I chose a course on edX on the introduction of probability. The course starts of with just a little overview, saying what the course is going to be about and the layout of the course.

Next you take an entrance survey. They ask you why you’re taking the course, if you plan to finish it and receive a certificate and what kind of math you already know.

The class is broken up into 4 different units then an exam, then three more units and another exam then one more unit. Each unit has a lecture, the lectures are split up into a bunch of different lecture videos, then a little exercise to complete.Image

Next the lesson goes over a little review for you, basically going over the whole lecture quickly and more generally than the first time.Image

Next the class goes over a few problems to really lock in the understanding. Then there is a problem set, or homework for you to do. They give you a due date any everything for the homework.Image

And lastly there is a forum at the end of the lesson to make any comments you have.

I could definitely learn from this kind of setting, the professor of this class had a really boring voice but other than that, I could easily utilize an online class like this one. I like how the break the course up into two different exams so there isn’t too much content on one test. The content and layout of the class is really easy to follow and very user friendly.

 

However, I am not sure if this would work for the age group I want to teach. I would like to teach elementary and with younger kids it might get a little tricky. There is a lot of clicking around and if the kids weren’t really proficient in their computer skills in might make it a little tricky.

I also think younger kids would have a hard time focusing for each lesson. There is a lot of lecturing and videos and I’m not sure if I could ask second graders to watch a ten-minute video without breaking it up at all. They do not have a very high attention span, and cannot sit for long periods of time without changing what they are doing. If the videos were shorter and were broken up even more than they are it could work, but I also think this would make it even harder for the kids to navigate.

A real classroom environment is better for all ages because we can stop and go over any question that the students have. If they need something explained differently then the teacher is there to help them out. However, but the online classes if the student does not understand one of the concepts then they can play a video over and over again. But if they still cannot get it that is where a real classroom environment is helpful. The teacher can explain the concept a different way.

It would be really cool to be able to tell kids to go home and do the online course then they could come back to school the next day and you could do more hands on activities and labs. Granted this means that every student would have to have some sort of electronic device that they could take the class on, which I’m sure most do, but we can never assume. It would be easy to do in the classroom if there was a set of iPads for the students, but then instead of doing an online course the teacher may as well be teaching the same material.

           

Lesson Plan

I would like to just do this with my regular class of 5th grade students. I would like to go off of my presentation that I did about flowers, and do a section of the unit where the kids plant their own plants. They will be the Wisconsin Fast Plants, which only take a few weeks to grow. There will be 3 different soil types for this experiment; top soil, peat, and sand.

 I would like to start the project out by making having them get out their iPads and making a few predictions; how tall their plant will be, how many flowers it will have, and how many leaves it will have on excel. Also as they go along, and make them measurements every week I would like them to keep updating the all these aspects of their plant in the excel spreadsheet.

We can then plant the flowers, probably at least three in each student’s pot so if one doesn’t grow they won’t be disappointed. However, I would be very careful to leave out one part of the experiment and leave it for them to figure out on their own. I would like to also make a Google doc and ask all of the students a question. What will constant in the experiment will be? Is there something that will be the same throughout everyone’s plant? Then after they all come up with their own ideas and get them down in a document I want to bring them up on the board and have everyone explain what they wrote down. Hopefully they would get to the idea that the amount of light and water each plant would get is going to be the same so that every plant has an equal opportunity to grow just as well as the next.

Then I would like them all to collaboratively work on a PowerPoint together. There will be slides so each of the different soil types, I would like the students to write about their soil type and explain why they think that type would grow the best plant, or even why it wouldn’t. Next I want to bring it up on the board and show everyone their classmate’s ideas. I really like the idea of everyone working on the same document to build community and then being able to bring it up on the board and having it up on everyone’s iPads to be able to talk about it as a class.

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1rmwEbtZ76MWhH_dWvhfFuovaZn0jnTeMQGeh76PjQ3I/edit#slide=id.g1de7b0d20_07

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aj-xZno1ScupdFNpUW9wNWxQaDNlRTRhaTBKWl92Zmc#gid=0

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GuZX6rBEsGb2me7v_htVi-tP0aVrbyMzsc4mY_VlqUM/edit