Course reflection

In going through all of the questionaires I was thinking about my experience in this cour and what I wished I changed looking back.  First thing first, it is important to read all course documents.  The course documents really lays everything out.  Yes it is overwhelming when you first read it but, it is a must in order to know exactly what you need to do and what is expected.  Another thing I learned is the importance of learning from others. This course provided everyone the opportunity to learn from others through the discussion and posting of assignments.  The discussions were very intellectual and the inclusion of references made the discussions more than just a reflection. The tools shared made the experience very visual. Instead of seeing someone through words were able to actually see them. The reflection blog and discussions made you get to know them more as a person. In additon, it was a lot of fun using the tools andmade the course interactive.

I had a great learning experience and hope can bring this to the classroom.

Vicky
(3)

What did I learn?

I feel that after taking this course I learned a lot about teaching, learning, and about myself.  I really see that I have a new perspective on using technology in classroom.  I would use technology more as a motivation than as a way of teaching.  I know I have learned this because now I have a deeper appreciation in using technology as a learning tool.  In my course I have shared what makes a meaningful resources and what is one that promotes drill based learning.  What helped me in my learning was the feedback and interaction.  I learned a lot from everyone’s posts and courses.  Lisa’s course had so many great tools and resources for students to show their learning.  After reviewing the course I said to myself, “I wish I did that”.

What hindered my learning was time.  This course was a big adjustment in how much time I needed to set aside for this course.  I feel as though my school activities got in the way.  I really put too much on my plate this year as far as being involved in school activities.  This coming school year I am not going to do as much so I can focus more on taking the online courses.

In the beginning of this course I was very overwhelming and did know if I could make.  Through support of my friends, family, and in reading through others reflection blogs I saw that I wasn’t the only one and that this was a challenge that I needed to concur.  I am so glad that I stuck with it because I learned so much and I can definitely take this with me in my teaching.

Vicky

(3)

Winding Down

In completing the online course assignment, I have really begun to appreciate all the web has to offer.  There are so many resources and tools out there to utilize in the classroom.  For my online course I used screen o matic to demonstrate what I wanted from the resources they were gathering.  It was so simple, easy, and quick.  I suddenly wanted to make another video.  So I used VoiceThread to make an introduction video of myself.  These tools can be utilized in the classroom to reinforce concepts learned.  I would like to use screen-o-matic to demonstrate how to do the basic operations and scaffold how to solve problems.

I also learned about the importance of being very detailed in your expectations.  Because you are not with them face to face and see their reactions when explaining a concept, you really need to have it in writing.  In creating my course, finish one part then after I would say to myself “I should add this”.  I see how this can be a evolving experience.

Vicky

(2)

 

Where are you?

After finishing the course review checklist I found that I need to pay attention to detail and make myself known in the course.  I need to make sure there are exemplars for the discussion, reflection blogs, and wikispace.  I also need to make it clear what I expect and how students will need to interact in order to promote critical thinking.  I need to also go back, proofread and make sure all of the course documents match with what I the students will be doing in each module.  Building a more detailed course profile and initiating the discussion will promote interaction and model for students what they need to do.

In this process I learned a lot about myself as a learner and teacher.  I really need to promote more critical thinking activities and discussion.  It is very hard especially, with the children who I teach because they just want to get the right answer and have no motivation to further discuss any math concepts.  I also need to think more critically as a person and a teacher.  In my school we put a lot of the blame on the parents because the parents don’t help students at home.  Meanwhile, many of these families can’t do it because they don’t know how the do the homework assignment, can’t read English, or are working.

The most surprising thing I have learned so far is the importance of building a community of inquiry.  It not only works with online learning but, also face to face learning.  Involving social presence, cognitive presence, and teaching presence in lessons can promote students’ meta-cognitive skills.  Promoting critical thinking skills is not only about applying Bloom’s Taxonomy in questioning but, creating this environment of learning and collaboration.

In moving from the theory to practice, I am going to utilize the examples in the article Online Community of Inquiry Review: Social, Cognitive, and Teaching Presence Issues.  The indicators presented on page 65, make it more clear on how to creating this environment of critical thinking in the class.  I am going to make sure that my activities promote these indicators.

Vicky

(3)

Garrison, D. R. (2007). Online community of inquiry review: Social, cognitive, and teaching presence issues. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 11(1), 61-72.

Procrastination is my own worst enemy

Oh dear!! Procrastination is greatly affecting my ability to get everything done in this course.  I will come up with a plan to complete the activities and I don’t follow it and save everything for the last minute.  However, I work better under pressure than I do without pressure.  Why do I procrastinate? After reading this web piece Why Do You I Procrastinate?  I took the procrastination quiz and found that I have both a fear of failing and perfectionism.  It is really hard for me to get over.  What can I do? The article, Tackling Procrastination: A Practical Counseling Approachshares some strategies to get over procrastination.  “These are: 1) becoming aware of one’s procrastination, 2) developing goal-directed behavior to carry out the tasks on which one is currently procrastinating, 3) making a commitment to tolerate the anticipated short-term discomfort to achieve the longer-term goal, and 4) persisting in this anti-procrastinating outlook or approach” (Pychyl, 2008).  Pychyl also addresses the difference between trying and doing.  It is important to rewrite goals stating what you will do because using the word trying means that it will eventually happen and doing means it is going to happen now.

