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.
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 focus...got 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.
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 well....it 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.