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Week 24: Summarize, assess and contribute



Week 1  http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2012/09/09/week-1/

What I learned that week: The 1st week was easy but wondering in what I embarked myself into, at first…Intrigued but willing to explore!

Week 2 http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2012/09/16/week-2/

What I learned that week: I like the beginner’s questionnaire, which gave me some good directions for what to expect for Potcert. It also gave me the opportunity to talk about some online tools I use regularly for my class (Blackboard, NING, etc.).

Week 3 http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2012/09/29/week-3/

What I learned that week: I mentioned my pedagogical goals for my class stating that I always focus on those each semester. One important thing I learned is that I should put more emphasis on auditory cues.

Week 4 http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2012/10/01/week-4/ ‎

What I learned that week: I enjoyed a lot looking at some online classes as examples to get ideas. I then realized that you have to concentrate on what is the most important: not to add too much content but centralizing yourself as a teacher on what is the goal of the course: clarity and the main focus of your discipline.

Week 5 http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2012/10/07/week-5/ ‎

What I learned that week: Three main parts here concerning the contract, the map and the schedule clearly stated in the online class. I focused on two sections that I regularly use: the face to face instructions and the online components to make the “perfect” hybrid class.

Week 6 http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2012/10/15/week-6-is-behind-me/ ‎

What I learned that week: Learning new tools that week about embedding a video into my blog.  Also found a fun video about acquiring the basic elements of French on the Internet. But above all, the Internet quiz showed me that I was only 88% right about basic Web definitions….

Week 7 ‎http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2012/10/22/week-7-online-…-virtual-world/ ‎

What I learned that week: I kept reading my weekly assignment in the online teaching book by Ko & Rossen. I commented on the intricate online tool Second Life. Interesting but requiring some good time involvement to become good at it. I also commented on other Potcert candidates’blogs. Finally, I inserted in my blog a basic dictation in French as an example for an exercise for anyone who would like to try it out in Pedagogy first!

Week 8   http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2012/10/29/week-8-creatin…munity-forever/ 

What I learned that week: I mentioned that I used quite a few times the Blackboard tool, Elluminate live! Going over also the NING cultural blog that I set up for my students where they can make comments based on comparisons between their culture and the French one on many different subjects: 74!

Week 9 http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2012/11/05/week-9/ ‎

What I learned that week: I became a member of Merlot and Diigo. Merlot: This is a site is full of wonderful information stretching from videos to comments to files on every subject under the sun. Diigo: I made a couple of comments also. I realized that Diigo is also very useful as a community effort to gather and share information about online teaching. I also talked about an online tool that I use for my students, goanimate.com where for fun and learning my students can make up cartoons.

Week 10 http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2012/11/08/week-10/ ‎

What I learned that week: Lots of new learning thanks to mainly J. Sullivan’s and L.Lane’s Elluminate session about blogging. I really feel part of this because of the blog I created for my class about 3 years ago. I also created for the first time a mini Website for my class with Google Sites and realized that it was not so difficult to make a basic and attractive website as an introduction about myself and my class to new students. Fun to make too!

Week 11 http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2012/11/20/week-11-2/

What I learned that week: copyright is an important factor to know about as a teacher. When to use or not to use information on the Internet. The temptation is big when you can just copy and paste what you read without asking for permission, first. I learned that there are more boundaries to respect and think about before highlighting some passages….

Week 12 http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2012/12/02/week-12-resources-online/

What I learned that week: I talked about the open textbook site, which I frequently use for finding resources. The Project Gutenburg was good too to be able to download some foreign books.  I also did, of course, the mid-year assessment to have a look at what I learned and achieved so far.

Week 13 http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2013/02/03/week-13-creati…nd-screenshots/

What I learned that week: That week was easy! I especially liked the screen shot part and I now use this feature almost every week. Very useful instead of recopying what I see on the screen. Big time saving. Flickr was very good too and so useful when you can add annotations to your pictures.

Week 14 http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2013/02/13/week-14-creati…udio-and-video/ ‎

What I learned that week: There was a lot of frustration at first that week with mainly Audacity BUT I figured it out later thanks to Anthony Ginger who inserted an extra audio tool within WordPress so I could embed this tool. Later on, I found out that Souncloud was even better than Audacity. Now, I know several weeks later. Slideshare and Eyejot were two big tools for me also: making a video of myself and integrating a Power Point presentation into Slideshare.  Super useful tools for an online class.

