Archive for December, 2010

Extreme E-Service Learning (XE-SL): E-Service Learning in the 100% Online Course

Friday, December 31st, 2010

by Leora Waldner, Sue McGorry, Murray Widener; JOLT

Service learning—where students perform work for a community partner in a manner that enhances course content—is a well-established tradition in academia, with many reported benefits. But is service learning technically feasible in a 100% online course format, where students will never have the opportunity to meet the community partner face-to-face? Evaluating two experimental courses taught by the authors, it is demonstrated that extreme e-service learning (XE-SL)—i.e., service learning where both the instruction and the service occur 100% online—can work, although the benefits and challenges are notably different from a traditional service learning (T-SL) format. Based on these experiences, best practices and lessons learned are provided to assist others endeavoring to incorporate the value of service learning online.

http://jolt.merlot.org/vol6no4/waldner_1210.htm

Share on Facebook

Online Learning: Google Collaboration Applications as Online Course Teaching Tools

Friday, December 31st, 2010

by Jennifer T. Edwards & Credence Baker, JOLT

Google Collaboration Applications enable college faculty to provide their students with innovative communication and collaboration opportunities. These diverse online applications geared for productivity and collaboration (Thompson, 2008) are ideal for the higher education environment and enable undergraduate students to prepare for the workforce by learning how to use cloud computing software. Some corporations and small businesses are adopting cloud computing software as a cost-cutting measure. This paper focuses on an online speech communication course in which the professor utilized Google Collaboration Applications, such as Google Documents and Google Presentations, to interact with students. In addition, this paper focuses on the differences between the students’ self-efficacy levels before and after completing Google Collaboration Application assignments

http://jolt.merlot.org/vol6no4/edwards_1210.htm

Share on Facebook

Tech-savvy teacher powers up distance online learning

Friday, December 31st, 2010

by Home Town Life

Taking advantage of the advancing technologies available in Farmington Public Schools Kathleen Casterline, advanced math teacher at Highmeadow, connects digitally with one of her students in order to administer a test. Why was all this needed? This particular student was in India at the time. Julie Jaipati, a fourth grader at Highmeadow Common Campus in Farmington Hills, was in India and would have missed a critical math test if she had not been given the opportunity to take the test through this unique distance education opportunity. The Jaipati’s and Casterline worked together to solve the problem by using Skype and Google Docs.

http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20101219/NEWS06/12190407

Share on Facebook

An Evaluation of Online versus Campus-Based Teacher Preparation Programs

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

by Robin Chiero & Paul Beare, JOLT

Preparing teachers who can effectively meet the needs of today’s schools is a challenging task. This study compared an innovative online-supported teacher preparation program with more traditional campus-based programs in a large state university system. The study analyzed data from 2003 through 2009 annual systemwide evaluations of teacher preparation programs. Participants were program graduates who had completed one year of professional teaching and their employment supervisors. Ratings were consistently higher for the online program than for a selected campus-based program and for the system as a whole. Characteristics identified in the literature on effective online learning and on effective teacher preparation provided the framework for describing the advantages of the online program over more traditional pathways. Results contribute to the knowledge base on innovative online teaching and learning practices by investigating an entire program rather than an individual course, by using a large population of participants over a period of years, and by suggesting key characteristics that might be particularly critical in the design of an effective online teacher preparation program.

http://jolt.merlot.org/vol6no4/chiero_1210.htm

Share on Facebook

10 Reasons Why Online College Courses are Better in the Winter

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

 by Brandon Buttars, My College and Careers

Here are 10 reasons why online college courses are so much better than courses up at the college during the winter time. I’m sure there’s other reasons you can think of, but these reasons came quick to me from experience. I encourage everyone to think twice about early morning classes in the winter time, and possibly switching to an online course or enrolling at an online college that offers online courses.

http://www.mycollegesandcareers.com/blog/2010/12/10-reasons-why-online-college-courses-are-better-in-the-winter/

Share on Facebook

Pilot online learning classes will expand to elementaries

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

BY JAMES D. WOLF JR. , POST-TRIBUNE

The online class days that began at Boone Grove High School last year and started at Boone Grove Middle School this semester will go to the elementary schools next semester. On Thursday, the Porter Township School Board reviewed the plans to have the first elementary off-site school day in February, part of a pilot project developed by the administration. Superintendent Nicholas Brown said state education officials visited in October to see how the upper level off-site days were going. The online classes, where students work from home via computers and with aid from some at-school helpers, would be the same days at Boone Grove Elementary and Porter Lakes Elementary as at the higher level schools.

http://www.post-trib.com/news/porter/2971924,ptskuls1217.article

Share on Facebook

Blended is better – combining best of online and on-ground learning

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

By Pam Derringer, School CIO

No matter what the topic, Texas just isn’t a one-size-fits-all state. And professional development is no exception. Especially now, when there’s a new math initiative and many curriculum changes that require retraining. To meet the Texas-size challenge, the state recently launched Project Share, a portal offering teachers online professional development, Web 2.0 connectivity, and enriched classroom resources through links to repositories like the New York Times (retroactive to 1851) and the Texas Education site at iTunesU. In addition, the state conducted several curriculum-specific academies that were attended by more than 45,000 teachers for live classroom training last summer.

