Navigate 2 – LMS Trends

Explore: Research trends in digital learning and select the trend that will make the most impact on digital learning over the next five years.

Answer: Which trend did you select? How do you foresee this trend impacting online learning?  Will this trend be a learning fad or will it become an essential part of online learning in the future? Explain.

 

A few years ago, during an internship for my Graduate degree, I conducted a study on MOOC’s and the impacts on Higher Learning. My professor and I came to a conclusion that free knowledge – professional or educational –  was great, especially knowledge attained from a prestigious university could help you stand out. But we concurred that MOOC’s, at that time had no legitimacy within higher education and perhaps would not be accepted in the professional world.

Fast forward 5 years…

I am an avid MOOC taker on Edx.org. Edx.org is one of the top MOOC providers with institution such Berkley, Harvard and MIT giving certified courses. These certification help to build your professional development, which smart 21st century, out-of-the-box companies are looking for and pushing for in their employees.  Edx.org is now providing certified “micromasters”- with successful completion of the series a person may apply at the actual university and apply some of those courses as COURSE CREDIT.  Edx, also offers an Educator program called ConnectED which allows Educators to take selected courses FOR FREE & CERTIFIED   – SEE INFO BELOW

 

U.S. teachers and students who are interested in receiving free Verified Certificates as part of the ConnectED Initiative please follow these easy steps:

  1. Enroll in a teacher training or AP® level course.
  2. Email info@edx.org with the subject line “ConnectED.” Include your full name, city, state, zipcode and the course name.
  3. You will be contacted by a member of the edX support team who will provide with a code and instructions to pursue to a Verified Certificate free of charge.

https://www.edx.org/edx-connected

MOOC’s are changing the path for Professional Learning, and even opening up pathways for those who are seeking to change careers or advance careers but cannot afford formal schooling. If these top Universities are standing behind their product, those in the professional world will be accepting it. MOOC’s have become an essential part of PD, I do believe in 5 years more companies and people will catch on to its legitimacy and will be used more. MOOC’s are here to stay.

Navigate 2 – Tools for Deciding on an LMS

Explore: Which LMS is best?  Consolidate the information about open and commercial LMS presented in this lesson.  Select your favorite LMS.

Answer: Which LMS is best? How does the selected LMS meet the needs of all stakeholders, including administrators, students, teachers and faculty, instructional technology, development, support, and parents? How does the selected LMS align with the initiatives, growth, and technological needs of your organization?

The LMS I have chosen as best is Google Classroom, although Google classroom itself has not been considered a LMS because it lacks an actual gradebook, it does not house content itself (although it attaches to drive) and does not automate course enrollment. Alice Keeler, an expert on Google Classroom, calls Google Classroom a “Google Drive Management”.  Whatever the name this system works best to meets the needs of the stakeholders at my present school. Once a teacher switches to Google Classroom, once will notice that assignments and lessons will become students centered and collaboratively and technology driven. I Google Classroom allows teachers to communicate with students and parents – as our district has integrated it without SIS.

Google Classroom also makes PD effortless, we can now offer synchronous and asynchronous PD depending on teacher preference!  Administrators, are also able to keep track of who is turning grades or other important paper work – this helps to keep others accountable.

Google Classroom aligns with out school and district initiatives as we are moving to paperless as well as student driven Personalized learning. Google Classroom allows you to give a particular assignment to an entire class(es) or just a particular student or set of students. We are lucky enough to be a one-to-one device school which allows for a more personalized learning experience for students.

Navigate 2: Roles: Learning Management System and Student Information System

Explore: Consider the role of teacher, facilitator, course developer, instructional administrator and LMS administrator. Explore the various roles and responsibilities within the online learning community.

Create: Using the information from this lesson, create a digital resource that highlights the various roles in a learning management system.

Artifact: The created, finished product may come in one or more of the following forms:           

a digital chart/poster/info-graphic
an audio recording or podcast
a digital slideshow, or
a digital video

 

Navigate 1 – Screen Capture

Explore: Try-out a screencasting tool of your choice.  

Create: Create a screen capture sample lesson (under 2 minutes) in which you explain a educational concept for students.

Artifact: Post a link to your screen capture sample lesson in your blog. Please be sure this is publicly available to view with no sign-in required.

Answer: How does screen capture function in the online classroom? How would the integration of screen capture modify teaching methods?

**I apologize for the poor sound quality! I am still learning! and I don’t have the best equipment.. yet!**

Screen Capture is a great way to help those students who are struggling online, or even those that are taking the course to recover a grade. Screen Capture can also help to demonstrate skills that need to be learned or even features of functions of a webpage or new tool. Screen capture can modify Online teaching methods, it can become a bit more classroom like, especially when giving directions!

Screen capture is also a great tool for PD in order to give teachers a choice for face-to-face training or online, or even to create a a content area to go back as reference

Navigate 1 – Synchronous Vendor Market

Explore: Select one of the synchronous vendor applications listed in this lesson. Try-out the application.  Think about how you would use this application to host a live lesson with students.

Answer: What synchronous vendor application/tool did you select? Using the application, what did you experience using the synchronous learning tool? Was the task easy? Challenging? Did the process present problems? Document the responses and general reflections on synchronous learning and the recorded session in your blog.

 

I selected Google+ Hangouts because it is free to use and it comes as part of your gsuite if you have an Gmail.  If a student does not have a Gmail account it is easy and free to set up. The application itself is not difficult to use; you are able to use it from your laptop, tablet and even your mobile device. The only thing I did notice is that in order to add someone to the conversation that person must already be in  your contact; my assumption is that as a teacher you would pre-load the contact information. I think overall,  Google Hangouts is great  there is also Google Hangouts On Air which would allow the synchronous lesson turn to an asynchronous lesson for those who couldn’t make it or those who need to freshen up on the material!!

Navigate 1 – Commercial vs. Open Source Virtual Classrooms

Reflect: Consider for a moment the role of synchronous learning in the virtual classroom and the exploration of various synchronous applications. Using the lesson as a point of reference, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the open source versus commercial software in relation to synchronous learning in your blog

strength of open source ins synchronous learning – everyone has access, does not cost money, weakness – no help for troubleshooting for problems,                                                   Strength of commercial software – constant updates, if something goes wrong there is help, weakness – money, not every student may have access to it if you have to pay extra

Answer: When would an open source application take precedence over a commercial product? What are the issues when choosing between Open Source vs. Commercial Software?

 

An open source application would take precedence over a commercial product in several instances. 1. Could be DLC’s  – if a Digital Learning community requires a paid commercial product less people would be willing to join. 2. Asynchronous learning  – I think often of MOOC’s which are offered on an LMS that is free to take.  This can also be true to PD that is varied in geography (as a district typically has commercial licences for products.  3. When there is no money to purchase commercial product – either by students or by instructors.

The issues when choosing between open source and a  commercial software can really boil down to money. How much money does one have to spend. Another issue one must look at are the available features. Often times, commercial software like Black Board have a free open source CourseSites – these opensource offere limited capabilities and features. The last issue that can come up is Support – Commercial software will come with Customer support once a license is purchased. However, with open source applications Customer service could take a very long time.

 

Navigate 1 – Delineating Asynchronous and Synchronous Learning

Create: Using the information from this lesson, create a digital resource that explains the differences in the asynchronous and synchronous methods of delivery.

Artifact: The created, finished product may come in one or more of the following forms:

a digital chart/poster
an audio recording or podcast
a digital slideshow, or
a digital video

 

 

When you are creating a blended learning environment for your students, or even thinking about creating a PD for educators, you have to think What would be the best delivery method. As you see above I have created a quick guide for educators to understand the difference between Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning