Friday, 4 September 2015

Week 1 Doorway to Professional Learning Communities

Working in education with an emphasis on elearning, I have a bookmarked a number of websites that I have found quite useful.  As a requirement for our week 1 application, I would like to share these resources with a critique of each.

Blended Learning Toolkit

I first learned about the University of Central Florida's initiative at a conference. I like the simplicity in which the information is provided.  The site provides checklists with worksheets and resources that can be used to develop or re-develop curriculum for blended delivery format.  It also shares examples of courses taught in blended format.   If you read my discussion posting in week 1, you know I like to organize new information as part of my learning process and like to use context and examples to help me better construct new knowledge.

Edudemic - Connecting Education & Technology

You can subscribe through RSS to this site and it has a variety of useful guides, such as The Teacher's Guide to Twitter or Pinterest or YouTube.  With all the attention that social media garners, some faculty might think they need to use it as part of their teaching practise.   But only if it is the right tool for the job and you're not using something just for the sake of using it.

Technology has become easy to use and pervasive in all fields but it is only a tool.   Knowing how to use the tool does not mean the end product will be successful -- one must use the tools to implement what has been properly designed.    Technological tools won't fix poorly designed instruction.

e-Learning Heroes -

Articulate is a software company whose products can be used for developing instructional material. A number of my colleagues are using Articulate and Storyline to create engaging and interactive content to support classroom and online learning.  The site itself is clean, fresh and colourful -- visually appealing but not overwhelming (in my opinion).

The site includes a blog with Instructional Design resources and their approach to e-learning includes three core areas:   instructional design, visual design and performance consulting.

By studying instructional design, I expect to use products like Articulate to bring my instructional designs to life.  I plan to design and deliver engaging, interactive curriculum that successfully and effectively meets the learning outcomes.  Perhaps active content can foster active learning.

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