It’s already an incredibly busy semester. Here are a few of the projects underway.
ECMP 355: I regularly teach an undergraduate course to preservice teachers focused on the integration of technology in teaching and learning. I’ve taught it since 1999, and I can’t believe how much it has changed. Originally, we focused so much on user-centric apps, presentation tools, MS Office productivity tools and flat HTML web resources. Today, the social/semantic web is a key focus. I promote the plethora of free, open and social tools available to students. Students are able to collaborate with others, and with each other. Blogs, wikis, podcasts are common resources.
Some things haven’t changed much though. Electronic portfolios have always been an important part of the course. Only the methods in which they are created has changed. The same goes for digital storytelling, a mainstay in my course from the beginning. And most importantly, critical technology and media literacy remains a common theme that binds the entire course.
This year, I’m happy to announce plans to collaborate with Darren Kuropatwa’s highschool students. Mentoring and collaborating with high schools students from a distance will be an incredibly powerful and meaningful activity for my preservice teachers.
If anyone’s interested in checking out the ECMP Moodle site, go here, but you’ll need to get the passphrase from me.
EC & I 831 Graduate Course – Open, Connected & Social in Education: I am currently developing an online Graduate course to be offered Winter 2008. The course will focus on the open and social technologies in the classroom and appropriate pedagogies in the connected age. Rob Wall will be helping me develop this course, and I’m already excited to have his input. He’s got some great ideas, and I think this course will be the best I’ve offered. I’m excited. If there are people out there that would like to be a part of this experience, I’d love to have you participate. I know I am going to rely on the edublogosphere a great deal for this course to be a success.
Digital Internship Project: We have chosen 34 interns this year to be “digital interns”. These students are provided with a laptop, other special equipment, edtech-related professional development and specialized support during their internship. The students are part of a Ning virtual community, and have just begun to share their stories and successes. I’m looking forward to seeing these students become excellent teachers and gain wisdom in the use of technology in teaching and learning. We hope that this experience will allow these individuals to become educational leaders in their future schools.
If you would like to see what’s going on, or join us, come to digitalinterns.ca.
Good Spirit School Division EdTech Projects: I’m also working with the teachers of Good Spirit School Division. There is a very keen interest in improving educational outcomes in the division, and educational technology is one of many thrusts to achieve this. This project is in its infancy, but good things are beginning to happen.
aTEPnet: There are many aboriginal teacher education programs in Canada. These programs are doing wonderful things for aboriginal education, but there is not much of a connection between these programs. The Canadian Council on Learning has funded us to help develop an online social network (aTEPnet) that will connect ideas and individuals across these programs.
Web-Based Learning Resource Development Evaluation: Saskatchewan Learning has funded the WBLRD project in the province since 2000. This project has given teachers time to develop rich web-based resources for the benefit of themselves and other educators in the province. We have been contracted to evaluate these resources, the value of the process and provide direction for the future funding of similar projects. Stay tuned for the results later this year.
Looking at this list makes me a bit overwhelmed. Yet, I’m realizing how much the “network” comes into play into just about everything I am doing these days. This is the biggest change to me, and the change that has made the most difference to me in my own learning, my teaching and my educational philosophy.