Monthly Archives: April 2014

Blended Learning: 10 Trends

There is mounting evidence that complementing or replacing lectures with student-centric, technology-enabled active learning strategies and learning guidance—rather than memorization and repetition—improves learning, supports knowledge retention, and raises achievement. These new student-centered blended learning methods inspire engagement, and are a way to connect with every student right where they are while supporting progress toward grade level standards.

Dennis T OConnor‘s insight:

This infographic will help you think about blended learning. (It’s a good thing for educators to think about!)

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Sean Morris: Asynchronous Improvisation

Photo credit: Improvisation Ability SAK

Sean Morris:

For example, find a way to allow your students to not just create discussions on their own, but to make those discussions not at all peripheral to the main thrust of the learning. Have students decide not what they want to discuss, but what discussions are necessary to the class. And here, I’m not talking about students voting on discussion topics that you create, but creating their own ideas for what can and should be discussed about the subject matter.

Another option: allow students to bring their own materials to bear on the learning. Ask them to write—asynchronously—a collaborative manifesto for the class that supplements (and sometimes overrides) the syllabus. If you’re teaching Moby Dick let them decide how best to embrace the book. Will they write reports, or make papier maché whales? Will they give video presentations, or collaboratively write a comic for the book online? Whatever they come up with, be prepared to invent right alongside them.

Dennis T OConnor‘s insight:

This is a fine article. It will provoke your thinking about discussion centered courses.  Sean Morris offers excellent advice combined with a strong view on course design.  Don’t miss this one!

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7 Brain-based Tips for eLearning Success

The brain is constantly on the lookout for ways to improve by obtaining new knowledge and skills, even before birth. Unfortunately, retaining information can be challenging, simply because instructors and course designers do not always use methods that facilitate remembering. The following seven points look at key principles from neuroscience research paired with tips that will allow course creators to achieve effective eLearning development.

Dennis T OConnor‘s insight:

This thought provoking article is a solid tutorial on brain research with specific tips for instructional designers.  Far more here than the simple infographic reveals.

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Lesson Plan Map – Search Education – Google

Lesson 1: How can appropriate search terms and queries guide targeted searches?

Common Core (CC) Standards: CCR W 1, CCR W 2, CRR W 7, CRR W 8, CRR L 6, CRR R 4, RI.3.5
AASL: 1.1.2, 1.1.4, 1.1.8
ISTE NETS•S: 3.a, 3.b, 6.a

Dennis T OConnor‘s insight:

Five lessons, each is differentiated as Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced. Mapped to three sets of national standards.

Excellent way to get started teaching search skills. (I know there’s no room in your curriculum to do this. Perhaps that’s what’s wrong with your curriculum?)

Seize the opportunity to help your students develop real 21st Century Skills.  

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How, Google Plus & Twitter can turn chaos into order

If you do anything professionally related to online technology, you understand the immense amount of data you need to sort through each day. There are the daily content roundups, blogs to read, Facebook posts and to check, tweets to scroll through and news sites. That doesn’t include whatever else arrives in your in-box. I literally cannot keep up with all that I want to know about social media technology and its use for engagement, fundraising and advocacy.

It’s really too much to know. That’s when I began trusting the curators.

Trusting the curators was a strategy I employed to begin to figure out what to read, what I needed to read, and what others whom I trusted thought was important to read. We cannot read it all. We cannot begin to imagine trying to read it all. We must trust to the curators.

Trusting others to curate content has become my primary means for gathering relevant information about social media and particularly nonprofit technology.

Dennis T OConnor‘s insight:

How you search is important. Can you locate, evaluate, and ethically use digital information? If so, you know that locating quality information means knowing where to look. Curation systems like are fast becoming one of the best places to search for what you seek.  Try it!

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Prepare for teaching in blended or virtual online classrooms or training in elearning settings.

 Enroll NOW for Summer & Fall 2014 Classes: UW-Stout E-Learning and Online Teaching
EDUC 760 E-learning for Educators 3 graduate credits
This is the introductory course in the E-Learning and Online Teaching Graduate Certificate, is an approved elective in the online Master of Science in Education degree program, and is open as an individual course to students seeking professional development.
EDUC 761 Creating Collaborative Communities in E-learning 3 graduate credits NOTE: This is the fourth in the series of five required courses.
EDUC 764 E-Learning Practicum 3 graduate credits
Prerequisite: Successful completion with a 3.0 gpa in EDUC 760, 761, 762, 763 and Consent of Instructor.

Dennis T OConnor‘s insight:

Online teaching skills can be learned a number of ways.

If you want to build your career, extend your reach, open new doors consider joining our Graduate Certificate Program.  Small classes, expert facilitation, timely and personal feedback are waiting for you at UW-Stout.  Check us out! 

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In the Future Everything Will Learn: Personalized classrooms are on the way.

Each year, IBM releases a list of five innovations that it believes have the potential to change the way people work, live, and interact during the next five years. This year, the IBM researchers working on the “5 in 5” listing focus on the notion that in the future, everything will learn. 

According to IBM: “Driven by a new era of cognitive systems where machines will learn, reason, and engage with us in a more natural and personalized way. These innovations are beginning to emerge enabled by cloud computing, big data analytics, and learning technologies all coming together.” 

The number 1 item for 2014: The Classroom Will Learn You

Dennis T OConnor‘s insight:

Ray Kurzweil predicted a computer based personal teacher for each student back in the nineties. (I was in the audience and the concept fascinated me.)  

Here’s IBM’s take on what to expect in the near future. We live in interesting times! 

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