By Meredith Farkas | January 19, 2008
On Wednesday, the class I’m teaching for San Jose State University begins. It’s the first for-credit graduate-level course I’ve ever taught, so I’m really excited about it (and a little nervous). I spent the Fall developing the classroom and spent winter break finishing up the assignments and creating the first few lectures in Keynote. I’m feeling pretty ready for the class, though fully expecting something to go wrong. I feel like the system I have set up is flexible enough for me to make changes based on student feedback and how the technologies behave.
You can visit our Drupal classroom here. While the class itself is only open to students registered at SJSU and some WISE students from other schools, you can still participate by commenting on students’ blog posts. You just have to register an account to be able to post comments, and then you can take part in the conversations. The forums will only be open/visible to students, so that will be a space for more private discussions. I though it important to have a space that was only open to members of the class.
I was thrilled that the folks at San Jose State were so supportive of my using Drupal instead of Blackboard. Drupal is such a nice, flexible system for learning. It definitely has its quirks from the admin side, but once you get used to it, it’s a wonderful tool. I like how I’m able to have static pages, polls, blogs, forums, chat rooms and more and can just drop these new modules in myself and get going with them. The tech folks at San Jose State set me up with MediaWiki, though it won’t be used as much as Drupal will in the class. Wikis are definitely useful for certain things (directories, group project spaces, etc.), and since MediaWiki is still so commonly-used, I figured it would be good practice for them.
I’d never actually used Apple Keynote before to create Quicktime lectures, and I was pretty pleased with how it went. My only criticism is that sometimes the video got screwed up where it didn’t show the right slide at the right time. In those cases, I’d have to re-film that part and then use Quicktime Pro to paste it into the lecture. It was annoying, but definitely less time consuming than most of the other options out there.
I can’t wait to see how it all goes!