If you deal with procrastination, what do you do to get over it?

Vicky

(3)

Wiegartz, P. (2011, March 25). Why do you procrastinate?. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-age-anxiety/201103/why-do-you-procrastinate.

Pychyl, T. (2008, May 29). Tackling procrastination: A practical counseling approach. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dont-delay/200805/tackling-procrastination-practical-counseling-approach?page=2

Who am I?

My experience in completing the online course activities was very enlightening.  Before taking this course I thought online learning was so easy.  Just put up a discussion question, have students complete some assignments and that was it.  BOY I WAS WRONG!! There is so much more to online learning than what I have expected.  In viewing the Breeze Presentation, reading the article A Follow-up Investigation to “Teaching Presence” in the SUNY Learning Network, reading the course manual, there is so much needed in order to make the online learning experience effective and meaningful to students.  You really have to think about all aspects of teaching presence and building a community in your online course.  In my course I want to build an online course in which students don’t feel intimidated by it.  I was to be a support for student learning and provide as much interaction between student to student as possible.  I believe most of my learning was not only done through the readings but, also through the discussion with each other.  Anne Marie introduced me a website from Dunlop and Lowenthal on creating getting to know activities and it really opened my eyes to other creative ways for students to get to know each other and the importance of social presence.

I am a very hard worker and look for feedback as an education and a learner.  In this process I really found that I am able to utilize all resources available in the course.  Alex’s podcast reflection was very helpful when completing my learning activities.  In addition, I also learned a lot from others because I looked at other courses as a guide.  I will definitely utilize these resources and other courses online to guide me in the design of my course.

The learning activities was very challenging because I had to change the way I was doing things in order to make it more interactive.  As I go through as a student in this course and as the developer of my own course, I think about how I am learning best and utilizing it in my course.

Vicky

(4)

Dunlap, J. C., & Lowenthal, P. R. (2011). Getting to know you: The first week of class and beyond. In P. R. Lowenthal, D. Thomas, A. Thai, B. Yuhnke, M. Edwards, & C. Gasell.(Eds.). The CU Online Handbook, 2011 (pp. 67-72). Retrieved from http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/CUOnline/FacultyResources/additionalResources/Handbook/cuonlinehandbook2011/Documents/chapter10.pdf

Why do I do that?

I do things the way I do them because it is out of habit.  I have some bad and good habits.  One of my bad habits is procrastination.  Especially with this course, I find that I tend to leave assignments to the end.   I find that it takes me a long time to do the discussion posts and written assignments.  So after an hour or so of gathering articles it then takes me sometime to put my thoughts together and I get tired.  One of my good habits is that I am a hard worker.  I want to do my best and in order to get there it takes a lot of work.  I really love teaching and find it so interesting.  It really motivates me to want to do well and try my best.

In taking this course I have learned a lot about online learning and websites to share information and communicate with students.  I really do like the reflection blogs and discussion posts because it is interactive and provides you with an outlet to expressing  and sharing thoughts and ideas.  As teachers, I feel that we need these places where we can express our thoughts and share ideas on teaching.  We rarely have these types of conversations in the schools.  It is through these interactions that I learn more about teaching than if the information was given to me.  In my online course I will be utilizing the reflection blogs and discussion boards for teacher to share their findings, thoughts, and ideas so they can learn from one another.

In this course I interact by scanning through all the posts then, I find a topic that I make a connection with.  I search to find articles related to the topic.  In my interactions I don’t want to make it my opinion but, a gathering of artifacts that conveys my thoughts.  This system organizes my thoughts and makes the posts more meaningful to the other person and myself.

Before the summer vacation began, I was having a very, very hard time keeping up with the assignments and discussions.  Too much was going on all at once.  This course was not like any course I have ever taken.  It is very demanding and intense.  I really had to dig deep within myself to become the critical thinker that was expected of me.  I still have difficulty with keeping up with the written assignments because my focus has been on the discussion posts.  I still need to work on dividing assignments more evenly throughout the two weeks.  I find myself having difficulty learning how to utilize Twitter in this course and checking Twitter.  This is something that I will work on for the next module.

I find that keeping a binder of all module documents and written assignments is helping me get more organized in this course.  I needed something where I could go to look back on what I need to do for the module.  In order to make this experience better for me I would like to make a calendar of tasks to do each day so I am not overwhelmed at the end of the module.

Vicky

(3)

A-Ha Moment: Critical Thinking

As I continue this learning experience, reading through articles/discussion posts I find myself having more “A-HA” moments.  It is such a powerful feeling to finally make the connection, put all of your knowledge together, and say to yourself, ‘Now that makes sense”.

