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Digital Curriculum

What are the successful components of online learning environments according to your text and other resources? A successful online learning environment must be developed using a Learning Management System (LMS) as referred to on page 363. If you don’t have a system to use, it is much harder for teacher and student to fulfill the requirements of the class. Another huge component is communication. Teachers and students must communicate their needs and requirements.  The third component I have found that is crucial is a timeline of events.  I also believe the blended learning discussed on page 364 really allows for teachers and students to get the best of both worlds. The face-to-face for certain topics must be handled personally and not thru the computers. Sometimes it is just harder to explain things in an email.  I have also attended many classes that were similar to our Blackboard management and they added synchronous online meetings. I think the synchronous time allows for better instruction and discussion. Communication was bi-weekly with these synchronous meeting and it keeps all students and teachers on the same page.

In what ways has our curriculum changed in response to a changing world?  In what ways do you feel we still have much progress needing to be made?   The first time I read Daniel Pink’s book, I loved it. Why should we be doing jobs that a computer can do for us?  I believe that we are getting to the point that if you can find the answer using Google, you should not have to memorize that answer. Society has the internet at its finger tips. We need to teach students how to decipher and use that information responsibly, but the answers are all there. The 21st Century Skills described on page 360 of our text is what all students and teachers need to learn. I have been teaching these skills for the last 5 years. It was hardest at the high school level where students truly believed that they knew more about technology than I did. Some of them knew some software better than me. Most students consume the technology, we need to teach them how to produce responsibly with technology.  I don’t think technology is everything. But I think it is an amazing tool to use for differentiation, writing, critical thinking, group projects,etc..  I believe we need to embrace the technology and not ban it from our schools. If you haven’t already watched the “Shift Happens” video made by Karl Fisch in Colorado you need to watch it. It makes a lot of sense. There are many out there, but here is the original that Fisch made in 2007: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljbI-363A2Q.

How can we support students in becoming critical consumers of information? We need to teach them how from an early age. We need teach them how to use the amazing databases provided through our libraries. We need to teach them to not use Google to find answers, although many times you can find them there. We need to teach them all this by allowing more technology into our classrooms so that we can model this for students and allow them the practice to use the technology. As a said above, consuming the information is only one part of the picture. I believe teaching them how to work with students from around the world will prepare these students best for our future. My passion is global collaboration and we need to learn how to do this ourselves and teach our students.

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