All posts by Carol

The Classroom and the Cloud: A Bright Forecast for 2020

* future

What will the classroom of 2020 look like? As I look ahead, many of the trends we’re seeing today will continue to expand learning beyond the classroom walls to connect educators, students and real-world experiences. These trends are being driven by pioneering teachers and their students, and are fueled by technology — especially the Internet and the cloud. With more than 40 states adopting Common Core and with increased focus on deeper learning and developing creativity, I see exciting movement to a more personalized and collaborative education. Together with the proliferation of devices such as smartphones and tablets, teachers and students will have unprecedented access to tools for creative expression, and will find it even easier to share, to co-create and to experiment with new ideas.

more The Classroom and the Cloud: A Bright Forecast for 2020 | Edutopia.

Technology revolution in special-education assessment

In most autism programs, data collection and graphing are daily tasks for teachers and therapists. These tasks are a vital component of a program based on applied behavior analysis and are critical for teachers, supervisors and parents to monitor student progress. While educators typically recognize the importance of data collection, it is frequently viewed as tedious and time consuming, and as a result sometimes avoided.

Standard practice is to collect data using paper and pencil, then graph by coloring in dots and connecting lines. This scenario is played out in autism classrooms and therapy sessions, but there is another way. The solution for special education is one that incorporates technology directly into service delivery, which can allow for a more efficient means to complete data collection tasks. To accomplish this, Eden Autism Services, where I am the the director of clinical services, developed a learning management system that has digitized the paper and pencil method.

Of course, there can be some initial hesitation, concerns and trepidation when incorporating new technology. This is understandable, considering how long most educators have been operating with paper and pencil. Change is always difficult, but, when new technology is involved, people tend to be even more apprehensive. I am happy to say that this apprehension often is very short lived as staff begin to experience the benefits of having more time and, more importantly, seeing that time reflected in the success of their students.

via Technology revolution in special-education assessment SmartBlogs.

eLogic Learning Recognized in the 2014 “Top Five” LMS List by eLearning 24/7

*elogic

eLogic Learning (http://www.elogiclearning.com), is pleased and honored to announce they have been selected as one of the Top 5 Learning Management Systems by eLearning 24/7 in their annual listing of the Top Learning Management Systems. eLogic’s “eSSential” LMS moved up in the listing from 2013 and 2012 based on several factors including a current configurable functionality set, exceptional features on the administrative side, nice user interface options and dashboard with metrics, reporting capabilities, high quality support and overall ease of use. Each year, eLearning 24/7, an industry leading e-learning analyst, reviews the top performing Learning Management System (“LMS”) providers in the industry and reports on the leading edge providers.

“In just three short years this system has gone from ho-hum to elite status. How? Robust feature sets, intuitive user interface, forward thinking and superior service and support. The eSSential platform can do it all. I would highly recommend this system to anyone who wants affordable, feature rich LMS and a solid company behind it,” says Craig Weiss of eLearning 24/7.”

To view the eLearning 24/7 press release, click here: http://www.ereleases.com/Associated-Press/189880.pdf
To Learn more about eSSential LMS, click here: http://elogiclearning.com/home/quick-tour-video/
“Once again, it is a great honor to be recognized by eLearning 24/7 as one of the Top LMS solutions 3 years in a row. Being in the Top 5 LMS’s out of over 580 providers is quite an accomplishment. Our attention to the core technology demands of our clients and this industry have gotten us here and our roadmap for the future enhancements going forward will keep us here. But the real difference is the eLogic Client Support Team guiding the design and implementation process and backing our clients up with support responsiveness when needed. What we do is very visible in internal and extended enterprise clients so responsiveness and resolution to clients is priority. This is in our DNA. With the scrutiny, objectivity and independence that eLearning 24/7 applies in this review, this recognition really means something. We intend to remain good and responsive listeners to eLearning 24/7” says Mark Anderson, CEO of eLogic Learning.

About eLogic Learning:
eLogic Learning, headquartered in Tampa, Florida, is an award-winning industry leader in web-based Learning Management Systems and corporate training products and services. Currently, there are millions of licensed users of “eSSential”, eLogic’s Learning Management System (LMS). Clients include Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. (parent of Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, etc.), Primerica, Sage Software, Vitera Healthcare, Cobb Energy, MetLife. Massage Envy, and many others. The eSSential Platform has been independently reviewed by the ADL to be SCORM-certified Tin Can Partner, ensuring their clients benefit from all SCORM functionality. eLogic Learning is a Microsoft Certified Partner and ISV.

In addition to its Learning Management System, eLogic Learning develops custom e-Learning content and courses as well as providing an extensive third-party courseware library. eLogic Learning also offers professional services in content strategy and business process change in the development of corporate training programs. eLogic Learning offers its clients a comprehensive turnkey approach to implementing learning strategies.

About eLearning 24/7
Craig Weiss, CEO of eLearning 24/7, recognized as the 2nd most influential person in eLearning (http://www.trainingpressreleases.com/news/bob-little-press-pr/2014/the-fifth-annual-top-ten-e-learning-movers-and-shakers) , is an e-learning analyst, expert, author, speaker and thought leader who has been in the industry for over 15 years. His knowledge and insight in e-learning, mobile and social learning, as well as emerging technology for e-learning, has established him as one of the key voices in online learning. Craig’s forecasts in the e-learning industry since 2010 (when he launched operations) have achieved over a 90% accuracy record. Weiss is the author of E-Learning 24/7 blog and written for numerous publications around the world. He also regularly speaks at conferences, events and companies around the world. His recent presentations included speaking at DevLearn Las Vegas, NV, Online Educa Berlin, Berlin, Germany and Learning@Work, Sydney Australia.

E-learning styles ‘vary from person to person’

With any form of education, people naturally adopt different learning styles and techniques – and it is no different for online training.

Learners could exhibit a wide range of behaviours when accessing web resources, and it is important for both employers and providers of this kind of education to take into account the varying needs individuals have.

As research from Virginia Commonwealth University states, “good teachers recognise that individual learner differences can affect the outcomes of educational experiences”.

If people do not receive learning tailored to these distinctions, it is likely that the education delivered won’t be as effective or long-lasting.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development blog has pointed to a whitepaper outlining several different e-learning styles that are beginning to emerge, showing that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is out of date and unreliable.

via .

Helping students self assess

*Students with hands up

Giving quizzes allows teachers to examine data and see what students understand and where they may need more practice. Ideally, quizzes should provide the same experience for the students themselves — allow them to reflect on what they know well and where they could improve. However, as any middle-school teacher will tell you, most students will look at the grade and then either proudly bring it home to mom, or — more likely — toss it in the recycle bin.

The ability to reflect on performance and use this information to improve oneself is a skill that can enhance one’s success. It is, therefore, a skill that I want to teach my students. To do this, I teach my students to reflect on their quizzes in order to learn from their mistakes. I use this as a math teacher, but it can be adapted to other subjects as well.

Quiz reflections come in all shapes and sizes. However, for me, there are three important aspects of reflection: examining the problem, analyzing the error, and learning how to perform the skill correctly. My quiz reflection form is a simple three column chart, but there are tons of ideas out there for teachers to modify and adapt.

more Helping students self assess – @PaulineZd SmartBlogs.

UK Government is considering using MOOCs in classrooms

* Michael Gove

Massive open online courses, known as MOOCs, could soon be used to augment the depth and variety of the curriculum taught in British schools, said education secretary Michael Gove speaking at the BETT conference in London today.

The key to introducing new opportunities provided by developments in technology and the free, open courses now offered by universities around the world into the classroom will be to leave schools in charge of deciding how they will respond to the changes, Gove said.

“Precisely the wrong way to react to the transformative opportunities offered by educational technology would be for government to try to dictate, from the centre, every last detail of how schools should respond,” the education secretary acknowledged.

More Government is considering using MOOCs in classrooms, says Gove (Wired UK).

Snow Days Become ‘Cyber Days’

* Teachers

Winter weather may have kept Bishop Donahue High School students home from school Monday, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t have to go class.

Classes at Bishop Donahue were held entirely online Monday for the first “Cyber Day,” the school’s answer to lost instruction time from the large number of school cancellations this year.

“This is something new we are testing,” Principal Tom Wise said. “This way, we can keep students engaged and continue with lessons when school is canceled, instead of taking the whole day off.”

more Snow Days Become ‘Cyber Days’ at BDHS – News, Sports, Jobs – The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register.

Intervention Readiness Checklist

I recently had a student walk out of the classroom in a fit of frustration. Before leaving, I was able to squeeze a few morsels of details from her as to the source of her irritation. Almost in tears, she said that the in-class review session for our next test simply “was not working” for her. A million thoughts were racing through my mind. The student had never asked for assistance before. In addition, I was unaware of any desire on her end to improve her performance or current course average — she was bordering on a C+/B- average at that point. I felt blindsided. I felt completely in the dark as to how I could reach out to this student.

Have you had a similar experience with a student in need of an academic intervention? I believe that a big part of the frustration lies in the fact that as teachers we want to help all of our students, but all of our students are not ready to receive the help. Often there is a disconnect between our desire to intervene and the student’s willingness to accept our help. In psychology, the mismatch between feelings and actions is often labeled as “cognitive dissonance.” In the classroom, I tend to view the misalignment between the helper (teacher) and the receiver (student) as “coaching dissonance.” In an attempt to decrease coaching dissonance — and the challenges that accompany it — I created an intervention readiness checklist that teachers can use as an indicator for student receptiveness.

via Intervention — Ready or not, here I come! SmartBlogs.

School expands technology use to give teachers instant feedback

Immediately after answering four questions about fractions, Gabriella Martin knows she has the first, third and fourth right but the second has an X next to it, showing it is wrong.

“There are X’s and checks. If you get an X, you try to do it again and see if you get it right,” said the 10-year-old fifth-grader.

Her class is one of four at Anna Barry School that is using new technology to give teachers and students instant feedback on what children have learned and what concepts they need extra help to comprehend.Each child is given a device that looks like a remote control with numbers and letters.

Each child has a password, and every response they key into the devices are sent electronically to the school’s interactive white boards.

via Chicopee schools expand technology use to give teachers instant feedback | masslive.com.

A Simple Way Teachers Can Learn To Make Apps

8 iBooks Author

If you wish to create a multi-touch iOS app for the iPhone or iPad, then you will need to know how to use xCode Apple development software and the programming language Objective-C. While this is a bold endeavor, it is a massive time and learning commitment that most teachers can’t make.

The average teacher with a creative idea for an app that supports learning may never see it come to fruition due to lack of know-how or lack of resources to invest in its development. Enter iBooks Author.

iBooks Author is Apple’s standard for e-publishing. It is free in the Mac app store and is everything but ‘standard’ when it comes to delivering a polished interactive iBook. The WYSIWYG interface makes it easy to drag and drop text, images, media, and interactive elements on to it’s pages and export a multi-touch book with a push of a button.

While digital books may not be the app envisioned by the teacher, they offer an ‘app-like’ feel of interaction and hold great potential for creating a dynamic learning experience that fosters multiple styles of learning.

more A Simple Way Teachers Can Learn To Make Apps – Edudemic.

3-D technology makes math & science easier

Last year, Robert Cundiff promised his seventh-grade science students at South View Middle School they would be the first to see a new way of learning … in 3-D.

Cundiff made good on that promise Wednesday when the now-eighth-graders experienced firsthand the excitement of 3-D learning with the program, Classroom Cubed.

Through a grant from the Danville Public School Foundation, the students were introduced to the new 3-D technology, which will make math and science concepts easier to visualize and to learn.

more Getting up close » Local News » The Commercial-News, Danville, IL.

15 Useful Educational Tools Every Teacher Should Know About

* FlippedClassroom

Image courtesy of: Dan Spencer

 

Today, we’ve seen a massive influx of technology being used in the academe. It was evident that the use of digital devices in the classroom boosts student learning and participation in class. Based on the 2013 PBS Learning Media study, 74% of K-12 teachers in the United States are now employing the use of mobile tech (mTech) to create digital lesson plans and keep their students motivated. However, for educators who are yet to take the digital leap, one of the greatest obstacles that you may encounter is the difficulty of managing and leveraging your tech-infused classroom. That is why for this entry, we’ll equip you with a rundown of the useful educational applications that you can use in pursuit of your digital teaching venture.

