A major influence that is driving this change results from acknowledging the reality of the way we live today. We can no longer ignore the ubiquity of technology—we must to welcome it into our classrooms and learning activities. To inspire engagement, we need to keep pace with students who operate in an increasingly mobile world where information and communication are accessed 24/7 through smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
That is combined with the need to address the learning styles, backgrounds, and differing needs of students in classrooms with 30 or more students in them. That includes moving from a lecture centered model combined with memorization and repetition to a learner-centered model with “active learning strategies and learning guidance.”
The blended learning trends covered in the white paper are:
The deeply student-centered learning experience
Soaring numbers of digital learners
Supporting standards and higher-order thinking skills
Realizing benefits for both teachers and students
Data-driven instruction to personalize learning
Personalized learning accompanied by a lean, blended, iterative approach
The mobile world is where learners live now
BYOD is here and key to active three-screen days
More broadband, please!
For a more in-depth look into these trends, read DreamBox Learning full report here.
George Veletsianos resent published a blog post about the use of Twitter in MOOCs. The post was based on a republished article on that subject. The study employed data mining to aggregate data from 116 MOOS “with course-dedicated hashtag” on Twitter. His conclusion is thus:
This research used a large-scale data set to investigate participation on course-dedicated hashtags. It examined the participation patterns of hashtag participants, the types of users posting to those hashtags, the types of tweets that were posted, and the variation in types of posted tweets across users. While popular narratives suggest that social media provide a space for enhancing learner participation, this study provides
little evidence to support these claims in the context of Twitter as an adjunct to MOOCs, finding that an active minority of users contributed the preponderance of messages posted to Twitter hashtags and that learners make up only about 45% of users. Nor do these findings reveal substantive evidence of learners contributing to multiple hashtags, which may suggest that learners did not find Twitter to be a useful space that provided added value or responded to their needs. Ultimately, these results demonstrate the need for greater intentionality in integrating social media into MOOCs.
In 1987, Arthur W. Chickering and Zelda F. Gamson published their classic work entitled “Seven principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education.” A. W. Bangert opined in a 2004 article that “The Seven Principles framework (Chickering and Gamson) offers solid, research guidance for the design and delivery of Internet courses.”
Principle 01: Encourages contacts between students and faculty.
Email response policy sets expectations for both student and instructor
Electronic office hours
Use a variety of communication tools in course (announcements, email, discussion, etc.)
Synchronous communication (chat, text, Skype, etc.)
SUNY Empire State College and Buffalo State College are using a SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grant to fund the creation of a new Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) that “will help participants gain a better understanding of accessibility as a civil rights issue and develop the knowledge and skills needed to design learning experiences that promote inclusive learning environments for all students, including those with disabilities.”
Accessibility: Designing and Teaching Courses for All Learners is a free 6-week (2/22-4/4) professional development course available that will help you gain a better understanding of accessibility as a civil rights issue and develop the knowledge and skills you need to design learning experiences that promote inclusive learning environments. Continue reading →
Vander Ark talks about some recent trends and his preferences for online learning. He tends toward blended learning for most students.
The educational landscape is continually being changed by new innovations in online learning. Online learning solutions provide access to high-quality course materials, which can be administrated in a cost-effective manner.
For school districts looking to embrace online learning, this new approach to learning also provides a method for offering blended classes and is ideal for advanced courses in STEM and foreign languages. And it is a great way to leverage talented teachers, and to provide new career options for many of your teachers.
These are some of the key insights from a recent podcast interview with Tom Vander Ark, who is the author of Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing the World.
As an advocate for innovations that customize and motivate learning and extend access, Tom is also the CEO of Getting Smart, a learning advocacy firm and is a partner in Learn Capital, an education venture capital firm investing in education technology startups.