Blog 2

Personalized Learning: What does this mean and how can we do it?

What is “Personalized learning”? To me, this means that I try to tailor my lessons to the students’ needs. Every child does not learn the same way or at the same pace. Personalized learning ensures that, as much as possible, each child will be met where he or she is in the learning process, be taught in ways that meet the child’s learning style and that take into account the student’s culture and personal circumstances. “Districts see the potential in personalized learning to meet the demands of a student population that has grown more diverse, with a wide range of academic and language needs. And technology, in the view of many, offers a powerful tool for achieving that goal” (Cavanagh, 2017).

I think “Personalized learning” would be great if your school has the budget for it. Of course, the school would need some type of technology like computers, or iPads to help achieve truly personalized learning. I think it should also be a team effort to create a learning plan. I don’t think one teacher can do this for 120-150 students. If that teacher has a low number of students, this would be possible. For myself, I work with 120 students every day. I only have an hour of personalized planning, and that is not enough time to plan for that many students. I try to give choice to students so their projects are personalized to their learning levels and styles, but sometimes it is hard to personalize all lessons.

Our district is facing a $15 million budget shortfall and the Anchorage school district suggests cutting 99 full-time teacher positions to close that budget cap (Hanlon, 2017). The school board has also suggested that middle school teachers teach 6 out of 7 classes. This would mean that we would lose our team planning time. I think this is crucial, especially for middle school students. We meet daily and talk about students we are concerned about and how we can help them. Without that consensus, some students will fall through the cracks and not get the help they need.

As I read through the article “BreakThrough for college readiness,” I could see why these students have improved. They had a network of teachers and helpers with them. I think something like this is possible, but it has to be a team effort; the teacher can’t do it alone.  I liked the competency-based learning—taking the best of teachers and combining that with technology. It meets the student where they are in terms of learning. They were a lot of great examples. I do wonder if some of the students would struggle with this type of learning. They don’t talk about that, but I am sure there was some student who struggled or did not make it.

I would like to personalize my lesson more for my students. I like the idea of flipped classroom and would like to try it. Many of my students do not have access to computers at home. This would pose a problem for those students. I wouldn’t want them to feel like they don’t belong in my class or feel like they are going to get behind because of this. I also like the idea of a rotation model. I would love to do that in my classroom, but my classroom is not big enough to create different centers that the students can rotate through. I have about 30 students in each class and just enough space for tables and chairs for those students. This is why I try to do what I can to personalize students’ projects when I assign them. I can’t personalize everything, but at least I can give them a choice in the projects that they do for me.

References

Blended Learning Definitions. (2017). Retrieved March 26, 2017, from http://www.christenseninstitute.org/blended-learning-definitions-and-models/

Breakthrough Models for College Readiness: An Introduction to Next Generation Blended Schools. (2015). Retrieved March 26, 2017, from https://library.educause.edu/resources/2012/11/

breakthrough-models-for-college-readiness-an-introduction-to-next-generation-blended-schools

Cavanagh, S. (2017). What Is ‘Personalized Learning’? Educators Seek Clarity. Retrieved March 25, 2017, from http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/10/22/09pl-overview.h34.html

Hanlon, T. (2017). Anchorage School District suggests cutting 99 full-time teaching positions to close $15M budget gap. Retrieved March 25, 2017, from https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/education/2017/02/06/anchorage-school-district-presents-2017-18-budget-that-cuts-99-full-time-teaching-positions-to-close-15m-gap/

WEEK 1 BLOG 691

Questions for Reflection: How am I realizing my role as an online instructor? How does this role fit within my comfort level/traditional view of my own teaching identity? Do I need to adjust – if so, how?

