Online lesson creation week

Online lesson creation week is the theme of this week's newsletter featuring a set of podcast creation lessons, starting and stopping videos automagically and more.

Online lesson creation week

This week, I designed and created 19 new resource pages/books/forums across 3 courses. Admittedly, about 60% of those were already written up for classroom running but that statement underestimates the thinking and design that goes into transforming a classroom lesson into an online lesson.

Designing for online

This week, I was often seen deep in thought looking out the window, running through this or that lesson in my head to see how it would or could work online.

The teacher is asking herself, instead of handing out paper or running a movie/listening and gathering in pairs or groups, how can I use Zoom, Moodle, Jamboard, Google Docs/Forms/Slides, Padlet, Mentimeter and/or Socrative to achieve the same thing? Or maybe a website or blog would work...

  • When do we move into the breakout?
  • How will they see the instructions?
  • When do we come back together?
  • What can they collaborate on (project) and
  • which system would be best to capture the output?
  • How do I get the most social interaction from their time inside and outside of the classroom?
  • Could I get them to create a podcast/video/audio peer-feedback/...?
  • How do I get them to reflect on their learning?

Podcasting lessons

In among the 19 resources were 3 resources for teaching students to produce more professional sounding podcasts as an assessed piece. Each resource or lesson builds on the last and could take 2-3 weeks (or longer) for a group to produce a professional sounding podcast.

  1. Analysing podcasts for their podcasting elements (beginning, introduction, music, tone of voice, etc.)
  2. Creating a podcast plan for their topic including justifying their choice of music.
  3. Recording their podcast including ideas on sharing the work of recording and editing, polishing around the team.

These lessons are as yet, untested, but are about to be run in 3 week's time and the results will be posted in a future newsletter.

My favourite things this week

1) Discovering, but not yet reading, Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon about ways to show your creativity by documenting rather than creating (which is somewhat ironic as I have spent the week creating). I have seen reviews and I like the way he explains what other people would want to read and would be easy for you to document from the very things you are already doing.

2) This week I discovered how to start AND stop an embedded YouTube video. As you read this, it probably sounds not that impressive, but this changes everything! Now, embedded in your Interactive Syllabus or Moodle book/page is a video that starts in exactly the spot you want it to and doesn’t rely on the students checking the time to stop the video. It just stops! AKA Game Changer!

To make this work, you simply get the embed code from YouTube (at the right starting point is easiest) and add the “start=<seconds>&stop=<seconds>”.

This is the ShareEmbed from YouTube looks like (making sure you tick the start point):

Here’s the resulting code example (with &end=207 added):

<iframe src="<https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ml03VCnNLRg?start=2&end=207" 
        title="YouTube video player" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; 
        clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"
        allowfullscreen="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0">
</iframe>

3) Building up my LIFE system, this week, included expanding my informal and messy digital note-taking with inspiration from Tiago Forte. He talked about how formal, structured, organised, defined and precise notes are appropriate for high-risk situations but stifle connections, mash-ups, recreations and free-form creativity. This thought has not only relieved me of much time (making notes more structured and organised) but also made me more proud of my growing spaghetti system.

Quote for the week

Creativity requires messiness, randomness, and serendipity. It requires that we explore new ways of doing things, try and fail, and throw things together to see what emerges. — Tiago Forte


I’ve been learning self-growth, productivity, online education and various eclectic interests for quite a few years now, picking up incredible, life-long lessons along that way. I have decided to document some of my insights weekly in the form of one short-form article about 2-3 minutes in reading time which is enough time to finish your coffee/tea.

I’d love to have you join us!