Hi, I'm Craig, and I want to congratulate you! As you're reading this you've proven two things. You are both keen on learning and actively pursuing your goals - you're going to love the Activated Classroom Teaching (ACT) way of implementing technology into your teaching. I'm excited to be your guide on this journey...and I look forward to both teaching you and learning from you.
Before I tell you more about the course, take a moment to hear how the Activated Classroom Teaching approach has transformed schools who are using it!
I hope you're wondering why this is called the ACT Beta course? The Beta principle, as you will see in the course, is a core principle of the model and of the course itself. Beta means "not final", or "work in progress". This course is not final, nor will it ever be. It is constantly improving, what does not work is removed, what is not there is added, what works is extended. This is how we all learn. We learn, as the model will show you, through correcting. This is great news for all of us, because I encourage you to try - to make mistakes, because this is where learning happens, and this is how our online world works. So if you find things wrong in the course...tell me. If you find better ways, share them. Together we will all get beta and better!
In this course you will:
In this course you will join me on a learning journey, and an actual journey (you'll see some of the wonders of Southern Africa as you learn), as you learn how to implement the unique ACT approach to teaching with technology.
Using technology in the classroom is not easy! I'm here to be your guide and not only help take away the pain, but show you how to transform your teaching with technology. We'll journey together using a unique model, arising from my PhD research, called the Activated Classroom Teaching model, that will show you how to systematically implement technology, effectively in your teaching. If you have any questions, just pop them in the discussion forum and we will work together towards trying to improve how we teach with technology.
I designed this course to be totally understandable by beginners. I know what it's like when you are faced with, not only the difficult task of teaching, but now having to make sense of technology too. I have also chosen tools that are both easy-to-use, and run in most browsers. This means you can use them on tablets (iPad etc), or on laptops, and often even on smartphones. It's all about easy to learn, easy to access, and plus all of the tools are free. Some have upgrade options, but you can do everything I show you in this course, for free!
So, what will you learn? Well I could go through, like many courses, hundreds of tools that you could use in your classroom. That would be OK. However, there are two problems with this approach. The first is that if we don't realise what is not right with how we currently teach, throwing technology at the problem is not going to fix it. Secondly, if we don't have a model on which we can hang our approach, we are not going to be successful. I will help you with both of these in this course, plus show you how to do it with many great tools. Plus I will continually be adding new tools...
THOUGHT BREAK...If you have a tool you want me to cover, drop me an email or post on the forum and I will put it on the list of tools we will cover in the future.
As we were saying...
I've spent over 20 years researching how to be effective with technology-based teaching. And I've messed up many, many times! I just never seemed to get it right. I would try one idea that I had read about, or I thought sounded good, and it would fail. I would then simply try another, and another. Sure the experience was great but it needed more. And so as part of my PhD research I undertook a unique journey into the world of my students. Over four years, and lots of pain, joy, and excitement I discovered something amazing.
I discovered that most of what I thought was right about teaching with technology was wrong. Yet amazingly I was not the only one making these mistakes. It seems most people are still doing it wrong. Just Google “Failed LA iPad program" and you will see for yourself. Over a billion dollars was recently wasted on Los Angeles schools where the best technology brains could not implement an iPad program. Why? Quite simply we are making the same mistakes over and over again when it comes to technology.
Our first mistake is that we think we can simply copy our old offline teaching approaches and implement them inside a digital world. Our second mistake is that we think that teachers should get advice for teaching from technology experts. Crazy! That's sort of like a wine farmer taking advice on wine making from a tractor manufacturer, just because they provide the tractors! And so when it comes to learning with technology, we need to turn to people with experience in education.
I am going to help you with both of these. Firstly we are going to explore together what the problem is with our current approaches to teaching and how we can address these in the online world. Secondly, I'm going to share my expertise, which is a PhD in Educational Technology with you, and more specifically, a model that has arisen out of my research that will both simplify and activate your technology-based teaching.
Using our @CTIVATED Classroom teaching model you will learn about the power of the five layers of the model. Each layer introduces you to a powerful pedagogy (teaching approach) that you can easily implement in your classroom. As you rise through the layers you will move your classroom from L@C (Lower @CTIVATED Classroom) to H@C (Higher @CTIVATED Classroom)…and after all, we all need to H@C teaching!
Most current approaches to teaching with technology are built on the Consumption approach. We are excited that we are using eBooks or using YouTube videos in our class. However, while these may be exciting, at a level, they are simply consumption-based, and have very little activity. We're not using the power of technology to transform how we teach.
The first layer of the ACT approach is Curation. Curation is where you gather content from multiple sites. This is something our students naturally do. In this section you will discover how to use curation to activate your students' learning experience. We will then explore some powerful tools that you can use to easily introduce your students to curation based learning.
The second layer of the ACT approach is Conversation. Conversation has been central to how learning took place for thousands of years. However after the invention of the printing press, about 500 years ago, teaching and learning changed. It became focused not on Conversation but on Content consumption. We read books and reproduce that content. However with the advent of social media the conversation paradigm has powerfully returned and is changing the face of how we connect. And now through the conversation pedagogy it will change how you teach. In this section we will look at some powerful tools like chatrooms that you can use to support the conversation approach to teaching.
The third layer of the ACT approach is Correcting. We live in a world where we are used to things being correct. We can't make mistakes. That's how we teach. It must be right. However this is not where the power of learning lies. The power of learning lies in the msitakes ;-) we make. Wiki's are a prime example of this. They are environments where learning happens through a correcting process. This same power can be applied in the classroom. We will explore some powerful tools like Google Docs and others that will enable you to implement the power of a correcting pedagogy in your classroom.
