I am posting from Cue 2007. I have spent the last two days in a Moodle training session and though the actual conference has not started my head is already spinning. For those of you who may not be familiar with Moodle check out their web site .In short it is an open source version of Blackboard.
Last night as I reflected on my experience there were a couple of things that are worthy of note. First is one feature that is part of Moodle which was news to me. Within each course you can add a RSS feeder to enhance course content. This is a great feature for those of us determined to give student access to Web 2.0 and up-to-date information for their course of study!
The other issue I have been reflecting on is course design. As I struggled through my learning curve in trying to construct a course I found that the traditional elementary and middle school model of lesson planning was not well suited to this new tool. Don’t get me wrong you could put up a very traditional class but in my opinion to utilize its full capability you need to think outside the box. I have not fully thought out what this means but I have a few ideas that I think need to be examined. At the K-8 level lesson planning has always focused on daily objectives and in recent years with project based learning and essential questions there has been some movement toward looking at the bigger picture but I still believe that for the most part K-8 balks at the idea of syllabus and long range planning. The argument so often is the” teachable moment”, I can’t plan very far out. Okay I get that but I do not fully buy it. If we want kids to take charge of their learning we have to stop dishing out discreet portions and become facilitators of a bigger picture. I was trying to plan a lesson for seventh grade on the early history of
We can only find time for this kind of exploration and learning if we have a clear idea of what is essential in the big picture otherwise we are tied to our textbooks, our daily objectives. and discreet bundles of knowledge which are soon forgotten after the test.
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