eLearning Content Trends

Link to post: https://wp.me/p7fQ2q-2UG

A short list of some key trends for elearning content development.

I would add (and perhaps this goes without saying by this point in time) that it all needs to work well on mobile devices to enable ‘any time, anywhere’ learning.

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New: Google Drive Priority Workspaces

See video demonstration at the end of this post:


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Discussion: Best Bluetooth Earpiece for Computer and Phone

I’m looking for a bluetooth earpiece (preferably single ear, but stereo possibly if the second earpiece can be left out / hanging) to use for both virtual teaching on a Windows 10 computer and with an Android phone.

The bluetooth earpieces I’ve look at a year or so ago clearly worked with phones for making calls, but it wasn’t clear to me if / how it would work with a computer (e.g. would the mic always be on and using battery when connected to a computer?).

What bluetooth earpieces have you used with both your phone and computer? Specific experiences and product recommendations and links appreciated — as well as recommendations to avoid certain products or product types. Thank you!

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Temporarily Free on Amazon: “Michael Payne (A Squirrel Hill High Short Story)”

This is a tie in to Mister Teacher Person that explores the backstory of one of that novel’s key characters.

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A Virtual Teaching Goal for the 2019-2020 School Year

This school year, in my virtual classroom, I would like to incorporate more student screen sharing into live class sessions.

When I’ve had students share their screens in the past years, it went a long way toward replicating that feeling of working side by side with students as in a brick and mortar classroom.

The trick at this point is scaling up the whole experience — not just one or a handful of students sharing screens, but a large group, with a goal of 100% of students sharing their screens for any given virtual class size.

A lofty goal, indeed.

What would they be sharing on their screens? An approach to virtual class time such as this would seem to naturally favor those ‘student-centered’ types of lessons (vs. lecture, for example).

Along these lines, I must mention that I am hesitant to incorporate students sharing video of themselves, e.g. sharing their webcams to replicate that face to face feeling of being together in a physical classroom. My thought on this is that it opens up space for other unintended and potentially undesired consequences. And while I would anticipate a small percentage of my high school students willing to share, I would also anticipate a larger percentage of students and parents resisting.

With that in mind, I envision student screen sharing as a potential workable middle ground, allowing for the good things that can come from individualized student centered learning activities in the virtual classroom, while minimizing (though certainly not eliminating!) potential unintended distractions.

As for tools to enable simultaneous screen sharing by each student, I would like to explore the Zoom meeting tool. After some brief experimenting this summer with the Zoom Android app, I was quite impressed with the ability to share an Android device’s screen, along with similar functionality on other platforms. A few colleagues have also pointed out some helpful resources I plan to look into.

Feedback, suggestions, resources, etc. via comments are greatly appreciated!

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Virtual Classroom Routine for Teaching Creative Writing

One successful routine I use at the beginning of my live Creative Writing virtual class sessions is centered around the following graphic:

The key point of the graphic is, in essence, ‘To write better, write more.’

Toward the beginning of each and every virtual class session for Creative Writing, I share the above image for all to see. Next, I ask for a volunteer to read aloud the 10 steps in the graphic.

Early in the semester students are generally hesitant to volunteer to read aloud. However, eventually a point is reached where multiple volunteers will race to see who can raise their virtual hand to volunteer first, and a divvying up of the 10 points between the multiple willing readers is necessary.

It’s a very simple routine, and, in terms of actual content, rather repetitive from session to session, but the effect has been to engage students in the virtual class session at the beginning of the session and focus on the general principle of writing more to write better.

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Method developed to ‘predict people’s personalities’ using phone accelorometers – ZDNet

“There are applications for this technology in social media with friend recommendations, online dating matches, and targeted advertising, but I think the most exciting part is what we can learn about ourselves,” lead study author and RMIT PhD student Nan Gao said.

“Many of our habits and behaviours are unconscious but, when analysed, they tell us a lot about who we really are.”



Assuming the article’s claim is accurate, what are other possible applications? Ethical applications? Unethical applications?

Room for manipulation?

Legitimate ‘predictions’ or sophisticated digital palm reading?

Welcome to the brave, new digital world.

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