In ECMP 355 we were asked to learn a skill using online resources; I chose to learn how to do different hairstyles. This semester, for ECMP 455, we have been given the option to do that learning project again or to create an online unit. I have chosen to create an online unit; for me, this will be a learning project in itself, because I have not yet created a unit of any kind let alone an online unit.
My unit will be based on an outcome from the Saskatchewan grade 8 Math curriculum (I have narrowed down an exact unit). To prepare for creating my unit I have done some research on the best practices of online units/flipped classrooms. One article I read gave me seven general tips for getting started. I think the most important tip from the article was to choose the specific objectives to focus on in advance. If I have everything I want to teach planned out in advance I know what direction to go in, and then I am less likely to get off task or fall behind in my unit planning. Another helpful article I read said that “designing for the online environment presents unique challenges, but it also opens a world of exciting possibilities for engaging students in their learning.” I think this is a really great way for teachers to view online units. Yes, it may be intimidating and challenging in the beginning but creating online units can be innovative and especially beneficial to your students. My favorite part of flipped classrooms is that when students start the assignments or projects, the teacher can be there to help and guide them because students watch the lectures or lessons at home and then have class time to complete their schoolwork. The goal for my online unit is to make it completely student-accessible.
During this unit, there are a few things I definitely want to accomplish. I want to do at least one lesson through a Youtube lecture. Here is a short and simple example that of the type of lecture that I would like to do. I like how clear the audio is as well as how visible the writing on the whiteboard is.
I also think I will use Google+. We use this for my ECMP class and I really enjoy how accessible and easy to navigate it is. Another bonus of using an online community or network is that it is very easy for parents to access as well as track their child’s progress. I am really looking forward to getting started. My first step will be to decide on a specific unit and then pick out the objectives and indicators I would like to meet. If you have any ideas or anything you would like me to try involving other online resources please comment below.