This is my last post for the course ECI 834 - Online and Blended Learning. I was very thankful for this course as we transitioned to remote learning in the midst of designing my online course for the class. Luckily I had chosen a course to design online in January that I would be teaching in March and April, Pre-Calculus 30. This really set me up to try new methods and design the course for online and blended learning, then get to implement and use much of what I learned as we moved to remote learning. It has been challenging to keep up with marking, video editing and communication online for University and teaching, but it has made me grow as a professional and educator more than I have in some time. I also signed up for a Twitter account and participated on Discord, both for the first time. Lastly, I was awed and inspired by all of my classmates knowledge, online courses and summary of learnings! So thank you to Dr. Alec Couros and my classmates for their hand in that growth, inspiration and learning.
For my summary of learning for the course I tried my best to create a car review / advertisement video that represented the course and many of the concepts that we explored this semester, including open courses, online communication, social media, design interface, having fun and many other apps and programs for learning and evaluation. The metaphor of using a car to represent the course was less than perfect, but it still worked on many levels. The largest success for me happened in:
1- writing out all I had experienced and learned in the course and then trying to relate it to a vehicle advertisement, this really stretched my creative mind.
2- pretending to be a good friend of mine who sells trucks, had fun playing that role.
3 - having my kids video me all over the countryside and city and learn about the video making process over this break from school
So hope you enjoy the video and look forward to seeing you all in the future. Good luck with remote and hopefully mostly in-person learning for the rest of the school year. Take care.
Well my online course is complete. I tried my best to design a Pre-Calculus 30 course as a hyflex model where students could learn in-person or online, asynchronously or synchronously. The most rewarding part of the whole process was getting to teach the course at my school since the beginning of March. Now I was not allowed to teach it online live, because of the "double duty" ban by the STF, but I was able to implement many of my ideas in person and now as a smooth transition to remote learning this last couple weeks (end of March 2021). I will not discuss my course in too much detail in this blog as I did my course walk through as a tour and reflection (VLOG?) but will provide some vital links below. Click above to view this 10 minute video (about the course, its creation and implementation) or feel free to explore website or check out the inspirational video below!
Course Website (There is also many links and videos within the course website.)
Why take PC30 Inspirational Video (Kelly Z suggested this!)
Course Profile (Past Blog Link)
I was happy about my overall choices with the Google platform and they have worked well when actually teaching the course. I was also very inspired by John Spencer's user experience suggestions and attempted to use my videos, website and Bitmoji to make the course appear fun and having some personality to it! It took sometime to be able to teach well on Jamboard (ipad to computer to projector), but now it feels quite natural. I was surprised by how little the students actually wanted to use the chat or the jamboards to write on. This will likely take some time for them to accept this new procedure, or feel comfortable interacting online with non-familiar peers. WeVideo is really a very powerful tool in making online videos and I will continue to hone my expertise in using this tool. The overall the experience of designing (and then semi-implementing) this course has been useful and highly educational. I have received a few compliments from students, fellow teachers and parents about the course, especially when transitioning to remote learning.
I look forward to your comments and appreciate all your help in making this course the way it is! Feel free to use my ideas and request access to any resources you may be interested in.
Take care fellow educators!
For my online course, Pre-Calculus 30 with Mr. Johns, which is hosted on a Google Site, I have decided to use Google Classroom for students handing in assignments and having the ability to comment, Google Chat for students to discuss any math topics and to get specific help from myself or peers, and through Chat having students interact on Jamboard to receive help from me or students on specific math problems and graphing. Students may also choose to talk to me in person or through daily Google Meets (as it is designed as a Hyflex course) or by email or phone. I am now teaching the course in school and although I am not allowed to live stream lessons I am using all of the other platforms besides Google Meets. So I have had some time to experiment with the interaction methods I chose for the course.
The pandemic hit...
We were forced to teach / learn online but marks didn't really matter...
Now we are teaching online (and in person or both or alternating) and marks matter, but how does one assess and evaluate well when teaching online (especially in High School Math)? This was the focus of my quest for knowledge regarding online learning this week. One of the best articles I found was put out by Andrew Miller in April of 2020 through Edutopia.org and titled "Summative Assessment in Distance Learning." Although not super current for Covid learning, the article provides some key focus points and strategies that I will attempt to summarize in this post.
