Thursday, September 29, 2016

525-Session 4 & 5--Edublogs and Knowledge Management

Welcome back!

I would like to start this week by offering some congratulations!

Let's start by congratulating both Luz and Leslie for volunteering to be our "Facilitator Guinea Pigs" they did a fantastic job at prompting the conversation and pushing the content ideas deeper.  I developed the concept of 'students' trying the role of 'Facilitators' because it seems to be a natural extension of my teaching philosophy of pragmatic learning.  You can't learn to swim without getting wet, and practicing with these tools in our course should give you the security of feeling like it is a very protected place to work out the kinks w/o being in front of your own classes.

An additional set of congrat's goes out to both Gail and Sharyn for experimenting with Movenote, creating a presentation, recording it, and sharing it with us.  This will serve as the bulk of their Deliverable #1 (details in syllabus). Ladies, if you could repost your links under the D1 entry that I'll post next week and include the rest of the details below with it, then that would be great.

#1 – Choose or create a potential teaching /learning unit– (either classroom or professional development/training session) and provide an outline of the participants, their learning needs, topics to be included, setting (face-to-face, online, hybrid, etc.), and timeline for course/session. This may serve as the foundation for development of your final project. - Due by the end of week 4 (10/5).

As for the rest of the class, if you have experimented with Authorstream and Movenote and are still looking for something else then play with a few of the 'free' resources w/i this list.  Yes, some cost, so focus on the 'free' ones.  One of you mentioned wanting to gather information about who is viewing, so you may like KnowledgeVision on this list.

So there may still be some skepticism in some of you about the practicality and positive uses of this technology. After all, it does seem like every time we hear or read about blogs and children from the news media--- they have a negative connotation. Briefly skim this report published by Nielsen. I am sure that you will be convinced that blogs are not a passing fad. You can't fake these numbers (and its nearly 10 years old). That's probably a reality check for those of you that are just getting familiar with blogs.

Most of you have already begun creating your own blogs (As they are posted I'll place links to them in the left-hand margin.  I may only be missing one now.). Check them out, as well as some of the past participants' blogs and give them a comment or two. It'll be good practice.

I have merged the content for Sessions 4 & 5 this week because they are so interconnected that I struggled with trying to separate them. You can now access it here or view it from w/i the blog below.

525session5

More presentations from Dave Fontaine

Additionally, I'd like you to watch this tutorial. It is on 'Social Bookmarking.' Give this link a skim to get familiar with the term.

We are all familiar with the ability to save favorite websites in our "Favorites" folder, but what if you had the ability to see other edc525 participants' favorites? What if you could benefit from the greatest sites found by other teachers, professors, and professional development trainers in your field? What if you could access their favorites, as well as your own, from any Internet connected computer? Check out this tutorial and sign up for an account, (optional) and help us by 'tagging' all the great sites you find with an 'edc525' label. If you are apprehensive, visit Delicious.com and do a search for 'edc920' and you'll find all the websites used from that course. I haven't started tagging for this course, but maybe we could do it together.  Grab a coffee or other drink of your choice and kick back for the next few videos:




Pace yourself these two weeks. Some weeks will be easier than others---these two weeks will not be that way. There is a lot to go over, so don't put it all off until the weekend, and don't forget to visit your fellow participants' new blogs.  I'm creating a link to each one in the left hand margin.




Session 4 & Deliverable #1


To gear you up (and psyche you up) for this session I'd like you to watch this. You have to click on it twice. "Did You Know? 2.0" :





As you begin to work on, and think about, your project for Deliverable #2, (details in the syllabus, due Week 8) consider using these resources to guide your integration with the students:




==============================================================
One of the education blogs that I subscribe to also recently wrote on a topic we discussed during our first f2f class---the overuse of PowerPoint.  As I said then, every tool has its place and I use it for its convenience, ubiquity, and for its ease in sharing the content while licensed under Creative Commons, so that you may easily modify the content for your own use.  But there is such a thing as too much, so here is a great resource for you to read and pass on to all of your future classes. Check it out: http://www.consultpivotal.com/powerpoint_reform.htm

On another topic---some of you were discussing the editing ability of blog posts. Blogs are more static than wikis (which we'll be discussing later in the semester), so when you post a comment to someone else's blog and you want it changed, then your only option is to delete it and rewrite it. Someone correctly mentioned that when you are in your own blog and you write a posting then you can always go back and edit it when you are in your 'Dashboard' screen, so these are some options.

One of my previous students also mentioned,

"As the availability of 'going online' becomes more affordable and the price
of technology continues to decrease, I'm sure we'll see even more families in
our classrooms join the world wide web. With this in mind, educators must also
do everything we can to use the tools that our students are using in order to
reach them. It makes me think back to when the second or third generation ipod
came out... I remember hearing about the first colleges that were making
podcasts for their students to listen to.
"

Well he mentions how some colleges and universities are making podcasts, but it goes much further than this. Dozens of schools are now recording professor's lectures (some video, but most just audio) and putting them online, along with the support material for the course for free, spend some time checking the sites out below, but even more powerful than this is the fact that they are also allowing the lectures to be accessed from anyone in the entire world.

It is part of the "Open Educational Resources" movement we've mentioned. If this topic interests you, and you decide to explore this path, then check out some of the cool things out there, like this interactive site on "Trapezoids."  Simple, interactive edugames and manipulatives like this make it much easier for students to practice, play with, and experiment with.  This is so that they may access any number of their "Multiple Intelligences" to better aid in teaching and learning.

Even more important however is the number of colleges that are beginning to subscribe to this philosophy. Just check out this list of schools, and then take a look at all 2200 different courses that MIT makes freely available.  Here are some additional links for you to spend some time on, but beware of the clock several hours can fly by: Coursera.orgMIT,  OEDb...   We go into a lot more depth on this topic in my edc922 course, "E-Books and Digital Content".

