Thursday, April 30, 2009

Student Teachers Make My Day

Yup, still marking assignments... I am enjoying every minute...

Especially when I get feedback like this: I really enjoyed this class!! , and What I learned!, and Reflection, and finally, this heartfelt feedback on IO, the online learning design environment we used in seminar to (i) investigate the relationship between inquiry and ICT, and (ii) to design integrated units of study across the curriculum. Happy, Happy Teacher Dance!!

Excerpt on what it is like to design integrated units using IO (

What can I say? IO was a great tool for organizing everything a teacher would want to consider in creating a unit plan. It included more important things such as student engagement, and how you plan to integrate technology and what technology it is, what outcomes it meets and more importantly, it gives you a "Learn How" tab that lets you see if you are using technology usefully, efficiently, effectively and meaningful, or if you are using it just for the sake of including it to say you "covered" that part of the expectations.

IO provided a critical thinking element to the way we created our unit. I was constantly thinking about the quality of the tasks/activities, how I chose to integrate technology, how meaningful the task was, and how the task flowed with the rest of the unit. It was very helpful for me to see what the other tasks and activities were so I could build off them, include my own touches, and still meet the SLEs and GLEs. This is awesome, especially for beginner teachers because it has everything you would want to consider in a single page. You can quickly browse through your unit to make sure that it flows the way you wanted it to.

My favorite part of creating the unit using IO is the online collaboration. As a creator, you can invite people to view or contribute to your unit, and they contribute in real time. It is like google docs for unit plans. I think it is an exceptional resource for teachers that require a little bit more help in the organization aspects of planning a unit (like me).
Wow!! I appreciate this feedback on using IO - it has been the backbone of our seminar and I have observed some great design work by student teachers who have created integrated units of study in diverse areas of the curriculum.


Brenda said...

I enjoyed reading your comments about how IO helped you create good inquiry-based learning opportunities for your future students. Could we use a quote from your blog for our next Galileo newsletter, Inquirying Minds? I hope you keep using IO as you teach through the studies you have designed. I am curious if you ever used the audio versions of the Learn Mores?
Thanks, Brenda

candace said...

This is fantastic! It's so hopeful when teachers can see IO not as "additional work" or hoop jumping but rather as a way to guide their thinking as they begin to design challenging and worthwhile work for their students.