One such experience occurred during our discussions about critical thinking and reading Critical Thinking in Every Domain of Knowledge and Belief.  The discussion really prompted us to think about this ability.  It ends up to be a really complicated skill since there are so many definitions.  It can be perceived as a way to making connections, or analyzing and assessing thought, or thinking about our thinking (meta-cognition).  The process involves constant wondering and questioning to get the most out of what you are learning.  It is not a separate entity but, needs to infused into all experiences where “the thinker self-monitors and self-assesses” (2007).  This lead to me my a-ha moment.  Now I understand why we are doing the worked asked of us.  We didn’t have to reflect, but to think critically.  The questions and feedback Alex posted really helped me to gain a deeper understanding of what we were talking about and makes it more meaningful.

But, how can we teach this to other children in the classroom or how can we teach this to the students in the our online class?    Questioning and utilizing Bloom’s Taxonomy can promote the thinking but, there are more barriers to face.  People’s own personality can get in the way of learning.  You have to defeat egocentricity, self-delusion, sociocentricity, narrow-mindedness, habits, and fear/insecurities.  It is very hard to get people to think/learn in a new way and it is not a comfortable experience.  In Social Presence, it was shared establishing trust and a class community was essential is creating a community of learners.  If the students trust you then they will take the huge leap forward into this new of way of thinking/learning. My experience as a student was that I was focused on my routines from the other class and interpreting feedback to what I was thinking Alex meant and it wasn’t the same.  Then, we I began to trust Alex’s words and it became clear to me that she wanted to use to think deeper about the questions.

As I think back, I feel critical thinking was a term being overused and misused.  It is mostly being used for thinking and not critical thinking.  People don’t realize the depth critical thinking takes students and how to get them to that level of thinking.  It is not a one day lesson but, a lifelong lesson that all teachers need to be part of to make it most effective.

My question is how do we get our students motivated to think critically when, students just want to get the right answer?

Vicky

(4)

Oprah, Retrieved from  http://www.oprah.com/packages/aha-moments.html

Paul, R. (2007, July 23). Critical thinking in every domain of knowledge and belief. Retrieved from http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/critical-thinking-in-every-domain-of-knowledge-and-belief/698

Pickett, A. Social Presence. Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDEE4C3AACF9C7390

 

Ending the chapter and starting a new chapter

Another two week has pasted.  I am starting to develop my online discussion posts.  However, it seems as though it takes me hours to write own one discussion posts.  It will take me a 1-2 hours finding relevant articles, then read them and write a response.  Digging deeper is a process that provides a lot of time and energy that is limited.  Work is over and now I can spend even more time on this course.  The timing is more difficult to me than anything.  Even though, I feel like I spend a larger amount of my time per day on the course it is still not enough.  The article Effective Time Management in Online Learning, provides strategies such as building a schedule this a block of time for the online course (White, 2011).  This is something that I will do for the next module.

My intrinstic motivation is what gets me through this course.  I have taken courses that were difficult for me during my undergraduate courses for my mathematics major.  Two professors told me to change degrees because I won’t make it through.  We’ll turns out with a lot of hard work and support from friends I did make it.  I am person who loves challenges and this is challenge that I want to succeed.  I know that it will take a lot of hard work.  Somtimes I just have to tell myself “I Think I Can”

White, M. (2011, April 18). Effective time management in online learning. Retrieved from http://www.brighthub.com/education/online-learning/articles/32625.aspx

Vicky (3)

Finding My Way

I began the second module with a better understanding of the expectations of this course.  I continue to learn about more strategies and resources involved in online learning and more about myself as a learner.  I have been focusing this past week on the discussion board, making sure I provide adequate posts with resources.  My biggest struggle is trying to dig deeper.  I tend to have all of these ideas and it is hard for me to convey these ideas in one post.  I have been trying to focus on one key idea and to explain my knowledge learned from the articles based on the idea.  I have been taking my time on the posts to do research and articles that will enhance my post.  I know I still need to do more work in this area.

In reading the posts in the discussion board, I have learned about new ideas and tools on the internet that can make an online course an engaging experience.  In my online course, I would really love to make the online experience visual and personable for students.  I want my course to be meaningful and applicable to the classroom setting.  In making a course about the Common Core Standards in Mathematics, I know it will be a lot of reading and research so, I want to find a way where I can make this course interactive.  Blogging will definitely be a resource to consider.  Students can reflect on each other’s activities and share their thoughts on their implementation of the Common Core Standards in Mathematics.  In the discussion board, Amy and I had similar questions about making peer to peer collaboration effective in our courses.  I really liked the idea of badging (G, 2012) because it makes self/peer/teacher evaluations more student friendly with illustrations and “badges” to show the qualities possessed within the completed assignment.  Making a balance between autonomy and learning in context will be something that I would like to strive in my online course. Through the initiation of discussion boards and blogs there will be a sense of mutuality within the online community.  The students can either make or break the culture of the class.  This puts lots of  preparation by the instructor to make this possible (Misanchuk). What ideas do you have to establish this balance of content learning and discussions?

Vicky

(3)

G, V. (2012, June 12). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.diigo.com/annotated/f0d1a6aa35210a6fb46ed38eeecaa34d

Misanchuk, M. (n.d.). Building community in an online learning environment: Communication, cooperation and collaboration . Retrieved from http://frank.mtsu.edu/~itconf/proceed01/19.html