I also subscribe to this 'open' philosophy. By now most of you have noticed that all of our weekly sessions are licensed under Creative Commons. We'll go into more detail later about this movement when we begin talking about 'wikis' and start to create and edit some.
=========================================================
David also mentions,

"I remember Professor Fontaine mentioning that he doesn't even have to log on to the
blog to make comments... he can do it from his email. Was I just hearing things
wrong? If not, I am not sure where to go to set up my blog so I can work though
my email. If that is possible, then I could open one less application and work
solely though email."

Well, when you are logged into your Blogger account, go to the Dashboard option and from there choose, 'Settings' and then , 'Mobile and Email .' Once there look for "Posting Options". You'll see the options to email postings to your blog, as well as have every comment emailed to you.

Lastly, keep on checking each other's blogs and don't be afraid to post a comment or two. Those who have already begun using them in class can use your comment as an example to the students that there are other people around the world reading their work.

Also, remember that if you are having trouble downloading a session you can always find a back-up copy at Authorstream.com Once there just do a search for edc525 and pick the appropriate session.

Happy blogging,
Dave

PS----One last reading for this session. It's worth the quick skim:
http://www.teachandlearn.ca/blog/2008/06/02/avoid-school-talk-part-1/

PPS--The readings and assignments for Week's 4 & 5 have now been updated on our class syllabus, so please revisit them to make sure that you are up to date.



==================================================================

Welcome to Part 2 of this week
session.


"The World of Wikis!"



This second part will take us down a new path!




A path that leads to more collaboration--




more cooperative learning---




and more opportunities to create differentiated instruction and visual learning---all with the goal of helping foster literacy, and learning, for our students.


Don't worry if you have barely heard of the word, 'Wiki'. Here is a taste of the excitement that awaits you when you download session 4/5.


and then watch this:




Good luck and take plenty of notes because I don't want to miss any of your ideas, excitement, or insights when you post your comments!

Your last instructional video is how to use a wiki as  your learning management system:





Enjoy and have fun!
DF

109 comments:

  1. Ok so I dove right in and set up my very first wiki. After watching that super informative video "Wiki while you work", I was so energized by the potential, I had to try it. It is called Collaborativenet.wikispace.com. My hope is to develop a wiki that will inspire like minded individuals to collaborate, rejuvenate and empower each other to grow mentally, emotionally and developmentally. I found that there are many positive ways wiki's can be used such as to engage and motivate others, they promote active collaboration where people can interact, personalize and utilize many different learning styles such as using mp3 files and videos for visual and auditory learning. The users create content that is meaningful to them which promotes inquiry, discussion and problem solving. A wiki is a read write Web 2.0 tool as opposed to the read only Web 1.0 from the days long past. If you have a moment, take a look at my wiki and let me know what you think. It's a subject which I feel very strongly about. As they say, "We get by with a little help from our friends" The Beatles. Funny story, in my excitement to show off to my 18 year old son, I said hey, I made my very first Wiki and he said "Mom, I made one in the 4th grade". These kids today... Here is an invite link to my Wiki https://wikispaces.com/join/PJT4RNM Give it a go and let me know what you think. Chris

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    1. Thanks for diving in head first Chris. I'll check it out. Remember, as well, that you can limit access to your wiki to members that you choose and also restrict editing rights to only those that you choose also.

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    2. I just looked at your Wikispace. I left a comment. I now have a better idea of how I should create mine.

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    3. Great job. I am looking forward to playing around with it this week.

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    4. Hi Chris, I just checked out your Wiki, it looks great! I will definitely spend more time on it throughout the week. While I was logging on to yours I remembered (and revisited) a Wiki that I created my junior year of college. Oh how time flies...

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    5. Thanks, Chris, for paving the way! I'll be working more on mine to see how it goes.

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    6. You were brave Chris. I did check this out the other day. Thanks for the invite on it.

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  2. Christine has done a great job setting up her wiki and is very enthusiastic about them.

    I have a different feeling and would really like everyone’s feedback on what they think of what I am about to say… I am not sure if I am overthinking wiki’s or what.

    I have watched the videos and wiki’s seem like a great tool for somethings, however, I keep circling back to the fact that wiki's are editable by anyone and that makes me uncomfortable.

    In the Richard video, in the very beginning he talks about Wikipedia and he states that anyone reading the content, if they don't agree with it, can change it.

    Who is to say the person changing the content, knows what they are talking about?

    The video was made back in 2009 when Wikipedia was a huge source for information, but I don’t believe that is the case anymore for the very fact that anyone can write anything about the subject -true or not.

    As I continue watching the video, making an editable wiki, seems to be more confusing for students. Richard himself says that what the students write, may not be correct so he had to make his notes ‘official’ so his students knew what is official and what is not.

    I am all for collaboration, and I know I could re-edit or revert the pages back to what they were on the wiki if someone changed it incorrectly or inappropriately, but that seems like a lot of maintenance to keep up with.

    Am I overthinking this? I do know that wiki’s probably would not be good for the type of training that I do but what does everyone else think?
    
Are wiki’s a good tool for your area?

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    1. @paula's concerns about having the world gain 'editing rights' to her wiki are completely justified. Please continue to read the discussion thread below and know that you (as the wiki creator) retain 'Administrative Authority' over your wiki and therefore can control who has access to make changes.

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    2. I don't think your overthinking this. You raised valid points. I only use Wiki anything when I'm not sure where to start. Usually it will point me in some direction. As for information updates, that seems like a lot of monitoring.

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    3. I agree with Paula's concerns. One always has to be mindful of the security of things put on the web. While Wikis, blogs and other digital content management systems might be useful, they must be appropriate for the audience. With regard to Christine's comment below, it is useful when peers are able to catch onto mistakes and correct any fallacy in a quick way. For most professors, the point of using such tools is to encourage discussion between students.

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    4. Stephanie, that is a great point! Wiki's may not be the actual source of information, but perhaps it can direct a person to other sources!

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    5. Hi Jason, Exactly. Whatever tool is used, it must be appropriate for the audience. In the Richard video, he spoke of his students and how they were always mindful and respectful of one another and they were trusted to behave in a certain way on the wiki. I think he called it wikinature. I was very impressed at the amount of students he was able to reach, however through his wiki!

