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Introducing the Connect Thinking E-Learning Academy


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Online courses offer new approach to learning

Ellie Hudd reports, "With finals coming up and a long year coming to a close, many Uconn students probably feel maxed out on learning right now. However, summer is just around the corner, and our well-deserved free time is imminent. And while perhaps re-engaging in formal learning wasn’t what you had in mind for your time off, the breadth of learning opportunities available may just change your mind." 

Enter the Internet. While the sheer volume of websites in existence has led to symptoms from perpetual distraction to near addictions to acquiring new information, the Internet, when used properly, can provide the opportunity for self-motivated students to expand their knowledge base. Reading the occasional online article is all well and good for keeping up with current events or understanding different opinions on current social issues, but if you’re looking to acquire a thorough, academically valid knowledge base in your area of interest, open courseware is the best route. 

Though these online classes do not offer college credit, many issue certificates of completion. Furthermore, their elective nature and the structure of the sites that host them allows independent, self-directed learning that students can fully engage in without consequence for their wallet or their GPA.
Read more... 

Related links
MIT’s OpenCourseWare 
Harvard Open Courses: Open Learning Initiative
University of Reddit

Source: UConn Daily Campus

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Free Webinar: Math Curriculum & Assessment Success

Common-Sense Approaches to Math Curriculum and Assessment Success

Learn how to equip educators and students for success at a time when schools are being asked to do more with less-while meeting new math standards. 

Practical considerations and strategies will be addressed by our panel of math experts, who will discuss important topics in mathematics education and field audience questions throughout the session. They'll share insights about current trends and issues in mathematics education related to curriculum, assessment, and instruction that are applicable in all states and schools.

Join the conversation as they take a bird's eye view while also sharing on-the-ground classroom strategies and ideas for supporting increased achievement for all students. Key discussion topics include:
  • Current trends and issues in math curriculum and instruction
  • Formative and Summative Assessments
  • Strategies to support achievement for all student populations
Joanna Bannon, assistant coordinator of K-12 Instructional Services, West Allis-West Milwaukee School District, Wis.
Francis (Skip) Fennell, past president of NCTM and professor at McDaniel College
This webinar will be moderated by Tim Hudson, senior director of curriculum design, DreamBox Learning.
Register now for this free live webinar.

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Free Webinar—Improving Student Learning With Google for Education

Google Web Tools for Teaching & Learning

In this webinar the director of technology from Milpitas Unified School District in California will share how his district is using web-based technologies like Google Apps for Education and Chromebooks, the impact this has had on teaching & learning, and his advice for others.

Google Apps for Education is free web-based email, calendar & documents that allow for collaborative working anytime, anywhere. Chromebooks are affordable, easy-to-manage web-based laptops.

Participants will:
  • Receive an overview of the Google for Education solution which includes Chromebooks, tablets with Google Play for Education, and Google Apps for Education.
  • Learn how this solution can be used to improve student learning, collaboration, and innovation.
  • Hear first-hand experience from a district using Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education.
  • Learn how the school district put the ingredients, like professional development, in place for a successful pilot and then roll out.

Chin Song, director of technology, Milpitas Unified School District, Calif.
This webinar will be moderated by Angela Mecca, education team, Google.
Register now for this free live webinar.

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New Issue Published: International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2014

International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM) has just published its latest issue at
Have a look at the Table of Contents.

Review the Table of Contents below and then visit the website to review articles and items of interest.

Table of Contents


How To Design a Mobile Application to Enhance Teaching and Learning?
By Dothang Truong

The rapid growth of mobile devices, especially smart phones, has changed the way instructors deliver instructions and students learn class materials. Many universities initiate promoting economic transformation by working to eliminate barriers to educational attainment through incorporating new technologies to enhance the delivery of instructions and student learning outcomes. The purpose of this research is to explore the usage of mobile applications in higher education and develop an application to help college students understand better the class materials, and thereby, enhance their learning outcomes. The detailed description, design, and interface of the application are presented along with dissemination plan.  

Development of Mobile Educational Services Application to Improve Educational Outcomes using Android Technology  
By Hosam Farouk El-Sofany, Hassan M. Alwadani, Samir Abou El-Seoud and Amer E. Alwadani 

Mobile devices have become an instrument that allows a new way of interacting with the university services. This paper describes the development of Mobile Educational Services Application (MES app). This app allows access to the university services, as well as announcements, registration, events, book consultation, schedules and others. The app has been developed for the Android platform. The project provides Mobile and Web-based app tools that allows online access for different users such as students, instructors, and administrators. The app provides student by user friendly, generic, web-based GUI to request the educational services such as send SMS, add/drop course, defer course, query and other. The app provides instructor to send/receive SMS messages to/from the students using the mobile or using the web-based interface of the app. In addition to system monitoring, the app provides administrator an online tools to manage, add, update, and delete system information. This project seeks to be one of the useful economic apps that used Android technology for providing an app tool, using Tablets and mobile devices, for the use of students, instructors and administrators of the educational services in the university. 

Mobile Applications and Destination Branding in Spain 
By Carlos Alberto Scolari and José Fernández-Cavia 

The article sets out the findings of research carried out in 2013 on the Spanish tourism mobile applications. The research that covered 66 apps combined a quantitative description of this sector with qualitative categories based on a semiotic analysis. The article evaluates and compares the apps, identifies their main traits, and proposes a taxonomy: the content-based app, the participatory app and the leisure app. 

