Don’t Forget Learning is Work

Learning is work. So often I see society trying to take the work out of learning.  Teachers develop techniques that require little active engagement and focus on absorption of information.  School districts equate learning with seat time; the longer they are in class the more they learn. Learning is an experience where the student should take ownership. Anyone in the learning process must work to change either a behavior, thinking process or increase knowledge. We derive pleasure out of success in any of these areas. Without the learner actively engaged (working) in an area, there will not be change or learning taking place.

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3 Critical Components for Online Learning

When we consider successful qualities of online education, we find that they are not all that different to the traditional classroom. Like all classroom activities they must be well designed and challenging, so they engage the learner. I believe that there are three critical areas in any successful online learning environment: clear communication, engaging content, and time.

In order for students to be successful in any learning environment, they must have timely feedback. This not only promotes learning but encourages students, giving them a sense of ownership in their learning.

Like the traditional classroom, concepts must be clear and organized and students must be engaged in their learning. In fact, the online environment requires more organization and clarity. Easy navigation and consistent organization are critical to assist students in remaining engaged and motivated. Once a student is lost or confused, the attitude of the learner changes and the learning stops. Thought provoking questions and links to consider or review in answering these questions can promote excellent learning opportunities, as well as providing students with various points of view on topics.

Students must be provided appropriate time to complete their work and work with other students. Students must be allowed to pace themselves to best meet their individual needs. Self-paced learning with good communication from the teacher to keep students focused is what can make online learning so successful. Communication with other students in an online environment must also be timely and easy. This will facilitate learning between all members and for the individual learner.

To create any successful learning environment I believe you must have clear and timely communication, engaging activities that are clear and organized, and time for the learner to complete activities that best suit their needs.

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Three criteria for effective online learning

To create any successful learning environment I believe you must have clear and timely communication, engaging activities that are clear and organized, and time for the learner to complete activities that best suit their needs. We often think that just one type of student can learn online, but I feel that all students can learn online. In fact all students do! Interactivity and communication is the key to any good classroom and online learning environment. Technology has developed enough to engage all learners online. To say that a student has to be a self motivator can apply to any classroom. This is not the main criteria to be considered. What I feel we should be looking at is the communication and interactivity of these courses, gaining the students attention, and keeping it. We are at an age where we must develop online content that is entertaining, engaging and provides a sense of belonging.

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Udemy and You (A Simple Online Learning Environment for Your Class)

Udemy

Looking for a simple way to create an online learning content for your students?  Look no further!  Udemy is an online learning environment that makes creating web-based learning simple and interactive.  With this service you can upload presentations and videos.  You can even host live chat sessions or write blog posts.  This site is simple and easy to use and full of rich media content that will motivate and engage your students.  Out of the  many content management sytems I have looked at ove the past few years this one to me seems to be the most intuitive and easy to use.  This would be a great resource for teachers who want to add an online presence to their classroom but are nervous about how to accomplish the task.

Check this great resource out at:  http://www.udemy.com

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Augmented Reality How do you use it?

Over the past few months I have been looking to design augmented learning environments.  An augmented learning environment is a mix of the real world and technology.  What I found, about the environments that I have created so far, is that student seem to really get engaged with this type of learning.  I really see the potential of these type of learning environments.  Two key aspects that really enhance these environments are that students must work together to solve a problem, and students must be moving around in the real world not on a computer.

What I am interested in learning from all of you right now is:

  • Have any of you used any of these environments?
  • How have you used these environments?
  • How did you set them up?

I have used Mscape to create CSI type learning environments that require the students work together to solve a mystery or murder.

Please post a response and let me know what are your thoughts.

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