Reflection

Learning technologies has been one of the hardest, most challenging courses I have taken in my educational history, economics still has it beat though. This course has taught me what educational technology is and how it is being used in all grade levels. Creating a blog for my Web2.0 tool project was extremely challenging for me and pushed my thinking abilities in ways that I have never been asked to do. Using WordPress to create my blog helped me since it was an easier platform than some other blogs sites out there. WordPress is also convenient to use; there are many different interfaces that make it friendly and easy to use. One feature WordPress has is that it allows the user to customize their page. I was able to highlight the information on my webpage that I was posting (Webnology, n.d.).

After weeks of studying Web2.0 tools, the tool that I would be apt to use in the future for my professional life would be Desire-to-Learn Binder under the mobile learning section. I actually already use this application in my current position as a training manager, but being able to fully understand all of D2L Binder’s capabilities will greatly help me in the future. This portion of the class helped show me the reason why my company chose this application to teach from.  D2L Binder is a great interactive mobile tool that allows the user to view, write notes, highlight, underline and organize documents, lectures, notes or PowerPoint presentations (Binder, 2016).

In my personal life, once my daughter is old enough, I will use Khan Academy’s social and collaborative learning tool. This Web2.0 tool helps students with continuous learning during school and during school breaks. Khan Academy has content built for math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics and more to help students excel in subjects that usually need extra practice. Khan Academy’s delivery method for students is also what makes Khan Academy desirable for parents because it is built on videos for the kids to learn and study from, making it a great interactive lesson (Khanacademy, 2016).

This class has been very helpful in teaching me how to use a blog and has shown me how many tools we have at our fngertips to be mobile learners. However, I do not feel confidently enough in my blogging skills to share this page with friends, family or co-workers. I still need more fine tuning on my skills. Once I practice and start applying these skills that I was taught to my real life activities, I do see myself being proud enough to share my work.

 

References

Binder. (2016). Binder. Retrieved from http://binder.desire2learn.com/LaCrosseUW

KhanAcademy. (2016). KhanAcademy. Retrieved from https://www.khanacademy.org/about

Webnology. (n.d.). Pros and Cons of WordPress. Retrieved from https://www.webnology.co        /knowledge-base/open-source/pros-and-cons-of-wordpress

Gamification

Gamification is a relatively new digital learning tool that educators are using to increase many aspects in students’ learning abilities. Gamification is a tool that has been created to offer many features of game play and stimulations, but in a non-game context. Gamification is a method to help motivate, engage and increase enjoyment in educational learning (Knewton, n.d.). Below are three gamification tools that educators use in their classrooms and in an online setting.

Duolingo

Duolingo is a free gamification tool that teaches students to learn another language in a fun and interactive setting. This new tool was development in 2012 and gives the student the ability to earn points for every correct answer that they get. It works on the student’s reaction time as it allows them to race against a clock and it also motivates the students to level up as they gain experience. This tool uses three of the five human senses through reading, listening, and speaking, to encourage participation and engagement with the lessons. Duolingo employs on the spot learning as it grades the assignments and participation efforts in immediate time for the student. This on-the-spot feedback is very valuable to both students and teachers, allowing each party to grow and create more lesson plans around the results (Duolingo, 2016).

This gamification tool has an informal digital learning style that teachers and students use to expand their language and vocabulary in many different ways. This program brings a different kind of learning style to the classroom by using game-like features to pull the student in to a learning environment without the student being aware that they are actively learning a new language (Olson, 2014). This tool focuses on entry level vocabulary and grows to more advance communication skills. Duolingo is available on any smart device for mobile learning and continuous learning outside the classroom. Here are a couple of additional websites that give more information about Duolingo: Duolingo School and Language Sufer

To get started using Duolingo as a teacher, first you would create an account with Duolingo. After that initial step, you would setup your classroom. Note that you will use a smart device and make sure that the application is setup on all devices for the students. Duolingo has a special code for the students in order to access the site. After both the teacher and the students are setup, you as the teacher will assign challenges and track the students’ progress (Duolingo, 2016).

