From Slide #1 of my Wicked Problem Final Project: Here’s my problem: I teach ukulele and guitar to students from other countries, living in the United States for a period of time. Many of my students would like to continue their lessons when they return to their home countries or move to other parts of the US; how can we do that?
From Slide #2: My solution is to use the Edmodo Learning Management System to organize and deliver the materials needed. (I could have added: in a manner that best addresses the technological, pedagogical, and content challenges specific to the course and students.)
From Slide #10: How does Edmodo address TPACK?
First, how does the Edmodo support my teaching strategy and methods, or Technological Pedagogy? With Edmodo I can easily: post .pdfs of sheet music and notes, sample mp3s, instructional videos, and homework assignments. I can also manage my class list, post assignments, communicate with students, accept finished assignments, and provide feedback on their work. The calendar function can be used to schedule assignments and due dates.
How does Edmodo support Technological Content knowledge; how does this technology make the content in my solution more intellectually accessible? One of the nice things about Edmodo is that it is easy to let the student learn on his or her own time. Many of my students will be in other time zones or have a non-traditional student schedule. With Edmodo, they can have access to the instructional materials and other course content at any time of the day or night. They can work on their assignments at the times that suit them best, within the constraints of the schedule I’ve set.
Also, Edmodo makes it easy for me to tailor the lesson and strategies to the particular student. For example, a student might be more of an auditory learner than one who does best with printed materials. For that student, I can focus more on mp3 and video lessons to get them to learn the song in a manner that works best for her. If I find a particular lesson isn’t effective for whatever reason; I can easily delete the offending file and upload a new one.
How does Edmodo support the Pedagogical Content for my instruction ? How specifically do my pedagogical choices make the content in my lessons more usable? In the library of my “Ukulele Online” Edmodo group I will have four main folders (plus a “Misc” folder with items such as an online ukulele tuner, uke reviews, etc):
“Getting Started” (information about tuning, terminology, parts of the ukulele, etc., plus a one-chord song “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”
“Beginning” (songs with up to four chords: C, F, G7, Am, basic 3/4 and 4/4 time strums)
“Intermediate” (songs with up to 8 chords, reggae, calypso, muted, and other strums)
“Advanced” (8+ chords, more complicated strums, jazz chords, scales runs, and more)
Unfortunately, Edmodo does not support the creation of sub-folders at this time. To organize the materials in each folder by song assignment, I will simply title the video or MP3 lesson, sheet music, and teacher notes starting with the name of the song. This will group them together in alphabetical order and will be an acceptable workaround until the sub-folder issue is resolved.
This will allow me to organize and sequence the lessons in a logical and progressive manner which should be intuitive to the student. It will also make it easy to start each student at the level that suits them best, depending on their previous knowledge.
I’ll use the calendar to schedule assignments and due dates for each student, along with the live Skype sessions. The students can upload a video of themselves playing the song, or we can evaluate it during a live session.
The gradebook will be used to give them a: “Uke Master”, “Good Progress”, or “Needs Improvement” evaluation for each lesson and level. They will be able to upgrade their rating on any lesson at any time; even after they’ve moved on to another lesson; this way they can apply techniques they learn from later lessons to earlier ones.
The complete script is here and the video presentation is embedded below: