Friday, September 21, 2012

What We're Learning from Online Education (TEDTalk)

"The mind is not a vessel that needs filling;
it is wood that needs igniting." (Plutarch)

ACCS e-Learning Symposium (FREE!)

It's that time of year again! The ACCS e-Learning Symposium (Friday, Nov. 16) held at Athens State University claims to be the largest e-learning conference in Alabama—and I wouldn't doubt it! I attended last year and had a great time networking with colleagues in the region and learning about new online educational products and emergent technologies in our field.

Why not register now so that we can sit together at lunch and compare notes?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lettrs: Making Writing Meaningful in a "Slow Communications Movement"

The Lettrs [sic] social media platform is creating a stir in both secondary and post-secondary learning environments. A common refrain from educators at all levels is that learners simply don't know how to write well. I'm seeking resources that would help in the classroom (digital or brick-and-mortar) with developing/remediating reading and writing skills.

I know as a learner, an educator and a parent that there are two key components to the development of great writing skills: reading and writing. The more one reads, the better one writes. And the more one writes, the better s/he becomes at writing.

So how do we encourage the development of these skills while teaching other course curriculum at the same time and at a post-secondary level of academic rigor?

Here's a great idea that can be adapted to any academic level of learning and any topic or curriculum. Writing is a great form of learning assessment as well.

Do you have other great ideas for developing reading and writing skills at a college level? Please share!

QUICK TIP: Peer Review in Discussion Forums

A really great way to work peer review into an online course involves allowing learners to rate each others' discusson posts. Here's a quick how-to video from Blackboard.

I'll be adding more "quick tip" blog posts going forward!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Universities in the Digital Age (audio)

Wondering how all this techie stuff is impacting higher education?
The digital revolution—which has upended journalism, publishing, movies and music—is poised to storm the ivory tower. Under enormous financial pressure, and facing a strong push to "democratize" knowledge, the university is being asked to re-imagine itself. In question: the very nature and purpose of higher education, at a time when demand for it has never been greater.
Listen HERE. (The feed was down when I posted this, so I haven't previewed the audio file. I'll remove this post if we can't get it to play!)

(Thanks to Stephen Downes and the OLDaily).

xEDUCATION: Book on MOOCs & Education (Sneak peeks!)

George Siemens announced on elearnspace that he and a few others will be starting a book for John Hopkins University on MOOCs and their potential impact in education. He posted:
Bonnie Stewart, Dave Cormier, and I have signed on to write a book on MOOCs and other such trends in education. The book will be published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2013.
See the blog post at elearnspace for more details.

The book will be closed, but the field notes will be collected and published on the Web at their new blog for this purpose. We'll be keeping an eye on them!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Free Tutoring Software

Susan Smith Nash offers us a tidy little blog post outlining the essentials for online tutoring software and her recommendations for the most economical and effective options. I haven't tried them yet, but hope you'll experiment and let me know what you find!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Blog updates!

I have just added a few new sections to the links on the right! You will now find a section dedicated to Open Source software as well as a section titled "How to Get Started Guides" that will cover various facets of online curriculum development. We are starting with a guide to getting started designing apps for mobile devices, but will be adding content to ALL the sections as time goes on. Please feel free to make suggestions!

And don't forget to keep an eye out for additions! I just added a new infographic that profiles the college student of 2012. Check it out on the right hand side of the screen (click on the graphics to enlarge, then use your browser magnification to zoom in for detail.)

New goodies are arriving daily!

Free Online Blackboard Design Course!

In its determination to join the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)/open learning movement, Blackboard is joining the fray with Designing an Exemplary Course Online. Registration opens September 19 for the course which runs September 26 through October 17. And yes, it's really FREE!
Whether you are just getting started or are an advanced online educator, this course will provide you with a framework to help identify and apply best practices for designing engaging online courses.
This is an exciting opportunity to dip your toes into the fast-moving MOOC waters as a learner—and learn a great deal about Blackboard-based course design to boot!

I know I'm signing up! Please join me!

PS ... And here's ANOTHER great learning opportunity delivered via a MOOC! The Current/Future State of Higher Education (Oct. 8–Nov. 18) is another FREE, open online course yours for the taking!