Stage 4 – Ready to go…

It Must’ve Been The Game

The downloading issues, and extreme slowness at school on Friday, I figure it must have been because every staff member and credit student was tuned into the Olympics hockey game.   I was thinking that maybe this speed is just how it is, that I’m going to have to get used to it.  Then I went home.

canadian_olympics.jpg.size.xxlarge.promoI don’t always take my work home, but when I get started on something, I usually want to finish it.  Especially if it’s cool.  So I loaded up the home PC and tried again to get through the material in Unit 3 of Stage 4.  It was lightning fast.  Point, click, video…  So I downloaded Hot Potatoes, WebSequitur, and WebRhubarb.  And the downloads did not take 1.5 hours.  Done in minutes.

Plan for My Course

The next thing I have to do is to start laying out the course and then create some Web 2.0 material for the group.  I am a visual person, so I need to see the course.  I’m going to need to set up a calendar, because I don’t want any time-related surprises.  Often I think of the course in 12 evenly distributed 1-week chunks.  I forget stuff like PD days, minor holidays, field trip days.  I’ve already got at least 5 field trip days planned, so already, 5 days gone.

From what I’ve learned already in Stage 4 (which, by the way, never ever google “stage 4” thinking you’re going to find a clever graphic), I know that I am going to look more into developing a WebQuest for the group.  I like that idea quite a bit, and think that it will work well with a Retail theme.

My Short List

  • make up a calendar for the next retail class
  • field trip plan: Fabricland, Bridal/Tuxedo shops (for fitting language), The Bay, Fanshawe College (Costume Design), WIL
  • enter the outlines into the course
  • find out how to add the students to the course (in Stage 3, I was given a number of logins)
  • start creating material using Hot Potatoes
  • talk with Jim about what I’m supposed to be doing (maybe this should be first…)

I knew I was always going to do Stage 4, and now I wish I had budgeted my time better back in January so I could have started it sooner.  There is a lot to get to know.  And the Unit/Topic #3 stuff?  I def. will be watching the videos more than once, especially once I start putting the material together.

I wish that there was a larger Stage 4 community so we could bounce ideas off of each other.  As it is, if you look at the forum, there hasn’t been action there in a year in some cases.  I feel like I’m the only person on the planet doing Stage 4.  And I know that one of my colleagues is as well.  We had once been logged on at the same time, and I excitedly sent her a message from the site, but never heard back.  You have to know to check your messages or they all just sit there in the virtual mailbox forever.

Got a nod from LearnIT2Teach

In case you’ve arrived here fresh from the LearnIT2Teach December newsletter, just thought I’d fill you in a little on what I’m doing here.

I’m lucky.  I’m fortunate to be able to get to experiment with not one but two Learning Management Systems at my workplace.  I use my LearnIT2Teach Stage 3 platform for my ESL Retail course, and have had some great success with it.  Moodle has a lot of advantages; Moodle + LearnIT2Teach is even better.

Because I work for a school board, I have been granted access to Desire2Learn, another kind of a LMS.  I was able to use it last summer, and I was just now (as in last week) given the green light to use it for the SLT program out of my school.

I’m in the unusual position of being able to use and comment on two different LMS’s.  So while I initially set up this blog to record my foray into the virtual learning environment, I had NOT  planned to keep it going after the end of my summer blended learning course.  However, one thing led to another, and I decided to keep on blogging, if only to keep things straight for myself.  How did I resolve the SCORM issue in D2L?  Where is the blog tool again?

I have also been searching for others, like me, using LMS’s, to learn from them.  You all seem to be few and far between.  Or at least disinclined to posting your rants on a public forum.

So, in this blog, I write about the different features or functions of an LMS, and when I can, I compare the two systems with which I am becoming familiar.  I don’t have a tech background.  I’ve had to learn all of this stuff by doing it (ye olde experimental method) and through LearnIT2Teach.  They’ve been invaluable.  Much of the information that you can learn from them using the open source LMS can be transferred to a proprietary LMS,  many of the same bells and whistles.

Anyhow, I’m Jennifer.  Nice to meet you. Comment if you wish.