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Showing posts from February, 2012

5 Learning Tips from the Blended Learning: Critical Design Decisions Webinar

Earlier this week, I attended a live webinar hosted by Sally Hovis of Skillsoft called Blended Learning: Critical Design Decisions. Although the presentation had a few areas in need of improvement, the heart of this free webinar did offer some good tips for designers and facilitators of blended learning. Read on for the ups and downs of what Skillsoft has to offer ISC...

I'll start with the drawbacks of this webinar before explaining Skillsoft's tips for blended learning. The webinar packed in a lot of viewers most of whom had a distance learning background, but then spent a large portion of time introducing the already familiar concept of Blended Learning. Consequently, the comments in the chat window were somewhat short of positive. In addition, the Skillsoft examples were not-so-cleverly disguised attempts to sell their products and services. However, these gaps are not surprising considering the webinar was a free offering, and the intro helped at least to emphasize the mos…

How-To Use Google Search Effectively

Many times we plug things in and just Google it.  This infographic will show you ways to refine your search using Google. Excellent resource for students.

Click on the image to the left to see the entire infographic.

Blackboard SP 8

I recently participated in a webinar about Blackboard's service pack 8 (SP8).  There are many interesting features, but one highlighted is the look and feel.  The functions remain the same, with many additional features.

With SP8, you will only see the menu controls when you see them by dragging your mouse over the top bar to access at the top.  Prior, it looked a bit cluncky and with all the arrows to the side it can be very busy.


Also, you can click on the top right to change the designs and colors without having to think about what color schemes match.











A big upgrade comes in the reporting features.  Student activity reporting is something many have been waiting for. You can now run a report on:
Measuring utilization and maximize performanceAvailable for admin and instructorsCreates a visual reporting in various graphs.Student activity in content areas such as what they are accessingNumber of loginsAverage non-course timeAverage time in course











Student Standards Alignment + Perform…

Kamehameha Ahupua'a: Hiking for Stewardship

Up on the North Shore near Hale'iwa, there are large tracts of undeveloped land owned by Kamehameha Schools. For a stretch of 13,000 acres, land exists in its natural state untouched and off-limits unless leased to farmers or to the military for training. Luckily for myself and about twenty other KS employees, KS has teamed with with North Shore Eco Tours to provide people the opportunity to hike these lands and learn more about conserving the fragile native ecosystem.













To help us along the journey, North Shore EcoTours (NSET)guides Noah Keola Ryan, Maka'alaRawlins, and Kalā Lindsey-Asing, a Native Hawaiian field technician for the O’ahu Army Natural Resources Program (OANRP), took us deep into the Kamehameha conservation lands in an old 1970s Swiss army vehicle the Pinzgauer. After bouncing around for a few miles in the back of the stiff 6x6 ATV, we finally made it into the hillside. There was a quick break for snacks and a safety talk, and then the hike began.





Before entering …

My samples for Lessons #1 & #2

As promised in a previous post, I'm sharing 2 samples of colored pencil layering I worked on and submitted to my online teacher, Bet Borgenson.

Artwork copyright by Robin Y. Racoma

The square images above are examples of 2 techniques of layering, using only 3 colors to achieve 2 different effects. They illustrate how varying methods of layering can create a static mood and one that is more visually interesting to the viewer's eye.
Below, this (unfinished) image also uses a limited number of colors that are layered, achieving correct skin tones and visual interest.
Artwork copyright by Robin Y. Racoma

With this class, I continue to gain new insights and skills in ways to effectively use color to its fullest advantage without compromising quality and spending extravagant amounts of time.

From traditional art classes to distance learning!

While attending art school waaaaaaaay back in the last century, computers and online learning were a thing never imagined by myself. My classes were held in a large, light, and airy studio. The smell of turpentine permeated the room. Students stood or sat, intent on portraying the gestures of the model in front of them. Learning to draw and paint in the creative physical environment provided motivation and inspiration. Interaction and critiques with my fellow students and teacher were integral to my learning experience.
Well, time certainly has flowed quickly by since those halcyon days. For a number of years, I've been searching for a local drawing class that could help me achieve a fresh and more expedient way of executing my detailed colored pencil work. Finding a class that suited my specific needs and one that also meshed with my busy schedule was impossible. Then, an "aha moment." Why not try an online course? Bingo!
I'm currently enrolled in an online class tit…

ScoopIt: Online Blended Schooling

With blended learning on the rise and searching for resources, many sites have pushed out information on blended learning.  So, here it is by Scoop.It.

Feel free to check it out.  http://www.scoop.it/t/online-blended-schooling