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Optimal Blend
Emerging topics, ideas and insights for creating the optimal blended learning experience
Curated by Ilkka Kukkonen
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Learning to Learn: Developing Habits and Prioritizing Actions over Results

Learning to Learn: Developing Habits and Prioritizing Actions over Results | Optimal Blend | Scoop.it
At the beginning of this month, I decided that I was going to take a different approach to New Years Resolutions.

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Project-Based Learning in Math: 6 Examples

Project-Based Learning in Math: 6 Examples | Optimal Blend | Scoop.it
Project-Based Learning in Math: 6 Examples

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Margarita Parra's curator insight, November 13, 2013 7:12 PM

Project Based Learning in Math! Very good ideas!

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How to define Learning Objectives

How to define Learning Objectives | Optimal Blend | Scoop.it

In education, there are goals – often of the large scale and nebulous variety: “Learn English.” “Understand fractions”. “Learn to write (well)”. Achieving this type of goal is often difficult. There are many steps along the way, and the ‘finish’ is not necessarily a single, specific box you can check. 


The handy graphic below by Mia MacMeekin takes a look at “Making Stops On The Journey”, and how defining learning outcomes gives students a destination to reach for, and an expectation to achieve. Learning objectives are the stops on that journey. Keep reading to learn more about how you can design the learning objectives and help your students reach their goals.

 


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Roles a-changing for teachers - The Star Online

Roles a-changing for teachers - The Star Online | Optimal Blend | Scoop.it
Roles a-changing for teachers The Star Online One notable example that started all this is Salman Khan of the Khan Academy, a graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University who started creating short online videos...

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[PDF] Technology Outlook for STEM+ Education 2013-2018

[PDF] Technology Outlook for STEM+ Education 2013-2018 | Optimal Blend | Scoop.it

The Technology Outlook for STEM+ Education 2013-2018: An NMC Horizon Project Sector Analysis was released as a collaborative effort between the New Media Consortium (NMC), the Centro Superior para la Enseñanza Virtual (CSEV), Departamento de Ingeniería Eléctrica, Electrónica y de Control at the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Education Society (IEEE). This report will inform education leaders about significant developments in technologies supporting STEM+ (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education.

 

“Campus and school leaders along with practitioners across the world use the Horizon Project as a springboard for discussions around emerging technology,” says Dr. Larry Johnson, CEO of the NMC and co-principal investigator for the project. “By examining these technologies through a STEM+ lens, the report will help educators to think more critically about how emerging technology can engage learners in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics and push the boundaries on how they related to the world around them.”


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"Educational Data Mining and Learning Analytics"

"Educational Data Mining and Learning Analytics" | Optimal Blend | Scoop.it

This week, Ryan Baker posted a link to a piece, co-written with George Siemens, that is meant to function as an introduction to the fields of Educational Data Mining (EDM) and Learning Analytics (LA). “Educational Data Mining and Learning Analytics” is book chapter primarily concerned with methods and tools, and does an excellent job of summarizing some of the key similarities and differences between the two fields in this regard. However, in spite of the fact that the authors make a point of explicitly stating that EDM and LA are distinctly marked by an emphasis on making connections to educational theory and philosophy, the theoretical content of the piece is unfortunately quite sparse.


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growingthecurriculum.pdf via @gconole

Click here to edit the content...


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White Paper: MOOCs - Massive Open Online Courses

White Paper: MOOCs - Massive Open Online Courses | Optimal Blend | Scoop.it
MOOCs are on the Move: A Snapshot of the Rapid Growth of MOOCsA White Paper by Dr Lindsay Ryan - January 2013What are MOOCsMOOCs are Massive Open Online Courses and they are rapidly changing the game for higher education, executive education and employee...

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Jaime Salcedo Luna's curator insight, February 12, 2013 3:33 PM

Los Mooc's o cursos masivos, abiertos y en línea están de moda en los actuales momentos, muchas universidades de reconocido prestigio los están ofreciendo; lea en este artículo sus características y ventajas.

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Reuse, not production, is key to positive MOOC impact

Reuse, not production, is key to positive MOOC impact | Optimal Blend | Scoop.it

The issue in higher education is that the really hard and important problems — the problems that no one has solved yet, the problems that will ultimately destroy us — are problems of reuse, not production. David Wiley nailed this years ago in his reusability paradox. Briefly stated, the paradox is this –
..

Designing for reuse (in most situations) means removing contextually-dependent hooks from designed objects.
The value proposition of higher education, unfortunately, is largely the process of contextualization of knowledge. What students find useful in a course is the coherence-building that a teacher and other students provide. Small contextually-dependent hooks such as “As we mentioned last week” are the bread-and-butter sense-making of any course.
Therefore “pedagogical effectiveness and potential for reuse are completely at odds with one another.”
To some extent calling out this paradox was a plea for a truly open set of educational resources – not PDFs of slides, but actual editable PowerPoints. Not DRM’d learning objects, but cuttable videos. Not textbooks as ePubs, but textbooks as editable documents. To be open is to permit local re-contextualization.