My role as an online instructor is just starting. I have uploaded my class to Canvas and am going to let the students enroll in the class on Monday. They will start their first project and I will see how it goes. I think my role in this online experience will be easier because I do see the students and can offer help if they need it. If I didn’t get to see the students, then my role would be different. There are many things that are different when you are teaching online vs. teaching in class. Some of the things I anticipate will be more difficult include being sure students have adequate technical support, finding ways to maintain good communication between myself and the students, and staying aware of whether or not each student is understanding each assignment. These are just a few of the things I expect to be hard.
According to Shamsy (2014), every “online instructor has received at least one frantic email from a learner concerning technical issues.” I know this is true because I have been on the other side of the boat and have been the frantic learner emailing my professor about a technical issue I was having. When learners are experiencing this, they often get frustrated. An online instructor doesn’t want this to happen to their student.
I like what Zane Berge says: that a team approach requires the collaboration of everyone involved (cited in Shamsy 2014). I believe more can get done if you work with others instead of alone. No matter what way you go, often the instructor has to be the one dealing with technical issues. It helps to stay on top of things like this so you can help your students when needed.
Everson (2009) has some good points that I can relate to like:
1. Teaching online is a lot of work. I agree with that. First, you have to get the content you want to teach and then upload it to the online course you are going to use.
2. Students appreciate regular communication. I think this is critical for the student to be successful in your class. They need to know they are on the right track or they will feel lost and confused.
3. Deadlines matter. I think this is important because in an online class you are not there to encourage students to do their work. If you don’t give deadlines, they will fall behind and then get overwhelmed and may drop out of your class.
4. Online courses are not right for all students. I agree with her on this statement. In order to be in an online class, you need to be motivated. You need to be able to complete work on your own time. Some students don’t have what it takes to work on their own, so an online class may not be right for them.
5. Ask students what works and what doesn’t. This is a great point because if you don’t ask, how will you know? If you find out what didn’t work then you can change it for the better so it goes more smoothly next time.
6. Share ideas; collaborate and communicate with others online. This is a very good point. By reaching out to other teachers, you can see what others are doing, how their online classes are going, and what is working for them. This is the best way to get ideas for your own online class.
7. Teaching online can inform me what to do in the classroom if you teach online and in the classroom. I think this will help me out since I will teach in the classroom and online. I can see what needs to be explained more online. In the classroom, I can help students right then and there, but online I have to be more detailed on the assignments so they don’t get confused on how to do it.
Below is a table from Craig et al. (2008) that really fits well with what I see an online teacher’s role to be. I believe an online teacher has to play all of these roles, in one way or another.

screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-2-07-09-pm
I am feeling comfortable teaching my online class so far. I know issues will probably arise once I really get started, but I will adjust when I need to. I like what (Craig, et, al., 2008) mention about the reflection journals students write. I think I am going to do this with my current class, so both I and the students can see what they have gained as they progress through the course. I look forward to seeing how it goes and how the students will progress through the class.

References

Craig, A., Goold, A., Coldwell, J., & Mustard, J. (2008). Perceptions of Roles and Responsibilities in Online Learning: A Case Study. Retrieved February 12, 2017, from http://ijklo.org/Volume4/IJELLOv4p205-223Craig510.pdf

Everson, M. (2009). Elearn Magazine: 10 Things I’ve Learned About Teaching Online. Retrieved February 12, 2017, from http://elearnmag.acm.org/featured.cfm?aid=1609990

Shamsy, J. (2014). Elearn Magazine: A Balancing Act Part I: Technical Support and the Online Instructor. Retrieved February 12, 2017, from http://elearnmag.acm.org/featured.cfm?aid=2627756

Week 11 Journal

Week 11 679 Journal

This week our Essential Question was “What is the game you are thinking of writing up for your classroom?” I said I am thinking of using Quizizz, Flipquiz, and Newsela.

