Saturday, May 26, 2012

End of Year Conference

I was asked this week to provide a short session on using our Moodle vle for the for our end of year Teaching and Learning Conference here at the College. The idea seems to be that the session should address the interests of basic users in the first half and those more experienced practitioners whishing to move on to something more ambitious in the second. As you will have read from other posts on this blog I am taking every opportunity to provide the widest expose possible for Wimba Create this academic year, so the second half is sorted. As for the first part of the session that has caused me some extra thought. Lets face it, getting a vle to work for you is not simply about knowing your way around the menu options, its equally about deployment in support of a blended teaching delivery, at least that’s the way that I am seeing it.

With this in mind I was really pleased to come across a posting on the net this week 'In Education, Technology Changes Everything and Nothing' from the Atlantic's second annual Technologies in Education forum, where it starts out and I quote 'A technological revolution is happening in the world of education; it is changing schools for the better. But, it will never change the definition of and need for great teaching.' As part of the posting was a report from Gallup, who having spent decades studying great teaching and the innate talents of the best teachers, concluded that the fundamentals that make for a great classroom teacher are the same fundamentals that make for a great online course or gaming experience, well, well!

So then, according to the outcome of that work here is what the best teachers do:

They are relational: They develop student-to-student, student-to-educator, and student-to-parent relationships.

They are hopeful: They inspire students with energy and enthusiasm for the future.

They are insightful: They see each student as an individual and get to know his or her unique identity and nature.

So how will I use this, well my intention will be to show how we may realise these attributes as part of an online presence, and to that end I intend start out with the findings and then go on to demonstrate the opportunities that the Moodle vle has in the way of online assignment submission and especially feedback, naturally with some examples thrown in.

Simply put, and to quote once more from the report, great teaching is about emotionally engaging the learner in a way that is individualized.

Comments welcome


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