There are many proverbs and cliches readily available to help a new teacher get through their first classroom experience. However, with the advent of the technological education revolution, there are numerous new challenges facing modern teachers for the first time in history.
A deeply disconcerting issue is that, as opposed to the age-old dilemma of struggling to find competent students, for the first time ever teachers are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of interest when teaching a MOOC.
Massive Open Online Courses are the next stage in the progression of global educational standards. However, as the form of instruction emerges into society’s infrastructure, many teachers are finding their traditional methods of teaching to be a bit outdated. It is difficult, even impossible, to have a personal connection with every student when class sizes range in the hundreds-of-thousand of participants, spread across the planet in a dozen different regions speaking a plethora of languages, but all equally intent on learning.
Successful MOOC teachers have found that utilizing effective multimedia demonstrations that encourage group discussion are among the best approaches to this new classroom dynamic. Offering material that impresses, captivates, and inspires students in lieu of purely lecturing them on facts and figures creates an environment of enjoyable learning. What’s more, teaching a MOOC is less about providing plain “information,” for the Internet is full of information, but more about providing students with an opportunity to discuss the ideas with like-minded individuals all over the Earth.
People usually lean toward one of these learning types: kinesthetic, auditory, and visual. Kinesthetic learners absorb information through hands-on experience; auditory learners through verbal explanations; and visual learners through graphics, demonstrations, and textual instructions. The secret to being a successful instructor is knowing what kind of learners you’re going to face so that you can prepare materials suited to their style.
If you’re working with the visual type of learner, then get creative with your lessons! The following tips and tricks can help you teach a visual learner:
Show, don’t tell: For visual learners, you need to explain a process step by step, whether it’s about solving a math problem or assembling a DIY wooden table. It’s better if you use videos, diagrams, and other visual media showing a specific example from start to finish.
Paint mental pictures: Memorization can be a difficult task especially for visual learners. Make it easy for them by creating imagery with each item they need to memorize, especially when they have to remember lists, acronyms, dates, foreign alphabet characters, etc.
Use technology: The Internet is a bottomless source of information for practically any topic, so encourage visual learners to explore relevant sites in their free time. You can also suggest apps they can download and use in their mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.
The great news is that it’s much easier to teach visual folks now than ever before with a little help from us at Labyrinth Learning. We create effective learning solutions that use innovative online tools. Contact us for more information!
In a world of rapidly advancing technology, it can be difficult to sort the useful benefits of tech in the classroom from the distracting noise of marketeers. Of course, for every example of social-networks causing trouble in schools, there’s a story of a self-taught go-getter utilizing Internet resources for something beautiful. Just like in any era, our status-quo has its problems and dilemmas, but embracing technological solutions for educational issues should be lauded as the solution, not the problem.
Many teachers are already using technology in education to reach more students, to communicate better with students, to demonstrate complex-concepts to students, and to inspire students to do more with their potential than they ever thought possible.
A major aspect of their success is properly choosing which technology is best for their specific situation. However, any teacher who tries their best to introduce their students to the latest technologies rather than seclude them in the darkness of last decades textbooks and documentaries is having a positive impact.
Technology is and always has been a tool; finding the right way to wield it is just as important as the difference between using an axe to build a home and using an axe to wage a war. For example, when trying to get students to work together, some teachers realize that they are already connected via popular social-networking sites that have options to share data and insight as easily as selfie-photographs and gaming invites.
In case you hadn’t noticed, the Internet and its devotees have made significant inroads in the educational world with the introduction of something known as “massive open online courses” or “MOOCs.” The creators of these (usually) college-level courses have seen a massive rise in popularity as the “who, how and where” of the classes has been greatly expanded.
Similar to traditional courses, in that they offer such basics as “Intro to Calculus,” as well as more liberal arts minded classes, the number of people enrolled in a single class can reach into the thousands. Typically, the classes are free and available to anyone with an Internet connection. The only caveat is that a simple certificate is required as proof of completion.
Good luck, however, getting a conventional institution of higher learning to accept them for a traditional diploma. Colleges and vocational schools are engaged in a struggle with these online juggernauts and are not willing to make it any easier for them than necessary. In fact, many top-notch schools are starting their own MOOCs, and commecial vendors have also taken an interest.
While no one can tell the future, it seems that MOOCs are here to stay and that their popularity will only continue to grow in the coming years as they learn to better cater to their clients’ needs.
