Saturday, February 26, 2011

Math Essentials: An Online Resource

One of our "tech tasks" in Internet for Educators, is to sign up for a Web Based Course (WBC) with Manitoba Education, check it out, and then comment on its design, content, and how we would use it as a resource while teaching the course. Initially, before signing up for a course, I thought that this could really help me as a teacher come up with resources, lesson plans, and assessment ideas. Signing up for and navigating through the course Essential Mathematics 20S has confirmed this.

One of the biggest challenges I faced in my last student teaching placement was finding resources, and lesson plan and assessment ideas for the brand new grade 10 Essentials course I was teaching. Thinking back to that experience and after having the opportunity to navigate through the Essentials course I would suggest that every teacher should use these WBCs as a resource for themselves and their students. The setup of the online Essentials course is really easy to navigate and most internet literate teachers and students wouldn't need any navigation instructions. I really liked that the course was broken into modules that match up with how the course is broken into units in the MB curriculum. Each module is further broken down into short, chronologically arranged lessons that build upon each other. These lessons give definitions, offer explanations, and give examples for students to try. This would make it really easy for a teacher to find resources for any lesson he or she needed to teach. There are also assessments linked to each module and looking through them gave me a lot more ideas if I were to teach this course again.

The other huge benefit I see with using a WBC, beyond using it as a personal resource while preparing units and lessons, is as a teacher, you can get students to sign up for the course and use it themselves. There are often times that students expect teachers to be their first resource when they run into problems or have questions. Becoming this resource is something teachers need to avoid. Instead, teachers could refer students to the website and possibly even teach from the website so students know that where they can find the information they require. Students can refer to the online course outside of class as well, which can prove to be a huge advantage to motivating students to think math outside the classroom.

1 comment:

Teamocil said...

You made a lot of the same observations I did. Using these modules as a resource is an excellent start when getting started up with a new class. I like the advantage of how it can make it easier to catch up students who miss a lot of classes if you can send them directly to the source of a lot of your own materials.