Hi, Everybody. I am rebuilding my American Government class and I wanted to get some people in the know to eyeball it:

http://mrmoses.org/agnew/

Here’s my question: Is this part of school 2.0?

(and if you’d like to give some feedback on course flow, design, and if the objectives of the first unit have been met I’d love to hear it).

Thanks.

Tags: coursedesign, school2.0

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It's almost there, I couldn't get the link to Unit 2 so I assume you haven't done that yet. One is a great base, all you need to add is sharing work among students, and commenting on each other's work. You could wait until Unit Two to start that process, but make sure you explicitly teach how to appropriately comment, etc. Once you have that, IMHO, it 2.0. Is this for an alternative/charter program?

At first glance, one appears to be consistent with your stated objectives. There may be minor quibbles, in general, it looks good.

BTW, I'm impressed with a civics teacher having quotes from Churchill, Dave Barry, and Chuck D. All great choices.
Alice - Thank you so much for your time.

Unit 2 is currently under construction. I have a course I built two years ago that I am working from, so I'm not starting from scratch (again!), but it has a long way to go.

The class is for an online/hybrid charter school. The students do all of the their work remotely, but come to campus once a week for a two hour session for something like "online study skills" and then two hours with their mentor, who goes through all of their classes with them and talks about what they may want to work on that week.

Here's where I'm getting stuck with School 2.0. I understand the collaboration is crux of Web 2.0. I know that the tools are there for my students to collaborate without ever physically meeting one another. It can be done. The problem I have is forcing students to do it.

I've been working as an online teacher for five years now. Even during my first year the ability to collaborate was there with tools like discussion boards. Here's the problem I ran into then: if I create a discussion topic and force all students to be involved with the discussion (by grading posts, etc.) then all my students have to be at the same place in the curriculum at the same time. If they aren't then they don't have the background to be part of the discussion. The strength of online learning is in the flexibility of time. When a student learns something is far (far) less important that if a student learns something. By having a topic on the discussion board it tells my students this is where you need to be, at this time, and if you're not it'll hurt your grade. I won't do that.

In order for students to collaborate on projects the same is true. I do have students come to me, from time to time, that want to work on a project together (or in a small group). I'm willing to help facilitate this, but I don't want to force it. Forcing student collaboration in the online world depletes the flexibility that I find so important.

I know that working together is important. I know that it leads to rich and deep learning. I don't want to ignore it. I just need to find a way to incorporate it in a way which allows students to learn at a pace that isn't decided solely by me.
Hi, Skip. Thanks! I really appriciate your kind words.

As for feedback, well, I'm kind of on my own. My administration is very open to what I am doing and has been nothing but supportive in the past. Parents and students are happy with the class because the students are doing well. I don't want to mess that up, but I want to give the student who want to the ability to collaborate and as much as possible I'd like to build those tools into the class.

I've looked at some other distance-ed/online learning situations and find that there's not much to use. Online schools that popped up in the 90s found a way to do this thing and then got stagnent. In general, they think they've got it all figured out. What they don't realize is that the face of the web is changing (again) and they are not coming along for the ride. I want to avoid this situation for my students.

When you get things up to share, I'd love to see them. There are some things from my past at my site (http://mrmoses.org) in the Course Samples, Accessibility, and Compatibility sections, but I need to push them to stay up to date. :)
Your concerns are reasonable. Question, do they all have to finish at the same time? If yes, then I would say for the course as a whole, they have to put in a certain minimum number of comments on peers by the end? OR you could have them comment on outside blogs, create/edit/update a wiki page, so that it's at the same pace as they are on? Even if you start the year with what you have, you are on a good path. After a year, you may have some better ideas about how to incorporate the collabortion.
Have you thought about having a way for students to indicate what unit-lesson they are on to each other, and to ask for feedback, help from peers? I feel like I'm picking at what is a really great program.
I really like the idea of students letting other students know where they are in the class. There are some logistics to consider, but I think that there are some easy ways for students that want to do this to do it. Hmm... Thanks for getting my mind going.

As for picking. I think your picking at a good program, but I want to make it better. I think the only way to get there is by picking at it. :)
Alice - Just had an "ah ha" moment:

"7. Collaboration Ain't About Holding Hands. It's about Going Cool Places Fast.

How big is my classroom? 4 walls or the horizon line?

I need friends. And fast.

Don't get sucka-punched by all the 'flat' earth hype. You're excited because someone in a foreign country leaves a comment on your blog. Really? Really? Seriously? Sure, it's sexy to suddenly be in cahoots with someone in Bangladesh and Minneapolis at one time, but I was born in that world 2.0 so I'm kinda used to it. Yeah, I get that you were born before things got interesting, but your digital immigrant accent is making it hard for me to understand you, and harder for me to remain relevant.

And I'm kind of selfish when it comes to my future vs. your past.

So, please stop making this so Friedman-esque and suggesting I need more math so my job isn't outsourced to Calcutta one day. And I ain't got time for your geek blog-penpal moment, either.

What I need is a network. And yesterday-fast.

