Open Media Technology

I have often utilized open education technology as a student.  My first graduate degree was earned utilizing open technology.  Five years later, I am now earning my second graduate degree utilizing the same technology.  I have discovered technology has changed exponantially over the course of five years.  What saved me from lost and confused was my new experience utilizing open technology as a teacher.  I have become most familiar using the open technology Moodle.

Moodle.com

I teach courses each semester for students who have earned a Bachelors degree and are returning to complete requirements for teacher licensure.  Most of these students have full-time jobs and families.  By utilizing Moodle, the students will complete what is typically a sixten week course in eight weeks.  The students meet once a week and spend time completing the rest of their work using Moodle.  The students are able to continue working, taking care of their families, and stdying, while completing the course.  I have found my students to be most engaged when I ask questions that can have many different answers.  Additionally, I have to participate in the Moodle discussions frequently.  I continually guide the conversations and lead the students to new learning.  I give the students the tools they need to learn without necessarily being taught.

Wikis (wikipedia.org)

Wikis were alien to me until the last class I took.  I was scared and intimidated by them.  What I found is Wikis can morph with the users and offer comfort to people like me who are not fond of anything that are black and white.  Wikis offer an alternative to textbooks which are frequently outdated and soon as they are published.  The Wikis can be updated when new information emerges.  Students are more engaged with the Wiki because they can add to the learning.  Traditionally, the information comes from the teacher and is delivered to the students.  With Wikis, information is shared by all parties.  Lastly, I like that Wikis stay around for as long as the server allows.  The assignments are not merely thrown away.  Future students could have the opportunity to learn from prior class work.

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6 Responses to Open Media Technology

  1. Jennifer says:

    After reading your posting this week I remembered that about two years ago I got an opportunity through a local a college here in California offered a training in Moodle. I had the chance to work with other instructors in the course and basically you were setting up classes as if you were teaching. It was nice, but I took on more than I could handle at the time I was in school and working trying to do this full course. The course is set-up like our Walden courses but required a lot of interaction and the learning process of learning a whole new learning management system was a lot. I did not finish the training and looking back I did not care for the Moodle set-up however I did enjoy the interactions that I had with the other instructors. When things slow down I think I will try it again as some of the online schools use Moodle or a form of it as their main platform.

    Jennifer

  2. blaqgem76 says:

    Angela,
    I have always been a little leery about Wikis. I worry about the accuracy of the information. However, using it as a way to share information with students is something I would consider. Students could share the techniques and tools they use to help in their studies with their peers. Instructors are able to interact with the students and pass on additional information and tools without taking away from the allotted class time. I will certainly give Wiki’s a try before truly deciding how I feel about them.
    Thanks for sharing.
    ~Dee

  3. ericaroark says:

    Angela,
    Wikis are also something new to me, yet they sound very useful in being able to share information between students and the instructor. I can see it as a boost to the course discussions and as a place for class groups to meet to work on projects. I do have concerns with the accuracy of information-as Dee mentions in her response-as we are not always sure where the information is coming from. Yet, it may be interesting to play with one for awhile and see how it might supplement the learning going on through visual feed.

  4. rkylekennedy says:

    Hello Angela,
    My experience with wikis is mostly with software and technology changes, as it changes so quickly printable revisions are just not possible. They are great for students to be able to share information and knowledge as peers. Their biggest downside is their accountability, as you never know if the information has been verified. I would use wikis in my ESL classrooms as a way for students to share their understanding of cultural experiences.

  5. Hi Angela, Moodle sounds like a great platform to use to engage students in distant learning courses. I think what I like about it most when researching this week is the flexibility you have to create the course content you want. The low cost also makes it a good choice in terms of budget constraints. Wiki’s can be a valuable tool as well. In my experience I have used the education link in wiki spaces to set up a class wiki. I think its a great experience for students to promote collaboration when working on a group project.

  6. Jane says:

    Angela,
    Great minds think alike! I also chose Moodle because I feel it has some much to offer as a course management platform. In a previous class I worked in a collaborative group and we used Moodle to host a course we created for the online learner. I found it easy to use, therefore making it something that all levels of learners could use.
    Jane

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