Welcome to Week 4 of the 2014 Spring Semester. For me, the honeymoon is over. The first couple weeks are fun and exciting. Now I will go through a couple weeks of sluggishness.
In each of my classes, the first major projects have been completed. So what have I learned?
In ECH 415: Learning and Teaching Mathematics Grades 1-4, I’ve learned that 30 students in a hands-on undergraduate course is too many. Activities in which I have always loved in the past, have become much more work this semester. I still love the students and the content and the activities, it’s just harder work. And I think my experiments with Flipping the Classroom are working. We’re spending more time on projects and activities and all my “lecturing” is online. And finally, this will be my first attempt at requiring peer reviewing in an undergraduate class… wonder how that will go?
In ED 417: Teaching with Technology, I’ve learned (or at least been reminded) that even though seniors in college act really bored when I say I’m going to show them some new features in Microsoft Word, they actually know very little about the advanced features. The same rings true for PowerPoint. I backtracked a bit this semester and decided to “force” my students to prove that they can do more with Desktop Productivity Tools (like Word and PowerPoint) than the average student. So far, they haven’t been able to prove they know much about either.
In ED 610: Mobile Educational Technology, I’ve learned that staying current is really tough. It seemed like teaching the same class I taught last summer would be a breeze, but tons of apps and links I used in Summer 2013 no longer work or exist in Spring 2014. And of course, there are tons of new apps and links available. This course will be a totally different course every single time I teach it, but thankfully it is great fun!
This week I hope to use an app called Nearpod to help with a presentation I am doing at Clarion for student visitation. Anyone that is in or has taken ED 610 will learn about how Nearpod really rocks my world, but I wonder how it will work with high school seniors and their parents?