3 09 2009

I had a moment of clarity (rare and precious) and realized that though the ELGG all-in-one system has the advantage of convenience — it’s the Moodle with a suite or toolkit of Web 2.0 and Web 3D tools that will serve my students better in the long run.  I just have to scaffold with an interactive timeline, calendar matrix, whatever I can think of to help everyone learn the tools we’ll need when we need them.  But once those tools are learned, then there’s gravy for teachers who can then use them in their classrooms.  I think my knowledgeable and wise instructional designer knew this all the time but also knew I had to see the light myself.

This week’s challenge is to come up with the week-by-week, play-by-play so we can start communicating with programmers about what an interactive timeline should look like.  I’m imagining one that always pops up with today’s date and you can scroll right to see what’s ahead.  XTimeline, I just discovered, does have a detailed function that will show you illustrations and details at a glance. That’s a huge improvement over the dull text-only timeline.  Still, you’d like to be able to see the entire timeline in a more visually-appealing way.  Someone also brought up the question of learning styles and that some people might get nothing out of the timeline.  Will continue to think through this one.

I have a confession.  When I began to map out the play-by-play, I got carried away by the cool things we would do.  Then I thought about objectives.  Oh, yeah, those should precede what we want and need to do.  So I then spelled out the Course Objectives and Session Objectives and Assignment Objectives (and Performance Targets as they say in Formative Assessment).  Guess I had put the proverbial cart before the horse.

I really am finding it hard to imagine that the mini-lectures and group activities that we did in face-to-face class must now be accomplished in some other virtual way.  It’s hard to give those up.  But in other ways, I think there’s much more accountability in an online/inworld course so I’m excited to see the results.

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