Thursday, July 26, 2012

Module 3

     Module 3 is all about making a connection with technology in the classroom.  I also interpreted this unit as a way to connect student's ideas and work that is supported by technology, and using it in a way that is beneficial and not a hindrance to how students learn.  My previous post introduced my motivation for the use of online discussion forums and luckily Moodle 2 (which had been down for maintenance)  started functioning this week.  I still explored Collaborize and Campus Pack forums by posting a discussion topic on each and asked for two of my friends (who teach at the school with me, but different subjects) for feedback.  They both picked either Campus Pack or Moodle forums, mostly for the reason is that our students have had experience with Campus Pack in middle school and starting at the end of last year there has been a push to put our courses online with Moodle- therefore the students will be familiar if using these in other classes.  Another benefit of Moodle is the easiness in setting up the discussion topics and it gives you choices how to set the forum up.  I chose the 'Q & A' type where students have to first post their response before reading other classmates' responses. This forum is also easy in that students just have to push one button to respond and the responses are set up under that original comment (reminds me more of the Desire2Learn system versus a forum like Edmodo).  Since Moodle is private, requiring registration into my class I cannot include the link to the forum but will discuss my objectives, steps, and extensions for this project.

Online Discussion Forums 
Objectives:  1)  Present content for out of class discussion  2)  Use case studies to enhance knowledge of subjects  3)  Serves as a collaborative learning process with time for self-reflection  4)  Focuses on problem-based learning

Steps:  1)  Review case studies through National Case Study (for teachers) website  2)  Organize by topics that are related to class curriculum.  The topics come from each unit in E/E Science and in Moodle I also created these topics as separate pages.3)  For each case study decide on 1 or 2 opening discussion topics.  These serve to cover main ideas and hopefully to 'launch' new ideas and communication among students 4) Post either a link to the case study or revamp the case study (depending on how much information the teacher wants to use) and post on the discussion forum as a new topic with the1/2 probing questions.  

Requirements for Students:  1)  Topic will be available during the unit (each is 1-2 weeks) 2)  Students have to post 1st response in first 2 days of introducing the unit. I will create a calender (probably electronic through Moodle) with these deadlines 3)  Students will need to respond to at least 2 of their classmates comments by the end of the unit.

Further Ideas:  1)  Record video on instruction for accessing the forums and how to use it.  Could use
  Screencasting or Voicethread programs to capture the images on the screen with audio instructing students the steps. 2)  Put the discussion into the student's hands by having facilitators that can find their own case studies to share 

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