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Teaching Effectively Online

Lesson Two: Constructivism: Blended Learning and Project-based Learning

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Required Submissions for Lesson Two:


Read, or just scan if time is short, section C: Open World (non-accredited, open learning, professional networks) Pages 67-106  in your Free Edupunks Guide. Note the number of outstanding real-world examples of successful commercial Elearning Businesses. Explore the links as time permits, noting the recommended average time spent per lesson is four hours, and that what you take from these lessons will be in direct proportion to the time you invest in them. Learning to quickly review and assess educational web sites is an acquired skill, you’ll be faster with practice.

(Two hours)


Report via private email to your instructor your success and/or problems regarding the Jing hands-on activity in Lesson one, and your candid feedback for both lessons one and two.
Report if you were able to: 

1. Create a jing video capture and view it yourself, that is a great first step.

2. If you were able to create an account for yourself at screencast.com and post it, please share it with the class via our listserv as requested in lesson one, if you have not already done so.
(Email to: teaching-L@netpals.lsoft.com ) along with a short description of the content, and how much time it took you to master Jing basics.

(15 minutes)

 Respond to the Google Groups invitation you will receive via email (check your junk folder) and leave a message on both our two class discussion forums. Leave a message regarding your favorite video which you viewed as requested in the Welcome Bulletin. This is where we can all create separate discussion forums (+ADD TOPIC) to share ideas, resources, and talk about the lesson content and more. NOTE: Responding to a Discussion Topic creates a thread of related messages. Creating a new topic starts a new thread of comments. http://groups.google.com/group/teaching-effectively-online

Explore other sites at http://groups.google.com to see how advanced others sites have become.

And see Google’s new educational tools and resources http://google.com/edu 

(One hour)

 Explore Project-based Learning, Global Classroom Project Models, and other resources of  interest as time permits. Read through the lesson below and explore optional links as time available permits.

(One hour)


NOTE: Required readings, video viewings, and resource explorations are captioned with READ, VIEW, EXPLORE. Other resources are optional, based on your time available and personal interests. Sending your instructor accurate feedback on this lesson regarding time spent as manageable is very important. We have some advanced students and some who are just beginning with online learning, social media, and technology in the classroom. 

New Business Models and Ethics are Emerging

The big point of our Edupunks Guide, and of the TED video “How Web Video Powers Global Innovation” is that it is the nature of Web 2.0 businesses to be constantly watching the innovations of others, to copy them. For educators, whether employed by a school, or an Elearning Business, this is also true in order to stay competitive. Properly used, video captures, like those you created using Jing, can quickly show a great deal in very little time, similar to the quick cut edits youth are used to seeing on TV commercials. Teaching youth how to mentor each other using these free tools will prove essential to their own learning; we learn best when we teach.


Four Key Trends Related to Online Instruction

1. Modularization of learning units. When one teacher creates a really great unit on using search engines and elects to make it available for other teachers via the web, this unit, in effect, is a learning module that other teachers can easily plug into their curriculum. The trend is that more and more learning modules will be available to teachers. The challenge is organizing them in a way that makes it easy to find those modules you wish to utilize in your curriculum. Some form of micropayment needs to evolve for teachers for such use of their instructional products.

In short, sophisticated, animated, interactive, multimedia software "objects" are already being collected in the public domain to allow you to easily enhance your online or classroom instruction

2. Customization of the resources of others, and customization of learning resources by students, is becoming commonplace. Templates are available where a teacher can simply edit an existing resource, to create an original online activity or similar resource. The role of "teacher as info-broker" can be expected to increase in importance.


3. Industrialization of distance learning, also termed 'commoditization of content,' is projected to be a big new industry. Hence, for-profit corporations are jumping into the fray by creating robust K-12 resource sites. Have you wondered why Verizon’s www.thinkfinity.org offers thousands of free lessonplans to teachers?  Are corporations doing a better job of providing online educational resources than the government, universities, and schools? How is the fact that corporations have embraced online learning more than traditional educational institutions relevant to K12 reform issues in light of teachers with technology skills being increasingly hired away from educational institutions?

While commoditization of online content is occurring, this should be considered separate from the teaching methods a good teacher might implement when using such "content products."  Let's hope the access to greater numbers of resources means good teachers will be dramatically empowered, not threatened with replacement! That said, a national teacher shortage of 10 million teachers is projected by 2010. A recent awardee of the Stockholm Challenge competition was a project delivering online instruction to rural students in India who could not afford teachers. With over six billion learners world wide – who will teach whom is an open question.


4. Globalization The world educational market, and no less, is what your online courses could serve. With proper self-directed design, your online lessons and courses could educate untold number of students. With the newer media, opportunities to personalize such instruction are increasing. With the current teacher shortage, and billions due to come on the Internet within the next couple decades, how can you help the instructional needs be met? And be paid commensurate with your global contributions?


Do You Blog, Wiki, or use Tweeter?


Social media is taking the world by storm on many levels. Texas Governor Perry invited everyone on TV recently to follow him on Tweeter. He meant to say Twitter, but this is an example of the generational differences. If you don’t already know about wikis, blogs, and other social media tools, you can view many short video explanations at www.commoncraft.com  or, go to our class wiki, to learn about how you can easily create a free wiki, and/or blog in just a few minutes; http://web2fork12classrooms.pbworks.com


View this video if you have not already done so:

Social Media Revolution 2 (Refresh) by Socialnomics


OPTIONAL: To learn more about Social Media, wikis, blogs, twitter:
Go to http://commoncraft.com and

See the common craft “way” one minute explanation video

Under “Become a Member:” click on
View videos (don’t have to be a member)

Note the explanations of wikis, blogs, twitter, social media and more!
See also explanations of cloud computing, and project-based learning.

