Dare I? All the cool kids are doing it. Why not? I, too, will join the blogging world. Even if no one ever views it, this will be a good place for me to keep tabs on my own journeys, particularly as they relate to teaching at TCC.
I didn't make any new year's resolutions in my personal life, but I think some resolutions are in order for my professional one. Since starting at TCC at the beginning of Fall Quarter '09, I've been inundated with new skills, new tools, new professional relationships, and new friends. Now will be a good time to step back and analyze what I've learned, as well as what I want to continue to focus on.
So, some goals:
- Continue boning up on Angel. I love the system and feel it's a great upgrade from Blackboard, even though there are still some things I'd like to see work better. (Why can't the rubrics for discussion grading include assessing when a post was made, for instance?)There are still a lot of bells and whistles I don't know about yet, so my first priority is to continue to plumb the depths there. Just this morning a student and I discovered the "personal tasks" feature.
- Read. I've got several books devoted to online teaching theory and practice sitting on my shelves, collecting dust for no good reason.
- Become a consummate web miner. There are a lot of great tools out there already created, ready for stealing and importing into the online classroom. Some fun one's I've already found and will continue to exploit:
- Wordle--makes word clouds
- Voicethread--creates slideshows that you can add voiceovers to; the fun part is that viewers can also leave comments
- Jing--most of us probably know this one, but it's a super-easy screen capture tool
- Merlot--lessons and lesson plans imported by teachers for file sharing
- SoftChalk--okay, this one is a subscription site TCC is generously paying for me to use, but it is free for 30 days, and you can keep anything you build in that time. Easy way to make web-based lessons with interactive elements, like games and web links.
This list needs to continue to grow!