Category Archives: Course 1

Week 6: Finishing Up Course 1

Week 6 is our final week of Course 1! This week is intended to give you time to catch up on any work you have missed and to complete your final project (the UBD unit planner and reflective blog post).

By the end of this week, you’ll officially be finished with Course 1 (as long as all your work is completed, of course). So, by October 22 you should have:

  • All 5 blog posts completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
  • All 5 comments completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
  • Your final project embedded in a 6th blog post with a short reflection about what you chose to do, why, and how you think it will enhance teaching and learning.
  • Approved all comments on your own blog

Course 1 Final Project

Review the Course 1 Final Project guidelines and resources and remember the UBD Unit Template is provided as a resource for you, not a requirement. If you have a format that you prefer or that might be required by your school, please use it. We want this to be something practical and useful for you, not a hoop to jump through. Ideally, this should be a unit that you plan on implementing in the coming school year so that your can share how it goes with us in a later course. Please also review the Project Rubric that will be used to assess your final project.

Your final project must be publicly viewable and linked to your reflective blog post. You’ll follow the same format for the final project of each course. There is a video on this week’s module that shows how to embed your plan in your blog.

Of course, if you have questions or concerns, please contact me as soon as possible!

Thank you for your hard work!

Having lived and worked in Japan many years ago, one of the phrases I still find myself wanting to use at a time like this is  お疲れ様です (o-tsukaresama desu). One thing I love about learning about language and culture is we often find phrases that express things that we don’t quite have an equivalent to in our own native language. In this case, ‘good job!’ doesn’t quite cut it. And roughly translated, お疲れ様です (o-tsukaresama desu) means “I honor your fatigue”! I’ve been reflecting about when I was going through Course 1 and the excitement and the stress that I experienced in learning and sharing with an online cohort (a first for me) and balancing that with all the other things going on in my life. So I honor the time and energy you have been putting forth in this new endeavor with COETAIL!

Week 5: Collaboration in the Digital Age

Technology has really made the ability to collaborate across time and space a reality and even the norm in many learning and work spaces today. In addition to COETAIL, I am also involved with Eduro Learning and just in the last month I’ve been communicating in real time with others via Google Hangouts and Slack across multiple time zones and reviewing and contributing to materials via Google Docs. The amount of work we are able to accomplish in one day would have taken weeks, if not months, and been very expensive (travel and communication costs) just 20 years ago. So as educators, how can we take advantage of the ability to not just connect, but also collaborate to enhance our students learning? In other words, according to our essential question this week, how can we embrace globally collaborative projects in our curricular areas to address this facet of 21st Century Learning?

If you are just building your PLN, taking on a global collaborative project can seem daunting. However, you can start locally to build your and your students’ experience with collaborating with others. What skills and strategies do students need to collaborate in face to face situations in their classroom? In their school? Starting in an environment and with teachers you are familiar with can help build experience and confidence to branch out further. @kehrimagalad shares her experience in connecting her music class with another in her area via a member of her PLN in her blog post “Geeking Out: A Beginner’s Guide”.

When you are ready to try something more global, there are many projects and organizations that support global collaboration for learning. @gchagaris shares her students’ experience via PenPal Schools where her students connected with others to collaboratively learn about a science topic. Check out her story in her post “Geeking Out”

One recent COETAIL graduate, Joel Bevans, did his Course 5 final project on collaborative storytelling which he has now developed into the Travelling Tales project that brings 5 classrooms from around the world to write a story together.

I look forward to hearing how you are inspired to “embrace globally collaborative projects”!

Week 4: Teaching and Learning and Technology

Checking In

To be up to date…

  • read and completed all
    units up to Week 4 in the “My Courses” tab
  • begun thinking about your Course 1 Final Project
  • written 3 blog posts & 3 comments
  • recorded the URLs of each of the posts & comments you would like assessed as part of COETAIL on your grading spreadsheet

If you are behind for some reason, it happens, but please make an effort to catch up. If you get too far behind it may become overwhelming and you may feel left out of the conversation. The program policy for late work can be found here. Please, please let me know how I can support you at any time during the course of this program.

