Course Design

Adventures in Blended Learning

Its a busy time of year, but a good opportunity to reflect on how my classes are wrapping up. To help push my to the next level, I have signed on to a Mooc about blended learning. This course is offered by The Blended Toolkit with instructors form UCF (University of Central Florida) and the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee.

My first assignments is to create a matrix of how I am blending my class. I have chosen to use my Digital Photography class as my case project.  When I first developed this course, I thought it would be 100 % online.  Most of my courses are live video conferences. I wanted to take a crack at delivering a completely online class.  I found myself taking advantage of the opportunity to meet live twice a week with most groups. I am now intentionally blending more F2F time for video conference instruction as well as question and answer sessions. This Diagram shows how I view the blended opportunities that I am currently offering.

Its good to think purposefully about the methods I use in delivering content. This will help me plan my interactions and lessons more purposefully next year. I think it will help my co-facilitators and students to have a snapshot of the course design and what it means to be a “blended course” I am looking forward to hammer out more details on this strategy.



CK-12: Open Source Science Text Books

book idea comb 2

I have been an open source fan since the term was coined in reference to software and other digital media. I use many open source images, songs, and software in my classroom. I haven’t been impressed with open source text books until CK-12 came along.

CK-12 has now evolved into a classroom tool that rivals most of the text books that I use.  Educators can build a custom textbook using the core material from CK-12’s library.  Lessons are complimented by a growing network of reading strategy activities, real world applications, interactive tools and media links. My favorite feature is the ability to save an entire text or a single lesson in multiple formats. You can print the book, save it to pdf, publish as a epub or simply invite your students to the CK-12 interface. I am seriously considering a complete switch to CK-12 as a class text and resource.


Augmented Reality

This is a sample of an augmented reality project  ( and Viewed from a computer, you get a sense of  how geological information, markers and media can be combined. Once you explore this with an ipad  or a smartphone, a whole new world opens up.

The 2013 ASTE crew and UAF put together and amazing strand at this year’s conference to illustrate the potential of augmented reality in education. Here is a link to that story and a short video intro .  The session links provide excellent examples of the potential of this technology in learning. I really enjoyed using my iphone to complete the Captain Cook Scavenger hunt. The quiz questions were too hard for me and I did not win an ipad mini for the top score, but I gained valuable insights.




Today I found myself trying to put together a bunch of links to support a lesson my students are completing in Earth Science about how different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation are used to study the universe. There are some amazing resources posted on PBS Teachers Domain that I like to share with my students to enrich my presentations with video. Many of these are now interactive images that are better suited to students exploring and manipulating on their own device. I am trying to think of ways to share these that are more exciting than a list of links.  That’s were today’s experiment with