Welcome to Week 4!

By now you should have:

  • read and completed all readings in “Week 3″ in Course 4 under “My Courses
  • written 3 blog posts and 3 comments
  • recorded the URL of the post and comments you would like assessed as part of COETAIL on your grading spreadsheet in the Course 4 tab
  • had a read through the details of the final project for Course 4
    This final project is different from previous courses as it’s designed to help you start thinking about your Course 5 project. Each of the options has specific requirements that must be included so make sure you understand what they are.

Blog Posts from Round #1

I really enjoyed and appreciated reading the in-depth, honest and personal reflections of the Weeks 1-3 topics.  Especially interesting was were people thought they were in relation to integrating technology – SAMR and why they thought they were there.  Several of you saw the potential of where you are now as focal points for what to aim for in your Course 5 Final Project.  Brilliant! I’m sure that you’ve realised that we keep referring to the Course 5 Final Project A LOT in Course 4!

A few blog posts that particularly resonated with me are:

  • Laurie’s roadtrip analogy struck a chord with a few of you (judging by the comments). Getting lost and/or having breakdowns along the way is so relatable for all of us – worth a read if you haven’t already seen/read it!
  • Mavis shares her new role and reflections/ponderings in her blog post, Walking a New Path. Her post highlights the somewhat cyclic nature of where we may find ourselves on the SAMR model depending on what we are doing and/or who we are doing it with.
  • Tara reflected on herself using the ISTE Student Standards in  Not Quite There Yet – something I’ve not seen anyone do before – also worth checking out if you haven’t seen it/read it already.
  • Reading about project, problem, and challenge based learning had Pamela thinking about her Course 5 project, embracing it yet sharing her honest reservations at the same time.

The Future of Learning?

There is much to explore in this area and many different perspectives. Of course we’ve all heard about the many ways that our current school system is failing our students, and back in Course 1 we looked at some big ideas for re-imagining what school could be, This week we will explore some learning strategies that are becoming more and more popular and may have an impact on the way we think about schools. As an introduction, you might enjoy this RSA Animate: Re-Imagining Work (I think you’ll be able to make the comparison to schools quite easily):


 Badges

The idea of badges is not new, but the development of digital badges, allowing verification, tracking and recognition across schools and universities has become quite a hot topic (and very polarizing). For an overview of (as they claim) everything you need to know about badges in the classroom, check this article from The Journal.

HASTAC also has a great introduction:

We’ve developed badges for COETAIL recently, so it will be interesting to hear your thoughts on the concept – would you put a COETAIL badge on your website?


MOOCs

Massively Open Online Courses –  What happens when universities start “giving away” their content (taught by their professors)? What happens when students can design the perfect program of instruction from outstanding universities, without paying for anything, and receive a verified digital badge as evidence of completion? Or is this isolated learning environment doomed to failure?

Definitely check out a few of the links in the opening section of this blog post. But be warned, you can get lost for hours/days/weeks in them!


 Global Collaboration

Working in international schools we know the value of understanding different cultures, and how our experience living in different countries may change our own perspectives on the world, but what if you never left your home country? The concept of connecting students to their peers in different countries, to learn, collaborate and create together is one way that teachers are helping students develop those cross-cultural skills that are often quite common in international schools. If you’re interested in starting one of these projects, you might find Kim’s posts on global collaboration helpful.

One of the most well-known examples of these kinds of projects is Flat Connections (formerly Flat Classroom Projects), managed by Julie Lindsay. Here are some student-produced globally collaborative service projects proposed:


 Connectivism

Now that you’ve experienced the majority of the COETAIL program, hopefully you’re getting a good feel for connectivism. If you’re ready to start implementing some elements of connectivism in your classroom, here’s a great introduction to what that could look like:

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