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DEVELOPING WEB-BASED COURSES

--A nine-inquiry course empowering you to build learning communities for online courses you become enabled to create for students, colleagues, and/or parents.

This is a distance learning course, concentrating on uses of the Internet for teaching, learning and professional development. It also is intended to give you enough web sites and leads-in to more web sites to be a continuously useful resource for your learning and doing.

Assessment is based on work you produce in series of essays/listings for each Essential Question or topic you "connect with," and with an annotated lists of sites supporting your views and reflecting your web work. Note the Rubric for Course Portfolio Assessment.

For instance, you might write “The site XXXX [http://www.xxx.com] gave me a different perspective on how to help students learn _____. It also cleared up for me something I was confused about, and that is what educators mean by __________.” Certainly you would want to elaborate more.

This work may be emailed to me at ozpk@earthlink.com, or snail-mailed to me at Chad C. Osborne 923 W. Mission St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101. If you email the work, you may wish to put it in a Zip file, which compresses text and makes it easier to send over the 'Net. You will also send a copy of your web site for Inquiry 3. Your essays should reflect key points of both the text readings and selected web sites, and give your considered views in answering each inquiry. When complete mail/email to Chad C. Osborne 923 W. Mission St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

The TEXT for this course, available from Amazon. com is Building Learning Communities in Cyberspace : Effective Strategies for the Online Classroom (The Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series) by Rena M. Palloff, Keith Pratt. To give you time to obtain this book, work on the following three inquiries, independent of the reading. The Final two inquiries are based on the reading.

Inquiry #1: SHOULD AND HOW MIGHT I USE THIS COURSE, DESPITE THE CURRENT STANDARDS/TEST-DRIVEN CLIMATE?

An underlying assumption for this course is that the current "teaching-to-the-test furor is both based on false ideas [see DEPTH vs. "COVERAGE" in TEACHING and MCAS PREP] and on little understood historical and political factors behind current schooling and standardized testing [see SCHOOLS ARE INTENTIONALLY DUMBED DOWN].
Can state frameworks be addressed through normal teaching unit? YES! says FIT the FRAMEWORKS to LIFE!

Inquiry #2: ASSESS YOUR OWN LEVEL OF WEB PROFICIENCY AND SET GOALS IN THIS AREA

1. To start, use the terminology at the site NetLingo: The Internet Language Dictionary to make an initial readiness self evaluation.

2. Assess and build your strengths in terms of searching for information on the Internet. Sites to use in this are: General Reference Materials - for searches, etc.

  1. Encyclopedia Britannica
  2. Information Please Online encyclopedia, almanac, and dictionary
  3. IPL Ready Reference Collection References on any subject
  4. Elements of Style Strunk and White's classic writing aid
  5. Speedy Phone numbers from Switchboard.com
  6. Searching for someone.... many ways that are fast!
  7. AT&T 800 Directory
  8. Zipcode Server (maps address to 9-digit zip code)
  9. USPS ZIP+4 Lookup Form
  10. HSU Library/Media Services Home Page
  11. Virtual Reference Sources (from HSU Library)
  12. HSU Library Catalogs
  13. Amazon.com Online books - Try this :). Text Only for faster information
  14. Barnes and Noble Book Search (Give this a try :)


  15. Inquiry #3: HOW TO CREATE WEB PAGES & AND ONLINE COURSES

    The following links are self explanatory in terms of your learning how to create web pages, use them in teaching and learning, and to teach others to do this. Online Web Page Builders are free. Microcosoft FRONTPAGE and several others are also quite good to use. {See Guide/How To #15 on FRONTPAGE.}

    You may develop web pages for family, students, colleagues, parents, or clients. You may also choose to build a multiple page web site, including links to subsequent pages on your "home" page.

    At some point early on, you will want to choose a topic and search for web sites to place on your page, in addition to the text you write yourself. The most versatile and prolific search engine, though there are many other search tools you can use, is GOOGLE.

    The following links are self explanatory in terms of your learning how to create web pages, and to teach others to. Online Web Page Builders are free. Microcosoft FRONTPAGE and several others are also quite good to use. {See Guide/How To #16 on FRONTPAGE.}

    You may develop web pages for family, students, colleagues, parents, or clients. You may also choose to build a multiple page web site, including links to subsequent pages on your "home" page.

