"While many people try their best to create e-learning courses, very few of them manage to succeed. Effective e-learning courses are easier said than done; you have to devote your time, energy, and money to deliver high-quality product. Here are six simple but critical steps to help you create effective e-learning courses. (You probably already know these, but it’s a good idea to periodically review them.)"
This is an interesting research article, looking at the results obtained when students use either face-to-face or online testing. The conclusions highlight a number of ways in which the research design was limited, but this also points to perhaps doing the same research again with different students, contexts and researchers. It assumes that being able to test by computer-delivered modes is something to aim for; this could also be deconstructed a bit more. However, it opens a number of possibilities for online learning.
A recent study has found that kindergartners who use iPads in school are likely to score higher on literacy tests than those who do not.
The study, which was carried out in Auburn, Maine early last year, looked at 266 kindergartners who had been given free iPads to use in class as part of an experiment. Out of the 266 students, 129 were given lessons using iPads, while the remaining 137 were taught through traditional methods.
The results, which were published on Apple’s unofficial tech blog, TUAW, showed that in addition to better scores in every literacy test, children who were taught through the use of an iPad also showed an increased interest in learning and were more enthusiastic about going to school."
This entry in the "3 Minute Teaching With Tech Tip" video series shows how easy it is to 'flip' any YouTube video with the structured tool set provided at ed.ted.com. These lessons can be public or private, and the easy to use tools let teachers add associated content, a brief quiz, and online discussions associate with the video that is the focus point of the lesson. TedEd is totally free, and teachers get summary feedback on lesson views, quiz results, discussions, etc.
Apple's dreams of putting iPads in classrooms have run into a number of roadblocks, but one of the biggest is simply the amount of work involved -- each slate needs its own account, making it a nightmare if you want to outfit an entire school. That won't be a problem for much longer, however. Both MacRumors and 9to5Mac have discovered that Apple is ditching the requirement for individual IDs on school-supplied iPads as of this fall. Staff will just have to decide which devices get apps or books, letting teachers focus on the actual education instead of getting things running. They'll still have plenty of control, so kids can't load up on games and other distractions unless they get the green light. It's too soon to know if this will lead to more kids taking home tablets instead of textbooks, but there will at least be fewer barriers to making that happen.
"More and more educators are doing more than simply teaching in the 21st century. Technology has expanded and changed our role. You may already be in this position, either by chance or not. Are you an educator who is new to the job of writing eLearning resources? I was. Here is what I’ve learned."
"Mobile Learning Technology has opened up a whole gamut of options to extend the learning blend. No longer do employees have to rely solely on the usual means of training – be it ILT or e-learning. So much so, that even in organizations which have not yet adopted mobile learning, employees are using their smartphones to informally pull whatever information they can at the time of immediate need. Be it preparing for an interview or gathering the relevant statistics on the way to a meeting, mobiles have become tools of providing ubiquitous support, especially for accessing bite-sized information."
A new way of using technology to consolidate pupils’ learning has reignited Craig Jamieson’s excitement for teaching, made a big impact in the classroom and led him down a whole new avenue of professional enquiry.
Ruby Rennie Panter's insight:
The idea of "flipped learning" has been with us for a while now, but it's refreshing to have someone comment on the ways in which their own practice has been transformed.
This is a fairly basic list of ideas, but could be useful for an initial "checklist". For most of them, there will be associated research and when using "tips" it's always good to be critical and search for other points of view. “Be sure to build in tasks that generate peer-to-peer interaction and sharing; those where participants create something their peers can use and benefit from tend to be most successful" - good point, which has several underlying theoretical principles to back it up.
As schools make recorded lessons available to students online, they may not be making them accessible for students with disabilities.
Ruby Rennie Panter's insight:
This is a huge issue, and one that we have to give serious thought to. It's not yet common practice to have captions for videos, for example, but this should actually be something that we add as a matter of course. There are a lot of suggestions for how to support school pupils on the CALL Scotland wesbite: http://www.callscotland.org.uk/Home/
In creating online courses, we have to give maximum support for all learners, which may involve giving a choice to learners about how they access the materials.
"We are increasingly connected to the rest of the World. To address today's challenges we must develop cooperative relationships based on communications. Peer-to-Peer Video conferencing offers opportunities to increase communication skills and language learning. Social interaction helps build connections for a better world."
School in the Cloud allows learning to happen anywhere by supporting children all over the world to tap into their innate sense of wonder and ability to work together in Self Organised Learning Envrionments.
This is a really interesting development, following on from the "Granny Cloud" experiment. The idea of self-directed learning is obviously not new, but the way of using technology to bring together groups of learners for different purposes is extremely thought-provoking.
Create a character from a book (or Shakespeare play?) on "Fakebook" to be able to "interact" with the character and explore how he/she would act in different situations. I like the idea of being able to create realistic language style - with perhaps many of the same learning areas as getting students to write fanfiction
This guide is for anyone interested in teaching and learning languages, and thinking about teaching practices. It sets out a philosophy and proposes a frame of reference to aid teacher-thinking when designing mobile language learning in and beyond the classroom, informed by research conducted with teachers and learners in ESOL and EAP contexts.
In business and in international development circles, much is made about the potential for 'learning from best practice'. Considerations of the use of educational technologies offer no exception to this impulse. That said, 'best practice' in the education sector is often a rather elusive concept (at best! some informed observers would say it is actually dangerous). The term 'good practice' may be more useful, for in many (if not most) cases and places, learning from and adapting 'good' practices
This study, by Dorota Domalewska, Rangsit University, Thailand, examined the phenomenon of blogging as a technologically enhanced support to develop interaction and interrelatedness among learners in a foreign language course.
A two-year study revealed that student achievement and teacher confidence benefited from in-school and at-home tech access.
Ruby Rennie Panter's insight:
It's always a bit disconcerting to read a research report that has been subsidised by a company who will benefit from positive claims. However, it is still interesting to read, and to see what aspects of learning they have focussed on to evaluate the benefits.
This is an interesting article, giving a brief overview of one way to consider online learning and social presence. It starts with the student - where he/she is coming from, and typical study patterns.
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