Let’s talk…just kidding

Let’s talk journaling. For a long time, when I read that part of a course’s requirements was that one creates a journal, I always cringed. I never understood why the powers that be wanted to know what I thought. And then somewhere along the way someone (author unknown and yet completely appreciated) offered me this genius breakdown for proper educational journaling. What an epiphany!

So now, when I do write a journal, not only do I not cringe, but I somewhat enjoy them and appreciate that I can use them as an overview of what I have been learning. A refresher if you will. Now I know you are all (again, did you catch the reference to more than one reader?) wondering what I am blabbering about, don’t panic, I got this.

First, understand that a journal can be broken down into four basic parts,

  1. Objective questions – begin with data, facts, and external reality.

Factual – what did I see, read, hear, etc…?

  1. Reflective questions – evoke immediate personal reactions, internal responses, sometimes emotions or feelings, hidden images, and associations with the facts.

What was my gut reaction? My first thoughts?

  1. Interpretive questions – draw out the meanings, values, significance, implications.

That was my reaction, now why did I react that way?

  1. Decisional questions – bring the conversation to a close, eliciting resolution to make a decision about the future.

And now, just to show you I am not blowing smoke about using them, I will throw in here my last journal for eLearn4150, the course I am in right now. This is the last journal for this course and in it I am to pull all the learning for this particular course together and apply it to what I already know, and how I can use it with what I already know. Now honestly, you may not find it all that mindblowing, but I assure you, if you saw it as a way of review and connection, like I do (now), you would find it amazing. Read on faithful readers!! (Heehee, I did it again, I crack me up).

Elearn 4150 JOURNAL ENTRY #3

KIMBERLY WILLIAMS

VANCOUVER COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Objective Questions

I always find myself thinking about a course, as I work my way through it, with a modicum of criticism and skepticism, what does this have to do with the subject matter? I would never consider this as being disrespectful to those who created the course; I have the utmost of respect for fellow instructors, and have high expectations of myself to follow in their shoes. It is my way of making the connection, of pulling the course material together. I have learned that by writing a journal I can do just that, pull everything in the course together and I consider it genius. So what did I learn this time, during eLearn4150? I learned from Richard Buckland (2009) that wikis are interactive, and are an amazing tool. I have learned that there are hundreds, if not thousands of eLearning tools to incorporate into your program. I learned about the possibility for what I refer to as an educational divide, understanding that there are many challenges faced by both teachers and students, and the possible solutions to those challenges. I also learned that, after all this time of thinking I belonged to one generation of thinkers, I am a member of completely different club. And finally, at least for now, I learned that there are guidelines for the courses I am learning from, and for those I will create along my journey. These guidelines, assuring that best practice and quality in the programs, are essential for effective and successful teaching, and learning.

Reflective Questions

As a veteran of the online educational environment, I always understood that using digital information was paramount. I know understand how to apply some of those websites, and other online tools, such as Grammerly and, my personal favorite, TEDtalks to my curriculum as enhancements to my course materials. I now appreciate the quality guidelines for programs and the purpose for assessment and to take into account the challenges that students may face. These responsibilities lie with me, as the course facilitator, and I take them seriously.

Interpretive Questions

As I mentioned above, although I have done most of my post high school education online, I actually went into the eLearning program with a bit of skepticism and doubt, and maybe even a little feeling of not taking it seriously. I have a feeling that I would never have considered it if I lived in a bigger community, where the options to teach where greater. Add to this that at least two of my PIDP instructors said that my writing was decent enough to get people to actually read it, even though I felt my writing was substandard, and in a weird way, juvenile and silly. This attitude, that I never took the online teaching world all that serious, is something I completely regret now. I have insight now into the relevance and importance of offering an education from a digital perspective.

Decisional Questions

Now what does this mean for my own journey? I know now that I am capable of creating a program for online learners that will be effective, relevant, educational, supportive and interesting. I have resources, many of them, which I can use to create the atmosphere where students feel confident to apply the information provided in the course I facilitate. I will continue to explore the options out there to make my programs as interactive, lively and informative as I possibly can.  There are far too many to list, but I have included a link to at least one in the references below. By incorporating a variety of these, and other, tools into my classes, I can be sure to keep my students engaged and learning. I also now understand there is standard by which the classes provided online can be held to, something I always wondered of the existence of. I vow to do my best, as I feel it an expectation of my adult students, to be sure that the classes I create follow those standards and are of the utmost quality experience. By following the quality guidelines questions I can be accountable for the information I put out there. And, one final resolution, at the completion of this first stop on my eLearning journey, is that I will make all efforts to use the internet to my advantage. There are so many resources out there that I can provide my students any support they need, and the future teachers of the courses I may create. That is not to say that there are not other resources out there, and that traditional support models are now irrelevant, but the World Wide Web is vast, unending and constantly evolving and I owe it to myself, my students, and those I support, to use it, embrace it and appreciate it for what it is.

References

Erikesen, T. (2008). Managing Generation Y. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDAdaaupMno

Schroer, W.J. (2016). Generations X, Y, Z and the Others. Retrieved from http://socialmarketing.org/archives/generations-xy-z-and-the-others/

Alley, L. (2000). Ten keys to quality assurance and assessment in online learning. Retrieved from http://www.worldclassstrategies.com/papers/keys

Barker, K. (2002). Canadian Recommended E-Learning Guidelines (CanREGs). Retrieved from http://www.futured.com/pdf/CanREGs%20Eng.pdf

Buckland, R. (2009). Wikis in University Teaching and Learning. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1-8OOrBi0o

Hart, J. (2016). Top 200 Tools for Learning 2016: Overview. Retrieved from http://c4lpt.co.uk/top100tools/

See? Cool right? I told you that the journal was cool. So next time someone asks you to journal, refer to this blog, (you know that means you actually have to keep track of me right?) and take advantage of the chance to explore what you have learned. You might be pleasantly surprised, I always am.

So this is me, for now. I am finished with the this course, and there is a couple more, I will get there. Until next time reader…

 

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Cool resources….well some of them

So throughout my learning journey (such a cool term) I have been compiling resources, such as websites, books I have read, and other information, in a document. I took all the resources I used for this part of the program, eLearning, and compiled it on one page. I thought someone out there, that one faithful reader that I have, might find it interesting to peruse.

Granted….it’s kind of long, there was a lot of learning going on! And knowing that it’s only a bite of the cool stuff I have collected, I’m proud and excited to show it off. Trust me, so worth a gander. Check it out…….

Culyer, R.C. , & Ebert, E.S. (2011). School, an Introduction to Education (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth

Huitt, B. (n.d.) Humanistic Approaches to Teaching. Retrieved from http://www.garysturt.free-online.co.uk/human.htm

Humanistic Education (n.d.) Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanistic_education

University of California at Berkeley. (n.d.) Overview of Learning Theories. Retrieved from http://gsi.berkeley.edu/gsi-guide-contents/learning-theory-research/learning-overview/

Williams, K.(2013). The Humanistic Approach to Adult Education. Paper presented for PIDP3100, Vancouver Community College, Vancouver, BC.

The Five R’s of Engaging Millennial Students by Mary Bart

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-and-learning/the-five-rs-of-engaging-millennial-students/

Managing Generation Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDAdaaupMno

Generations X,Y, Z and the Others

http://socialmarketing.org/archives/generations-xy-z-and-the-others/

Professor Stephen Heppell – LTS:ICT and learning

WIKI Page address : https://jbkweduc4150wk5project.wikispaces.com/

GOOGLE SEARCH

http://www.google.ca/insidesearch/howsearchworks/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Search

http://mashable.com/category/google-search/

 

WORD

https://www.digitalunite.com/guides/creating-documents/microsoft-word

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Word

http://www.skilledup.com/articles/10-reasons-using-microsoft-word

 

