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Ebb and Flow

15 August 2006

Currently I am in the process of designing some online courses. Today I was thinking about not just how and why a specific media should be selected but also … when. While the courses focus on teaching skills (in a meaningful context and related to practice) they are still well … teaching skills. When teaching technology skills it is important to teach the “big ideas” that are not specific to one company’s application but to types of applications or technology in general. Besides creating more fluid and flexible understandings it is just downright practical. (example–Adobe buys Macromedia– prices skyrocket). So when teaching these skills we want to present the big ideas, give step-by-step instructions (build foundational knowledge), encourage exploration and self-guided learning (don’t make them dependent on your modules– they should be able to utilize forums, the help menu :-) etc. )

Okay, okay– so you are probably saying how does this relate to ebb and flow– I think we should consider the ebb and flow of information and activities that are specific to the type of content we are teaching. Think of it as writing a piece of music. Education should not just draw on experience … it should be an experience.

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