#OLTAK Wk 4 Reflection: It’s been a busy week!

Our class meeting was useful for meeting everyone and getting a better understanding of our assignments and unit plans; while the blogging has been a good way to learn about the others, meeting in a chat that is more interactive and personable was fun.  I am also very aware that being responsible for teacher training and learning MinecraftEdu in this course can be overwhelming and I hope that I am able to support my peers and not takeover the group dialogue in our meetings.  After our meeting, I created a Google Drive folder for our team and tried to capture what I remembered from our meeting.  Hopefully, as we all contribute to the group documents we can begin to develop a needs assessment survey for teachers this week.  I have a lot of questions and ideas probably due to my previous experience with Givercraft last fall but I also want to hear from my peers about their ideas and concerns.

I enjoyed hearing from Frank about AKLN and would be interested in working with others to develop a course.  The Alaska studies angle on courses is something that I am not familiar with but I would definitely be interested in learning about current courses that have been popular with students.  I created a Drive document to share my unit plan idea, which was initially to have a MinecraftEdu reading club.  Amanda is interested in collaborating on the unit and we are going to keep using the shared documents to brainstorm content and initial details.  We are considering incorporating Alaska studies into the unit, so I’m grateful to have a partner in the process!

Participating in the MinecraftEdu challenge this week was fun and helped me to continue thinking about teacher training and what they would need for facilitating and supporting student interactions in the game (which is my research focus for SEACCR).  As usual, the blogs are a valuable aspect of my learning each week; I learned about how we each view online teaching and learning from our own experiences and teaching styles.  It was helpful for me to analyze models that have worked and to consider how those approaches are used in various courses and institutions.  I also realized that with so many terms that are loosely used to describe online teaching and learning, that I should work on using more precise terminology that is clearly defined in the readings or research.

I was able to help Thanh Tam this week to get logged into MinecraftEdu and enjoyed showing her around and getting her started on the basics.  It will be valuable to have us all in the game together next week and hopefully we can start working on some of the ideas for our teacher training. I did have my own tech issues this week with two local power outages that really threw me off schedule and I had several days of slow and spotty internet connection; hopefully that is over now because I’ve got a lot of work this coming week!

I am a little worried about the timeline that we have for devising our teacher training for the upcoming Givercraft experience; I’m hopeful that we know enough to come up with good training topics, I’m just worried about the turnaround time to get surveys back and decide which topics we will use.  I’m always glad to work on these types of time-sensitive projects with a team so we can figure out a strategy that works for us, and I’m looking forward to our meeting next week.

Any thoughts, feelings, opinions, suggestions?

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