Category Archives: Education

How Twitter and Facebook Can Boost Learning

Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook can actually make students smarter, contrary to the criticisms leveled against them by many educators. Twitter and Facebook can boost learning if instructors use them properly and monitor their students’ use in coursework.

Some educators have been wary of social networks since their inception, concerned that students would use the networks in class, both as an update to the age-old practice of passing notes and as a tool with which to cheat on assignments and tests. The immediate reaction was to ban social network access during class. Some more creative instructors, however, saw a potential for actually enhancing their students’ learning, and they encouraged the students to participate. And it turns out that they were on to something: participating on the social networks can actually enhance education.

Why some educators love to hate social media

Beyond the potential for cheating, Twitter and Facebook have often been criticized by educators and others who are concerned with the future of literacy and critical thinking in our culture. Some think they are time-wasters for most students and are eroding students’ ability to write, spell, and think.

Twitter in particular has been criticized on literacy grounds because its strict 140-character limit per “tweet” (including spaces between words) encourages the use of Internet shorthand and “txtspk” (e.g., “UR” instead of “you are”) and sentence fragments. The fear among some educators is that between tweeting and texting, technology has given rise to a new generation that will be at a loss to write or read a coherent, properly spelled sentence.

Facebook has also been criticized as a time-waster and even, in some well-publicized cases, a bullying tool. It has also become a surefire conduit for rumors, ridiculous memes and urban legends, some of which were debunked back in the pre-Internet age, but nevertheless found new life via email and, more recently, through social media. Consequently some have complained that Facebook encourages laziness and discourages critical thinking and research skills.
While there is some validity to all of these concerns – including the concerns about cheating – none of these are adequate reasons to vilify Twitter or Facebook. Instead, the teacher can use them as tools to boost the learning process. Even some of the perceived disadvantages of Twitter and Facebook can be turned into advantages.


The tweet heard ‘round the world…

Twitter wasn’t even on most people’s radar until the 2008 incident involving student James Karl Buck’s arrest and subsequent imprisonment at a public protest in Egypt. En route to the police station, Buck took out his cell phone and sent a one-word Tweet to his friends and contacts: “Arrested.” Within seconds, his fellow U.S. Twitter users and blogger friends in Egypt learned of his arrest, and the news almost immediately went viral. As the news spread, pressure from sources all over the world mounted for Egyptian officials, and Buck was ultimately released. At that point, he tweeted another one-word message, “Free,” which also went viral. And the world recognized the power of social networking.

Indeed, there is power in social networking, and there’s no denying that tweeting can be an effective means of communication and a way to update crucial information in the shortest, most direct way possible. Twitter has become a medium in and of itself, but its greater usefulness lies in the ability of the “tweeter” to link to other media. News media, for instance, now routinely use tweets to link to longer articles and videos, and that in fact is where Twitter becomes truly useful; it can link the reader to more substantial information. And this, ideally, is how Twitter can become valuable in the classroom: as a portal to information about the world.
What about the literacy argument? While some accuse Twitter of “dumbing down” the language and interfering with the ability to read, write and think, there are equally powerful – and eloquently literate – voices defending Twitter. A few years ago, best-selling Canadian novelist and poet Margaret Atwood declared that Twitter actually boosts literacy. Atwood noted that a lot of dedicated Twitter users are also avid readers, and added, “People have to actually be able to read and write to use the Internet, so it’s a great literacy driver if kids are given the tools and the incentive to learn the skills that allow them to access it.”
Moreover, one has to have at least rudimentary reading and writing skills to tweet, and tweeting (as well as texting) are less passive experiences than talking on the phone or watching TV.
http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/literary-legend-margaret-atwood-thinks-twitter-boosts-literacy_b16428

Other experts also believe that social media such as Twitter can be used to enhance reading and writing. One of these experts is Rey Junco, of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. http://www.opb.org/news/article/npr-can-twitter-boost-literacy/

Facebook, like Twitter, is a two-edged sword
Many of the arguments in favor of Twitter can also be used about Facebook: It can enhance reading and writing, and can be a portal to educational content. Of course a cursory look at random Facebook postings will reveal that freedom from the 140-character limit does not automatically make the poster witty, eloquent, or even particularly literate. That said, Facebook can be a powerful tool to convey legitimate information – whether an update on coursework or a link to a news story, opinion piece or white paper that is relevant to the work.