Quizizz

Quizizz is a classroom multiple choice quiz game that teachers create to help their students review before tests. The students use a smart device to access the quiz and it is a self-paced program for the students. Quizizz does not need a projector like some gamification tools that help students review for tests, Quizizz shows the question and the possible answers on a single screen. Meaning that the student can take the quiz at their pace instead of having to wait for the class or the teacher to change to the next question. Quizizz can also be used anywhere since there is no projector. There is an option for the teacher to assign ‘homework’ from this tool as well. With this tool, the teacher is able to see results in real-time to help any student that is struggling and doesn’t understand the topic being covered (Vincent, 2015).

This gamification tool is created by teachers for their classroom to enhance the learning abilities of their students. This formal informational giving tool can be designed in minutes, graded in minutes and able to be taught live or as a take home assignment. Quizizz is a unique gamification tool that is all student-paced and not teacher-driven. The teacher is able to give real-time updates to their students to provide them feedback on how they are doing while working on the quiz or homework. This tool allows the student to motivate themselves and have a feeling of self-confidence (Chandler, 2015).  Here are a couple more websites that tell more about Quizizz: Quizizz and YouTubeQuizizz.

To get started using Quizizz, a teacher will need to first create an account, once this step has been completed they will select if they want their students to review relevant or new topics. Then they will decide to have a live game play or homework game play option, after this the teacher will go through and change quiz settings to be appropriate for their class or the topic they are wanting to review. The teacher will then give a passcode out to their students for them to get started. Once the quizzes are in progress, the teacher is able to get feedback and view data from their class. To create a quiz, here is another YouTube step-by-step video on that process (slideshare, 2015).

Education Arcade

Education Arcade is a relativity new gamification tool that Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created to get kids from grades 5-12 engaged in learning. Education Arcade is still in its growing phase and the educators at MIT are still working with school teachers for the development and continuous development of curriculum. This tool is helping transform kids into creators and explorers by having interactive learning lessons that are game-like which are built around math and science. Education Arcade are simulation games that are designed to keep the teacher and classroom setting in mind. This tool is mobile and can be used with any smart device anywhere that has Wifi (education.mit, 2016). There are many different learning programs that have so far been created to enhance learning in science through MIT’s game called Vanished or through Ubiquitous Biology. Both games are interactive and become more than just a game or a science lesson; it becomes an engaging environment for students to take their learning and apply it to game-like stimulations (education.mit, 2016).

Education Arcade is an informal learning style for kids to get excited about math and science. It is a tool to help them get prepared for college and also help them through current courses as well. This informal gamification tool helps drive home topics to boost the students understanding of a topic or subject. The curriculum has been designed by MIT graduate students along with actual teachers who are teaching math and science in grades 5-12. Even the platform that MIT Education Arcade is using called MIT Game Lab is an informal presentation of material and interactive stimulation games. Here are a couple of sites that gives more information about Education Arcade: Technology of Today and Education Arcade Conference 2005.

When it comes to signing up and starting Education Arcade in a classroom, a teacher first needs to go to the MIT Education Arcade’s website http://education.mit.edu/. Then on the front page, the teacher can scroll down to ‘what we do’ and from their pick games for learning. After the teacher picks what game they want to use in their classroom, they would click on it and have to sign up for that learning game. The teacher would need to input what school they teach at, then name and email. Once this is done, the teacher can then assign the learning game out to their students and can monitor the progress of their students from any smart device (Ubiq, 2016).

 

References

Chandler, C. (2015). Four Tools to Help Gamify Your Classroom. MiddleWeb. Retrieved from

Four Tools to Help Gamify Your Classroom

Duolingo. (2016). Duolingo. Retrieved from https://www.duolingo.com/

Education.mit. (2016). Education Arcade. Massachusetts Institute for Technology. Retrieved         from http://education.mit.edu/about/

Knewton. (n.d.). Gamification. Knewton Infographics. Retrieved from https://www.knewton.             com/infographics/gamification-education/

