The Next Generation of Distance Education

I posted to the following blogs – re:  video presentation

Ena’s blog:  http://ena-spoonfulofsugar.blogspot.com/

Devonee’s blog:  http://edtechdiffusionbydevonee.blogspot.com

Sanjay’s blog:  http://onlineinstructing.wordpress.com/

Kelly’s blog:  http://gasappwife.wordpress.com/

Mary’s blog:  http://marytolsoneds.blogspot.com/

Module 5

Tool

Static vs. Dynamic

Content generation,

Communication, or

Collaboration

Podcasts or videocasts

Static (Moller, 2008, p. 1)

Content generation

communication

Web pages

Static (Moller, 2008, p. 1)

Content generation

communication

Text (books)

Static (Moller, 2008, p. 1)

Content generation

Wikis

          can be used to insert and edit content collectivley

 

(McGreal & Elliott, 2008, p. 156)

Static

Content generation

Communication

Collaboration

Blogs

          for sharing knowledge in any subject area; networking opportunities

 

(McGreal & Elliott, 2008, p. 154)

Static

Content generation

Communication

Collaboration

Discussion boards

Static

Communication

Simulations and gaming

Dynamic (Moller, 2008, p. 1)

Content generation

Communication

Collaboration

Multi-user environments

Dynamic (Moller, 2008, p. 1)

Content generation

Communication

Collaboration

Mind tools

Dynamic (Moller, 2008, p. 1)

Content generation

Communication

Collaboration

YouTube

Dynamic

Content generation

Communication

Skype

Dynamic

Communication

Collaboration

Web conferencing

          for teaching and creating podcasts

          collaborative opportunities

           enhanced with “whiteboarding”

           can emulate classroom lessons remotely

 

(McGreal & Elliott, 2008, p. 149-150)

Dynamic

Content generation

Communication

Collaboration

Peer-to-peer file sharing

          transfer files, etc. without having to access a server

 

 (McGreal & Elliott, 2008, p. 153

Static

Content generation

Collaboration

RSS feeds

           checks relevant sites for new content

          used for sharing inforamtion with classmates and/or teachers

          support social networks of students

(McGreal & Elliott, 2008, p. 155)

Static

Content generation

Communicatoin

Learning objects

          when a lesson is added to a knowledge object like a video, audio, text, graphic, interactive file to create learning experiences

          can be reused

 

(McGreal & Elliott, 2008, p. 158-159)

Dynamic

Content generation

Collaboration

Digital games

          role playing games, games of strategy

          used to reinforce learning, provide immediate feedback, gratification, prolong interest of learner

 

(McGreal & Elliott, 2008, p. 158)

Dynamic

Content generatoin

Collaboration

Communication

Virtual worlds

          simluated environment that is accessed via the internet

          users interact with avatars

          can use traditional classroom methods or simulations, applications, gaming or other forms of experiential learning

(McGreal & Elliott, 2008, p. 157)

Dynamic

Content generation

Communication

Collaboration

Streaming audio

          includes prerecorded lectures, guests, etc.

 

(McGreal & Elliott, 2008, p. 146)

Static

Content generation

Communication

Streaming video

          prepared lectures or shows example of an activity

 

(McGreal & Elliott, 2008, p. 147)

 

Content generation

Communication

Audio chat

          to discuss an assignment or a difficult concept

           making intercultural connections

          speak to others in age group all over the world

 

(McGreal & Elliott, 2008, p. 149)

Dynamic

Content generation

Communication

Collaboration

Web conferencing

          graphic teleconferencing

          manipulate a whiteboard and show results in real time

          can save and use later

          for brainstorming and collaborating remotely

 

(McGreal & Elliott, 2008, p. 149-150)

Dynamic

Content generation

Communication

Collaboration

Instant messaging

          not for content delivery

          to facilitate contact

 

(McGreal & Elliott, 2008, p. 151)

Static

Communication

Collaboration

Hand-held and wireless technologies

          i.e. mobile phones, tablets, ultra-notebook computers

 

(McGreal & Elliott, 2008, p. 151)