TED TALKS

https://www.ted.com/participate/organize-a-local-tedx-event/tedx-organizer-guide/speakers-program/what-is-a-tedx-talk

https://www.ted.com/about/our-organization

https://www.ted.com/talks/david_deutsch_a_new_way_to_explain_explanation?language=en

http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/TED-talk

http://Grammarly.com

Google, (2016). Retrieved November 13, 2016, from https://www.google.ca

Symes, S. (2016). The Advantages of Using Search Engines. Retrieved November 13, 2016 from https://www.techwalla.com/articles/the-advantages-of-using-search-engines

The Global Schoolhouse: Introduction to Searching the Internet, (Dec. 2003). Retrieved November 13, 2016 from http://www.gsn.org/web/research/internet/disadse.htm

Donnelly, B. (2012). Pros and Cons of The Three Major Search Engines. Retrieved November 13, 2016 from
https://www.mjmedia.co.za/pros-and-cons-of-the-three-major-search-engine/

Ted, (2016). Retrieved November 13, 2016, from https://www.ted.com/talks

Archambault, L.M. & Barnett, J.H. (2010). Revisiting Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: Exploring the TPACK Framework. Computers & Education, 5(2), 1656-1662.

Brown University. (n.d.) Best Practices for Teaching Online. Retrieved from http://www.brown.edu/academics/professional/faculty/online/best-practices.php

Clark, R., & Mayer, R. E. (2011). E-learning and the science of instruction: proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning.  San Francisco, CA : Pfeiffer.

Higley, M. (2014, March). e-Learning: Challenges and Solutions. Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/e-learning-challenges-and-solutions

Kumar, S. (2015, July). How To Overcome 5 Common Problems Faced By Students In eLearning. Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/5-common-problems-faced-by-students-in-elearning-overcome

Martin, J. (2009, June). Developing Course Material for Online Adult Instruction. Merlot Journal of Online Learning, 5(2). Retrieved from http://jolt.merlot.org/vol5no2/martin_0609.htm

Nielsen, L. (2010). 10 Reasons Students Say They Prefer Learning Online: Best Practices for Online Teaching. Retrieved from http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.ca/2010/11/10-reasons-students-say-they-prefer.html

University of the Potomac. (2016). Online learning vs. Traditional Learning: A comparison of Online Classes vs Traditional Classes. Retrieved from https://potomac.edu/learning/online-learning-vs-traditional-learning/

 

The big red filing cabinet

Well this is an interesting turn of events, sort of. I have always been a student, always been enrolled in a course, most online, in something that interests me and might help me reach the goals I have set out for myself. The problem is, I just can’t decide what I want to be when I grow up. The fact that I am almost 50 is completely irrelevant, and in fact, makes this journey that much more exhilarating. So, I am in the process of a degree in general studies, just finished my PIDP, enrolled in an American Sign Language program, and taking my eLearning instructors’ program. Whew, when I put it all out there, I’m a busy girl, who has time to grow up?

In the process of working on my degree I have been offered the opportunity to produce a PLAR (prior learning assessment and recognition). The paperwork has been sitting on my desk for a while now, and seems to be multiplying…looking a little bit daunting and overwhelming. Then….TADA!….along comes the ePortfolio. Fate!?!?! Karma?!?!  Who knows, but it looks like this is the next step I will be taking. I also hope that by creating my own portfolio, that I will know how to support students, in my future online classes, create theirs. I can’t teach something I am not familiar with, that’s not honest to me. So I will complete a PLAR, and in that, I will submit my ePortfolio, and hope the people interested in it think I am on the right track.

If I hope to teach ECE, which I really, really do want to do, then, yes, then creating an ePortfolio will be perfect. ECE is such a hands-on profession that sometimes it’s very hard to keep track of what you have learned and accomplished. It’s not about the papers and essays and questions, but about taking what you have learned and being able to apply it to the child filled environment. The ePortfolio is exactly what a student in ECE could use to keep track of all this information. Realistically, it would be difficult to keep copies of actual activities, such as, just how do you put icing on an ice cream cone Christmas tree onto a zip drive? But putting pictures, taking video, keeping written notes about what works and what doesn’t, ideas for scaffolding learning activities, and how this effects a child’s development, etc. all into one place, for safekeeping, would be very helpful.

