Why Your Students Might NOT Be Reading

booksmallIt’s a busy time of year as we ramp up for Fall 2013. Most of us have textbooks or articles that we assign as critical components of our course.

We thought you might be interested in a recent study “Why University Students Don’t Read: What Professors Can Do to Increase Compliance” by Mary Hoeft.

If you think reading is essential to your student’s success, you might be interested to read that this study suggests graded journals and quizzes will greatly impact the rate of reading compliance.  It might be worth taking a few minutes to look over this study.

Image: ©iStockphoto.com/R-J-Seymour

Social Media for Teaching and Learning

Pearson Learning Solutions – Social Media for Teaching and LearningSocial media concept

Social media is gaining a lot of attention in online learning. Learn what the buzz is all about from the following session slides and podcasts available online:

  • Major Findings from the 2012 Social Media in Higher Education Report
  • Social Media for Establishing Learning Communities
  • Creating Pedagogy for Social Knowledge Networks
  • Social Media for Engaging Multiple Learning Styles
  • Education 3.0

Image: ©iStockphoto.com/scanrail

eLearning 2013

Are you back in the swing of school? Are there terms you are hearing (“gamification”, “mlearning” etc.) or other words you’ve been coming across that you aren’t sure you know? Check out Ms. Marshall’s post: 10 Terms You Should Know in eLearning and get familiar with the language of eLearning today!

We were lucky to hear some excellent speakers this year at some educational technology conferences.  One stand-out speaker was Sugata Mitra. He is the 2013 TED winner of $1,000,000 for his latest endeavor in education.  You probably heard of his “hole in the wall” computer project 13 years ago in India. His talk this year involves what he learned from that project, and also some newer projects where he is convinced that kids can teach themselves with the proper encouragement. It was a fascinating talk. You can listen to the lecture at this link: Highlights from Bb World — if you want to skip directly to his talk, move the player about 11 minutes into the video. You can also watch his TED talk Build a School in the Cloud. 

Additionally, be on the lookout for a post from Mary describing a ‘book club’ event we’ll be hosting this Fall. We found the keynote Tony Wagner to be so compelling that we’re looking at purchasing his book “Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World” and hope to hold a discussion about some of his ideas to revamp education. Here is a recap on his talk, Closing the Skills Gap by Educating Innovators.

Stayed tuned for more information as we sift through all of our notes and find more valuable apps and links to share with you all!

Are Your Courses Ready for Fall Semester?

Fall semester is almost here which makes this a good time for you to take a close look at your Fall courses. How does their design and organization compare with national standards (like Quality Matters and Blackboard Catalyst)? Would your courses fare well against the UAS Sitka peer review rubric?

ED593_PosterResizeRecently Mary and Kathi were in Vegas for Blackboard World 2013. Their ED593: Designing and Teaching an Online Course was awarded a Director’s Choice Catalyst Award (view all of the 2013 award winners). Take a few minutes and click through some of the courses. You might get some ideas on course design and organization by seeing this year’s winners.

ED593 will be offered in September. We encourage all faculty to sign up and take the course. We guarantee that your time will be well spent as you redesign and make improvement to your existing course(s) to meet best practices and national standards of course design and organization. Mary and Kathi model good teaching practices and are looking forward to you joining them!

Don’t forget there are many of us available to help you design or redesign your course(s). Please don’t hesitate to ask!

In the News

googleMod

We’ve been hearing more and more about Google Apps in Education and Google tools lately. Google Drive, Hangouts… and what’s in that Cloud anyway?? Here are a few articles worth checking out.

Online Collaboration with Open Tools: The Case for Google Drive & Hangouts – Brian Janz, WCET Frontiers Blog Post

The Staggering Number Of Schools That Have Gone Google – Jeff Dunn, Edudemic

Summertime Fun with Videos!

mobile devicesThis summer the Instructional Design team has been experimenting with quick, easy to create videos. Because so many of your students have cell phones, iPads, Surfaces, and/or laptops with video capabilities, these web tools can be used to quickly engage students. Consider a 6 second Vine or 15 second Instagram movie as a student introduction. You also might consider one of these movies as a quick and fun introduction to your class or a “meet the instructor” video.

If you haven’t tried making one of these videos, we encourage you to take 15 minutes and try it out. It’s quick, it’s free, and it’s fun! Remember, these don’t have to be professional– they are merely quick snapshots. If you are still skeptical, you might enjoy reading this article: Vine in Education.

