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Posts tagged ‘Mobile Learning’

SIX E-LEARNING MYTHS AND THE REALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH IT


E-learning courses have seen a downward trend in recent times. In this article; we look at several misconceptions and realities associated with e-learning courses.

E-learning industry has been going through a tough stage. There are mixed reactions which have been received from students about the quality of e-learning courses. There are some misconceptions associated with e-learning which needs to be clarified. Let us look at these misconceptions and the realities associated with it:

  • Myth: Quantity is as significant as quality. Generally e-learning is priced according to the volume produced. Even customers are concerned with the volume of content rather than the quality of the content. But this is not correct.

Reality: If the e-learning course is designed taking into consideration quality of the content, then the same course can get reduced by a considerable margin. This will ultimately result in saving of time. The employees can then concentrate on their work and learn through practical case studies provided in the e-learning courses.

  • Myth: All the content is important.  Lots of times customers feel that all the content is important for the e-learning course. However, that is not the case.

Reality: There is no guarantee that everything displayed in the course will be understood and recalled by the student. Hence; it is important for the customers to understand that all the content is not required for the course and only the important parts that comprises of major learning needs to be integrated in the course. Content should be designed keeping in aspect different things like: usability approach, frequency, importance and type of use etc. Once these aspects have been decided then the content is prepared keeping in focus the training, reference material and things to exclude from the content.

  • Myth: E-learning is just a course. Most of the customers believe that e-learning is merely an electronic textbook that replaces classroom training. That is not true.

Reality: It is more involved in practical approaches which help people in improving their performance. It should comprise of various different subjects like:

      • Knowledge management
      • Performance support systems
      • Intranets
      • Practice environments
      • Standard electronic courses

 

  • Myth: Things will become easier once the technology improves.  There is a common belief that e-learning is falling behind because of the current state of technology. There is always a hope for a miracle cure round the corner but the major problem is the level of training at the level of delivery. Reality: Lot of time is devoted to understand the content management and training approach which will never go away. This does not mean that improvements in technology, standards, and theories will not help but it will not cure the current problems faced in designing e-learning courses easily.
  • Myth: E-learning is easy.  Clients believe that they are paying for simplicity. But is it so simple to make the complicated subject simpler?

Reality:  Clients often expect simpler solutions to complicated ones. But e-learning has always been more about making complex things clearer and simple.

  • Myth: E-learning provides one-time quick fix solution.  It is often believed that e-learning provides quick fix solution to practical problems in real time. However; that is not true.

Reality: It really takes time and energy to develop content for the courses in accordance to the target audience.
E-learning courses give practical exposure to the students. With the help of these courses; corporate executives can learn to solve practical problems faced in the organization. An efficient e-learning course provider should take these points seriously and create a proficient course that meets the needs of the target audience.

About emPower

emPower  is a leading provider of comprehensive Healthcare Compliance Solutions through Learning Management System (LMS). Its mission is to provide innovative security solutions to enable compliance with applicable laws and regulations and maximize business performance. empower provides range of courses to manage compliance required by regulatory bodies such as OSHA, HIPAA, Joint commission and Red Flag Rule etc. Apart from this emPower also offers custom demos and tutorials for your website, business process management and software implementation.

Its Learning Management system (LMS) allows students to retrieve all the courses 24/7/365 by accessing the portal. emPower e-learning training program is an interactive mode of learning that guides students to progress at their own pace.

For additional information, please visit http://www.empowerbpo.com.

Media Contact (emPower)
Jason Gaya
marketing@empowerbpo.com

emPower
12806 Townepark Way
Louisville, KY 40243-2311
Ph: 502 -400-9374
http://www.empowerbpo.com
http://www.empowerlms.com

Highlander Hosts Technology + Learning Conference in Providence


With the push for digital learning stronger than ever, a conference for next steps in Providence.

Providence will host educators seeking to better incorporate digital technologies into their schools this month, when Highlander Institute, a regional provider of high quality professional development in education, presents the Blended Learning & Technology Conference on Saturday, May 19, 2012 from 8:30am-4pm. This day-long, hands-on conference will give educators practical insight on adopting blended learning models. Blended eLearning integrates the best of online learning with face-to-face instruction, expanding opportunities for the teacher and student.

Integrating tech in the classroom: not always easy

“Integrating technology with tried and true classroom instruction is not always intuitive or easy, but when it is done well it helps the teacher understand a student’s abilities at a whole new level,” said Shawn Rubin, director of technology integration at the Highlander Institute and co-founder, Metryx. “Teachers can then use this input to create a much more individualized learning environment for the student, which leads to greater learning outcomes.”  Further, Rubin said, ” “blended learning recognizes that technology is something today’s students already enjoy. It uses tools that are intuitive to them and increases their engagement in their own learning.”

