Getting started on this topic. Biggest concern right now is moving away from outdated definitions of classroom, hybrid, and online teaching to create courses that use Internet and computer technologies to provide convenient access to the best content and also, support students new to online learning through the process of becoming successful online learners and researchers.
I'm currently enrolled in UCF's BlendKit 2012 to learn more about current practice in designing college courses, particularly gateway courses in the core general curriculum. Very interested in seeing that much of what is considered "new," I was doing back in 1994 at Miami-Dade College with Judy Lever-Duffy, Greg Ballinger, Sonja Meistrell, Chris Migliaccio, and Gale Wooley in the Virtual College. We set several principles for good practice that other colleges, such as Pima and UCF, follow:
1. Require faculty to compose, record, and produce a fully organized and attractively designed course learning guide, including course outline, lessons, readings, viewings, learning activities, reviews, assignments, and assessments.
2. Compose a complete, vetted course events calendar with links to all events and resources.
3. Post interactive (supporting text, voice, and video) online discussions, web conferences, and whiteboards for weekly synchronous group learning and study events.
This morning my thoughts are on the cumbersome and complicated the design of BlendKit 2012. Too many links to too many different activities scatter participant attention and thereby, the key MUST DOs of the course are lost in the small print. After several run-throughs, I've finally discovered the key sites where the assignments are listed and where to post the assignments. They happen to be in two different places, again complicating unnecessarily the design and function of the course sites and tools. I'm trying to figure out why.
We're armed with technology, like the profs of the sixties were armed with secretaries and assistants, but the technology isn't making our communication with our students any better than the distance created by layers of staff in former years. We're wasting precious time letting inadept users fumble around while the promise of enhanced communication, interaction, and collaboration are unfulfilled, at least between the professoriate and learning classes.
It's typical of the ancient Greeks that they conceived of forethought and afterthought as divine siblings, Prometheus and Epimetheus. The ironic antithesis between the two had to be a source of tragedy and comedy, as has become in modern American culture. Although Americans love to think of themselves in Promethean terms, and we do have extraordinary examples -- Steve Jobs the latest of a long line of American Prometheans -- I believe America's Promethean Age is over.
Sunday, January 14, 2012
In August, I started routinely walks at work and home. By September, I was walking nearly every day. Since then, I walk on average 2.5 miles, 5-6 days per week. My longest walk was 6.1 miles in December.
I'm at the point where I can visualize the action of my feet, ankle, femur, and thigh bones as I walk. Today I was able to imagine the rotation in my hip sockets and the phalanges in action as well. I had a full motion picture in my head of each stride and foot fall. My breathing has stabilized as well, 8 steps to each breath cycle. I enjoy the scenery and the air while in a secondary consciousness I follow the rhythmic cycles of my strides and breathing.
At some point, I became aware that the mental movie in my head was mimicking the actual steps to the point that missteps on stones and loose pebbles were "captured" in my mental view of each step. My arms and legs were in sync, left arm and right leg forward, right arm and left leg forward, each step a coordinated movement of appendages, torso straight, hips and shoulders the pivots for each stride. Adjustments for rocks, ridges, grooves, debris, and pebbles in the dirt roadways and paths were shifts in my footfalls, sometimes a quick twist of ankle and knee to avoid injury and slowing the pace.