An overview of eLearning

Professional Learning Activity

The links below have been compiled with the intent to provide an overview of trends and opinions, as well as some hard advice and useful resources, across a spectrum of transformative effects in education as a result of the impact of technology.

Skim through and, with an idea of your own skill level and areas of interest, sample the least disruptive trends (like the replacement of paper texts with electronic ones), through the introduction of new T&L models (such as ‘flipping’) to wholesale re-imagining of the learning environment where all communication is mediated by communication technologies.

Please feel free to add comments, including other interesting links you come across, at the bottom of the page.

My Teacher is an App, Wall Street Journal, is a good place to start.

Head over to Classroom 2.0 and sign up if you haven’t done so. Spend some time looking around at the topics being discussed & be a fly on the wall for a while to get a taste of the varied levels of expertise. You can easily spend the entire session browsing this site and you’ll probably find you need to come back to it over and over.

So you, and more importantly the kids in your class, have an iOS device – probably an iPad,  almost certainly an iPhone or iPod Touch. What do you do now? Maybe you could incorporate some of the following apps into lesson-starter activities. Or as a reward for completing set tasks. Or to break the monotony of ‘boring’ memory work in class. Or to refresh minds when they hit the 45-minute wall. Whatevs.

The AppsInEducation blog (run by an Australian teacher of Visual Arts) specialises in lists of iPad apps curated by subject area, together with articles – like his eTextbook Manifesto – that provide well-considered, hard-won food for thought.

The Victorian Government has a similar site called iPads for Education.

And here’s another. Again, easily scanned by subject area.

Skim the product description page for HMH’s Fuse Algebra text. Also, here’s a page with links to the research white paper for further reading.

The excuses for replacing paper with e-books are running out fast: research indicates that kids probably comprehend both with equal capability.

Reading just a bit too hard? Feel like chilling out in front of a video? Try these and then browse the comments or follow the ‘Related’ links to see the kinds of ideas, ideals and idylls we can look forward to.

Scootle is busily aligning resources with the Australian Curriculum. Lots of concrete help available at that site. More than 9000 digital curriculum materials already available.

Already on Twitter? Maybe you could follow @21stCenturyTch. In the past week alone they’ve linked to articles on handwriting, parent engagement, Apple’s eText initiative… The list goes on. The main article on their website makes for good reading, too.

Is your LinkedIn profile up to date with the start of the new year?

What on earth is this ‘flipping’ I keep hearing about?? This. And this. Could you apply this in your classroom? What new skills would you need?

From Banning to BYOD. Familiar…

Don’t have an iOS device? Not planning to let the kids use their phones in your classroom until someone holds a gun to your head? That’s okay too. Here’s something a little more traditional for you: the top 100 websites of 2011 according to Tech & Use a 486 or eMac to access them if you’re really feeling old-school.

Captain James T. Kirk famously bellowed: “KHAAAAAAAAAANNNNNN!!!!!!!!!” If you haven’t yet, you should acquaint yourself with the material on offer at the Khan Academy (iPhone Apps also available).
And you should also watch Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan again, too.

iTunes U. Imagine a world where every course a kid could undertake is readily available online. Free of charge. What value would teachers then provide? What value will you provide?

Apropos of which, have you browsed through MIT’s free OpenCourseWare library lately?

If you’re looking for a concrete suggestion, perhaps you could begin generating web-based tutorials with ShowMe for iPad. Or try making a brief podcast for your students.

Our school will embark on a BYOD model from 2013 in the Middle Years. What might it look like? To give you a taste, here are the public documents for two trail-blazing schools: Illawarra Grammar School in NSW and the Corcoran School District in California.

Locally-based professional associations are massively useful. ICT in Education Victoria (website, twitter) provide PL opportunities all year ‘round (.ics-formatted calendar here). Conferences here. Edsoft events here.

The facts: Census data on internet usage for Australian kids.

I love infographics: mobile usage, social media and mobile gaming. These are trends that education needs to harness, or else face irrelevance.

2 Comments on “An overview of eLearning”

  1. The link in this sentence
    “Read a summary of results from a year-long pilot study demonstrating increase in student performance with the use of iPad textbooks (via”
    at “summary”, doesn’t work. (404 error)

    • wever says:

      Annoying… the article is gone from their site altogether.
      I’ve removed that text and will look for a similar article to replace it.

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