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How does the course work?

This self-guided course is delivered entirely online, via this website. There are a total of 23 learning activities or "Things" for you to complete over ten weeks. Each week is organized around a particular topic or theme relating to Web 2.0. You will decide when and where to complete each week's activities, and you will be responsible for "keeping up." You are encouraged to form "buddy groups" to work through the content together -- sharing, helping and encouraging each other.

What are these "Things" you keep talking about?

The "23 Things" are doable learning activities related to Web 2.0 tools and concepts. You will complete 2-3 "Things" per week. Detailed instructions for completing each "Thing" will be provided as you work through the course, linked from the "23 Things" page. Each "Thing" will introduce (or expand upon) a new tool or concept through one or more discovery exercises, followed by a learning task. The discovery exercises are "where the learning really happens" and are necessary for you to complete each task successfully.

How long will it take me to do the work each week?

Some tasks and weeks will be more involved than others. The content is organized into themes/tools. There are a number of additional variables that will affect this, but the general answer is an average of 3-5 hours per week, depending on:
  • Your general level of computer literacy
  • Your experience with Web 2.0 / Cloud-based tools to date
  • Your interest in and excitement about the tasks and tools
  • Your basic "lifelong learning" stance

Who can take this course?

This course is open to any interested educator. This course is offered at no charge to faculty and staff members at Woodward Academy, and for $90 for participants outside of Woodward. The fee is not for the content, but for course administration, email troubleshooting, participation with the group, and for obtaining "official" credit (PLUs or 30 hours -- these are not through a university, so please check with your school if you are concerned about receiving credit for completion). Potential participants from outside of Woodward should visit the Partner Schools page to learn more.

What are the dates for this course?

The Summer 2013 session runs from June 11 - August 31.

How do I register for the course?

To register for the JUNE 11, 2013 course, please complete " Thing 0" -- in which you find out about the course and sign up for Google/Gmail, and complete the registration form.
ON JUNE 7, 2013 I will send an invitation (via Gmail) to join a group Google spreadsheet which you use throughout the course to track your progress.
You MUST remember to check your new Gmail account regularly beginning JUNE 7.

How do I get PLU credit (GA ONLY)?

This course is state-approved approved for 3 PLU by the GaDOE, which means it also offers SACS/SAIS credit. When you have completed the course, your K12L2 Coach will evaluate your blog to determine whether you have met the necessary objectives. The coach will fill out a Mastery Verification rubric, which you will also sign. I will collect the completed rubrics, ask you for some info, then issue official course certificates. Potential participants from outside of Woodward should visit the Partner Schools page to learn more, as you may need to provide a "Prior Approval" form.

IMPORTANT - Academic Honesty
Because the course is self-guided, participants seeking PLU credit must sign a statement attesting that all exercises and tasks were completed on their own. The intent is not to question anyone's integrity, but to hold ourselves to the same high standards we expect from our students. (This does not mean you cannot seek assistance from peers and coaches if you get stuck, just that someone else cannot do the work for you!)

What technology do I need?

You need an Internet-connected computer with an updated browser (Chrome AND Firefox, plus Java and Flash add-ins), a microphone and speakers (or headset). The course is not designed for completion on an iPad -- Google Docs and Wikispaces are not fully-functional on them, and some of our content draws on Flash, which doesn't work on an iPad.

Where do I go for help?

By design, you should be your own first help resource throughout the course. Throughout this “discovery learning” experience, you will likely encounter a number of small challenges, depending on your general computer literacy and level of Web 2.0 experience to date. Each time you teach yourself something, find a solution or accomplish a task, you will feel empowered and be that much more tech savvy!
  • Most sites offer highly understandable Help files, FAQ pages and tutorials. Additionally, you will find many short training movies and Help Pages with screenshots embedded at the point of need as you complete the course. You're welcome ;)
  • Use your "human network:" Colleagues, students, and your Course Coach. In "real life" we seek help from experts when we need it! But remember, if your expert helper does the work for you, you won't be learning.
  • Use our course HELP Forum to post your question...
  • If none of the above work, email Shelley Paul at K12learning20 (at) gmail (dot) com and I will try to help :)

What if I fall behind?

Because some "Things" may be more challenging than others, and because we all have responsibilities and priorities and unexpected derailment, the course is designed to allow for a bit of flexibility in completion. Each week's "due date" is not a drop-dead date, and you will have a ~2 weeks after the official "end" date to complete any outstanding tasks.

How will I/you track my progress?

You will record your progress by posting to your own blog and elsewhere as directed.
  • Your blog will also serve as your portfolio, a living artifact demonstrating your completion of the course.
  • Your Coach will subscribe to your blog via his or her RSS reader and track your progress along the way.
  • You should title your blog posts with the "Thing" number (as well as a subject) to help you keep track of your progress. This will also be helpful when you want to refer back or add something new on a specific topic or tool.

How long do my blog posts need to be?

I am hoping this question doesn't actually need to be addressed, but, just in case...
  • Your blog posts should be as long as they need to be for you to meaningfully express your thoughts and reflect on your learning. You will get out of the course what you put in. Others will read and learn from what you post. What would you want your own students to do?
  • If none of those guidelines are working for you... aim for at least a solid paragraph.

How can I protect my online identity as I work through the course?

Transparency of practice and sharing your experience is one of the tenets of 21st century teaching and learning on the web. Be you! You won't be sharing anything inapropriate and you will be modeling the kind of "outloud" learning in community that we want for our students. You won't be asked to share names of young students or put sensitive information online.

Do I have to use Edublogs and other specified tools or can I substitute the ones I like better?

The short answer is: Mostly, although you can use a different blogging platform as long as you let me know. You MUST use a Gmail address because Google Docs is required.
  • The tools presented here are absolutely not the only ones available in each "genre" of Web 2.0 tools, but they are among the most useful, school-appropriate, feature-rich and easy to use. It would be impossible and impractical to try and review all, or even many, of the variations and alternatives, so I have elected to focus on a handful of representative tools. As you work through the content, I encourage you to blog and share with colleagues about other Web 2.0 tools you are already using! And in your own practice, you should absolutely choose the (allowed) tools that work best for you.