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Archive for the ‘Hybrid Classes’ Category

Why Tell Stories

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Chalkboard with What's Your Story

Take a minute and think of a story that inspired you. Maybe it changed your mind about something, spurred you to action, or just made you think. Don’t you hope your classes do the same for students?

We often hear about the importance of using stories to in classes to engage students and improve understanding, but let’s take a look at a few reasons why stories work.

Stories help us connect emotionally with our students, and when we do that, our students are primed to believe us.
Stories sharpen our curiosity. If you’re reading a good story, you want to continue reading and find out what happens next. The same is true for learners. A student trying to predict the next event is more engaged in learning.
Stories give relevance and context to the lessons, which helps students identify what’s in it for them.
Stories make complex concepts easier to understand by demonstrating what learners should do.
Stories are easier to process. Since you learned to read you’ve been making sense of stories, but you’ve had to learn to process graphs and charts.

To learn more about why stories work, check out this publication from SHIFT elearning.

What We’re Reading: March Edition

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Here are a few things that we’ve been reading lately. Now to get through the rest of the stack and bookmarks!

What interesting things have you come across lately? Share with us on Twitter @nnlmntc or Facebook.

Phoning it In

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

A recent blog post by Dr. Ramsey Musallam about the flipped classroom and the digital divide provides a creative answer for students who don’t have Internet access at home.  First, for students who need it, he sends them home with content on a DVD or a flash drive which they can use at the public library for example. Second, and this is the creative part, he has these same students phone in their answers. Dr. Musallam uses Google Voice, which is free. He created a form [] which provides a general format for the students to follow when they call in their assignment. Google Voice translates their voice to text and then Dr. Musallam catalogs their responses along with all the other student responses.  Digital divide or not, Google Voice offers another way for students to interact and respond to class materials. To learn about Google Voice go to:

Flipping the Classroom Part Deux

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Back in September I wrote a blog post titled Mobile Learning and the Inverted Classroom. The basic concept behind the inverted-classroom model is that students watch lectures at home (via video) and do exercises in class the next day, with the teacher present, so that questions can be answered and problems solved on the spot. The goal is to increase student interaction with the material while they are with the teacher, and as one educator put it, ‘shift the cognitive load’, the explaining part of teaching, to the homework portion of teaching, thereby freeing up the teacher to tend to the individual needs of students.

Some say the flipped model is flawed because of the digital divide; however I’m not sure that applies when we’re talking about training the trainers in an academic setting. You will often see the flipped classroom referenced in the context of K-12 education, particularly in math. One of the links below talks about the flipped webinar specifically.

Below you’ll find links to blog posts written by educators about their experiences with flipping. Many of the posts remind us that flipping is a tool, not a panacea.

The Flipped (or Social) Webinar

How the flipped Classroom Is Radically Transforming Learning

The Flipped Class is Here to Stay

The Flipped Class: Shedding light on the confusion, critique, and hype

Why YouTube Will Never Replace Teachers

The Flipped Class Manifesto

The Flipped Class: Myths vs. Reality

The Flipped Class Network

Learner Engagement Soars! Read All About It!

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

I can hear myself say it…Any questions?

From Elliott Masie’s Learning Trends blog: 9 seconds – The number of seconds between the time an instructor asks a question and the next sound that they make! Unfortunately, most teachers ask, “Any questions?” and, in less than 3 seconds, start to speak again.” It takes a learner many seconds to recognize that you have stopped teaching and asked for a question, review what you said, evaluate what they would like to ask, formulate the question, raise their hand and then ask it! Not possible in 3 seconds!! Masie suggests to extend your wait time to at least 9 seconds in order to give learners a chance to formulate a question and respond.