Thailand Cave Rescue via Diving Is a Daunting Challenge

adsit80By John Adsit
Educational Consultant

As a certified cave diver, I have followed the ordeal of the Thai soccer club with great interest. As I type, the rescuers are trying to determine the best way to bring them to the surface. No one has an answer at this time, but I have been asked to write about the options from the perspective of a cave diver, an educator in general, and a diving instructor in particular. What I hope to convey to an audience unfamiliar with cave diving is how truly daunting it will be if the decision is made to have the team escape by diving. If the team is going to make an exit by diving, they will need to undergo immediate and intensive training.

Personnel and equipment in the entrance chamber of Tham Luang cave during rescue operations during 26–27 June 2018. Screen capture from NBT news report.

When I teach new divers, I ask about their swimming and snorkeling experiences. What I am looking for is the degree to which they feel comfortable in the water. The greatest enemy to a diver is panic. Students who are accustomed to the normal mishaps of swimming, like accidentally getting water in the mouth or eyes, will usually have no trouble, but for people with little swimming experience, such a minor event can lead to irrational panic. Most of the Thai team members are non-swimmers, and the culture there has a common belief that swimming is extremely dangerous. That starts any training in a serious deficit.   Continue reading

Not in Our Lifetime: Are Libraries Dead?

By Gwen Sinclair
Librarian, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Library

Because I am a librarian, people often ask me, “Do we still need libraries now that everything is online?” My stock answer goes something like this: “‘Everything’ is not and will not be available online in my lifetime, and even if it were, we would still need  libraries.”

The belief that practically everything, from every book ever written to all of the films ever made, has been digitized and is available online for free has taken root in the collective minds of nearly everyone. However, if you dig a little deeper, you will realize that a lot of miracles would have to happen before “everything” could be digitized and posted online.

There are several roadblocks to scanning all of the books, periodicals, archival records, films, videos, audio cassettes, photographs, and ephemera available in libraries and putting them online. First and foremost is funding. A digitization project involves more than simply scanning a set of books and uploading the content. Even with high-speed automated book scanners, humans are still needed to select the books, prepare them for scanning, position them on the scanner, and so forth. Items that have folds or tears must be flattened or mended before they are scanned. Care must be taken not to damage fragile film or magnetic tapes during the digitization process. Photographic prints, negatives, or slides must be positioned precisely, and some post-processing may be necessary to straighten, crop, or clean up images.   Continue reading

How Do You Prepare Students to Learn Online?

Lynn ZimmermannBy Lynn Zimmerman
Associate Editor
Editor, Teacher Education

What do you tell your online learners?

Most universities and many high schools in the US use online and hybrid courses to teach anything from foreign languages to Physics. People around the world take part in MOOCs, free online courses with hundreds, perhaps thousands of participants. Informal courses are offered online so you can learn to knit or repair a car in the comfort of your own home. Online coursework is everywhere, and there may be the assumption that everyone knows how to “do” it.

However, instructors often find that, just like face-to-face courses, learners’ abilities, needs and motivations vary. The novelty of using technology for learning can soon wear off, so like any coursework, the online offering needs effective pedagogical strategies to provide intrinsic motivation to learn.

Online learning readiness

Let’s consider one factor that some research from the field of online learning has explored, online learning readiness (Cigdem & Ozturk, 2016; Horzuma, Kaymak, & Gungorenc, 2015). I’d like to hear about your experience. How do you prepare your students to learn in the online environment? What have you done that you find effective?

Assumption: because computers and technology are so pervasive, learners know how to use technology for learning.

Research findings: Many people know how to use social media, email, and their smartphones, but may be less sure how to use technology for educational purposes. Some studies have shown a direct correlation between a learner’s familiarity with the learning platform and their ability to use it and their motivation to participate and learn (Cigdem & Ozturk, 2016; Horzuma, Kaymak, & Gungorenc, 2015). Therefore, these researchers propose that the instructor should not assume that learners know how to use the platform and that they understand how to successfully complete assignments. Provide clear instructions on how to use the platform, give clear and direct instructions for assignments, and clear expectations.


Cigdem, H. & Ozturk, M. (2016). Critical components of online learning readiness and their relationships with learner achievement. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education-TOJDE 17 (2), 98-109.

