Monday, May 24, 2010

Practice Session

Welcome to EDC586-921---"Using Blogs And Wikis to Foster Literacy."

Throughout these 5 weeks we will be covering a vast amount of information.

New sessions will be posted once a week (by the end of business on Tuesday) Due to the condensed semester, I'll be posting two sessions per week on each Tuesday and you'll have seven days to complete the coursework/assignments.

For this week only, I will be making our first official session's posting on Thursday to allow late registrants to try this practice session before we dive in head first. Please keep in mind that there are new developments and trends in online information every day, therefore we may have to be flexible when interpreting the syllabus. This may mean some modifications, changes and condensing of information.

To ensure that we are covering the most current skills, I will be assimilating and collating information right up until the moment I post a session. This means that each session's link (over in the left-hand margin) will not be accessible until its respective Tuesday. Even so, there may be times when a cited link is dead. If that is the case, I will try to keep saved copies of all the information. Just email me and I will forward the data to you.

During the first few sessions we will be covering foundational skills. This is to ensure that we all have the basic essentials ‘down pat’. Once this is covered, we will pick up the pace and begin to delve into the mechanics, nuances, and meat of our course.

To ensure continuous accessibility to the information within these presentations I suggest you immediately download, and save the sessions, to your computer. I cannot emphasize this enough. Along the left-hand margin, there will be a link for each session. When you click on this link you may be prompted to 'save' or 'open' the session.

Always ‘save’ it to your desktop. Previous participants have found it easiest to organize if they create a folder and store all the sessions in one place. Another option would be to right-click on the link and choose, 'save target as.'

Saving’ the sessions will decrease problems relating to your bandwidth. Also, although it may take a while for a presentation to download (up to 10 min. or more depending upon the speed of your connection) it will be much easier to toggle between a PowerPoint and the Internet if you have it saved to your hard drive. An added benefit is that our weekly sessions will also become portable if you save them to a thumb drive.

Additionally, you will need to have access to a computer that has PowerPoint version ’97 or above to view the presentations. If you cannot hear the sound on them it is possible that the 'wave' element of your volume is either on ‘mute’ or not turned up enough.

Please remember that we are all involved in education. Some of us are pre-service, some in-service, and some are working on becoming adult level instructors. Whatever field of education you may be in, please remember that this is a collaborative course. So, as you post your reflections and comments we will all be responding to you. Therefore, timely responses are imperative. After you have posted your weekly assignment, make an effort to return again later to read and comment about other participants’ assignments.

Once again remember that we are all perpetual learners; constantly growing. I hope to learn as much from you---as you will from me.


Now I would like you to try a practice download. Thursday evening I will update this page with information about our first session. Along the left-hand margin you will see the words "PRACTICE SESSION." Please try to download this session to your computer, strictly following the directions above.

Once you have been successful with this process, please also download the syllabus. There is only one required, purchasable text: ISBN 1-4129-2767-6

You may order it from most online book sellers. Until then you may want to read some of it online (not ideal), but here is the link: Wikis, Blogs, and Podcasts Don't stress too much if it takes a few days to arrive. You'll be able to catch up in no time.

If you run into problems, please review the directions again. It is not uncommon for participants to 'stumble' a little getting used to this interface.

If you run into any trouble after that, then please feel free to email me or call. The smoother I can make the beginning of the semester for you, the more likely that you'll get the most out of the material here this semester

Thank you,

Dave Fontaine
Internet Librarian and Information Specialist, NBCT


Anonymous said...

Hello everyone...My name is Kim Lebrun and I guess we will be taking this course together. My email is I am a newbie to online courses, and I am excited to give this a try.

A little about myself...(I have to say this feels a little weird...) I am originally from Woonsocket, RI, and I attended Catholic and then public school there. After high school, I went on to Northeastern University for a year. When I discovered that I wanted to be a teacher and realized that Northeastern's tuition for one year would be more than my starting salary as a teacher, I decided I should do the economic savvy things and transfer. So I saved myself, and my parents, a boatload of money and transferred to RIC. There I received my BA in English and a certification in Secondary Education and an endorsement in Middle School. Within the last year, I am have started going for my Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language, and this is one of my last two courses for that program.

This is my third year teaching, and I am in my third different position. It is a long story, but the short of it is that I have worked in Cranston then Woonsocket and now back in Cranston. I am currently an English as a Second Language Teacher on an 8th grade Team at Hugh B. Bain Middle School, and it looks like I will be able to maintain that same position next year...Yeah for staying in the same job...

Although this course is being taken as a part of my Masters program and that is a large part of the reason why I am taking it, I am really hoping to get practical ideas that I can use with my students. I am fortunate to work in a building that embraces and utilizes many new technologies and ideas. I am hoping that I can learn how to best use these specifically in my classroom or on my team.

That's all for now...I think I answered all of the questions...I think I wrote too much...It is the English teacher in me...

Mrs. Borges said...

Hi Kim,
I enjoyed your post and learning about your experiences thus far. What private high school did you attend? I actually attended Mount myself and then lived in Woonsocket for about 3 years. We'll have to make references to northern RI artifacts like the Beef Barn. I'm looking forward to reading your contributions.
Lisa Borges