http://www.techlearning.com/article/34294

Share on Facebook

Impact of Online Learning on Adult ELL Learners

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

by Bright Hub

Adult learners around the globe are finding a new freedom in learning skills and languages online in the convenience of their own home setting and on their own time schedule. A large collection of resources and tools are accessible to these online adult ELL learners. The impact of online learning on adult ELL learners can be seen by the way English language has thrust its way to remote corners of the globe. BBC news, entertainment channels, CNN news, and the Discovery Channel are often recommended to adult ELL learners to speed up the learning process. Instead of learning from one teacher in a classroom, now learning can be accessed through multiple sources and innumerable channels. American or British accent training has become easier online.

http://www.brighthub.com/education/languages/articles/99146.aspx

Share on Facebook

A Review of One StraighterLine Class: A Curricular Innovation, Examined

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

by Serena Golden, Inside Higher Ed

Inside Higher Ed’s Serena Golden took StraighterLine’s Economics 101 course this year. This article recounts her experiences and what they reveal about the much-discussed curricular experiment. (Ed. Note: I suggest reading this in the context of new U.S. Dept of Education rules requiring “regular and substantive” interaction between students and instructor in distance education.  This is an important report and a most important lesson in the dangers of outsourcing classes!)

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/12/16/review_of_straighterline_online_courses

Share on Facebook

Google ‘Shared Spaces’ Gadgets Use Wave Technology

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

By: Chloe Albanesius, PC Magazine

Do you miss Google Wave? Google has quietly resurrected the product – sort of. Google Labs now includes a project known as Google Shared Spaces, which Google describes as a space for users to share mini-collaborative applications. “A shared space lets you share a collaborative gadget with whoever you want and chat with them at the same time,” Google said in an explanatory slide. Shared Spaces includes apps in four categories: planning; productivity; games; and polls. Most of the descriptions include mentions of “waves.” A “Yes/No/Maybe” scheduling gadget, for example, is “useful for gauging interest of anyone on a wave,” Google said. There is also a Draw Board for Google Wave app and a Wave Sudoku.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2374545,00.asp

Share on Facebook

The Semantic Web – connecting data online for learning

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

by Diny Golder, Tech Learning

Great description of the Semantic Web in this video by Diny Golder. She explains the the implications for education.

http://www.techlearning.com/Video.aspx?bctid=695808607001

Share on Facebook

Online Learning: Google Wave Gadgets Emerge as Stand-Alone Apps

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

By: Clint Boulton, eWeek

A new Google Labs project, Shared Spaces leverages more than 50 gadgets, or mini-apps from Google Wave to let people collaborate with planning and productivity tools, Sudoku puzzles and polls with one other user. There are gadgets for maps, YouTube, Twitter and other utilities. Users, who may browse among gadgets here and use a Google, Twitter or Yahoo account to sign in, may also chat with their collaborators in real time. JavaScript developers will be able to build their own gadgets for Shared Spaces in time. “A shared space turns a (Wave) gadget into a standalone collaborative application,” explained Douwe Osinga, software engineer for Google’s Shared Spaces, in a blog post Dec. 21. “Just click on the gadget you’re interested in to start a new shared space, and then simply send the URL around to share it with your friends and colleagues.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Messaging-and-Collaboration/Google-Shared-Spaces-Leverages-Google-Wave-Gadgets-111715/

Share on Facebook

The Indicators of Instructor Presence that are Important to Students in Online Learning Courses

Monday, December 27th, 2010

by Kathleen Sheridan & Melissa A. Kelly,  Merlot JOLT

While many researchers have sought to identify the components of teaching presence and examine its role in student learning, there are far fewer studies that have investigated which components students value the most in terms of their perceived contribution to a successful or satisfying learning experience. The research presented in this paper addressed this issue by examining which indicators of instructor presence were most important to students in online courses and how those indicators were interrelated. The indicators that were most important to students dealt with making course requirements clear and being responsive to students’ needs. Students also valued the timeliness of information and instructor feedback. While students generally placed high value on communication and instructor’s responsiveness, they did not place as much importance on synchronous or face-to-face communication. Nor did they consider being able to see or hear the instructor as very important. Among the implications of the findings is the need to pay particular attention to the communicative aspects of instructor presence.

http://jolt.merlot.org/vol6no4/sheridan_1210.htm

Share on Facebook

The State of K-12 Online Learning

Monday, December 27th, 2010

by Blackboard Blog

The Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning report is now out, with an overview of the latest policies, practices and trends affecting online learning programs across all 50 states. I was honored to serve on the sponsor committee on behalf of Blackboard, providing guidance and leadership on this year’s publication.

Here is some top line information from this year’s report.

  • 48 states provide online learning opportunities but no state provides the full range of online learning opportunities identified in the report.
  • While K-12 online learning continues to grow rapidly, the shape and pace of growth is uneven between states.
  • 450,000 students are currently enrolled in state online programs
  • 200,000 students are currently enrolled in full time online programs
  • The fastest growing segment of K-12 online learning is in individual school districts. Keeping Pace estimates that 50% of school districts in the nation either have an internal online learning program or are in the planning stages to implement. 1.5 million students participate in district online learning programs.

http://blog.blackboard.com/blackboard/2010/12/the-state-of-k-12-online-learning.html

Share on Facebook

Online program helps students to continue learning from home, even on snow days

Monday, December 27th, 2010

 By Clark Davis, WV Public TV

The Department of Education has a new way to help students learn on snow days by visiting a site called Learn 21. Learn21 is a site developed by the West Virginia Department of Education to supplement what students learn in class. The site allows students from kindergarten through the grade 12 to log on and find new ways to learn material from their classes. Viki Caldwell is the principal at Davis Creek Elementary in Cabell County and says the site will be a great resource for her teachers. “What I particularly like is that especially on snow days or that when we have a delay the instruction is not lost it can enhance the instruction that we present here,” Caldwell said.

http://www.wvpubcast.org/newsarticle.aspx?id=18016

Share on Facebook

More University of Iowa students learning online

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

by B.A. Morelli, Iowa City Press-Citizen

At UI, on-campus students make up more than 50 percent of the enrollment in online classes, according to records from UI Division of Continuing Education. The number of on-campus students enrolled in single-semester online classes increased by 55 percent from 947 in 2009 to 1,465 in 2010, and the number of these courses increased 33 percent from 138 in 2008 to 183 in 2010, according to the division. UI sees these single-semester online courses as a place to grow, said Chet Rzonca, dean of continuing education. Students in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which with 16,000 undergraduates is UI’s largest college, take one to two online classes during college, and about 10 percent

http://tippie.uiowa.edu/news/pdf/more_college_students_leaning_on_online_courses.pdf

Share on Facebook

Are online courses credible to employers?

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

by Cool Great Stuff

I am going to go back to school to get a degree in Criminal Justice and it seems a lot of colleges provide online degrees for associates, bachelors, and masters degrees. Are they as good as a degree gotten from actually going to the school? –Read the responses to this question from students and others. (quite revealing)

http://education.coolgreatstuff.com/are-online-courses-credible-to-employers

Share on Facebook

Online Education: A Learning Alternative

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

by The Kennesaw Mom

Many families in Kennesaw are unaware that public school online is available right here in our community. As a program of the Odyssey School System, Georgia Cyber Academy, commonly referred to as GCA, is flourishing in its fourth year in Georgia. GCA offers students and their families a nontraditional approach to learning from that of a brick-and-mortar classroom. GCA is one of the fastest-growing schools in Georgia, and families in Kennesaw are beginning to take advantage of what GCA has to offer.

http://kennesaw.patch.com/articles/online-education-a-learning-alternative

Share on Facebook

Faculty votes to accept online learning transfer credits

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

By Alex Brehm, Skidmore News

Proponents said that transcripts from other schools do not note whether or not a class was taken online, making a policy of denying online classes unenforceable. A professor said schools using online classes are usually large universities or state institutions, and denying credit to students from these schools could harm the diversity of transfer students the college could expect in the future. Opponents of the new policy said that online classes are not in keeping with the tradition of a small college that values close interaction with professors.

http://www.skidmorenews.com/news/faculty-votes-to-accept-online-transfer-credits-1.1829494

Share on Facebook

Class offers mix of learning in classroom, through online time

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

By DAAREL BURNETTE II, Star Tribune

“This is how kids are learning now,” said health teacher Lisa Irsfeld. “The Internet is a big part of their world.” The health course is set up so that students meet twice a week at the school with the rest of the course work done online. Teachers realized that in order for students to retain information from the class, there needed to be class meetings with frequent assignments. On a recent morning, students met in groups to discuss ways to be more healthy. Students then gave presentations to their peers on health issues before the teacher gave a short lecture. Web assignments include reading passages before answering questions or using a body mass index calculator to determine how many calories they burned in a week. Students also must post a journal of their physical activities and eating habits online for teachers to review.

http://www.startribune.com/local/east/111575089.html?elr=KArks:DCiUHc3E7_V_nDaycUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUr

Share on Facebook

Snow day alternative: Online learning classes

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

By Cindy Kranz, Cincinnati Enquirer

School snow days may someday melt away as online learning catches on. But not before a number of hurdles have been cleared, including lack of home Internet access for many children. One Ohio district, with approval from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), has launched a one-year pilot program this year to see how it could provide online assignments to snowbound students as a way to satisfy the requirements of a school day. In Kentucky, the education department is planning its own pilot program, as early as next year, asking 15 to 20 school districts to participate. Those districts in eastern and central Kentucky typically miss up to three weeks of school a year due to inclement weather.

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20101211/NEWS01/12120304/1196/NEWS/Ohio-Ky-study-snow-day-alternatives

Share on Facebook