Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Good advice, Given quickly

September. Blogs are about pondering, but the beginning of Autumn quarter leaves little time for pondering... despite pondering being my favorite pastime. OK, a new year at University of Washington Tacoma leaves little energy for pondering or pastimes. It is, as the word describes, past. For a time. This month, the new year on our schedule, we work! 

Classes started Monday, and yesterday I served hundreds of hot dogs to students at an event on campus called "Hot Dogs from the Top Dawgs." A fun way for the students to see that their administrators (aprons, hair nets, slimy gloves) are human. So very human, one of them gave me a cold and my head feels the size of a pumpkin.

Thus this short post is a simple hurrah sent out to the Rapid eLearning Blog for it's short, brilliant reminders regarding the heart, soul and sweetest of practice in learning design. The brilliant Tom Kulman reminds us this month (Guiding Principle) not to let previous classroom learning design dictate eLearning design. Doh! I knew that, but it's so very easy to fall into the habit of teaching the way we taught, designing the way we learned. Tom reminds us:

Instead of being intentional about the instructional and visual design of the course we allow the existing content to determine how we build it. What we should do is take a step back, think about general course design, and then map our content to the design that’s appropriate to the course objectives.

What better advice to begin a new academic year? Do the right thing, not the thing you did before. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Future so bright, we gotta wear shades

Beginning of a new semester, pressed pressed pressed for time and little time for reflection, but at the end of the day what's a girl to do but troll Twitter (@carmean) for what my peeps are thinking and reading. A link that's showing up on lots of posts today is "10 Emerging Education and Instructional Technologies that all Educators Should Know About (2012)". 

Why? It's right on. Great choices, stepping out on the edge of what a lot of us are thinking about regarding game-changers in thoughtful incorporation of tools and practices that improve learning. 

  • Flipped Classroom (STOP lecturing!)
  • Tablet devices (Apps: Micro-chunked content; applied cognitive research)
  • Smart phones (Mobile means learning everywhere)
  • Gamification (Who doesn't love a low-risk challenge?)
  • MOOCs (No duh?)
  • BYOD (Bring your own device; Leverage the ROI of learner-ownership)
  • Student Response Systems (Ask them what they know.)
  • Cloud services (Bigger, better, cheaper, more stable than DIY servers)
  • OER (What makes more sense than collective knowledge, free and shared?)
  • Learning analytics (If you read my work, you know I think they saved the best for last. The machine knows. Let it help us assess our learners. Let it enhance persistence thru data.)
Read the article. Wear shades.