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ghbrett's curator insight, December 19, 2012 8:57 AM

Re-use, or re-purposing has been valued by innovative teachers and trainers for years. I remember when MIT was developing the Athena networked learning modules. A friend of mine was a cinematographer for the project. Because they wanted to use the media across varied disciplines they actually ended up creating a hypermedia archive of and around Paris, France. This satisfied foreign languages, architecture, the arts, and other disciplines. One comment he made was the need for multiple beginnings that linked to varied middle content and had multiple endings. So, my take away relates to the notion of "contextual-dependent hooks" and "coherence building" as mentioned above. 

 

Action Item: When using or modifying Open Education Resources, MOOCs, or other Open Content in different situations (aka, Context) why not create or add a link to the new elements or scenarios in order to provide new users to better understand how they might adapt the content to their needs.

ghbrett's curator insight, December 19, 2012 9:01 AM

Re-use, or re-purposing has been valued by innovative teachers and trainers for years. I remember when MIT was developing the Athena networked learning modules. A friend of mine was a cinematographer for the project. Because they wanted to use the media across varied disciplines they actually ended up creating a hypermedia archive of and around Paris, France. This satisfied foreign languages, architecture, the arts, and other disciplines. One comment he made was the need for multiple beginnings that linked to varied middle content and had multiple endings. So, my take away relates to the notion of "contextual-dependent hooks" and "coherence building" as mentioned above.  Action Item: When using or modifying Open Education Resources, MOOCs, or other Open Content in different situations (aka, Context) why not create or add a link to the new elements or scenarios in order to provide new users to better understand how they might adapt the content to their needs.

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How the internet is changing English

How the internet is changing English | Optimal Blend | Scoop.it

Unesco estimates that half of the world's 6,000 languages will have disappeared by the end of the century - but new research shows that social media and text messaging in particular are promoting and supporting language diversity.

 

Texting is now conducted by speakers of around 5,000 languages.

"Text messaging is the most linguistically diverse form of written communication that has ever existed," says Munroe.

"It's also become the first form of written communication of many of the world's languages," he says.

 

"Most have only ever been spoken. But the technology and economics of text messages and the proliferation of cells phones means it's the most economic option of communication."

 


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Emily Purser's curator insight, January 6, 2013 12:14 AM

all tools can be used for good or evil - great to see evidence of new technologies helping to maintain and revitalise language diversity around the world

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The Top 10 Digital Learning Apps Teachers Can Actually Use (By a Teacher Who Actually Uses Them).

The Top 10 Digital Learning Apps Teachers Can Actually Use (By a Teacher Who Actually Uses Them). | Optimal Blend | Scoop.it
This year I spent a lot of time exploring the bewildering array of educational software and apps for education. In what follows, I would like to offer a round-up of the apps I found particularly us...

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16 Flipped Classrooms From Around The World

16 Flipped Classrooms From Around The World | Optimal Blend | Scoop.it
16 Examples Of Flipped Classrooms from around the globe - offers links to different teachers' blogs that show their experiences in using a flipped classroom environment.

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Conole digital literacies

National Teaching Fellow 201221st Century Digital literacies Gráinne Conole, University of Leicester 17th December 2012 Li
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Sandra V. Barbosa's comment, December 31, 2012 2:01 AM
Estou seguindo você. Gostei das suas "dicas".
Cíntia Rabello's comment, December 31, 2012 6:04 AM
Que bom, Sandra! Seja bem vinda!
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Writing an open textbook: tracking an author’s perspective

Writing an open textbook: tracking an author’s perspective | Optimal Blend | Scoop.it

One of the key developments in online learning is the open textbook. These are textbooks that are published and available for free. This is one of the most direct ways to bring down costs to students, saving in many cases at least $1,000 per student per year, often much more. - See more at: http://www.tonybates.ca/2014/02/02/writing-an-open-textbook-tracking-an-authors-perspective/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+tonybates+%28Tony+Bates%29&utm_content=Netvibes#sthash.0Y3RURw0.dpuf


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Mobile Education - Lessons from 35 Education Experts on Improving L...

Education is at a tipping point. From the rising cost of a college education and the financial pressures upon local districts and state agencies to fund K-12 sc

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Why creativity matters in Higher Education

Why creativity matters in Higher Education | Optimal Blend | Scoop.it

Creativity matters, and that is not a subjective statement. Adobe recently surveyed 1,000 college-educated, full-time salaried workers on this topic, and the results were overwhelming:

96 percent believe creativity is valuable to society.78 percent state that creativity is important to their careers.32 percent don’t feel comfortable thinking creatively at work.78 percent wish they were more creative.

How do you solve a problem like this? Well, you have to get creative. Like most learned skills, creativity begins in school. Few students take creativity classes, and not enough courses address how to “think outside the box.”

 


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Blended professional development just might have some answers

Blended professional development just might have some answers | Optimal Blend | Scoop.it

Curating new and relevant content and tailoring it to their own, unique needs will become a key skill required by future teachers.

