Block 7 – Building Bridges Between Sandboxes (Online PD)

March 1 – 14th


Begin with this week's Brain Blurt

(it is in a PiZap!)

Someone had asked for a document version of the block when possible. This week it is possible although, as always, all resources need to be access through the wiki. Hope this helps!

Flickr CC: Kounelli
During this course you have been creating your own sandbox, you have put your feet into others' sandboxes, and you have been digging, playing and building in the sand with various tools. Many of you have begun to build bridges between your sandboxes through learning networks that will provide you with ongoing opportunities for continued learning. The purpose of this block is to provide you with additional resources through which you can continue to build bridges for professional learning in education.

Objectives of Block 7
During this two-week block you will explore one or more online PD resources and then share the highlights of your learning with others in the class. At the end of this two-week block you should:
• Be aware of a variety of online resources for K-12, Post-Secondary, and/or workplace education (or learning)
• Have worked with a partner, or on your own if you choose, to explore one (or more) resource in depth and facilitate an online presentation and discussion involving the content of that resource
• Be able to identify some of the ways that the Internet can be used for professional development in education
• Be able to use your Google Account to create sharable documents and presentations

Flickr CC: robotography
Hopefully, the course to date has helped you gain a deeper understanding of how the Internet is changing and some of the powerful tools that are available on the Internet to support learning. However, at times, it may have seemed like the Internet is one big sand dune and you are not sure where to go with your learning after this class. The online PD resources are varied. Choose one (or more) to explore in depth. Some focus on technology specifically. Others focus on learning in general.
What is most useful to you? What might be worth sharing with those with whom you work? When distance is an issue and your time is at a premium, how can you tap into online resources for powerful PD in order to continue your professional learning?

1.) Choose and Plan

As stated above, you may choose to work with a partner or on your own. You own learning preferences will help you determine how you learn and work best.
In this block you will be provided with a variety of resources and type of online PD. Once you have taken a look at the offerings, choose one to explore.

In Block 3 you created a Google Account (or you already had one).
  • Begin a document in your Google account where you will keep your notes of your online learning in this block. You will share this document – it is just a rough draft of your learning.
  • If you are working with a partner, one of you create the document and share it with the other by inviting them to collaborate (you will need your partner’s Google email address to invite them).
  • For those that are not familiar with Google Docs, view the Google Docs in Plain English screen cast from CommonCraft

2.) Attend

Attend one (or more) of the PD sessions outlined below. Some of the sessions are quite short so you might want to look for a couple within a theme. The point is to gain a sense of what this form of PD has to offer for you and your colleagues down the road and to think about how you might use the information and resources.

3.) So What?

So, what did you learn? Share some of the key points you learned from attending the online PD.
  • In your Google Documents add your jot notes and ideas about your learning.
  • What connections did you make to your work in your context?
  • What new questions arise as a result of your learning?
  • Use your Google document to ask questions of, and discuss with, your partner, if you are working with someone. I have found that colour-coding the text helps me see what individuals have added. Revisions can also be examined by clicking on the File – Revision History tab.

4.) Now What?

What will you do with the information? How will you apply it?
  • Create a brief “presentation” in your Google account that shares your overall connections and how you will apply your learning. (Open your Documents, File – New Presentation). Again, if you are collaborating, create a shared presentation.
  • For more about creating a Google "presentation" watch this brief video (This video worked for me fine twice, but the 3rd time, it was about the size of a Twoonie. If this is what you get, don't bother)
    For the really interested - extra Google presentation theme templates to download
  • As you have hopefully come to appreciate, one of the key features of web 2.0 technologies is that the Internet becomes an application – in this case a “PowerPoint” type of application.
  • Share your presentation link on the PD resource page of the class wiki by either linking it or embedding it on the page.

5.) Build Bridges

In the second week of this block
  • View at least 2 other Google Presentations by classmates. Step outside your comfort zone and visit the presentation of someone you have not worked with before.
  • In your blog reflect on online PD opportunities, and possible applications for your future learning and that of your colleagues. Keep in mind that I am directing you to PD resources that, for the most part, deal with the topic of this course.
  • What have you seen or explored that you wish to revisit or participate in, in the future?


Resources for Building Bridges Between Sandboxes
Once you have taken a look at the offerings, choose one to explore for this block.
The sign-up chart is linked here.

6.) Conclusion

At the end of this block you should be be more familiar with some of the online resources that will facilitate your ongoing professional development in education.
Make sure you have:
  • Indicated the PD resource you have explored on the PD Resources sign-up chart
  • Created a Google document (use this to collaborate with your partner if you are working with one)
  • Created a Google Presentation about your learning and the connections you have made
  • Linked your presentation to the PD resources chart (make sure you click on Share, top right corner, Publish - and choose the link to paste in the chart or embed to insert below the chart.)
  • Viewed at least 2 other Google Presentations by classmates
  • Blogged about online PD opportunities and possible applications for your future learning and that of your colleagues
  • Continued your blog reflection on the edtech blog you are following

Getting ready for Block 8

Your major project needs to be posted by March 17th. This link provides more information for your consideration.