from Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder
On the Announcements page of her course, Natalie sees a quote posted recently by her teacher. There are always friendly messages, sayings, or announcements on the first page in the course, and Natalie feels she's getting to know her teacher's personality well, even though they've never met in person.
Natalie starts her VHS day by going to the Lessons area of her course, and clicking on Week 7 - Mohandas Gandhi She reads all the documents posted by her teacher, including the assignment overviews, background information, and instructions; and she double-checks the due dates so she can decide how to gauge her time this week. Most of the assignments are due on a weekly basis, so Natalie and her classmates can work on their own schedules. Natalie's 19 classmates this semester are physically located in 12 different schools in 8 different states, from Washington to Texas to Ohio to Massachusetts!
Natalie's teacher has assigned 3 tasks for the week. The first is to do some background research; students are sent to the Media Center area of the course to read a biographical sketch of Gandhi created and posted by the teacher. Then they are sent to several suggested web sites to learn more about Gandhi's life and ideas. After completing this background research, all the students in the class are going to collaborate on creating a list of key points and criteria for a non-violent movement based on the principals of Gandhi. Each student will make at least one addition to the list in the Discussions area, and then they will discuss their combined list in a discussion thread started and moderated by the teacher. Finally, each student will respond to three hypothetical scenarios posed by their teacher, and determine what advice Gandhi might give, based on their readings and research. Students will post their recommendations in the Discussions, where they are expected to read and comment on each other's posted work.
LINKS: Want to see where Natalie's classmates are from? Visit our map of currently participating VHS schools.
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