1.  Planboard

Touted as “the best way for teachers to organize their day,” the Planboard app is a simple and easy-to-use program to create your daily lesson plans. Text here can be formatted according to your desired typeface and you can even embed videos and reference links to your lessons. Completed plans can be exported into PDF and shared via email.

2.  LearnBoost

LearnBoost features an attendance checker, digital grade book log, a class period scheduler, and a detailed view of your students’ individual progress. You can also share its content to your students and their parents through email or Facebook.

3.  Edmodo

Pretty much like the social networking platform Facebook, Edmodo  is used it to share educational contents, blast homework, and notify your students with their grades and progress. With its Edmodo quiz builder feature, you can create digital exams that can automatically be checked upon completion. It is “a safe and easy way to connect and collaborate” with your students; a learning platform made by teachers for co-teachers, the news release from Verizon wrote.

4.  Animoto

Animoto is an all-in-one video-editing tool for teachers. Unlike movie-making software for PCs, it doesn’t require a complicated editing process. All you have to do is to insert a photo or video, then customize it with your preferred style and animation. You can also overlay a text or record voice narration for your completed projects.

5.  Knewton

Knewton is a site that customizes online learning content based on your students’ individual needs. To measure their level of proficiency and literacy, they will have to take an evaluation exam using Knewton, and a learning pathway will be suggested by the tool.

6.  iCivics

iCivics is a web tool to teach your students about civics in a child-friendly manner. It’s very engaging in nature, too, as the platform offers games wherein they can run for presidency, pass new laws, and argue on real-life cases.

7.  Teacher’s Assistant Pro: Track Student Behavior

This handy tool will help you record and track their individual behavior, actions, and class achievements. In here, you can easily remember records of your students who are habitually tardy, underachieving, missing homework submissions, and more. For a more thorough documentation, you can use color codes and attach an image to your records.

8.  Socrative  

Socrative gives you the most comprehensive student response system with a wide variety of quizzes and class exercises. You can utilize it to create multiple choice, true/false, short answer, or space race type of exams that runs on tablets, laptops, and smartphones.

9.  Khan Academy

Khan Academy provides one of the biggest eLearning resources where you can browse quizzes and creative presentations in the following subject areas: Math, Science, Arts, and Humanities. These digital contents are categorized per year level (3rd grade to 8th grade).

10. BetterLesson

This Web 2.0 tool offers a collection of over 3,000 plus complete K-12 Common Core-aligned lessons from over 130 master teachers. Better lesson may come in handy when you run out of ideas for your lecture and/or you wanted to try other methods used by your fellow educators.

 

11. Schoology

Schoology gives you the power to manage your class calendar, blast content with your students, and connect with other educators online. With its Facebook-like features, your students can create a group and collaborate with each other in or outside the campus. You can also set up a calendar for upcoming events like decathlons and they will all be notified at once.

12. EduBlogs

As the title suggests, this application (web and mobile) allows you to create timely blogs for your students’ benefit. You can maximize it for posting announcements, students’ achievements, and class candid moments.

13. Screenr

In case you want to demonstrate app/computer tutorials for your students (ex. how to send your homework using Google Drive), you can use Screenr to record your screen actions into a video clip. You can also overlay audio annotations as you record your actions.

14. FunBrain

If you’re a huge fan of gamification, FunBrain is the biggest web tool that contains a wide collection of curated educational games. They are categorized into Math, Reading, Fun Arcades, and Playground.

15Educreations

Educreations is an iPad application that lets teachers create videos to teach a particular topic. The interface is similar to the Paint app in Windows PCs. Using your fingertip or a stylus; you can create a moving digital sketch that shows how to solve a math problem. Adding a voice narration is also possible with the app.

These are the 15 digital tools we recommended for every teacher. Take note that some of them are mobile applications while some are online tools. Have you tried any of them? Do you have other apps you wish to share?

 

About the Author: 

Allie Cooper is a tech correspondent and a regular contributor for Techie Doodlers in the UK. She writes feature posts on educational technologies and other eLearning trends in the Academe.  Follow Allie on Twitter: @AllieCooper_18 and Google+.