The fourth layer of the ACT approach is Creating. Now we are really climbing up the layers and are getting close to the H@C (Higher @ctivated Classroom) layer. Creating is an extremely powerful way of learning, far more powerful than consuming, and technology provides amazing opportunities to learn through creating. In this section we will look at how you can implement a creating-based pedagogy in your classroom through creating videos, powerful animations and more. You will finish this section, really @ctivated!
The fifth and highest layer of the ACT approach is Chaos. This is a word that is not normally associated with education. What in the world has chaos got to do with the classroom? Sadly, not much. But in the @CTIVATED Classroom it has a lot to do with the most powerful pedagogy. Chaos is about sense-making, about learning to discern, about analysis, about resolving conflicts in disparate information, about the all-important C….Curiosity. We will explore some tools that support the pedagogy of chaos and its underlying driver, curiosity.
Finally we look at Edmodo. Edmodo is a great space where all of the pedagogies of the ACT approach can be implemented together.
So...get ready to join me and your fellow teachers on the exciting journey from Chalk to Click. The best part is that mistakes, confusion, and questions are all encouraged...and as you will see, a vital part of this learning journey that we are all taking together.
See you on the other side!
Craig is a dynamic international speaker who has been involved in business, I.T. and education for over 20 years, with his PhD speciality being in IT and learning. He has taught and inspired everyone from politicians to corporate leaders to parents to children, all around the world. In addition he has published numerous books and research papers on IT, and launched many successful businesses both offline and online.
Craig is not only pushing the boundaries of teaching and learning, he has pushed the boundaries of physical endurance having run over 40 marathons (42km/26mi), 10 Comrades Marathons (90km/56mi). For Craig, life is about living it to the full!
Craig's passion is to creatively inspire people, whether through his work with disadvantaged communities in Africa or through his seminars to international leaders. Join Craig, one of the world's foremost authorities in online learning, and not only will you learn amazing things, you will be inspired by his creative and engaging approaches.
If you are keen to implement technology in your teaching, or if you have tried and found it is not working, then this course is for you.
The course includes everything you need. The lectures are professionally created, as people have come to expect from Teachernology courses.
There are 8 modules to this course, and over 70 (and increasing) lessons. This is a comprehensive course, that takes you from nothing to having a powerful understanding of how to implement technology in your teaching. The lecture content is about 7 hours, however there are many exercises in the sessions that you need to undertake. This is about you being an @CTIVE learner too, and I will be encouraging you to do this throughout the course.
My suggestion is that you do this course a section at a time. I suggest that each section (besides the first one which is mainly a seminar) be experienced over about a week. I suggest you set aside some time to watch a few videos and then undertake the exercises. I have kept the videos to approx. 10-15 min in length so you can watch one, think about it…then watch the next one or try the activity. At this rate you can expect to complete a module per week, and thus complete the course in approx. 8 to 12 weeks.
This is an action course, and the model you are learning is called the @CTIVATED Classroom model. So you are expected to be ACTIVE…in fact if you reach the end, you will certainly earn the badge of being an @CTIVIST!
The course is structured in the following way:
1. Module 1 – A Correct Digital Pedagogy - In this section you will learn about the copy/paste problem and the importance of a new approach, the @CTIVATED Classroom Model, for teaching with technology
2. Module 2 – @CTIVATED Classroom - Curation – Learn about the power of content curation to support the @CTIVATED Classroom Teacher, and the tools that enable you to teach through curation.
3. Module 3 – @CTIVATED Classroom – Conversation – It's time to talk, and even more importantly discover how to teach through the pedagogy of conversation, and the online tools that support this approach.
4. Module 4 – @CTIVATED Classroom – Correcting – Mistkaes ;-) are good...because that's how we learn, and this section will show you the power of learning through correction and the tools that support this pedagogy.
5. Module 5 – @CTIVATED Classroom - Creating – Creating is one of the most powerful ways of learning and this section will show you how to use tools to support a pedadgogy of creating in your classroom
6. Module 6 – @CTIVATED Classroom - Chaos – Chaos, information overload, or whatever we call it, is one of the most powerful teaching tools, and this section will show you how to use technology to support this approach.
7. Module 7 – Edmodo – Discover Edmodo, a free online space where all of the @CTIVATED Classroom approaches can be implemented in a single environment.
8. Module 8 – Conclusion – The journey is ended, the journey has begun...you're invited to join the Staff Room as an @CTIVIST!
If I am looking for an online course there are 2 main things I look for. Firstly, the qualification/experience of the teacher. Secondly, the ability of the teacher to teach/present.
1. My Qualification/Experience - I have a PhD in the use of IT for education. I've been involved in IT both as a university lecturer, IT consultant and entrepreneur for over 20 years. Yet it's more than this. You want to be taught simply and in an engaging way. I will lead you on this learning journey in the most engaging way possible – with high quality material, brought to you from some of the most beautiful places in the world.
2. Ability to teach - In addition to having been a lecturer for over 20 years I have spoken around the world to everyone from business leaders to politicians to teachers to children. But don't believe me, here are what some of those who have heard me say:
"Craig has the rare ability to engage personally with each member in his audience " (A. Byrnes, PDM Pty Ltd, Australia),
"Craig is a dynamic speaker, out-of-the-box strategic thinker and professional " (R. van Rooyen, Associate Partner, Deloitte)
“Mr. Blewett is a pleasure to take in. The excitingly focused style by which he speaks keeps you on the edge of your attention ." (C. Stickney, USA)
“Craig is an experienced and highly competent teacher and presenter. He has the rare ability to convey innovative concepts in an engaging fashion that is packed with enthusiasm but also logic and balance ." (Dr. Alleyne, UK)
"Craig is possibly on of the most interesting presenters I have encountered. His students love him and in public forums he is unequalled ." (Prof. Maharaj, UKZN, South Africa)