Building Teacher Skills Through the Interactive Web has come to an end after 10 weeks of hard work, lively discussions, project planning, reflection and peer assessment. This course has had all the elements of a successful web-course and thanks to a persistent, active group of professionals from around the world, energetic and rewarding! Careful planning and pre-construction of web-environments ensures motivated students and this was an extremely well-planned, task-based course which allowed me to tackle the web hands-on.
However, as always with the Internet, lots of material provided by the Wiki were out-dated or had simply disappeared. As with my students, I would make sure that the links are not too old or too general, but instead current, specific and targeted towards the topic at hand. Otherwise, the sources may seen overwhelming. I often wasted time clicking on links that did not work or lead to messy material from decades ago. Social media has revolutionized the Internet and there are many more attractive sources and databanks to look at nowadays.
All the topics were successful, except perhaps the "one-computer classroom" topic. I found it hard to imagine a scenario that does not exist in Finland. I was most intrigues by PBL (project based learning) and WebQuests which I have dabbled in before. Online rubrics are also something I will try to integrate into my teaching. I think I will create a site for my oral skills students on Anvill and I will start creating online research question forms on GoogleDocs with my students (Course 6: Science and Technology). Interactive PowerPoints are handy for many purposes.
The idea of collaborating with students and teachers around the world to create an authentic second-language learning environment is the most enticing one. Students would greatly benefit from an international environment and web-tools would be a natural addition. I hope to find partners for this kind of collaboration, and I am sure we all now have the interactive web-tool skills necessary for such a project!
Tools that I would suggest for the course are creating Facebook fan pages and groups for teaching, shared blog environments, and animations/cartoons/film making online.
Web-skills can never be mastered completely, it is an on-going, never-ending process. You keep an open mind and click away!