    Even more useful, you may build a multiple web page **WEB QUEST to guide student inquiry using sites you select.

    At some point early on, you will want to choose a topic and search for web sites to place on your page, in addition to the text you write yourself. The most versatile and prolific search engine, though there are many other search tools you can use, is GOOGLE.

    FREE WEB PAGE BUILDERS

    Learn to use one or more of these by registering [no charge] and "learning by doing," playing with the tools until you overcome resistance.

    1. Teacher Web.com -- Fast, easy, Grrrrreat!
    2. BASIC TRIPOD WEB PAGE BUILDER
      The "old" web page editor, many feel is much easier to use. Register, then look for "Homepage Housekeeper"
    3. TRIPOD
      Best of the Best! 11MB free for web pages + all the tools!
    4. GEOCITIES
      Free helps and space for page development
    5. ANGELFIRE
      Up to 200 KB free storage + helps for page-making
    6. AOL PRESS
      Download, use HELP+Tutorial for a GREAT online workbook in all aspects of Web Page development
    7. WEBSPAWNER
      Free Home Page and limited space/editing.
    8. Online Web Page Editors
      Chart of free web editors, space and features, with sources not listed in other sites
    9. Website Building
      Menu of free web space options and features
    10. Attention Teachers: Put Your Classroom Online Today!
    11. Funky Chickens HTML Help!

    GUIDES -- "HOW TO..."

    These sites will give you choices matched to your "comfort/challenge" level, and give you guidance and direction in going ahead with web page development.

    1. A Busy Teacher's Guide to Using the Internet
      Ideas and Tools for how to USE the Internet in the classroom
    2. CLASS WEB--TOOLS
      Varied and valuable helps!
    3. HOW TO DEVELOP A WEB PAGE
      Excellent source for sites to empower you to become a Webmaster!
    4. GUIDELINES
      Good advice as well as comparison of sources for free web pages
    5. NET FOR BEGINNERS
      Good broad range of advice and tools
    6. Creating Simple Web Pages for Teachers

    7. Creating Classroom Web Pages

    8. Creating Web Pages: Basic

    9. Creating Web Pages: Basic+

    10. Creating Web Pages: Intermediate

    11. Creating Web Pages: Advanced

    12. Whassssup with Webpages?

    13. Hotlinks! Creating Web Pages

    14. Creating A Successful Web Site

    15. Creating and Publishing Web Pages

    16. Tutorial on Creating Web Pages with FrontPage Editor

    17. INTERNET INSERVICE CLASS For EDUCATORS -- Very useful links from this Syracuse, New York inservice program.

    18. Tech Tips Mega-useful site from an Ohio high school teacher

    19. Custom Classroom -- Free tools

    20. SchoolNotes.com FREE! Easily develop homework assignments and class information, posting it on the Web!

    21. Teacher Tools Page -- On-line tools for making quizzes, puzzles, rubrics, webquests, and more.

    22. HTML BASICS will give you basics for editing the format of web pages.

    23. Creating and Publishing Web Pages

    24. A Tutorial for Writing HTML

    25. STUDENT-PRODUCED WEB PAGES {Worcester State Graduate Students}

    26. ONLINE PROJECT EVALUATION
      Evaluation rubrics for web pages created by K-12 students
    27. DESIGNING A SCHOOL WEB PAGE
      Superb site with reasons, guidelines, and tool links for creating school web pages
    28. DEVELOPING ON-LINE COURSES
      Good advice for a GIANT step
    29. 10 Tips for online course development Awesome and varied site, including $25/hour "outsourcing" to India where you can have course material professionally developed and expanded. Take a look!

    GRAPHICS AND ICONS

    Here are a variety of sites to "dress up" your web pages with the graphics, including animations, that fit the visual Web medium you are working with.

