Our six week course is halfway finished now, and we have done some really exciting work, especially compared to where we were at the halfway point last cycle. Speaking of last time, two of the returning members Joe and Brylie have continued their impressive work.
Building on his discussions about paragogy in his cycle 3 journal, Joe had a thorough clarifying of the term with Dr. King the past couple of weeks. Additionally he shared an intriguing lesson plan for those interested in implementing paragogy (PDF version / Wikiversity version). Brylie has continued refining the “Music Theory” lesson plan he started last cycle and announced plans to create new lesson plans for people looking to learn the English language “I will begin the English course by identifying/outlining overlapping phonemes between the learners’ native language(s) and the English phoneme inventory.”
Additional developments came as Med started his journal and introduced himself to everyone. He’s an English teacher in Morocco whose also “working on my master degree in Information Communication Technology ( ICT ) in Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada” and who has “a blog called Educational Technology in which i post articles about web2.0 tools and applications educators and teachers need in their daily work.” Celaina also asked Brylie about his work researching the Free Culture movement which yielded a very original answer from the man, or at least one I’ve never heard before.
Positives noted, there is always room for improvement, beginning obviously with myself. I have not been as active or supportive of the other members the past couple of weeks. I didn’t even announce an optional weekly reading assignment for week 3 as I said would in the syllabus.
Luckily we have a special group so they picked up my slack.
On the dawn of week 4 I want to continue with the plan, first by giving out the week’s reading: a NY Times article about Girl Talk, aka Gregg Gillis. He’s a musician whose music is made entirely by re-mixing the work of his peers. I want members to consider how teaching is usually a similar practice as we re-mix what teachers taught us as well as resources we find in textbooks and online. Ideally they’ll be inspired by Gregg as I was.
In addition I feel one of the faults of the course is being too theoretical and abstract, instead of really digging our teeth into Collaborative Lesson Planning [CLP]. Drawing from Joe and Dr. King’s discussion I am asking students to collaborate on the lesson plans I have shared on Wikiversity. I want their opinions, ideas and ideally wikignoming as I prepare my lessons for print publication. Hopefully this exercise will give some who haven’t published lessons a better idea of how-to, and those who have, a better understanding of how to improve resources already online.
Finally, I am going to try and schedule short online chats via IM, voice or video with each member to hopefully make them feel more connected to the course and, for me, find how I can better assist them. I know participating in a chat with Phillip Schmidt this morning as part of the Open Governance & Learning course I’m a member of made me more invested and motivated to participate.