Friday, November 03, 2006

Reflection Time

This website was designed with a specific audience and situation in mind. In my mind, unfortunately, and it would have been helpful for others to know more about that context. However, I liked the idea of people checking out the website and deciding for themselves if it was appropriate for their students and context.

So, I shall start with areas of improvement. On the technology side of this website, there appeared to be some errors with the links and additional icons. These errors appeared differently for different people who logged on to work on the website. While the website was simple to navigate and work with, additional visuals and links would make it more interesting. Student feedback indicated that they especially enjoyed the photographs as links to further reading information about historical events. More photographic links from news archives perhaps.

The content was informative and gave students a great deal of input. It taught them the topic and associated vocabulary as they searched for answers. However, the ability for them to display their output knowledge is limited to an identification process. While this is effective for their context the web provides more options. Looking at the possibilities of the internet, such as instant messaging, an open chat room or messages to encourage immediate student discussion would be beneficial. The students found the linked sites very interesting and level appropriate. Directing them through links is very time efficient and has the benefit of being targeted to their topic and level. They enjoyed reading more information and giving them the chance to discuss about this with their classmates would be a great addition.

Overall, the information on the site was level appropriate and constructive to the students learning. On using the technology available, it was a rather simplified website. It achieved it's purpose. On a pre and post task survey the students displayed higher interest and accuracy in the activities and subject matter. They requested more visuals and variety in the activities. I believe this wasn't a bad first attempt. The technology use can be improved upon however it was effective for the student's learning.

As for my own learning. This course has served as a great introduction for me. Personally I would have liked more shorter activities during the workshops to explore the parameters of the different programs. Playing around to identify what can be done with a program is a fantastic learning tool, however when time is limited it is not always possible. So I would have liked to do that more in the workshops. I enjoyed learning about the applications of these programs to my teaching situation and trialing them out on my students.


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