I need to come up with a theme like other blogs that I have been reading about. I was think of using the theme “Iditarod” for the trail across northern Alaska once used to deliver serum to save the people who were sick. I think all of the kids know this story about the Iditarod or we can read it to refresh students’ minds. In the classroom, I would organize different groups according to the different regions of Alaska. When we do Quizizz, students can earn extra points for their team. The homework parts can be extra. After students earn a number of points, they will get coordinates to navigate the trail. They will have to use a map to figure out which is the best direction to go. All travel would be done on land. It could also be run like in “Alaska Survivor,” where students would be given a clue and have to race there. The first group to arrive would get to choose what they want to use. They have to work together to race to the finish. This is what I am thinking now, but I may change it a bit.

In reading others’ blogs, I was very impressed with the things my classmates are thinking about and doing. When I read Anothony’s blog, I was blown away. I think it was so awesome how one of his scrolls is in pieces and the kids have to work together to put it back together. This sounds very exciting. He is also using ClassCraft. I may have to look more into ClassCraft and see how the battles he is writing about happen. Sometimes all of the game talk feels a little over my head: XP, AP, GP—I just don’t know if I can learn all that there is to about this game. It seems a little too much for me now. Maybe eventually I will get it.

One thing that I understood was what Gerald wrote about. He wrote about game replay, where students are able to redo assignments for mastery. Other terms, like “experience points,” and “leveling,” I am still not quite sure about. I think I get “boss challenge”—when they challenge you at something and can earn points. He talked about using clickers. Clickers are always fun and students should enjoy that.

Kate said engagement is the best for getting rid of unwanted behavior. That is so true! I agreed with her question: Why reinvent the wheel when you can use another game and adjust it? She is using a game called Pandemic. I like that in that game students are playing against the game and not each other. This sounds like a great lesson!

Mariah’s lesson is very creative! Sounds like an excellent learning tool! I think the kids are going to love it. I like the idea they are in the future and they have to figure out why people have lost their memories. I also like how they have the ability to gain items to help them get closer to helping the world remember mathematics.

Reading people’s blogs was very helpful for me. I think I have gotten some ideas to use for a game in my classroom. I just need to look at the rubric, see if I have all of the pieces, and work on it. It has been hard for me to think of a game because I was thinking we needed to make our own. Now that I see others are using other games like Monopoly and Pandemic, I feel more confident about customizing Quizizz, Flipquiz or Newsela to make my Iditarod game more engaging. I hope it works out. I guess the real test occurs when the students play it—I would expect to have to need to adjust some parts after we experiment.

I look forward to hearing more about other classmates’ games and how things go with them. They all sound so exciting! I hope mine is equally stimulating and engaging for the students.

Week 11 679

Essential Question: What is the game you are thinking of writing up for your classroom?

I am thinking of writing up Quizizz for my classroom (https://quizizz.com/join/).   I can share this on Google Classroom, where the students already have accounts set up.  I wanted to stick with Alaska since I am doing my Unit on Alaska in my other class. I was searching games to play and I found the Quizizz site. It reminded me of Kahoot, but I think students will enjoy this game more. It also has homework that you can give. I was thinking I could integrate Quizizz as an extra XP or side quest that students can choose if they want to.

One platform that I learned about from a group that was presenting this week was Aurasma. This is a very intriguing site, but students would have to use phones, and our school has a no phone policy. I think this would be great for finding hidden eggs or for scavenger hunts. I am still going to look into this and learn more about it and maybe convince the principal that students be allowed to have phone access in my class maybe for certain days. I will have to learn more about Aurasma and get the hang of it first.

Another app I found is FlipQuiz (https://flipquiz.me/boards/recent), which works like a Jeopardy game, rewarding students a points relative to which category they choose. I was thinking I could divide the class and they could compete against each other.

Something else that I can use with Google Classroom is Newsela. Using this program, I could assign an article on Alaska for students to read and answer questions on. They could earn extra points if they do some searching on their own, find an article that relates to Alaska, and answer the questions.

