Half Way There

I’ve reached the midpoint of this AQ, and as such am required to reflect on what has happened so far. I say required because it is a requirement of the course that we blog, but I also must stress that I appreciate that the blogging is a component of the course.

A few things have struck me. Rod the instructor has indicated that managing the forums ¬†is a lot like surfing. You need to “Manage the Flow”, ensuring that you jump in early, and then keep looking back to maintain and continue contributing in the conversations. I will admit to struggling with this, as I find the Discussion Forum tool one of the least robust within the Desire2Learn suite of tools. I think the fact that they are revising the tool in the next update would indicate they feel the same way. That said, the blogging component, along with this prodding within the course, has reminded me that it is important to return to conversations you start. I know this seems an odd thing to say, especially when we apply that logic to a face to face conversation, but online, in blogging and discussion forums, it can be easy to state your opinion, and then leave the room, never to return. I used to tell my students that the work they submitted on their blog was the beginning of the conversation, and not the end. I can be guilty of posting thoughts on my blog, and then neglecting to return to contribute to the conversations that take place. I’m trying harder to make sure that when I post to my site, and someone contributes back on the site, I get back there to help keep the conversation running.

The course continues to address issues I am running into in my professional like. The policy questions were¬†particularly relevant, and I appreciated being able to see what other boards do in relation to that work. It seems to be an emerging issue for all of us as technology moves at a pace that exceeds our ability to attend to the use cases and terms of service. The assistive technology pieces have also solidified my ideas about how differentiation in the classroom can attend to so many different facets of meeting the needs of our students. I’ve posted about that in the two previous posts on this site.

So far the experience has been rewarding. I’m looking forward to the second half.

Published by jarbenne

Jared Bennett is the Student Information System Consultant at Hamilton Wentworth District School Board.

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1 Comment

  1. Jared, I always enjoy your blog posts, and this one was no different. Your first reflection got me thinking because when I started to blog by myself and with my students, I found that a comment was made, and that was it. The conversation ended. Now I try really hard to reply to comments, and I get my students to do the same. I’ll even sometimes go back and make changes to my original posts, or have students go back and relook at what they posted. This reflection is so important, and it shows that the learning never really ends.

    I’ve also enjoyed your posts on special needs and assistive technology. I couldn’t agree with you more. This year, I purchased the WordQ app for my personal iPads, and I’ve watched students that do not necessarily need this app do some amazing things using it. Now they’re getting better at revising their work because they’re listening to their work as it’s read aloud, hearing their run-on sentences, and going back and changing them. They could edit their work without this tool, but using this tool well has assisted so many of my students — not just those with special needs.

    Thank you for always giving me so much to think about!

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