I’ve received a number of very good questions, so I wanted to address them with everyone. Please remember to cc: everyone in the class when emailing me with questions about the final assignment, as I’m sure there are others with the same or similar questions 😉
Regarding the blog comments, and what kind of blog it needs to be, as long as the blog covers education and technology, it’s fair game. Once you submit a comment, send me an email with the link, or you can just send one email with all three links. Sometimes it takes a few days for the comment to be moderated, so if that’s the case, I’ll take your word that you’ve submitted the comment. It’s usually better to comment on a more recent blog post, as those get the most attention by the authors. The comment doesn’t have to be profound; I just want to make sure you have the experience of participating in this kind of dialogue.
A good question came up regarding Throughlines on the unit plan assignment. The book defines Throughlines as:
…long-term, overarching understanding goals, because they provide a focus for the entire arc of a course or project, just as a throughline shapes an actor’s performance in method acting. (p. 147)
It was fairly pointed out that my language in the ED628 example does not match the language suggested by the book. So, I’ve updated them to better reflect that. Throughlines are really about the bigger picture: how does this unit connect to the goals you have for your students over the course of the full year? How does this unit relate to your students’ identities (in formation), structures of meaning, and the “ends of education”? As you can see, my Throughlines for ED628 were big, but just specific and concrete enough to organize an entire course–with sub-goals, activities, and performances. I didn’t, however, exactly describe what that looks like (e.g., doing well on the final exam, scoring proficient on the MCAS, graduating to the next grade level, etc.) so there was some wiggle-room depending on the individual student’s background, goals, and abilities. This is not easy, because the Throughlines are asking you to connect with the bigger picture. As a masters student and working on an assignment like this, I had difficulty with this part as well.
For this assignment, however, the keystone is the unit-level Understanding Goals. Make sure that you develop Understanding Goals that are clear and deep. I will tell you that typical performance goals won’t cut it here, so please take some time (and a couple of revisions) in figuring these out.
Lastly, make sure you think about how all these different pieces relate and interact. The map doesn’t do such a great job of doing this with a great deal of depth, so you will probably have to touch on this in your reflection paper.
Best of luck finishing up the semester, and please make sure to include everyone on your questions about the final assignments.