Olson, P. (2014). Crowdsourcing Capitalists: How Duolingo’s Founders Offered Free Education             to Millions. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson /2014/01/22/crowdsourcing-capitalists-how-duolingos-founders-offered-free-education- to-millions/#1740f5544ec8

Slideshare. (2015). Quizizz: Gamified Classroom Quizzes! SlideShare. Retrieved from

Ubiq. (2016). Ubiquitous Games Admin. Retrieved from http://ubiq.edtechx.org/profs      /admin/signup/

Vincent, T. (2015). Class Quiz Games With Quizizz (An Alternative to Kahoot). Learning in        Hand. Retrieved from http://learninginhand.com/blog/quizizz

Mobile Learning

Society has become dependent on using mobile technology for work, personal, and school functions. We, as people, have become so busy in our day to day lives, that these apps are intended to help us manage everything that we are doing, but are they really helping?

Google Drive App

Google Drive is a free application that people use to keep their files in a safe and secure place while having access to those files anywhere, on any device. The files can be anything from photos to drawings to videos to Word documents, and they can be shared to any person who the user invites into their Google Drive files and folders (google, 2016). Since Google Drive has all of these capabilities for safe storage, sharing information, and the ease of using any device to access the files; Google Drive is a portable learning and sharing application. The user can be anywhere, and as long as they have a Smart device, they are able to edit, share, and add content to whatever they are working on for work or school. Google Drive can also be a portable classroom, where the teacher is able to post assignments, share documents, and collaborate with their students as long as access is given to each student. There are endless possibilities that Google Drive has given to teachers and students to excel their learning abilities (Schrom, 2014).

Google Drive, in a classroom setting, can be considered a formal learning platform. Google Drive is being used regularly by teachers to post books and material instead of having the student carry around a physical book. For a full-time working student who has family, this application is a great tool for them since they can access their books from any device in any location. Carrying even one textbook around gets hard to do, and now since society carries a phone or tablet with them everywhere they go, Google Drive makes reading textbooks easier. Teachers can also post classroom assignments for students and allow them to work on and save their papers through Google Drive’s files and folders (Schrom, 2014). Here are some more websites that can help explain more about Google Drive and how it is being used in education: Youtube Google Drive and Education Week.

Google Drive is pretty simple to get started; first, the user will need a Google Account, then they will need to download the app through their smartphones apps store and also download the desktop app so the application can automatically sync their files from their computer. However, the only way for the files to sync is to move the files to the Google Drive desktop app. At this point in the process, they now have access to their files on any device; the user can upload files to Google Drive, organize and rename the files, and share those files (google, 2016).

Desire to Learn Binder App

Desire to Learn (D2L) Binder is an application that is an interactive document that allows the user to view, write notes, highlight, underline on any document and organize all downloaded documents however the user wants. The Binder can be accessed from any device and all notes and other learning edits transfer from device to device. Information is added to the Binder from anywhere by teachers using D2L’s main platform. Teachers are able to add lectures, assignments, textbooks, PowerPoints and more on to the platform which students can then access and download onto their Binder app (Binder, 2016). Once the student has downloaded whatever document or textbook that they need, the student is able to go anywhere, Wifi or not, to start learning with Binder. Binder doesn’t need internet capabilities to be viewed, annotated in, and organized. This app has created learning to be accessible anywhere the student wants to go!

D2L Binder is a formal learning platform with textbooks, lectures, and assignments from teachers. Since D2L has an ePortfolio, teachers are able to simple gather digital learning material and upload it to the D2L site for students. Students, on the other hand, use this app in more of an informal setting when it comes to locations and annotates that they may do. This creates a wide range of material that teachers and students are able to pick from to advance their knowledge in a subject (universityofwisconsin, 2016).  Here are more websites that provide additional knowledge about D2L Binder app: Binder and Brightspace.

Here is an overview of how to get started using D2L Binder. First, the user will need to download the app on their smart device, then they will need to setup EduDentity through Desire to Learn. After the user has created an account they can then connect to Binder. They will need to ‘Fetch’ their class that they are taking and add the connection. After adding that connection, the user will need to send all the documents to their Binder, ensuring that the user sends the material one at a time for organizational reasons. Once that is done, the user is able to start viewing, editing, and sharing material (LaCrosseUW, 2016). Here is a link for more detail how to guide.

Schoology

This learning management systems (LMS) tool, Schoology, has been adopted by 12 million users, from universities to public K-12 schools, to teachers and students (Schoology, 2016). It is an online classroom that is also a social networking platform that improves the learning environment for students and teachers through communication, collaboration, and ample amount of meaningful learning material (Schoologyapp, 2016). Schoology app provides this LMS to be mobile for students to be able to access any given class, assignment, or learning material necessary for academic achievement. With the ever increasing need to multi-task, Schoology has made going to school and taking classes at a higher educational level doable for people. By having the Schoology app, students and teachers are able to monitor, add, edit, and collaborate by simply having a smart device. It has turned the award-winning LMS into an award-winning mobile LMS, which is an important value for students and teachers.

This online mobile learning app delivers learning material and has methods of learning that are designed in a formal setting. Teachers or school entities, pay to have their material on the site and use of the Schoology technology. There are links to many different Google Scholar material and links to textbook chapters for students to have on the go access instead of having to carry around or go check out more of the traditional ways of learning the material. With this application of LMS, Schoology teachers are able to upload textbooks, articles and assignments for students to access in an informal environment. However, the learning that is being done by the students is still in an informal learning method (Schoology, 2016). Here are some more articles about the Schoology app and how it is used: Schoology and Schoologyexchange.

To get started using the Schoology app, the user will first need an account with Schoology. Remember that this is a free system for students; it is the universities or other school systems who pay for this service. The teachers will then create some form of access code that the students will be able to input that code to gain access to the site. This will then open up the webpage of Schoology from any computer. Now that the user has an account, they will have to download the Schoology app on their smart device, log in, and the user is ready to start learning, collaborating and posting comments on their smart device (fmschools, n.d.).

References

Binder. (2016). Binder. Retrieved from http://binder.desire2learn.com/LaCrosseUW. (2016).

Fmschools. (n.d.). What is Schoology? Retrieved from http://www.fmschools.org/webpages             /cresource/files/schoology%20tutorial.pdf

Learning Desire2Learn: Using Binder In Desire2Learn. University of Wisconsin. Retrieved from https://support.uwlax.edu/helpdesk/WebObjects/Helpdesk.woa/wa/             CommonActions/download?dl=SyK6R9pcslamC2q2SDo6TQ&id=1

Google. (2016). GoogleDrive. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/drive/

 

Schoology. (2016). Schoology. Retrieved from https://www.schoology.com/about

Schoologyapp. (2016). What is Schoology. Retrieved from https://app.schoology.com/page           /15668739

Schrom, B. (2014). Announcing Drive for Education: The 21st Century Backpacks For Students. Google for Education. Retrieved from http://googleforeducation.blogspot.com/2014/09/          announcing-drive-for-education-21st.html

UniversityofWisconsin. (2016). Desire2Learn ePortfolio Basic Guide. University of Wisconsin.

            Retrieved from https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache             :n0KBTsXNcO4J:https://uwsystem.courses.wisconsin.edu/d2l/eP/presentations/            presentation_preview_popup.d2l%3Fou%3D1561395%26presId%3D28336%26pageId%            3D1673+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Social Media & Collaborative Learning Tools

Social media and collaborative learning are the forefront of the 21st century learning atmosphere. With the advanced technology that students, teachers and partners have at their fingertips and how busy society has become, there is no wonder why different avenues for learning have grown enormously. Social media and collaborative learning have made the learning environment fun, interactive and mobile. Below are three different tools that are being used as either a social media learning tool, a collaborative learning tool or both.

YouTube

YouTube has come a very long way from personal videos that people uploaded to get noticed, YouTube can now be used as a learning platform and an informative instructional tool. YouTube was started in 2005 and it allows people across the world to view, learn, watch and share videos (youtube, 2016). It now has many different capabilities that users can access. Users can watch, create, share, upload, subscribe or follow all different kinds of videos and channels.

This social media Web2.0 tool can be used in many different ways in education. One way that YouTube is used is to help create discussions about topics by using videos from news reports, broadcasts and documentaries. Educators are able to find a video that corresponds with a lecture to increase engagement among the students and increase participation. Even in a digital learning atmosphere, teachers can still create positive collaboration by requiring students to view a certain YouTube video. Here are some additional links that will help explain more about YouTube and how it is used in education. Duffy, P. (2008). Engaging the YouTube Google-eyed generation: Strategies for using Web 2.0 in teaching and learning. The Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 6(2), 119-130. and Research Gate

YouTube is an informal learning strategy that teachers and students use to help increase their understanding of topics or lessons. This tool helps reinforce the content because every student has a different learning style. By incorporating this tool into traditional or digital learning methods, students and teachers are receiving a higher value of education through different learning channels.

It is very simple to create an upload an educational video to YouTube, first the user will need an account and record a video from either a phone or camcorder. The user can then edit the video, after editing the video it is ready to be uploaded to their YouTube account. After this has happened, the user will need to name the video and share to the public. If the user is trying to find a video that would be a good addition to the lesson, once on YouTube’s home page there is a search bar that they user can search for any content (Widder, 2013).

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a global classroom that reaches millions of students across the world. It is a unique learning environment that uses videos to teach at the students pace each and every day in many different languages to ensure that they reach all students. Khan Academy is a personalized online learning resource for all ages of students. There is content for math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics and more to help strengthen the students learning and learning gaps that students may have (Khanacademy, 2016).

Khan Academy is an effective online educational tool for many different level of students, teachers and parents. This learning tool is also a collaborative social media tool that allows for online interaction to enhance the learning material. There are many forms of learning instruction that Khan Academy uses to ensure that they have reached all styles of learning. There are videos that Salman Khan has created himself to teach the content for that student for that day. There are also interactive quizzes that Kahn has created to drive home the lesson the student was supposed to learn. Khan has created tools for teachers to track and chart the progress of their students (Noer, 2012).

Khan Academy is a mixture of a formal and informal learning environment. This tool is mostly used at home during an off period where a student is not attending school, ie summer vacation. It is then used to help sustain and build on the student’s education when there is no formal educational setting. Khan Academy is also used by teachers during the school year to help ensure that learning is taking place at a higher level of thinking. To incorporate this tool as an additional free educational system for students during their time off, it will create a higher level of enthusiasm for the students when they continue with their normal educational program. Here are a couple of links that will help drive home the importance of continued and streamline education. Wired.com and Prisim.com

If you are a teacher, coach or parent here is how you would get started using Khan Academy at home or in your classroom. Step one is create an account, if you are a teacher or coach you can then access Khan Academy’s coaching tools and start creating accounts for your students, then you can select your student’s names. After this step it breaks into two different groups of teacher or parents, but for both groups you have to input the education level for the student to start their correct level of study (KhanAcademy, 2016).

Edmodo

Edmodo is a new educational online tool for students and teachers. It was founded and created in 2008, buy two educators. Since then it has taken ideas from social media and refined them to make this site just as easy to use as Facebook, but a safer environment. Since the site is monitored by teachers all day long, there is zero inappropriate content or bullying. Students and teachers are able to post questions, ideas, problems they are having and helpful tips on Edmodo. Teachers are also able to add assignments and grade those assignments on Edmodo (Cauley, n.d.).

Social media is being used by all age groups for many different purposes. By creating social media sites for education, students have started looking at education in a diverse way and some students are enjoying school once again. Edmodo is an addition to the educational world to help teachers and students in the classroom move to a technological base of learning. Having an educational social networking site is becoming an essential skill to have in our contemporary technology-absorbed world (Muilenburg, 2011). Muilenburg (2011), conducted a study that puts Edmodo into a classroom where the teacher has many different discussions going on at once and too many students to juggle all at one time. The results were impressive, many students were excited and engaged in discussing educational topics with their teacher and peers. Many of the students commented on the ease of use of Edmodo, since its features and abilities are similar to Facebook’s.

Edmodo uses informal educational settings and delivery methods, however the content that is posted from the teachers is in a formal setting (Muilenburg, 2011). To incorporate Edmodo into the 21st century learning methods, teachers and students use an informal setting of education delivery that links students to all of their online resources, assignments and quizzes that the students need for a class. Edmodo has even used blogs, wikis and more Web2.0 tools to assist them in their learning journey (Light and Polin, 2010). Here are some additional website links that will help grow Edmodo social media education tool: Edmodo.com and  elscdn.com

Edmodo is a free educational social media site, to get started using this site as a teacher they must first create an account, title their group and select the grade and subject for their class. This site is set up like Facebook, so after the creation of the account the teacher can start posting assignments and classroom activities. A student will need to also create an account to have access to the teacher’s page. The student will need to ensure that they have their teacher’s group code to enroll in the right page. After this the student can post notes, alerts and polls on the homepage of the site. The students are also able to view and work on assignments and quizzes for the class from the links on the homepage (Cauley, n.d.).

 

References

Light, D., and Polin, D. (2010). Integrating Web2.0 Tools Into the Classroom. EDC Center for     Children and Technology. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED543171.pdf

KhanAcademy. (2016). KhanAcademy. Retrieved from https://www.khanacademy.org/about

Muilenburg, L. (2011). Supprting Student Collaboration: Edmodo in the Classroom. Retrieved     from http://mat2011holland.pbworks.com/f/SITE2011EdmodoPaper       %5B1%5D+Holland+Muilenburg.pdf

Noer, M. (2012). One Man, One Computer, 10 Million Students: How Khan Academy Is

Reinventing Education. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.prisim.com/wp-            content/uploads/2013/12/One-Man-One-Computer-10-Million-Students-How-Khan-         Academy-Is-Reinventing-Education-Forbes.pdf

Cauley, P. (n.d.). A Guide To Explain It All. Retrieved from http://www.csub.edu/~tfernandez_              ulloa/Edmodo%20User%20guide.pdf

YouTube. (2016). About YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/yt/about/

Widder, B. (2013). From Start to Finish, DT’s Definitive Guide to Creating and Uploading          YouTube Videos. Digital Trends. Retrieved from http://www.digitaltrends.com         /computing/how-to-make-a-youtube-video/2/

Web2.o Tools

Web2.0 tools have been growing rapidly in population over the last decade. Some of the more popular tools that society uses are wikis, blogs and Google Docs. All three of these tools can be used for online educational purposes as well as leisurely means.

All About Wikis

A wiki is a Web2.0 tool that is a blended learning method to collaborate with wiki users’, along with collaboration among each user as they create and edit contents of the site to encourage learning and dialogue. According to Kelly (2010), there are many characteristics that make wikis an excellent tool for students in all levels of education. Some strategies for wikis that are in an informal environment can be projects that require teamwork, brainstorming among students and research. The main advantage of a wiki is that it has a collaborative component which helps decrease the need for multiple emails and confusion in the message being delivered.

There are many different kinds of educational wiki sites, that all have different layouts of formats to deliver information to students. This educational wiki https://21centuryedtech.wikispaces.com/, is a site has been created for students to help them with projects and research assignments since there are links to blog sites within this wiki. Neumann & Hood (2009), states that students who use a wiki as part of their learning process instead of a traditional learning environment were more engaged in the material, scored higher on assignments and also didn’t have to take work home with them due to failure to complete with the given time allotted. With having the collaboration among students, it creates more of a joined system within the classroom.

To get started using a wiki, the user needs to first determine what they want their wiki to contain. What information does the user what to convey and receive more information on. The next step to using a wiki is to check to ensure that there is not another wiki on the same subject. Step three is about creating your team before creating a wiki. This will help ensure that there will be interaction between all users and will help motivate additional information getting added to the site. Step four is about building your very own wiki or using a wiki that already has an established URL, like yourwiki.com. After all of these steps have been taken, the user has successfully created their own wiki site (wikihow, n.d.).