To a Geographical Orchestration of Mobile Learning Activities 
By Nassim Dennouni, Yvan Peter, Luigi Lancieri and Zohra Slama 
We are in the transition to a new era where mobility extends to many aspects of our daily lives. Learning, for example, takes place throughout life and anywhere. One may wonder how the traditional orchestration of learning can be applied in a mobile context, for example, to better support students during field trips and museum visits. In this paper, we present a geographic orchestration of resources and activities associated to learning system. The objective is to consider collaboration in mobile learning scenario that depends heavily on the location of learners, their profiles and their activity logs. We also defined a software framework for the design and implementation of pedagogic scenarios of field trip. To validate our approach, we present the implementation of a mobile artifact dedicated to the support of new visitors in exploring the historic monuments of a city.  

Enjoy your reading!   

Source: International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies  

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Have big university lectures gone out of fashion?

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70:20:10 and eLearning

"The principles behind 70:20:10 are simple and align perfectly with eLearning technologies." summarizes Trainingzone.

The concept of informal learning is nothing new, however for years and years it has been bypassed by formal classroom based learning or investing significant sums in eLearning portfolio’s that bring little or no ROI.

Wikipedia points out that the 70:20:10 Model for Learning and Developmenis a model based on research and observation carried out from the 1960s until present by dr Morgan McCall and his colleagues working at the Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL).

Photo: Stratus

Lombardo and Eichinger expressed the rationale behind the 70:20:10 model this way in The Career Architect Development Planner:

“Development generally begins with a realization of current or future need and the motivation to do something about it. This might come from feedback, a mistake, watching other people’s reactions, failing or not being up to a task – in other words, from experience. The odds are that development will be about 70% from on-the-job experiences, working on tasks and problems; about 20% from feedback and working around good and bad examples of the need, and 10% from courses and reading.”
Read more... 

Source: Trainingzone

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This Jet Lag App Does The Math So You'll Feel Better Faster

Linda Poon reports, "Jet lag is nobody's idea of fun. A bunch of mathematicians say they can make the adjustment less painful with a smartphone app that calculates the swiftest way to adjust."

You've been there, and you know it doesn't feel good.
But an app based on the science of circadian rhythms could help reduce the suffering of jet lag.
Photo: NPR

Users plug in the time zone they're traveling to, and the app will do the calculations before spitting out a schedule specifying when the user should stay in bright light, low light or be in the dark, says , a graduate student at the University of Michigan who designed the app.

"In your brain you have a central circadian clock ... [that] sends signals all throughout the body," says , a professor of mathematics and computational medicine at Michigan and the mastermind behind the app. And that central clock controls all of the body's biological functions.

Unlike with many of the apps out there, Forger and his colleagues have more than 80 pages of complex science and calculus in a study, published Thursday in PLoS Computational Biology, to support their product.

Using two mathematical equations that predict how light affects the human circadian clock, Forger and his colleagues simulated the optimal schedules for more than 1,000 possible trips. They then applied two basic principles. One is to be exposed to one big block of light and one big block of dark in your day, Walch says. Another is to be exposed to the brightest possible light.
Read more... 

Source: NPR (blog)

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Speak Up: The current state of digital learning

Tweet me: Laura Devaney
"While girls use many digital tools for learning more than boys, more boys than girls say they are interested in STEM careers–however, student interest in STEM careers has not increased significantly in seven years, according to the annual Speak Up survey results from Project Tomorrow." 

Photo: eSchool News 

This year’s report focused on how K-12 students use digital tools and resources to support schoolwork, how they use digital tools and resources to enable out-of-school-time learning activities, and what K-12 students’ aspirations are when it comes to using digital tools and resources in new and innovative learning environments.

As digital technologies becomes more ubiquitous and as more and more efforts support expanded internet access, students are making their technology preferences clear.
Read more... 

Source: eSchool News    

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

American Libraries Learn To Read Teenagers by Linton Weeks

Photo: Linton Weeks
"Way, way back in the 20th century, American teenagers turned to the local public library as a great good place to hang out.", writes Linton Weeks.

It was a hotspot for meeting up, and sharing thoughts with, other like-minded people – in books and in the flesh. It was a wormhole in the universe that gave us tunnels into the past and into the future. It was a quiet spot in an ever-noisier world.

The library was a gentle mentor. It accepted us as we were and let us grow at our own pace – as teens are wont to do. It taught us about sports and sex. About fashion and finance. About life and death.

Nostalgia: Lego librarian with cup of Shhh!
Photo: julochka/Flickr
Now that the Internet is in full flower, you would think that the American Public Library would be a victim of its own success. And in a way it is: Library use is down 
Read more... 

Source: NPR (blog)

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Two ed-tech experts offer tips on how to incorporate apps in more effective ways

Tweet me: Laura Devaney

We explore tips for using game-changing apps, as outlined by two top ed-tech enthusiasts." 

Educational apps have skyrocketed in popularity, leading more and more educators to realize that the way they use these apps is key to changing classroom culture and student engagement.

These classroom tools and apps help educators advance teaching and learning, said Brad Waid and Drew Minock, educators who head up 2 Guys and Some iPads.

Photo: eSchool News   
"Learning is different, and teaching is different now," Waid said. "The days of standing up and orating are over. Students can find information on devices—that’s not our job anymore, to give them information. Our job is to help them love learning, collaborate, and be deep thinkers.

Source: eSchool News   

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