OLLReN Webinar: Educational Technology: Assessing Its Fitness for Purpose (2/12/19)

Brief bio from Cambridge English: Scott Thornbury is an established author and series editor of the Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers since 2004. He had his first title published in 1997: About Language: Tasks for Teachers of English. He has co-written (with Diana Slade) Conversation: From Description to Pedagogy, in the Cambridge Language Teaching Library (2006) and (with Peter Watkins) The CELTA Course (2007). More recently, he has been focussed on online learning, having overseen the writing of a five-level internet-delivered course in general English. Scott is a regular contributor to the ELT conference circuit and is widely known and respected in the ELT world. He has had involvement Cambridge ESOL accredited teacher training schemes and is an Examiner for the DELTA scheme. He is currently Associate Professor of English Language Studies at their New School University in New York, where he directs and teaches the online MA TESOL program.

Motivation in Online Learning, Online Pronunciation Resources, Mobile Technology

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21 Online Pronunciation Resources for Teaching and Learning by Lynn Henrichsen. TESOL Connections.
Henrichsen suggests that while there are a wide range of computer-assisted pronunciation teaching (CAPT) websites and apps for the English teacher and learner, not all are created equal. He offers some suggests for assessing the usefulness of websites and gives reviews of 10 sites with his recommendations.

Motivation & Language Learning in Online Contexts by L.W. Zimmerman. OLLReN.
This research review looks at learner motivation in online language learning contexts. The author found that two significant factors are online learning readiness and promoting interaction, factors that would come into play for any learning context, not just language learning.

5 Effective Uses of Mobile Technology in the Classroom by Daniel Adeboye. eLearning Industry.
In the introduction to the article, Adeboye says, “Research has shown that though mobile technology is a great tool in our teaching and learning experience, many who use it only use it to increase efficiency and not necessarily effectiveness. This article provides 5 suggestions of how to effectively use mobile technology in the classroom.”

How mobile technology can benefit learning by Elliot Gowans. ET.
Gowans contends that the familiarity of mobile devices as entertainment devices makes them a natural way to “motivate today’s digital natives through new and innovative ways of learning.”

Webinar 1/31/19: ‘Leveraging Technology for General Education Learning Outcome Assessment’

Don’t forget to register for the first (free) presentation in our 2019 Watermark Knowledge Ambassador Webinar Series, “Leveraging Technology for General Education Learning Outcome Assessment” featuring Hawai’i Pacific University on January 31, 2019, at 3:00pm ET.

Valentina Abordonado

In this webinar, you’ll learn how Hawai’i Pacific University leverages Watermark to engage faculty in the assessment of general education and institutional learning outcomes. Dr. Valentina Abordonado, Assistant Dean for General Education, will detail how their work helps faculty present actionable data, set targets for expected performance, and analyze student achievement of outcomes. Dr. Abordonado will also share how HPU closes the loop at the program level and documents their efforts to continuously improve teaching.

‘A Ranking of State Public Charter School Laws’ (Jan. 2019)

By Jim Shimabukuro
Editor

Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Public Charter School Laws, January 2019, is an annual publication by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Nina Rees is the President and CEO, and Todd Ziebarth, the principal author, is Senior Vice President of State Advocacy and Support.

“From our perspective,” say Rees and Ziebart, “the point of our annual state charter school laws rankings report is to figure out which states are creating the conditions for high-quality charter schools by providing, among other things, flexibility, funding equity, non-district authorizers, facilities support, and accountability.”

Click image to view the 116-page PDF.

Continue reading

Serious Play Conference – U of Central Florida July 24-26, 2019

Serious Play Is Coming to Florida: Save the Date!

Serious Play Conference is coming to the University of Central Florida (UCF) at the downtown Orlando campus Wednesday-Friday, July 24-26, 2019, hosted by the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA). (The Serious Play Conference will also be held at the University of Quebec at Montreal, July 10-12, 2019.)

Get current on the latest use of games and simulations for training, education and research in healthcare, the corporate environment, nonprofit and education. A design track will offer sessions on game and instructional design, technology and assessment. People new to serious games might like our pre-conference session.

Super Early Bird pricing in effect now:
www.seriousplay-ucf.com/who-should-attend

Speaker Submissions are also now open at:
www.seriousplayconf.com/speaker-submission

We’re looking for speakers who will share their knowledge and experience, offering with take-aways attendees can apply immediately. Sessions are 45 min long for more lecture-based talks and panels and 90 min for participation-designed workshops.

For more information, go to:
www.seriousplay-UCF.com

Levering Technology to Empower Learning for All

By Vic Sutton

New evidence that technology can contribute to positive learning outcomes in the school classroom emerges from the latest ‘SpeakUp’ survey of Project Tomorrow.

Project Tomorrow is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure that today’s students are well-prepared for the future.

SpeakUp is an annual research project that has been carried out since 2003, surveying students, teachers, librarians, principals, administrators and parents.

Julie A. Evans

Their latest report, ‘The Educational Equity Imperative: Leveraging Technology to Empower Learning for All,’ was presented by Dr. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, at a Congressional Briefing held in Washington, DC, on 13 September 2018. It was based on surveys carried out between mid-October 2017 and the end of January 2018.

Its main finding is that “high school students with… access to a laptop or Chromebook are more likely to use those devices to personalize their learning process, to stay organized with their schoolwork and to leverage technology for more enhanced learning experiences than their peers with no access or only sporadic access.”

The importance of levering technology was:

  • to help students develop college-ready and workplace skills; and
  • to overcome the barriers that arise because technology resources are not always evenly distributed.

The report also notes that Internet access outside schools is critical, but there is still a digital divide. And only one-quarter of school districts allow students to take their devices home.

Click image to view the 9-page PDF.

It is interesting to see how students who do not have Internet access at home tackle the ‘homework gap’ that this creates. They go to school early, stay late, or use the facilities of libraries or even fast-food outlets.   Continue reading

MOOCs Are Dead. Long Live MOOCs!

By John Mark Walker
Open Source & Community Lead for Open edX

“MOOCs are dead.”

That’s quite a statement from the CEO of one of the largest MOOC (massively open online course) platforms in the world. But that’s exactly what edX’s CEO, Anant Agarwal, said in November at the edX Global Forum in Boston.

But the platforms that have powered MOOCs? They’re far from dead. Instead, they’re evolving. MOOC platforms are now being used to power complete programs, which, in the future, may look very different than they do today, thanks to the power of these e-learning systems. Because while the MOOC market may not be growing, online learning is growing rapidly. It’s already an intrinsic part of K-12 and higher education and has also been adopted for commercial purposes, such as customer training, corporate training, and even community building. By 2024, analysts predict it will grow to a more than $200 billion global industry.

The designers of MOOC platforms know they need to change to remain relevant because the one-size-fits-all model doesn’t actually really fit anyone very well. Learning must be interactive and applicable to each individual learner, responding to their needs, level of knowledge, and learning style. In response, these platforms are becoming more collaborative, and not just between teachers and students. Professors need to collaborate with course designers to tailor content and flow; instructors need to communicate with content developers to improve it for the next course. Collaboration and communication among all the stakeholders should be the norm, not the exception, and MOOC platforms are rapidly adding and improving on these capabilities.   Continue reading