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write,
but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." - Alvin Toffler

READ the very short first article below, and the INACOL Fast facts.

2010 online by the numbers


Online Learning Fast Facts:
www.inacol.org/press/nacol_fast_facts.pdf (note the source; www.inacol.org )


The Promise of Broadband?!


Broadband – ever faster because what we really want is less information, but of higher relevance and value.


Broadband can be slow and unreliable, using wireless, satellite, or phonelines, or it can be very fast and reliable, using microwave, cable, or fiber options. “Bandwidth” is the measure of how fast your broadband is. Much confusion has been the result of the use of this very general term. Most leaders can not tell you exactly what broadband is – just ask them.


Instead of using the word broadband, use the term “connectedness” which begs the issue of who, what and why?


Your time is precious, most people want less information, but more targeted to their genuine needs. Most broadband is used for more TV, instead of better education. The history of new communications technology has been an initial focus on the potential for education, and then it becomes dominated by entertainment because that’s what people mostly will pay for.


BUT, new jobs won’t come from using broadband for more TV, unless it IS used for targeted Education. New forms of short, very high quality videos, represent an important trend. In short, historically when we invented the printed page, we went from an oral culture to a written culture, but today, we are returning to an oral culture via Internet video. (Have you noticed few read much anymore?)

View this video from Lesson One - if you have not already done so.


How Web Video Powers Global Innovation


(18 minutes)


Explore (links in this broadband section are optional)

$ 7 billion was given out for the ARRA rural broadband stimulus initiative called BTOP the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program

Details at www.broadbandusa.gov


Alaska received $180 million for broadband infrastructure.

Specific grant details are in the applications database searchable by state.

Details at www.broadbandusa.gov


Two $5 million BTOP training projects were funded to help Alaskans understand the value of broadband.


AK UAF Eskills Grant Executive Summary

20 Organizations offering online training.


AK libraries OWL Grant Executive Summary
Is your library one of the 103 Alaskan libraries benefiting?


In addition, the Denali commission has received a $6 million State Broadband Data and Discovery (SBDD) Grant, to map who has broadband and who does not, and to create a 5 year Alaska Broadband Task Force, with subgrants available.


The FCC has proposed reducing federal Universal Service Fund broadband subsidies for rural communities, and particularly for Alaskan Native Villages.


In question is whether broadband infrastructure alone can create new jobs in villages, or whether an educational component is required, and if so, what exactly?  Village schools are closing, young families are moving to the big cities to find work. The future of 250+ villages is in question.


Where are Alaska’s best practices for broadband empowerment training best demonstrated? Do Model Alaskan Native Digital Villages already exist? Or do we need to create them, and if so, how, and whose responsibility is this??


Your instructor helped the 43 villages of the Tanana Chiefs Conference write a major grant focused on broadband training to create sustainable villages, cultures and families. (An Optional Read)


Alaskan Healthy Village Sustainable Broadband Program
Executive Summary http://lone-eagles.com/healthy-village-summary.htm


Healthy Village National Broadband Campaign



Social Entrepreneurship Teaching Resources Handbook
Google this complete title for current links, a copy is in the class Dropbox shared folder, too. Ask your instructor for an email invite to Dropbox.

The growing numbers of social networks are becoming rapidly more sophisticated regarding peer mentoring, sharing videos and integrating new free web tools (called mashups). These new peer instructional dynamics have profound implications for educating the global population on an ongoing basis.   See http://mashable.com  and while optional, be inspired by the following two videos as you ponder how you can best teach the innovation process to your students. “Constructivism” is “Building One’s Own Knowledge.”


Tribute to Steve Jobs video “This Will Make You Cry”



Steve Jobs 2005 commencement speech. Strongly Recommended



Project-Based Learning

 Read:  Start with the Pyramid: Real-World Issues Motivate Students
http://www.edutopia.org/start-pyramid      (article)

This 9 minute video on PBL (also posted on the lessons homepage)
http://www.edutopia.org/project-based-learning-overview  video from article above


Explore (optional):

Directories of other PBL models are at
http://lone-eagles.com/projects_tour.htm  and 

Edutopia’s Project-based Learning Resources


Consider Subscribing to one or more of the three free E-newletters:

1.      Edutopia Magazine

2.      *Project-based Learning

3.      Technology in Education


Explore (optional): Book Recommendations:

Reinventing Project-Based Learning:
Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age



Presentation with links


Their wiki with some excellent links to PBL resources, and ideas.



Using the social bookmarking site http://del.icio.us - these are all of the sites tagged with project-based learning. http://del.icio.us/tag/projectbasedlearning You will want to check for notes made by various users to see if the site is something you would find of interest. 


Required Submissions Checklist:

        ____ Send instructor a private email with your report on the Jing activity and feedback on lessons one and two

        ____ Completed a Skype session.


Lesson Feedback:

You're invited to privately email your instructor:

       1. What areas, if any, did you have trouble with during this

       2. What questions remain now that you've finished this lesson?

       3. Approximately how much time did you devote to this lesson?

       4. What improvements would you like to suggest?