Saturday, May 28, 2005

Self Reflection about Moodling

Warning: This post is a self-reflection of this past semester. I am thinking out loud about our experimentation this past semester with Moodle. One use of moodily I discovered out of necessity was in managing individual instruction. If you find errors in my spelling and or grammar, please over look them. I just typed it as it flowed though my memory. I will go back and look at this post something this summer and edit it, or just delete it. The last six weeks of the school year, we always receive high school students that had been taking difficult courses. For example, in my third period class, I had one student taking Spanish II, one taking Earth Science, one taking Algebra, and one taking Geometry. By law, alternative schools must offer classes that the students were taking at their regular school. So, individualized instruction is a fact or life for the teachers at North hatefully Academy. Of course, I am neither certified nor highly qualified to teach all these singletons as they are referred to sometimes. The moodily website enables me to setup a course and post links, lessons, web pages, share text files, images, video from UnitedStreaming, and things that I not learned how to do still. Even though it is no practical, I would love to access actual teacher lesson plans of the regular schoolĂ‚’s teacher, an audio of the instructional conversation (the lectures), handouts as files and quizzes. This would constitute a correspondence or distance-learning course. That way, the student could continue working on assignment from their former teachers (in most cases, their classroom teachers had not issue with the student and the reason for them being kicked out of their school was something that happened in the bathroom, parking lot, bus, or somewhere in between). So the teach they had in their regular school actually are concerned about their academic success. We do not have enough technology knowledge for teacher to keep all their pacing guides, lesson plans and such online. Teachers also lack time to post all this information.

Instead, the student is given worksheets and a textbook and must rely on their own reading skills. I had no ancillary materials for these different classes. So, most of the assignment have to come from searching the world-wide-wait. When we are assigned students that are LD in reading, they really have difficult time learning. I can only provide one-on-one instruction to one student at a time when they all have different courses.

I have been working with a neighboring school system to develop a Moodle server. They also have an alternative school. I have a vision of possibly setting up online courses such as these for at-risk students and alternative school students. Not really a virtual high school, but more of a classic individualized class or templates of course activities that can be quickly customized for short term students. I have not really settled on what the Moodle should look like. I have been using a program called by EasyTech and really like the way it works. It has Flash based lessons and activities that can be printed out ( for reinforcement and self-assessment).

I found this great presentation about Moodle online. It is basically an audio of a guy reading a PowerPoint presentation. I like this because if you need to listen to a particular section, you can click on that part in the menu and go right to that topic. The menu is located on the left hand side of the window. It also has an integrated media player control bar feature. I like this for using a digital projector so I can easily pause and ask or answer questions. Intro to a Moodle Course

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