Add to this actual academic information that the student has created, and items that they feel is important and something they want to keep for their future practice and what a great filing system! Students can add other relevant information as well, such as websites, videos, and articles that they want to showcase their learning journey. It’s like a great big filing cabinet, where one can store everything they thing is important about them, and what they know.

As I write this, I am looking around my office, and there it is, the big red filing cabinet! And yes, in it is everything I could include in my ePortfolio. Files upon files of information about me, what I have done, what I have learned over the last million years (ok, maybe not a million, but pretty darned close), and what I think is interesting, both in regards to my learning journey, but my life journey too. Stuck in those big metal drawers are things that go way back, but I still think of almost every day, so they have to be important right? It is going to be so nice to refer to my ePortfolio when I work on my PLAR and not have to dig through copious amounts of file folders to find that one nugget of knowledge that I just know is in there. Man I have a lot of work to do…….off we go!

Sometimes the lightbulb goes on…

So I had an epiphany the other night. It wasn’t big, but it was there. I had taken a refresher look at all the theories on learning approaches, you know, constructivism, cognitivism, behaviorism, humanism, etc, and realized that Early Childhood Education is the true epitome of the theory of humanism…who knew? The easiest way to understand the theory of humanistic learning is to think of a person as a whole being, and that to learn something the person must feel that they can consider how the knowledge will affect who they are, how they feel and think. It addresses some very basic human needs, like how do they create a better life, how do they build a bigger knowledge base, and maybe find out why we are all here(what is the meaning of life), and that by learning what is being taught, some of these needs will be met.

Anyways, when you teach very small children, it is essential that we look at the child and determine that all their basic needs are met before we can expect them to understand any other concepts that we may be trying to share with them. And yes, sometimes you spend the day just making sure everyone goes home in one piece, but there are days where the meaning of life becomes the topic of the day, right after we learn why standing on a chair is not the best choice for reaching that book and why washing off ALL the bubbles is a good idea before licking our fingers.

If I were to ask you what a child’s favorite word is, I would bet that there would be no hesitation. You would respond with “why”.  And you would be right. Children love to ask why. They are learning holistically, and naturally use the humanistic approach without considering there is any other way. Telling Susy that standing on that chair is probably a poor choice and she will ask you why. When you respond to her that, while you understand that she wants to read the book, she needs to learn the safest way to get it. In other words, her asking why is begging to know some of the bigger questions. Such as, if I don’t stand on this chair, how will I get my need for that book met? Or, I will be emotionally satisfied if I get the book, what happens if I don’t get it? See the connection?

Some school stuff…oh…and a new president,ugh

Good morning readers,

Now don’t freak out, I know this is a Thursday morning and I should be at work, but I am privileged to work at a place that is closed on Friday, so I get today off, yay me! So it’s just you, me, and a very large cup of coffee. Ready?

So, the assignment for this blog was to list 10 best practices for online teaching from the textbook, The Online Teaching Survival Guide. It’s kind of a neat book and written in a way that is quite easy to follow, even for a textbook. I figure that I might do this required part of the blog before I get down to what I really want to rant about, what everyone is ranting about…yup….you guessed it….the new Commander in Chief of the United States. Does anyone else get slightly queasy when this comes up? Ok, not right now….

BEST PRACTICES FOR ONLINE TEACHING

  1. Be present at the course.

As an online instructor I think I owe it to my students to be available to them, as often as I possibly can. If I was a classroom teacher, I would be expected to be present in the room for certain periods of time, why would I consider online any different? I would give them times when I am available and I would be consistent. However, I think, because we live such busy lives, I owe it to my students to make concessions and try to be available when they need me, as an educator and a mentor. I found, as a student, there was nothing more helpful than knowing, if I was unable to reach my instructor at the designated times, that he/she was only a quick email or phone call away, anytime, for just about anything.

