I have been absent from Yes Tech! for too long. Much of my time has been spent creating materials for a 10 week blended learning professional learning course on Google Apps for Education that is being offered to teachers in my district. It is a lot of work, but it is filling a need for several teachers who want to use Google Apps in their classroom. The course is a blend of face-to-face and online sessions, with participants being able to choose options that work best for their learning style and schedule. Each week, they can either attend an in-person workshop that focuses on one of the GAFE tools or attend online at a time of their own choosing. The course will take approximately ten hours for participants to complete over the course of two months, October 15 through December 15, 2012. The goal is for teachers to explore and become comfortable using Google Apps personally and with students.
The course lives on the district Moodle site. I use Camtasia to record instructional videos for each topic, and am building the course as I go. If the course is effective, I will be able to offer the course again and again, with some minor tweaking of the content and activities. I’m learning lots in the process as I explore each tool in depth so that I can create handouts and videos.
I took a Michigan Learnport online course on blended learning in September, and I learned some excellent online teaching strategies. I designed the GAFE blended learning course as part of the Learnport course and decided to jump right in and give it a try rather than wait until I had the entire course created, which could have possibly taken months. Doing it this way has forced me to devote a solid chunk of time on something that could possibly make a positive impact in many classrooms across the district. Right now, all the content is only in Moodle. I plan to share the instructional materials in other ways when I can (Walled Lake Instructional Tech Website or a new Google Site).