Dynamic

Content generation

Communication

Collaboration

 

 

 


 

McGreal and Elliott (2008) ask the question of the hour in this query:  “Can our educational systems evolve into entirely new institutes that support learning by taking full advantage of the emerging technologies?” (p. 159).  Given all of the tools that we have available, the answer should be a resounding “YES!”  As I assess my own teaching on the static-dynamic continuum, however, I see that there is much work left to do.  On a positive note, I am already integrating a number of dynamic technology based activities into the courses I am currently teaching.  In my Computer Applications course, the culminating activity involves a simulation where students are the managing officers of a day care center and use the Microsoft Office suite to develop the electronic documentation necessary to facilitate the day-to-day operations of the business.  I also teach a course called Managing Your Money (basic finance) where students participate in The Stock Market Game.  Students are provided with $100,000 that they can invest in the stock market in real time, thereby learning how to electronically maintain their portfolio, along with investing techniques and strategies.  I have found both of these activities to be incredibly engaging for students and as Dr. Moller (2008) attests, these dynamic activities facilitate the type of analysis and experimentation that inspires higher level learning (p. 2).

There are a number of lessons that I use in all of my courses that fall in the middle of the static-dynamic continuum.  In my Consumer and Business Law course, students participate in group debates regarding hot button issues such as U. S. immigration policy, health care, and affirmative action.  As students work toward developing their arguments, they rely on wikis and/or google docs to collaborate and assemble their final choices.  Through this process they are able to create new knowledge “through analysis and argumentation” (Moller, 2008, p. 1).  Some activities in the middle of the continuum are rather effective.

More often than not, however, I find my activities are of a more static nature.  Quite frequently, I direct students to web sites, YouTube videos, and news articles (text) in order to build content, which as we have learned, simply allows students to “capture information” (Moller, 2008, p. 1).  Given what I’ve learned in this course, I intend to incorporate more learning objects into my teaching.  Learning objects permit the instructor to “add a knowledge object like a video, audio, text, graphic, or interactive file” to a lesson (McGreal & Elliott, 2008, p. 158).  I see these types of activities as lending themselves quite nicely to my course content, the types of activities that I have already used, and the technology available in my building.

Speaking of emerging technologies, Computer World has a great blog on just that here:  http://blogs.computerworld.com/applications/emerging-technologies.  Enjoy!


References

McGreal, R. & Elliott, M. (2008). Technologies of online learning (e-learning). In T. Anderson (Ed.), The Theory and Practice of Online Learning (2nd ed.).

Moller, L. (2008). Static and dynamic technological tools. [Unpublished Paper].

I posted to Theresa’s blog: http://twiggins-family.blogspot.com/

I posted to Mary’s blog:  http://marytolsoneds.blogspot.com/

 

Module 4

Graphic Organizer 2

Rationale:

As you can see from looking at my graphic organizer, I did what I call a cop-out.  I puzzled over these technological tools throughout my reading and on my own trying to justify how they could NOT fit under the umbrella of either collaboration, content, or communication.  I simply could not do it.  I think Siemens says it best, though he was referring to differentiating between guided instruction and minimal guidance:  “…the nuanced and complex nature of learning suggests that each approach may have value in different contexts” (Siemens, 2008, p. 15).  By the same token, each technological tool profiled, used in the proper context, can result in either effective collaboration, building of content knowledge, or engaging communication.  Each tool or strategy has its benefits:

–          Blogs – gives students the opportunity to present and moderate discussion points and, consequently, can generate   renewed interest in reflective forms of writing to support learning (Anderson, 2008, p. 351)

–          Wiki – as one of many participative tools, this provides learners with autonomy and enhanced control over access to information (Siemens, 2008, p. 15)

–          Podcast – for the auditory learner, the access to content or ability to create content for supplementary learning is boundless

–          YouTube – for the visual learner, like a podcast, the access to content or ability to create content for supplementary learning is boundless

–          Social networking and instant messaging – these tools hold great power for students as Durrington, Berryhill, and Swafford (2006) contend:  “…exchanges between students are as important, if not more important, to online learning environments as learner-instructor exchanges” (p. 191).