Image: ©iStockphoto.com/supergenijalac

Copyright Basics

A quick post to pass along a great video (and only 6 minutes) explaining Copyright Basics from the Copyright Clearance Center!
copyrightbasics

iTeach Juneau 2013 a Success

We recently completed a very productive iTeach 2013 in Juneau. Twelve faculty participated. You can read some of our posts by searching Twitter with the hashtag: #iteachak.

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Guest presenter from UAF, Heidi Olson

Some of the tools that were explored and enjoyed included:

  • Adobe Presenter
  • Voki
  • Pixton
  • Jing
  • Google Apps for Educators
  • Creating movies with YouTube
  • Elluminate Live

We had great discussions around choosing teaching strategies and tools that best help students meet their learning objectives while at the same time are engaging and fun both for content creation and content viewing. We also had good dialogues about the importance of writing attainable goals and objectives and aligning them to assessments and activities.

It was an intense week and the iTeach staff thank all the faculty attendees for their participation. As always, we learned lots from our faculty participants, and we hope our faculty had a challenging and productive time. Next, we’re gearing up for iTeach Sitka!

ED593 Faculty Win Award!

Last year Mary Purvis, Faculty Support Specialist, and Kathi Baldwin, Instructional Designer, created a course for all UAS Faculty called ED 593: Designing and Teaching an Online Course. They wanted the course to not only teach faculty about the things they need to know, but to also model the best practices that they know make a difference to student success. Among the creative approaches it uses are Alaskan fish, which serve as metaphors for the important parts of a successful online course that maximizes student learning and enjoyment.

BbProfilePicThe course was entered in the Blackboard Catalyst Awards program and Mary and Kathi were recently named winners of a Blackboard Catalyst Award for Exemplary Course Program, which honors members of the community who design and develop exciting and innovative courses that represent the very best in technology and learning.

Part of the annual Blackboard Catalyst Awards program since 2000, the Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Award highlights technologically rich, engaging, well designed, and pedagogically sound courses that showcase best practices for the user community. Over 160 entries were evaluated in a rigorous peer-review process by more than 300 faculty and instructional designers. Submissions were judged on the following components: course design, interaction, collaboration, assessment and learner support.

The Blackboard Catalyst Awards program annually recognizes and honors innovation and excellence in the Blackboard global community of practice, where teachers and learners work every day to redefine what is possible when leveraging technology.

“Catalyst Award winners represent some of today’s finest examples of leveraging technology to improve the education experience,” said Ray Henderson, Chief Technology Officer and President of Academic Platforms at Blackboard. “Each winner has established best-in-field approaches in critical areas including online learning, course development, school communication and mobile education. We congratulate the winners on their vision and their excellent work, and we celebrate this accomplishment with them.”

Mary and Kathi, will be honored alongside other Blackboard Catalyst Award winners during BbWorld®, Blackboard’s annual user conference to be held in July in Las Vegas, Nev.

Blackboard is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard’s solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online.

For a complete list of Blackboard Catalyst Award winners please visit: http://blackboard.com/catalyst.

Image: ©iStockphoto.com/DNY59

Does Social Media Make You (and Your Students) More Self-Aware?

There is an interesting post What is a Learning Technologist (part 9): Ignorance is bliss? which makes a good argument for social media. The author of this blog post, David Hopkins states that regardless of whether anyone comments on his blog, regardless of whether anyone even reads the blog, just by publishing, by contributing to Twitter or Google+ or LinkedIn or Facebook, or some form of public platform you are thinking and learning more than if you operate in a vacuum, all alone. He quotes Semple, 2011, from “Organizations Don’t Tweet, People Do: a Manager’s Guide to the Social Web” stating:

“There is something about the process of blogging that makes you more self-aware. You become more thoughtful about yourself and your place in the world. In the reactions of others to your writing you get a different perspective, possibly for the first time, on how others see you.”

I think David is right. When we share out with our colleagues and when our colleagues respond with comments or links or photos, we’re engaged thinkers. We begin to establish our personal learning environment, our connections to others that help shape our thinking, revise our opinions, and shape our ideas.

I’d love to hear from you– what are the tools in your personal learning environment that make you a better learner, that engage you, and make you question and think, or as David puts it, more “self-aware”?