Sunday, June 1, 2008

What a contrast!

I have loved this subject!! What a great example of how to implement a successful online course! I have had so many ideas floating around in my head, based on what I have learnt, that I am just dying to implement in my own teaching practices.
The lecturer has been so available and helpful, and has made it clear that she wants to give us every opportunity to succeed. In fact, I suspect she has probably worked harder than all of us!! However, this approach fosters a feeling of gratitude and I know that I have given more to this subject as a result. This is in stark contrast to my other subjects where the lecturers remain omniscient, contributing to a feeling of isolation and helplessness, especially when needed clarification of tasks is not forthcoming or less than illuminating. And I am not the only one who feels like this as illustrated in the discussion forums. Reflecting on the Instructional design process has caused me to become more critical of standard approaches to teaching. It is certainly my desire to model many of the strategies that I have seen implemented in the design of FET 5601.
A fellow classmate has commented that one of his subjects has designed their course on the premise of Adragogy rather than pedagogy, due to the fact that we are adult learners and therefore must be expected to 'cope' with little instruction and no 'luxuries'. I find this a ludicrous theory and question the appropriateness of its place in any educational institution.
Learners are learners and are here to LEARN. To not support this basic desire is disgracefully remise of any teacher, who by definition are required to 'help to give cause to learn or understand' (Collins English dictionary).
This subject has possibly been one of the most relevant and intersting subjects I have undertaken throughout my educational career and I walk away from it well equipped to design relevant and interesting programs, and learning experinces that will greatly benefit my students and influence my teaching for many years to come.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

So far...

Well, I have now completed all the discussion activities! Hooray!
I will provide links to them all shortly.

I have been finding this course incredibly interesting and applicable. I am learning strategies that I can implement in my classrooms today, tomorrow, - yesterday!

I have also really enjoyed the way the course is structured. I am finding that I spend 80% of my study time on this subject, simply because of the way it requires my regular attention in order to complete the assessment pieces. However, rather than be a nusiance, I find that I am getting so much more out of my study! The feedback is excellent and very helpful. The interaction with fellow students means I feel much less isolated which entails me working harder to maintain and create significant interactions.

This is certainly an example of teaching that I would like to experience more of and also has motivated me to look at how I can structure my teaching programs to be more like this.

Having said that - I now need to spend some more time on my other 2 subjects!!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Growing up online

I have posted a link to a site with more information on this excellent documentary on the way digital media impacts upon the lives of the Net Generation.

Highly recommend watching this program!

Some Interesting Articles

I have just stumbled upon some excellent resources dealing with the Instructional Design Process and educating the Net Generation. I have listed the links to enable easy viewing. Enjoy!

Growing up Online

Last night on Cutting Edge, SBS, there was a program called 'Growing up online'. I found it very relevant to what I am studying in Instructional design because it highlights how our learners are changing and what we as educators need to do to maintain relevancy.

As a result of viewing this program I will now concentrate on designing a program that will focus on educating students about Cyber Bullying, an increasingly insidious danger that preys on young vulnerable minds.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Radical thoughts!!

While reading in greater depth on this subject it becomes obvious just how much the education system needs to change in order to equip our future leaders with the nessessary skills to succeed in such a variable and unpredictable future.
However it is not only the education system that needs to embrace change.
Schools serve an important part in the day-to-day functionality of our society. For example - what would happen if all the students were no longer required to go to school for the traditionally prescribed time from 9am to 3pm? Who would look after them? Who would supervise them? Who would be left to fill the empty places in our workforce for all the parents that need to look after their children? How would after school care and related industries survive?
If we are to integrate digital technology fully into our education system - we would see something like the 'distance' education or more appropriately phrased 'customised' education taking place. This would in turn re-shape all other conventional, traditional and out- moded processes.
At the very least the senior secondary timetable would need to be flexible and cater more for the individuals use - allowing students to participate more effectively in part time work.
Where does this leave the teacher? Certainly not standing in front of an empty classroom attempting to teach the 'olden way'!
In fact, the teaching discipline would also become more flexible allowing teachers to plan their online classes around their own schedules, perhaps incorporating intensive f2f tutoring classes at set times. This would allow for more teachers to work - say, while on holiday, on sick leave, maternity leave, teachers with young children, etc..all would still have the ability to teach in some form or another. Thus creating and accessing a greater workforce!
While of course I understand these radical ideas have far reaching implications for all sectors of our society - if we are to embrace digital technology in its entirity - these changes will surely follow in some shape or form.
But, rather than see these changes as scary and intimidating - they can just as easily be seen as incredibly freeing!
What do you think?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Concept Maps

I never really appreciated the value of concept maps until I started trying to cater for different learners within my lesson plans.
I found that concept maps are a valuable resource for students who are struggling to manage and organise information.
While using these within my lesson plans I also found myself incorporating them into my own studies at Uni.
I have just completed the tutorial section of the Inspiration program and found it to be a really accessible, workable program.
I will definitely spend some more time learning how to use and create spectacular concept maps!!