Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Week 5 - Virtual Schooling Intro

Your discussion entry this week is a two part task. The first part MUST be done by the end of the day OR before you begin the reading for this week.

For part one, I want you to write an entry TO YOUR OWN BLOG that describes what you currently know about K-12 online learning, virtual schooling, or cyber schooling (all three are the same thing, it is just called different things). Here are some questions which can guide you (although note that you do not have to address each of these questions, they are just to get the juices flowing so to speak).
  • What does it look like? 
  • How is it done? 
  • Where it is done? 
  • What kind of students take it? 
  • What kind of courses are offered?

For part two, you will post a second blog entry TO YOUR OWN BLOG by the end of the day on Friday, July 27th. After you complete the readings for this week, visit and read the Top 10 Myths about Virtual Schools. Based upon the readings and this website, what did you learn that surprised you? Where there things you posted in part one that were false (were any of them listed in the top 10 myths)? Where there things you posted in part one that were accurate?

In addition to the two entries that you post on your own blog this week, make sure that you comment on at least two other students’ blogs by the end of the day on Monday, July 30th. Note that you can comment on either the part one or part two entries of your colleagues.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Week 4 - Wikis

For this week, you will have two SEPARATE postings.

Post #1 - Building your RSS Reader


Using a site like http://blogsearch.google.com/ or http://technorati.com/ search for blogs that might be of interest to you based upon your own teaching background (e.g., grade levels, students, geographic location, subject area, etc.).

Select three (3) of these blogs to add to your RSS reader (and feel free to select more than three if you find others that are of interest to you).

Write an entry to your blog by Tuesday, July 24th that lists the three blogs you have selected, the address for each of these three blogs, and a sentence or two about why you selected to follow them. Please include more than something to the effect of, "It was a blog about using technology in elementary school." or "It was about teaching high school mathematics in an urban area." There are dozens, if not hundreds or thousands of blogs that meet those criteria. Why did you pick that specific one? What about it caught our attention and/or interest?

There is no requirement to comment on others' blog entries for this post.

Post #2 - Judging the Quality of Wikis

There have been many opinions about the use of resources like Wikipedia in the classroom. Some teachers refuse to accept information from students when their source is Wikipedia, while others are more than happy to allow their students to use it as an authoritative source. A group of scholars even examined the issue of the accuracy of Wikipedia.

At the heart of it, Wikipedia is a wiki that anyone can contribute to and anyone can change. How do you view Wikipedia as a resource for your students? Why?

In addition to the entry responding to this prompt on your own blog this week, please respond to at least two of your fellow students' blogs.  Your own response to this prompt should be posted by midnight on Friday, July 20th, 2012. Your comments on other students' blogs should be completed by midnight on Monday, July 23rd, 2012.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Digital Natives and Immigrants

Now that we've seen quite a bit of material on generational differences, let's begin to discuss this further.  Last week and this week, you're being introduced to some of the literature concerning today's students - who people think they are, what characteristics, they have, etc. Does any of what you read sound like your students?


Further, you're also being exposed to some the research regarding generational differences.  How do the writings from Week 1 compare to what the research says about the differences between generations?

For your blog entry this week, I'd like you to reflect on what these two authors have said. How have each of the authors described YOUR students? What have each of the authors said that doesn't describe your students at all? Are there any characteristics, traits or behaviors of your students that none of these authors have even mentioned? Basically, how do your students compare to what these authors have to say?


Adding in the research, what do you think makes the most sense? Does the review of the research conducted by Reeves and Twenge really matter if Howe and Strauss or Prensky got it right in the first place?

[Before you ask, "Wait, what do I need to write about?" read the last few paragraphs again.  Then, collect your thoughts on all of the readings, and use most/all of the above questions to guide your writing.  Be thorough, but not robotic when crafting your post based on the above questions.]

In addition to the entry responding to this prompt on your own blog this week, please make a comment on two of your fellow students' blogs.

Your own response to this prompt should be posted by midnight on Saturday, July 7th, 2012. Your comments on other students' blogs should be completed by midnight on Monday, July 9th, 2012. Please note that the first due date will normally be on Friday, but due to the holiday today I'm giving you an extra day.

As this is your first reflective blogging assignment, please look at the assignment description in Blackboard [Content-->Assignments] to see what constitutes quality reflection and discussion.  Early on, I will be active in commenting; however, good online pedagogy states that instructor involvement should wane over time to prevent the instructor from being a crutch in maintaining good discussion (Mazzolini & Maddison, 2007).