This semester I am coordinating an optional second/third year unit for pre-service teachers which is part of an Open Education trial being conducted by Murdoch University. The unit is called ICT in the classroom. “The main purpose of the unit is to give initial teacher education students in the primary, secondary and post-secondary programs the opportunity to consider critically a range of issues of concern to all teachers who use ICT in their classroom” (UILG, 2012. p.4). Unlike most ICT courses, the focus is on learning “with” technology, not learning “from” or “about” technologies.
The unit is based on an authentic learning framework developed by Jan Herrington. Details about the unit can be viewed on the Teacher page on the ICT in the classroom companion website. The teacher page contains a description of the unit, the unit aims, teaching philosophy, unit structure and information about using open educational resources.
My intention is to use this blog to reflect on the course structure and progress. To document my ideas for future improvements and to record my thoughts about what worked and why.
Off to a good start
The semester has started and most students have accessed the Murdoch Open Education Moodle LMS and the ICT in the classroom companion website. Instructions were emailed to students advising how to access the Moodle LMS and the ICT in the classroom course. The email included a link to a short (5 min) video that explains how to login and navigate around the Moodle site. All students were able to access the LMS without further assistance and Moodle reports, student emails and Skype chat posts indicate that students are exploring many of the course resources. Quite a few students have already joined the unit groups (Skype and Diigo) and posted their reflections about 2 or 3 of the unit readings.
One question I have been asked a couple of times is where can I find the Unit Diigo Group? I have answered this in the LMS forum so all students can benefit from the question and my response. I’m not sure why students are having problems finding this information as it is included in point 5 on the Task 1 instructions page on the companion website. However, I realise students are bombarded with a lot of information at the beginning of semester and so I thought a “course structure graphic” might be useful. I have included this visual road map of the course structure on the Teacher page of the companion website. I have also recorded a short screencast that explains the course structure and essential unit resources and uploaded it to YouTube.