Week 15 http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2013/02/22/week-15-creati…and-multimedia/

What I learned that week: That is when I started to have some serious technical problems on that week out of nowhere…. Lisa Lane helped me out the best way (and Laura P. also) she could and Anthony Ginger had to recreate a new WordPress for me because my week 15 could not be inserted into Pedagogy first! Nonetheless, that week was very important to me as I learned about the brain mapping tool with the site Personal Brain. The SurveyMonkey was also wonderful and Screen-o-Matic as well. I was so happy to be able to navigate in my Personal Brain while in my blog and explaining at the same time my thought process. The big plus was that Potcert participants could also use their mouse and navigate in my Personal Brain as well. So much fun! I also talked about Prezi finding it more attractive than Power Point thanks to the flash feature.

Week 16  http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2013/03/05/week-16-our-students-online-2/

What I learned that week: Very pertinent articles and the one from the Nielsen Norman Group was excellent. I talked about my daughter in reference to that article: the multitask digital functions that teenagers assume on a daily basis. This leading to talking about the online technology being a huge part of students’ lives. I also created my second online survey thanks to SurveyMonkey again.

Week 17 http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2013/03/13/hello-world/

What I learned that week: Another fun week with brain mapping with Mindmeister featuring my class sections in Blackboard.  I used Audioboo for the first time commenting on my Mindmeister. New things also: htlm codes with Quackit and learning about using templates and group assignments to make a teacher’s life easier and students happy thanks to Lisa Lane blog post on that subject.

Week 18 http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2013/03/18/week-18-the-co…agement-system/

What I learned that week: at first, I found that week a bit harder in regards to the reading . I did not know the difference between CMS and LMS. After reading all the articles for that week I realized that Blackboard and Moodle were part of these two “new things” to me. Not familiar with Moodle yet as I am so used to Blackboard, which I like. LMS and CMS: once I viewed the charts with images, it made good sense to me.

Week 19  http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2013/03/24/week-19-web-enhanced-hyb/ ‎

What I learned that week: Talking about blended classes, I put forward again several Web features I use on a regular basis. The “big” conclusion for that week was naturally about sharing what you know to advance learning on all levels: on site classes, online or hybrid classes.

Week 20 http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2013/03/24/week-20-introd…ctional-design/

What I learned that week: The focus was about the increasing number of online classes in the US as an option for learning. Wikipedia was also mentioned and I said that I did not always rely on that site… Overall, the “magic of teaching” is a notion not should not be lost when teaching online. The human touch is still important.

Week 21 http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2013/04/09/week-21-introd…ucation-theory/

What I learned that week: All about interaction with students = teachers are not just lecturers but they have to interact with their students and get the learner to learn on his/her own with the guidance of the teacher.

Week 22 http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2013/04/13/week-22-person…rning-networks/

What I learned that week: Lifelong learning is for everyone. Students need to reinvent their learning patterns by exploring what is out there in the academic world. The teacher can be a curator so can be the student. It all boils down to work as a unit: teacher and students in a common networked world.

Week 23 http://wordpress.miracosta.edu/darnaud2/2013/04/15/week-23-presentation/

What I learned that week: For that week I chose week 15 and I again used Personal Brain. I did follow Jim Sullivan’s guideline on how I share my knowledge and what I learned. I talked about my audience, ideas and my favorite online tools. A cyberspace world without (in a way) limits.



First of all, thank you so much to Lisa Lane, Pilar Hernandez and Laura Paciorek in accepting me to the Potcert program. I also thank the participants of this program who were willing to make comments on some of my posts. That is how you learn by listening to others. Good lesson form people who know more than myself.

Lots of work (at times) and of course, I learned a lot like many other participants, I am sure. I already know that I will be using more online tools to enhance my onsite class next semester. There was not one week when I did not learn anything simply because I learned something new each week through the reading, exploring and making online tools work for me. This program was an excellent idea (may I say invention as well?) to bring forward. No time wasted as far as I know. So one more time…….:


And I also did the course evaluation.

Week 23: Presentation


Week 15: Creating Class Elements Part 3: Screencasting and multimedia



Week 22: Personal Learning Networks



♠ Eric’s video

Very passionate in his presentation. I now just have to do everything he says: Twitter, Facebook, etc,…..So much is readily available nowadays. We just have to pick and choose.

♠ Ko & Rossen, Taking Advantage of New Opportunities

→ When I read that chapter, I was thinking of a particular sentence, which is the following:

 Lifelong learning is for everyone

That made me think that the age factor in French universities is not comparable with the one in the US. In France if you want to go back to school after your midlife “crisis”  we have special universities just for seniors and which are part of the “Union Française des Universités Tous Âges.” You are not really mixed in with young people who study towards a degree. At UCLA, I remember a lady, who was my classmate who started the Phd program at 50 years old. I was so surprised to see an “older” lady at the time and I did not know that it was possible to start your Phd. studies so late in life knowing that it requires a good amount of work to write the thesis. But now I understand and I can see that lifelong leaning is really for everyone.


