I was somewhat familiar with OER before this class. I have heard a lot about online MOOCs but I was not using OERs. I found one specific OER that I felt would be especially valuable for teacher educators and that was the “Open Education Consortium”http://www.oeconsortium.org/courses/ as this site offered access to a variety of information that related to education based on various fields. I think that OERs will be especially useful for the following reasons: they offer and opportunity to prepare students for the course or to introduce students who are behind to new material; OERs also can provide entire lessons if they are fitting for the topic that week; OERs allow students to learn from various instructors who will likely differ in their approach and goals which consequently exposes students to more information. I have not given much thought to the constraints of copyright when delivering content but this module has pushed me to think more critically about my intellectual property especially when classes/lessons are recorded…
I am most attracted to the idea of authentic assessments (Mueller, 2014) because it allows students to be held accountable for their ability to apply information in a real-world setting. I think the ability to apply knowledge in meaningful ways is at the top of Blooms Taxonomy and is a four on the depth of knowledge (DOK) levels (Norman, 2005). Having read my “classmates” syllabi I have realized that the course I plan to offer is a little different, but I got a lot of cool ideas from reading about what others plan to do. Because teaching is such a hands-on-field I have questioned if the online platform is the best way to teach teachers how to teach well. With this, I think authentic assessment is the way! I think teachers could record themselves teaching in classrooms and upload it to be graded. My concern is that teachers and students are often very aware when a spectator is in the room, whether it is an instructional coach or a video camera, and classroom behavior is greatly adjusted based on the presence of the outsider. However, I acknowledge that this is the same dilemma that would present itself whether I was actually in the classroom or whether a camera recorded a lesson. Authentic assessment allows me to observe how well teachers can actually perform the task. I can teach about classroom management, they can also understand what they learned; but can they actually manage a classroom! That is the burning question! And that is what I intend to assess.
I would consider authentic assessment my area of strength because I used to serve as an instructional coach and I supported teachers through their actual practice. I think with teacher education application is the goal. I am not really as interested in traditional assessment (fill in the blank, multiple-guess) as teaching is a about application. No student or parent would ever be concerned if you knew the “five stages of classroom management” what matters is can you actually control the classroom and keep students learning in a safe environment. I think there are lot of opportunities for growth and improvement. One concept I really like heutagogical approach of allowing students to be involved in the creation of the learning process. I think that allows for students to set themselves up for successful outcomes. I wonder how that can be negotiated in the online classroom? Especially because they syllabus, or my vision for the course, is already created. Also thought that learning through mastery (or teaching to show mastery) is a great way to allow students to take true ownership of the knowledge acquired in the course.
I think adobeconnect would be an ideal platform to host this kind of learning.
As an educator, I realize that to stay relevant in my field it is imperative that I am knowledgeable about online learning. With the increase in people acquiring bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees without ever having to step into a classroom I believe the academy, and the professors within it, must change the way we think about teaching and learning. Also, as a teacher educator (I teach teachers how to teach children) I think that learning these skills will benefit the teachers that I teach; thus benefiting the students that they teach. I am not sure if I will ever be where Leah is and be able to teach others how to use this technology, but I am excited to know that it is available to assist in the learning process.
In reading the article by Ragan and Tehegeen (2003) I was surprised, and pleased, to learn that much of their recommended strategies for workload management in the online environment were the same strategies that I suggest for beginning teachers. For example, they found some of the most effective strategies were “identifying and acquiring existing learning resources, establishing and distributing reusable templates, providing the course author with a sample online course, providing students with specific instruction for assignments, applying project planning and management methods to the course development process, etc…” In teaching future educators, I advise them of the same exact things. First year teachers are told to “beg, borrow, and steal; don’t reinvent the wheel” and use lessons that are already created and available online or through other resources. We also encourage the use of rubrics as they provide a manageable way to grade lots of assignments.
Admittedly, the article by Van de Vorde and Pogue (2012) really resonated with me. I have somehow allowed myself to believe that online teaching results in increased workload for the teacher. My best friend attends Devry, a popular online university, and it seems to me that she actually does more work (I use this word “work” to mean labor) than the students who attend classes I teach at Emory. I wonder if the professor, who is on the other side of her work, is working that hard, or that much, as well. I am just not so sure. Still, the world of online teaching is alluring and is in many ways quite sexy. I am drawn to the idea that I can teach classes and travel abroad, or simply be out of town visiting my mother. Does it get any better than that?
My experience with VoiceThread was odd. I was uncomfortable and I felt clumsy. I hope it didn’t sound that way to the people who listened to my VoiceThread. I felt it was an anomalous, one-sided, way to have a conversation and, because I had not yet seen the faces or heard the voices of the other people in the class, I had no idea who I was talking too. I’m not Catholic, but I imagined that is how I might feel in the confessional booth…who is on the other side of the wall and what are they thinking about what I am saying? I am recognizing the need for Face-time, particularly in conversations with new folks who have not been introduced to me in any other way.