Online Learning Tools

When I first started reading the chapters in our book, I began to think about how I can use these ideas for our Micro Credentials we are developing for our district. Based on our recent Bright Bytes data, we know we need our teachers to include more critical thinking activities in their daily lessons. However, do our teachers really know how to teach this and with what tools will make it effective? The questions the authors have included, the Paul-Elder Model of Critical Thinking, to help the learners think is a helpful way to start for our teachers. As an instructor, I can definitely see the benefits of using the prompts or suggested question starters that authors included on page 157 in online courses to promote deeper understanding and conversations. I see how, as a learner, I could use these in our discussion forums as I comment on my peer’s post. Using the idea of creating Micro Credentials allows the teacher to apply these new skills to any content and reflect on the process. I also want to make the research analysis worksheet and credibility/reliability criteria for evaluating resources as other micro credentials for our district. These are all the soft skills our learners need to have in order to be successful and teaching this through micro credentials allows our teachers to learn it asynchronously and at their own pace. In general, the chapters gave some relevant suggestions of how to implement skills in your teaching. It is very helpful and have been able to put these suggestions into use for the next step our district is moving towards.

There are such a variety of tools for educators to use in order to promote social and cognitive presence in their teaching and student learning. One that I really encourage our educators to use is blogging, both professionally and for student learning. Hsu, Ching & Grabowski features some of the recent research on blogging. Blogs can be used as learning logs, publishing and sharing the learning process. It is a valuable reflective tool for the learners, using reflective thinking skills and to track their learning. Blogs can support and achieve collaborative tasks in group work. It can also be used to build communities of practice for learning in authentic and meaningful platforms. Using blogs as a portfolio of the work is advantageous to showcase the work and, again, reflect on their learning process.

Stavredes, Tina. (2011). Effective online teaching: Foundations and strategies for student success. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Hsu, Y., Ching, Y., & Grabowski, B. (2014). Web 2.0 tools and practices for learning through collaboration. Handbook of Research and Educational Communications and Technology, pages 747-758. DOI 10.1007/978-1-4614-3185-5_60