Even what is arguably one of Facebook’s weaknesses – its common use as a conduit for rumors and nonsense – can be transformed into a strength if teachers use examples as teaching tools to encourage critical thinking and research skills.

The greatest strength of social media is that they allow people not only to engage in the “public conversation” but also to connect with the world in a way that will actually expand their outlook and open their minds. Educators can and should take advantage of these tools, while guiding students in the responsible use of social media in the context of coursework.

Author Byline:

“This guest post is contributed by Rebecca Gray, who writes about free background check for Backgroundchecks.org. She welcomes your comments at her email id:GrayRebecca14@gmail.com.”

 

Undertaking some action research

Teachers undertaking some area of action research, maybe as part of a course or CPD session, can further develop their skills

According to Guiding School Improvement with Action Research

by Richard Sagor, Action research can be defined as

“A succinct definition of action research appears in the workshop materials we use at the Institute for the Study of Inquiry in Education. That definition states that action research is a disciplined process of inquiry conducted by and for those taking the action. The primary reason for engaging in action research is to assist the “actor” in improving and/or refining his or her actions.”

Practitioners who engage in action research inevitably find it to be an empowering experience. Action research has this positive effect for many reasons. Obviously, the most important is that action research is always relevant to the participants. Relevance is guaranteed because the focus of each research project is determined by the researchers, who are also the primary consumers of the findings.

Perhaps even more important is the fact that action research helps educators be more effective at what they care most about—their teaching and the development of their students. Seeing students grow is probably the greatest joy educators can experience. When teachers have convincing evidence that their work has made a real difference in their students’ lives, the countless hours and endless efforts of teaching seem worthwhile.

The Action Research Process

Educational action research can be engaged in by a single teacher, by a group of colleagues who share an interest in a common problem, or by the entire faculty of a school. Whatever the scenario, action research always involves the same seven-step process. These seven steps, which become an endless cycle for the inquiring teacher, are the following:

  1. Selecting a focus
  2. Clarifying theories
  3. Identifying research questions
  4. Collecting data
  5. Analyzing data
  6. Reporting results
  7. Taking informed action

Step 1—Selecting a Focus

The action research process begins with serious reflection directed toward identifying a topic or topics worthy of a busy teacher’s time. Considering the incredible demands on today’s classroom teachers, no activity is worth doing unless it promises to make the central part of a teacher’s work more successful and satisfying. Thus, selecting a focus, the first step in the process, is vitally important. Selecting a focus begins with the teacher researcher or the team of action researchers asking:

What element(s) of our practice or what aspect of student learning do we wish to investigate?

Step 2—Clarifying Theories

The second step involves identifying the values, beliefs, and theoretical perspectives the researchers hold relating to their focus. For example, if teachers are concerned about increasing responsible classroom behavior, it will be helpful for them to begin by clarifying which approach—using punishments and rewards, allowing students to experience the natural consequences of their behaviors, or some other strategy—they feel will work best in helping students acquire responsible classroom behavior habits.

Step 3—Identifying Research Questions

Once a focus area has been selected and the researcher’s perspectives and beliefs about that focus have been clarified, the next step is to generate a set of personally meaningful research questions to guide the inquiry.

Step 4—Collecting Data

Professional educators always want their instructional decisions to be based on the best possible data. Action researchers can accomplish this by making sure that the data used to justify their actions are valid(meaning the information represents what the researchers say it does) and reliable (meaning the researchers are confident about the accuracy of their data). Lastly, before data are used to make teaching decisions, teachers must be confident that the lessons drawn from the data align with any unique characteristics of their classroom or school.

To ensure reasonable validity and reliability, action researchers should avoid relying on any single source of data. Most teacher researchers use a process called triangulation to enhance the validity and reliability of their findings. Basically, triangulation means using multiple independent sources of data to answer one’s questions. Triangulation is like studying an object located inside a box by viewing it through various windows cut into the sides of the box. Observing a phenomenon through multiple “windows” can help a single researcher compare and contrast what is being seen through a variety of lenses.