  1. Develop a set of explicit expectations for both your learners and yourself.

As much as I am an admitted procrastinator, I do appreciate deadlines, expectations and explicit guidelines. Being behind and slow at the wheel is on me, and I’m going to presume I am not alone in my admission. I will be sure to let my learners know of my expectations, both for assignment and interaction deadlines, but also for what I expect from them as far as what that assignment and interaction should look like. There is nothing more confusing than reading an assignment description and thinking “um..what?!?” at the end. I think that this is imperative to creating a successful online learning experience. If the students spend more time deciphering the assignments as opposed to creating successful assignments than I, as the instructor, I need to reevaluate my course, my bad.

  1. Ask for informal feedback early in the term.

There is nothing wrong with checking and making sure that I am providing the right learning environment to help my students be as successful as they can be. Checking in with them as often as possible will ensure that I am guiding them where they want to go. I think that I would send out a little feedback email early on, to see that everyone is sure that they are comfortable with their course choices and that they feel confident that this class, my instruction styles and their confidence in the journey is the right way to go. I would then send out several emails throughout the course duration to ensure that the learners are continuing to be satisfied with the learning. I believe that email is the best choice for those feedback questions, because if there are issues, whether it’s a personal or education situation, they are essentially between myself and the learner, and not the group. However, if there is a consistency in an educational issue, then I would take it to the group and address it publicly, I think I owe that to the class to be honest and let them know they are not alone, and that I am not perfect and willing to work with them.

  1. Prepare discussion posts that invite responses, questions, discussions, and reflections.

I think this point piggybacks on the previous note about feedback. Not only would I provide opportunities to discuss the content of the course, but the challenges and success my students, and myself, are facing with the course.  However, because we live in such a fast paced and sometimes disconnected world, I think having the opportunity to talk about what challenges we face, not only as learners and the course matter, but also as people, is essential. I think because we are not in a F2F situation it is even more important to try and connect with the students on a more personal level. To do this I think I would create posts, first about the course subject, for example, “Describe a situation where you had to have a difficult conversation with a parent of a child in your center.”, but also about the students and how they are feeling, such as asking, “How are you doing? Share some challenges and successes.”

  1. Combine core concept learning with customized and personalized learning.

This is a difficult one for a couple reasons. First, there is a curriculum that has to be followed and achieved for student success. But second, and maybe more important, is the ability to make sure that the structure of the course is personalized and respectful of all the learning styles of the students in the course. I think, for me, having the option to take an assignment and personalize it, such as this blog, is the best way to achieve both sides, concept and personalized learning. I appreciate that there are guidelines that are expected to be followed as far as the content in my blog, but I also appreciate that I am not being judged on the way I express my understanding of the expected content and delivery of those expectations (barring grammatical errors of course). I will do my best to give my students the opportunity to deliver some of their assignments in their own manner, except for those times when there are explicit expectations, and then I will be very clear in describing those expectations, and offer the support to help each student follow those guidelines.

  1. Plan a good closing and wrap activity for the course.

I know as a student myself, there is nothing more satisfying that successfully completing a course, especially online, where the personal commitment is always so much higher than in a classroom environment. I want my students to be proud of what they have done, what they have achieved and to celebrate it, regardless of whether they aced the course or barely scraped by. I would provide an opportunity to showcase what they have learned, and I would not scrutinize or grade it, but encourage them to show off their knowledge, as long as the course content was satisfied why not? For example, as a teacher of Early Childhood Education, I would ask, as a final assignment, to send in a little video clip of each student’s favorite nursery rhyme, rhythm game or fingerplay, with actions! How great to share the fun part of our field, and get silly for a minute. It would certainly release some of the tension that often comes with school. And waiting until the end of the course would work as, by now, the students are a little more comfortable with each other and me. Of course I would provide a video of myself rocking The Hokey Pokey (a personal favorite).