Genevieve talked about a point system from Aviles (2014) that scores gamification progress by “Quest points”:

•Epic Quests (Tests) – 1000p

•Heroic Quests (Quizzes) – 500xp

•Side Quests (Hw) – 400xp

•Social Quests (Part/Disc) – 300p

I will be looking more closely at this idea to consider integrating it into my classroom game plan. Right now, I am not certain how this is going to go. I have some ideas on what I think I can use for a new game and, at this point, am leaning toward Quizizz. I am hoping that when I read other students’ blogs I will get a clearer picture and some ideas of what others are planning to do in their classrooms.

Reference

Aviles, C. (2014, February 14). Gamify Your Class Level I: Xp Grading System – Teched Up Teacher. Retrieved November 09, 2016, from http://www.techedupteacher.com/gamify-your-class-level-i-xp-grading-system-2/.

 

Week 10 Reflection 674

Week 10 Reflection 674

This week we wrote about “How can we manage the change that is inherent in our distance learning efforts?” To keep up with change, we need to keep up with technology and demographic and pedagogic trends that will be driving distance learning in the coming years. We are at a point in our history where people are seeking to gain more knowledge, and, increasingly, that is occurring through online learning.

In responding to others’ blogs, Teresa talked about the rate at which technology is changing so rapidly, that much of what students in college programs learn will be obsolete in a couple years. I think this is why many students have to take classes online—to keep up with the changes in technology. We as teachers need to keep up with new programs and technologies, because if we don’t, we won’t keep up with our students.

I told Amy that I know I am one of those teachers who seems to be unable to keep up with all of the changes that happen every year. I can’t always follow what media the kids are using today, including new apps and other tools. I am taking classes to try to keep up with new technology. I think the Quality Matters rubric would be good to assess our online courses. I like what Amy said here: “Keep learning through seeking out contact with people in the field, participating in learning communities, reading research, and trying out new technologies to see if they would enhance online learning.”

Sara talked about online learning labs for science. I responded that I thought was very cool; working virtually, students can mess up without fear. They don’t have to worry about spilling or breaking something. She mentioned there is a need to work on the standards. There are so many standards. This is to the point that Sara mentions here: “In an online course you are teaching so much more than just the content and this can be quite the challenge.” We need to keep up on so much just to stay ahead of the game.

Josie mentioned there are so many useful programs that we are just waiting to discover. I am amazed at how many programs and apps and lessons that you can choose from. She mentioned training as important, as well, which I agreed with, because when you learn something new, you need to be properly trained so you use and teach it correctly.

It has been a good week. I am working on my unit and now am on the rubric. I was thinking it was the one we have on Google docs, but that is not what everyone had. I need to work on that and also start to draft my philosophy of online teaching. These weeks are going by so fast; I am just trying to keep pace. I am glad we don’t have a blog next week so I can work on my unit and start on my philosophy. It’s good that we’ll still be meeting, though, so I can get feedback on my unit from others in the group. It helps me to have classmate input, so I look forward to that.

Week 10 Journal 679

Week 679 Journal

This week our Essential Question asked how we would change the rubric for the final project to better reflect what is important in games? I wrote that I wouldn’t change anything on the rubric. The research that I did supported what was on the rubric. The only point that I am reconsidering is the story part. Gerald showed some research that shows story line does not have to be in the rubric. This is making me rethink that part, but, other than that, I thought the other sections of the rubric were good.

In responding to others’ blogs, I felt the same way as Mariah in that I am not sure how I can strive for “Exceeds,” since I have never done gamification in my class. This is a very good point! Matera encourages teachers who are beginning to adopt gamification in the classroom to be implemented at a small level. I already felt overwhelmed when I read the chapter on all the games, badges, and things like that. I was like “Wow” this is a lot. I would have to start very small.

Sarah mentioned a very important step here: “Teachers should know what they want their students to know, before they start teaching it to them.” I wasn’t seeing what story line was. I like what she wrote here: “My storyline that I have deals with the students being part of a team that has left Earth in search of a new home. To reach their new safe haven, they will have to navigate the depths of space, running into different issues along the way.” I think I understand now what a story line is. I like the second tip that Meyer (2016) shares for gamifying a course: don’t build everything at once. I think I would start to feel overwhelmed if I tried to do this. I like the motivation part as well—human survival sounds exciting! It is awesome how she is going to let students choose which assignment appeals to them. Sounds like a lot of work to create different assignments, but her unit sounds awesome! I am excited to hear how her students respond to it.

