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Showing posts from May, 2010

Integrating Technology in the Classroom: A Teacher Perspective

Westside Community Schools is using Blackboard in a blended environment. They have over 400 courses online that work in conjunction with face-to-face courses. They are using it in a way that I can see our campus using it and in the same process that I'm thinking for the hybrid course. The two teachers that shared showed how Blackboard becomes a central resource for communicating with students and seen the benefits of providing online resources to content (for students to return to and review if necessary).
Part of the Webinar was to showcase 9.1. Each time and see the capabilities it makes me more and more excited. I think for teachers the standards alignment and the lesson plan builder will help them transition their content online. I'm ready to use it with the hybrid course!

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Instructional Media Selection Guide for Distance Learning

I decided to read this publication more for the reference to blended learning and the instructional media matrix. What I found was pretty thorough overview about distance learning from a historical standpoint, definitions of different terms and also a look at what myths we've become accustomed to as educators.
One of the things that was brought up was learning styles. I've heard this mentioned in other research but this publication states "cognitive science has revealed that learners differ in their abilities with different modalities, but teaching to a learner‘s best modality does not affect his or her educational achievement. What does matter is whether the learner is taught in the best mode for a specific type of content." Therefore, choosing the appropriate instructional strategy based on what you want them to learn should be paramount. Whether their preferential mode of learning is addressed should not be a factor. Ninety percent of what the brain processes…

Web 3.0 is about to be born

Web 1.0 was about finding information. Web 2.0 was about giving the everyday user ways to create interactive web experiences - websites, calendars, picture galleries and other collaborative tools. "Rather than a search engine, it [Web 3.0] is an 'answer engine' that interprets actual questions and answers them in accordance with their intended meaning. The Futurist compares its significance to the launch of Netscape in 1994. It's dubbed "the Semantic Web" because it's all about asking questions in ways that will give you useful answers. (WolframAlpha : The Birth of Web 3.0, The Futurist, May 7, 2010)

So, what is an "answer engine"? Steven Wolfram demonstrates how such an engine could calculate, for a particular city in the US, what the weather was on a particular day, compared to the weather in London, England on that same day. You ask the question in plain Enlgish and Wolfman Alpha uses databases, algorithms and other existing ways to crunch …

Classrooms Without Boundaries: Technology Tools for Learning

At first when this webinar started it was basically on Elluminate and using blogger. However, as I stayed and multi-tasked listening and doing other things an interesting site was shared. Diigo, is a research and knowledge-sharing community. You can do tagging and annotation of things that you have found. Waht is interesting is the presenter, Sharon Stone, said one of her links she could not find when she searched for it, but the robot saved her link in Diigo and she was able to retrieve the information.

Diigo can help students orgamize, critically analyze, categorize, and collaborate with others in their group. Diigo is free, portable, easy to learn to use, highlighting tool and sticky notes are a great tool! To learn more, they have a wiki at Also, Diigo feeds to Facebook, Twitter, Goolge, and Yahoo!

This is kind of like Delicious asking you to download a toolbar, but it allows you to organize your research by tags or list, achive them, and ann…

Developing Higher Order Thinking Through Blogging

Presenter - Brad Overnell-Carter, Assistant Head at Island Pacific Schools.

The idea that students are digital natives is a myth. Like any other idea up for adoption, there is a normal distribution of interest in and ability with social media and other emerging web technologies among K12 students. To be sure, many are quite comfortable, if not always wise, users of social media such as Facebook or IM. But none of the potential educational advantages of such tools or of cloud computing are self-evident; and just as students had to be taught to see a pencil as a learning tool, they need to be taught to see the web as a learning tool. Just as we say let’s do some writing, not let’s do some penciling, we ought to focus on ends, not means, when introducing new technologies to a whole school or even a single classroom of students.

This session explored the relationship to technology in general and in this light, how best to frame emerging technologies for so that students--and teachers--can s…