While I recognize that this late post might not benefit me in terms of meeting the certificate requirements, I still believe it to be useful to document what I’ve learned this week.
It is a good thing that I was able to get clear on my online teaching preferences last week as I’ve been asked to do some sessions that could benefit greatly from an online component. I’ve been asked by a post-secondary institution to take a number of faculty and staff through an introduction to Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) I’ve taught a few times previously. I’ve avoided online pre and post sessions because of thought of them in terms of very directive instruction which is so contrary to the nature of PLA.
With some of the insights I’d gleaned I want to have them do some online research and form some conclusions to discuss with the other participants as part of the learning process. Then follow up with a discussion session and additional research and shared reflection.
Dave Raggett’s HTML Intro was good (although he should have had examples of the results in the text) but I am already familiar with HTML (Had to teach a course in HTML 1.2 many years ago where there were no web browsers on the machines-did it with a combination of WordPerfect reveal codes and HTML Pictionary-bizarre but it worked) so it wasn’t particularly new. What did amaze me was his explanation of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). While I’ve been able to use them in the past, it’s always been in a very mechanical, copy-and-paste sort of way. Now I feel like I can actually be proactive with them and decide what I want instead of choosing the least problematic look. HTML has proved useful in “tweaking” blog posts, doing quick mockups of how something might look and fixing bad code that has been automatically generated by something like Word when converting a page.
Likewise with Prezi-I am familiar with it, but unlike HTML, I don’t make use of it as it is not particularly welcome in my circle of influence. So I look mot to the Presentation Zen concept of Garr Reynolds to get beyond the limitations of PowerPoint.
I’ve also come to love the practical guides produced by Onlignment-these help you to produce content that is well-designed and engaging. I’m looking forward to sharing some thing here on the blog in the near future.
Lastly, I loved this video by David Crystal. He blends together the major communication advance son the Internet in a very engaging way and then begins to get one thinking about how typical activities will be transformed by providing provocative examples. It has certainly gotten me thinking about change that could come in teaching and learning.