Currently I am teaching CI100 and CI101 at California State University Fresno. This class covers integrating technology into instruction for pre-service teachers. The class meets once a week in person. Currently the class is workshop style with in class discussion and the students creating products using the assigned technologies that would be used in a classroom setting.
I am not currently using an LMS, however I have all of the content structured on a Google Site. What I like about a Google Site is how easy it is to embed Google products such as Docs and YouTube. If I were to teach this course in a more blended model I would probably stick with the Google Site and using Google Drive for sharing files. I have and do use Moodle and enjoy many of the advantages such as threaded discussions, being able to check box completed assignments and submitting documents straight to the LMS. I have found though that besides the checkboxes I can simulate many of the LMS features just with Google tools.
I like using Google tools with pre-service teachers because it is free and universally available on any platform. Thus the students will have skills they can apply regardless of which school district they are employed in. Since Google Apps for Education (GAFE) is free, it is likely that their school district will be utilizing Google.
Since the class is project oriented, the students are working the entire time on their projects, but as in most classes whole class discussions are limited to only a few voices. By taking the courses to an online or blended model students have more time to craft their answers to a pedagogy question and to reflect on how they will address student learning through educational technology. Since each student can submit their answers, this allows for greater participation and more thoughtful answers.
My course is already student centered and allows for mastery. Students are encouraged to resubmit work that is not to expectations. Unfortunately, if an assignment is dependent upon the Mac computers we have in the classroom (GarageBand for example) it is challenging for students to be able to work outside of class. If the class were to move to a more online or blended model, students would need to be presented with a variety of tool options to complete the learning objective.
Currently my classes are 7-10 at night. Due to student fatigue I may not be getting the best out of student who in an online situation can choose the hours that are most productive for them.
The online model would reflect the flex model, but I would want to engage with students through pockets of opportunities in a Google Hangout or other situation to give feedback beyond just in a written form and to help individualize the instruction to help each student grow from where they are at.
For the online model I would work to give as much feedback as possible. In a face to face situation I am able to move around the room and see what students are working on, and what might help them to kick it up a notch. Since I am likely to only see the end results in on online model I will need to make a conscious effort to reach out to students regularly, ask questions to find out where they are at and what is impeding them from moving forward and then make adjustments and suggestions to help the student customize the assignment for what they are going to be teaching.
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