Horzuma, M.B., Kaymak. Z.D., & Gungorenc, O.C. (2015). Structural equation modeling towards online learning readiness, academic motivations, and perceived learning. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 15 (3) pp. 759-770. DOI

The Making of a Silent Hero: Kaepernick and Social Media

By Gina Ribuca
Student, Kapi’olani Community College

There was a lot of controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick and the NFL last year. Many of us have seen or heard about him silently taking a knee during the national anthem. We have our own views on the issue. Some are not sure what it was about, while others think they know every detail. What did happen after, however, will never be forgotten. Some people called him a traitor while others, a hero. I think he is closer to a hero than a traitor. Sacrificing oneself to make the world a better place is the soul and characteristic of a hero.

Photo by Gina Ribuca, Kaneohe, HI, 4 July 2017.

The first time I saw him kneel, a lot ran through my mind. Social media was sent into a firestorm, and some of the comments were pure evil. “It’s just so easy to hate,” said Arian Foster, a Miami Dolphins player who also knelt before his game (Walker). Social media played a huge role in the truths and falsifications of this story. So many were clicking “share” on anything connected to Kaepernick before knowing the facts. However, not everyone realized that his silent, solitary protest contributed to the beginning of a worldwide movement among professional athletes and actors. Kaepernick decided to use his media platform to take a stand and to be a voice for those who had none. When a country or its people are ill-served by its government, then the people have the right and obligation to protest. Protesting against the government does not make a person a traitor. No, it means s/he has taken a stand for what she believes is right.  Continue reading

A Look at TeacherTube: A YouTube Alternative

Lynn ZimmermannBy Lynn Zimmerman
Associate Editor
Editor, Teacher Education

Whether you are a K-12 teacher or in higher education, you may want to give TeacherTube a look. Started in 2007 by three veteran educators, TeacherTube aims “to provide an online community for sharing instructional videos.” If you have ever looked for professional development videos or videos for your students on YouTube, you know that you have to look carefully to be sure you’re getting appropriate content.

TeacherTube, which was recently acquired by Salem Web Network, is designed to provide an “educationally focused, safe venue for teachers, schools, and home learners.” Users can upload materials and can comment on them, even flag materials that do not seem appropriate for this venue. TeacherTube staff reviews any flagged materials and makes the decision whether to leave it or delete it.

How does it work? You can find pictures, documents, audios and videos by topic or by collection. Perhaps you need a map of Pensacola, FL, to show your student Spanish street names. Do you need a video that shows the structure of the human ear? Some of the material is self-produced while others link to professionally-produced materials. Although designed mostly for K-12 teachers, educators who do professional development for teachers or teach education courses may find this a useful tool.

For more background information, see their “About Us” page.

Teaching Reading and Writing in STEM Classes


English teacher challenges students to plug in to the world by Magdalena Osumi in Japan Times, 28 Jan. 2018:
To help her students step outside of the box of rote language learning, Mio Horio, an English teacher from Japan, is encouraging her students to take a more global approach to learning English. Among other strategies, her students have the opportunity to engage in discussion with other English language students and native English speakers around the world.

Reading and Writing in STEM by Emily A. Thrush, Teresa Dalle, and Angela Thevenot in TESOL Connections, March 2018:
The integration of literacy skills across the curriculum has been a focus in American education in recent years. The authors focus on specific strategies and activities for teaching reading and writing in STEM classes.   Continue reading

TCC 2018 (April 17-19) : Final Call for Participation

Join us next week!

TCC 2018 Worldwide Online Conference

Changing to Learn, Learning to Change
April 17-19, 2018

Keynote and special regional presentations:

Dr. Margaret Nosek, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas, USA
Dr. Weiquan Lu, National University, Singapore
Dr. Jason Lee, Daegu National University of Education, Korea
Dr. Cynthia Calongne, Colorado Technical University, USA
Dr. Susan Manning, Credly, USA

TCC is a three-day, entirely online conference for post-secondary faculty and staff worldwide that features over 100 concurrent sessions covering a wide-range of topics related to educational technology, distance learning and emerging technologies for teaching and learning.   Continue reading