I’ve often wondered why it is that the internet is such an amazing, creative and inspiring place full of so many fantastically interesting things, and yet so many educational software, applications and e-learning products turn out to be so dull.
Word cloud generators have gone the route of Kleenex and Saran Wrap, wherein people often use the name of the product to refer to the thing. Most folks I talk to refer to all word clouds as ‘wordles’, even though Wordle is just one of many, many tools that one can use to create word …
Over 12 years ago, as Todd Curtis and his teaching partner tried to get all of their eighth graders engaged in class discussions, they noticed a trend. Though students talked freely outside of class, they became silent in class. As an experiment, they jury-rigged their email system into a backchannel.
And then there’s MOOCs. I can’t express adequately just how pissed off I am about MOOCs – not the concept, but all the hubris and nonsense that’s been talked and written about them. At a personal level, it was as if 45 years of work was for nothing. All the research and study I and many others had done on what makes for successful learning online were totally ignored, with truly disastrous consequences in terms of effective learning for the vast majority of participants who took MOOCs from the Ivy League universities. Having ignored online learning for nearly 20 years, Stanford, MIT and Harvard had to re-invent online learning in their own image to maintain their perceived superiority in all things higher educational.
This paragraph exactly reflects my thoughts about MOOCs. Glad to hear it coming from a leader in the online and distance learning field as this type of voice has been swamped by the unquestioning embracing of MOOCs by all and sundry!
The new conceptions of teachers’ professional development (TPD) are based on personalized professional learning activities to be implemented in different moments of professional life cycle, in response to contextualized learning needs. As a result, it is expected that TPD yields creative processes that end up in transforming pedagogical practices through reflection and self-awareness on the new professional skills.
The Web offers huge opportunities to improve any foreign language you’re learning, from news stories, blog posts, comments and all that content. So, find sites with your favourite topics and read them regularly. Phraseum will help you save and organize all useful sentences you come across while reading, in order to learn them later. You can organize your clips by tags (situation, meaning …) and personal categories (your projects, meetings …) You can also search for and re-save phrases that others have saved or discover phrases that match the topics of your interests in your Phrase feed.
With these tools (many of which are included in this list), students are placed in charge of their learning. They engage in meaningful self-reflection, highlight according to criteria, and use academic language to critique their own work. The shift is significant. With Google tools, I can provide ongoing feedback while my students showcase digital responsibility and revise throughout the writing process.
Adaptive learning software tailors learning materials and tasks to the individuals who are using them, and provides previously undreamt of opportunities for assessment. Promoted by most national governments and education ministries, international bodies such as the OECD or the World Bank, the biggest software companies and huge educational foundations such as the Gates Foundation, adaptive learning is coming your way soon.
Peggo is a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) that records MP3s of your favorite online videos. Peggo's packed with great features like integrated search, automatic silence removal, audio normalization, subtrack offsets, and artist and title tags. Peggo automatically removes unwanted silence from the beginning and end of videos so you get a beautiful MP3 with just the good stuff. In addition, Peggo also normalizes the volume of every recording to the same, comfortable level so you never have to reach for the volume dial between MP3s again.
As education grows and changes educators have the opportunity to change the way they envision their roles and their classrooms.
Jobs in education, Pink said in a recent interview, are all about moving other people, changing their behavior, like getting kids to pay attention in class; getting teens to understand they need to look at their future and to therefore study harder.
At the center of all this persuasion is selling: educators are sellers of ideas.
As iPads proliferate in schools around the world, and students as well as teachers create more and more content, questions about what to do with all of those learning objects have arisen. In other words, how can we curate this content into portfolios for assessment as well as reflection.
Evernote is one of the tools/apps I use most across all platforms for a variety of uses. Love to see more applications for it, especially ones I might be able to use with students. And especially on the iPad, one of my other favourite things!
With iPads, once we begin thinking beyond the confines of a page, anything is possible. Consider the video below created several years ago by two of my students. First they wrote plot summaries. Then they wrote character sketches. From there, they crafted paragraphs about theme, tying the visual and auditory elements of their videos back to the books. Finally, they created storyboards and bibliographies before producing and publishing their final product.