It has been approximately 9 weeks in the making and yet time has flown this semester! Kelly and I decided within our very first class that we wanted to create something for the Vocational Program that we are both passionate about. I teach within the VA Program and Kelly is the coordinator for and has also previously taught within. With a heavy emphasis on Work placements to ready our students for life after graduating high school, we also chose the Career and Work Experience curriculum as our focus.
Photo Credit: One Way Stock Flickr via Compfight cc
On Tuesday our class will be exchanging our course prototypes to another (anonymous) group for feedback and critiquing. It is a very exciting but equally nervous time! Kelly and I are new to the blended learning module concept but after this experience are definitely thinking that it has so many benefits for the students. For the fall I want to have all of my classes offered through Google Classroom as that is the LMS that Kelly and I used. As Andres had also posted, Kelly and I chose Google Classroom without really testing out any other of the LMS platforms besides what Alec and Katia had shown us in class. We both agreed that we felt most comfortable with trying out Google Classroom as there are already a number of teachers using it within our schools so in addition to this class’ online community support, there would be a number of colleagues just down the hall that I could run to for additional support! In our division, all teachers have Google accounts and within the school itself, most if not all documentation is done through Google (3 way conference sign up sheets, bookings for the laptop/Chromebook carts, the school van, etc). Our students as well are hooked up with google accounts and are asked to save all of their work to their Google Drive so that they can access their work from anywhere that has an internet connection.
Once we had our LMS all figured out it came to the question of how are we going to take our CWEX curriculum and make it “blended?” I decided I wanted to try out a video somehow but was unfamiliar with which program to use. It came down to Windows Movie Maker and an Adobe program. I was able to download Movie Maker on my own without having to put in a request from tech services so that was appealing and again another colleague had used Movie Maker before so it was nice to know someone who I could again “run to” if the need arose! It all turned out to be much less intimidating and frightening than i was preparing myself for! My oldest son came along for the taping of my video and added in some cute commentary that made my day as I started the editing process!
Overall I am very happy with our modules and look forward to hearing some feedback from an outside group. I also am looking forward to making my own classes all blended, likely through Google Classroom, for the start of next school year although I am even thinking of posting any new assignments into Google Classrooms right away rather than printing so much off into the student’s duotangs. This way students can catch up at their own pace after being away for whatever reason and it will make my principal happy that I am using less paper! Its a win-win for everyone!