Thursday, 14 May 2020

The Instructor as Learner

In Ontario, preservice teacher education is moving from a one-year program to two. This means the Language Arts course I have been teaching for 2.5 hours a week over 20 weeks will now be divided into two years. Fifty hours now becomes 72, and I will be teaching the entire 36 hours each year in one term. This fall I will have a class of 30 students for 3-hours a week for 12 consecutive weeks. In year 2, the same students will see me twice a week @ 3 hours per class over 6 weeks. This means longer classes over a more condensed time-frame.

This change in time and structure has made me rethink how I will conduct my class. A blended learning approach, in which there will be both an online and face-to-face component each week is the direction I will take. Within this structure I am hoping to create a dynamic course in which I model principles of 21st Century learning. Subsequent posts will describe what I plan to do and chart my progress and challenges.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Kahoot and the Ontario Curriculum: Language

This week we began our exploration of the Ontario Curriculum: Language 1-8 by reading pages 8 & 9 of the document independently. The information covered some basic organizational principles underlying the curriculum. Then each table group competed in a quiz on Kahoot. One person on the team logged into Kahoot from a digital device and entered the PIN that I gave. There were seven multiple choice questions, and points were given for accuracy and speed. The table members coached the person with the device so that the answer could be recorded as quickly as possible.

This quiz site is incredibly motivating. I have seen a grade 3 class jumping up and down to answer questions about text features of non-fiction print! It seems that the competitive nature of the tool, the background music, and the immediate feedback on results all help to increase motivation. It's a tool for testing facts but not for learning new concepts. The creator has the option of a multiple choice quiz, true/false, or questionnaire. The teacher is given results to show which students struggled with which questions. Every student with a device could answer independently, but it slows down the process and is quite cumbersome.

When a teacher creates a Kahoot, it can be made private or shared publicly. Users can then search the public archives and select quizzes from many subject areas. They have not been vetted for accuracy, so it's important to try it out first. To access my Kahoot for the Ontario Curriculum, first create an account and then search for Ontario Curriculum - Language - 2015.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Week 1: Introduction to Junior/Intermediate Language

The central question for this week and next is "What does it mean to be literate in the 21st. century?" A jumping off point is an Opinion piece in the Toronto Star, written by Tai Notar, a second year university student. The piece is entitled "Don't ban laptops in university classrooms