Reading the article: “Implementing the Seven Principles: Technology as Lever” and this course’s textbook has opened up my eyes to a few ideas for my online class:
- Originally, I thought that students keeping a blog for my class (French) would be useless (considering most my of classes focus on the instruction of Grammar and Vocabulary). Now, I believe it actually could be USEFUL. “They must talk about what they are learning, write reflectively about it, relate it to past experiences, and apply it to their daily lives. They must make what they learn part of themselves.” (“Implementing the Seven Principles: Technology as Lever“). Now, I’m beginning to wonder if requiring my students to keep a blog with a “summary” of each lesson, might be a good idea after all. I could ask them to make it more personal to not only reflect what they learned in our online class but also by showing how they can apply what they have learned. An example of that might simply be after learning about various Food items, I could ask students to write a “food shopping list” of what they currently need to buy at the local grocery store.
- Communication is clearly an important tool in any class–whether it be taught on campus or online. I believe finding an effective way to communicate with my students in an online class is vital. In the on-campus class I currently teach, I try to be very personable and I feel that I am approachable. I want to display those things equally in an online course. I am considering making videos for my students and Power Point Presentations WITH audio. Videos seem to always be effective in grabbing the students’ attention. For office hours, I like the idea of Skype but I’m also considering Instant Messaging or other forms of communication for an online course.
I watched (and rewatched) several online class tours which I enjoyed. Seeing other instructors’ work gives me a bunch of ideas.
Teaching languages, I enjoyed Pilar’s online tour (she teaches Spanish; I teach French) which was very organized and well-planned. I like the idea of having all the tools/content posted per week instead of having various content placed in different places. It makes it easy (and less stressful) on the students to find what they need in one location (organized weekly). I too use both verbal and written quizzes per each Unit (Chapter).
I implement Vocabulary, Grammar, Culture and History/Geography in each class so previewing what Vanessa Hollanda Gutierrez’s Online Class was interesting as she divides each lesson into three categories: Vocabulary, Grammar and Culture. I also enjoyed how she divides her Resources into those categories.
In a world where social media/communication is the new “normal” way of staying in touch with people, it is crucial as an online instructor to be open-minded to the use of these tools. Matt’s Pearcy’s video on the use of Facebook in a classroom was very informative. Just this semester I have started a Facebook group page where I can share with my students more tools, videos, handouts, etc on the topics we are learning. It has also been a place where students have been able to communicate with one another. I couldn’t agree more with not “befriending” students. Groups are a great way to communicate without feeling that students are informed of the instructor’s personal life. Personally, I have high privacy settings so my students (who aren’t my “friends” in the first place) can’t see any picture (even of my adorable children) or read any status. Yet, they can be a member of my Facebook group and see/read information pertaining to my class. I’m still on the fence with the use of Facebook in a class (whether it be online or on campus) so I am going to see how this semester’s “experiment” goes and decide from there whether I continue using it or not.
The two things I’d like to work on for this entire “online class concept” are:
1) What tools do I want to use to clearly and frequently communicate with my students?
2) How can I be seen as a caring, personable, and knowledgeable teacher versus a computer?