Check out this nifty photo book created with Bookr. It fits in with my (kind of) yearly Valentine’s / technology theme.  This could be a great activity to use with students.

Allyson just recommended word clouds describing each of the candidates as discussion points for the upcoming election day events. You can find this info on the blog for the Pew Research Center, where they give the results of a survey where registered voters were asked what one word best describes their impression of the candidates for president and vice president.

Words that were most commonly used to describe the candidate

Words that were most commonly used to describe McCain as presidential candidate

Wordle creates “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes.

I’ll have to admit that I was rather surprised at the number of people that didn’t specifically write out objectives, or that said they have them in their head.  If I didn’t write out my objectives to a workshop, or a course, or a curriculum, how would I ever remember where I was supposed to be at the end or how to evaluate?  How many times have I heard, “I’ve taught it so many times I don’t need a lesson plan.”  Is that really true, I wonder?  What about all those things you could change, or keep track of, if you thought it out well before you walk into the classroom?

I think that NETs would be nice to add to the overall program curriculum, but I also think that the program curriculum should be more in-depth, more connected to the CEF, and include learning strategies and cultural aspects.  Maybe it’s not something I think about every day, or even every course, but that it’s there in my mind that my students will need to be able to use technology and English together.

The Dynamic Instructional Design model for me is simply a reminder of what I need to take into account at each level of planning a course, a unit, a lesson, an activity…I wouldn’t use it all the time, but off and on to get myself to think more about what I’m doing in the classroom.  The documents we looked at, including the DID designer, lesson planner, and action planner, don’t point out anything new, but remind me what I need to do. The last step of the DID designer, describing the summative evaluation process that I’ll use to evaluate my design and how the results will be used to revise caught my attention.