There are more challenges when trying to set this up with students who are learning on their own schedule, at a distance, with some who have little to no internet access at home. I have some students who have told me that they want everything print based with nothing online and some students want as much as possible online and as little physical textbooks as possible. Right now I am able to offer my students either fully offline or a hybrid model but my hope is to have three options to teach my students how they learn best.
In our readings, there was something that really stood out to me and it stuck with me. When doing inquiry based learning, it should be presented in a way that allows all students to benefit. I am currently trying to think of ideas to start designing fully online courses for my grade 8 and my grade 9 students next year. Reading the question “Does the technology appeal to different learning styles, allowing students to produce (not just consume) knowledge and information?” (Staley 2004) this is something that I will be constantly thinking to myself as I create each piece of each course. The document goes on to say “Howard Gardner made us all aware that human intelligence cannot be measured according to one quantity; instead, each human mind is a collection of multiple intelligences, each of varying degree in each individual.” (Gardner, 1983) That is exactly what inquiry based learning is all about - allowing students to learning and showcase their learning in a way that makes sense to them, not just how they are told to do it by a teacher and not by solely reading books and answering questions on a test. These courses will be an opportunity for my students to have another path to learn but it is only if they want to, it will not be something that I force on them.
What I think will go well with this is that I will see what I saw with my other students, an engagement that arises from taking control of their learning. I also noticed when trying this in the past that there was a lot less ‘nagging’ from me for my students to get their work done on time to meet due dates. I have been learning so much through the OLTD program and I am excited to be implementing what I have learned to create more tools and possibilities for my students. Something like GoogleDocs is something that I didn’t know existed before this program and starting next year it will be one, if not the most valuable collaboration tool my students will use.
Staley, D. (2004). Adopting digital technologies in the classroom: 10 assessment questions. Educause Quarterly, Retrieved from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/EQM0432.pdf
H. Gardner, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (New York: Basic Books, 1983)