  1. Search out and use content resources that are available in digital format.

As an online instructor, I think it is imperative to provide resources in a digital format and would actually use a good amount of information from the internet in the body of my course. As I mentioned before I would love to teach Early Childhood Education, and as a seasoned educator, I know there are a multitude of very good resources out there for ECEducators, such as online magazines, scholarly material and sites devoted to supporting our very important field. I am not discounting the importance of traditional resource materials, like textbooks, but the digital world has so much to offer. I think one thing I would do is offer a selection of resources, ask the students to choose one or two and interpret them into their work in the field.

  1. Design experiences to help learners make progress on their novice-to-expert journey.

Nobody takes a course to go sideways. We want to improve and get better at something, or learn how to do something we didn’t know how to do. I think, as a teacher, we owe it to the students to challenge them, and build on what they learn, at every step of the course. I would use the ‘IF..THEN theory, that ECEs use with their young charges, I think it would work beautifully in a classroom environment. For example, IF, in lesson 1 we gain an understanding of cognitive development in young children, why not make lesson 2.. THEN how can that knowledge of cognitive development be encouraged in a group of 12 month olds?  Lesson three? Put what you know into practice! In childcare we call that scaffolding.

  1. and 10. Create a supportive online course community AND use a variety of large group, small group and individual work experiences.

I am not sure that this is acceptable, but I keep finding myself thinking that these two practices go hand in hand. For starters, while I think it is important for students to do the work themselves and complete the course work on an individual basis, I know that online learning can sometimes be a lonely and isolating experience.  By creating groups where the students can get together, whether in large or small numbers, it helps remove that feeling of being alone in the learning and the questioning of whether you are doing things right. It would be helpful to create groups in two ways, one by putting the course content online in a manner where all are expected to have input, such as a forum or a wiki (my newly discovered resource!), and by encouraging my students connect with one another on a personal level, such as a closed watercooler group. I know from experience, that over the course of a class, you get familiar with the names and words of some of your fellow students and connecting with those that you find comfortable is a great way to stay connected and feel not so alone in your learning, maybe even in life. I think if connections can be made, both educationally and personally, a community will form on its own. By staying connected with the students, as the supporting member and guide of both types of groups, not only do I encourage community, but I reap the benefit of being a member.  I think that being accepted and trusted as a member of the students’ community is a great way to help facilitate the learning and improve my abilities as a teacher. A win for all.

I need to mention more about where the list of best practices came from:

Boettcher,  J. V., Conrad, R-M.(2016). The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical Pedogogical Tips. (2nd ed.) San Francisco, CA:Jossey-Bass

Wow, that took a bit, but it has given me some insight as to how I will proceed as a teacher for sure.

Now I get to comment on what’s really on my mind. I don’t know about you, but as a woman with family members and friends who are either members of the LGBTQ2 community or have special needs, I am a little worried about Mr. Trump (and believe me, I use the term Mr. not out of respect but I am a lady and using other words is unbecoming).

First of all, I don’t understand the ‘democratic’ voting system in the United States. I always understood that in a vote, the person with the most votes wins. Right? Good grief, that’s how it works on the playground! What that says to me is there are two visions in the US, a public democracy, good for show, and a silent dictatorship, terrifying.

But more importantly, after all the horrible things the man (also a term I use loosely) has said, done and promised, both publicly and privately, why in the H, E double hockey sticks, would a society think giving this person power is a good idea? I shudder to think what his first action will be…..maybe……um…hmm. You know what? As a rational, respectful, thoughtful member of a peaceful, decent society I can’t come up with anything. I can’t drop my brain that deep in the gutter.

Shame on you America. You have no idea where this decision could lead for all of us. In the great words of my friend Debby….go stand in the corner and think about what you have done. I’m going to stand back and hope things don’t go sideways, unless it’s already too late.

I’m back!!!

….and right now you are all picturing that classic scene where Jack Nicholson peeks through the door with that crazed look in his eye. I promise you I have better hair.

Now admit it, you missed me. I’m like a train wreck, you know you should look away, be respectful, but you just can’t help it, you must peek. So go ahead, peek at my drivel. It’s not like I write anything important or intelligent, heck, I just write what comes into my goofy brain. It’s good for a laugh.

Alright, I’m done fluffing myself up. The real reason you read my blog is because the teacher told you to. I understand. I’m doing my best to make it not dry, and truthfully, it’s about as real as I get. That’s one thing I will admit, this blog is honest, I write what I feel and what I think, as crazy as it might sound. And I am sure, sometimes it sounds pretty darned crazy.

So why are you back, you might ask…or not. I am still going to tell you. After I finished the PIDP, which I did successfully, thank you very much (yay me!), I was told by two instructors that I should consider doing the online teaching thing, that I was witty, (a nice word for sarcastic/obnoxious) and had a way of explaining in plain language that people would understand. So I started thinking about it. The world is changing, everyone is attached to one another by electronics and the educational possibilities are becoming endless. Pretty much anything can be learned online, by a formal education format, websites and good ol’ Google. I live in a small community, and even though we have a community college, they aren’t always offering the courses that I could consider teaching. However, if I learn to teach using an online format, I can stay in my beautiful little city and in my messy little office and still be of some assistance to someone, somewhere, well, anywhere. Cool. So here I am….again. Still…..

As a somewhat shy person (contrary to what my husband thinks) I am looking forward to the online teaching program. One of the biggest hurdles I had with taking the PIDP is that I had to stand up in front of a group of people and share my knowledge. I feared being judged, being ridiculed, being outsmarted, etc. Then I taught a class in simple baby sign language. I had a blast! My class was interested in what I had to say, shared with me what they already knew, and challenged me to keep up and give them something to think about. How exhilarating…sort of. I went home afterwards and dissected every small step I had taken in that class.

Now, I’m sure that it probably wasn’t nearly as bad as I felt it was. And I have been approached by some of the students from that class asking when they can expect part 2, so it couldn’t have been all bad. I know I am very critical of myself, for lots of things, why should this be any different. But I think with the online format, I can be more me, that the feeling of all eyes on me will be diminished because I am only looking at my screen, or talking to one person at a time, when Skype calling or other online chatting systems. Plus, this really opens up opportunities for me to teach the things I know and love.

I have told you all(like there is more than one person reading this..) before, I am first and foremost a child care provider, advocate, preschool teacher, interventionist/consultant. So many of the courses for this field are going digital and are provided through amazing institutions for the online world. I feel like I need to learn how to instruct in an online format, or get left in the dust. So I am going to give it a shot. And besides, I’m getting a little long in the tooth and my retirement fund is pretty skinny, so retiring soon is not going to be an option, for quite a while. I think if I teach online, I can do it for a long time, as long as my brain stays intact (ish). Maybe I will be like my Grandmother. My mom always teased, “Nana, your engine is great, but your wheels fell off!” I really hope my engine revs for a long time. ‘Til next time folks…ok….buddy. (Just keeping it real).

I can’t be good at everything…hahaha

Formative Assessment

Brace yourselves…….

Part of the PIDProgram was to create a digital project about a form of assessment we choose. Me, being the rebel that I am, couldn’t choose the right assessment, so I did a blanket project covering a whole genre, if you will, called the formative assessment. Ok, maybe a little background here, for people like my husband, who graciously reads all my blog entries and all my assignments and at the end says, ‘it looks good, even though I have no idea what you are talking about.’ Bless his buttons. Ok, back to the background, there are essentially two type of assessment for teachers. By assessment I mean checking out how well our students are learning what we are teaching…or are they picking up what we are laying down. There is the summative assessment, which is done at the end of a class, and asks…did you learn stuff, and did you enjoy it. It also asks what could be done differently and would you like to experience this educator again? Then there is the formative assessment…which is what I chose to talk about in my digital assignment (ugh). A formative assessment can be done at any time during the learning (in English- the class) to determine how well the learning is going. By finding out how the learning is going midstream, the teacher can modify the class if they need to, or not. It also helps the students change their learning if they need to, to get the most of the class(unless of course they are in high school and are just there to keep the chair warm).

So I am going to attach my assignment here for your viewing pleasure, or at least for a good laugh. Go ahead, I can take it…….

To view, just double click on the red link up at the top that says FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT.