Leading Edge Certification- Online and Blended Teaching Course
1st Reflection- Prompt:
Considering the online learning self-assessment you took this week, and thinking about your reasons for taking this course, what is your highest priority learning goal for this course? What are some specific skills, strategies or tools you are hoping to learn more about?
Online and Blended Learning models and offerings have proliferated exponentially over the past several years. The types of coursework (from mini tutorials to individualized learning plans, to virtual schools and entire degree programs) content, methods of delivery, audience, sheer number of offerings, and in fact, the very definitions of online and blended learning have been growing and evolving.
That is not to say that all online or blended learning content and design is of the highest quality or that all instructors or facilitators are proficient or well-suited to teaching or guiding learners in this environment and interface. I personally have taken courses, workshops, and online programs that varied widely in quality of content and in the degree of interactivity both between the learner and the coursework materials or online tools and between learners and the teacher/facilitator.
My highest priorities in taking this course are to
1) more thoroughly understand what goes into developing online and blended learning opportunities (coursework and models) that are engaging, interactive, rigorous, and effective;
2) recognize and hone strategies for effectively teaching in online and blended learning environments. What methodologies, media, and learning activities and are key to engaging students and increasing their acquisition of content and skills? How can UDL, differentiation, and assessment be incorporated and managed?
3) be able to implement and manage online and blended learning both as a teacher/facilitator and as an instructional technology specialist at the program/initiative level.
In addition, I need to keep abreast of current research on the different models for online and blended or hybrid learning and the efficacy of various tools and programs such as assessment and data systems, adaptive software, and online tools and resources.
Although I have a background in educational technology and have used a variety of Web 2.0 tools, it is difficult to keep up with all of the changes and new products and services. There are so many new online tools that pop up on almost a daily basis and old ones that cease to exist or change into more expensive subscription services. I would like to investigate more of the free and inexpensive Web 2.0 tools and compile a list of ones that are stable entities, particularly useful in K-12 online/blended learning, and work well within an LMS or CMS like Haiku, Moodle, etc.