Category Archives: Teaching

Webquest: Exploring Online Tools for Motivation, Collaborative Networks in E-learning

Found this great site  from  Filled with a rich mine of links from credible sources for teaching and learning via the Net. Includes links to other learning communities, free readiness assessment self-tests, research sites,  everything e-learning.


Revisiting the Role of Instructional Design in E-learning

After my Big Paper on evaluating learner support for a global, blended learning program is finally passed, marked, bound and archived in Sheffield U  I’ve been doing a re-visitation of old e-learning concepts that flit into the real world practice of designing for learning.  Came across George Siemen’s old article Elearnspace’s post on how instructional design figures in e-learning.  A refresher article on some of the classic ID frameworks:

  • ADDIE – refers to Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate. 
  • Algo-Heuristic  “The theory specifies that students ought to be taught not only knowledge but the algorithms and heuristics of experts as well.”
  • Dick and Carey Model – “The Dick and Carey model prescribes a methodology for designing instruction based on a reductionist model of breaking instruction down into smaller components. 
  • Robert Gagné’s ID Model -Gagné proposed that events of learning and categories of learning outcomes together provide a framework for an account of learning conditions. 
  • Minimalism ” The Minimalist theory of J.M. Carroll is a framework for the design of instruction, especially training materials for computer users. The theory suggests that (1) all learning tasks should be meaningful and self-contained activities, (2) learners should be given realistic projects as quickly as possible, (3) instruction should permit self-directed reasoning and improvising by increasing the number of active learning activities, (4) training materials and activities should provide for error recognition and recovery and, (5) there should be a close linkage between the training and actual system.”
  • Kemp, Morrison, and Ross Nine step instructional design model.
  • Rapid Prototyping – “Generally, rapid prototyping models involve learners and/or subject matter experts (SMEs) interacting with prototypes and instructional designers in a continuous review/revision cycle. Developing a prototype is practically the first step, while front-end analysis is generally reduced or convereted into an on-going, interactive process between subject-matter, objectives, and materials ” Thiagi – Rapid ID
  • Epathic Instructional Design – 5-step process: Observe, capture data, reflect and analyze, brainstorm for solutions, develop prototypes

Coming from the networked collaborative learning viewpoint, my classmates greatly emphasized that e-learning is NOT instructional design.  It is hard though to ignore ID’s prominence in e-learning.  For many, it’s probably the best introduction to e-learning as it informed previous curriculum design courses.  I feel that the challenge of ID is to bring together the current batch of media-rich, complex, yet accessible grassroot technologies as defined in my earlier post on the 2008 Horizon Report, incorporate it into cohesive, blended learning courses and stimulate further the growth of knowledge and collaboration networks that build on the course like a foundation.  In Siemen’s post  ID’s role is  to incorporate through a systematic design process appropriate instructional technology tools , but emphasize that doing so is secondary to designing for learner needs and learner experience.  But Siemen’s old post needs to be updated with the incorporation of the current grassroot collaboration pedagogies.  When one looks now at Facebook, Google Documents (which is a dream for more mature learners who wish to update their IT skills in a web-based environment), Multiply, and the Horizon time to adapation for learning is a year or less, ID becomes a tool to practice what I call technology literacy. That is, to resist the lure of peppering your courses with every New technology that emerges on daily basis, and to discern which technologies, methods, or pedagogies would best accomplish the learning objectives.  

E-learning Metatrends, Key Emerging Technologies 2008

YouTube, podcasting, Facebook, Google Docs, data mashups, collaboration webs, grassroots video. . .the implication for learning, teaching and creative expressions can be found in the 2008 Horizons Report. Many thanks to Angelo Agujo, Philippine E-learning Society’s Board Member, for leading us to this highly exciting, informative report.

10 Ways to Use Your Edublogs to Teach

I just visited to look for an introductory video for my learners on how to blog. Then I found this list on using the blog for teaching your students: 

1. Post materials and resources

2. Host online discussions

3. Create a class publication

4. Replace your newsletter

5. Get your students blogging

6. Share your lesson plans

7. Integrate multimedia of all descriptions

8. Organise, organise, organise

9. Get feedback

10. Create a fully functional website

May I lift this whole section from the posting, as I find it speaks a lot of truth:

One of the great things about Edublogs are that they are much, much more than just blogging tools. In fact, you can use your edublog to create a multi-layered, in-depth, multimedia rich website – that hardly looks like a blog at all. So, if you’d rather create a set of static content, archive of important information or even index for your library – you can bend an Edublog to suit your needs.