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    6. I definitely think restricting who has access to modify the wiki is a good idea. Several years ago, I recall during an election here in North Providence that someone took some "artistic license" on the NP wiki page. Clearly that one was open for editing, and no one was monitoring the content. The local paper ended up doing a story on it as I recall!

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    7. Hi Paula, I completely understand all of your concerns regarding a Wiki and editing rights. I wanted to share my experiences with Wiki's, and maybe settle some of the uneasy feelings you have towards them.

      When I was working on my undergrad at URI I had a professor that used a Wiki for every course she taught. I loved it! At the time, very few professors used them (not sure if that has changed?) and I truly enjoyed when I could take her classes because of the information she would provide. She had restricted editing rights on her Wiki, therefore no one could adjust what she posted. It was used as a "website" where we could find all class-related material. She posted powerpoints, class notes, extra resources, study guides, etc. I never had a problem with her Wiki, in fact, I found it extremely useful. I wouldn't be afraid to create one and restrict the editing rights.

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    8. Jen I am glad you told me that because how you said your professor set up is exactly what I want to do for the people I train. I will look into it. I would like to have it set up like your professor but also have a discussion panel. I am not sure what is involved in restricting the editing rights but I will find out!!

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  3. To Paula’s well stated concerns, concerns that I also shared, within your wiki, you have the option under settings then permissions to choose who can do what. Public, lets everyone see and do everything. Private, allows you to invite who you want to collaborate with giving them the option to view and edit as they see fit. Protected, enables you to allow people to view but not to edit or delete. In Richard Buckland’s video “Wikis in University Teaching and Learning” he goes on to say that he kind of takes a step back with regards to info posted to his wiki and lets his students, collaborate and work it out. If a student posts incorrect information, he generally waits to correct it as within minutes, another student will post what he feels is the correct info and they why he feels it is correct. If you are using this tool for educational purposes, you can set up guidelines in advance as to how your students should use it, how they should have appropriate, useful discussions etc. I still feel that this is a great tool. What do you all think? Christine

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    1. Chris,
      I must say that I agree with many of the points that Paula made above. I too would not feel comfortable using this for training purposes because of the editing capability. As a current student, I have never relied on Wikipedia for information because I do not trust that it is accurate or up to date. For example, let's say I want to learn more about a certain subject that I know nothing about, like carpentry, and go on Wikipedia to read up on said subject. As someone who has no clue about carpentry, I may be learning things that are incorrect or false, and go through life believing these things and possibly educating others on incorrect information. It does seem like a good collaborative tool if one places certain restrictions. It seems like the only way to collaborate then would be through a discussion board. But then doesn't that take away from the purpose of wikis? Why not use another tool in which you can collaborate and discuss if that's the case?
      Luz

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    2. @Luz--editing a wiki is very similar to editing a Google Doc. Similar to how we all had access to the table to choose when we took turns as Facilitators. I gave specific people access and I also retain the ability to go through a Docs (or wiki) page and see the 'revision history', so I can always see who contributed what.

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    3. Dave,
      I do like that one can revert to the original and that the page stays "in the cloud", so it can never get lost. Maybe I will reconsider...
      Luz

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    4. Reverting back to the original page is a good feature to have! That is one thing that makes me nervous when I use Wordpress. It saves the document and if you made a mistake...oh well.....

      Thanks for weighing in Luz. I do have mixed feelings on the wiki but feel that they are a useful tool to be knowledgeable about. You never know when we will need something just like that!

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    5. Luz, honestly I'm just the opposite. I use wiki to look up any info I don't know. Like, what movies Leonardo decaprio was in or what transcendentalist means. I know when it first came out there was an issue with content. That people were writing their own information and citing it just to get more references. However I know now they do have more securities on it.

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  4. Hi Ladies!
    Paula, I thik you make a very good case for the need to know the parameters of the tool we choose. Christine, you explained what I was thinking might be the case but had not explored yet. I have a colleague here in MA who developed a wiki for their program orientation. I have viewed it but it never crossed my mind to try to edit/change it. She had to invite me so that I could access it so I am guessing it is set to private.

    I'm glad you both raised this topic as it is something I will need to control for my deliverable. The closest experience I have had to this issue so far is in collaborative work I share on an individualized education and career plan for each student. So far, digitizing this component has been very useful. I have some parts of the Google Sheet frozen so that the student cannot edit it. I also have a setting so that any time they alter the document, I get an email so that I can be on top of whether or not information is needed from me. We have just gone live with the digitized version of the document this Spring so we are all on a learning curve. It really helps to build awareness of the flexibility of these tools as we expand our toolboxes. Thank you both!

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    1. @Leslie--great detailed examples to point out an Administrator's ability to control editing aspects.

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    2. Hi Leslie, I believe the wiki would be a good tool for somethings, and once it was fully explored it might have possibilities as a training device, once all controls were in place.

      It is a good tool, as you mentioned, to have in our technological toolbox, never know when it might be just the tool we need!

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    3. Hi Leslie,

      It is an interesting dynamic when people can contribute and collaborate on a topic that they know about. However, I see the web as a bit like the wild west, with all kinds of incorrect information being put out there by so called experts. Even if the creator of the document locks it down, we still must do our due diligence and verify that the info they put out there is correct!

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    4. Right! just because it's on the internet, does not make it true!!

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    5. I agree with Paul we do try our hardest to make sure the information is right! But that's probably why I'm not so fond of wiki to begin with since I was always taught to never use a wiki site for information. That's not to say all wikis are bad because they are definitely not.

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  5. Leslie, Further exploration today led me to wiki's that you can make through your google account. You go to the rubics cube and choose more, then choose even more and scroll down till you find Google Sites. It is super intuitive, very easy to set up and I think it will be very helpful for what you are doing. Check it out on my wiki page, I put a link to a great tutorial for Google Sites. Let me know what you think. Chris

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    1. Thanks, Chris. I will check it out! :)

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  6. Dave, I really enjoyed Mr. Glokowski's Teach and Learn article and loved the way he actually immersed himself in the learning with music. I just wished I could have accessed the Mixwit clips the kids and he created based on Anne Frank's story. It would not let me open them. I thought Anne Frank was an incredible person and would love to hear the Mozart along with it.