When planning instruction, teachers want the techniques they choose to be appropriate for the unique qualities of their students. All teachers have had the experience of implementing a “research-proven” strategy only to have it fail with their students. The desire of teachers to use approaches that “fit” their particular students is not dissimilar to a doctor’s concern that the specific medicine being prescribed be the correct one for the individual patient. The ability of the action research process to satisfy an educator’s need for “fit” may be its most powerful attribute. Because the data being collected come from the very students and teachers who are engaged with the treatment, the relevance of the findings is assured.

For the harried and overworked teacher, “data collection” can appear to be the most intimidating aspect of the entire seven-step action research process. The question I am repeatedly asked, “Where will I find the time and expertise to develop valid and reliable instruments for data collection?”, gives voice to a realistic fear regarding time management. Fortunately, classrooms and schools are, by their nature, data-rich environments. Each day a child is in class, he or she is producing or not producing work, is interacting productively with classmates or experiencing difficulties in social situations, and is completing assignments proficiently or poorly. Teachers not only see these events transpiring before their eyes, they generally record these events in their grade books. The key to managing triangulated data collection is, first, to be effective and efficient in collecting the material that is already swirling around the classroom, and, second, to identify other sources of data that might be effectively surfaced with tests, classroom discussions, or questionnaires.

Step 5—Analyzing Data

Although data analysis often brings to mind the use of complex statistical calculations, this is rarely the case for the action researcher. A number of relatively user-friendly procedures can help a practitioner identify the trends and patterns in action research data. During this portion of the seven-step process, teacher researchers will methodically sort, sift, rank, and examine their data to answer two generic questions:

  • What is the story told by these data?
  • Why did the story play itself out this way?

By answering these two questions, the teacher researcher can acquire a better understanding of the phenomenon under investigation and as a result can end up producing grounded theory regarding what might be done to improve the situation.

Step 6—Reporting Results

It is often said that teaching is a lonely endeavor. It is doubly sad that so many teachers are left alone in their classrooms to reinvent the wheel on a daily basis. The loneliness of teaching is unfortunate not only because of its inefficiency, but also because when dealing with complex problems the wisdom of several minds is inevitably better than one.

The sad history of teacher isolation may explain why the very act of reporting on their action research has proven so powerful for both the researchers and their colleagues. The reporting of action research most often occurs in informal settings that are far less intimidating than the venues where scholarly research has traditionally been shared. Faculty meetings, brown bag lunch seminars, and teacher conferences are among the most common venues for sharing action research with peers. However, each year more and more teacher researchers are writing up their work for publication or to help fulfill requirements in graduate programs. Regardless of which venue or technique educators select for reporting on research, the simple knowledge that they are making a contribution to a collective knowledge base regarding teaching and learning frequently proves to be among the most rewarding aspects of this work.

Step 7—Taking Informed Action

Taking informed action, or “action planning,” the last step in the action research process, is very familiar to most teachers. When teachers write lesson plans or develop academic programs, they are engaged in the action planning process. What makes action planning particularly satisfying for the teacher researcher is that with each piece of data uncovered (about teaching or student learning) the educator will feel greater confidence in the wisdom of the next steps. Although all teaching can be classified as trial and error, action researchers find that the research process liberates them from continuously repeating their past mistakes. More important, with each refinement of practice, action researchers gain valid and reliable data on their developing virtuosity.

http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/100047/chapters/What-Is-Action-Research%C2%A2.aspx

For more research and educational based books, check out out theelearningsite.com bookshop

levinson-ipad-be-nimble-Thinkstock_0

iPad Be Nimble, iPad Be Quick

levinson-ipad-be-nimble-Thinkstock_0

One of the most challenging lessons for schools to learn in implementing iPads is that the iPad is not a laptop. The conversation can sometimes get bogged down around the device, trapping schools in these definitions as they lose sight of the central reasons to use technology:

  • To enhance teaching and learning
  • To differentiate instruction
  • To personalize the learning experience
  • To solve authentic problems where technology must be used to solve those problems

This is not an easy lesson. It requires a paradigm shift in teaching and learning.

iPads vs. Laptops

It’s worth noting the different features of laptops and iPads and to see the benefit of both devices.

