Session title: Mobile Devices + Web 2.0 = Engaged and Empowered Learners
Entries Tagged as 'Uncategorized'
June 28, 2010 · No Comments · Educational technology, implementation, mobile computing, Uncategorized
April 18, 2009 · 5 Comments · 21st Century Skills, Educational technology, eLearning, Uncategorized, Walden University
Today’s education environment is evolving more rapidly than at any other time in history. Technology is playing a critical role in this metamorphosis. As schools race to keep pace with the growth of new technologies and the resultant changing expectations of stakeholders, one of the most rapidly growing applications is in the area on online courses, or e-learning. According to a survey of 1,600 post-secondary schools conducted by the National Center for Educational Statistics, about 2/3 of the schools now offer courses that are either completely or partially web-based and over 11,000 programs that entirely used distance learning (Parsad, 2008). Schools that participated in the study cited reasons for offering such courses as offering students greater flexibility in course scheduling, providing access to students who would otherwise not be able to attend the schools, increasing the number/types of courses available, and increasing overall enrollment.
Karl Kapp cites some interesting economic figures regarding e-learning in his blog. According to one study he shared, e-learning was a $20 billion global industry in 2008, and it is projected to be at over $52 billion by next year. “Online tutoring” is a $4 billion industry, with expected growth rates of 10-15% per year.
So, what are some implications for k-12 schools? This increase in participation in online learning has had a great impact on the k-12 landscape. Students are enrolling in growing numbers in an ever-increasing variety of online courses and for a variety of reasons, including convenience, availability of subjects, need to balance work/family/school schedules, suitability to their learning styles, etc.
The question that we should ask is whether or not we are doing enough in our traditional classrooms to prepare students for success in a learning environment that is becoming such a significant part of the post-secondary and business environments. Despite the growing popularity of such offerings, there have been several studies that have revealed that many students struggle with or drop out of online courses. Studies claim attrition rates ranging from 20-80% in online courses (Tyler-Smith, 2006). It seems likely that many students enter the online classroom ill-prepared for success.
The inclusion of relevant technologies does not need to be a full-immersion experience. A 7th grade math teacher would likely find little success if she suddenly decided to take her course curriculum completely online. The skills students will need to master to better ensure success in online learning include familiarity with technology tools, practice with communicating and collaborating with a diverse audience, metacognition and self-motivation, writing skills, and organization skills. While it is obvious that many of these skills are key components of everyday instruction (writing, organization, metacognition), others would be less likely to be addressed in a traditional curriculum. The skills that students need can begin to be addressed and developed by some simple classroom applications that utilize relevant, abundant, and free technologies.
The 2009 Horizon Report describes several technologies that can be classified as either synchronous (real-time interaction) or asynchronous learning tools. When used in a traditional classroom, these tools have a great deal of potential for developing the skills students will need for success in the eLearning environment. Tools include:
- Instant messaging
- Microblogging (Twitter, Meebo, Edmodo)
- VoIP (Skype, OoVoo)
- Chat (Gabbly, ePals Chat)
- Live streaming (Ustream)
- Desktop videoconferencing (Dimdim, Elluminate, WebEx)
I would add to the list student email, as email is a vital communication tool not only in the business and home environment, but in the online learning environment, as well.
The classroom teacher can integrate many of these tools seamlessly into the existing curriculum. The key is to offer a wide range of opportunities for students to use the technologies. Students should be allowed to participate in collaboration opportunities with students from other classes or other locations, to engage in real-time discussions of subject matter, to share ideas and resources, to put forth questions for further class consideration, to reflect on learning, and to assist in the planning of such opportunities. The goal is for the learning curve associated with the types of technology and interaction in an online environment to be reduced or eliminated, so that students can instead focus on course content.
Parsad, B. & Lewis, L. (2008). Distance Education at Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions: 2006–07. Retrieved April 17, 2009, from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009044.pdf.
Tyler-Smith, K. (2006). Early attrition among first time eLearners: A review of factors that contribute to drop-out, withdrawal, and non-completion rates of adult learners undertaking eLearning programmes. Retrieved April 16, 2009, from http://jolt.merlot.org/Vol2_No2_TylerSmith.htm.
January 12, 2009 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized
Paul Wood at What is Your IT Vision tagged me with the “7 things you did not know about me” meme. I must say, I’m not that complex a person, but I’ll give it a go.
- My favorite leisure activity is bass fishing, but more specifically, bass fishing from a float tube. If you’re not familiar with the concept, it involves sitting in an inflatable craft with a seat, storage pockets, and not much else. I have customized mine a little by adding an electronic fish finder (gotta have technology!). The biggest bass I’ve caught while floattubing is over 9 pounds.
- When I started college, I planned to become a lawyer. I have been accused of enjoying a good argument, so it was a natural fit. However, I realized somewhere during my sophomore year that law wasn’t a field I really cared about, so here I am!
- As a high school student, I amassed over 1,500 hours of volunteer service, primarily traveling around in the summers to various camps, teaching campcraft skills, archery, riflery, leading campfire services, etc. It did pay off in some good scholarship money in the end.
- My dream vacation is fishing/exploring in the Amazon. I can’t imagine a more wild, exciting place exists on earth!
- I really enjoy karaoke singing, probably a lot more than those who get to hear it. My favorite songs to sing range from country (e.g. Friends in Low Places) to rock (Billy Idol’s White Wedding is a personal favorite–love to sing while snarling.) to folk (John Denver, in particular). I once had a little girl spot me in a hotel parking lot the morning after one such occasion and tell me, “Sir, I really liked your singing last night!” My first fan!
- I think grapes are the perfect food. Good for you, delicious, bite-size, not at all messy. I have stuffed over 30 grapes into my mouth at once, just to entertain my wife (She was quite amused.).
- I have been active in, of all things, the single parent ministry at our church for the past few years. I have taught computer classes to single moms, which has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had, and now serve on a grant board with my wife. We select single mothers to receive grants that pay for school and living expenses, allowing them to go back to school to earn degrees and better their lives. I would have never thought I’d end up working in this area of ministry, but God is full of surprises!
Alright, I’ve done my part, so now I have earned the right to put someone else through this! To the following, consider yourself “tagged”!
- Dwight Goodwin
- Fred Delventhal
- Cheryl McKnight
- Greg Bicknell
- Greg Farr
- Angie Bicknell
- Shannon Houston
(Note: You could choose to ignore this, but you will incur many years of bad luck and solicitations from Nigerian banks!)
November 11, 2008 · No Comments · Uncategorized
For readers of my blog who use Internet Explorer (a really bad habit for which Firefox is a proven cure), you are likely finding that embedded videos are not visible. Edublogs is aware of this, but this is an IE problem, and, given Microsoft’s general disposition with regards to such things, it is unlikely to be fixed anytime soon. The fix from the blogger’s end is a time-consuming task, if they have a lot of videos posted, and it shouldn’t be on their shoulders, anyway. I’ll try to at least put links to vids in the posts for now, and I’m sorry for the inconvenience.
September 18, 2008 · No Comments · Uncategorized
Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Today, I was working with a new teacher, helping them get email set up and a few other things. I asked for their password, which happened to be their birthday. The last two digits were 86…as in the year I graduated…from high school…ugh. I wonder if she knows what Basic is.
August 28, 2008 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized
For the new school year, courtesy of Dallas ISD–absolutely wonderful and inspiring!
July 1, 2008 · No Comments · 21st Century Skills, Educational technology, implementation, NECC 2008, Uncategorized
Session on Progressive Pedagogy and 21st Century Tools by Chris Lehmann, principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia.