Initial Blog Post Week 5
for EDTE674 with Dr. Lee Graham
What tools will my group use as we create our online course? What is our rationale for using these tools?
Our group is working through these pertinent questions now. I have many ideas for tools to use. One that I have mentioned is the use of podcasts”an audio file listened to via streaming technology or internet download” (Guertin, 2010, p. 6). An idea for using podcasts came from this article by Guertin, where the instructor has volunteer students gather in his office to discuss the lecture deeper than the presentation in class (2010). That sound like a great idea! Students in our high school literature class could discuss the meaning of a poem or short story the online students will read. It would be most helpful if we can get our literature teacher either to help me with true interpretation so I am a better discussion leader, or to just find out if he would be willing to lead this. “The student podcast listeners who are not involved with the recordings still report a greater sense of connection with the class and content” (Guertin, 2010, p. 6).
Originally, my idea was to ask students to read the poem or a section of a reading into a podcast for students to listen to or to read along with. This idea can still be used. Online students could still be required to read the content themselves to dig deeply for meaning and then write about their thoughts to a given prompt or paragraph frame. Having already listened to a reading of the material will assist students in comprehending the text, because they receive the material audibly with prosody (fluency, rhythm, expression).
PowerPoint presentations may be used with an accompanying audio. Would this be podcast or is there an audio capability already built into PowerPoint? Presentations like this can be used to present major concepts, and to support vocabulary with mind map pictures/graphic representations, etc. Separately, it may work to add “Word Talk” as a free add-in that will read documents aloud and even create audio files for listening to again later (Teach Thought Staff, 2013). Links to YouTube sites or other educational sites provided will build on both vocabulary and background knowledge.
Last night I was reading through Poetry for Young People: Maya Angelou. This is a beautifully illustrated book of a selection of her poems that could be used as a lead in to help give students a feel for the times from the perspective of African Americans. They could make connections to present events or other events known by the student in their personal experiences, by using the pattern of a poem to write their own poem; this is a copy-change activity (Sanacore, 2005). One way is to video tape myself reading the poem, while with the book held up. High school students are not too old for this type of picture book reading—and it is brief.
Locating and uploading pictures from the timeframe of the reading will help students gain background knowledge about what things were like in that time and space. Some pictures like this may be used as a writing prompt: If you were one of the people standing on the sidewalk watching Martin Luther King, Junior live out his passionate words of advice, to march peacefully, knowing he would be arrested along with other leaders of the cause, how do you think you would feel? Now pretend you are a teenager standing on that sidewalk with the crowd (with your younger brothers and sisters), considering what if my mom or dad went to jail, purposefully sacrificing themselves to promote freedom for themselves and the future of you and your siblings. Describe your thoughts about what you would do. Think about your role at home and school and how these would be affected. Write about this. Include facts (efferent) from your reading of … and your emotions (afferent stance).
An example of using freestyle poetry could be posted so that students can use the example to create their own, to capture the emotions of the time and create their own historical picture. Another writing can have characters can talk to each other where someone from a present day Civil Rights situation can ask the advice of a true character from the past, using captions. This is a way for students to explore how issues are similar and different over time. They can read it into a podcast and upload (scan) the project in, as a writing assignment, aligned with the writing piece of the standards in American Literature.
The examples provided cover flexible use “offering content in multiple formats” (McClary, 2014, p. 9). Students have multiple ways to be successful and to connect to the material. Course design may need to be a stand alone design, in that there may be no way to ensure that students will take this at the same time as others in order to blog about topics. Yet, it needs a collaborative feel. The teacher involvement with the student may be felt if teachers or course designers make brief video clip appearances.
Guertin, L. A. (2010). Creating and using podcasts across the disciplines. Currents In
Teaching and Learning 2(2), Spring.
McClary, J. (2014). Factors in high quality distance learning courses.
Sanacore, J. (2005). Increasing student participation in the language arts.
Intervention in School and Clinic, 41(2).
TeachThought Staff (2013). 8 helpful assistive technology tools for your classroom.
Wilson, E. G. (Ed.) and Lagarrigue, J. (Illustrator) (2013). Poetry for Young People:
Maya Angelou. New York, NY: Sterling Children’s Books.