–          Asynchronous virtual classroom – provides opportunities for students to feel more “in sync” with the rest of the class through text based lectures, discussions, video presentations or audio presentations (Anderson, 2008, p. 348)

–          Synchronous virtual classroom – provides a more familiar model to students, yet still enables access to information and persons across geographic distance through guest interviews, debates, and presentations (Anderson, 2008, p. 349)

I did find this blog called Huddle (think of the meaning of the word huddle as it pertains to football.) at http://www.huddle.com/blog/, which is a rather interesting compilation of tools and strategies for collaborating (or huddling) in different areas of the work force.  Good stuff.

References

Anderson, T. (2008). Teaching in an online learning context. In T. Anderson (Ed.), The Theory and Practice of Online

Learning (2nd ed.).

Durrington, V. A., Berryhill, A., & Swafford, J. (2006). Strategies for enhancing student interactivity in an online

environment. College Teaching, 54(1), 190−193.

Siemens, G. (2008, January). Learning and knowing in networks: Changing roles for educators and designers. ITForum.

I posted to Ena’s blog:  http://ena-spoonfulofsugar.blogspot.com/

I posted to Reggie’s blog:  http://educationaltechnologyrm.blogspot.com/

Very rough storyboard

Storyboard

Description

Welcome slide

Dynamic slide with welcome in many languages

Brief intro of Dr. Sadker but first, he has asked me to pose some very simple questions for you to ponder

Me talking – On screen, I should show a picture of Dr. Sadker

We fight stereotypes from a very early age

Then show videos

Riley – “some girls like princesses, some girls like superheroes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srnaXW9ZgZc

Kids and gender stereotypes

1:25 – “boys are better than girls”

2:00 – kids point to doll that cleans house, takes care of babies, goes to work

How does this manifest itself in our educational technology classroom Show scenarios:
Teacher bias scenario Video of students
Research support
Student beliefs Video of students
Research support
Learned helplessness Video of students
Research support
Self-imposed stereotyping Video of students
Research support
Preview of discussion
What are the effects on girls?Facts interspersed with pictures Cite the researchAudio clip of No Doubt:  I’m just a girl
Which brings us to Dr. Sadker:  Where do we go from here?
Clip of Sadker – 6:00-6:20 There’s no difference between the average boy and the average girl
And if you don’t believe Dr. Sadker, listen to someone who really knows:

Riley – “some girls like princesses, some girls like superheroes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srnaXW9ZgZc

References

Module 3

Assessing Collaborative Efforts

In the last century, we have moved from a society where individuals alone created and developed groundbreaking inventions, to a society where collaboration is the driving force behind technological (and other) advancements (Laureate Education, 2012b).  In order to best prepare for this collaborative environment, it is imperative that instructors design learning communities that, on some level, facilitates this functional necessity.  Assessment in this type of environment is an important piece of the puzzle.  Every online collaborative experience I have been involved in echoes George Siemens’ recommendation that students receive feedback from both the instructor and from peers (Laureate Education, 2012a).  The feedback that students receive is direct and frequent, thus stimulating participation and fostering learning.  As noted in this Eduotopia blog (http://www.edutopia.org/blog/collaborative-assessment-digital-classroom-social-media-tools), this process allows students to be exposed to constructive feedback in a “collegial, safe environment.”  This blog further addresses the question of how, while assessing, we address varying levels of skill and knowledge that students bring to the course.  First, it is critical to set clear objectives for students in advance.  Assessments should be fair, direct, and based on stated outcomes (Laureate Education, 2012a).  Regardless of what students bring to the table, this is the only way to achieve equitable assessment of ALL students.

