Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Online Class Environments
My physical classroom environment set-up has been put on hold for a while ... let's just say it is a work in progress. I've had more success thinking about how my online class environments will look this year. Some of the big ideas that underpin elearning pedagogy have helped me make decisions on which direction to take.
First, the notion that classrooms in the 21st century should be "open walled" enabling learning to occur wherever and whenever. I've renamed our class wiki to help promote this idea in the minds of my students - I even took a screen shot of the wiki banner, ran it through PosteRazor (which is a free mac app that allows you to blow images up a large as "printed it off - laminated it and stuck it on the "front" wall of the class.
If you have a mac go to http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/20738/posterazor
Looking for a web 2.0 tool? http://www.blockposters.com/
I'm hoping this poster will help promote some discussion amongst students.
Second, the notion that social media is the means by which students today communciate and learn. I found this to be particularly true of my class last year. Out of a class of 30 students, 29 had facebook accounts. I was quite surprised (although I guess I shouldn’t have been). With this in mind, I’m going to trial a “closed platform” network for my class this year, it does have a few limitations, but the potential for creating new and rich learning experiences is huge - I’ll post more on this later.