Thursday, January 15, 2009
I used M&Ms to facilitate introductions, which involves giving each student a fun size package of M&Ms, asking everyone to choose one of the M&Ms, and then having them share something about themselves that corresponds to the M&M color. With Valentine's Day nearing, I had gotten the Valentine's edition of the M&Ms, so the colors and corresponding statements went something like this -

Pink – If I could go anywhere in the world, I would go to ______ because…
Red – One of my greatest accomplishments is…
Magenta – The person who has most influenced my life is…
White – One of my goals in life is to…

There were many students who wanted to travel to Australia or New Zealand, some who chose parents or teachers as the most influential in their lives, and several who have the goal of being able to use their skills to help others in third world countries. It was a great way to start to get to know each other. With 40-50 students in two sections, it will take me a while to learn all of the students' names.

After introductions, we reviewed the syllabus, some Oncourse basics, and other important course-related info, such as how to download the podcasts and readings. I then helped them create Gmail and Delicious accounts and create a blog in Blogger and a new Google Site. This took most of the rest of the class period for the first section; the second section created the accounts very quickly. Since the second section finished so quickly, I demonstrated how to use Google Sites, and the students created their e-portfolio skeletons. At the end of class for both sections, we toured the Teaching with Technology Lab (TTL).

I guess I'll learn how to manage teaching two sections as the semester progresses. I thought it was interesting that the second section finished so quickly. I will probably keep using the e-portfolio as something that students can work on if they finish the lab activities early.

One thing that I'd like to create for next lab is a list of major assignments and due dates. With teaching two sections this semester, I communicated to the students that I will not be able to track down late assignments. So, I want to make sure that they know what assignments they are responsible for completing and the dates they are due. I still have not decided how I will manage assignments. With the changes in how the Oncourse site is set up this semester, I'm leaning away from using the Assignments area, as the drawbacks seem to outweigh the positives. I am considering using their e-portfolios as a way to receive submissions. I plan to make a decision before lab next week.

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posted by SG @ 3:08 PM  
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Location: Houston, TX, United States
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I am attempting to develop practical instructional applications of developing technologies and provide educators with tools to implementing instructional technologies effectively.
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MUVEs, Web 2.0, assistive technologies, digital video

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