Sunday, February 28, 2010

Why I just love the Internet, seek and ye shall find... mostly

I was reflecting upon how the Internet has help me with my teaching over the past 6 years. We certainly have witness a massive change over the past six years and my job would be a lot harder without it. The number of resources for my subject are huge and most of the time it takes very little time to track down a book or article that can address my interest, or my students questions. But here is the problem, to much stuff and not enough time. In order to help students get the best out of the resources on the Internet students MUST learn how to be critical. When looking at any information from the net the first thing I tell them to think about is "Does this serve a commercial interest?". Also looking and the web address is a good indicator to, "Look at the URL... what does this tell us?".

The currency of the information is also a major factor, the net has been around for a while now and there is a lot of information which was posted over 10 years ago. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that 10 years calendar time is a lot longer when you are thinking about currency of information on the net. Now this all may sound like old hat to teachers but just sit back for a while and watch your students use the net to find information. Many of you will be shocked at how even know after the net has been in our classrooms for sometime students still don't know how to move beyond the first few matches in google.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Getting teachers to use Moodle

Currently I administer a Moodle for a secondary school and I am also currently developing a second for our other campus. One question that always comes my way is how do you get the recalcitrant to use Moodle. The answer is I don't, the students do. After awhile most teachers get on board, it is a slow process but slowly is the best way to go. Usually I focus my attention on the keen but technically challenged teachers and encourage them to have a go, this is always supported by one on one help. Over the past four years and three implementations this appears to be the best way to go, find an interested teacher and give them one on one help and hopefully others will follow. It is impossible for one person to adequately train a large number of teachers of various capabilities and motivation but get a few key people on the band wagon and this is a good start. What is cool is that students do actually appreciate Moodle even though many will not admit it in front of their peers.