I have been working on this project off and on for two years and yet it is still not done. However, the fruits of my labors are not found in the completion of the project they are found in the learning opportunities it has afforded to me. I’ve learned about organizational theory, Blended Learning and a bunch of new tech tools such as VideoScribe, Powtoon, Voki and much more. Regardless of the outcome of this project the tools and strategies that I will walk away with are well worth the time spent.
Last year I developed the curriculum for a course that I envisioned would be delivered online as a supplement to the school’s regular offerings. The idea was to combine a popularized organizational theory created by David Allen coined Getting Things Done and Google Calendar (which is what our school predominantly uses to organize ourselves) to help our community improve their organizational skills and habits. This year’s focus was to continue that work by taking what had been put down on paper and giving it life in the form of a blended learning module hosted in Haiku Learning.
As usual after the first two face-to-face meetings I was energized and spent a lot of time thinking up ways I could get the students to want to complete the course. I created crazy Vokies like this one to try and get them to laugh. These small vignettes are entitled “Archer’s Advice” and they are small bits of information meant to extend the students learning beyond the learning outcomes of the unit. But as the year progressed and things started to get busy it was harder to dedicate time to the project. This is where collaboration was key to my success this year. After the second face-to-face I was given the advice (on a sticky note during the action plan walk) that collaborating with someone else in the school could help to progress the project. I took that advice and partnered with the IB diploma coordinator from the Wernham West Centre for Learning (CFL). With that collaboration I had someone that was interested in making the project happen and that could help to keep me engaged. We set up a standing weekly meeting and started splitting up some of the work. As a result of this collaboration the course has gone through several facelifts and is now nearing completion. I also learned more about what she does in the CFL and was able to support her on a couple of projects that she was working on as well.
As you will see and hear during the last face-to-face meeting and from my slide deck the course is really taking shape and I am very happy that I may get to see it in action. We hope to roll it out in some capacity as part of our advising program next September. Our hope is that the course will give the students more tools and strategies for keeping themselves organized and better communicators and as a byproduct they will learn a lot about Google Calendar as well.
The course currently can’t be viewed by the public but if you are interested in seeing it just let me know at the last face-to-face meeting and I’ll load it up for you. Looking forward to hearing about all of the little and big successes (and failures) you had on Friday. Remember, it’s all about the learning!