Here are some additional wiki sites that helped me explore more about the tool being used in an educational setting. http://wikieducator.org/images/5/58/Wikiasateachingtool.pdf & http://kkermode.com/docs/moodledocs/wiki_artic.pdf

 

All About Blogs

A blog is another form of a Web2.0 tool that is used in many educational settings. A blog is a website that has one author who updates the site on a regular basis and has areas for comments to allow for interaction between author and viewer.  Blogs are used for many different reasons such as personal journals and diaries, a sharing of information and thoughts to a method of teaching. Blogs are usually short entries that may have links to other websites for additional information to give the viewers more information about their topics (Byrd, 2015). By using this tool for educational purposes, the author or teacher is able to post information on that week’s topic and allow the students to respond and create dialogue which increases a level of understanding.

Many blogs today are used as great resources for higher education. Teachers will post current topics that affect the higher education world, such as politics or what is happening at other universities, which allow the students to expand their knowledge and create discussions. A blog site that does exactly that is https://www.timeshighereducation.com/academic/blog. This site has all of the world’s hot topics which encourages students to learn more about their surroundings. Some strategies for creating an informal blog to teach in a higher educational surrounding is the ability for the blogs to become a platform for: ePortfolios, assignments, announcements and group discussions.

Creating a blog is very simple; there are five steps on how to start a blog. Step one is choosing a blogging platform. There are many different kinds of blog platforms like wordpress, web,com and weebly, the user needs to keep in mind that not all of the platforms out there are free. After choosing what platform you want to go with, you will need to create a web address or domain name. This will be your blog’s URL address so people will be able to find and locate the blog. The next step is constructing your blog through the platform that you chose. Step four is about designing your blog; this step is what makes the blog unique to you. If you want a blog that is about education or about parenting, your design and format will be different. The last step of creating a blog is to add content for readers to view and start commenting on. This is a simple, five step process that will get you started on your way of sharing and gathering information (Rowse, 2016).

Here are some other websites that can provide additional knowledge about blogs: http://www.emergingedtech.com/2015/09/the-state-of-blogging-in-the-classroom/ & http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/06/ultimate-guide-to-use-of-blogs-in.html

 

All About Google Docs

A great Web2.0 is Google Docs. Google Docs is an online application of word processor that allows the user to create and format a document or spreadsheet and collaborate with other people in current time. This feature of real time updates and collaboration efforts, makes Google Docs appealing to all in the educational world since the educational world uses a form of Word document and internet. Google Docs can be accessed from any computer that supports Word, OpenOffice, RTF, PDF, HTML or Zip File with access to the internet as well. Since Google Docs allows many different forms of Word processing, it is how this Web2.0 tool has become an important educational learning platform for the 21st century learning goals (google, 2016).

Google Docs can be integrated into the educational world through many different venues; virtual learning environments (VLEs), which is an online tool that delivers learning material to students in an online form. A portal is a tool built around online informational sources and then, e-portfolios are another tool that is an electronic assortment of material that relates to the specific individual’s personnel activity (Franklin & Harmelen, 2007). This tool helps share and give feedback on students work, such as writing in a virtual 24/7 classroom. Having a Web2.0 tool such as Google Docs that is built around the internet’s wide capabilities and also built around Word processor, creates a learning tool that is easy and familiar for students to use.

To get started using Google Docs, you will first have to create a Google Drive account or if you already have some form of Google then you are able to get started from that. At this point you will be able to log onto your account and find the option that says Google Drive. Once this has been clicked on, then you can click the ‘new’ bottom to start creating your online learning environment.

 

Here are two other websites that future the understanding of Google Docs:

http://gettingsmart.com/2012/12/5-ways-to-use-google-docs-in-the-classroom/ & http://www.universitybusiness.com/article/benefits-google-education-higher-ed

 

 

 

References

Byrd, Kenneth. (2015). What is A Blog?. Retrieved from http://scholar.googleusercontent.com/    scholar?q=cache:ptCJU5X8uUIJ:scholar.google.com/+what+is+a+blog&hl=en&as_sdt=    0,6

Franklin, T., & Harmelen, M.. (2007). Web2.0 for Content for Learning and Teaching In Higher   Education. Retrieved from https://staff.blog.ui.ac.id/harrybs/files/2008/10/web-2-for-   content-for-learning-and-teaching-in-higher-education.pdf

Google. (2016). Overview of Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Retrieved from

https://support.google.com/docs/answer/49008?hl=en

Kelly, Rob. (2010). Using Wikis for Collaborative Learning. Faculty Focus. Retrieved from                      http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/using-wikis-for-collaborative-         learning/

Neumann & Hood. (2009). The Effects of Using A Wiki on Student Engagement and Learning

of Report Writing Skills in a University Statistic Course. Australasian Journal of    Educational Technology.  Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/    download?doi=10.1.1.177.7627&rep= rep1&type=pdf

Rowse, D. (2016). How to Start a Blog in 5 Steps. ProBlogger. Retrieved from             http://www.problogger.net/archives/2016/03/30/how-to-start-a-blog/

Wikihow. (n.d.). How to Start a Wiki. Retrieved from http://www.wikihow.com/Start-a-Wiki

Infographic

Company’s, school’s and institution’s all use infographic’s to present information about their company’s data and knowledge in a visual manner.Infographic’s can be a great way for company’s to draw brand awareness (Long, 2013). This infographic gives a visual representation of blended learning. Blended learning has been proven to increase engagement and learning in students and can be an improvement upon both online and traditional settings.

Infographic

References

Bonk, C., & Graham, C., (2006). Future Directions of Blended Learning In Higher Education and Workplace Learning Settings. Handbook of Blended Learning. Retrieved from publicationshare.worldisopen.com

Infographic. (n.d.). Venngage. Retrieved from Venngage.com

Kuprotz, V., & Lim, D., & Morris, M., (n.d.). Online vs. Blended Learning: Differences In Instrustional Outcomes and Learner Satisfaction. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/Ashley/AppData/Local/Temp/v11n2_lim_0-1.pdf

Long, J. (2013). Why Your Business Should be Using Infographics. Market Domination Media. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonathan-long/why-your-business-should-_b_4192309.html

Universityofcentralflorida. (2011). Blended Learning Toolkit. Retrieved from blended.online.ucf.edu

About Blogs!

A blog is an amazing tool that has the ability to convey a nearly infinite amount of different subjects and resources, which is why I have chosen to use it for my online learning tool. Some people are of the opinion that blogs are just for bored housewives and video gamers, but they can be useful educational tools. In Williams (2004) article, Exploring the Use of Blogs as Learning Spaces in Higher Education Sector, he notes that one of the first major educational institutions to make use of an online blog was Harvard Law. One of the reasons blogs make such excellent learning tools is that they are extremely user friendly for both the reader and the creator. With this level of user friendliness comes a sense of informality, which can ease the initial feeling of intimidation that online learners can feel.

Another reason for using a blog is that it has become a useful tool in the world of business. Blogs are used to help create awareness about the company and promote more customer traffic than their regular website would (Wainwright, 2015). If a blog is well maintained and put together in a professional manner with quality information, it can drive long term results for the company.

I plan on using this Web 2.0 sharing tool in an informational, yet also informal way. I want this blog to have a relaxed feel about it for the viewers and the ease of use for the students who want to interact using the blog. By keeping this blog informal, my intended audience are students in a distance business learning school. These individuals want to gather as much knowledge about a business as they can and they do not want to have to hunt for the information. By creating this blog for online learners, they will be able to go to a section and gather key words from it in a short amount of time and move on to the next topic. The objective is to create a learning environment with a style that is relaxed and simultaneously informative.

 

Reference

Williams, J. (2004). Exploring the Use of Blogs as Learning Spaces in the Higher Education         sector. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology. Retrieved from                  http://eprints.qut.edu.au/13066/1/13066.pdf?BXCTX=AD:BLACK_AND_WHITE;D..

Wainwright, C. (2015). Why Blog? The Benefits of Blogging for Business and Marketing.            Hubspot. Retrieved from http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/the-benefits-of-business-blogging-ht#sm.0000e2rkpj63fdozqjm2bmxxq8vgk