Are you helping me get networked? Are you helping me become one talented hombre when it comes to partnerships and brainstorming with a team and finding talent when I need it and learning how to step up big as a leader and then slide seamlessly into the role of teammate and be the go-to guy on 20 projects at one time? Are you helping me build and position my brand? Are you helping me be relevant? At all?

Are you making sure I'm going cool places? And fast?"

http://thinklab.typepad.com/think_lab/2007/01/the_future_of_l.html

I have to get over my reluctance; and fast.
I go back and forth on that stuff, since I am an immigrant in many ways (I'm 42), but not in others (my dad was a computer programmer before I was born, he was building a PC from a gaming system when I was in Jr. High). The funny thing is my kids who have grown up with this are impressed that we have people visiting our site from around the world, but keep in mind, they live in a ghetto (as I'm sure many of your students are if you're at Continuation Education), and the boundaries of their known universe often become very constricted by that experience. Example, I had students in Oakland, CA who lived 1 mile up from the San Francisco Bay who in Fourth Grade had NO idea they lived near the ocean or a large body of water. Some of them concievably had never been to the ocean or bay that was 1 mile away from them. Other students are born in refugee camps in Thailand, and came to the U.S. in early childhood, so they have travelled farther and through more cultures, than I ever will.
I like the site. I too keep picking at different sites trying to digest Web 2.0. You're site looks like an online textbook, but there isn't anything wrong with what you are trying to do. Personally, I keep bouncing from Web 2.0 back to Web 1.0. However, I would argue that in education we have moved through three stages (e.g. traditional [old] school, school 1.0, and school 2.0. The same thing can be said about the classroom. To scrap any of the aforementioned and move exclusively to one or the other would be futile.

I learned to tie my shoes as a child and I am teaching my children the same way I learned. Making a video and uploading it to the Internet and then sharing it won’t necessarily accomplish the task quicker. Sure it would be shoe tying 2.0, but it isn't needed. I'm bias when it comes to technology, but I don't use technology for the sake of using technology. I hope what I am saying makes sense. In short, there isn't a cure-all for classroom instruction. Students have different learning styles. I believe that a mashup of various techniques is the best approach to instruction.

Confucius say, “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.”

I designed a history section on WWI to help the students at my school. It’s not anything special, but it is a start. http://www.hhsmediacenter.wikispaces.com If you can use it, you’re welcome to it! Is it School 2.0? Yes and No!
Thanks - Will. I'm kind if in a "scrap it" situation. I never physically meet with my students. I'm available anytime they need me by IM, email, and phone/skype. There's never a time that the whole group gathers for a class. So, I'm in a situation where everything can be changed

I truly appreciate what you're saying though with "shoe tying 2.0". I see a lot of teachers in the online world (myself included, sometimes) trying to take what happened in the traditional classroom and shove it into the box you/re reading this on right now. It just doesn't work. A good lesson plan that worked in the traditional classroom still works well in the online classroom, but the presentation of that material gets to change.

I will go all the way down the "Students have different learning styles. I believe that a mashup of various techniques is the best approach to instruction" road with you. Where it gets tricky is that students should be able to chose which way works best for them. Presenting the information in a single way doesn't work in the online classroom. But, how many ways are enough? How much time can be put in presenting information in different ways. You'll see that I've done this quite a bit. For each of the presentations there's a video, text, and image representation. I know a lot of teachers take the time to create video lectures and don't want to provide a text version because they want their students to sit and listen to what they had to say. For me, I don't care if student listens to my voice or reads the text as long as they have the information that they need to have to be successful in this class. It's a matter of what works best for that individual student.

I tried to take a look at your wikispace, but it needs a password. I'd love to poke around and see what you're up to. :)

Thanks for your time and insight.
I like the site. I too keep picking at different sites trying to digest Web 2.0. You're site looks like an online textbook, but there isn't anything wrong with what you are trying to do. Personally, I keep bouncing from Web 2.0 back to Web 1.0. However, I would argue that in education we have moved through three stages (e.g. traditional [old] school, school 1.0, and school 2.0. The same thing can be said about the classroom. To scrap any of the aforementioned and move exclusively to one or the other would be futile.

I learned to tie my shoes as a child and I am teaching my children the same way I learned. Making a video and uploading it to the Internet and then sharing it won’t necessarily accomplish the task quicker. Sure it would be shoe tying 2.0, but it isn't needed. I'm bias when it comes to technology, but I don't use technology for the sake of using technology. I hope what I am saying makes sense. In short, there isn't a cure-all for classroom instruction. Students have different learning styles. I believe that a mashup of various techniques is the best approach to instruction.

Confucius say, “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.”

I designed a history section on WWI to help the students at my school. It’s not anything special, but it is a start. http://www.hhslibrarymediacenter.wikispaces.com If you can use it, you’re welcome to it!
You are on the way. I see Web 2.0 as a two way street and would think about getting student input - wiki format. You posted your welcome message - will lessons also be podcast for students to download? I assume there will be forums / blogs for feedback and clarifying questions.

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