Online Course by Will Sutherland

This course is always evolving.   
You get points every time you show up.                  About Us       Links     Calendar     Contact info
Serious fun.   Hilarious crises.   Let's make learning fun...  rewarding...  useful...   

Purpose of this course
1.  To provide remarkable information to anyone who wants to receive it.
2.  To pass on what we know about:
digital portfolios
making free websites (so you can teach others to use and sites google and the google suite of programs)
learning through projects and problems
lateral thinking
transformation of schools
use of quotations to alter mindsets
biology of the brain and learning

3.  To make sure that the following books are carried in the heads of other people, just in case we go down in an airplane.

4.  To push forward "school redesign" or "school transformation" or "systemic change"

List of links                Suggested Calendar

Measurement of Success
(a) By the end of the course, you will have given at least one suggestion from the works of people mentioned in this course .. and sic months from now someone will ask you to state at least one thing that you learned from the course -- and hyou will produce a statement like, "Dennis Littky recommends that teenagers should be asked to produce a 30- or 50-page autobiography magazine or 20-minute video, based on interviews with parents and other relatives."   This course will be a success if you can transfer skills and information to long term memory. 

(b) You will have a digital portfolio that you can look up the answer to (a) above.

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Principles guiding this course
This is a mixture of general principles and specific procedures that come from those principles.
Will is offering online and face-to-face courses for teachers to take.   
I have been thinking that innovative teachers could come up with some dynamic online courses that could be engaging, free, online and dynamic.

1.  People who participate would not be called students
2.  We four would be called "presenters" or "organizers" or "curators"

3.  EVERYONE would be exposed to the notion that the textbook ought to be free or very low cost

4.  Lectures on youtube, to be viewed before the classroom discussion takes place
5.  You can't get into the room unless you have previously contacted the lead presenter with an email message and BETTER also with a comment about what the videos were about and some comments to help start the discussion.

6.  No hierarchy of "good student or bad student" based on how much you participate in person, face to face or by email.    I have personal experience that some students who are face to face are deadly boring, black holes and do not contribute to the discussion.  Students who have never been in class write some of the best discussion questions and ask me questions privately that are deep, show reflection and agitation, yet, the student is scared or unwilling to participate in open class.   Another student loves to hear the sound of his voice and doesn't listen to other students but rather prepares his next comment while the other prty is talking.   how are we to call some better students because they are more "present"?   (I have this prejudice because I have for various reasons not been a good "participant" in online classes because I don't check in every day on the discussion board.   For me, life presses in more in real flesh than the virtual classroom.   I can't wait for the hologram version of online learning...)

7.   Digital portfolios of every person, even the professors/presenters of the workshop.

8.  Giving links will not be assumed to be a good way to deliver information to each other.   When possible the entire aritcle will be plopped in an easy to read place, not as an attachment, but in the email message.

9.  A variety of ways of participating ought to be made available:  call the teacher, call each other (the participatns who want to give out their mobile number)

10.  Participants would be encouraged to lead the discussions, which would be conducted in written forums, skype, and other ways.

11. The best contact will include the following courtesies
"Is this a good time to contact you for 4 minutes?"
"Should I make a video and send it to you?"
"would you prefer that I send this question in an email message?"