    1. BEYOND THE SON OF FILAMENTALITY
      Tools for customizing your page--beyond the basics
    2. 3DCAFE
      Free Models, Tutorials, and Tools
    3. 3DCAFE Links To Web Tool Resources
      Graphics galore!
    4. AVAILABLE ICONS
      Here are some free icons and grahics you can copy and paste on your Web page
    5. CRAZY FREE STUFF
      Comparative ratings for free page sources + links
    6. FREESTUFF--TOOLS
      Web page developing tools & graphics
    7. JALINE'S FREE WEB GRAPHICS
      Lots! Borders, backgrounds, buttons, grahics.
    8. WEB TECH TOOLBOX
      Links to multiple tools and resources from TRIPOD
    9. EVERY ICON
      Icons, animated gifs and other neat stuff for your web pages
    10. Pug's Free Graphics

    11. Resources For Creating Your Own Web Home Pages

    12. Resources for Creating Web Pages

    13. More Resources for Creating Web Pages

    14. Netscape Resources for Creating Web Sites

      INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION BOARDS

    15. e-Groups.com
      Free and Easy
    16. Blackboard.com
      Free Course Development, including Discussion Boards, Chat Groups, Announcements, Course Documents, Student Use Tracking, and more!

    Inquiry #4: HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO BUILD A LEARNING COMMUNITY IN "CYBERSPACE"?

    Along with your reading Part One (Chapters 1-5) in Building Learning Communities in Cyberspace : Effective Strategies for the Online Classroom, use the following sites to do this inquiry. Note that links # 2 and 3 show examples down to the lower grades.

    1. What is "ELECTRONIC LEARNING"?
    2. Collaborative Electronic Learning
    3. The Collaborative Electronic Learning Project
    4. Building Learning Communities New & Necessary Roles for K-12 Schools & Districts
    5. Building Learning Communities
    6. Building Cyber-Learning Communities
    7. Building Learning Communities — Online
    8. Electronic Learning: The End Product of Classroom Technology: Some Resources

    Inquiry #5: WHAT SHALL I DO TO BUILD AND MAINTAIN AN ELECTRONIC LEARNING COMMUNITY {OF COLLEAGUES, STUDENTS, PARENTS, OR OTHERS}?

    Along with reading Chapters 6-11, use the following links in developing your answers.

    TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING LINKS {Chap. 9)

    1. Essential Guide to Optimal Learning
    2. Creating Learning Communities
    3. Transformative Learning: Theory To Practice
    4. Adult Learning
    5. Transformative Learning
    6. A Review of Theoretical and Empirical Literature on Transformative Learning
    7. Jack Mezirow
    8. Constructivism and Tranformative Learning Theories
    9. Adult Education for Social Change: From Center Stage to the Wings and Back Again
    10. Adult Learning: Theory & technology

    ASSESSMENT & EVALUATION LINKS {Chap. 10)

    1. USING RUBRICS for EVALUATION

    2. ASSESSMENT
      Critical issues and resources in assessment from Pathways for School Improvement
    3. TEACHING for HIGH STANDARDS
      Eye-opening article on assessment in the broader context
    4. Rethinking Accountability
      Best balanced approach to assessment!
    5. Model School Accountability Programs
      Best Practices in real schools!
    6. FAIR TEST PRINCIPLES AND INDICATORS
      What do testing authorities say ought to characterize fair uses of tests?
    7. AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT from Michigan Electronic Library
      Numerous sites to get a handle on authentic assessments
    8. RELATED LINKS
      Assessment research from UCLA
    9. THE PARADIGM HAS SHIFTED
    10. Most authentic assessment moves from measuring fact memory to measuring indicators of understanding and thinking skills
    11. PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT
      ERIC summary of best insights into this topic
    12. IMPROVING AMERICA'S SCHOOLS
      Newsletter putting alternative assessment in the context of educational reform

    13. TrackStar: ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENTS AND PORTFOLIOS
      27 links for specific subject areas and issues
    14. PORTFOLIOS IN ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION
      ERIC Digest of projects using portfolios as a teaching and assessing tool in classrooms
    15. PROJECT MOST: ASSESSMENT INDEX
      Chart of characteristics and advantages/uses of different modes of alternative assessment
    16. EXAMPLES OF CLASSROOM BASED ASSESSMENT
      Alaska's adaptation of Kentucky's authentic evaluation techniques for both process and content in all subjects
    17. LEADERSHIP RUBRIC
      Kentucky's tool for evaluating principals and other leaders
    18. SAMPLE ASSESSMENTS
      History, science, and mathematics assessment rubrics


    INQUIRY # 6: HOW MIGHT I USE THE WEB TO TEACH CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES?

