The best part about the ACAdemic training I received at the end of last semester was the confidence it gave me to go out and try new approaches for how to bring the information and ideas I convey to my students. In a very non-threatening environment with responsive assistance, I was tasked with creating new communication forums, different lesson approaches, and just an overall creative vision of how I interact with my students in both online classes and in my face-to-face sessions.
One significant take-away I had was that the changes don’t have to drastic to be effective; sometimes just giving students some options will help them think different and try harder. Students learn in a variety of ways and appreciate when we make an effort to reach them in innovative ways. My experience with ACAdemic was so positive, I’ve incorporated many ideas already this summer, and I’m eager to introduce some new perspectives for the new semester. Several students wrote to tell me that they enjoyed the new, creative activities I incorporated as a direct result of ACAdemic.
Part of what we did to introduce ourselves in ACAdemic was to create a 30-second film clip using a very user-freindly website called Animoto. This summer I had my online literature students analyze a poem using images and music on this site for a daily grade. Almost all of the students turned in the assignment much earlier than the deadline (that doesn’t happen very often!) and several students mentioned how much they liked the project despite initial misgivings about understanding the technology. Here’s a sample with a representative student comment:
I really like this assignment a lot! My video is over Wordsworth’s poem “I wandered lonely as a cloud.” Here is the link to it: http://animoto.com/play/VWgrQNLVe0Pr1ykZ42iqjw