Friday, September 7, 2012

NMC Horizon Report 2012

The NMC (New Media Consortium) Horizon Report 2012, produced in collaboration with EDUCAUSE, identifies emerging technologies that are likely to have a large impact on education over the next five years. The technologies identified reflect key trends in contemporary society and how these trends affect teaching, learning and creative inquiry in higher education.
These trends were ranked according to how significant an impact they will make on higher education within the next five years:

  1. People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to.
  2. The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of IT support are decentralized.
  3. The world of work is increasingly collaborative deriving changes in the way student projects are structured.
  4.  The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators.
  5.  Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning and collaborative models.
  6. The new emphasis in the classroom on more challenged- based and active learning.
These trends are considered to be the key drivers of educational technologies through 2017. The six technologies are placed along three adoption horizons that indicate likely timeframes into mainstream use for teaching and learning:

Near-term Horizon: One Year or Less
• Mobile Apps
• Tablets

Mid-term Horizon: Two to Three Years
• Game-Based Learning
• Learning Analytics

Far-term Horizon: Four to Five Years
• Gesture-Based Computing
• Internet of Things

NMC Horizon Report > 2012 Higher Ed Edition

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

MOOC Week 2: R2D2

This week in the MOOC we explored the the Read, Reflect, Display, Do (R2D2) Model. This model is designed to help blended and online instructors integrate various learning activities with appropriate technologies with the goal of optimizing learning. Basically, this four-phase model helps instructors meet the diverse needs of students found in the classroom. It allows for flexibility in teaching and flexibility in learning. In the live event Bonk provided examples of technologies to consider at each phase, which are also available on the companion site to his book Empowering Online Learning 100+ Activities for Reading, Reflecting, Displaying, and Doing.

This week solidified my own thoughts about the benefits of the online classroom. In this environment students are able to learn and demonstrate knowledge in the way that best meets their needs. With so many resources and new technologies it is no wonder that faculty are often overwhelmed. Using the R2D2 model as a framework truly helps to sort through all the options. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

MOOC Week 1: Motivation and Retention Online

This week is devoted to keeping learners motivated in online courses. The main reading for this week focused on things online instructors can do to foster motivation. The assigned article,  Well Leave the Light on for YouKeeping Learners Motivated in Online Courses,”  is from a book called Flexible Learning in an Information Society. As the authors point out, even when tools are available for engaging and motivating students, instructors lack the training and knowledge on how to effectively use them. Highlighted are ideas and examples for motivating online learners from setting the tone of the class, providing feedback, engaging learners, providing meaningful real-world scenarios, helping students make a personal investment in the course, sparking learner curiosity, etc. 

Bonk also introduces the TEC-VARIETY model that he developed along with Dr. Elizabeth Khoee. Each letter of the TEC-VARIETY model stands for one or more motivational principles. For those 2500+ of us enrolled in the MOOC, two chapters form Bonk’s upcoming book, Adding Some TEC‐VARIETY: 100+ Activities for Motivating and Retaining Learners Online have been made available. The principles of Tone and Encouragement were explored as well as specific activities for motivating and retaining online learners using these principles.

(1) Tone or climate,
(2) Encouragement or feedback,
(3) Curiosity,
(4) Variety,
(5) Autonomy or choice,
(6) Relevance and meaningfulness,
(7) Interactivity and collaboration,
(8) Engagement,
(9) Tension, and
(10) Yielding products and goal setting.

As for the MOOC itself, taking a “class” with 2500+ is overwhelming. The sheer number of discussions taking place makes it impossible to keep up. The good news is that groups have been created and people are seeking out those who have common interests so I have decided to concentrate on group discussions and only skim the new postings in the class discussion.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My First MOOC!

This week I signed up for my first MOOC aka  “massively open online course”. The course, Instructional Ideas and Technology Tools for Online Success, is both open enrollment and cohort based with a start and an end date - not to mention free. As of today I am learning along with over 1800 others from Dr. Curtis Bonk who is an expert in course design and how people learn. Dr.Bonk not only designed the course but has also provided quite a bit of the content where learners also contribute and act as teachers. Using the tools within the course, along with social media outside the course, we are encouraged to collaborate with our classmates through the sharing of our own experiences, ideas, thoughts, and resources.The sheer number of students is overwhelming but we are able to choose how to connect and share what we are learning with others. The course is delivered using CourseSites by Blackboard which is a free, hosted online course creation service available to any educator who wants to use it. Using the latest Blackboard technology this course is also demonstrating the capabilities of Blackboard with regards to course design and effective collaboration.

I will be posting my thoughts and what I am learning over the next 5 weeks. Registration ends on 4-30 so it’s not too late to join me on the journey!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Swimming in a Sea of Apps!

When thinking about apps most people immediately associate them with gaming. With the explosive growth of mobile devices in classrooms across the nation, one can bet that mobile apps are now commonly utilized to facilitate learning in many classrooms. According to the Pew Internet Project 49% of all American teens have gone online in the last 30 days using their mobile phones, while 92% of those with smartphones have done the same. These devices are becoming more prevalent and providing educators with the opportunity to harness the power of mobile "learning" devices in the classroom through the use of apps.

The trick is finding the perfect app in a sea of over one million. Robbie Melton, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs a the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) understood the potential of apps in education and decided to create the TBR eLearning Initiative, a resource designed to assist educators looking for the perfect app to facilitate learning. This site allows educators to go to one site, describe what they would like to achieve, what device they would use and what audience they want to address. At this time over 40,000 educational apps are in the database. The beauty of this resource is the fact that each app goes through a curation process:
  • App-review teams evaluate mobile apps for teaching and learning
  • Quality-control standards for using mobile devices and apps in education and business are utilized
  • A set of common standards are used to categorize apps
  • A collection of data, case studies, and materials about how apps have been used in the classroom is provided
Not only has TBR established standards of quality for each app in the database, they also must meet ADA standards, and be content and age appropriate.

As more mobile devices are getting into the hands of students this site will become even more valuable

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

6 Technologies That Will Shape Higher Ed

In collaboration with the Educause Learning Initiative, the New Media Consortium has released the NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition. This annual report identifies technologies that are likely to have a major impact on education within the next five years. The researchers and analysts working on this report focused on technologies that have the potential to “break down linguistic and cultural barriers, make education more affordable and efficient, open up new modes of learning, improve students’ chances of success and satisfaction in school, and connect us with the everyday objects in our lives.” This report not only identifies technologies to watch, it offers examples of how they are being used and recommended readings. In addition, the report identifies technology-oriented challenges facing higher education.

Technologies to Watch
Each of the following technologies aligns with three adoption horizons. The near-term horizon assumes that the technology will enter mainstream education within the next 12 months; the mid-term horizon within 2-3 years; and the far-term within 4-5 years.

Near-term Horizon
Mobile apps – small and simple pieces of software that do one thing, or a few things really well.
Tablet computing – due to their portability, large display and touchscreens, tablets are ideal for sharing content, videos, images and presentations.

Mid-term Horizon
Game-based learning – open ended, challenge-based, and collaborative games engage students in problem solving, communication, critical thinking, and digital literacy.
Learning analytics – combining a wide range of data produced by students and gathered on behalf of students to assess academics and tailor educational opportunities.

Far-term Horizon
Gesture-based computing – allows users to engage in virtual activities that do not rely on specific languages but  with motions and movements, common to all cultures, that are similar to what they use in the real world.
The Internet of Things – the evolution of smart objects that connect the physical world with the world of information.
Twitter Bird Gadget