While the laptop is heavy, takes a long time to boot up, and is often used as a word processing tool with typing and keyboarding being paramount, it’s also a powerful device for computer programming and accessing Adobe Flash-based simulations, particularly in the sciences. And the laptop is not bound by the app store. Many adults often prefer using a laptop over an iPad. And many students feel the same way. The laptop is often the default go-to device, full of power and possibility.

The shift to iPads over laptops does not have to be a zero sum game. The ideal setting, being adopted by many schools, is moving to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs to allow for flexibility and for students to work on their own devices. And BYOD also shifts the conversation away from the device and toward the learning experience. In other words, based on the learning experience, which device will best allow students to achieve the learning objectives? It might be a laptop or a tablet — or even a smartphone.

READ MORE

laptop in library

Students: bring your own technology to uni

laptop in library

Asking students to use their own tech in lectures could save money, but will it damage attention spans?

A few years ago, if a student got their phone out in a lecture, this was quite a clear sign that they were no longer paying attention. But today, using a phone or tablet in the lecture hall is actually encouraged by universities, many of which are asking students to use their own technology to access learning resources.

As the discussion by many establishments to investigate BYOD continues, The Guardian discusses http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/apr/11/students-bring-tech-device-uni 

eLearning News 13 Apr 2014

Round up of the news this week:

Upside Learning celebrates 10th anniversary – Training Press …

http://www.trainingpressreleases.com Wed, 09 Apr 2014 14:16:03 GMT

Upside Learning, a leading provider of learning technology solutions, announced today that April 2014 marks the company’s 10 year anniversary of its founding.

Read more …


UEW to increase study centres | citifmonline

http://www.citifmonline.com Sat, 12 Apr 2014 08:02:34 GMT

The University of Education, Winneba (UEW) will soon establish three new study centres in Ho, Sunyani and Somanya in line with efforts to increase enrolment on its distance learning programmes. This will increase its …

Read more …


eLearning Africa Conference kicks-off end of May, to focus on innovation – Ventureburn

http://news.google.com Fri, 11 Apr 2014 10:14:02 GMT

VentureburneLearning Africa Conference kicks-off end of May, to focus on innovationVentureburnIn an effort to unite developers, researchers, techies and teachers, the eLearning Africa Conference will be taking place from 28 to 30 May in Kampala, Uganda. An annual event, this year the conference will run with the theme of Opening Frontiers to …

Read more …


The Rising Power of MOOCs: Now, everyone can learn at Harvard (or Yale, or…)

MOOCs
Source: Top10OnlineColleges.org

The Rising Power of MOOCs: Now, everyone can learn at Harvard (or Yale, or…)

3 years ago, MOOCs were an idea. Now….
5 million: number of students signed on to MOOCs, around the world
33,000: the average number of students that sign up for a MOOC

The Dream: MOOCs Can:
• Offer Ivy League Courses at non-Ivy League prices (free), thus….
• Lifting people out of poverty
• Unlock billions of brains to solve the world’s biggest problems

And yet
1 in 4: Americans don’t even know what a MOOC is.
They are: Massive Open Online Courses.

Who Takes MOOCs:

• 37% have a B.S. degree
• 28% have a Master’s degree or profession
• 27% high school

Majority of those taking MOOCs tend to be young, male and employed, from highly developed countries.
• Over 40% of students are under 30 years old
• Less than 10% over 60
• 88 % of MOOC students are male
• 62 % are employed
• 13% are unemployed…or retired

Comparison of geographic location of students, by self identification and IP address
• U.S. 34% of MOOC students
• India: 7.28 %
• Brazil: 4.37 %
• Great Britain: 3.89%
• Canada: 3.4%
• Spain: 2.7 %
• Russia: 2.5%
• China: 2%
• Australia: 2%
• Germany: 1.7%

Employment:
• Student: 17.4%
• Part time employed: 6.9%
• Full time employed: 50%
• Self employed: 12.4%
• Unemployed: 6.6%
• Retired: 6.8%

Why do students Participate in MOOCs?
• Gain knowledge to get degree: 13.2%
• Gain specific skills to do job better: 43.9%
• Gain specific skills to get a new job: 17%
• Curiosity: 50%
[Those surveyed could pick more than one answer]

Requirements for successful online learning:
• Quality of material covered in the course
• Engagement of the teacher
• Interaction among students

Accredited Online (only) Schools offer MOOCs

edX: Courses from:
• Massachusetts Institute of Technology
• Harvard
• University of California Berkeley

Coursera: Courses from:
• California Institute of Technology,
• University of Washington,
• Stanford University,
• Princeton University,
• Duke University
• John Hopkins University, and many others.

