Who am I?

Sarah Allred is the Instructional Lead Teacher at Braxton Craven School, an all 6th grade middle school. She has 15 years of teaching experience at the middle school level. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education earned at the University of NC Greensboro, National Board Certification in Early Adolescent English Language Arts, and a Master of Arts in Education in Instructional Technology earned at East Carolina University. She has taught language arts, social studies, science, and technology. She serves her school in many leadership roles. Her passion is searching for new ways to use technology to improve student learning. Additional roles she fills are mother of two amazing kids, and wife of a police officer. She enjoys reading, gardening, and digital photography.

Monday, February 28, 2011

E Learning for Middle Grades Students

Having just completed my masters degree in a totally online distance education program has inspired me to think about how I could adapt and use e learning in my 6th grade classroom to push students to reach higher levels of learning.  I began by checking out a variety of online learning management systems including Moodle, Udemy, and RCampus.  Each of these are great, free tools to host online courses.  Since I am working with sixth graders and facilitating an online course for the first time, I decided to try tools I am familiar with to start in the hopes of keeping it simple for myself and the students.

I ended up basically creating my own course management tool by using several other web 2.0 tools.  The basic course is hosted on a Google Site.  I used the site to post announcements and directions for students.  As they complete each of the 5 lesson parts, there are links to the learning materials they need.  I added to this, a discussion board where students are assigned to post comments on questions related to lesson topics.  The discussion board is actually a blog on Blogger.  I used ClassMarker to create an online graded quiz for each lesson. Finally I am trying out using Engrade to report scores to students.

The biggest dilemma in this adventure for me is making the online lessons easy to access and navigate through for students.  I really would love to spend some more time with the course management programs to make things a bit more fluid and easily accessible for students and myself.  So far things seem to be going well with how I have things set up.

You can check out my online learning site at: https://sites.google.com/site/rockstarsonline/
Once my students have finished the project, I will post my reflections and tips I learn through the process.