♠ Video with Dean Shareski, Sharing : The Moral Imperative 

→ I like the passage where D.Shareski says that the information he uses does not always comes from him exclusively but from sources that he finds on the internet. What you insert into a specific content provides the unique tool called sharing via blogs, websites or other online tools. And we already know this is the main function of a teacher: to share his/her knowledge to the world and find the information not just from books but from the Internet as well. I think that it always has been a moral imperative to share what we know, at least in the academic world. Otherwise, no one would be able to learn anything if concepts, facts, etc, were not exposed to the world and namely our students.


♠ Gardner Campbell, A personal Cyberstructure

→ I took note of this particular comment in that paragraph: Many students simply want to know what their professors want and how to give that to them. But if what the professor truly wants is for students to discover and craft their own desires and dreams, a personal cyberinfrastructure provides the opportunity. To get there, students must be effective architects, narrators, curators, and inhabitants of their own digital lives.

→In my point of view and commenting on the readings from week 20, it is basically the same for the teacher, who has to be not only the leader but having also the same virtues as the students: narrator, architect and curator. The teacher leads and informs of the tasks and the students go further by making their own digital lives, their own research.

♠ Martin Weller, The virtues of Blogging as a Scholarly Activity 

→ This article was my favorite. I thought that he was very strait forward by stating that blogging did not have  the best impact on his academic life but the counterpart did: he persevered because he believed in this new Internet tool, which opened up so many doors to his world and beyond: ……. I have written books, produced online courses, led research efforts, and directed a number of university projects. While these have all been fulfilling, blogging tops the list because of its room for experimentation and potential to connect to timely intelligent debate. That keeps blogging at the top of the heap.

→ It is not a question of given up on other forms of educating people via the reading of books, for instance but blogging adds to what you do to make it 100% better: A key aspect of the digital revolution is not the direct replacement of one form of scholarly activity with another, but rather the addition of alternatives to existing forms. You blog so you automatically share to expand knowledge and it is free. A wise career choice.

 ♠ Video with Alec Couros, Teaching and Learning in a Networked World 

→ Alec Couros’video was neat. Great speaker. There are several passages which were funny. I like the presentation he did about himself at the beginning making some collages on his face. And viewing videos on YouTube ,which for some don’t make too much sense, was interesting also but as he says not everything is bad on YouTube and that is quite true, of course. There are some “intelligent” videos also. And I like the fact that he went into his past to show how quickly he was connected to the outside world. Showing his daughter with a computer at 4 years old was quite indicative of how much he believes in the Internet at a young age.


Working on for my presentation → Week 15: Creating Class Elements Part 3: Screencasting and multimedia (Feb 16-22)

Week 21: Introduction to Online Education Theory



Lots of reading this week and my head is full of information so I now need to deconstruct my thoughts and everything I Iearned / I acquired.

♥ Adventures in Online Pedagogy with Jim Sullivan / Lisa M Lane

What I liked the most was that the overall presentation was very well explained. Not boring at all! The slides were an excellent support to have a clear understanding of the various facets of online education theory, which you may choose,  via three important steps:

→ Instructivism

→ Constructivism

→ Connectivism

Instructivism: I apply this method when I explain grammar but I mix it with constructivism (they have to make up their own sentences after showing examples) and connectivism (same principle of taking the content to give it to the students and in return they give me their input with new material of their own but using the baseline I gave them previously and they share it with everyone) at some point in the class when I get students engaged in group discussion and dialogues.

♥ Larry Sanger’s Individual Knowledge in the Internet age:

A few things I like here below








→Quite a few comments from him I very much liked: The bottom line is that how well an employee can focus might now be more important than how knowledgeable he is. You can have education but how well do you apply your knowledge? Focusing on your work, using your experience can be more valuable than just knowledge itself.

→I agree with this. It can still be a superficial knowledge even grasping a few important key elements from Wikipedia, for instance. Nothing can replace critical study and spending time in making research to go to the heart of the matter = Reading a few sentences in Wikipedia about some theories on the causes of the Great Depression does not mean that one thereby knows or understands this topic. Being able to read (or view) anything quickly on a topic can provide one with information, but actually having a knowledge of or understanding about the topic will always require critical study. The Internet will never change that.

→Same thing here and Larry Sanger having a background in philosophy certainly knows that reading between the lines and understanding all the facts cannot lead to constructivism without putting your brain at work: The point is to develop judgment or understanding of questions that require a nuanced grasp of the various facts and to thereby develop the ability to think about and use those facts. ….

learn how to learn:” My students need to learn that short sentence……

→Dramatic statement! Learning in a group is good but it still all comes down to knowing and learning to learn on your own too. A group situation is not always available. Thinking on your own lets you go further too: ……we will have a society of drones, enculturated by hive minds, who are able to work together online but who are largely innocent of the texts and habits of study that encourage deep and independent thought.


