Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Summer Course Post #2

Well, I have been gone for a week with 8 youth on a Mission trip in New Orleans. While trying to serve others, I could not get my mind off of all the homework I had to catch-up on when I got home. I finally think I'm almost caught up.

I got back just in time for last week’s on-line class. However, before I left, I worked in my small group discussing the prior class discussion and how we would apply this course to our classroom. I feel we all desire to use technology to benefit our student's learning, but fear that the learning curve of using the technology (especially for the parents) is of concern.

This week I completed my browser comparative. Frankly, I am not sold on any particular browser and have used all of them except Chrome. I will attack that browser before the end of summer. As I stated in one of my moodle responses, I still feel that the consistency of Microsoft's Internet Explorer makes it the mark for comparison. The product has always kept-up with internet changes and maintains a reasonable backwards compatibility. While maybe not as "glitzy" as some of its contemporaries, it continues to be the workhorse standard. So I find myself comfortable with it.

As for social bookmarking, I have been incorporating the concept for years as part of my classroom website I include and update URL's with video, audio and interactive websites which support my classroom lessons and assignments. I do like the ease of use Diiago offers, but also like the stronger integration I have developed on my own website. Unlike many teachers, I am proficient in HTML and keep-up with plug-ins and language variations so I can make my site fairly interactive. While I like the tightness and ownership I have in my own site, I may create a Diiago section so that students may add their own unit resources. It may be a “frame” attached within my own site; I can see significant potential there.

Finally, I just completed my collaborative essay with my group members. I have to honestly say it went very well and the end product is well written. I have done collaborative writing before using the group editing feature of word. The concept requires a certain maturity. Our group was successful because we equally had a vested interest, were mature enough to understand that our part was necessary for the success of the whole, and each of us executed our portion. The problem is with high school students, too often one person writes the essay and the others contribute very little. We need to teach our students “how to collaborate” before we can expect an amazing group outcome.

Oh well, that's all for now.   

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