Variety Is The Spice of Life

Creativity and flexibility are two of the best benefits of the teaching profession. One of the reasons why I love being a middle years elementary generalist teacher, is because I am interested in all subject areas and get excited about finding new ways to learn. Designing a blended course opens up a whole new world of opportunities and ideas to explore. As prompted, I am going to blog about my last few thoughts as I am finishing my blended learning course profile.

One of the things I am feeling is that it is hard to find an end. The more I work on my course profile, the more ideas and elements I want to add. Throughout this course, I have been exposed to so many different apps, sites, tools, and programs available, not to mention all the other ideas about activities and lessons that could be added.  As I mentioned in my post Add It To The List, there are so many options to choose from, but you have to choose the best one for the purpose of your course.  I suppose it is a good problem to have. I was a little frustrated and overwhelmed at first, trying to decide how I can fit everything into this one course. I began to slow down and think, and I realized that I can’t possibly have everything in one course. The tools are there to augment and enhance learning, not to (necessarily) be the learning itself. It is heartening in a way. I realized that I must have learned and gotten value out of this course because I am excited about what I can use to teach. Even though this course design project won’t have some of the elements I wanted to try and add, I now get to turn to my entire teaching career to implement those things in the right course at the right time.

I am glad I feel like I can’t get enough in, because it means that I have a lot to continue working with after this course is over. I feel like I want to design a course profile for all my class subjects because each one would be unique and I could add all the cool stuff I want to. But for now, I am limited by the time that I have before this class is over. However, I am looking forward to using what I have learned in the real world. In a way, I am feeling how I hope my students will feel when working on their final projects in my classes: not satisfied with what they have to get finished for me, but excited for how they will continue to use their learning in the future.

Here are a few of the many sites and apps I hope to use in the future:

  1. Google Arts & Culture  in Social Studies, Art, and Science to view the various exhibits
  2. Storytelling sites such as Powtoon, Animoto, and Storyjumper to check for understanding of a variety of topics
  3. Video editing sites such as YouTube Editor for projects
  4. Flipgrid for student responses
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3 thoughts on “Variety Is The Spice of Life

  1. You are right when you say that this is a good problem to have. Before coming into this class I was using very minimal technology within my classroom. So I as well was trying to keep up and try all the new tools and apps along the way. It quickly became overwhelming. I was rather grateful when Alec said to not attempt to know/use it “all” and to try and learn a what is applicable.
    Your course prototype sounds interesting, I look forward to seeing it!


  2. I agree, the more you work on your project, the more you want to add. It is a great feeling to have (love of learning). Your enthusiasm is awesome! Keep exploring & having fun.


  3. Graham, I love your comment that you have your entire teaching career to implement some of the tools explored in the class and what you have learned. Your students will definitely benefit from your learning. I love your comment regarding wanting to have more time to develop your course prototype… I imagine you will continue to perfect that prototype over the next several years in so many ways!


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