A national push toward digital learning

Pointing to the trend towards digital learning environments, President Obama, the U.S. Dept of Education and the Federal Communications Commission announced recently a 70-page guide for schools to begin transitioning to digital learning. Locally, the RI Dept of Education will soon announce the winner of the Model School Grant award funded by U.S. Dept of Ed “Enhancing Education Through Technology (E2T2)” funds, for the redesign of a school that uses technology as the catalyst for transformation.

Conference details

The Blended Learning & Technology Conference, subtitled “From Theory to Practice”, will bring together the practitioners, education technology gurus, and the people behind the tools for integration. Attendants will listen to educators already integrating technology in their teaching environments, and have the opportunity to “tinker, test and explore” applications and software on iPads, SMARTboards, and Android tablets.

“At Highlander, we understand the integration of technology for some educators and schools will be a gradual process. But the trend is moving quickly. This conference offers a comfortable environment to learn about these tools, and jumpstart the process,” Rubin said.

Featured speakers

Conference speakers include Jennie Dougherty from edUPGRADE, a nonprofit that brings beta technology to teachers in exchange for feedback; Melissa Pickering, recent manager of Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach, and founder of iCreate to Educate; and Mohit Midha, COO of Mangahigh.com, a games based teaching resource for K-12 math.

Vendors and sponsors include: Broadband RI, Educreations, Engrade, K12, Learn Zillion, Lesson Writer, and Metryx.

For more information on the Blended Learning & Technology Conference, visit www.blendedlearningconference.com, call 401-831-7323, or email admin@highlanderinstitute.org.

New Report Urges Online Learning Expansion in Texas


Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Public Policy Foundation would like to see Texas follow Florida’s lead in increasing access to virtual schools.

A report from the Texas Public Policy Foundation suggests that virtual education and blended elearning both present the opportunity for cost savings and academic gain in Texas.

“At the K-12 level, the potential of virtual education is enormous,” said the report’s author, James Golsan. “Through the use of technology, students in rural districts would have access to the same educational resources as students in more populated areas. Familiarization with technology could prepare students for the work force more quickly.”

While there is some concern about the ability of existing traditional institutions to convert to blended learning facilities, it’s a popular model for new start ups. Virtual education is already a success story in Florida and the TPPF wants Texas to follow Florida’s lead.

“Florida has one of the longest standing and most successful virtual education programs in the country,” Golsan said. “As Texas seeks to improve its own digital learning environment, an examination of the Florida model provides the state with an example by which to fashion, at the very least, its public virtual education after.

Several benefits to a virtual education model are highlighted in the report, such as increased course availability and access to quality instructors. Although virtual education institutions have come under fire in the past for high dropout rates, the report believes that dropout recovery could be best served in the virtual arena.

Another highlighted benefit to Texas expanding its digital education offerings is the potential for huge cost savings. Not only does the report claim that educating students online is cheaper than traditional in-person methods, but that cost efficiencies of scale accrue more under a digital learning platform.

“Currently, Texas funds its students at a rate of around $11,000 per pupil,” Golsan said. “Research suggests that full-time virtual students can be educated for between $1,500 and $3,000 less per student than those in traditional brick-and-mortar settings.”

The perceived benefits of online education have recently come under scrutiny from Great Lakes Centre for Education Research and Practice, but the TPPF remains enthusiastic.

The report also recommends the easing of the course approval process for digital coursework, the promotion of private provider participation in digital learning, the creation of a scholarship program for digital learners, and the opening of the Texas Virtual School Network to private and home-schooled students.

This article was originally posted at http://www.texasinsider.org/?p=59580

Faculty Initiative: Technology in the Classroom


Colleges and universities across the country are rising to the challenge of utilizing technology in the classroom and meeting the demands of students in the technology age. St. Norbert College is not far behind the pack with a new faculty initiative.

Last February, President Kunkel and the Office of Faculty Development led a forum called “eLearning in the Digital Age.” This forum was held to raise awareness of the growing trend in higher education to make use of digital technologies in the classroom.

Dean Jeffery Frick then appointed a panel of faculty members called the “Digital Learning Initiative” task group (DLI) to continue with the discussion.

Members of the task group include Paul Johnson, associate professor of philosophy, Reid Riggle, associate professor of education, Gratzia Villarroel, associate professor of political science, John Frohliger, associate professor of mathematics, Blake Hensen, assistant professor of music and Kristin Vogel, director of the library.

The group has released a DLI report on technology in higher education. The report includes the context of the discussion up until now: a history of digital learning, the group’s guiding principles, the group’s recommendations, and the group’s vision statement.

