Second semester has me teaching an online course. What this usually does is kick start me into upping my game with my face to face classes and incorporating more blended learning. The past two days as the semester looms closer, I’ve been spending a little more time updating things.
My e-learning class is getting some new things added. And let me be the first to acknowledge that I actively use my PLN on twitter and blog following for these ideas. I’m not claiming to invent the wheel here, but am happy I have a chance to learn and incorporate ideas from others.
My happy place teaching online is definitely in the window dressing. I’ve noted this in previous entries. I rotate in and out a few ideas to add a little pizazz to my page. Right now, I have added my class twitter feed to the page. I typically link student friendly articles, tips, funny stories here. My first goal was to post class updates, due dates, reminders, etc. Also new this semester is Instagram. This is me trying to make my students see me as a real person. I want to add some daily (or so) pictures of me, what I see, classroom, novel covers, my day. These will be a combination of useful and fun in an attempt to get students coming to the page and seeing what’s going on. My idea is to try incorporate social media they may use and use this addiction to my benefit. (Haha) get addicted to our class page just as much as you are all your other social media. Log,on, do some reading, do some work, submit some assignments.
My other rotations include a class Facebook page, an “Awkward Family Photos” section, a working game widget, a magic 8ball, a weekly changing voki, some goanimate! and an inspirational quotes widget. I do not use all of these at the same time, it would look like neon lights of Vegas. I do like to be able to change the look of my page from time to time, to try to keep the students on their toes and logging in and also to keep myself fresh as well. It’s easy to put in a widget and just sort of leave it there and not update it.
So I can’t just keep my elearning class moving, I feel I need to give some attention to my face to face students as well. I decided not to use the same platform for my face to face class for a couple of reasons. Since we do not have access to computers on a regular basis i decided to use a google site as it seems to be a little simpler for my students. Many of my students have gmail accounts and are already familiar with how it operates. I share the class site with them, so whenever they log in, it’s there. (I’m almost always the only “site” shared with them!) Using the site as a class page, I do not have them upload assignments, however they can email them to me.
On this site, I have uploaded copies of our stories, templates we use, even videos we watch. (We just allowed YouTube this fall and it has helped tremendously ). I also have the ability to post student projects on the page, power points, pictures, journal topics, even the lessons if necessary. It has proven just a little simpler in one location as “files” rather than units, modules, sub sections, etc. for my students, the google page is more user friendly at this point. (If we had regular access to computers I may change my mind, but for now…)
I’m pleased with my progress as the new semester is about to start. The ability for my students to be able to access class materials from home is important, so I’m glad I’m able to provide another learning opportunity for them.