Archives for May 2014

#ETT511 Course Videos – Summer 2014

As previously shared, I plan to incorporate a number of communication media options for students in ETT 511: Advanced Instructional Media Design. After the very popular implementation of video from my last online course, which I recently presented at the Sloan Consortium International Symposium on Emerging Technologies for Online Learning, I plan to incorporate video once again in my online course this summer, using YouTube’s built-in recording and captioning capabilities. While these videos will be embedded within the Blackboard course for my students, I’ve also setup an unlisted YouTube playlist that my students can subscribe to in order to easily access and view on their smart phones and/or tablets.

The beauty about a YouTube playlist is that the video with playlist can be easily embedded within any LMS or other web-based tool. Here’s an example of the video with playlist embedded:

Here’s an example of an alternative embedding option, just a single video without the playlist:

I plan to also experiment with audio versions of the videos, distributed as a podcast. More details to come in a future post about the workflow and process I’m exploring.

5 Ways Online Learning Improves Education

Click here to enlarge | Source: Find more e-Learning Infographics

This info graphic above presents five ways on how online learning improves educational productivity.

  1. Increase access to educational resources and experiences
  2. Engage students in active learning with materials and resources
  3. Individualize and differentiate instruction based on student performance
  4. Personalize learning by building on student interests
  5. Make better use of student and teacher time by automating routine tasks

In what other ways do you believe that online learning improves education? Feel free to leave a comment with your ideas!

Preparing for #ETT 511 – Summer 2014

ETT 511 banner
I’m looking forward to the opportunity to teach online this summer the course, ETT 511: Advanced Instructional Media Design, for Northern Illinois University’s Department of Educational Technology, Research & Assessment. Students enrolled in this course are a part of an online cohort pursuing a Master’s in Education in Instructional Technology with a K-12 Type 10 Technology Specialist Certification. It’s an honor for me to teach as part of this US News #1 Ranked Online Program.

During this accelerated (10 week) online course students will explore advanced design of mediated instruction as they engage in a wide variety of activities, designed to help them meet the following course objectives:

  1. Review current literature regarding message design principles in design and production of materials.
  2. Apply message design principles to the evaluation of existing instructional materials.
  3. Apply message design principles to the design and production of instructional materials in print, slide and video formats.

As I design and develop this online course, I plan to follow the best practices I’ve previously shared for designing exemplary courses in Blackboard and will be trying a few new features and techniques along the way. In addition to using the built-in interaction and collaborative features of Blackboard, I plan to incorporate blogging, videos, and podcasts as supplemental media options for my students in addition to course news and reminders via Remind101. I’ll also be tweeting using hashtag #ett511 and will be encouraging my students to do the same.

I’m also going to go out on a limb and share my experience and tips for incorporating these new techniques in Blackboard here on my blog, so stay tuned. My goal in doing so is to not only share my experiences for other faculty but also to give my students a behind-the-scenes look at how I’ve gone about incorporating the media elements into their course, should they so wish to use them as a model in the future.

Speaking of blogging…my students will be setting-up their own blogs in this course as they begin developing their own “digital footprint” while also gaining valuable experience communicating using a combination of media elements. In an attempt to model the possibilities for my students, I’ll be blogging for my students here and plan to preface all my course-specific posts with #ETT511. I may include other posts as well as I feel they may be appropriate.

If you are one of my students reading this…get ready, it’s going to be a great course!

Google Announces New Learning Management System

Google ClassroomClassroom is a new, free tool coming to Google Apps for Education that helps teachers easily and quickly create and organize assignments, provide feedback, and communicate with their classes” (Source). “Classroom weaves together Google Docs, Drive and Gmail to help teachers create and organize assignments quickly, provide feedback efficiently, and communicate with their classes with ease…it lets students organize their work, complete and turn it in, and communicate directly with their teachers and peers” (Source).

The following video highlights the experiences of some of the teachers and students who provided feedback as Google developed Classroom.

Benefits for Classes

Easy to Set up

Teachers can add students directly or share a code with their class to join. It takes just minutes to set up.

Saves Time

The simple, paperless assignment workflow allows teachers to create, review, and grade assignments quickly, all in one place.

Improves Organization

Students can see all of their assignments on an assignments page, and all class materials are automatically filed into folders in Google Drive.

Enhances Communication

Classroom allows teachers to send announcements and questions instantly. Since students can post to the stream, they can help out their classmates.

Affordable and Secure

Like the rest of our Google Apps for Education services, Classroom contains no ads, never uses your content or student data for advertising purposes, and is free for schools.

For more info or to request an invite to Google Classroom, visit

While I agree with Joshua Kim that this announcement by Google focused on K-12 education has little direct impact immediately on higher education, providing an increasing number of elementary and secondary students access to LMS-type technologies has the potential to further grow the expectations of students when they arrive at the postsecondary level for faculty to effectively make use of online technologies in their teaching. And, any additional competition in the online educational technology space will only help spur future innovation.

What is your response to this latest announcement by Google? Are you planning on requesting an invite? Will there be interest by teachers at your school to try Google Classroom? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

10 Blended Learning Trends

Source: Find more e-Learning Infographics | Click here to enlarge

The 10 Blended Learning Trends Infographic gives a snapshot on how making student learning more personalized, more engaging, and more collaborative is what’s driving innovation.

  1. The student-centered learning experience
  2. Soaring numbers of digital learners
  3. Building higher-order thinking skills
  4. Realizing benefits for both teachers and students
  5. A framework for data-driven decision-making in education
  6. Personalized learning accompanied by a lean, blended, interactive approach
  7. Productive Gamification
  8. The mobile world is where learner live now
  9. Students’ personal access to mobile devices
  10. More broadband, please!