Udacity: Partner companies include:
• Google
• Facebook
• Bank of America

Udemy Free courses from:
• Dartmouth,
• the University of Virginia
• Northwestern and others….

iTunes Free Courses
• Apple’s free app. Right in the app, they can play video or audio lectures. Read books and view presentations.

Top Universities offer MOOCs:

• Stanford Free Courses - from Quantum Mechanics to The Future of the Internet.
• Stanford’s Introduction to Artificial Intelligence: 160,000 students from 190 countries signed up to Stanford’s Introduction to AI” course, with 23,000 reportedly completing.
• UC Berkeley Free Courses. Check out Berkeley Webcasts and Berkeley RSS feeds.
• MIT Free Courses: MIT’s RSS MOOC feed, and MIT’s Open Courseware.
• Duke Free Courses – Duke offers a variety of courses on ITunesU.
• Harvard Free Courses: Get a free Harvard education. No application required.
• UCLA Free Courses
• Yale Free Courses – Check out Open Yale
• Carnegie Mellon Free Courses – “No instructors, no credits, no charge”

Pros and Cons of MOOCs:

Pros: By design, MOOCs are….
Incredibly flexible
Diverse in their range of subjects
Open to anyone
Free.

And Downs:
No credit for completion
Lack of hands on learning
100,000 or more to 1, student to teacher ratio
High dropout rates of up to 90%

Flipping the teacher

If I’d suggested flipping the teacher while I was still at school, I would have been in serious trouble. Given my reputation though, it wouldn’t have been out of the ordinary.

I once spread a rumour at primary school that my tyrant of a head teacher had died (wishful thinking), and when he came back from sick leave, I wasn’t the most popular child in the school. Having said that, many of the kids began to believe in the resurrection of the dead.

Once, during a chemistry lesson in secondary school, I was larking around and accidentally burnt a big hole in my teacher’s pretty floral dress with concentrated acid.

He was furious.

I got into a fair few scrapes and a lot of mischief, but suggesting that we ‘flip the teacher’ would have been the last straw.

Today, the idea of flipping the classroom is a familiar one. Flipping teachers may not be so familiar. Don’t panic though – I’m not advocating violence, nor am I suggesting children use obscene gestures. Flipping teachers is about swapping roles. I have already written about this in previous posts. The idea that teachers should become students so that their students can act as teachers may still be contentious and problematic, but I believe that as we see more flipped classroom approaches, the argument for also flipping the role of the teacher will become more compelling, and eventually more acceptable.

A little history: Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann developed the term ‘flipped classroom’ by considering the time spent by teachers with their students in classroom. They wished to maximise this time, and developed a number of strategies that involved instruction taking place outside the walls of the classroom. Inside, with the teacher present, students were able to explore their learning in more depth and detail, capitalising on ‘face time’ with the expert. The work of Harvard University professor Eric Mazur supports this approach, because, as he says – instruction is easier than assimilation, and advocated coaching rather than lecturing as early as the 1990s. This is not new of course. For centuries, innovative teachers have been trying to find other more effective methods of pedagogy that can take the place of lecturing and instruction.

If we are at all serious about promoting student centred learning, then we should at least reconsider the roles teachers traditionally play at the centre of the process, and begin to discover how we can help the student replace them. This does not mean that teachers relinquish their responsibilities or shirk their obligations. What it does mean is that teachers should seriously consider new forms of pedagogy where students are placed at the centre of the learning process, and have to spend some time ‘teaching’. We learn by teaching. If you have to teach or present something for an audience, you will make damn sure you go away and learn it thoroughly so you don’t make an absolute ass of yourself. This is the same principle we see when we flip the teacher.

