I received an e-mail this week from Mike Baker from Polaris Career Center regarding my use of an RWLO account. At first I thought I was in trouble for unauthorised use of a set up aimed at US educators but he was merely curious as how I found out about the service and the origin of some of the public files I have sitting there. I had to admit I started the account as a free place to store education related stuff so I could access it from anyplace that had a web connection and I got the original link from a Steve Dembo post. I hadn't even really poked around the rest of the site much but thanks to Mike, I have started to sift through some of the resources and Learning Objects available. He also gave me some great links to key parts of the site and I thought I'd post them here before I delete the e-mail and lose it forever. Firstly, Mike pointed to PT3 Pathways Project where the whole site's purpose is explained. Then he gave me a link to A Guide To Unique And Compelling Educational Resources that was fantastic as an overview of how to effectively use internet resources in a classroom, clearly defining what cannot be done by using traditional resources alone. This was excellent and is something that I can use with teachers easily in our Problem Based Learning program. Heaps more resources and Learning Object exemplars were also available at the Polaris Public homepage and also here. In the spirit of just-in-time learning and my recent discourse on e-portfolios the last link provides exemplars of different e-portfolios from teachers and teaching students that should help me out in further clarification of this concept. Mike's directions were to open the RWLO e-Desk Workshop folder, then the Unique e-Desk Sites popping out the files in the main window. So thanks, Mike and also for encouraging me to keep my account, an obscure Aussie educator sponging off US taxpayers' dollars! (My description, not his.)
Submissions to our RWLO library are underway, and some are very good. Visit our current list, but keep in mind the “drop down-search” is not yet working. Use the four subject area “tabs” to search what we have at present.
As I’ve just gotten started with blogging, I have found the Establishing RSS feeds Learning Object, quite useful.
On the RWLO front, I really believe there is a connection between our working definintion of Unique and Compelling Internet uses and Thomas Friedman’s ideas expressed in The World is Flat. Friedman’s book is the most significant book I have read in the last 30 years! If we are going to prepare Generation Z for the Global Age Friedman discusses, they will have to focus on communicating with people they likely won’t meet in the classroom, accessing authentic data in real time, publishing their ideas, and accessing unique & primary resources.
The intent of our PT3 Grant Project is to have College Professors design 30-60 minute learning objects, integrating these “Unique & Compelling Internet Uses” through the lesson.
As I’ve indicated earlier, please feel free to either access the learning objects at our list, or develop your own e-desk site.
g’day, Mike Baker