The vision statement of the DLI is: “St. Norbert College shall work to establish and foster a culture of collaborative entrepreneurship across the campus which incentivizes, supports and acknowledges the development and successful incorporation of digital learning skills and technologies into the educational Mission of the College.”

The task group is interested in the pedagogy, or the teaching techniques, implementing technology in classroom and what this can bring to education.

One of the guiding principles in the document is, “Change is imminent, and St. Norbert College must adapt.”

“Until now, the discussion was kept to faculty and staff at St. Norbert College,” said Johnson, “but now an important next step in the process is to involve the students to broaden the conversation.”

The committee plans on taking the next step of involving students through general surveys and forums which students along with the St. Norbert College community would be invited to attend.

“I would like to see student focus groups,” said Riggle. “I think a focus group would be more structured and the dialogue would contain specific questions or concerns.”

An example of one of the questions the DLI has is the use of social media in higher education. Social media does not always transfer to the classroom and the task group needs the students’ opinions and thoughts on why this is.

There are two ideas the DLI has presented to boost technology in the classroom. The first is to provide faculty with a small stipend to promote the use of technology. The second is to delegate one faculty member in each discipline to be the technology advisor.

“The committee has the idea of the full spectrum pedagogy,” said Johnson, “One end of the spectrum holds the traditional professors and the other end holds the entrepreneur professors with all the colors in between.”

The committee values both ends of the spectrum because both are extremely valuable to the Liberal Arts experience.

Something the task group is aware of is the push and pull of the spectrum. “If we lean far towards technology then what do we lose in the classroom?” said Johnson.

“It’s important to maintain balance,” said Riggle, “We don’t want to leap into technology, but what is the best course environment as we progress into the future?”

The school plans to place implementing technology into higher education high on the school’s Strategic Plan.

This article was originally posted at http://www.snctimes.com/news/faculty-initiative-technology-in-the-classroom-1.2808205#.T1Wmml21uT4

Digital Learning Bill Passes State Senate


The Digital Learning Act passed the Senate with a bi-partisan vote of 36-15. The bill was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) is expected to make Georgia a national leader in online elearning.

“This bill would significantly broaden learning opportunities for Georgia students. Based on current virtual classes already being offered we have the opportunity to increase student achievement at significantly lower costs,” said Sen. Rogers.  “Right now, there are 16,000 students participating in this program, and that number is quickly growing. These programs are vital to ensuring that our students are able to meet the ever-changing demands of the 21st century marketplace.”

SB 289 focuses on the importance of virtual and digital learning in today’s modern learning environment. Under this bill, students entering the ninth grade during the 2013–2014 school year will complete at least one online learning course prior to graduation.  Options to meet this requirement include the following:

• Online courses offered by the Georgia Virtual School;

• Online duel enrollment courses offered by a postsecondary institution; or

• Online courses offered by a provider approved by the Georgia Department of Education

The bill also requires all end-of-year core subject assessments to be administered online by the 2014-2015 school year, a move expected to dramatically reduce the opportunity for cheating.

In addition, the passage of SB 289 would allow local school systems to enter into contracts with virtual learning providers approved by the Georgia Department of Education.

The bill has received support from the Department of Education, specifically from Bob Swiggum, the Chief Information Officer for the Georgia Department of Education and Thomas Wilson, Director of Governmental Affairs at the Department of Education.

“SB289 provides more opportunities for Georgia’s students to participate in online courses, a common instructional method of post-secondary institutions,” said Bob Swiggum, Chief Information Officer for the Georgia Department of Education. “Our students will be better prepared for success, instructional costs will be reduced, and a wider variety of courses will be offered.”

Sen. Rogers, along with several of his Senate colleagues, are working to find solutions to address the educational needs of 21st Century students. This bill is a key component to the Republican Caucus’ ongoing commitment to education reform.

RELEASE
For Immediate Release:
February 24, 2012

Contact:
Natalie Dale, Director
natalie.dale@senate.ga.gov
404.656.0028

10 educational iPad apps recommended by Explore Knowledge Academy


EKA students as young as kindergartners use the iPad to learn traditional subjects in math, English, social studies, and science.

When Explore Knowledge Academy has its grand opening celebration in March 2012, it will become the first “iSchool” in Nevada, with a 1-to-1 ratio of iPad tablets to students.

EKA students as young as kindergartners use the iPad to learn traditional subjects in math, English, social studies, and science. (To read about their experience, click here.)

Here are the 10 iPad applications used by educators at the public charter school and recommended for other schools and families with iPads.

BrainPop

BrainPOP is a subscription-based application that brings 750 or more movies and quizzes in science, math, social studies, English, engineering, art, and health to the iPad. Users can watch an animated movie on a particular subject and then test their knowledge by taking an interactive quiz. The iPad application is free, but it costs between $1.99 and $6.99 per student, per month to access education materials.