→What makes learning interesting is how we learn and in an academic situation, the teachers have a major role to play by teaching student the way to learn. Sharing and sharing and sharing : The focus is not so much on what we are learning but on how we are learning…….. the social view of learning says, ”We participate, therefore we are.”


→Everyone needs shelves full of books and less time spent on Facebook and other social medias but more on reading “good” books: …we must as a culture retain our ability to comprehend long, difficult texts written by individuals. Indeed, the single best method of getting a basic education is to read increasingly difficult and important books.  

♥ George Siemens, Networks, Ecologies, and Curatorial Teaching

→ I like the term of being a curator:  it strikes me as being more important than just being a teacher. It adds another dimension to the education field. The teacher is now an important entity in our academic world. We are SOMEBODY. I find this choice of word even better than “network administrator” to describe the role of teachers. Just like the curator of an art exhibit: you create, you show, you share your knowledge. Being a teacher is being a creator of knowledge and asking students to do the same by adding their own “juice” of creativity.



♥Lisa Marie Blaschke, A review of heutagogical practice and self-determined learning 

→ I read this article but overall I had two favorites this week:

  • G. Siemens because of the idea of being a curator. Art can save the world, teachers can too.
  • L. Sanger who is determined to put the focus on reading books.

This goes back indirectly to Sanger’s remarks on still understanding the value of self-learning with the guidance of the “chief” (as I call it) = the teacher / the “wise” person. Thereafter, you just keep going on your own with  a strong base from the start: …placing value on learner self-direction of the learning process…..to accept the heutagogical approach as one that is unconventional, where the instructor becomes a facilitator in the learning students’ learning process.



At my level of teaching, I still see some  ”No response” from most students who are often waiting for the instructor to do the work. But… with the right “touch” and especially dedication, I can envision a positive reversal coming from students from time to time. I think that the main thing is to keep everything interactive to insure a true collaboration between the teacher and the students and collaboration students-to-students.




Week 20: Introduction to Educational Technology and Instructional Design


Ko & Rossen, Chapter 13: Teaching Web Enhanced and Blended Classes ↓

en ligne

I like this section about the blended classes on how to set up a good strategy between teaching on site and applying online activities at the same time.  It is so important, as stated in that chapter, not to give too many activities online rather acquiring the right set up to ensure a good balance between activities face-to-face and choosing the right online assignments to give to students outside the “physical” classroom. I particularly liked the following idea: “Consider what is best reserved for face-to-face delivery and be able to explain your rationale.” Rationale is the important word here: basically making sense when facing the students on the 1st day of class. Explaining your expectations  and knowing as well the students’ expectations so there is a flowing experience between the two.

I found the last part of the book being a good series of advice to the future online teacher and it can be summarized briefly: making sure that, as teachers, we especially need to do our homework also by staying afloat with the latest technological trends so we keep improving our skills just like students need to learn about their chosen discipline(s) at school, on site or online.

The new DREAM for teaching online to new teachers can be achieved and is certainly an important skill to keep well nurtured and which is on demand more and more. Last weekend, San sandiego Diego Union Tribune had an article about this mentioning that pretty much all schools in the US have growing numbers of students registering to take online classes. As Ko & Rossen say: Lifelong learning is for everyone. It sounds good to me.

wikipediaminiI read the Wikipedia definitions on Instructional Design and Educational Technology. In general, I am not a fan of Wikipedia and I don’t rely on this Internet source for anything because it can be edited by just anyone. For some reason, I wonder if the updating mode is always correct. I think Wikipedia is especially used by students because it is very easy to get basic general information without checking the intricate details. But in regards to the definitions above, I think it is pretty well explained with enough details and it does correlate with the reading we had to do (some parts) this week.


I rather like listening to the video presentation given by Jim Julius! I found this part of the video very educative because it is simple, basic and it says it all on Understanding by Design:

Potcert design

I viewed Rick Schwier‘s viewpoint on the History of Educational Technology: I did not focus on this part of our “assignment” as much this week but I did appreciate all the details put forward to explain that technology has obviously an impact on our lives.


Definitely a contrasting view with Jaron Lanier with ” Does the Digital Classroom Enfeeble the Mind?“ ↓

This article is so well written and I especially liked the paragraph below about our brain and the machines (computers) guiding us to a specific path but we don’t really quite know at the present time: our brain. We know certain things but not everything. It still remains a mystery somewhat, namely the secrecy of our brain:

The deeper concern, for me, is the philosophy conveyed by a technological design. Some of the top digital designs of the moment, both in school and in the rest of life, embed the underlying message that we understand the brain and its workings. That is false. We don’t know how information is represented in the brain. We don’t know how reason is accomplished by neurons. There are some vaguely cool ideas floating around, and we might know a lot more about these things any moment now, but at this moment, we don’t.