Heather had some concerns about the rubric in that there were too many concepts. I said I have to agree. This is very interesting what she quoted here from Duarte (2010): “stories are the most powerful delivery tool for information, more powerful and enduring than any other art form.” I think it is very important to have a good story with our units so we can hook students right off the bat. I like the treasure map idea. I still need to think of a story for my unit.

Gerald mentioned an interesting fact about Tetris and Minecraft. I used to play Tetris when I had time, and I didn’t think about the story line when I was playing a game. He wrote, “Gabe Zichermann relates that there is no need to have a story when the key story is the user’s own progression to mastery through game play.” I think a lot of players don’t care for the story line, so it may not be an essential element. If this is true, it may not be appropriate in the rubric or may need to be described differently, like “story line or path to mastery.”

It has been going great in this class. I am still struggling with the gamification of a unit. I am thinking of keeping it on Alaska since, in the other, class I am doing my unit on Alaska. I look forward to the new platform that we are going to learn about next week. I also look forward to talking with others in class and getting some ideas about gamification and things that I can bring in to gamify my unit. Hopefully, by interacting with others, I can get more ideas on what to do and be able to create a great gamified unit that I can use in my classroom.

Week 10 679

Essential Question: How would you change the rubric for the final project to better reflect what is important in games?

Looking at the rubric and what I have been reading about gaming, I don’t think I would change anything. My current concept of gamification is trying to use games to engage your students. I use games such as Kahoot or Geography learning games. I don’t use any other games in my class and am still learning how to incorporate more games into my class. I am still not quite sure how my final project is going to be. I wanted to do something with Alaska since I am doing a unit on this. For the rubric, I am still not quite sure how I make a game, but looking at some research, I see the rubric we have is a good one.

For the rubric for Engaging and Motivating number 4, Matera (2015) says, “Game systems, on the other hand, incorporate choice and motivational mechanics, such as questing, gaining access, and preserving the open-ended process by giving agency over to the player. When we follow suit and structure these elements into our content, student motivation and knowledge acquisition increase.” By giving students control over the game they will feel connected and will experience “flow.”

According to Matera (2015), “Flow is a state of heightened focus and immersion one experiences while participating in activities such as art, play, and work.  It is where the magic of happiness and optimal performance meet. He defines flow as the creative moment when a person is completely involved in an activity.”

Content is the curriculum and required standards and would fall under number 1 on the rubric. It states this purpose clearly and correlates with multiple learning objectives and standards pertaining to course work. Choice, in the open-ended game model, is an invitation for students to explore unique, individual paths to content acquisition. Challenges are raised by the unknown twists and turns that keep the learner engaged throughout the unit (Matera, 2015).

Bartle’s theory, which was specifically designed for MMOs, or Massive Multiplayer Online games, and offers insights into gamers’ likes, dislikes, and motivations, would fall under skill scaffolding and mastery on number 6. By knowing your students and what they like and dislike, teachers can appropriately scaffold the game. Matera (2015) talks about achievement, and this category is about mastery—giving the player the opportunity to learn and practice a skill.

Every student needs feedback when working with new learning tools. Number 7 on the rubric is on encouragement and feedback. Matera (2015) said, “Our students need constructive feedback; they also need for us to hold up examples of excellence. Using status as a game mechanic reflects what happens in real life by providing a model of what is truly great and inspiring students toward action.”

Number two on the rubric talks about narrative context and storytelling. Matera, (2015) said, “Immersion is all about storytelling and designing a world that students can relate to and that allows them to explore, grow, and create.”

Cooperation includes traits like coordination, coalition building, and grouping or banding together. This would fall under number 5 which looks at students’ ability to interact with others and the game. Competition allows for players to interact with one another (Matera, 2015).

