I am building out an online course. It is a cumbersome task, but starting with an outline has definitely made this process manageable. I have been able to translate my outline to folders and subfolders in Schoology, and grow my course in a structured manner.
Creating a predictable folder structure will also allow students to more easily navigate the class as they progress through the modules. Establishing the folder structure early on helps me keep track of what modules need populating and which have all components. At some point, I should check to see what the course looks like from the student perspective. This is my first run with Schoology. If only there were more time in the day.......
Along with all of the online discussions, viewing, and reading, I have been making my way through the COVA eBook - Choice, Ownership, and Voice through Authentic Learning Opportunities, by Dwayne Harapnuik, Tilisa Thibodeaux, and Cynthia Cummings. I felt an early connection with this book when in the introduction, Dr. Harapunuik writes of the difficulties he experienced interacting with traditional schooling. I wasn't cut out for traditional schooling. I made it through my 10th grade year in one of the finest public education systems in the state of Pennsylvania before I jumped ship for my self-guided homeschool experience. I now have two sons who don't fit neatly in with the general population. I believe that these ideas about giving students choice and voice in how they learn would go a long way in allowing my children to find more connection, success, and happiness with the educational system. Right now one is already getting lost. How do we transition the old industrial-era model of instruction to the COVA model? How do we educate millions of students in a way that we know is more meaningful when we as a country barely fund the current model? We want trauma-informed care training and supports, restorative justice practices implemented, instruction based around COVA practices. To do them all, we need radical change to our systems and real funding for the supports that make these practices work in practice. I am excited to learn more about these practices and see these ideas spreading, and understand that this is the beginning of that transformation. I hope that my children's teachers are learning about COVA and applying the COVA ideals into their student learning experiences that they provide. I hope that one day, our students will truly have choice and voice. Until then, my boys and I will be doing the best we can on this learning journey.
I have been taking online classes with a wonderful group of people over the last few months. I have seen many of their posts and comments on our discussion boards, viewed some of their recorded video responses, but I know very little about these people whose paths have merged with mine for these last few months. This is the first class that we have all been in where I feel that I have gotten a good look at who they really might be. Although one class relied heavily on video recordings for discussion posts, I can't say that a rehearsed and recorded video gave me a look into someone's soul. Perusing the websites of my counterparts has made me feel so much more connected to the group. I feel now that I have a better understanding of their personalities and I can hear each voice. Everything from the organization, layout, color scheme, font choice, and what content each of us chooses to include says a lot about each of us. This is really where the COVA philosophy shines through and we can see each of us as the individuals that we are.
I think I am the queen of driving a technology support desk insane with a wacky unfixable problem. My latest issue has been with the attempt at migrating my ePortfolio to a subdomain. My intention was to separate my working site from my school site. I direct students to this site, so I was not too keen on having so much about myself so easily accessible. Having all of this out here also makes a lot of information about what I am doing up front and public. Grad work, personal life, beliefs, CV....... I know that I can limit what I put out here, but part of these reflections are meant to be about the process. Back to the tech issue --- After tinkering with Wordpress, considering rebuilding from scratch seemed impractical. I realized that one reason that I paid for webhosting was for customer service! I could clone my site to a subdomain and add my eP pages. I wouldn't have to rebuild everything AND I could retain the work that I had previously completed on my site. Cloning the site worked great! I was excited to see it live at ep.myitrt.com. The first step was a success! But alas, editing would be my downfall. That must have been too much to wish for from the internet gods. Sadly, they frowned down upon me and my request, and my help ticket is now stuck in support ticket purgatory. If you have a heart, send a prayer to the internet gods for the ascension of my eP. For now, it resides at myitrt.com.
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