19 Replies Latest reply on Dec 4, 2010 5:22 PM by Bonnie Feather

    "Enhanced" Essentials Course

    Bonnie Feather

      I just finished a 45-hour Essentials Course today!  The Career Ladder program in my district awarded 45 seat hours to participants. 
      We had 5 8-hour days and 5 hours of homework.  I also added in lots of bonus tech stuff in addition to the wikis and blogs.  For me, it was great to feel I had plenty of time to show them lots of extra web 2.0 tools as well as to simply help many of them "catch up" to some tech skills new to them.  For the learners, they expressed that they really enjoyed the learning.


      Today, as I gave them their certificates and played "Pomp and Circumstance," each one had to tell something new they learned.  They were really appreciative of the time to work on their Unit Plans and to learn how to use some of the things online for student collaboration and PBL.


      I wouldn't recommend this schedule for all courses, but in this case it really seemed to give learners the time they needed to really create some exciting Unit Plans.  I know that all of them will be implemented in the coming year.


      I wonder, have any others led an extended course?  If you could, what would you add to the Essentials Course if you had the time?

        • Re: "Enhanced" Essentials Course

          Bonnie, how cool!  Actually having time to add technology to the Intel Essentials.  If given the time to actually add technology, I would add things like wallwisher and audacity for Podcasting.  Every time I show teachers wallwisher, many of them go back to their classrooms and try it out with their students.  Podcasting is starting to catch on more and more, at least here in AZ.  I have an 8th grade Language Arts teacher that I have worked with in the past who is starting to use Podcasting on a regular basis.  She loves it and so do the students.



            • tech enhanced
              Bonnie Feather

              Neil is right- I added Stixy (I've been using it instead of wallwisher lately- more characters allowed in the notes...) and wikispaces, Delicious, and tons more!  We did our reflections in our own personal blogs on the Engage Community website in our very own group.  We learned about some copyright- riendly music sites, animoto, mixbook, and much more!


              On our last day they all expressed appreciation for all of the extras.  In this district, it has been difficult to convince teachers to spend extra time to learn new tech tools- partly because morale is so low after years of difficulties.  The teachers who are now ready to take an Intel course and easily convinced to bring in new tech ideas as they move toward PBL and bringing in more HOTS.


              I love having extra time to allow teachers to explore as they build their Unit Plans.

            • Re: "Enhanced" Essentials Course

              I do like all of the web 2.0 tools but I think if I had the time I would also include a teaser from the TwT course like maybe one of the tools to get them interested in that course. Hmmmm...Not sure since I have never had the time. I usually am working with online classes so 5his makes it tough.

              • Re: "Enhanced" Essentials Course

                Wow, Bonnie, how cool to have this much time with a group.  I think educators are so in need of time to explore, digest, reflect on practices and dialogue with other educators.  It looks like you were able to give them this time.


                To answer your question, I would share sites such as fur.ly, wallwisher, bubbl.us, and VoiceThread.  I could mention quite a few more.

                • Re: "Enhanced" Essentials Course

                  Bonnie, I have done some extended courses and the participants seem to appreciate the time to explore some of these tools we throw out at them and really develop lessons that incorporate them in a meaningful way. Often we throw so much at them and they get overwhelmed but when you have a little more time they really have time to process and think about when and why would I use a certain tool and then have time to share and help each other. They often don't have time to explore and create when they have someone close by to support them.

                  • Re: "Enhanced" Essentials Course

                    Just wondering what kind of "tech stuff" you added in addition to the wiki's and blogs?

                      • Re: "Enhanced" Essentials Course
                        Bonnie Feather

                        GREAT question!  You remind me that I need to be clearer in my statements!  I did mention Web 2.0 in the next paragraph, and that is what I focused on.  I like to keep up with recent additions to the panoply of online (free) apps we can use in the classroom.  It is such a huge area of growth on the Internet, and I know that teachers do not have time to keep up with it all.


                        So, as a part of my job, I try to be the "scout," the one who goes out away from the main group of settlers to scout out what's ahead on our route.  I try to find new tools on the web, try them out, and help to winnow out the chaff and report the stuff worth keeping and using in the classroom.  For that reason, when I taught the course, the extra tools were somewhat brought in when they seemed appropriate.  I believe I discussed Delicious and Diigo with them, perhaps Wallwisher, and a few shortcuts on keyboards and Office apps.  


                        There are several other discussions here in the community on Web 2.0 apps, if you might want to take a look and see what the community finds interesting.


                        Is the Web Going 2.0?


                        What have you added to your toolbox lately?


                        These and many more discussions are ongoing in the Teachers Engage area.  I hope you find several of them interesting!


                        And don't forget to register for and join the Birthday Bash Webinar on December 7th! It will be fun and there will be prizes!  I love Intel prizes!