MOOC: SMS Professional Development – EdTech 543

Professional Development MOOC

Jesus said, in Mark 6:4 of the New International Version of the Bible, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town.”  To a much smaller degree, so much so that making the comparison seems a bit silly, I felt that way when creating a professional development MOOC EdTech 543.  Mainly because of the familiarity I have with the building staff after 12 years there, I worried about how uninterested, or even resistant, some of them would be about getting involved with parents and students via social media.  It’s been a challenge to get many of them to see the benefits of creating an account for something as simple and useful as Google Docs.  Trying to convince them that Facebook or Twitter might have something useful for them seemed daunting.  But in an age where we can easily reach out to educators around the world, “whether teachers can apply the latest technology and properly conduct e-instructional design may depend on the exchange/sharing of their instructional knowledge via Internet” (Hou, Chang, & Sung, 2009).  By organizing the website (hosted by wikispaces.com) in a clean and uncluttered fashion I hoped to make it inviting and nonthreatening.  I kept the sidebar options to a minimum and made links to the three units easy to locate.  The calendar of scheduled assignments was placed on the homepage to make it easy to find.  The first assignment was as simple as setting up Google and Youtube accounts and using them to create two things that could be used in class.  For all units, teachers had to submit links to their creations so that colleagues could give feedback.  The second assignment was to create a class website using one of the tools mentioned.  The third was what pushed the envelope a bit, asking them to curate a topic for use in their class, and share the link to it via twitter.  Everything they did should be useful as part of their daily curriculum.  Project based learning has been the most meaningful for me, and I hope it will be a great way to show my coworkers how useful that Web 2.0 and social media tools can be.  I feel confident that my professional development MOOC meets the substandard for implementation of instructional strategies in real settings.

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