According to Landers and Callan (2011) (quoted in Wood and Reiners, 2012), “Gamification is not a game for learning purposes, but application of the motivational properties of games . . . [Gamification] layers them on top of other learning activities, integrating the human desire to communicate and share accomplishment with goal-setting to direct the attention of learners and motivate them to action”.

Millar (2013), referring to Deterding et al. (2011), recalls the “first documented use of the term “gamification” was in 2008 and was defined simply as using game design elements in non-game contexts. Since 2008, gamification as a concept has been broadened and defined by others.” In other words, gamification uses game-thinking skills and mechanics to solve problems.

According to (Kapp, 2012) as cited in (Miller, 2013), “gamification is using game-based mechanics, aesthetics, and game thinking to engage people, motivate action, promote learning and solve problems.” This would go with number 3 on our rubric: well organized, risk oriented and problem solving.

Benefits of Gamification are known to be physiological, according to (McGonigal, 2011, cited in Miller, 2013). Scientists have measured the increased release of the chemicals norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine in the brain that not only bring on “good feelings,” but make us more receptive to learning (Gutierrez, 2012, cited in Miller, 2013).

“A survey done in Ireland, Online Gaming and Youth Cultural Perceptions by Killian Forde and Catherine Kenny, suggests that kids who play multi-player games online “are more likely to have a positive attitude toward people from another country: 62 percent of online gamers hold a favorable view of people from different cultures compared to 50 percent of non-gamers.”(Shapiro, 2014). This would relate to number 5 on the rubric having to do with students interacting with one another.

Looking at the rubric, I see that all the parts that I found some research on are listed. The only one that I didn’t find anything on was the last piece which is on Utility. I think I would leave the rubric as it is. I hope as I read some other blogs that they have found some reference on utilities.

References

Guiterrez, K. (2012). The 5 Decisive Components of Outstanding Learning Games. SHIFT eLearning Blog. Retrieved November 12, 2012, from http:// info.shiftelearning.com/blog/bid/234495/The-5- Decisive-Components-of-Outstanding-Learning- Games

Kapp, K. M. (2012). The gamification of learning and instruction: game-based methods and strategies for training and education. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiff

Matera, M. (2015). Explore like a pirate: Engage, enrich, and elevate your learners with gamification and game-inspired course design. Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. Kindle Edition.

McGonigal, J. (2011). Reality is broken: why games make us better and how they can change the world. New York: Penguin Press.

Miller, C. (2013). The gamification of education. Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning, 40.

Shapiro, J. (2014). Benefits of Gaming: What Research Shows. Retrieved November 09, 2016, from https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/06/13/benefits-of-gaming-what-research-shows/education: Extending active learning.

Wood, L. C., & Reiners, T. (2012). Gamification in logistics and supply chain

rubric

 

Week 10 674

Essential Question: How can we manage the change that is inherent in our distance learning efforts?

“We have arrived at a point in history where these technological developments as well as economic, demographic, and pedagogic trends converge and reinforce each other to provide momentum for an accelerated rate of change in the years ahead” (Moore, 2011). To keep up with the change we need to keep up with technology and demographic and pedagogic trends that will be driving distance learning in the coming years.

Moore (2011) said, “Seeking to keep up with changing knowledge, half the U.S. adult population has engaged in some formal learning activity, whether it is a training session at work, a community-based adult education program, or a formal degree or certificate program.” I think this is where most people are in today’s world. We are at a point of our history where people are seeking to gain more knowledge, and, increasingly, that is occurring through online learning.

It has been technology, primarily, that has led to so many changes in (1) how educational institutions are organized; (2) how they see their missions; (3) the types and numbers of students they serve; (4) the curricula they offer; (5) how they employ human resources; (6) how they support learners, provide instruction, evaluate learning; and even (7) how highly their programs are regarded (Moore, 2011).

