Connected Learning Across Multiple Educational Technology Classes

Three of the Master degree classes I am currently taking at Western Oregon University for my Masters of Science in Education: Information Technology include:

- Web 2.0 Tools for Teaching and Learning

- Designing and Teaching Online Courses

- Electronic Portfolios

These three classes are an excellent complement to each other. 

The 'Online Courses' class covers an amazing array of concepts and techniques to assist in the initial creation of an online course and in the effective delivery and teaching of the course.  In particular, we are learning how to create a true online community including both the students and instructor(s) so everyone feels like they are part of a real community who works and learns together.  In addition, we are learning how to effectively organize an online course and create engaging lessons, activities, and assignments including group activities (forums, peer reviews, groups assignments, etc.).  We are 'learning by doing' in this course, which is amazingly effective, as we create our own mini-online courses.

In the 'Web 2.0 Tools' class, we are learning about, and applying where possible, the many web-based tools that can be effectively used to assist teachers both in teaching and in creating and maintaining our own Personal Learning Network. 

In the 'Electronic Portfolios' class, we are not only learning about how to construct an effective portfolio, we are learning about how these types of digital portfolios can be used for various purposes including in education and teaching.

What is really great this term is the connection between these classes where the Web 2.0 tools we are learning about can be effectively applied to help teach engaging online classes.  For example, blogs can effectively be used by students in an online class for writing their own reflections on specific readings they have done or concepts they have learned.  These blogs allow fellow classmates to comment on and share their own related reflections and learnings.  In addition, digital portfolios can be assigned to students in an online class as an effective way to collect their class assignments in an organized and connected fashion, allow reflection on learning, and allow fellow students to both work collaboratively on portfolios and provide constructive feedback on each other's portfolios.

These are just three of the many outstanding classes I have taken so far as part of the Masters of Science in Education: Information Technology degree at Western Oregon University.

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Tags: EdTech, digital, ePortfolios, portfolios

Comment by Jon Freer on October 25, 2012 at 12:44pm


Sounds like a good mix of classes.  I am at Boise State (actually in PA, but attending BSU) and am in a Social Network Learning class as well.  Sounds very much like the web 2.0 class).  Have you been able to put any of this into action in a classroom?  While I am finding the connections I make very enriching, I am struggling with how to get my students to learn this way.  I did start having my Biology class submit their work via a blog, but without the discussion a blog invites, it is not too different from turning in work any other way.

I'd love to hear your experience.


Comment by Paul Schlegelmann on October 25, 2012 at 3:10pm

In my photography class, I will be having my students, not only submit their work (photographs) via a blog, but I will require them to provide constructive feedback as a comment to at least 3 of their peer's assignment photos.   I have not yet done this but am hoping this well engender some discussion.   We'll see...

Comment by Mary Bucy on October 25, 2012 at 7:16pm

Hello to Jon Freer -- you might want to look at some of the portfolios that are posted on the MSEd InfoTech website: Quite a few of them are teachers and have included artifacts showing how they are using these tools with their students.


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