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    1. @Chris--I've also lost access to those. They must have been changed at the source.

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  7. Hi Everyone,
    I think that wiki’s have a place but should not be relied upon for reference material. If there is group assignment that need to be worked on, then I think this is the perfect way to have everyone contribute in a unified setting. Controls can be put in place to ensure that only the group is including any information.

    However, like most have said, it shouldn’t be used when researching material without checking other sites to ensure the material is correct. When I did my undergraduate work at RIC, we were not allowed to use a wiki site.

    Sharyn

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    1. Hi Sharyn,

      I agree completely. I am not trying to say wiki's are bad. Not at all, but as a resource or a collaborative tool, you would need to make sure whomever had access to edit/change it, was qualified to do so.

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    2. The ability of people to change documents can be a problem. I used Google Docs, and the people who made the changes had permission to do so; however, we were not all aware that changes were being made, and it did not end up to be a positive experience.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. At CCRI, students are told to stay away fro WIKI sites, especially if you are using it for the purpose of research.

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    5. Hi Gail,
      While I like the 'idea' of using collaborative google docs, what you point out is the main reason I don't like the idea..if you can follow that! It leaves things too open and uncertain, at least for me, as to what is what.

      I think wiki's may be a good thing for either a training or a recreational site, but I agree, I don't think they are a good research source.

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  9. 4.0
    • Do you find yourself preparing to evaluate differently than you would in a face-to-face course?

    I feel that as long as the outcomes are well defined, evaluations could be given the same way. Often times during face-to-face courses (FTF), evaluations are given on-line. It is important to ensure that students are assessed along the way and are clearly understanding the material. Assessments that are content provoking and focused on the outcomes provide a good indication of learning whether on-line or FTF. As discussed in 4.3 Reading 1 – Assessing the Online Learner, if students are given a rubric of what is expected, the assessments can be tailored to what was expected of them, making it clear and leaving no room for miscommunication.

    • Have you been self-assessing your own work as you progress through our course? If so, how have you done that?
    • What kinds of things do you focus on to measure your own progress?

    These two questions can be answered in basically the same way. In this course, I’ve put into practice what I do in all of the classes I take. When self-assessing my work, I first make sure that I understand all of the material that has been presented to date. I check with peers and see if we are thinking along the same lines. If there is something that I feel I have not mastered, I contact the professor to make sure I get the necessary information to get back on course.

    Feedback is essential, especially when taking an online course. Because you are not getting the benefit of physically interacting with your classmates and the instructor, you need to be even more vigilant to gain responses along the way.

    I found the article in edutopia – Tools to Assess Social and Emotional Learning in Schools very beneficial. I think that in K-12 education, this is an important piece of assessment that is lacking. For well-rounded students, we must take the whole of the student into consideration. If one

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  10. Have you all watched the video on social bookmarking? What are your thoughts on being able to view other peoples bookmarked pages?

    Do you think that would be helpful? I think if I was in the same classes with others, being able to view what pages they have book marked would be helpful if we were researching the same or similar topics.

    Imagine the time that would be saved by being able to view others with similar interests while doing research!


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    1. Hi Paula,
      Yes, I think that it's extremely helpful! It would be so much easier to go to one place and view the bookmarks rather than sending people the links, which can become buried in emails. And since it's all on the web, they can be accessible from any computer. I am all for sharing and collaborating. It makes all of our lives easier.
      Luz

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    2. Paula, I really like the idea of sharing bookmarks and feel that it would make your life so much easier and open up all sorts of possibilities, however, I sometimes worry when you have all of these add ons, how secure they are and if they can bring in viruses and other sorts of negative info. What are others thoughts on that? Has anyone had a problem with unwanted viruses with add ons?

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    3. Hi Paula,
      I think it is a valuable resource that many don't utilize. It is especially beneficial for group use, and I agree, is such a time-saver!!
      Sharyn

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    4. Hi Paula,

      I definitely can see the benefits of sharing bookmarks, it can be a great resource to show others where some solid information is located, and is easier than copying, pasting, and emailing a link over to them. Once again, however, you must consider the source, it has to be a trusted source. I can see how a hacker could insert a bad bookmark that could run malicious code on the end users computer. So, I think it will be very important to ensure that you don't open up sharing of bookmarks with someone you are not familiar with.

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    5. I think its extremely helpful. I like the idea of being able to access it from anywhere. I can't tell you how many times I needed my bookmarks that were on my laptop at HOME.

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    6. Bookmarks would be a time saver. While in this program, classmates and I have emailed the addressees of sites we found to be interesting. I can imagine it would be helpful in a class setting; it especially makes everyone feel a part of the class, as they can participate by actually placing a site for the class to view - almost like the teacher!

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    7. There are benefits in sharing bookmarks. So much to learn!

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    8. I love the idea of bookmarks. One, because I love Pinterest and I feel like it's a Pinterest for the www and also, because I am always doing so much research for Babies for Us. I love that I can file and go back to my bookmarks like I would on Pinterest. Plus the added bonus of being able to see what others bookmarked.

      -tai

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    9. I definitely feel there are benefits because maybe someone one found a site that is one of my interests that I've never seen before. Couldn't that be a way of networking with other people based on interests?

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  11. I feel that assessing students online should be just as timely and frequent as face to face. Students benefit more from quicker feedback and are able to adjust and modify their thinking and work based on what we give them in return. Some students stress more with slow feedback especially if they feel that haven;t done well.

    As far as self assessing, I have difficulty with i because I'm scared to not assess myself correctly when I may need more help in modifying my work. Any advice on self assessing?

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    1. Laura It's very true, regardless of whether the class is on line or F2F, quick constructive feedback is essential. There is nothing worse than not getting feedback and then thinking you are on the right track and then a month or so later, you find out you were not going in the right direction! The faster the feedback the better for the student.

