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Archive for the ‘Distance Education’ Category

The Networked Student

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

What does it mean to be a “networked student” in today’s learning environment?  How can students use technology to connect with others?  Watch this fun video (5 minutes 10 seconds) to follow along with a student as he builds his knowledge base through tools like Google Scholar, social bookmarking, blog posts, RSS readers, podcasts, and video conferencing with experts around the world.  Along the way he must evaluate the information he finds and then share his “virtual textbook” with others.

(Thanks to Jessi Van Der Volgen for pointing out this video).

How to Make 160,000 People Happy

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Peter Norvig, Director of Research at Google, gave a TED talk about redefining education when he and a colleague offered a freely available online class to the world. 160,000 people signed up and 20,000 completed the class (That’s actually a pretty good completion rate for this type of offering). However, his re-definition actually created “a classroom much more like a traditional class”. Watch the 6 minute video at: http://youtu.be/tYclUdcsdeo

What We Learned in “School”: Stories from Three Training and Learning Conferences

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Join the National Library of Medicine Training Center (NTC) trainers as they share “aha moments,” tips, techniques and research-based recommendations from three recent professional development conferences.  We will discuss:

  • Presentation skills, including better PowerPoint design
  • Tips for creating participant-centered training activities
  • Distance learning recommendations

Date:  November 7, 2012

Time:  3 – 4 pm ET

Place:  Adobe Connect; web address will be sent to registrants

Register herehttp://nnlm.gov/ntcc/classes/schedule.html#class501

Teacher Disposition

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

In a recent presentation I attended there was a discussion was about about two groups of students, one undergraduate, the other graduate, who were asked to name the 10 most important qualities of behavior of the teacher during an online course. The top two qualities named they named?

Number one: Communication (that we understand)
Number two: Instructor disposition (we might need help with that)

Teacher disposition can be defined as having empathy, positive view of self, positive view of others, honesty, genuineness, meaningful purpose and vision.

Teacher disposition may lead to better student success with increased learning outcomes.

How do we make sure we are demonstrating the desired disposition during an online course?

Some key qualities:
• Be very present from the start.
• Personalize to each student.
• When a question is asked respond as quickly as possible, if possible immediately.
• Use the person’s name when communicating and if possible write a personal note.
• Provide positive feedback.
• Your tone can and will be detected. Present with positive, high-energy.

Fall Session of Online Class “Teaching with Technology” Available for Registration

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Join us for an online class taught from October 8 – November 9, 2012: “Teaching with Technology: Tips, Techniques and Tools”!

In this class, you will learn about using technology tools for teaching distance learning courses. We will discuss options and best practices for asynchronous and synchronous distance classes, as well as “blended” classes that offer both in-person and online options. Adult learning principles will be reviewed. We will examine and discuss examples of software and website tools in teaching.

The class is taught “asynchronously” using the Moodle course management system, so you can complete the classwork at a time convenient for you. Allow approximately 2 hours per week for independent classwork. There are 4 weeks of assignments, readings, and discussions, with the 5th week saved for a “catch-up” week. Upon completion of the class you will receive 8 MLA CE credits.

The class is free and open to residents of the U.S. Class enrollment is limited, so we do ask that you check your schedule to be sure you have time to complete the class.

To register: http://nnlm.gov/ntcc/classes/schedule.html

Social Media – How we Learn – Two “hot” graphics links

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

In order to take a look at an intriguing graphic – Bloom’s Taxonomy for IPads – paste into your browser the following URL:  http://tinyurl.com/8evrnld

Once you close that graphic window you will be on a page with more links for Bloom Taxonomy (print out the Action Verbs chart if you don’t already have one by your work area). This page is available via Worldlanguagestech. You will have an opportunity to join their wiki entitled 21st Century Tools to Teach, Learn, Collaborate and Advocate for Learning.

The second link to look at: Gary’s Social Media Counts:
http://lockerz.com/d/5696915

Focus on Absorb

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

I recently attending a conference called SIDLIT: Summer Institute of Distance Learning & Instructional Technology.

One of the sessions I attended focused on choosing online activities that support learning objectives. The session talked about integrating the absorb, do, and connect approach; an idea put forth by William Horton, an eLearning guru.

Absorb activities impart facts. A learner may read an article, listen to an audio explanation, or watch a short video, etc. to access and acquire the information. This is sometimes seen as a passive learning activity, but our brain is most likely not in a passive mode as we process the new information and try to make it fit into our existing knowledge framework.

One way to make a seemingly passive learning activity more active is to augment the activity. The University of Arizona Library uses a system called Guide on the Side to augment their library instruction. Watch their tutorial about how to find articles using JSTOR. http://www.library.arizona.edu/applications/quickHelp/tutorial/searching-jstor

Online courses and learner-led chats

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

When your course includes online chats it may be beneficial to establish whether or not the online participants have the skills to conduct chats efficiently, integrate the information and ultimately resolve and report on the issues discussed.
It might prove beneficial to provide coaching and feedback before and outside the online course. This coaching would include reviewing the roles and expectations of  Moderator, Recorder and Participants. David S. Stein and Constance E. Wanstreet, two faculty members from The Ohio State University, presented their findings at the 28th Annual Distance Learning and Teaching Conference. Their 2012 preliminary results found that a coached group demonstrated five times more evidence of high-order thinking that the un-coached group.

Xtranormal – Movie Maker

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

I attended the 28th Annual Conference of Distance Teaching & Learning on August 8-10, 2012 in Madison, WI.
In the next few weeks I will be posting about some of the things I encountered during the conference.

The first workshop I attended started with a video produced via Xtranormal.

Xtranormal makes your stories come to life. You select your “animated actors”, type or record your script, add sounds, gestures and voila, you have a short video.

Xtranormal is an online moviemaker program, an easy, full-featured web 2.0 tool. It started as a completely free tool and has now  converted to a pay for points format.  However, previews are still free and may suffice for your purposes. Xtranormal now has a  teacher dashboard to manage classes, students, and assignments, all using a simple and clean web interface.

From their website:

Xtranormal for Education was tested by Noisecast, “The World’s Noisiest Tech Blog”. Xtranormal was quite happy with the results… “We’re about as happy as a kid who just received straight A’s on his report card! You better believe we’ve got this review hanging on the Xtranormal fridge.  The folks over at Noisecast really hit the nail on the head in their assessment of Xtranormal for Education. In the review, they deliver a well-organized and simple overview of the product – what it is in a nutshell; how it works exactly, key features that differentiate the teaching platform from basic, etc. They even created their own Xtranormal video to introduce the review, which reportedly only took about eight minutes to make.”

Try it out.

Join Us for An Online Class: “Teaching with Technology”

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Join us for an online class taught from July 23 – August 27, 2012: “Teaching with Technology: Tips, Techniques and Tools”!

In this class, you will learn about using technology tools for teaching distance learning courses. We will discuss options and best practices for asynchronous and synchronous distance classes, as well as “blended” classes that offer both in-person and online options. Adult learning principles will be reviewed. We will examine and discuss examples of software and website tools in teaching.

The class is taught “asynchronously” using the Moodle course management system, so you can complete the classwork at a time convenient for you. Allow approximately 2 hours per week for independent classwork. There are 4 weeks of assignments, readings, and discussions, with the 5th week saved for a “catch-up” week. Upon completion of the class you will receive 8 MLA CE credits.

The class is free and open to residents of the U.S. Class enrollment is limited, so we do ask that you check your schedule to be sure you have time to complete the class.

To register: http://nnlm.gov/ntcc/classes/schedule.html