For our ECI 834 zoom class this week, I had the privilege of working with 3 other colleagues to preview each others' online courses, and present my course in its current state. It was a wonderfully diverse experience, with Google Classroom and Moodle LMS's used as well as, High School, Elementary and Radio Broadcasting classes all covered. The largest value for me was in seeing other's courses and how they approach online learning and using the LMS's to organize for students and guardians. I was also curious about how my unique approach would be received, and I think the feedback was very positive!
I chose to analyze a unit of study through the YouTube Video "How the Economic Machine Works" by Ray Dalio. But before I discuss this video, its content, merits, and production methodology and effectiveness. I just wanted to give a little context as to how I made this choice. I had fully intended on looking at a teaching tool or app, and scoured the list diligently. Some of the tools I knew and had used, but I wanted something new. What I realized is that most of the apps only worked on a laptop and / or IOS (Apple devices). For two reasons this would not work for me, as I am an android user, and know that about 50% to 60% of students I teach do not have Apple devices. So after finally finding a couple apps that worked on my phone I attempted to learn to use them. Watched YouTube Videos, played with interactive whiteboards, collaboration tools etc. The experience was very frustrating and I now understand why I appreciated the Google platform which works very equally on all devices and operating systems! So that night while reading my book (Money - Master the Game by Tony Robbins - found at Salvation Army just a couple weeks ago while waiting for my wife's tire to be fixed) the author recommended to watch the video "How the Economic Machine Works" by Ray Dalio and presto, I could stop banging my head against the new teacher tool brick wall and review a unit of study instead! So here is the analysis of this online lesson...
I have chosen to teach Pre-Calculus 30 as a blended learning model, leaning more towards a hyflex model, as opposed to 50% f2f and 50% online that is being prescribed in our division. The course will be taught both in-person and live stream, but with asynchronous options to view lessons taught or comparable online video lessons being used. I will be using Google Classroom as my LMS (with a Google site as the real homebase for the course), in conjunction with Docs, Slides, Meet, Chat and Jamboard. My main motivation behind choosing this course and method, is that I am tasked with teaching this course in Quint 4 (March 3 to May 3) with the current level 3 restriction likely still being in place at that time. I am hoping to experiment and design the shell of the course and then teach and use much of what I accomplish.
This is my 13th year teaching in Saskatchewan after teaching 2 years in British Columbia post graduation in 2005 from the Univ. of Regina. I have had a website for most my classes since I started with my own classroom. Originally, it was hosted by the division, but I quickly learned that none of the material could transfer from school to school, so being transferred meant starting all over again. Furthermore, the division asked each teacher to post their syllabus and course outline on their teacher page, which swiftly turned into the three in the school of us who knew how to do this, doing it for every teacher in the school! Since then I have been quieter about my tech abilities and used a Weebly site, YouTube videos (snhojnalyd is my channel) for woodshop and math instruction, posted on Instagram for classes, used Flipboard for animations, Google Sketchup for drafting, made woodshop TikTok's (Wood Yoda is my handle, my son posted some hockey videos during Covid) and now consistently use all Google tools such as Classroom, Docs, Jamboard, Forms, Chat and Meet. Most recently, I have embraced Screen-Castify to add video and audio to basic introductions and instructions for task. I feel very capable in the online sphere. Ironically, I much prefer teaching construction or math face-to-face and just using online platforms to supplement learning and help students who are absent. I would however feel capable of teaching fully online or in a hyflex model. My mother was a software sales rep. for most of my youth so we got our first laptop in 1986 and I have been using them consistently since then. Computers are something I am capable of using, but not passionate about, as I mostly find myself helping others to figure out how to use them!
Hello my name is Dylan Johns and I live just outside Lumsden, with my wife, son, daughter, 2 dogs and 3 cats in a straw bale house that I built on an acreage on my family's farmland (as you can see in the photo). When not enjoying building or outdoor pursuits, I am quite interested in technology, especially to do with teaching. I have played with many online platforms and flipped classroom methods over the years and am excited to learn more.