      Self assessing is a tough one. I find that keeping the rubric handy and asking for someone to review your work is a good way to do that. I find that reading others comments and discussions helps me to assess what I know and what I may need to look into a big more.

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    2. I have taken my share of online courses and you both are absolutely right. Timely feedback is essential in keeping on track with assignments. As Paula had mentioned there is nothing worse than thinking you are on the track only find out that your not. As for self assessing I do the same thing. I read my classmates posts first, for two important reasons; to make sure I'm on the right track and to push myself a little further in my thinking process.

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    3. We all need the feedback to make sure we are on track and needs to be in a timely fashion. Student syllabus and rubric are helpful to me and comments from classmates.

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    4. Thank you all for your input! I couldn't agree more! And Stephanie I like how you read others posts first that is definitely beneficial!!

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  12. 4.0 Have you been self assessing your own work as you progress through our course? If so, how have you done that? This one is almost funny for me. I am a check, check and re-check type of person which sometimes can be a problem, especially with this online course as I feel when you have a syllabus and a rubric only as in a face to face class, you can follow those and be sure that you are on the correct path and self correct if you find you are off track. However, having this system where many tasks or projects are embedded within other areas, makes it difficult and makes it easy to miss something. I find that I am constantly going back and skimming to make sure nothing has been left out. I am also the type of person who asks for feedback from my peers, working in groups to collaborate and get a better understanding of a project. I really like the idea of posting your work to invite constructive criticism. What are others views on collaborative assessment?

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    1. Hi Christine, I agree with the difficulty in keeping up and aware of assignments in this type of forum. I enjoy the discussions and the collaboration but to have assignments embedded within readings - while I understand the reasoning behind it - does make it more stressful. I find I am doing the same thing, checking and checking and rechecking!

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    2. Chris and Paula,

      I'm self assessing right now! You're right that there is a lot of checking and rechecking going on, and for me it is the only way to stay on track and keep up with the readings and assignments.

      As far as collaborative assessment goes, I think it is a fantastic way to get other viewpoints on your topic. Others usually will come up with a suggestion or a question that you may not have thought of, or at least their input can show you areas that need more clarification and improvement.

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    3. Hello all, I 100% agree with what has been said here. I also check myself one million times before I move on. This is most likely the reason I am behind with everything I do.. I enjoy the open discussions, I believe they are what keeps me on track and assessing myself regularly. I read through what others have posted and I make sure I have completed the same task. If it wasn't for the open discussions, I am not sure if I would know where I stand (or if I have completed everything assigned).

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    4. I agree Paula, it can be stressful if things are all over the place. I never really feel confidant that I got it all and I tend to recheck all the time. I do feel that I rely on my classmates and love when we can communicate in several different formats.

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  13. HERE'S A GOOD ONE FOR EVERYONE TO CONSIDER...We have been learning and discussing Blogs and Wiki's, many have very different thoughts on the pro's and con's of each. I would love to know, which one you feel would be best for your program idea and why? Then, tell us why you do not like the other.

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    1. Hi Christine, I will get this started!

      This a tough one because they are both good tools, and provide mostly the same type of forum however, the wiki may have a little more to offer. However, the wiki seems to require a lot of set up - I could be waaayy off here- in the form of security so for that reason, I think a blog would be better for the type of training and communication I do.

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    2. Now you guys have me thinking. I'm familiar with blogs, so it may seem like the natural choice for my program idea. However, the way I became familiar with blogs was to try them out and learn the intricacies of setting one up. Now that I'm learning more about the unfamiliar territory of creating a wiki, I might want to give that a shot. Once I learn more about that, it can be another tool in my arsenal!

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    3. Now you guys have me thinking. I'm familiar with blogs, so it may seem like the natural choice for my program idea. However, the way I became familiar with blogs was to try them out and learn the intricacies of setting one up. Now that I'm learning more about the unfamiliar territory of creating a wiki, I might want to give that a shot. Once I learn more about that, it can be another tool in my arsenal!

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    4. Paul, I encourage you to check out the various wiki's out there. I made mine through wikispaces.com however, working at URI and having to utilize Google products, I checked into the "Google" version which is called Google Sites. It is really easy to use, and there is a great You tube tutorial to help you set one up. You could easily set one up for your program then take a pole, using Google forms to see which one we all like better. That way, you can use many of the cool tools provided to us. DON'T FORGET Deliverable #1 is due tonight!

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    5. Thanks Chris! I hadn't considered the Google Sites version, I personally "went Google" when URI did last year, so I have been leaning toward using the Google products when possible. Thanks for the reminder, the Deliverable has been delivered!

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    6. Awesome question Chris. I am on team Blog. I think more because it's a little "trendier" right now to have a blog and with my focus population being millennial it seems to be a good fit. There are a lot of options for multimedia sources like, fb, website, Twitter, blog, ect. I am starting to get a little overwhelmed maintaining all of them. Blogs so far seem to be the easiest to edit also. Plus I like that I can stalk how many views and comments I have easily. Also I feel with the blog I can say what I want to say and teach in my style with out people being too judgy about sentence structure, punctuation and spelling.

      -tai

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    7. Chris, I was leaning more towards using a blog rather than a wiki. But, the idea for my training has changed, and now I may have to rethink how I plan to present my PD training. I think blogs are best for trainings that require more than one session, while wikis are a good resource for trainings that can be covered in one session and can be easily accessible for everyone for future reference.
      Luz

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    8. I'm not entirely sure which would be better for my classroom setting. Maybe a wiki because I would be able to edit the information but I'm not sure in a health class how that would work.

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  14. 4.0
    You know how important timely feedback is in your f2f classroom. What about in the online classroom?