“In education today, blended learning approaches have become popular among educators and policymakers alike as they prepare students to be effective citizens in our society where digital tools are becoming increasingly ubiquitous”

(Riel, Lawless, & Brown, 2016). I like the idea, mentioned in the article, that teachers should ask questions and share ideas. I don’t see how teachers in any institution are going to be able to keep up with today’s rapidly changing technology without sharing what they are learning about it with each other. “Many historians, sociologists and journalists have expressed concern in recent years about the rapid changes taking place in our society. They tell us that today’s world is changing at an accelerated rate, unlike anything past generations witnessed” (Sweat, 2010). Today, technological changes are taking place at such a breathtaking pace that many have difficulty keeping up with them. For example, every year there is a new updated phone on the market. Sweat (2010) points out: “As a society, we are busier than ever before. That’s because while technology allows us to do our work faster and more efficiently, it also puts more demands on us.” Most people are bringing work home with them. Work can call you wherever you are. As a result, people’s lives are busier than ever.

As Gibson (2016) advises, “Professionals in our field should continually seek ways to move outside their comfort zone in order to learn things for which they do not yet have a knowledge base. They can do so by adding skills, tools, and resources to their professional toolbox for success in an online world that is constantly changing and advancing.” This is one reason why I am taking classes online. I want to add skill and knowledge to keep up with our ever changing world. If I do not do this, I will fall behind and not know what is going on in the technology world. I will not be able to help my students or co-workers if I do not seek to understand. This is how I am going to continue to keep up with the constant changes taking place in education.

References

Gibson, A. (2016). Insights from the Field: Moving Outside Our Comfort Zone – OLC. Retrieved November 06, 2016, from http://onlinelearningconsortium.org/insights-field-moving-outside-comfort-zone/

Moore, M. (2011). Distance Education: A Systems View of Online Learning, 3rd Edition. Retrieved October 12, 2016.

Riel, J., Lawless, K.A. & Brown, S.W. (2016). Listening to the Teachers: Using Weekly Online Teacher Logs for ROPD to Identify Teachers’ Persistent Challenges When Implementing a Blended Learning Curriculum. Journal of Online Learning Research, 2(2), 169-200. Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Sweat, B. (2010). How Can We Cope in a World of Rapid Change? Retrieved November 06, 2016, from https://www.ucg.org/the-good-news/how-can-we-cope-in-a-world-of-rapid-change.

Week 9 Journal

Week 9 Journal 679

This week our essential question was “How do you currently infuse play into your class? How might you change this as a result of some of the ideas you have encountered?”

I do not currently infuse too much play into the classroom. When I do, I use tools such as Kahoot and geography games to review for a quiz. I have also printed out maps of a continent and have had students get into groups and keep score to study for a quiz. Other than that, gaming does not play a big role in my curriculum.

My perceptions of gaming in the classroom have changed, and I feel prepared to experiment with incorporating more game playing into my teaching. This last platform that we learned about, ClassCraft, is one example of something I have encountered in this class that I am excited to try out.  I think I will start with one game and then, after I get used to that, integrate another. There are many great ideas but I feel a little overwhelmed since I do not know much about gaming, badges, or other tools I am just now learning about. It is all new to me, so I will start small and, when I feel more comfortable with gaming, infuse more of it into my classroom.

In reading others’ blogs, Heather is going to try a monopoly-type approach and have students choose their path. I think this sounds exciting! I suspect she will get a lot of buy-in from the students, because they will get to choose what they want to do first.

I told Gerald that I am still trying to embrace gamification as well. I am not a gamer and don’t play games in my class, except Kahoot, and that is only once in a while. I suggested he try to use Kahoot to play a math game with the students.

Kate wrote about a fun way to review vocabulary that gives students a chance to move around. She said that sometimes she will stick a definition and word on students’ backs and they have to find the definition that matches the word. I like that idea. She wrote about code.org, and I said I have heard of code.org and one of our teachers was doing that with our students. I told her that I need to find more social studies games that I can do with students.