Implications in the Classroom

EQ: Have (and if so, how have) teaching and learning changed with the introduction of new tools?

This week’s essential question is a hot topic of conversation for many and has produced research and lots of opinions about the impact (or lack of) of technology on teaching and learning.

This week’s readings (from Digital Youth Project and Marc Prensky) are from 2005-2006 but I think it’s interesting to read and compare/contrast them with what is happening in schools today. You can easily find more current resources on this topic and I’ve listed a few below if you are interested.

Are We Getting Smarter about Ed Tech? (Edutopia)
Technology Integration Research Review (Edutopia)
The Pros and Cons of Technology (Edudemic)

A couple other videos you might be interested in were shared by Online 9 participants @megodek and @cescobar in their Week 3 blog posts.

From Megan

From Carolin

(FYI: Here is how to embed videos in your blog posts)

Thanks for your continued sharing in your posts and your interaction with each other. I’m seeing thoughtful analysis and reflection and relevant sharing of ideas and resources. And I appreciate the time and effort you are putting into this learning journey!

Week 3: Classroom Applications and Building Your PLN

Application to the Classroom

In Week 2, you were introduced to framework and expectations of the Final Project for Course 1 and we’ll continually refer to it. This week, you have some focused readings about tech integration in the classroom around the essential question “How can we effectively, practically and authentically embed technology within our curricular areas?”. This is a constant question educators must ask themselves in regards to technology used in our classrooms and schools. I’ll be interested to read about your perspectives and also how your answers to this question evolves over the course of your COETAIL experience.

Social Media for Professional Growth

I’ve found huge benefits of being active on Twitter professionally (I do know it’s not for everyone), and it’s become a huge resource for me especially for my work in technology integration and coaching. All our Online 9 participants are on Twitter so I made a Twitter List (COETAIL Online 9) that you can subscribe to so you can follow and interact with each other. Lists are an example of a way to manage people you follow on Twitter. (I highly recommend TweetDeck for organizing and managing the tweets you see) Check out the resources in the Week 3 module for more ideas on how you can use Twitter and Google+ to building your PLN. It’s a process and I always recommend starting where you are comfortable and building from there.

Educators are also making connections via Facebook and @kehrimagalad shares a great story about how she found the power of Facebook for connecting with other music educators.

You’re checking Facebook? At work?!

I’ve already started Tweeting out some of your blog posts on Twitter and I encourage you to tweet about them yourself! Really! You can get some great interaction this way. I tweeted out @nicholasgarvin’s blog post mentioning Will Richardson (the author of the article he referred to in his post) and Will responded! 

Blogging Tips

Everyone has their blogs up and running and we encourage you to develop and personalize your blog over time. You can try new out different themes and look at adding widgets.

Embedding videos into a blog post is a great way to share content. A video or document that is embedded (instead of just linked) makes it easier for the reader to view the content. Here’s a simple method for embedding a YouTube video.

You can “tag” people in your post or comment by using the @ sign. When you do this it sends that user an email telling them they have been tagged in a post or comment. A great way to give people credit or point them to something that you think might interest them. Type @ and then the start of someone’s username and you’ll see a list of usernames start to appear. (I’ve done this twice in this post already)

Hyperlinking in a comment is a great way to keep a conversation going and share resources. The trick is you need to use an HTML code to do this in comments. Don’t worry – you don’t need to be a programmer to do this! You will need a line of code and add the link and the text in. See here for the code and an example of how it’s done.  

Add a question or two at the end of your blog post to encourage interaction from visitors to your blog. See an example of this on @nicholasgarvin post “Connectors first, Content experts second”.

A few thoughts…

I know there’s been a lot to do and learn and figure out already over the past few weeks and it can feel like information overload. The main thing about COETAIL is learning and growing and this means that you are starting where you are and going from there. Of course you have certain expectations to meet (blog posts, commenting and final projects) but you will all meet those in your own way. We will also offer you suggestions on things you can work and expand on but if you are not ready to add widgets to your blog or a hyperlink in a comment this week, it’s okay. You’ll get there.

