Greetings everyone and welcome to the fall 2013 session of EDU 261. To begin, this is our class website. While not an online class, I do use an online space to post assignments, share information and encourage discussions. You will notice there are several tabs along the top of the page for things like “course outline” and “syllabus”. The first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with the syllabus. It will give you a good idea of what you will be doing this semester and some of my expectations. The course outline is a generic overview of the course but changes each semester a bit as I continually refine the class and update content but it will help you get a sense of the class.
Also, please read over this introduction/overview document which will tell you a bit more about me, my philosophy and my approach to the course.
My teaching style is more inquiry-based and constructivist. I try to model a 21st century approach to teaching. Students sometimes find this frustrating. They are used to lecture and discussion formats. However, as future/current teachers you need opportunities to experience 21st century learning so that you can better implement a 21st century approach in your own classrooms. Of course, as a college level course on teaching it is not always possible to use this approach, but be open to new experiences and new approaches to learning. Expect to be asked to discover and explore rather than being told. Step outside your comfort zone and take risks. I don’t grade on right/wrong answers, but on effort, problem-solving, reflective thinking, and exploration.
Finally, there are a couple websites that we’ll spend some time with and it would be good to go ahead and set up some accounts if you don’t already have them. The first is Google Drive (formerly called Google Docs). If you use Gmail you have this already so no worries. If not, go to drive.google.com and create an account. There is also a tab above that tells you more about Google Drive. Also go to www.wordpress.com and set up an account there too (use the same email as your Google Drive for simplicity). This will give you a blog of your own and we’ll spend time learning more about using one. This course website is an example of a blog on WordPress. Don’t worry if you run into problems. We’ll spend time on this in class but you’ll be ahead of the game if you can do this before our next class.
Once you have your WordPress account set up, take a moment to post a comment here telling us a little about you, your interests, you hopes/fears for this course, etc. Again, welcome. If you have questions, feel free to post them here and I’ll respond.