You could spend all day reading literature about educational technology without being reminded that this frontier of ignorance lies before us. We are tempted by the demons of commercial and professional ambition to pretend we know more than we do. This hypnotic idea of omniscience could kill the magic of teaching, because of the intimacy with which we let computers guide our brains.

So let’s not loose the magic of teaching by simply keeping our human touch and using what we need from technology but keeping some frontiers so we are not overwhelmed by it in order to make teaching a better and more fruitful experience for our students.



I did some reading outside the articles we had to read and they basically all say the same about education technology but one article mentioned a few precise examples I like very much, which gave me some insights on how I could use some ideas for my own classes. For instance, taken from a site on educational technology below and following an excerpt in italics:

One school installed a virtual learning environment in which students used multiple content areas to solve complex problems. For example, in a realistic simulation, students had to plan ways to rescue survivors of a volcanic eruption by applying skills from their Geometry, English, Social Studies, and Science classes. One school had students observe the anniversary of September 11, 2001 by interviewing a survivor of the World Trade Center through Skype, and another took a virtual fieldtrip to the Baseball Hall of Fame in conjunction with a novel they were reading. One high school history teacher creates podcasts to introduce each unit by creating stories about the events and individuals involved; she reports students now approach the units with enthusiasm and questions rather than with indifference. Other high schools are experimenting with flipping their curriculum by having students view or listen to pre-recorded lectures and doing problem sets at home so that class time is reserved for discussions, group work, individual help, and consultation with teachers about projects.

I am not sure if I can do this in my language class knowing that we only meet 5 hours a week and we have to follow a specific teaching textbook but perhaps such technological “event” could be implemented a few times during any month while incorporating what is supposed to be learned. But I just have to get my neurons engaged and see what I can do next semester.

Another thought I share from the same site:

………However, it is important to recognise that it takes more than dedicated teachers to really implement change in any educational environment – it takes everyone working to achieve the same vision – technology-enhanced teaching and learning to prepare students for work and life in the 21st century.

This is complementary to week 19 : we all have to share what we know with the learning community. Dedicated teachers who know the technology will have to make sure that their students will embrace the same knowledge as them with passion and a desire for learning more and keep up with the new technology.

Finally, if we want to bring some changes to make our education system better (online, blended classes) with the latest technological tools, we also need to care about what students say about their teachers’ method of teaching:

http://educationtechnologysolutions.com.au/2012/09/03/electronic-teaching-evalation-student-perceptions-and-teacher-responses/  A new appreciative inquiry culture needs to be fostered by teaching and learning champions to begin the conversation with the elements of curriculum and pedagogy that went well, moving to points for consideration and then ideas for improvement, and deciding how we are going to support teachers to implement the ideas, including those offered by students.

We also learn from the learners after all.

Week 19: Web-Enhanced, Hybrid and Open Classes



Ko & Rossen, Chapter 13: Teaching Web Enhanced and Blended Classes ↓

Some of the facts discussed in chapter 13 have already been mentioned throughout the book as put forward by the authors themselves but the specifics of blended classes are met here.

I don’t quite put myself in the category of teachers using a “little bit ” of the Web but I do use several Web features. There are some neat things I would like to try out in my classes this semester but considering the weekly time we have to teach our classes based on the departmental program, that we have to follow, I sometimes find myself limited as to use everything I see online as being interesting, fun and educational for a blended class.

But and as a matter of fact after discovering Personal Brain and Mindmeister just recently, I would like to suggest to my students to use either one for their next cultural assignment. So far, written and oral presentations have been done by my students using Prezi and the classical Power Point but I think that Personal Brain, Meindmeister and Map42 are great assets to be be explored by students.

Note: Even though we are in the XXIst century with what this implies in regards to technology, many students still shy away from the Web and rather stick to more conventional features such as Power Point because it seems safer.

I have a blog for my class and this semester no one is looking at it even for getting extra pts. So next semester, I will make it mandatory to bring some discussions forward. The subjects are based on cultural comparisons. I showed them some videos from the blog and ask them to present their viewpoints but the interest is lacking even if the videos are attractive, fun, colorful, etc. But it has not always been the case, though: some semesters were fantastic and the exchange of conversations was optimum.

In regards to lecturing, there is some of it, if we can call this lecturing: I do explain the grammatical points in class by using the digital book provided for the classes and sometimes the Power Point slides from the digital version. I really provide a mix of features for my onsite class: online quizzes through various Websites providing the answers, goanimate.com for creating short cartoons, exercises on paper done in groups and individually as well and discussing the answers together afterwards. Viewing of videos for oral comprehension oral assignments with the help of Power Point and Prezi.

Office hours as stated by Ko & Rossen are practically the office hours for invisible people: hardly anyone shows up except the students who need to make up a test…

1951: Before I was born!

1951: Before I was born!

Group projects are done in my classes also:  some tests, cultural assignments via Turnitin in Blackboard, skits in class as oral presentations, Voice Boards or Wimba via Blackboard also. Their favorite are the group tests and usually the grades are higher when students do those kind of tests together. Sharing the information and giving the answers to specific questions make them happier for some reason! Time well spent.

R. Graham, J. Hilton, P. Rich, D. Wiley, Using Online Technologies to Extend a Classroom to Learners at a Distance 

Online-vs-ClassThis was a lot of reading this week (!!!) and this article was interesting.  I made the choice of commenting on a few results:

I agree with Wiley to stay away from Blackboard for distance learning since it is only open  to students who are registered in the class via their school. Therefore, I also agree with him that WordPress, among other available blogs on the Web, would be the very best option since it is free also.

I noted the following from Wiley, which makes sense:

…”to avoid this system because there was no way to offer broader invitations to students to participate in a Blackboard-hosted course. The Blackboard system is designed in a way that prevents anyone who has not registered for the course from accessing any of the course materials or discussions. Wiley also chose to avoid Blackboard because even paying students who formally register for a course loose all access to course materials and discussions when the semester ends.” So true!

And again I agree:

“The main tool Wiley used in creating the space for his course was WordPress. WordPress is a free online tool that can be used to create blogs or websites. Using this tool he was able to create a course website that looked professional in one hour.” Yes, that’s true again.

I think that this article shows how well this course is designed and organized. Everything has its place where it should be: WordPress, Wiki, links. All well done so that an online class can also be used in an onsite class using the right and efficient technology.

I especially like this well thought out feature: “In addition to using WordPress, Wiley created a wiki in order to facilitate student participation in the course. Wiley wanted a separate place where students could add content to an unofficial course site. He created a wiki to facilitate this student participation, and provided a link from the official WordPress site to the wiki.” He just thought of everything.

Interesting to know that he was basically on his own (some type of Robinson Crusoe online): “While Wiley was free to use any tools he chose in supplementing his course, no support was provided for these tools by the university. Ample support was available, however, from the online communities of users of these tools.” Just to prove that online communities are the right ressources for an online and blended class as well. There is always help somewhere if you are looking.

“It must be noted that Wiley’s estimates of the time necessary to create these course components are from one who has a high level of technical proficiency. One of the authors of the present study, having significantly less technical expertise than Wiley found that to set up these course components took approximately fifteen hours.” Yes, certainly. I could not agree more. Just like Second Life: it takes quite some time to be good at it.

Conclusion from this article:

Whether it is possible to facilitate strong learner-learner interactions with minimal effort on the part of the instructor, and impact this might have on students in the face-to-face classroom remains to be determined.” That’s the thing: all of this takes time to build and I am not sure about the minimal effort coming from the instructor at first. When it is your first online course, I believe it would take a good amount of time if you are not a pro at it yet. But as time goes by like anything else, I could eventually see less work for the instructor. Whether online or onsite in a blended class, it is a question of balancing your workload and still take the time to engage and facilitate a learner-learner interaction. All about knowing the in and out of a good class. How to be a good instructor. Basically.

Michael Wesch’s Digital Ethnography ↓

I very much liked the Youtube video on Digital Ethnography: perfect background music and typing away the words telling us about our connection to the Web because we, people, are the Web. I thought that this diagram below is also a good example of what is portrayed on the Web because we are making all those connections everyday on a keyboard, phone or computer. At least for those of us who are using the Internet every day. I was amazed at the speed following the cursor on this video showing us all the facts put together with the tags, the RSS feeds, the blog creation, etc. to ultimately tell us that we are the big Creators of all of this. Very good entrance to WWW.



George Siemen’s post on theory and MOOCs:

This is a very good video showing the principles of connected learning: I really liked the use of paper drawings in black and white; simple and very effective with the vocal explanation. The example (the paper student) just showed that by using everything available on the Web makes you smarter. You become a “learning sponge” so to speak. To become a XXIst century role student model (same for the teacher), you have to follow the flow and share what you know so you can learn from others and they learn from you. Connection to the world community on the Web. An infinite loop. The way to go.

I like the following comment from the article: “Learners need to create and share stuff – blogs, articles, images, videos, artifacts, etc. The maker movement embodies the “create stuff” attitude.” It is not just the teacher who is working but the student learner creates and shares his knowledge with all of us.

Even on top of a mountain, you need a computer....

Even on top of a mountain, you need a computer….










Week 18: The Course (or Learning) Management System

→Ko & Rossen, Chapter 11: Classroom Management and Facilitation ↓

There is a section I am familiar with for a past onsite class in reference to “The division of labor model” in chapter 11: One teacher split the Summer class with me and I took the other remaining weeks. Overall, it just did not work out very well because some parts of the textbook were not covered by the other teacher + the pace and the method were each very different compared to my way of teaching. Also the grading system did not match mine and other details. I do admit that we were not very well prepared besides agreeing on splitting the amount of work and I eventually had to do some catching up with the students so we could keep up with the Summer program. Good lesson for the future: be well prepared before taking on the “adventure” of teaching to avoid any drama and personality conflict.

Chapter 12: the section on “The belligerent student on the attack” sounds familiar too when I had a similar problem with an onsite class. It ended well thanks to the intervention from the disciplinary person on campus who greatly helped me in controlling the student. After being insulted (words and inappropriate gesture), I received the apologies from the student but that student never came back to class.


→Lisa M Lane, Insidious Pedagogy:

Lisa said: “This is because most college instructors do not work or play much on the Web, and thus utilize Web–based systems primarily at their basic level.: That’s true, most instructors know the very basics of a few Web tools to use for their classes. It takes more work to know about the entire technology of how software programs work and I am not sure if most instructors would be willing to find the time or even the interest to know the in-and-out of the Web. Blackboard, for instance, is catered for instructors at large and it does not take too “much brain” (I am not trying to be mean here as I am also among the instructors, who sometimes need help in case of problems)  to figure out how it works and when problems arise, you can always talk to the Blackboard specialist on campus to help you out. The default Blackboard buttons, mentioned by Lisa Lane,  are certainly very easy to use and you can always rename them to your preference.

Blackboard is technology at the “minor level” as I call it: it takes a few workshop or even just one to figure out how it works.

→Jennifer Demski, Rebuilding the LMS for the 21st Century:

After reading the entire article, I thought that this last sentence was very revealing of our present world: “A phrase we use a lot on our campus is that we feel it is our responsibility to train our students for the world they’re going to inherit, not the world they live in now, and certainly not the world we grew up in.” All this to say since it is an open conclusion is that as instructors, we have to stay very up to date with the new technology even more so when one teaches an online class. The key is to find the essential elements within that technology to stay interactive so we just don’t rely only on high tech tools to teach a distance learning class. The right balance is therefore to know about the students:

1) Who they are, their needs, their personality.


2) Making the Web tools available to them.


3) Making the personal contact a real opportunity through live chats, FaceTime, Live collaboration, voice e-mails, etc.

I also think (and mentioned in this article from J. Demski) that Google Apps is a very good tool for education purposes. After looking at the Google site, I see these apps with more “open doors” to interact with students than Blackboard, for instance. Many more options to make it so interactive. Better format. Nice layout. If Blackboard was not the required the CMS tool on campus, I think I would choose Google apps to teach.

→ Joyce Seitzinger’s Moodle Tool Guide, an example of an LMS critique based on pedagogical goals:

I like the chart. Perhaps, a bit overwhelming to my taste but certainly (if studied in details) a good way to make a decision as to use Moodle or not according to your teaching goals. A lot of details won’t hurt. Not enough details, will so I give a good grade to that chart!

Views on using a CMS/LMS

→ CMS with Blackboard↓

I was looking at quite a few different sites supporting CMS and LMS on the Web and I now start to understand the difference between the two because at first, I had no idea what these two terms meant. After browsing around the Web, I see (I think) that LMS and CMS do not replace each other because of the types of activities that they each feature.

One site I briefly looked at said the following: “It is necessary to understand that education is gaining long term knowledge while training is gaining knowledge for immediate application. CMS supports long term classroom sessions, while an LMS supports a number of short training events.”

I also now know that Blackboard I use everyday is all about CMS because CMS allows me  to create a course website, where my documents are uploaded in formats such as Word, Power Point, Prezi, etc. without having to convert them into HTML coding. And Blackboard does not require very specialized skills: it is easy to use by instructors.

Example of an excerpt from my Blackboard ↓

Content unit

I never used Blackboard for an online class so far but knowing that it features a reliable discussion board, I can see the advantage of distance learning having this option. You post your course that leads students to several learning activities, so as the instructor, you are able to supervise any discussions through the discussion board.

→ CMS / LMS ↓


CMS but also LMS with the popular Moodle, which seems to be the best for educators. Although, some might not say so. I have not used Moodle. On my shopping list also besides Google apps.

I also look at a Moodle French class via Slideshare. It looks interesting and complete:


I was also looking at other LMS sites and there are quite a few on the market. Moodle is not the only LMS available, of course:

Docebo / eFront Dokeos / Claroline ATutor / ILIAS  / OLAT / Sakai LRN / openelms / Ganesha in French.

My little conclusion:

After all the reading and the web browsing, there are several LMS sites I have not explored yet but Moodle and Google apps are the attractive ones to me so far.



Week 17: Classroom Management

good morning teacher

I read Lisa Lane’s blog post (the seven points!): I like the way it was outlined with the short and concise paragraphs. Straight to the point. The section about getting a blog not connected with a college made good sense. I can see the advantage in regards to having possibly (and hopefully) less technical problems. Last week my WordPress blog was rather frustrating for me and I am hoping that this week 17 will be like it used to be: to be inserted correctly into Pedagogy first! 

The section on the HTML code is very good also. Rachèle de Méo was mentioning the site Quackit. I used it in the past but now I don’t recall how I came upon this site. Quite some time ago. Very good reference , though. Merci, Rachèle!

And Lisa also talked about the learning techniques of grouping students, clustering assignments, and using templates. That is what I am doing even more this semester: group tests using templates, group assignments based on research, which result in the following:

  • Less time correcting (I am very happy now!) because less pages.
  • The students are very happy and they are still learning.

And I listened to the recording from Louisa Moon. She gave some very good insight on how to manage the rubrics and finding the proper way to respond to students. I like the fact that she said that teachers have a life too so you don’t have to spend countless hours on the computer responding to everyone and doing certain tasks, which can be done the right way if you are organized. Everything is a matter of organization in life. The same goes with running a business and “running” your thoughts in your head the right way also to avoid panic but staying calm.

Also this confirms my thoughts about being very technology oriented: Louisa was mentioning that the best teacher online is not necessarily the one who puts forward the high tech aspect of teaching online. Some of my students agree and they don’t like too much technology (some of it) rather the human part but I am only teaching an hybrid class for now so it is a bit different. I just know that I try to balance out the technology in class on the computer with my physical presence, talking to students, etc. The best of both worlds, I think.

And they are still students who have a hard time with Blackboard (quite a few never look at it) not knowing where to go even after showing them several times the sections, the documents, asking questions to make it easier for them, etc. So after this Spring break, I will have to show Blackboard again.

Another note → my back up after sending the e-mails for the assignments is in three sections within BlackboardMessages + Tasks  and the Calendar so this way, they cannot say that they did know…BUT some students still never check their e-mails so what can I tell you…Those would never take an online class.

Ko & Rossen chapter 11 → I like the section on the online participation: it has to be graded to make sure that the students did do the assignments, not just opening the documents for some time and not doing anything. The higher the % is for a grade , the more commitment you should ideally get from the student’s involvement if the latter really cares. The group assignment is the guarantee that the students is involved by making comments in the shared discussion room.  The individual work has “to exist,” of course but a team work involves even more commitment because you have to focus, study and put your thoughts together to come up with your own comments.

Post on facilitation: two ways of looking at it  and one way to listen to it with Audioboo. Much simpler and especially quicker than Audacity a few weeks ago

 →  JPG image:


 → Bigger and detailed picture by scrolling your mouse up and down, right to left or vice versa. Each icon has either a little square (a note detailing the folders and subfolders) and/or an → (green arrow) to take you to a Website.

I prefer Personal Brain but this week has been a tough one dealing with this program with the screen freezing for a long time so I could not save anything; I could not get any new inserts after the first ones I was able to add so I switched to another program, Mindmeister. Not as good in regards to choosing the pictures you want unless you pay for an upgrade so I dealt with their very basic default images for free!:

Create your own mind maps at MindMeister

All that spam!

We’ve been receiving some emails from potcert folks, many from MiraCosta, asking why their blogs are getting so much comment spam.

Hundreds of faux comments may seem bizarre, but blogs are regularly trawled by computer programs called “bots” (short for robots) that use your blog to leave their advertising.

WordPress has a great plugin that stops almost all  of them, which is why Laura did a tutorial about it along with the instructions for setting up a WordPress blog, right at the beginning of our class. Next year we’ll be making sure people do this at the beginning, somehow!

I repost it here – you really can’t run a blog these days without using Akismet! :-)

BTW, if you’re using the Google Reader bundle to follow comments, I’m  (Lisa) trying to remove the unused blogs. Several people started the class, didn’t activate Akismet, then abandoned their blog. This has filled up the comment feed with spam.

Web Accessibility

The material this week about accessibility made me remember the late 90s and how the growth of search engines transformed many homepages. We used to make cuting edge layouts in Photoshop and include pictures on the sites. With headings mixed with photos etc. That was the only way to achive the layout we wanted in the pre css era.

But, the search engines couldn´t crawl the text in the pictures and we soon abandoned that technique. And, in the same time we became aware of the tools disabled peoples used when they visited different sites. When we removed the big shunks of pictures the sites became accessible to new groups. For instance blind people with a reading program.