· The knowledge you gained from the assignment. (2 points)
· The relation of new information to Technology Facilitator Standards and Performance Indicators (2 points).
· The relation of information gained to personal experience. (2 points)
· Discussion at a critical level, not just recitation of facts. Discussion at a critical level means discussing things such as your opinion of the reading or experience, why you hold that onion, what you see wrong with the reading or experience, how you see the reading or experience is consistent or inconsistent with what you have learned so far, implications for the future, (4 )
· insights into the patterns of interactions of colleagues.(2 points)
· group processes including: who had power, authority, or influence; who was participating and who was not, who was not included, how did you or another leader draw the silent participants out; was there confrontation, conflict, consensus, agreement, hurt feelings? (2 points)
· notations addressing the affective or feeling tone evident, concerns you noticed. (2 points)
· questions you have that you should research or about which you can seek expert advice from your campus-based supervisor or your professor. (2 points)
· Issues that puzzle you. (2 points)
(Minimum of 250 Words)
The EDLD 5368 Instructional Design course during week 2, which was Designing Your Course, primarily focused on the backwards design planning model which looks at specific learning outcomes prior to creating the lesson unit. “It is analogous to travel planning. Our frameworks should provide a set of itineraries deliberately designed to meet cultural goals rather than a purposeless tour of all the major sites in a foreign country. In short, the best designs derive backward from the learnings sought” (Wiggins and McTighe, 1998).
I found this course to be very interesting and it also solidified the preparation we do as coaches each week during football season is essentially backward design planning. Coaches have a different opponent each week and must prepare offensive and defensive game plans as well as every practice session during the week based upon the varied looks that the opposing team gives. Combine that game plan with specific personnel packages and it is set in motion during the week. Many hours of collaboration and film viewing go into the design of the game plan which is edited during the week based upon personnel or in some cases, not a good play or call for the opponents look.
This is no different than a group or “team” of teachers meeting together to map out the strategy of an upcoming unit. As teachers, we must collaborate more. “The shift, therefore, is away from starting with such questions as “What book will we read?” or “What activities will we do?” or “What will we discuss?” to “What should the walk out the door able to understand, regardless of what activities or texts we use?” and “What is evidence of such ability?” and, therefore, “What texts, activities, and methods will best enable such a result?” (Wiggins and McTighe, 1998). One of the statements that Wiggins and McTighe, (1998) make in reference to what coaches do on a continual basis is “in teaching students for understanding, we must grasp the key idea that we are coaches of their ability to play the “game” of performing with understanding, not tellers of our understanding to them on the sidelines.”
For many years, I have heard from many of my students that they enjoy my classes because I explain things in different ways that students can understand. I make learning relevant to everyday activities. I make learning fun. The understanding light bulb in the heads of students over the years is what I constantly strive to illuminate.
What concerns me about backwards design is the intensive amount of time that teachers must take out of their very limited free time to create these units. The only way I think to solve this problem is to find a way to collaborate before or after school hours. Skype conferences in the evening or breakfast meetings at the start of each week would be my initial thoughts on these concerns.
While in this course, we also learned how to construct an online learning classroom setting with the web-based program, Schoology. Schoology had several bugs initially; however, I found it to be very easy to maneuver in the program and would make an outstanding Web 2.0 tool for a teacher willing to try their hand at online learning. I was very excited about the possibilities that Schoology offered students in varied activities and the efficiency of having the classroom online. I can see that programs like Schoology will play an important role in shaping how educators develop their courses in the coming years. I really did enjoy the concepts of the online learning modality and will research more programs like this one to find the best fit for teachers and students alike. I plan on using these systems in my course design throughout next year and also showing other teachers and administrators in my building the possibilities that we can bring to our kids.
I think much more work has to be done to get teachers together to build lessons like what we have done the past few weeks. It does require a great deal of time and quite frankly, some teachers may balk at the increased time it takes to plan. “We cannot stress the importance of long-term priorities in planning. Justifiable decisions about what to teach, what to leave out, what to emphasize, and what to minimize can be made only if there are agreed-upon priorities related to exit-level objectives” (Wiggins & McTighe, 2000).
As a teacher, I see the ability to tap into an unbelievable amount of resources for student learning as well as on-going instructor learning with the use of online learning tools. Varied activities, rich discussions, increased student-student and student-teacher interaction are all results of designing online learning lessons.
I also think that communication and collaboration between cohorts is also vital to implementing this type of program in schools today. The more creative minds working toward a common goal of designing curriculum that will maximize the students understanding of goals will only lead to tremendous lessons with unbelievable results.
Schoology had the look and feel of a Facebook status thread, which is very easy to operate and most importantly to students, the look of social networking.
Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (2000). Understanding by Design. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.