For more information on MOOCs, in particular, and on e-learning in general, please contact us at Labyrinth Learning.
The whole world acknowledges that a college degree is the key to success. Yet, nowadays the cost of higher education keeps many from attaining that goal. Technology in education has created great hope in lowering the cost of a college education.
The amount of free and reduced cost learning tools online is unprecedented due in part to the internet. Tools like YouTube and podcasts make it easy to create and distribute video and audio to anyone with an internet connection. Traditional universities, from Harvard to your local community college, are able to record lectures and other events from popular professors then share them online.
Online learning has made the cost of higher education more affordable for some. Working adults are able to take one or two courses at a time to complete associate, bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees. Students are able to read e-books, rent textbooks online, as well as access websites and databases that are tailored to the student’s program of study.
The cost of the tools needed to consume learning in an online environment has gone down as well. Smartphones and laptops can be purchased for as little as $200, making it available to those in lower economic brackets.
Technology in education has great potential to increase accessibility to those who may not have considered a college education. For ideas on how your school or program can utilize our tools for student success, give us a call at Labyrinth Learning.
Once upon a time, grading a student’s work seemed to achieve its intended goal. It began as an equilateral assessment tool to encourage students to learn and master given material. However, that module was also privy to subjection, systematic pressure and increasing awareness of learning differentials.
In other words, old school grades in higher education worked for some, but not enough for all. As blended learning continues to dominate the curricular landscape, the need for a fresher approach toward determining mastery of skills becomes imminent. So, how can this be done? A simple solution is changing who does the grading.
Peer grading has impressive potential for becoming an effective assessment tool for several reasons:
It teaches students equivocal responsibility.
It encourages honesty and integrity
It sharpens critical thinking and judgment
It facilitates constructive communication
Higher education is the learning realm where students began to apply what it means to be peers in an astutely professional sense. Peer grading is an excellent forum to establish a fair system for assessment and to put the aforementioned benefits into practice. There is also an inherent balance within knowing that the person you are grading will grade you, too. It is a subtle, yet proactive push toward peer consideration, development, and sensitivity. Of course, it is also a less biased way toward scoring assignments.
For more information about the current state of grades in higher education and blended learning systems, contact us at Labyrinth Learning.
Many critics of the digital revolution are quick to mention that reading from screens makes for inferior reading comprehension. There is a rising belief that any knowledge gleaned from a digital source is somehow inferior to knowledge gleaned from a traditional paper source. A study in Scientific American makes a number of statements claiming the legitimacy of these fears.
However, what these types of studies fail to note is the perpetually shifting dynamic of technology in education. For example, this specific study is really only comparing the benefits of uniform paper books over the currently ubiquitous scrolling technique popular on most computers and ebook readers.
For a number of logical reasons, the familiarity of the same passage always appearing on the same page, in addition to visually seeing how much total volume of “book” you have completed and are still working on, is a superior choice to fluctuating page locations, text sizes, and representative “books” that offer little sensory perception that currently commonplace in the digital world.
It is quite clear that digital media content does not inherently decrease reading comprehension. As technology improves, the gap between new information and traditional books will decrease, but in the meantime, there are many other aspects to focus on for the benefit of students and teachers alike.
To stay up to date on the latest wonderful advancements in utilizing technology in education, please contact Labyrinth Learning today!
In ancient times, a centralized university or library was the sole source of education for everyone in a given society. If you wanted to hear a lecture, you had to be physically present when the teacher spoke. If you wanted to read a book, you had to do so in the library itself. If you missed something, you could only go on your own intuition and the guidance of your peers.
However, today, with multimedia recording technologies and the rapid spread of information, any lecture, book, or educational concept is only a Google search away. Brilliant teachers are quoted on Facebook, shared on YouTube, and lauded on Twitter. If someone desires to learn, there is nothing in their way other than an imperfect Wi-Fi connection.
It’s no surprise that low-cost Internet-based educational opportunities are stealing students from traditional university environments. However, the best-of-the-best longstanding universities are embracing this technology in education, including Princeton, Yale, MIT, and Stanford who all offer Massive Open Online Courses utilizing the Coursera platform. These unique classrooms offer the same information available in a standard college format, but make them readily available to the masses.
Even still, as technology in education continues to become more important, expect the university of tomorrow to look nothing like what we see today. If you plan to be a part of the ongoing technological revolution in education, please contact Labyrinth Learning today to see how we can best help you change the way you impact the world.