Module 1: Learning Log Final Post

11 Sep

As Module 1 winds down, I have a feeling that the next 6 weeks will be hectic.  Online classes tend to be more time consuming, but also require you to work harder because you MUST participate in everything.  One of the discussion board posts said it best; to paraphrase, in an online class you can talk as long as you’d like to think, post on the discussion boards, and finish assignment, whereas in a traditional class, sometimes the conversation moves too quickly, and even those who might want to add to it are left behind.  I think the first module set the stage for enriching posts and dynamic posts on the discussion boards.  I was really happy to be a part of it!

This module was all about setting the stage for instructional collaboration.  From comparing the Unquiet Librarian videos to the Fontichiaro text it became very clear that what one might consider to be “true collaboration” is very hard to achieve.  Buffy Hamilton of Unquiet Librarian is considered one of the best in the field, and I loved listening to the lessons she and teachers in her district collaborated on.  As a student in one of the classes, I am certain I would have gleaned a lot from each of the lessons.  From the comments on the discussion board about the videos, it seemed like nearly everyone viewed them as “cooperation” not “collaboration” but that could be okay, as long as student needs were being met.  Also, I think that as a project grows and develops, the teacher and the librarian become attuned to new ways to collaborate and plan together. As a teacher, when I start thinking about projects, they don’t really work out in my mind or on paper the first time.  When I try them with a “guinea pig class” I also pick up new tricks or tools that could make a project better.  Sometimes, I think a teacher and librarian must try an (imperfect) project first before finding ways to teach and assess it together as it best fits the needs of the students.

Another way this module set the stage for collaboration was the blog review deliverable.  Blogging is a great way to find new tricks and tools, as well as set up a strong net presence.  Blogging would allow librarians to communicate with others in their field (because at school, sometimes the librarian is an island, there is only ONE of her).  Blogging would allow newer librarians to learn from veterans, and experienced librarians to see fresh ideas.  Blogging and tweeting allows librarians to form global communities, which I see as a form of collaboration.

The hardest part of this module for me was the discussion board post about redesigning an existing lesson plan to better fit AASL and NETS standards.  I really appreciate AASL and NETS standards.  I think they are written in clear, easy to apply language, and if sought by librarians and teachers, push us to try new things and challenge our students.  However, when it came time to mix them with state/ national subject area standards, I just didn’t feel like I could get what I was thinking down on paper concisely and sensibly.  I felt like I needed little paper cut outs to manipulate, like this video from the assignment prep on Blackboard.  I am not a very good multi -tasker, and my brain felt like it was performing gymnastics!  I still plan on becoming more comfortable with the AASL and NETS standards, but now I’d also like to think about more ways to apply them to subject area standards, especially outside of Social Studies, where I am most comfortable.

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