Why? Professional development becomes attractively cost effective in such a process, and money and budgets are powerful influencers for change.

 

Soon enough, large institutions will realize that the most effective professional development (PD) happens through networks, networks accessed through social media. More PD happens on Twitter for example in one night than a teacher is likely to get in a year through formal conferences and staff meetings.

 

Presently, departments of education around the world spend phenomenal amounts of money of professional development, yet many teachers for whom such development is “designed” for gain little from it, and are often left to their own device to self-direct their own improvement. To be clear, self-directed “training” is fine, provided it doesn’t occur while struggling against school and district-led training, one pulling in one direction, the other in another.

 


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[PDF] Dialogue and connectivism: A new approach to understanding and promoting dialogue-rich networked learning

[PDF] Dialogue and connectivism: A new approach to understanding and promoting dialogue-rich networked learning | Optimal Blend | Scoop.it
Connectivism offers a theory of learning for the digital age that is usually understood as contrasting with traditional behaviourist, cognitivist, and constructivist approaches. This article will provide an original and significant development of this theory through arguing and demonstrating how it can benefit from social constructivist perspectives and a focus on dialogue. Similarly, I argue that we need to ask whether networked social media is, essentially, a new landscape for dialogue and therefore should be conceived and investigated based on this premise, through considering dialogue as the primary means to develop and exploit connections for learning. A key lever in this argument is the increasingly important requirement for greater criticality on the Internet in relation to our assessment and development of connections with people and resources. The open, participative, and social web actually requires a greater emphasis on higher order cognitive and social competencies that are realised predominantly through dialogue and discourse. Or, as Siemens (2004) implies, in his call to rethink the fundamental precepts of learning, we need to shift our focus to promoting core evaluative skills for flexible learning that will, for example, allow us to actuate the knowledge we need at the point that we need it. A corollary of this is the need to reorient educational experiences to ensure that we develop in our learners the ability “to think, reason, and analyse.” In considering how we can achieve these aims this article will review the principles of connectivism from a dialogue perspective; propose some social constructivist approaches, based on dialectic and dialogic dimensions of dialogue, which can act as levers in realising connectivist learning dialogue; demonstrate how dialogue games can link the discussed theories to the design and performance of networked dialogue processes; and consider the broader implications of this work for designing and delivering sociotechnical learning.

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MOOCs and online learning: Research roundup

MOOCs and online learning: Research roundup | Optimal Blend | Scoop.it
2013 selection of recent research on massive open online courses (MOOCs).

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Teachers Embrace Digital Learning Strategies

Teachers Embrace Digital Learning Strategies | Optimal Blend | Scoop.it

oday is the second annual Digital Learning Day, designated to bring attention to the benefits of technology for learning. As part of the effort, PBS LearningMedia has released a survey showing that 74 percent of teachers say educational technology benefits their classroom in many ways, including the ability to reinforce and expand content, motivate students, and respond to a variety of learning styles.


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OER in the Mobile Era: Content Repositories’ Features for Mobile Devices and Future Trends

OER in the Mobile Era: Content Repositories’ Features for Mobile Devices and Future Trends | Optimal Blend | Scoop.it

This paper summarizes recent trends in the creation, publication, discovery, acquisition, access, use and re-use of learning objects on mobile devices based on a literature review on research done from 2007 to 2012. From the content providers side, we present the results obtained from a survey performed on 23 educational repository owners regarding their current and expected support on mobile devices. From the content user side, we identify features provided by the main OER repositories. Finally, we introduce future trends and our next contributions.


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Development of Instruments for Evaluation of Quality of Distance Studies - Springer

Development of Instruments for Evaluation of Quality of Distance Studies - Springer | Optimal Blend | Scoop.it

Abstract

The popularity of declaring quality assurance seems to be growing significantly in the last decade, including the field of distance studies and e-learning. Unfortunately, the implementation of quality assurance mechanisms on the operational level faces considerable problems. In this article we describe different conceptions of quality of distance studies, the stage of research and implementation of quality assurance in Lithuania, and especially at Siauliai University. We present analysis of two case studies where different methods of the evaluation of distance studies were used: 1) Expert evaluation can prove that distance studies meet posed requirements, and therefore is acceptable in the organization; 2) Students’ questionnaires allow to investigate distance studies as a process. Also we present problems that arise while seeking to enhance developed instruments


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Students 'Flip' for Digital Learning

Students 'Flip' for Digital Learning | Optimal Blend | Scoop.it
Students today live in a wired world. Educators strive to assure high school and post-secondary success for each student.

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Promise Of The 'Flipped Classroom' Eludes Poorer School Districts

Promise Of The 'Flipped Classroom' Eludes Poorer School Districts | Optimal Blend | Scoop.it
This piece comes to us courtesy of The Hechinger Report. When Portland, Ore., elementary school teacher Sacha Luria decided last fall to try out a new education strategy called "flipping the classroom," she faced a big obstacle.

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