I told Anthony that I don’t infuse gaming into my classroom as well. I would like to, but I need to learn more games that I can bring into my classroom. He wrote about how if students get their homework done, they can shoot a basketball and, if they make it so many times, can get a prize from the prize box. I said that sounds like a great way to encourage students to get their homework done. He also wrote about how sometimes he will have the class challenge him. I said that is another great way to engage students. Who wouldn’t want to try to beat their teacher at a game?

Heather liked the idea of house vs. students. It is similar to what Anthony talked about where you challenges the students. I said I would have to try that out. I can see where it might give me a playful way to interact with my students. I told her that this is my question as well: “How can I tie these games to my story line of the gamified course and the badges?” I like the penny drop, but how do I create a game out of this, or is this supposed to be just fun for the students. I like the idea but was not sure how to incorporate it into my classroom.

It has been a busy week, but very productive. I have gained many ideas from reading others’ blogs about some ways I have not thought of that teachers are using gaming in their classrooms.  Like I said before, I have not been integrating many games, but I am excited about what I am learning and look forward to bringing it some of this into my classroom, so  I will have more engaged students. I look forward to seeing this one day.

Week 9 Reflection 674

Week 9 Reflection 674

This week our essential question was “What lessons can we take from Global Distance Learning Efforts?” One thing becomes clear: other countries are investing in education, and distance education in particular, at a much higher level than our country.

One of the countries that stood out for me was United Kingdom. Their open university is one of the premier models of distance education in the world.

They were also rated among the top three Higher Education Institutions in the UK.  They manage local study centers and monitor instructor and student progress. So the things they are doing are standing out and others are noticing.

Another region that impressed me was Finland and Norway, where education is given the highest priority in national policy. The Norwegian government was one of the first in the world with a national policy to support education which was passed in 1948. That is amazing! If we make education a priority, take some of the ideas mentioned from the other countries, and work together, we can increase the number of people seeking higher education in the U.S. That would be great for our country and the people living here.

In reading others’ blogs, I agree with Amy that the UK has developed a successful model, and I like that they are trying to keep the cost of learning down. She made a good point to know the cultural norms of the country and that instructors need to be sensitive of these cultural norms. I like how she gave examples of how, like in Japan, they have little interaction between instructor and student and, in Saudi Arabi, where even though it is strict for women, they are allowed to continue their education. It was a good point for me to see.

Dan had a great quote from Senechal (2016): “The use of technology removes time constraints imposed by traditional education—a key benefit for professionals who cannot afford to take time off work to pursue education.” This is so true for people like me, who can’t go to a traditional college to take classes because of having a job. Online classes let me pursue my education while still working. I believe that distance learning will only fan out more into the world.

Josie wrote that global acceptance of distance education is growing and will continue to grow. I agreed with her on this. I see that this is something everyone will be doing at one point in their life. She made a good point when she said online videos can make the adjustment for the student easier. I did not think of that. Foreign students are able to take transitional classes to adjust to a new culture and language, all through online classes.

Sara and I didn’t realize how far back distance education went. I also agreed

that UK is one that stuck out for me. She showed a video, and I think that is an

excellent approach that Norvig is using for online education. I like how he stops

for students to reflect and tries to make it feel like a one-on-one situation. Sara also

made a good point when she said teachers must look out for cultural misunderstanding.

This was a busy week for me as I was also one of the presenters. I have been keeping up on my reading and responding to others. I feel a little nervous about my online class. I have been working on the standards and the activities that I would like to do each week. I am just having a little trouble with the essential questions. I am hoping that this next week when we meet maybe I can get some help from others in the class. I think two brains are better than one, and all are better than two. I like working with others and getting ideas from them.

I think things will fall into place once I get the essential questions down. I thought about asking some of my co-workers at school, if I could ever find the time. I am excited about this class because it sounds like, in the next class I am going to take, I will be actually using this material online with my students.