The Horizon Report 2013 refers to the Stephen Downes and George Siemens’ term Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and the idea that knowledge production rather than consumption is what drives and connects learners in MOOCs. Our challenge as educators, facilitating learning experiences in online spaces, is to keep transforming the way learners learn.
In facilitating online learning that extends the face-to-face classroom teaching in secondary schools and allows students to connect with each other anytime, anywhere, I have used Google Sites as an online classroom. In this space, students can be authors of their work, collaborators and creators of new ideas. They can communicate with their teachers and peers and negotiate learning to suit their learning pace and style.
In this one space, any course content can be delivered to students and created by students in a variety of ways, such as video (embedding You Tube clips), written work (collaborative writing), real-time feedback, individulised pages where access can be given to specific individuals if / when needed, embedded discussion forums – where students can discuss in allocated groups or as a whole class, or even collaborate with students from other schools.
These learning opportunities allow students to be self-directed and work in teams, work collaboratively, rather than solely cooperatively, and ideally, become life-long learners.
Some ideas on how you might approach designing online learning spaces using Google Sites are presented below. Please feel free to contribute to this presentation by adding a new slide with your ideas and ways you may approach your online classroom design.