Monday, October 19, 2009

A New Experiment

I love it when teaching and learning intersect!

When I got my Activboard last year, I was not informed I needed or even might want to consider any training. Additionally, there are very strict requirements as to who gets these boards, and I was never informed what I did to deserve it. Don't get me wrong, I ADORE it, and have been begging for one for years. It's just that, as with many other tech integration ideas, I was given the technology and then was expected to take the initiative and figure it out myself (in my vast amount of spare time). Unfortunately, this is why millions of dollars worth of technology goes unused in schools every day. In fact, I have seen the exact same thing happen in the past two weeks as people walk in to their classrooms in the morning to discover and Activboard there, with no knowledge of how to even turn it on.

Because of my interest in technology, I did take it upon myself to take all the training I could find, and then experiment with it. However, like I said, too many others don't. I'm very glad I took the training, but even so, while it did a great job explaining how to use the actual software, it didn't do such a good job of showing how it could be used effectively to help students learn more in the classroom. Hence, ever since this summer, I've been designing a better course in the back of my head.

Here comes the intersection of my teaching and what I've been learning in my ed tech master's program at NAU. This semester and next, my major (and final) project is to create a project that supports professional development in educational technology. How perfect! What I'm learning is something that is directly necessary at the school level! For this reason, I've spent nearly the entire first day of my fall break planning a 4-week online course in Beginning Use of Activboard Software. For once, it's been exciting working on a school project! (Actually, that's been true of much of my Master's program.) Now, I actually create the online course shell and then wait to see how it actually plays out in the coming months... Here's hoping for the best :-) Have any of you (my vast world of readers) ever taken an online course? Was your experience positive or negative? Why?


John Spencer said...

That was a big part of my master's capstone, too. I found that there were issues of time, pressures of NCLB and low teacher self-efficacy. Yet, teachers had high levels of motivation and desire to integrate technology.

D Kootman said...

Hi Dierdre,
Have you met Carrie Griffin yet?
She is the Promethean Teaching and Learning consultant in your area. Her job is to help teachers effectively incorporate the use of the Activboard and create curriculum materials.
This seems top be similar to what you are working on and I think she would be a great resource for you. her email: FYI,I am the teaching and learning consultant for Southern California.