Here are just five ways you can flip the teacher:

  1. Ask students to peer-teach. This form of paragogy ensures that all students need to know something about the topic before they teach it, and can also learn from each other during the process. Even better, get them to teach you something you don’t already know about.
  2. Give your students a problem to solve. Ask them to come back later to show how they solved the problem, and get them to defend their solution. If they all have different solutions, the fun can start.
  3. Students create a self-directed project that encapsulates the principles or facts of the topic they are learning. It can be in the form of a video, or presentation, or role play, or even a blues song (be creative). Just as long as they ‘perform’ their work in front of an audience.
  4. Act as a student, and ask your students awkward questions about what they have learnt. Challenge them to explain clearly what they know. This approach ensures that they must think more critically and reflectively about what they have learnt, and that they need to justify their decisions.
  5. The age old seminar is a great flipping method. Ensure that each student has time to study a specific aspect of the course, and prepares teaching materials. They then get to present their work in front of you and their peer group, and are also tasked to encourage discussion by preparing some key questions.

I gratefully acknowledge Max Brown for giving me permission to use his most excellent cartoon that depicts flipping the teacher.

Graphic by Max Brown

Creative Commons License
Flipping the teacher by Steve Wheeler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Teachers still needed with self-paced blended learning

Some teachers initially view self-paced blended learning as a process where the “computer does the teaching” and the role of the teacher is diminished. Practical experience with this style of learning with middle school students over several years indicates that this is not the case.

The teacher is still very important; however, the role changes. In short, this change could be described as a teacher moving from a lecturer to a facilitator, explainer to intervener, generalist to specialist and thus from content focus to content skills and mind-set focus.

Some evidence now supports this view.

Students involved in these middle school courses have been surveyed over the past few years. Results of the surveys have been consistent. The classes were operated by some teachers experienced in a blended learning classroom and some who were not. A recent survey produced varying results. The most significant differences in results were investigated further.

more Teachers still needed with self-paced blended learning | eSchool News | eSchool News.

Successful eLearning begins with well-prepared teachers

*Apple on keyboard
Gardner-Webb University began delivering its new online curriculum using Teachscape’s professional learning system in fall 2013.

 

Preparing future teachers for success helps drive the success of the students they will teach.

When the state of North Carolina dramatically reduced textbook funding, yet decided it would implement the Common Core State Standards, our School of Education at Gardner-Webb University decided to fast-track a program to make all teacher preparation courses textbook-free.

We did this with the goal of preparing our students for the environment they would experience when they enter the teaching field, as well as to better equip them to meet the digital expectations that will be asked of them once they graduate.

In addition to going textbook-free, we also wanted to find a way to better capture student data in order to track student progress and focus on accreditation and continuous improvement.

To address the needs of this two-pronged initiative, we chose Teachscape’s online, video-based tools, because they would allow our student teachers to access courses online, view best practices of teaching in action, and reflect on their own teaching—all of which are essential in preparing future teachers for success in the field.

More Successful eLearning begins with well-prepared teachers – eCampus News | eCampus News.

Just Google It: How Google Has Changed Research for Grad Students

Google It
Source: GradSchoolHub.com

94: percentage of U.S. students who equate research with using Google, or other search engines.
75: percentage of students who use Wikipedia and online encyclopedias.
87: the percentage of all US adults using the Internet who also use search engines.

2 billion: Or nearly 30 percent of all humans, use the Internet

A history of online research

1962: J.C.R. Licklider of MIT has “Galactic Network” concept, a globally interconnected set of computers where everyone could access data from any site.
1989: Demonstration of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee.
1990: Public release of the World Wide Web.
1990: First search tool for the web (Archie) was created.
1993: First web crawler (Wanderer) was created.
1993: First graphical browser (Mosaic).
1994: Netscape browser launched.
1994: Development of first popular search engines (Alta Vista, Lycos, Excite and Yahoo)
1995: Internet Explorer launched.
1995: First public video-conference took place.
1996: Instant messaging services launched.
1997: Google released
1997: First weblog (blog) is attributed to Jorn Barger’s Robot Wisdom Web site.
1997: SixDegrees.com is launched. Often seen as the first social networking site.
Paid placement ranking: Goto morphed into Overture and Yahoo. Ranking depended on how much you paid.
1998 +: Link based ranking pioneered by Google
• Blew away all search engines except Inktomi; meanwhile, Goto/Overture’s annual revenues were nearly $1 billion.
2000: 400 million people across the globe use the internet.
2001: First commercial launch of 3G (Third Generation) mobile phones.
2001: First Access Grid developed at the University of Manchester.
2003: Myspace launched.
2003: Yahoo acquires Overture (for paid placement) and Inktomi (search)
2004: Mozilla Firefox web browser released (the 2nd most popular current browser after Internet Explorer).
2004: Facebook launched.
2006: Twitter launched.
2007: iPhone launched.
2008: Google Chrome browser launched.
2010: iPad launched.
2011: Number of internet users estimated as 2 billion world wide.

