June 4

Tools I use to enhance my instruction and to actively engage online learners

They are project-based with opportunity to apply, authentically experience, design, practice.

I use a variety of social media/web tools that are external to the course management system.

  • To enhance the presentation of online course content.
  • To facilitate engagement and interaction with course material and between learners in the online teaching and learning environment.
  • To enhance the presentation of feedback.
  • To give the learners in the online course options and choices in how they make their thinking and learning (and their progress) visible to me and others in the class.
  • To provide access to course materials beyond the end of the term.
  • To build connection and community among past, present and future learners in the online course.
  • To self-disclose, demonstrate social presence, establish trust and a sense of class community and model the academic and professional uses of the social web.
  • To expose learners to tools and utilities that may have potential to enhance instruction.
  • To test the potential of these tools for instructional purpose and observe their effects on learners.
    • voicethread – An online media album of any type of media (images, text, documents, and videos). I user it as an ice-breaking activity. This example uses a video of my daughter introducing me from her perspective, as well as slides to do deeper more contextualized introductions including, experiences relevant to the course, prior knowledge, expectations, etc.
      • How I use VT
    • diigo – A social bookmarking tool.
      1. Used to bookmark, highlight, comment upon ,and share all references used/shared in the course and by all participants.
      2. Used to create a dynamic link roll of resources that automatically updates thhe latest additions to the shared class annotated bibliography of resources curated by the course participants – access to this bibliography remains available to students beyond the end of the term.
      3. Used to facilitate instructor feedback on learner-generated work posted on the web, e.g., feedback provided on learner blogs via the highlight and comment features of diigo make providing learning feedback more efficient and easier for the instructor.
    • edublogs – education-focused blog platform (wordpress for education with a .edu url extension and the ability to link instructor and student blogs in classes).
      1. Used to keep metacognitive journals and reflections/feedback on the online course teaching and learning experiences.
        1. Example instructor blog: http://etap640.edublogs.org
        2. See also learner blogs linked to off the instructor blog above.
    • netvibes – to aggregate and display student blogs.
    • twitter – micro blog.
      1. Used in this course for newsflash type announcements, questions, interaction. https://twitter.com/i/#!/alexpickett/etap-640-summer-2012 and https://twitter.com/etap640
      2. Used to introduce learners to the power of the social web, building an online digital network, identity, and voice that contributes to the online discourse on topics of academic and professional interest.
    • jing – a screen capture tool used to provide instructions, feedback, and clarification to online learners. (5-minute limit on the free version).
      1. Showing is often easier and more efficient than writing.
      2. Screencast-o-matic for 15-minute screencasts.
      3. Online learners can use this to present projects, critiques, etc.
    • screencast – a Techsmith repository affiliated with the jing project that gives me the ability to create a playlist of my “how-to” videos in my course.
    • audacity – a free audio recording utility used to record audio comments & feedback for online learners, as well as content in the form of interviews with exemplary online faculty.
    • podomatic – a podcasting platform used to deliver the audio feedback created with audacity as an embedded playlist widget. See podcasted student feedback examples on online course learning activities.
    • youtube – an online video platform to record and view course-related video materials.
      1. online asynchronous video discussion to bring “rockstars” into the class and blur the boundaries of the online learning classroom environment “box”.
      2. See also the course videos playlist.
    • vimeo – to post course-related video materials.
      1. See the screencasted feedback course reviews.
    • voki – a speaking avatar used for announcements in this course.
      1. Example: Welcome to ETAP640!
    • breeze – used to create voice-annotated powerpoint course materials.
    • polldaddy – survey tool used to collect feedback from students on the course.
    • rate my professor – professor rating tool.
    • jumpscam – a QR code generator used to create a scan-able QRcode with information about this course.
    • Facebook – to build community among and between course participant cohorts.
    • Padlet – an online multimedia bulletin board.
      1. Used for online learners at the end of the course to leave tips and comments for the next cohort of online learners.
        1. Example1
        2. Example 2
    • Powtoon – a tool to make graphic animated presentations.
      1. An option for student presentations.
July 14

Tools I use to enhance my instruction-to engage online learners

I use a variety of web2.0 tools external to the Moodle course management system in this course:

