Note: This excellent advice for EDCI 336 learners comes from a blog post that Dr. Irvine gave me permission to share with you. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about your inquiries.
In order to make documentation of your learning continuous weekly and not letting it build up over the course, be sure to post weekly for your open inquiry project, post weekly for your tech inquiry project, and to curate your learning for the competencies that should be covered. Remember that these posts are not formal and do not have APA formatting requirements. The tone should be informal but professional (write as if your hiring principal would be reading them). For example, if a learner is learning the guitar as their open inquiry and cell phone use in schools as their tech inquiry, then each week, they would:
1) create a post updating their progress learning guitar. This might be providing information about what youtube channels they found or describing a guitar sessions with a friend or posting a recording of themselves (audio or video) trying to do chords or a song. Reflections can identify obstacles and successes. You can spend on average 15 minutes on this post plus time find good resources or curating your progress. You can find an example of a weekly post on a former learner doing life drawing as her open inquiry project here.
2) create a post updating their progress on learning about cell phones in schools. This might be a post linking to the Alberta Bring Your Own Device policy and writing a quick summary of the document and your reflections on it. Another week, you might review cell phone policies found on school websites. Another week, you might reflection on classroom observations regarding how they handled cell phones in schools. You can spend on average of 15 minutes on this post, plus time finding/reading the article or another activity you may be doing to support your inquiry.
3) Because we will pretty much take you through most of the competencies in each of our classes, take 15 minutes on average to write up a summary of the take aways from that class and your reflections on it. (For some classes, we’ll have time at the end of class to do this.) For example, create a post on the edcamp class and categorize it “edcamp.” In the post, consider linking to various edcamp resources you find online (Google edcamp and link to edcamp.org and you could embed a youtube video of what is an edcamp or link to edcampuvic.ca among other resources we may have shared on #edci336 or #edci336news. Explore the #edcamp hashtag as well, perhaps. Then post your reflections on the experience and how you might see it being used in the classroom or your thoughts on it for professional development. If you discuss edcamp’s role in professional learning, then categorize it also as “professional learning,” which is another competency. You can see an example of how one learner curated her edcamp learning in the spring here. You can view how another learner did some tech competencies here. Be sure to use your own voice as you would like to present it in view of a hiring principal. I have found those teachers with a strong online portfolio get hired quickly. Remember that they google you.
Overall, you’ll spend approximately 45 minutes in total on writing blog posts per week (some of which may be within class time or time released from class for this) plus time on your two inquiries. Finding and reading a BYOD policy might take 20 minutes and practicing guitar might be however much time you put into it. If you play 10 minutes a day three times a week and put another 15 into curating it via audio, that might be 45 minutes in total, for a grand total of approximately 1.5 hours of homework per week for a 3-hour course. A general rule of thumb is to allot 3 hours of homework for every hour in class, so we should be well within this.
NOTE: You CAN double, triple, or even quadruple dip at times and add multiple competency categories to one post:
Example 1: Mixing Tech Competencies From Outside of EDCI 336
If you have accomplished video editing competencies in another course (so long as we’re not both evaluating the tech skills such as titles/transitions/etc.) or in your work in the community, you could make that learning visible on your blog and categorize it “video editing” as per the naming convention and categorize it also “edtech” which is a catch-all category to use when it doesn’t fit into either open inquiry or tech inquiry assignments. We will have one week where we have a video editing class, but you can skip the competency blog for that week as you’ve already done it. If you haven’t made a video for anything else, then curate the video you made from our video editing class as its own post.
Example 2: Mixing Inquiry Posts and Tech Competencies in One Post
The same goes for the video conferencing competency if you connect with a specialist or mentor regarding your open inquiry topic via Skype, then you can make a post for your open inquiry progress and categorize it “open inquiry” and “video conferencing.” We will be covering image editing and creative commons/intellectual property in two upcoming classes. You could download a creative commons licensed image whose license allows editing (which we’ll learn in class), then you could edit it provided the license supported that and use it on a tech inquiry update post. You would categorize that post “tech inquiry,” “intellectual property,” and “image editing.”
Example 3: Mixing Tech Tools and Other Tech Comptencies
If you chose a tech tool review that overlaps another competency, then you can make that one blog post and categorize it with two competencies. For example, if you reviewed an augmented reality mobile app, you could categorize your post “tech tools” and “augmented reality.”
Example 4: Mixing Course Reflections with Additional Comptencies
If you curate information from a class and add your reflections, such as the Most Likely To Succeed film, you could categorize the post “learning design” as it relates to project-based learning. If you recorded your reflections in audio form instead of just text, your post would be categorized “learning design” and “audio editing.”
Example 5: If you joined a #bcedchat Twitter chat, as I know some of you have, you could post a reflection on the experience and categorize it “Twitter,” “PLN,” “Professional Learning,” “Social Media,” “Network Literacy.” As you develop your learning about social media, which includes Twitter, Blogging, etc., and blog about the process of blogging or how to use it in the classroom, then include the relevant categories.
REMEMBER: The course website at http://edci336.ca is your home base with most of our resources and information from instructors. From there, we have additional resources, which may help your learning, such as the EDCI 336 blog hub, where you can see each other’s posts and determine what might inspire you as an example of a good post. You can also click on both the #edci336 and #edci336news links, where we will share important links from the outside world which might inspire you (such as invitations to join a Twitter chat, to a news article you might want to reflect on, to a workshop or online video session/webinar that an organization is offering that you might be keen on, etc.). Many of these may be opportunities for you to complete competencies in a more creative way than simply reflecting on a class, although you can complete most of the competencies this way.