Category Archives: Quote

Have you adopted OER?

adopt share pictureIf you’re looking for a great webinar to attend on Open Educational Resource (OER) adoptions, check out this one by the College Community Consortium for Open Educational Resources.  Our own Danielle Budzick will be sharing about Cuyahoga Community College’s adoption of a Flat World Knowledge textbook, and the results for both faculty and students.

The announcement includes this description:

Presenters from the Kaleidoscope Project at College of the Redwoods, Cuyahoga Community College, and Scottsdale Community College will talk about their challenges and achievements in finding, evaluating, and adapting high-quality OER to replace high cost publisher textbooks.

So check it out September 25th at 1 PM!


Has a hero been bumped from your list with one too many movie reboots?

Consider Jane McGonigal as a replacement!

Jane McGonigalThis innovative heroine champions the use of gaming to actually IMPROVE the real world!  Think of her as the cheerleader who will save the world!  (That works on multiple levels – think back to the now defunct TV show Heroes.)

I’ve posted her TED talk, and just began reading her new book – “Reality is Broken:  Why games make us better and how they can change the world.”

Favorite quotes so far from the book include:

“Games make us happy because they are hard work that we choose for ourselves, and it turns out that almost nothing makes us happier than good, hard work.”

There’s a whole bunch of actual research to back this up.  But blog entries aren’t exactly known for their ability to cite research and do a thorough literature review, so definitely check out her book for that.

“…extreme emotional activation is the primary reason why today’s most successful computer and video games are so addictive and mood-boosting.  When we’re in a concentrated state of optimistic engagement, it suddenly becomes biologically more possible for us to think positive thoughts, to make social connections, and to build personal strengths.  We are actively conditioning our minds and bodies to be happier.”

I was with Pat Stansberry  (shout out to faculty extraordinaire at Metro Campus, who shared her interview on Steven Colbert with me,) watching her talk about gaming when her book was mentioned, popped on my Cuyahoga County Public Library App on my iPad, found her book as an ePUB, downloaded it and started reading it.  If I think about conceptually what those activities would have entailed when I was in college back in the day, it would have taken me at least a couple of hours to accomplish the same thing…

So check out her work!  And maybe get a fresh new hero while you’re at it!

Let the games begin:) – Sasha

What are you doing on Saturday, June 30th?

… How about celebrating the 3rd Annual eLearning Social Media Day!

social media day logo

The event – which has events planned in over 370 communities worldwide, features meetups and live Twitter feeds.  Check out the official website for the event, a Mashable event, HERE. 

Here’s how the day is explained on the official website:

We’re thrilled to celebrate Mashable’s third annual Social Media Day! We launched the event in 2010 as a way to recognize the digital revolution happening right before our eyes. We invite you to join fellow social media enthusiasts by hosting or attending a Social Media Day Meetup in your area.

Interested in learning more about social media in eLearning and how it can leverage technology for success in eLearning 2.0?  Check out these highly recommended blogs, resources, and articles:

Great blog post by Jane Hart on the eLearning Council site on what social media in eLearning is all about.

10 Social Media tools for eLearning from The eLearning Coach blog.

Revolutionizing eLearning:  Innovation through Social Tools from the Learning Solutions Magazine.

Definition of Social Learning from Wikipedia.

Any other great resources?  Feel free to share!

Want to augment your reality? A new app lets you see the world in a new way! (And create your own reality.)

In a way, we all create our reality.  Some are more fact-based than others, (I’m sure you know what I mean.)


Now, however, you can reveal a whole new world using your smartphone with a camera.

Aurasma is a radical new technology that allows you to reveal hidden messages, and create your own for others to reveal.

Click on the logo, or HERE, to check out their website for yourself.  This quote – from their “What is it” page – encapsulates the potential of the technology.

Using the smartphone’s camera, GPS, compass, accelerometer and internet connection, the technology combines image recognition and a conceptual understanding of the 3D world to recognize objects and images and seamlessly merge augmented reality actions into the scene. Without the need for barcodes or tags, the app is able to see its surrounding environment and make it fully interactive.

While the reviews seem to indicate that there’s still some work to be done to make it seamless, it is revolutionary.  Check out the demo:

SOPA halted in the U.S. House, and the Senate delays the Protect Intellectual Property Act

Just released!  SOPA’s main sponsor in the U.S. House of Representatives has pulled SOPA from moving forward.  There are many recap articles, and this one from CBS news reports the same basic facts as the others.  

The article says that:

Markham Erickson, executive director of NetCoalition, commended Congress for “recognizing the serious collateral damage this bill could inflict on the Internet.”

The group represents Internet and technology companies including Google, Yahoo! and Erickson said they would work with Congress “to address the problem of piracy without compromising innovation and free expression.”

What are your thoughts?  Have you seen the coverage?  Where is the balance between protecting intellectual property and still allowing the internet to be free?

*Special shout out to the keen eyes of Adrian Tam for letting me know the moment it happened.

Are online courses more effective?

The Department of Education’s analysis pointed to blended learning–a combination of online and in-class instruction–as the most effective teaching method, which has since been echoed by the findings of Marc Loudon, a professor of medicinal chemistry at Purdue University, who once doubted the effectiveness of online coursework. Loudon examined the performance of 226 organic chemistry students in fall 2009. Those that engaged in online homework on top of their class lectures and textbook homework had a full-grade higher average than their peers who studied without the aid of the online tool.

Loudon, who authored the textbook but had no hand in the creation of the online material, checked to see if the students who did the extra work online were more driven, or perhaps better students overall, but found no correlation between their organic chemistry grades and those they’d previously received in general chemistry. “Students are highly engaged when they work online because they get instant feedback,” he says. “The degree of benefit surprised me–I hate to admit it. The study convinced me of something that I didn’t believe would happen.”

via U.S. News & World Report

Welcome Back

Things have been hectic around Tri-C as we all prepare for the new semester. Students have been waiting in line to register for classes and buy books, while faculty have been preparing materials and furiously building online courses. Here at the Office of eLearning & Innovation, we’ve been working to provide outstanding faculty and student support for Blackboard. We’ve also been working on some fantastic new things for the coming year, which will culminate in our transition to Blackboard 9.1 over the next two semesters (keep checking the blog for more details!).

While we were on holiday break, I came across an article about teachers in Madison, Wisconsin. It was essentially about how some educators were using technology in meaningful ways to improve the learning experiences of their students. But there was one passage that stood out to me:

I have a student who misses a lot of school. But I’m aware of her presence online at night, keeping up with the class, and doing her work. In the past, this is the kind of student who would just fall behind, and be at a real risk for failure.

via The Cap Times

This quote came from an Algebra II teacher, who uses an online course to help teach her class. It’s amazing, isn’t it? This one student went from drop-out risk to active participant, purely because she had the ability to access the course from any place with a Wi-Fi connection.

eLearning courses are having a dramatic impact on education, and have made courses available to students who may not be able to regularly come to a campus and meet in a face-to-face classroom. Students with jobs, with families, with responsibilities, or with a simple preference to work at their own pace, are now all being served by Web-Based and Hybrid courses.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more success stories, statistics, infographics, videos, App reviews, and some other great content that will be new to the blog this year. But for now, as the first day of the semester begins, I’d like to simply wish you luck. May the bookstore have all your books, may your syllabi be error-free, may your room assignments be correct, and may your first day (online or face-to-face) go beautifully.