As in any educational environment, there will be times where students resist the process.  In collaborative exercises, this generally comes in the form of students preferring to work on their own as opposed to working as part of a larger unit.  To encourage participation, I think instructors are responsible only for “setting the table” for the students.  Hurst & Thomas (2008) suggests a kick-off event for participants (Hurst & Thomas, 2008, p. 460) to help members share personal schedules, define group roles, and establish a level of comfort in the process (Hurst & Thomas, 2008, p. 459).  This type of community building activity should help students to develop “swift trust” in their community members (Swan, 2004), and thus, fosters more effective collaborative actions.  Throughout the process, the instructor should continue to facilitate by allowing for open collaboration, providing access to learning tools, and reiterating clear expectations (as outlined in the Edutopia blog).  Once the foundation for healthy collaborative experiences has been laid, however, it becomes the students’ responsibility to partake of the experience.  At this point, the instructor’s role is to simply maintain a healthy environment for all learners who wish to participate.  In a collaborative community where learners are receiving feedback from the instructor and from each other, learning is heavily dependent on a learner’s CHOICE to participate and learn from others.  This choice is not the instructor’s responsibility.  Quite honestly, I have never been a fan of group work.  I do recognize, however, that my learning depends on my choice to step out of my comfort zone.  In a larger sense, life is about pushing your limits.  As learners, it is our responsibility to push our own limits!

References

Hurst, D., & Thomas, J. (2008). Developing team skills and accomplishing team projects online. In T. Anderson (Ed.), The Theory and Practice of Online Learning (2nd ed.).

Laureate Education, Inc. (2012a). Assessment of collaborative learning. [Video]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Laureate Education, Inc. (2012b). Learning communities. [Video]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Swan, K. (2004). Relationships between interactions and learning in online environments. The Sloan Consortium.  Retrieved from www.sloanconsortium.org/publications/books/pdf/interactions.pdf

I posted to Devonee’s blog:  http://edtechdiffusionbydevonee.blogspot.com/2013/07/assessing-collaborative-efforts-in-our.html#gpluscomments

I posted to Mary’s blog:  http://marytolsoneds.blogspot.com/2013/07/module-3-assessing-collaborative-efforts.html

Module 2

Elements of Distance Education Diffusion

According to George Siemens, the communication element of distance education, specifically the evolution of communication within the cyber world, has proven integral to the establishment of distance education as a viable educational medium.  I unequivocally agree with this contention.  Distance education is quickly becoming an acceptable, if not a preferred, means of course completion, due in part to the fact that more and more people are communicating via online forums (Laureate Education, 2012).   This transition to participation in a variety of communication types online – from e-mail to social media, to video conferencing – has raised comfort levels regarding conversations and interactions we might not have chosen to engage in before, as well as providing users with practical experience with the technological tools needed to facilitate these connections  (Laureate Education, 2012).  This increased level of user comfort in online environments naturally lends legitimacy to distance education as a means for obtaining instruction.

The view that distance education is growing as an acceptable education medium is easily supported by statistics.  In the Higher Ed Junction blog, found at http://depts.washington.edu/opbblog/2011/10/distance-learning-growing-primarily-among-non-traditional-students/, the blogger quotes the U. S. Department of Education’s findings, reporting that “between 2000 and 2008, the percentage of undergraduate students enrolled in at least one distance education course increased from 8 percent to 20 percent, and enrollment in distance education degree programs doubled, from 2 percent of all undergraduates to 4 percent.” The Wired Campus blog at http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/distance-learning-survey-shows-growing-concern-for-student-services/36121 notes that the demand for online courses in the community college system is actually outpacing that of face-to-face courses.  Clearly, college age students have developed a comfort level with online mediums to support continued expansion of distance education courses and programs.

There are a number of online tools available that enhance our ability to communicate, and thus ultimately lead to greater diffusion of distance education.  Blogs like the ones noted previously permit reader feedback to the blogger, encouraging discourse on any number of topics.  Wikis such as http://www.wikipedia.org/ allow users to collaborate as a “knowledge management tool.  Skype (www.skype.com) and oovoo (www.oovoo.com) allow users to video conference and instant message.  For a fee, Office 365 (http://www.office365login.com/) provides email access, cloud storage, and collaboration capability for each of the Microsoft Office software programs.  The list of tools seems to be growing by the hour!

References

Chau, Joanna. (2012). Distance-learning survey shows growing concern for student services.  Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/distance-learning-survey-shows-growing-concern-for-student-services/36121.

