuity (aka Theme).
The problem that I am encountering is mainly in the webquest process. I have been researching and gathering information to put on the webquest but am still unsure of the process itself. It also hasn't helped that I have had very limited computer access this week, and when I do, nothing seems to load right onto the site. Tonight, however, is webquest night at my house. Hopefully this is not a ritual that sticks around!

Monday, March 8, 2010

CSED 7762 Journal #4

Today was a productive day. I finally organized myself for this course and had time to put some thought and time into a few of my major assignments.
  • I completed the rough draft for my smart cards and had a coworker test them out.
  • I completed (I think) my ergonomics assignment. I am not sure if it is more of a self assessment/peer evaluation or if it would qualify as a rubric. Either way, it is something I plan in incorporating into the C-BIS program at work.
  • I got to read some of the postings by classmates on the discussion board
  • I think I have finally wrapped my head around my webquest and ISTE survey.
All in all, very productive! I think I finally realized why this course feels a little more demanding than my last course, though it is much more organized and less busy work....Assessment is a much overlooked area in curriculum development and, at least in my own curriculum, has been a last minute grading system. This will be my major focus this summer when revising and creating curriculum.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

CSED 7762 Journal #3

I know that journal #3 probably should have been done about a week ago but I figure I am about as far into the process now as I should have been a week ago. The time sure has crept up on me and it seems that I am speeding toward the end of the course...where is my emergency brake!?
Thinking about the webquest process has been nearly productively paralyzing. That combined with GRAD testing, moodle training and lack of computer access has nearly put me at a standstill. My next week will be (I hope) the most productive week of my life. I think, after having my 1:1 session with Scott on Saturday, that I may finally understand the assignment and the process...remember, I said "I think!" I have shifted my focus from having the staff come up with a prediction of what education/teaching will look like 5-10 years from now (an abstract concept that seems subjective in it assessment), something a bit more concrete and narrowed into focus. I have now decided to keep the future focus but have the assessed piece of the webquest much more focused on what teachers can and should be doing now to improve/enhance their curriculum to prepare students for the future (approx. 5-10 years from now). This would include having them take a look at their current curriculum and discuss what they would like to change or improve, looking at the standards (ISTE, NETS) as if they were MN standards in their subject area, and examining approx. 4 tools that they think could use to change the elements they identified in their curriculum (I would list possible tools to research based on categories). I would then have the staff member write a report (values/beliefs statement) about 1.) what they believe could be improved/enhanced in the curriculum in order to best prepare their students 2.) identify one area of the ISTE or NETS standards that they think they could improve on in the classroom to best prepare students 3.) focus on 2-3 Web 2.0 tools they could use to address the changes they would like to make. Sorry that was a little long-winded...hope I explained that correctly.
Now the hard part begins....What steps/information do I provide for them to reach the point where they can assemble their beliefs statement!?
Check back often this week for daily updates on the process....

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

CSED 7762 Journal #2.5

We had another Elluminate discussion last night as a class and I am thinking I am even more lost than before concerning my webquest. This feeling may be, in part, due to my lack of concentration last night (life has been overwhelmingly stressful the last couple of days). I just feel like this is a project that is just too big for my life right now. I am attempting to create a product that is useful for an audience that is as stressed as I am with students and grading terms and the list goes on. I could create a webquest for students but I really don't work with many at this time and it has just been really hard wrapping my brain around something that I am not even sure is going to work for the audience I would like to target (Do the teachers I work with really care about what learning/schools will look like 5-10 years from now when they have grades dues on Thursday?) Not only am I having trouble wrapping my head around that aspect of the project but where to start the learning/inquiry process. How much general info do we provide for them? Do they read articles about how students learn today and what is ahead of them in the future (like the "did you know?" video) and then have them construct some sort of vision/prediction for what the future holds? If so, how authentic is that for them? It's nice that they are thinking about and exploring the tools that could change the way they deliver instruction (that too, do I have them explore things like etherpad and wikis?) but the predictions ending does not play out for 5-10 years...what then? Would you suggest a discussion with me of the predictions and possibilities? Maybe show me a lesson that could be enhanced for a 21st-century learner?
Just some initial thoughts after our discussion last night that I wanted to get down in writing and possibly get some feedback on.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

CSED 7762 Journal #2

Not much to report this week on my progress. Trying to keep up with assignments but life and work have both been absolutely nuts lately!
I do have some concerns about my webquest. I really don't know if I am even on the right track with this project. I think my focus may not even be in focus and may be much bigger than the project calls for.
From my understanding of authentic assessment, I need be able to observe the process or have an end result that is usable for the "student" of the webquest. Focusing on the teachers as students for the webquest, I think that the end result should be an actual assignment that can be done completely online, meeting the standards and the goal of student understanding and performance. Does any of this make sense? Hope it clicks for me soon!
Looking forward to the next elluminate session so that I can clear up any misunderstandings and gain my headphones with mic ready for this session.
Check back next week for progress and problems. Leave a comment with any suggestions you have for the project...I really could use them.

Monday, February 15, 2010

CSED 7762 Journal #1

I am currently taking a course at Hamline University and am going to attempt my journaling for the class on this blog. I have reluctantly neglected the blog in the past and thought this would be a good time to start professionally blogging again. In my journals I will be reflecting on the course and my progress on a weekly basis. Here goes...
  • OVERALL FEELING: I was relieved to see that the professors for this course had put a great deal of time and effort into the planning and preparation for the class. The last course I took in the certificate series was much less organized and coherent that this appears to be. I was able to talk with a couple of my classmates from the last course, who are also enrolled in 7762 and we are all feeling much the same way...VERY relieved by the thought put into the assignments and structure of the course. Still feel as though there is much to do in a short period of time, but as long as I am able to stay should all be manageable.
  • SMART CARDS: The only thing I really see as a roadblock for me at this point are the subjects of my assignments. I am in a position now where it is not quite clear who I am working more closely with: staff or students!? My smart card assignment will focus on helping staff solve a problem that plagues me on a daily, if not weekly, basis: Mapping a network drive. I am confident that this will be my focus for this assignment.
  • WEBQUEST: The webquest assignment on the other hand is troubling me much more. Again, do I focus on a webquest used solely by students? OR Do I construct a webquest that will clear up some misunderstandings among staff as to what online learning is and the importance and growing enrollment in such alternative courses? I really like the idea of the staff that I am working with to read, learn about, and synthesize the information out there about the importance and growing appeal of online courses. I would also like them to construct an assignment that meets the elements of a good online course (one which students can complete independently). To me this might be the construction of their own webquest, jing video, screencast tutorial, etc. I believe that this would help them to understand what really goes into creating these courses and making them effective in student learning with higher level thinking. Thank goodness, also, for Questgarden. Up until Michael showed this to us, I was not quite sure how I was even going to construct a webquest!
  • UbD and COLLABORATION: So far, in the course, I have appreciated the video support in UbD, something lacking from the last course. Much of our learning (we had all never dealt with UbD) was through readings in the UbD book and completion of worksheets. It has helped my understanding tremendously to see other educators voiced in the procedure at work and then processing it as a class.