Monday, August 20, 2012

Let's get glogging! (What is that by the way?)

Have you glogged?  Do you know what glogging is?  Is your teaching style as creative as it could possibly get?  If you answered "no" to any of these questions, then I encourage you to read on!

A great new teaching resource I have been recently introduced to by Jan Tucker, online adjunct instructor, is GlogsterEDU.  This interactive tool - that has a free account option for instructors - allows you to transform a traditional poster board presentation into an interactive, online poster board presentation that can include text, graphics, pictures, videos and other creative strategies.  I see many great opportunities for this in our online courses. 
  • It could be an excellent tool for creating an instructor welcome/biography presentation such as the one Jan Tucker has started on and is continuing to work on here
  • It could be a fun, interactive and unique way to create a unit lecture
  • It could be a great tool for working with students in creating a study guide for students (you could assign students different components to create and you as the instructor could then compile everything together into a could even be a discussion board focus for a unit)
  • It could be a great tool for synthesizing course material to show students how each unit and each concept is interrelated into a bigger picture.
I encourage you to check GlogsterEDU out, explore what it is all about, give it a try, and let me know what you think!  A huge thank you to Jan for introducing me to this tool!

Heather Thomton-Stockman
Online Instructional Specialist

Monday, August 13, 2012

Gaming...Is There an Educational Benefit?

Gaming...Is There an Educational Benefit?  Well, the authors of this article would say that yes, there most definitely is...and that there isn't just a singular benefit but multiple benefits.  To support this, the authors share with us 20 of the best blogs focused on game-based learning.  This is a very interesting article I encourage you to check out, and I encourage you to delve even deeper into the article by exploring some of the specific blogs themselves.  I plan to address a few of these in future blog posts myself, but I encourage you to check them out for yourselves too.

A huge thank you to Catherine Neset for sharing this article with me!  I, personally, found it very interesting and hope you do as well.

Have a great week!

Heather Thomton-Stockman
Online Instructional Specialist

Monday, August 6, 2012

Real World Connections - Current Events

Last week I discussed the benefit of connecting the course content to real world examples and experiences.  I specifically focused on how showing your own professional connection to the course material can help students really see the course content in a tangible and usable fashion.  I'd like to continue that discussion this week by discussing another great real world connection, current events.

By drawing from what is currently happening in the world, we can help our students see course content in a more global and practical way.  Whether the courses you teach are in general education, business, accounting, legal, medical sciences, technology, or any of the other programs offered, there are unlimited opportunities to find current events relevant to your courses.  A great starting point could simply be checking in to GoogleNews on a regular basis.

How might you then connect the current events to your current unit?  The discussion boards are a great venue for this.  Adding in your own thread to the discussion for a unit could help students think about the topic you are discussing on a broader and/or deeper level.  Brian Craig, Online Paralegal Program Chair, has shared an excellent example of how he has done this in his own classes:

Subject: Constitutional Rights for Animals?

Hi class,
I read a news article on CNN about a lawsuit filed a few months ago by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) claiming that five SeaWorld killer whales are being held in slavery or involuntary servitude in violation of the 13th Amendment. What do you think of this lawsuit? Should animals be afforded constitutional rights? Why or why not? For more information, click on the link below for the article from CNN.

Thanks for sharing this example, Brian!  And if anyone has any questions or examples of their own they'd like to share, please just let me know.

Have a great week!
Heather Thomton-Stockman
Online Instructional Specialist