    I think that timely feedback is probably more important in an online classroom (such as this one) than in a f2f classroom. Since a discussion board for an online class can remain open for a few days to a week, early participation is key to get a conversation going. I believe that students should make every effort to collaborate and provide feedback to questions and make an effort to check in on the discussion on a daily basis to read the comments and provide follow-up responses. Also, I believe that feedback should always be more qualitative than quantitative, especially collaborative feedback. I consider peer feedback highly important and welcome constructive criticism. Furthermore, I believe that the facilitator should model appropriate feedback etiquette and provide guidelines to the students in the form of a rubric. A standard should be set early on in order to prevent confusion.

    Luz

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    1. Luz, I am not sure if rubrics are fairly new but it's only been since I have started my masters program that I have ever had them before. I find them extremely helpful. A student knows exactly what is expected of them and when. There is no gray area!

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  15. I do the same thing. I constantly evaluate my progress with online classes, particularly with this class. I find myself re-reading the syllabus, the session instructions and the comments because I'm nervous about missing something. This course takes a lot more of my time than previous online courses. That's not a complaint.

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    1. Stephanie,
      We are tackling this course the same way. I find myself constantly referring back to the syllabus and lead posts to ensure I do not miss anything lol

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  16. Questions 4.0
    1. You know how important timely feedback is in your f2f classroom. What about in the online classroom?

    Timely feedback is essential in all kinds of classroom scenarios. I think it is even more important in an online course, because students may feel as though they are not connected to their instructor or to the class, as compared to the connection that is evident in a face to face class. In addition, without the opportunity to see your instructor, you may hesitate to email the person if you have a question – maybe even postponing a call for help that you need before you get too far behind.
    On a more positive note, with a class such as EDC 525, we get a great deal of feedback from our peers, not just from the instructor. There are many points of view, and this gives us an abundance of feedback. We are learning to give feedback to each other, while we read and reflect on our classmate’s opinions. The more feedback you receive, the more clarity you will have. It is also true that in giving feedback to others, the topic may become more clear in your own mind as you reflect on the topic.

    2. Do you find yourself preparing to evaluate differently than you would in a face to face course?
    In the article we read entitled “Assessment Online” the first thing that caught my eye was the statement that students should have some input into how they are assessed. This is an important point in Adult Education.
    It is important for outcomes to match the goals of the course, whether the class is on line or face to face.
    There is definitely more communication, feedback and collaboration in an online class, which may surprise some people. Also, learning is assessed more by actually doing the activity, than by actual exams. I have taken quite a few courses in this program, and I have never taken an exam. I have been assessed based on my presentations, which show I understand what I have learned. Many people can memorize information, but are then unable to transfer this knowledge. I agree with this kind of assessment and would use this in an online course. I would
    try to incorporate some of these assessment methods in a f2f setting as well, because not every can take a standard exam and do well, even if they understand the material.

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    1. Hi Gail,

      The feedback we get really adds to the discussions. I think it is true that feedback leads to more clarity on the topic for all involved, as we get to see the various points of view on the topic. Each person contributes their unique feedback, and we have the opportunity to look at that, think about it, and reply accordingly.

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    2. Hi Gail, Your comment about people memorizing information but are unable to transfer the knowledge is very true. Some people may think they are one and the same but they are completely different. I think that is why actually having to show you know the information by doing a presentation - rather than take a test- is a much better way of assessing what someone knows.

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    3. Hi All,
      In our program at work, we try to emphasize to our students that they will need to collaborate and apply the knowledge they hold whether they choose to continue on to school/training or immediately into the workplace. We start them along that path by assigning presentations and group projects. We then work alongside them to help them learn how to interact effectively with peers and to carry their weight as contributors. We ask them to assess themselves using rubrics and then we share our assessment using the same rubric so that they have information to re-calibrate their self-assessments if needed (they often are overcritical). Students in MA basic adult ed programs are only officially measured when they take the periodically administered state mandated standardized assessment. They do not receive letter grades or report cards so any feedback we provide on progress is much appreciated.

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  17. 4.0
    What kinds of things do you focus on to measure your own progress?

    It is important to self-assess, and we read that students that self-assess and make changes based on that assessment have attained independence as a learner. To measure your own progress, I think it is important to have an idea and visualize what mastery looks like. I would look at the work of experts in the field and use their examples to help guide me in what I am trying to accomplish. Modeling my work after their examples will help me to have more confidence in my opinion and reinforce the idea that I am putting forward. It is also important to allow my peers to critique my work, as feedback is valuable and can bring forth a lot of information that you could not get otherwise. Collaboration through a wiki or blog is a great way to get that feedback and start interesting conversations.

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    1. I like your idea of looking at the work of experts in the field as examples to guide you. I find self assessment to be more difficult than assessing others.

      Delete
    2. Hi Paul, I also think it is very important to accept feedback from peers. When I receive feedback it makes me think deeper into the topic. For example, when I am evaluated at work I receive evaluation notes (feedback) about my teaching, it opens my eyes to different views and forces me to be a life-long learner. I am constantly looking for ways to improve and the more feedback I get, the better it is. You said it perfectly, "feedback is valuable and can bring forth a lot of information that you could not get otherwise."

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    3. Giving and accepting feedback from peers is essential in anyone's growth. How you give feedback is extremely important as well. No one likes to be criticized - even if it is well intended. I think this is where feedback etiquette comes into play. Feed back is no good if it is not received they way the person intended it to be received.
      Jen I think you are utilizing your feedback perfectly. Looking at things from different views is a great way to be a life long learner. You don't have to change your view or ways, but it's important to see something from all angles.

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    4. Receiving feed back from my peers has always helped me. Just like the feedback you all give me on my posts. I feel it's difficult to self assess if you are unsure you're on the right page with the task at hand.

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  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  19. 4.0
    You know how important timely feedback is in your f2f classroom. What about in the online classroom?

