Designing with Technology
Educational technology represents the application of knowledge for the practical purpose of learning. Michael Spector, a leading scholar who has written broadly on the subject of educational technology, suggests that we define it as “a technology that can help a person learn something” (Foundations of Educational Technology, 9). Educational technologies can represent a wide range of potential applications, including everyday items like pens, paper, books, or personal journals. We can broaden our understanding of educational technologies beyond computers, tablets, and smartphones to include applications such as self-check quizzes, video introductions, story boards, and online forums.
Moodle lessons and Moodle books are two common ways for presenting written content to students. Both are useful for different purposes. Moodle Books Moodle books are a great option when you want students to be able to easily navigate through the material. Moodle books have a table of contents sidebar where students can see the titles of every page in the book and track their progress through the book. Students can also click on any of those pages and jump to that point in the book. Moodle books make it easy for students to return to the content at a later date and quickly find the point they were looking for. Another benefit of Moodle books is that the table of contents allows for both headings and subheadings. Allowing students to see those levels of organization in the way the designer has arranged the content can be a teaching tool...Read More
Moodle discussion forums are one of the primary ways that students interact with one another and with their facilitator in an online course. There are several forum subscription settings that you need to know about as a course designer. Subscription to a forum means that you receive an email whenever a user posts to that forum. There is an option called “forced subscription.” If this is enabled, then all students are subscribed to the forum and will receive an email whenever someone posts to the forum. This is especially useful for News & Announcements forums where the teacher posts important course information and wants to make sure all of the students see it. However, in a forum where lots of discussion is taking place, getting an email every time someone posts can be overwhelming. So there are other subscription modes that let students determine if they want to receive email...Read More
At Horizon we frequently make use of Google tools to collaborate on projects. We find them so useful that we ask everyone who takes Designing for Online Learning to sign up for a Google account if they don’t already have one. Here are some of the Google tools we have found most useful for collaborative activities in online courses. Google Docs (docs.google.com) Google docs can be easily shared with anyone and allow for multiple people to edit the same document in real time. For example, you could ask students to ideate (generate ideas for) a topic and they could all contribute (either synchronously or asynchronously) to a Google doc. Google Drive (drive.google.com) If you ask students to collaborate on a research project, they could list articles they find in a shared Google doc, but they could also upload files to a shared Google drive folder. Google Forms (forms.google.com) If you want...Read More
There are many technologies we can use for communication these days. Email, texting, What’sApp, SnapChat, Facebook, Twitter. The list goes on and on. In this post we want to highlight two video-conferencing technologies that can be used effectively for collaborative learning: Skype and Google+ Hangouts. Skype can be downloaded for free and used to make both voice and video calls. Skype-to-Skype calls are free, but you can also use Skype to call phone numbers if you are willing to pay for the service. Skype includes a chat feature. The video calls include a screen-sharing option. Google+ Hangouts is a free web-based app that can be used to make voice and video calls. It also includes a chat feature. It is easy to add multiple people to a Google Hangout. The video call feature includes a screen-sharing option. Google Hangouts can be easily integrated with other Google tools. For example, if...Read More