The Start of Something New

blended learning Photo Credit: giulia.forsythe Flickr via Compfight cc

After some deep thinking about this project, and communication with my ACE team at PVSD, I have decided to work on this project individually.  The reason for this is simply because I hope to design an action-research project for my thesis based on hosting a synchronous science 10 blended curriculum (with another school in my division) and I am beginning the process of putting together a proposal for approval.  synchronous learning

 

Photo Credit: giulia.forsythe Flickr via Compfight cc

I hope to have this ready to go for semester 2 of the 2017-18 school year.  Working on this throughout this course will really give me a good opportunity to develop the program while learning and getting feedback from everyone in #eci834 at the same time. I have decided to focus on the Chemistry unit of the Science 10 curriculum.

This week I have begun by first looking at a LMS platform to use.  Originally I would have loved to use Google Classrooms, however, just like Kara (as we belong to the same school division), this is out of the question!  Therefore, I continued to look and have decided to give Canvas a try, it “feels” very user friendly, and the price was right (free if you are willing to be the administrator of your own course, otherwise there is a cost if you want to use a pre-built course).  Has anyone tried Canvas before?  What are the pros and cons if you have tried it?  I am looking for tips before I begin building my module.

As I started to think about how I wanted this module to look and feel, I referred back to Tony Bates chapter 9.3 and focused on the four questions that are suggested we each ask ourselves when deciding what type of mode of delivery to implement:

  • who are  – or could be – my students?
    • I am focusing on science 10 students, in reality I could have students in grade 9 that are taking science 10 in their second semester after having successfully completed science 9 in the first semester.  I could also have students in grade 11 who are either have not taken science 10 yet, or are needing to re-take the course.
  • what is my preferred teaching approach?
    • Synchronous alongside another teacher (more on this later) with a “home school” teacher.
  • what are the content and skills that I need to teach?
    • Science 10 Chemistry unit content as well as lab skills via the scientific method – how to do this????  This is where the home school teacher comes into play.  I hope to teach the course with one or two other teachers at the same time, each of us being a specialist in one of the units within the course – the physics specialist will teach the physics content of the course, I will teach the chemistry content as I am the chemistry specialist, etc…  The classes need to be scheduled at the same time.  The idea is to have the class operate very much like our class does and use Zoom to have the specialist teach all students from all participating schools – they will be there to lecture, ask questions, etc… All labs and demos will be done in all schools at the same time – allowing any questions that students may have can asked to the specialist teacher – but the home school teacher will be there to help the students directly with questions as well.  Each teacher will mark their own students work, this should not be a “make work” project.  BUT it will require a lot of collaboration and planing for a first run through with all teachers involved.  Which is why Canvas may work out well as teachers can import Google Docs into the course.  This idea may even work with students whom are on home based programs – they could log in and still be part of the class virtually when not physically able.  Do you see any roadblocks  to this?  I am looking for input as I am working on a proposal and would love the feedback!
  • what resources will I have to support my decision?
    • Technology!  Zoom, Google Docs, time to work with the other teachers and of course ETHICS and support from divisions, schools and the U of R.

This week we were asked to begin thinking out loud about our plans, I think I may have more questions now than I had when I began composing this blog – but then again, that may have been the idea, right?

 

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9 thoughts on “The Start of Something New”

  1. This is a very ambitious undertaking! It will be amazing no doubt. I shared your blog from last semester with our HS science teacher to take a look at. Natalie and I are in the same boat- I don’t have the option of google classroom, possibly schoology for grade 7/8? We are doing Ecostyems science 7- any ideas, send them our way. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank yo for sharing this Lindy! I am really interested in your project a I have taught science 7 before! Let me know if you get stuck with anything and I will see if I can give you any ideas!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t used LMS platforms before, so thanks for sharing Canvas as an option. I like that it is compatible with Google Docs, as I am already using this. What seem to be the benefits of using Canvas rather than Google Classroom? I’ll have to look into it myself as well. Happy to hear that this project is going to help you with your proposal, and also give more freedom to students!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like you are off and running with this project! Thanks for sharing about Canvas, I have never heard of it but will have to check it out. I appreciate you saying that you might have more questions now than you did before because I am in that very same boat. Looking forward to following along on this big project you are taking on!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ambitious project! That’s great. It’s too bad Google Classroom isn’t an option, as I think it’s a fantastic resource. Good luck! I’ve never heard of Canvas before, so I am looking forward to how it’s formatted.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Kara Taylor's Blog

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