Percentage of people who go online, then use a search engine:

Millennials, age 18-33: 92 %
Gen X (34-45): 87
Younger Boomers (45-55): 86
Older Boomers (56-64): 87
Silent Generation (65-73): 82
G.I. Generation (74 plus): 72
All online adults (18 plus): 87

The battle of the Search Engines (as of 12/13)

Google: 66.7 percent of all searches
Microsoft sites (Bing): 18.2 percent
Yahoo: 11.2
Ask: 2.6
AOL: 1.4

Number of searches (worldwide: 18.3 billion in Dec. 2013)
Google: 12.3 billion of the 18.3 (or 66.7 % see above)
Microsoft (Bing): 3.3 billion
Yahoo: 2 billion
Ask: 452 million
AOL: 234 million

Online research tools used by students

• Google or other online search engine: 94% of those surveyed
• Wikipedia or other online encyclopedias:75 %
• You Tube, or other social media sites: 52%
• News sites of major news organizations (i.e. NY Times): 25%
• Textbooks, electronic: 18%
• Databases, such as EBSCO, JSTOR: 17%

Google Research tools

Google Scholar (www.scholar.google.com) : for search of scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources, including theses, books, abstracts and articles.

Google App Engine: Google funds projects that create tools, applications and curriculum that can be used by other educators in their own teaching environments.

Google Book Search: (www.books.google.com) Search the latest index of the world’s books. Find millions of great books you can preview or read for free.

YouTube EDU: Resources for learning, from English lessons to real-life math.

Chrome’s FlashCards extension: to learn languages faster, prep for exams

Google Earth: with thousands of aerial and satellite photos, dozens of layers of information: city names, country borders, airport locations, road maps.

Google Play: has millions of FREE books readily available

Google-Changed-ResearchThumb

Sources:

https://theconversation.com/us-study-shows-google-has-changed-the-way-students-research-and-not-for-the-better-3087
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/08/22/erial_study_of_student_research_habits_at_illinois_university_libraries_reveals_alarmingly_poor_information_literacy_and_skills#ixzz2pd2IXJBX
http://searchengineland.com/teachers-say-students-equate-research-with-using-google-138542
http://searchengineland.com/search-number-2-online-activity-58927
http://www.stanford.edu/group/mmds/slides/raghavan-mmds.pdf
http://www.lightspeedaheadnewsletter.com/?p=317
http://www.bloomsburyacademic.com/view/What-Is-Online-Research/chapter-ba-9781849665544-chapter-002.xml?print
http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press_Releases/2014/1/comScore_Releases_December_2013_US_Search_Engine_Rankings
The Pew Reseach Center’s Internet and American Life Project Online Survey of Teachers
http://www.teachthought.com/technology/52-google-tips-for-college-students/
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/flashcards/diejjofgldkjkhmfjagdjdodjebpglhb?utm_source=en-social-na-us-social-gplus-post
http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2012/08/back_to_school_with_google_earth.html

Tips on technology integration for apprehensive educators

* ABC

In my new role this year as a technology coach for the high school in which I work, I have found myself primarily involved in two separate but equally important activities: reflecting on and learning from my past challenges and successes with technology in my classroom and trying to motivate skeptical teachers to integrate technology into their classrooms.

Consequently, the following suggestions garnered from my recent experiences will hopefully provide some general ideas and guidelines to clarify the process for reluctant teachers, so they will be motivated to embrace educational technology and all of its inherent benefits.

via Tips on technology integration for apprehensive educators SmartBlogs.

The Classroom and the Cloud: A Bright Forecast for 2020

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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.