Cell and Cell Structure

Cell and Cell Structure is a graphic application that teaches middle school students about cells, cell structure, and function. Users can view 3D interactive graphics on different cell types and parts, take quizzes to test their knowledge, and use flashcards to review and memorize information. Videos also give users a microscopic view of the cell. The app costs $2.99 in the App Store.

ConjuVerb

ConjuVerb is a foreign language application that allows students to look up more than 600 commonly used Spanish verbs and their conjugations. Quizzes and flashcards help students memorize and test their knowledge. It’s free in the App Store.

Dinopedia

Dinopedia is a reference guide created by National Geographic for dinosaur connoisseurs. Students can look up more than 700 dinosaur types using the application and get audio pronunciations, vital statistics, size comparison, and videos about each of the dinosaurs. A visual table of contents and an interactive family tree allow students to quickly search for their favorite dinosaurs. It costs $4.99 in the App Store.

Discover

Discover is a reference application for the iPad that repurposes Wikipedia articles for the tablet user. It’s free in the App Store.

Math Bingo

Math Bingo is an educational iPad game modeled after bingo. Elementary school students try to get five “Bingo Bugs” in a row by correctly answering math problems. Scores are determined by how fast students complete a game, and students are assessed a two-second penalty for every incorrect answer. It costs 99 cents in the App Store.

Math Drills

Math Drills is an educational application that tests up to 50 students in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Students can use number lines, wooden blocks, facts, and hints to solve problems. Teachers can view an individual student’s scores and test history to see which concepts need to be reviewed. The app costs $1.99 in the App Store.

Penultimate

Penultimate is a handwriting and note-taking application for the iPad. Students can scribble notes on digital pages and sort them into notebooks. They can also import photos into the application and annotate them. It costs 99 cents in the App Store.

Scientific Graphic Calculator

Scientific Graphic Calculator is a math application for the iPad that allows students to solve math problems needing a scientific calculator or a graphing calculator. The application also contains a triangle solver, which solves for a missing side or angle in geometry problems. Students can also use a unit converter and a constants reference to complete math problems. It costs $1.99 in the App Store.

Word Wizard

Word Wizard is a spelling application for the iPad that allows students to hear sounds of letters and words using an interactive alphabet. The application also provides a spelling quiz with more than 1,400 questions and answers. Elementary school students can tap on alphabetic or QWERTY keyboards. It costs $2.99 in the App Store.

Copyright (c) 2012, the Las Vegas Sun. Visit the Las Vegas Sun online at www.lasvegassun.com. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

Of Profits and Power: Education Establishment Attacks Digital Learning


The education establishment is pulling out all the stops to stifle the movement to expand the use of technology to modernize the way students learn.

Digital education is a growing form of school choice. Virtual charter schools are a natural way to provide access to top-notch instruction for students, regardless of their geographical location. But the protectors of the status quo are doing everything they can do stop it.

Finally, their true colors are showing.

Debbie Squires, a representative of a school principal’s association, recently told the Michigan House Education Committee that while parents do indeed care for their children, they’re not knowledgeable enough about what is best for their children.

This is a standard line of thinking – those with the background and “expertise” know what’s best for children, not their parents.  See recent articles on the “school food police” for further evidence.

The other line of attack is that “profits” are evil and that no one should be making money in education, even if for-profit  companies provide quality instruction for children.

Michigan Parents for Schools (but apparently not virtual charter schools) recently urged its members to contact lawmakers and demand that they reject the virtual charter bill, which would remove the cap on the number of schools allowed in the state.  The subject line of the email read, “Let’s make sure online schools help kids, not pad profits.”

This is an interesting criticism because ultimately, lots of people make money off education.  Textbook companies make money.  Contractors make money.  Teachers make money.  Administrators make money.

But who’s accountable when taxpayers are ripped off by government schools that aren’t delivering results?

Say, for example, Muskegon Heights school district in my own quaint community in western Michigan.

Recent data shows that 6.8% of 11th graders are proficient in reading and writing while only 2.2% of students are proficient in math. Meanwhile,  the school district is nearly broke and may not be able to meet its payroll for the rest of the academic year.

Someone is grossly mismanaging district funds (perhaps making a profit?) while the children go without a decent education.  Where is the outrage from the establishment about that?

Perhaps the Michigan Parents for Schools group should call a few Muskegon Heights parents, to see what they think.

My bet is that most, if not all, of those parents would welcome a digital education option, a charter school option, a school voucher option – anything to get their kids out of that miserable “not-for-profit” government school district.

And they probably wouldn’t care if some company was making money while teaching their children, as long as their children learned.

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