Laureate Education, Inc. (2012). The future of distance education [Video]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

University of Washington. (2013). Distance learning growing, primarily among non-traditional students. Retrieved from http://depts.washington.edu/opbblog/2011/10/distance-learning-growing-primarily-among-non-traditional-students/.

I posted on Kelly’s blog:  gasappwife.wordpress.com

I posted on Jasmine’s blog:  http://educ8842turnerj.blogspot.com/

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Module 1

After reading the three articles by Moller, Huett, Foshay and Coleman, and listening to the Simonson video programs, compare and contrast the reasons these authors believe there is a need to evolve distance education to the next generation. Do you agree with their positions? Why or why not?

There are many reasons to evolve distance education to the next generation.  Dr. Michael Simonson (2008) is of the mind that distance education can benefit not just the learner, but also the institution.  Learners may have increased motivation to learn and may sustain educational gains by enhanced access logistics such as not having to drive to campus (Laureate, 2008a).  Simonson also contends that since distance education is approaching critical mass and will clearly be incorporated into most all learning environments in the near future, it is imperative to evolve the instruction (Laureate, 2008b).

Moller, Foshay, & Huett (2008) echo these sentiments by pointing out gains in distance education in post-secondary institutions:  “…non-traditional students are becoming an increasingly large segment of the student body at the post-secondary level (Moller, 2008, p. 66).  Consequently, colleges and universities see distance education as a means to sustaining economic growth (Moller, 2008, p. 66).  As a business educator, I am always interested in observing school district decision making and the rationale behind those decisions.  I’m generally disappointed that educational decisions tend to first depend upon financial viability rather than student outcome.  To make educational decisions based primarily on economic concerns is flawed methodology.

Huett, Moller, Foshay, & Coleman (2008) also tout the many benefits of distance education as a means of supporting the evolution of such instruction.  In K-12 education, distance education can be used to combat teacher shortages, particularly in rural areas where qualified teachers may not be available, in overcrowded schools where space and availability of course offerings is an issue, and in instances where there is a need for expanded curricular offerings (Huett, 2008, p. 63).  The danger here, however, is two-fold:  1) “rapid changes in the field of online learning may not result in high quality programs” (Huett, 2008, p. 63), and 2) little research has been done on the efficacy of or implementation procedures relative to online courses in K-12 education.  So often in education, issues like these rear their ugly heads.  If you’ve been an educator for more than a couple of years, you have likely been forced to adopt the “latest and greatest” in educational strategies.  Huett (2008) warns, and I concur that at the K-12 level, distance education could likely become “the latest in a long line of perfect solutions” (Huett, 2008, p. 64).  Time and time again in my 16 years of teaching, I’ve witnessed just this type of instructional implementation.  Higher level personnel fall in love with a strategy, teachers are forced to adopt it with little or no training and no research to support its potential.  So what happens?  The strategy quickly fails, and in a short time period, we fruitlessly repeat the process with yet another quick fix.  I have real fears that this same maddening process will repeat itself with distance education.

In the meantime, however, as I was exploring the plethora of distance education across the web, I came across this blog called Box of Tricks.  This blog has some excellent tips and tricks regarding Internet resources for educators.  The tip about the wordfoto app on the home page is worth the price of admission (especially since it’s free).

References

Huett, J., Moller, L., Foshay, W. & Coleman, C. (2008, September/October). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the Web (Part 3: K12). TechTrends, 52(5), 63–67.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2008a). Equivalency Theory. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2008b). Distance education:  The next generation. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008, July/August). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the Web (Part 2: Higher Education). TechTrends, 52(4), 66–70.

My postings:

I posted to Sanjay’s blog at:  http://onlineinstructing.wordpress.com/

I posted to Alison’s blog at:  http://principlesofdistanceeducation.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/module-i-the-next-generation-of-distance-education/

Tool

Static vs. Dynamic

Content generation,

Communication, or

Collaboration

Podcasts or videocasts

Static (Moller, 2008, p. 1)

Content generation

communication

Web pages

Static (Moller, 2008, p. 1)

Content generation

communication

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