A Harvard Leadership Course for Parents in

Visit for a pre-screened resource for building skills in math, science, reading, and keyboarding.  It’s a site for parents, kids, and educators, specifically children from 5-12 years old.

What’s intriguing is the free leadership course for parents from the famed Harvard Business School Publishing

 Parents, if you haven’t tried e-learning, take this course from Harvard Online for free! There are 2 modules:  one on Managing Your Time, and the other Coaching for Results.   

I tried the coaching course.  The module site’s well-designed interface, nuggetted content, and ability to navigate back and forth, yet maintaining the needed linearity to take you through the stages of each module, allows you to enjoy the e-learning process as much as the knowledge built thru it.  I like the embedded audio link from Professor Linda Hill. I think this is the way of settling the parents into understanding how it’s like to make their own kids go through a an aided e-learning program via the Silver Cyberscreen.  Way to go! Any other courses you’d like to share?

Sites to Engage Kids (and Anyone Else) to Create Online Content!

And last but not the least from Larry (his blog is such a goldmine of teaching and learning links!!), how to get over techphobia and I.T. inertia through a sampling of these links.  Quick, easy and relatively painless ways of creating online content.

Larry’s post is so helpful, so I just have to lift his descriptions verbatim from his Best Websites of the Day. To quote Larry:

MAKE A MOVIE: Use Dvolver Moviemaker to create short animations with text bubble dialogue.  You can see many examples of these films on my Examples of Student Work page.

WRITE A SONG: Use Let Them Sing It For You to write lyrics, and have each word sung by a different singer.  You have to hear it to believe it…Or, if you’re an American Idol fan, you can try Don Pablo’s Tex Mex Serenade, choose a singer and a song, and then use a text-to-speech feature to act as one of the judges.  For more ideas on how to use viral marketing gimmicks like this in the classroom, please see my TechLearning article Samuel L. Jackson, My ESL Students, And Me.

MAKE A MAP: There are two sites in particular that allow you easily make and save maps (without registration) that include multiple ”pushpins.”  These are spots on the map where you can insert more information about different places.  These map-making sites are Quikmaps and TinyMap.

CREATE A PIECE OF ART: There are numerous sites that “fit this bill.”  They included Imagination Cubed (which actually has multiple uses — see the Solar Systems my students created), Art Pad, Mr. Picassohead, and Etchy (an online Etch-A-Sketch).

CREATE A CARTOON/COMIC: Again, there are a number of great sites in this category.   They include MakeBeliefsComix, the Toronto Public Library Tell-A-Story Builder,  Scholastic’s Captain Underpants, and Kiddonet.

MAKE A SLIDESHOW: Bookr is about as easy of a slideshow maker as they get.  You can search through images with a tag word, drag them into a flip-like book, and add text.  My students love it.  You can see some of their samples here.  For an even easier way to create a slideshow, you can try Colgate’s Smile Slideshow.

PICK AN IMAGE AND WRITE A SPEECH BUBBLE: There are a number of sites that allow you to easily grab an image off the web and add a speech bubble with your text.  The best ones are Bubblr and Caption Bubble.

TELL A MEDIEVAL TALE: Use the great Historic Tale Construction Kit to tell a story with images and text while you create a virtual medieval tapestry.

WRITE A POEM:  Write ones using virtual refrigerator magnets at Shocked Poetry or Fridge Messages.

CREATE A POLL: Come-up with questions for a poll you want your friends or others to participate in with Snappoll or Flektor (click on “guest”).

DESIGN AN EARTH-FRIENDLY HOUSE: My Abodo lets users design a house and then get a rating for how environmentally-friendly it is.

SUBTITLE A CLIP FROM A BOLLYWOOD MOVIE: Bombay TV lets you choose a scene from a B movie from Bollywood and have fun creating subtitles for the clip.

DESIGN A VERY STRANGE-LOOKING BACKYARD: You can design a bizarre Backyard Paradise, name it and then add a description.  Here are some student examples.

SEND A TALKING EGG-A-GRAM: This is another strange example of viral marketing.  You can choose the way you want your eggs — scrambled, hard-boiled, etc. — and then use the site’s text-to-speech feature by having your chosen egg “speak” your Egg-A-Gram.  Again, you can see some student creations here.