    Part of a 21st Century education is to help students understand subjects in light of issues they will face in their lifetime. In this INQUIRY you will investigate and plan for such curricular connections both for your students and for yourself, in career choices you may consider. Not all issues will be relevant to you and students, so treat sites and assignments as a menu, and develop your best "meals."

    ISSUE 1: WHAT ISSUES CONNECT WITH MY CURRICULUM

    Step 1: Survey and investigate content-related sites at

    Curriculum In-Sites.

    You may find useful sites not particularly pertaining to Contemporary Issues, and may choose to include them in your Portfolio.

    Step 2: So far, which issues seem to have the highest priority and interests for you? What are your thoughts about how these issues might connect with your curriculum? Post your answers on the discussion board, and reply to other entries. Reprint your entries for your portfolio.

    ISSUE 2: WHAT OTHER POSSIBLE ISSUES IN AND OUTSIDE MY CURRENT CURRICULUM MIGHT STUDENTS PROFIT BY INVESTIGATING?

    Read material at

    NON-WESTERN SOURCES ON CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL ISSUES and

    Featured Sites on Contemporary Issues in International Relations.

    Also consider

    Crisis Web,

    Confronting AIDS: Public Priorities in a Global Epidemic,

    Why Worry About Corruption?

    ISSUE #3: IN THE FUTURE OF SCHOOLING, WHAT ROLE MIGHT & SHOULD CHARTER SCHOOLS, HOMESCHOOLING AND UNSCHOOLING PLAY,vis-a-vis PUBLIC EDUCATION?

    This is a key inquiry for this course. As class sizes increase, the supply of teachers decreases, and political and parental pressures for choice alternatives build--maybe a split of time between school and home- or un-school would be desireable. Approach this key Inquiry first by learning more about these alternatives from sites you read, select and reprint from the following three pages:


    Charter Schools

    HomeSchooling

    UnSchooling

    Next, read, ponder and selectively reprint for your portfolio from the following articles giving views in favor of Homeschooling and Unschooling:
    1. The Public School Nightmare: Why fix a system designed to destroy individual thought?

    2. Essays from Dumbing Us Down

    3. THE CURRICULUM OF NECESSITY OR WHAT MUST AN EDUCATED PERSON KNOW?

    4. Thoughts on Education

    5. Books Critiquing the School System

    Be open and honest in responding to these views. Remember, the ultimate problem/inquiry focus of whether it could prove helpful to have a student's schooling split between these approaches. Articulate your responses and views both on the Discussion Board and in your writings for this inquiry.

    Here is a final reading to consider in this inquiry. Think about the role of thinking time in your own learning; of privacy and solitude, of this diminishing and essential ingredient of intelligence and intellectual and emotional growth. React to the reading on the discussion board and in this inquiry.

    Excerpt from Why Schools Don’t Educate
    by John Taylor Gatto
    This is from the text of a speech by John Taylor Gatto accepting the New York City Teacher of the Year Award on January 31, 1990.

    Here is the calculus of time the children I teach must deal with:

    1. Out of the 168 hours in each week, my children sleep 56. That leaves them 112 hours a week out of which to fashion a self.
    2. My children watch 55 hours of television a week according to recent reports. That leaves them 57 hours a week in which to grow up.
    3. My children attend school 30 hours a week, use about 6 hours getting ready, going and coming home, and spend an average of 7 hours a week in homework - a total of 45 hours. During that time, they are under constant surveillance, have no private time or private space, and are disciplined if they try to assert individuality in the use of time or space.
    4. That leaves 12 hours a week out of which to create a unique consciousness.
    5. Of course, my kids eat, and that takes some time - not much, because they've lost the tradition of family dining, but if we allot 3 hours a week to evening meals,
    6. we arrive at a net amount of private time for each child of 9 hours [per week!].

I want to tell you what the effect is on children of taking all their time from them - time they need to grow up - and forcing them to spend it on abstractions. You need to hear this, because no reform that doesn't attack these specific pathologies will be anything more than a facade.

1. The children I teach are indifferent to the adult world. This defies the experience of thousands of years. A close study of what big people were up to was always the most exciting occupation of youth, but nobody wants to grow up these days and who can blame them? Toys are us.
2. The children I teach have almost no curiosity and what they do have is transitory; they cannot concentrate for very long, even on things they choose to do. Can you see a connection between the bells ringing again and again to change classes and this phenomenon of evanescent attention?
3. The children I teach have a poor sense of the future, of how tomorrow is inextricably linked to today. As I said before, they have a continuous present, the exact moment they are at is the boundary of their consciousness.
4. The children I teach are ahistorical, they have no sense of how past has predestined their own present, limiting their choices, shaping their values and lives.
5. The children I teach are cruel to each other, they lack compassion for misfortune, they laugh at weakness, and they have contempt for people whose need for help shows too plainly.
6. The children I teach are uneasy with intimacy or candor. My guess is that they are like many adopted people I've known in this respect - they cannot deal with genuine intimacy because of a lifelong habit of preserving a secret inner self inside a larger outer personality made up of artificial bits and pieces of behavior borrowed from television or acquired to manipulate teachers. Because they are not who they represent themselves to be the disguise wears thin in the presence of intimacy so intimate relationships have to be avoided.
7. The children I teach are materialistic, following the lead of schoolteachers who materialistically "grade" everything - and television mentors who offer everything in the world for free.
8. The children I teach are dependent, passive, and timid in the presence of new challenges. This is frequently masked by surface bravado, or by anger or aggressiveness but underneath is a vacuum without fortitude.

I could name a few other conditions that school reform would have to tackle if our national decline is to be arrested, but by now you will have grasped my thesis, whether you agree with it or not. Either schools have caused these pathologies, or television, or both. It's a simple matter [of] arithmetic, between schooling and television all the time the children have is eaten away. That's what has destroyed the American family, it is no longer a factor in the education of its own children. Television and schooling, in those things the fault must lie.

Gatto's book, The Underground History of American Education (Oxford Village Press, 2000), gives complete background and sources for understanding the intentional "dumbing down" of public education to create a consumer and working class basis for commercial profit. Gatto says it was not a conspiracy as such that brought this about, but numerous factors and the implicit bargain of giving up our freedom and quality schooling in exchange for prosperity and a higher material quality of life. It is now becoming apparent, however, that the bar is set too low for either human good or the future prosperity of corporations.


INQUIRY #7: DO I NEED TO SACRIFICE DEPTH IN ORDER TO COVER ALL THE AREAS OF MY MCAS-LINKED CURRICULUM?

These sites and the links in their pages will give you a basis to 1)formulate your answer, 2)respond on the Discussion Board, and 3) add highlighted and annotated material to your Portfolio in this fourth inquiry.

Helps for MCAS Preparation for Teachers and Students

  1. High Schools Standardized Test Preparation
  2. Open Response Questioning Strategies
  3. Test Resources from About.com
  4. Constructed Response
  5. Testing 1...2...3...
  6. DEPTH vs. "COVERAGE" in TEACHING and STANDARDIZED TEST PREP
  7. MCAS Mentor: MCAS Test Help
  8. MCAShelp.com
  9. MCAS Practice Tests
  10. Sample Student Work and Scoring Guide
  11. MCAS Test Items
  12. Improving the MCAS: Is There Hope?
  13. MassRefusal.org -- You don't have to give the test!
  14. Students Against Testing (SAT!)

    Inquiry #8: In order to combat the degree of materialism in our culture, and the decline in ethics and morals, should public schools seek to teach spiritual dimensions within courses?

    Consider the meaning(s) of "spiritual" in as many of the links as you can consider on this page, Spirit and Learning , and describe how you might include them in teaching.

    INQUIRY #9: For this final inquiry, select from these Themes.

    Include at least three of these issues in depth in your course design.