Monday, January 10, 2011

Waiting for Spring….

With another six inches of snow last Friday (I am tired of shoveling) and another 6-12 inches predicted for late Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday, I am anxiously awaiting Spring even though I do not know what it will mean for me professionally.

As many of you know, Cooperative Education is undergoing a restructuring – a plan that has not been clearly thought out since no operational issues have been addressed. However, it looks as though I will be transferring to the Business & Technology Department which makes sense since these are the students I have been working with most closely these past 17 years. My discipline situates me in Social Sciences but that’s another story.

Because of the upcoming restructuring and our split classroom/advising credit distribution, I utilized some banked released time, some grant released time and taught four classes in Fall I to satisfy my teaching obligations for academic year 2010-2011. This means that my plans for Spring are tentative. I am currently teaching two hybrid seminars in Fall II and have built in some of the activities from the Fall such as wikis and VoiceBoard. These worked well so I plan to continue this.

The plan for Spring has me teaching CEP 121-Fundamentals of Professional Advancement (FPA), the online section and a section of IND100-Portfolio Development. These are both technology rich classes with a sprinkling of Web 2.0 and Blackboard activities. FPA is so connected to Blackboard and Digication that I am cautious about moving away from using them since I will be more of an “adjunct” in Cooperative Education in the future.

Wishes (goals) for the Spring:
1. I want my students to complete their work.
2. I want Blackboard to be more responsive to with integration of Web 2.0 technologies.
3. I want to include more tips and tricks worksheets for Blackboard usage.
4. I want to utilize more audio files – mine and the students.
5. I want to utilize cloud computing more – Microsoft Skydrive/Web Apps and Google Apps – since many students do not own the software of the business world.
6. I want the college to stop changing particular aspects of how to use/share ePortfolios and recognize the online sections need immediate access to Digication.
7. I want the Cooperative Education transition to be smoother than I anticipate so that I can actually concentrate on my work with students.

I read over my postings for the Fall and realized that once again I pushed my students to do quite a bit of work. I know though that they are better prepared to move into internships and the workplace when they complete my course but it is hard to get them to understand this. There is a continued resistance and delay in taking FPA that I start with an uphill battle each cycle.

We use more technology than other FPA sections and this works against students who are not tech savvy – yes, there are still a large number of them. We do many short, low-stakes assignments that it may be easier if I redesign the course but with a change in my own status, I do not plan to do this for Spring. With my technology background (I also have a doctoral certificate in Interactive Technology & Pedagogy) perhaps I will be looking at doing more in my new department.

One thing that surprised me about my postings is that I wrote more than I thought I would. As many know, I am somewhat resistant to posting on a blog but since it was more of a “reporting” of weekly activities, successes and failures, it was easy enough to do. I appreciated the comments that other made to my posts and the positive feedback on what I was doing reinforced my plans to continue to include this in the course. VoiceBoard is new and worked well – so much better than the VoiceThread assignment that I need to find a way to make this work better in Spring since my class will only be meeting online. One new piece I plan to do in Blackboard is have students complete their HomePage as an introduction, uploading a photo so that we can make connections earlier in the semester.

I was surprised to see so many others using personality type activities and career focused activities. There needs to be a better way to work collaboratively so that students do not see these assignments as duplication but another way of looking at themselves and their future. I look forward to continuing my reading of other posts and enjoy Rich’s technology skills.

1 comment:

  1. Let's chat soon. I am going to try to do some virtual remote avatar course links.Maybe we can collaborate.