Reflecting back

J.Bevans 2020 CC

Welcome to Week 4! I am back home after a week away unwinding on the beach. I had a great time with my family and also managed to get some more hours in my attempt to learn to surf! I look forward to reading more about some of your personal goals, too!

I am so excited about the amazing blog posts that have been shared so far in the course. I spent yesterday catching up with some of your posts, they are thought provoking, informative and personal. You are certainly finding your voice:

Luiz reflected that he needs to be more proactive in using some of the research tools available to him to continue his professional growth. ” I have always relied on face-to-face professional development, waiting for the research to gain enough momentum to warrant a school paying the big bucks to have someone come and spoonfeed it to me. I now realize I need to become more proactive, particularly as the digital world seems to move faster than things like ‘differentiation’.”

Katya shared that she did not how to write a blog post (because she had never been show how to) AND so she researched it! ” I got the classical education, and I know how to write an article, research paper, or a speech. I have never learned how to write a blog. So, I searched!

Julija’s thoughts turned to critical thinking and giving students the tools to research effectively. “Teachers have a huge role not only in teaching students about critical thinking which they have to apply while using digital tools everywhere – both at school during their learning practice, but also in their personal everyday lives. Young people need to enrich their knowledge about the world around them and be aware of the current global issues. Our students is the future and it is essential to give them fundamental knowledge about digital tools and research.”

Cindy also shares this idea of students being taught research skills because everyone is curious and has things that they want/need to find out.” In today’s day and age, I believe that everyone needs to be capable of finding things out on their own. Of being an inquirer. Of decoding instructions and making them relevant.”

Walking the road with COETAIL: Getting up to date

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This is Week 4 and we know that things come up in our work and personal lives. COETAIL is a journey and the learning does build on each other. By now, you should have completed the following:

  • read and completed all units up to Week 4
  • started to think about your final project for Course 1 (maybe you just started that one second ago)
  • written 3 blog posts & 3 comments
  • recorded the URLs of each of the posts & comments on your grading spreadsheet

It’s OK if you are a little behind, but try to squeeze in some time this week to catch up if you can. It’s great when we are all posted in a timely manner so that comments and conversations can be had by all members of our cohort. Please let me know if you need my help getting caught up. You can find more information about COETAILS late work policy here.

The Course 1 Project

Each course has a final project that is posted as your week 6 blog post (with a project reflection). For course one, you will be uploading a unit plan that incorporates the essential understandings from this course. Ideally, you will be either designing a new unit that you hope to use soon or perhaps tweaking a unit you recently finished so that it’s ready to go for next year. You can find the details, examples, and templates needed here. Feel free to use whatever unit planner layout that you use in your school (just be sure it includes the same key elements in some shape or form).

Connecting with Cohort 11!

A big part of COETAIL is connecting with the wider educational community. Our Online 11 Cohort is currently in Course 5 and I’m sure they would love it if you took some time to check out their blogs.

Not only will it help you build your own PLN, but it will also give you some insight into the coming course work. You can find their blog addresses here.

Blogging Tips

A few questions have been coming in about setting up your RSS Feed. If you are having challenges with this then hopefully some of these articles will support you in getting this all set up.

If there are any questions or queries, with your RSS feed OR anything else, then please email me and let me know. I am here to help! Now onto week 4…

Technology to support meaningful learning

Technology has the ability to transform the learning experiences in our classrooms and schools so that it redefines the learning that takes place. But, how do we plan for tech-rich learning to take place? How do we make the tech-rich learning authentic and purposeful? How can we embed technology seamlessly into our curricular areas?

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I remember that as I was journeying through my COETAIL experience, these questions became so embedded in my psyche! And, I still use these questions with teachers and teams, who I collaborate with on daily basis. I urge you to write them down and return to them not only during this week and for the rest of the Course, but also anytime you are planning for OR reflecting upon learning. They are rich questions that help guide our thinking and understanding about technology rich learning.

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When we choose to use technology in the learning then there are implications in the classroom and the reading will support our thinking & understanding about how we can responsibly and authentically embed technology within their curriculum. In 2020 we are in an amazing time full of engaging resources and really cool tools. As educators, it’s important to purposefully use technology so that it deepens the learning that is going to take place.

This week’s readings will help you dive a little deeper into the topic and help you reflect on your own practices in the classroom. Kim Cofino’s blog post 3 Steps to Transforming Learning in Your Classroom, in particular, will give you some insight into educational frameworks like Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model and how it can aid teachers in planning for the meaningful use of technology in the teaching and learning. I know that I often refer to SAMR when planning units so that the technologies we use facilitate high-order thinking skills and are redefining the learning experiences, for our students.

As you delve deeper into this concept you will find a flurry of other articles, blogs, links and videos that interest you and you want to read – you can read them (if you have time) or try out some of your curation tools (from week 2) Here are some articles that I have curated when exploring this topic:

I will leave you with our essential question for the week: How can we effectively, practically and authentically embed technology within our curricular areas?

As always, continue tweeting about your learning using the hashtag #COETAIL. It’s awesome to see you all building your online community.