Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Updating my online course

At the end of each semster I look at notes I've made to myself and the results of student feedback to update the syllabus for my University at Buffalo online course on using Internet tools in the classroom. Although I have less time this break because of babysitting my adorable twin grandchildren, I'm going to make some changes. I am also checking the detailed feedback that I received from Robert Squires through the Webheads Yahoo group.

There are two areas I'd love to explore but need more time to investigate. They are creating videos and utilizing gaming. However, I think that I will be able to include having the students search for good videos on YouTube or TeacherTube which they can link to from their blogs.

As per Robert's advice, I also plan to put in course objectives. Strange that I always make my students use objectives in their lesson plans, but I didn't do it myself! I plan to use the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) created standards National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers since I not only have second/foreign language teachers in my class, but others as well.

I hope to finish my update ASAP.


Rita Oates said...

Have you thought about doing something with ePals for your next class? It's free, it's global, and it's multilingual. ELL teachers and FL teachers both have many powerful ways to use ePals for authentic communication by their students with others. Many ELL teachers outside of the English-speaking world find online pen pals for their students through the Classroom Match. Also, ePals offers safe and protected student email (with teacher monitoring if wanted). In addition, many classes use SchoolBlog for a protected blog, where they can post pictures of students in each class but NOT be open to all people on the Internet. Check out for all these free tools.
Also see the white paper co-authored by Ferdi Serim and others on the ISTE standards and ePals at:
In2Books is a project of ePals, and I think you were involved with In2Books before the two groups merged.

Maryanne said...

Hi Rita,
Actually, ePals is included in a mod on global cooperation where the students explore and compare two of the following sites: The Global Schoolhouse, Iearn, k12 science collaborative projusted, kidlink taking itglobal and Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration.
Many of the students chose ePals and were quite impressed. Some of the students from Asia were particularly interested in In2Books, but when I checked with the company, that program is only available for classes in the US. I hope they expand it in the future.
I will definitely check out the SchoolBlog feature. Safety is always a big concern and that sounds promising.