  • to enhance the presentation of course content,
  • to faciltitae your engagement and interaction with course material and with your classmates,
  • to provide you with access to course materials beyond the end of the term, and
  • to expose you to tools and utilities that may have potential to enhance instruction.
  1. voicethread – an online media album of any type of media (images, documents and videos). Used in this course as an ice-breaking activity. This example uses a video of my daughter introducing me from her perspective.
  2. diigo – social bookmarking tool. Used to bookmark, highlight, and comment upon and share references used in the course. Also used to create a dynamic link roll of resources that auto-displays latest additions to the shared class annotated bibliography of resources currated by the course participants – that remains available to students beyond the end of the term.
  3. edublogs – education-focused blog. Used in this course to keep metacognitive journals and reflections/feedback on the online teaching and learning experiences. I an example blog for the course, where i model blogging, link to student blogs, and post student feedback: http://etap640.edublogs.org
  4. netvibes – to aggregate and display student blogs.
  5. twitter – micro blog. Used in this course for newsflash type announcements, questions, interaction. https://twitter.com/i/#!/alexpickett/etap-640-summer-2012 and https://twitter.com/etap640
  6. jing – a screen capture tool used to provide instructions, feedback, and clarification. (i also use screencast-o-matic for 15-minute screencasts)
  7. screencast – a Techsmith repository affiliated with the jing project that gives me the ability to create a playlist of my “how-to” videos in my course.
  8. meebome – an IM utility to facilitate synchronos extemporaneous interaction from the course homepage and course blog site. Now using digsby as an alternative to meebome.
  9. audacity – an audio recording utility used in the course to record audio comments and interviews with exemplar online faculty.
  10. podomatic – a podcasting utility used to deliver the audio feedback created with audacity to you. See podcasted student feedback examples on course learning activities.
  11. youtube – to record and view course-related video materials. – online asynchronous video discussion to bring “rockstars” into the class and blur the boundaries of the online learning classroom environment “box”. See also the course videos playlist.
  12. vimeo – to post course-related video materials. See the screencasted feedback course reviews.
  13. voki – a speaking avatar used for announcements in this course. Example: Welcome to ETAP640!
  14. breeze – used to create voice-annotated powerpoint course materials.
  15. polldaddy – survey tool used to collect feedback from students on the course.
  16. rate my professor – professor rating tool.
  17. jumpscam – a QR code generator used to create a scan-able QRcode with information about this course.
  18. vyou – conversational video used to ask and answer questions.

http://www.appappeal.com/web-2-0-application-world-mosaic/
http://www.go2web20.net

cooltools

teaching in the cloud prezi

Teaching in the cloud links

April 13

Ask yourself, "Will it help you achieve your learning objective “better, faster, safer, easier, or cheaper?”

I have had the opportunity to work with thousands of online faculty and to observe hundreds of thousands of online students in the SUNY Learning Network (SLN). From that vantage point I can sense/feel the increased interest in and usage of audio and video-enhanced online instruction/communications/interaction. And at work I feel it too. Skype and elluminate meetings, workgroups, and collaborations are a regular thing now. I see a definite trend away from purely text-based interaction in the world of online teaching and learning from both faculty and students. And though that certainly does not mean that text-based communications will disappear, there is something about audio and video communications in instruction that significantly enhances the experience for faculty and students in terms of creating more engaging content presentation, and enhancing interaction, collaboration, and feedback. (My friend Phil Ice has done some research on this. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.137.2582&rep=rep1&type=pdf). In my efforts to explore what it really means to be learner-centered as an online educator in my own online instruction, I have come to the conclusion to really do that, I have to let go and let students be engaged and express that in ways that are meaningful to them and their lives. This is not as easy …or comfortable as it sounds. I would probably be characterized as one of the most learner-centered online instructor by friends and colleagues …and yet I struggle – so I know how hard it is.

I also feel that an LMS that locks down and controls access and ownership of student content is problematic and contributes to my frustration and struggle. I mean if we are asking them to generate content, then why does their access to their content go away at the end of the term? How can you call a tool a blog if they don’t own it, can’t personalize it, it is NOT public AND it (and their content) gets taken away at the end of the term – and so on… This tension I feel between the LMS and student-created content is one of the main reasons I teach mostly “outside the box” and have been presenting everywhere I can about teaching and learning in the cloud: http://prezi.com/yyzcr9_btox6/teaching-learning-in-the-cloud/

I always tell the faculty I work with NOT to get attached to “tools” as they change, get bought and killed, or just disappear… I tell them to be fearless and that there are tons of tools, so that if one goes away there are others to take its place http://www.appappeal.com/web-2-0-application-world-mosaic/ I tell them that you need to start with a learning objective, NOT the tool, and you just need criteria to evaluate tools – Does it help you achieve your learning objective “better, faster, safer, easier, or cheaper?”