Week 1: Getting Connected

Several of you have been asking for links to all the blogs for our cohort so you can start reading and leaving comments. I have most of them and will update the list as soon as I can. I’ve put them together for you a couple of different ways just for fun and to share a little bit of what you can do with Google. I will also share the document in our Google folder for your reference. Please add these blogs to your RSS reader for easy reference as well.

If you do not see your information in the list, please let me know so I can add your information as soon as possible so you can start connecting and sharing with our cohort members!

Online 9 Cohort Blog Links

My Maps: Online 9 Participants

Week 1: Setting Up and Getting Started

Here we go! This week is mostly about getting you set up and running for our COETAIL cohort. I know it’s been a bit hectic and there have been stops and starts but just like getting ready for a new school year (which we’ve all been experiencing as well), it’s important to get these things in place for our learning and sharing to be possible for the rest of the course.

Here’s a checklist of what should be done by the end of Week 1.

  • Set up COETAIL blog
  • Set up and share your Grade Sheet with me
  • Completed the blog link survey
  • Set up your RSS Reader
  • Written your Reflective blog post (See Week 1: Getting Connected)
  • Let me know if you will be completing COETAIL with Google for Education Certified Trainer option (GET). Here is a blog post that explains the requirements COETAILers Current & Graduates requirements for receiving GET

Weekly Routine

In COETAIL, our courses are organized by weeks so it’s important to start working out a routine that works for you. You may set aside one day to do your reading and another to do your writing, or decided to do it little by little throughout the week. Whatever works for you is great. Just make sure you include the following in your routine:

  • Check your RSS Reader
  • Check in with the My Courses tab to see if something is new.
    • Especially the GET tab as we’re constantly updating that portion of the course
  • Complete the weekly readings.
  • Write a weekly blog post.
  • Write a weekly comment.
    • At least one that you’ll record on the spreadsheet, but the more you engage with each other the stronger the experience becomes
  • Document your work on your Grading Spreadsheet (links to blog post and comment) for assessment and feedback

Please make sure that as you are posting your blogs and commenting, you are also updating your spreadsheets. That’s how I know that you are ready for assessment and feedback. I’ve set up notifications on your spreadsheets to notify me when you make additions and edits. I recommend you do the same so you know when I’ve added comments. (in spreadsheet Tools > Notification rules).

If you ever have questions about assessment and/or feedback on your Grade Sheet, please feel free to let me know – you can e-mail me or even leave a comment on your gradesheet, whatever you feel comfortable with.

A few thoughts about writing blog posts…

You’ll submit your first post this week based on your readings and the process of getting set up for the course. If you’re new to blogging don’t worry. It will get easier. Try to find your own voice and style as you write. Remember, in most cases, the writing prompts are suggested topics for getting you started. You don’t have to respond exactly to the prompt. If you have an idea or connection that came to you based on the week’s readings, go for it. This is about you and your learning experience!

My Responsibilities

As your COETAIL instructor, my role is to support and guide you through this learning experience through feedback and assessment and communication.

Feedback and Assessment

As your instructor I will assess your assignments including blog posts, comments, projects and final grade and also leave formative and summative feedback. The majority of the feedback will take place on your grading spreadsheet.

More information about Assessment and Feedback
Orientation: Week 4: What can you expect in terms of assessment & feedback from the instructors?  


I will communicate frequently with you regarding anything that will affect the course via emails and our cohort blog. I will also let you know when I will be unavailable for timely responses (i.e. when I am at a conference, on break).

A few more thoughts…


I appreciate the commitment you are making by choosing to do COETAIL and having been through the program myself, I know that it requires time and energy. I realize that you are all busy with families and work and life in general as well and that things will come up that throw you off a bit. Please make sure you communicate with me if that happens or you are feeling overwhelmed, and I’ll work with you.

Our Cohort Blog

I’ll post here at least once a week with highlights from your posts, thoughts on the coming week and any tips or instructions you might need. I’m looking forward to reading your posts, hearing your perspectives and getting to know you. This is going to be a fantastic learning adventure for us all!

….And we’re off!