    Feedback is extremely important whether it’s face to face or online. The role of feedback provides clarity to the student to ensure goals are met. It helps the student stay on track and see where troubles may be for them. This reflection stage of learning helps students and teachers to better understand if learning is occurring.
    Feedback helps also connect teacher and student together. This helps fill in any gaps that may occur in the learning process. When feedback is given it can help motivate the student which will help them feel good about themselves. Feedback should always be done in a timely manner to keep things on track for student and teacher. Feedback is even more important in online teaching because it hard to see a student’s body language which is helpful in determining if the student understands the content.
    There is a partnership between teacher and student and constructive academic feedback builds trust and can produce meaningful learning. It promotes collaborating in the learning frame and can keep the learning topic interesting for both participants. It allows both teacher and student to reflect on the learning process.

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  20. What kinds of things do you focus on to measure your own progress?
    I like to use the Rubric’s sheet to measure my own progress as well as feedback from other classmates. I also like to ensure I understand the learning objectives for that week and I think about how I will achieve those objectives. Sometimes this requires a personal map for me with dates on it to make sure I don’t miss anything.

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    1. Mapping is a useful method for me too, Heidi. On Thursdays, I look at the newest post, the syllabus, my work and personal calendars and then carve out blocks of time to accomplish our tasks.

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  21. I was playing with some of the crazy things you can do in a blog and I ran across Oddcast Photoface where you create a caricature of yourself. What a hoot. I added it to my blog if you want to take a look.

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    1. Interesting Picture, lol. I went to the oddcast photoface website and it brought me to sitepal, which was pretty cool. I completed a mini presentation but without a purchase it doesn't let you sign up unless you do the free trial so I was unable to save it. Am still looking for something similar to use. Don't like the sound of my voice and I'm certainly not video taping myself. I'm looking for an avatar website with generic voice/sound. If anyone knows of such a site please let me know.

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    2. Hi Chris, thanks for the find, I checked it out. The link is http://www.oddcast.com/technologies/photoface/ so folks can copy and paste it in their browser. This looks like it can be a lot of fun, and a great resource. Thanks again!

      Stephanie, I think you may like Voki, check it out here: http://www.voki.com/

      I tried it out, once you register you can have some fun with the crazy avatars or make your own.

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  22. I was playing with some of the crazy things you can do in a blog and I ran across Oddcast Photoface where you create a caricature of yourself. What a hoot. I added it to my blog if you want to take a look.

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    Replies
    1. This sounds extremely fun! I'll have to check it out thanks for sharing!!

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  23. Hi All,
    I was glad to see a reference to Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences as part of our reading. I deal with people who have dropped out of high school for a variety of reasons. They range in age from 16-65 yrs old and have a wide variety of resaons they have chosen to enroll. One common thought many of our students share is that they are "dumb" or "stupid" either because someone in authority told them that or they have formed the perception after failure in an academic setting. This belief has become a huge barrier to their success in life so we try to address it by helping them putting academic prowess into perspective. I really love seeing the light bulb turn on as they realize that they are not a lesser person because their strengths are in another arena. I often share an example of a personal friend I have who did not attend school after 7th grade. He reads everything in sight, can build computers, knows an incredible amount of information about our community and the ecosystems of the river and lake we have in town. He can take apart and fix anything mechanical and is an absolutely amazing nature photographer. He is one of the smartest people I know and yet his skills and abilities cannot be captured by tests in a classroom. Howard Gardner gives legitimacy and well founded recognition to other areas of intelligence.

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    1. Leslie, after reading your post I was reminded of one particular experience regarding an older gentlemen returning back to school after several years of absence. He was unsure of many things, such as; what is Sakai and how to get on it, where could he find his assignments and how to research and write a paper. I was not a tutor, the best I could do was to explain Sakai to him, direct him to the Academic Skills Center (tutoring) and the library to help with research. The most disturbing question he asked was if it was okay to hand in a handwritten assignment to his professor.
      When older adults return to college for the first time there are a barrage of issues they possess and the lack of the college culture is at the forefront. I'm a teaching assistant in a certificate program and for most of those students this is their first college experience. They lack the most basic skills needed to successfully complete the one year program, let alone a 120 credit degree. For example, coming to class unprepared and late, lack of confidence, test anxiety, poor note taking skills and the list goes on.
      My main goal is to help acclimate these types of students to the college culture and offer the tools to succeed in their academic career. These tools included the importance of reading the entire syllabus, time/stress management skills and proper note taking skills just to name a few. These skills are confidence builders and are necessary in moving forward.

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    2. Stephanie, I am an older adult who returned to school after 20 years and I have to admit, I was scared to death. I also started a new job (on campus)after working in the private sector for 30 years managing a psychotherapy office. Needless to say, before I even started school, I was devastated just walking on campus being among all of these young, brilliant minds. College culture is a huge barrier with all of the technology changes and dealing with visual and auditory issues that seemed to just creep up over night, it was a big adjustment for me. I found that little by little, many of those barriers are gone or I've made minor adjustments to make life easier. Funny story, recently I had a class with a professor from India so there was a bit of a language barrier and I could not hear her so well so I cracked out my antiquated tape recorder from the 80's, plopped it on the desk, looked around and saw Paula shaking her head. I swiftly took it back off the desk and threw it in my bag. At which point I downloaded the recording ap on my phone. That was embarrassing but funny at the same time. I was able to get past it and have a good laugh.

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    3. Leslie it's amazing that you open the eyes to students so that they see that they aren't dumb. I can agree with the feeling of being scared, though attending grad school right after graduating college it was still scary though I'm sure not as scary as coming back as 10 years, which Christine is an amazing thing! But I've felt dumb when I was in classes but I've had amazing teachers who have made me feel other wise and it's amazing knowing there are more professionals out there to make kids who think they aren't smart realize that they are. We need more professionals like that because there are still students who feel that way.

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  24. 4.0
    Have you been self-assessing your own work as you progress through our course? If so, how have you done that?
    I self-assess during each week by asking myself questions, such as "Did I contribute to the discussion? Did I ask thought provoking questions? Did I post too much? Too little? Were my comments meaningful? How else can I contribute to the discussion?". Another way I have self-assessed is by using a rubric during my facilitation week. It really helped me focus on what I needed to do and also made me realize where I needed to make some adjustments.
    Luz

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    1. Thanks for sharing Luz. I too rely heavily on rubrics to self-assess. It is a great tool to be able to gauge how well you are doing.
      Sharyn

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    2. Thanks for sharing Luz. I too rely heavily on rubrics to self-assess. It is a great tool to be able to gauge how well you are doing.
      Sharyn

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  25. 4.0
    You know how important timely feedback is in your f2f classroom. What about in the online classroom?

    I think timely feedback in an online classroom is just as critical as in a f2f classroom and can even be more important because of the vulnerability a student might feel when stating something publicly. Not only is the student product being viewed by the instructor but also by peers and, depending on where the post is, by anyone with access. This is much more permanent and public than passing in a report, verbalizing an opinion or taking a quiz/test.

    Do you find yourself preparing to evaluate differently than you would in a face to face course?
    I do anticipate evaluating differently in an online course because of the modes of demonstrating proficiency that are available. Online tools lend more variety for that demonstration. Students can employ options like we have in this class- developing blogs or wikis, being active on discussion boards, putting together a visual and/or auditory presentation often through low cost or free products. Groups projects can be developed remotely eliminating the barrier of trying to coordinate multiple schedules for meeting time. Online evaluation can be more frequent, rich and detailed than f2f evaluations traditionally have been.

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  26. I agree with Paula's concerns. The open to edit concerns me as well. Though I would love people to be able to add their input. But I'm glad to hear about the restricted editing rights as well.

    I was also very intrigued by the way you can return to previous looks in a wiki. I feel if you don't have those restrictions at first it's good to be able to set it back to what I was before.

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    1. To this I would like to stress the importance of being ever mindful of what you want to say before you say it. What I mean is, never put anything down in writing that you are not willing to share with your boss or your mama. Wiki's and blogs are great tools but if you can not truly delete what you said and you didn't want someone to see it, it is still out there in a previous post. So, if it's important to you, you should write down what you want to say in a word document for review first and then if it is what you believe, after you've reviewed it and reflected on it, you can then post it. It's the old look before you leap, think before you speak way of being...

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  27. Having little experience with wiki I find it absolutely interesting and I would love to hear more about your experiences as you go on creating your wikis. I really liked the reading for this week. The one article that talked about wikiville was very interesting. I liked how he talked about how even if it tanked that you wouldn't lose sleep over it as you shouldn't.

    I also agree with the use of polls. This helps to see where students are at and is an anonymous way for them to say how they feel. I find wikis absolutely fascinating and I really hope I can find a way to add them in ot my lessons in the future.

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  28. I'm not sure how I feel about other being able to view my likes online. I mean I do believe it is a good way of networking because you can see who has similar interests and you are able to possibly see new information about your interests. You are also able to share what you have as well.

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  29. Summary: Wow, I found this weeks’ discussion to be full of pro’s and con’s. Many people expressed their doubts and concerns with regards to using a wiki. I will admit that I had my own concerns until I dove in and really looked into the security settings and limitations you can put on a wiki. I for one really like the potential but it seems that the majority of us were skeptics. Paula and others raised some great concerns which caused us all to take a step back and really think about wiki’s and the negative implications of sharing too much. Jen Brayton with her example did a great job dispelling those doubts, for me at least. I am a believer. I feel that with the proper parameters set up in advance and having well laid out rules for use, everyone can have and share in meaningful and authentic conversations and gain from a collaborative wiki. I really enjoy the back and forth banter from other people. This is how we learn best by getting other perspectives and then coming up with our own. Thanks for being great participants! Yours, Chris

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  30. Hello Christine!
    I definitely agree there were a lot of pros and cons. I feel like I was in the middle about wikis. I still am though I believe that they can be a great way to facilitate great discussions. I definitely believe that wikis are a great way for collaborations and great discussion and I'm excited to try and add it to my lessons

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  31. Summary: I agree with Christine that this weeks discussion was full of pro's and cons. I think that if we can take anything away from this weeks discussion it would be that with all of these different technology tools, they are not a one size fits all type of thing. While wiki's and blogs may appear to be similar in terms of being an interactive tool, they set up quite differently. The same can be said for movie note and others like it. This is a good thing because if what we see right now isn't exactly what we need, we can either tweak it a bit to make it what we need it to be, or chances are there is another tool out there that is a perfect fit.

    I think the most important thing to take away from this weeks discussion is that everyone has their own opinion and their own view of something. Being open minded and willing to see another side to something will only help you in the future.

    I came into this not exactly anti wiki, but I did and still do have concerns about the security of it and the hassle of maintaining it. However, many of you spoke of the good things that I am going to delve into them a little more to see if the wiki is a good fit for what I need.
    Thank you all for participation in this past week's discussion! I look forward to many more interesting and educational discussion!!
    Thanks
    Paula

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    1. Hi Paula! I definitely agree we all have our own opinions on these resources. I think that if we wanted to incorporate these resources into our lesson it is nice to have options and there may be one that we like more than the other. We all have so many great ideas and opinions and i appreciate all concerns being addressed and everyone supporting each other! We have an amazing class with amazing minds!

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  32. Laura, I saw on your google + account that you really enjoy dancing and you like to incorporate it into everything you do. I feel the same way with exercise and am always moving, it is what keeps me sane. If I am stressed, I go to a Zumba fitness class and work out the kinks. I think that you could make a really cool wiki or blog geared toward teaching people about physical fitness and dance. I for one would love to see something like that. You could post different types of fitness with video's and tutorials for students to look at and then start discussions regarding nutrition and how that plays a part in overall well being. When you are excited about something like you are with dance, it makes for a great wiki. Enthusiasm can be spread through words, discussions and pictures. What do you think?

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  33. Hi Everyone,

    I enjoyed all of the videos for this week, but Teaching in the 21st Century got me thinking. Having older children who have graduated five and eight years ago, I never really gave technology and education much thought. Computers were just being introduced and were a luxury – not utilized by every teacher for every student. I think that the untapped resources afforded to faculty and students who use technology is unending. That being said, it is very important the proper safety measures are put in place.

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