WRITE AN E-CARD: I have links to literally thousands of different kinds of E-Cards on my website.  They include ones of images from every country in the world (Nations Illustrated), a Dancing Santa Claus or a Christmas treedinosaur pictures, a Valentine’s Day virtual cake,  and a big selection of virtual gifts.  You can see student examples of these at my website.

CREATE A PICTURE SENTENCE: Write a sentence and select an image to go with each word by using Phrasr.

CREATE A CHARACTER FROM THE DARK AGES:  Dress-up the character of your choice from the Middle Ages (Viking, nun, knight, peasant, etc.) with all the accessories.

MAKE A TALKING OTTER: Yes, that’s what it is.  Build and send an Ottogram.  I wonder how they come up with these things….

DESIGN A FLAG: Go to We Are Multicolored and design and describe a flag that represents you.

CREATE A MUSEUM EXHIBIT: The Object Of History from the National Museum of American History allows you to create a virtual museum exhibition about a number of historical events, including the California Gold Rush, desegregation, and organizing for the rights of farmworkers.

End of quote.  Note that some of the sites may require you to subscribe, paid or otherwise. 

Kudos to Larry Ferlazzo and his love for edublogging. 

More from Ferlazzo: Lounging in the Computer Lab

On further surf, Larry Ferlazzo poses a good question how to spend effective time in a computer lab.  Good point. We sometimes use the computer as the substitute teacher, almost like putting the kids in front of the tv to keep them quiet and occupied! 

Use the computer to engage learners to be contributors rather than consumers of content.  Maximize the lab time for application and integration of lessons.

Take a different approach when teaching working adult learners in a computer lab set-up, especially those who are relatively comfy with the hardware but not with the software apps.  Early into the program, provide sufficient time for immediate hands-on exploration of the software interfaces in a semi-structured, small group activity.  Doing the reverse with adults:  try out timed, appropriate games to engage them!  Just some thoughts on how to help them get over initial soft-tech phobia and perceptions of isolation.

No computer can take the place of a face-to-face mentor–but it can definitely give bookpages a run for their money.

The Best Education Apps for 2007?

A lead from my favourite blog Master Maish of E-learningpost:  Tech Crunch links to Larry Ferlazzo’s top picks for best education start-ups of 2007.  Online learning just keeps on getting better. 

Just timely: I’ll be doing a roadtest for suitability of these tools for my forthcoming blended learning program on I.T. apps training.  Watch out for that!

Spend more time on Larry’s blog if you want to go through more of his lists for best sites that support teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), Social Studies, Science, and Math. 

Where in the Net is That Fil Language Site for Kids?

I’ve been in hibernation for months.  And now that school is in, I’m back for something very basic:  language learning. 

For the past two quarters I’ve been searching for an online Filipino language learning site for grade school children. The Tagalog language learning site by Northern Illinois University  is commendable and truly multimedia in approach.  But it’s complex for  8- and 9-year old kids, even if they have modules from Basic to Advanced Filipino.  The online dictionaries and audio spiels prove helpful for guided tutorials. Tutors and teachers will find it helpful to go through the vocabulary strategies to understand the pedagogy used for the lessons.

For older kids and adults, the site offers online dictionaries, forums and even tutorial help!  Try it out and see how it fits your Fil language learning preferences. You may try interacting with Filipino students based in the US, specifically in NIU.   

Otherwise, please any links to good Filipino language learning sites for kids would be most appreciated. E-mail architelago!

Blog for a School Musical

Woodrose School’s Primary Department put up a blog for its forthcoming musical, “The Littlest Empress”, to be shown on February 22 and 23, 2007 at the Insular Life Auditorium, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang.  Proceeds from this original musical, written ten years ago by the school’s energetic primary level teachers, will be used to upgrade the school’s instructional materials and computer equipment.

This is one way to introduce teachers and students alike to the uses of blogging in education. It becomes a link between the school and the parents, those who wish to know more about what’s going on in their daughter’s academic and extra-curricular enrichment activities.   

The blog also serves as an online advertisement for the play, as an additional promotional venue for sponsors.  The blog is also used as an online announcement board (again for parents’ use) on the practice schedules and pictures of the rehearsals. Beyond the play, there are links to lead teachers, students and parents to other online learning sites.

For the Primary Department’s Academic Week, the blog will be used as a resource site to help students practice reading,  writing and computer usage skills together with their parents.