Children’s Literature and Literacy
When I started in the Education Department we did not offer one hybrid or online class. Our students were denied the flexibility and benefits of blended and online learning. I wanted to change this. You can not remain relevant in a competitive enrollment environment and not offer time shifted teaching. You can not be a school of access if you do not offer single moms, returning veterans, and working students a chance to control their schedule.
We also have a responsibility to graduate teacher candidates who can read, write, and participate on the web. Feedback from local school superintendents have noted a lack of technological skills among graduates across the state of Connecticut. If we are going to use employment after graduation as a key metric than we must ensure that are students are not only fluent in technology; we must also empower students to create a web presence that highlights their teaching skills.
More importantly we have a duty to our students. As a school of access many of our students are entering our halls with an ability to only consume the Web. There is no digital native. That is a myth. Students leave they hybrid version of EDU 307 comfortable in their ability to use the pedagogical affordances of the Web.
The objective of EDU 307 is similar to its 307(8) counterpart. We explore the intersection of literacy and literature. The class content is just taught in a hybrid setting. We meet face to face for a total of six sessions.
The class was taught using Google Apps as a Free LMS. We shared out content on Google+. I would lecture live on YouTube using Google Hangouts. Students would create their own hybrid lessons on literary analysis that could be used in an elementary classroom.
Like its on the ground counterpart, EDU 307–80 is taught through a workshop model. During our face to face sessions I would model the writing conference and using diagnostic tools to develop individualized writing plans.
This class followed a similar workshop model as EDU 307(08) but I adapted it to an online environment. In fact the “teaching selfie” that is now common across all my classrooms began in EDU-307–80. I used to have my face to face class write lesson plans and my online teachers perform their teaching.
Teaching is embodied lesson plans are not. Even without the benefits of young students I find the “teacher selfie” to provide richer growth of evidence in teacher candidates.
Instead of teaching to a live classroom about a genre of children’s literature students in the hybrid class created a group module. This required an introductory video, readings, and learning activities. They then had to act as online instructors as students completed the module.
I would also like to try distance based field work placements. The students created some great learning materials for character analsysis. In the future I want to explore having the students teach their units to on the ground classroom in partnership with a teacher. Candidates would provide the instruction, assess artifacts, and then adjust their instruction.
As a W class revision is central to my instruction. One year of this class I scheduled portfolio reviews as an assesssment. Students would sign up for a twenty minute session and we would go through their materials and discuss how well it met class objectives. I want to bring this practice to many of my classes.