Over the past six months, we have been piloting and refining a fully online, extensive reading (ER) program for the Avenue community using the Xreading program. See the Moving Forward with Extensive Reading in the LINC Context blog post for more information. Many LINC instructors have shown interest in a blended learning ER solution for students as they are now returning to their centres. In this post, we offer a potential solution and an invitation to a webinar for implementing and facilitating a blended learning ER program using the MReader tool.
At my current institution, I’ve been working with teachers, administrators and students trying to integrate technology into classroom learning. This blended learning approach expectation has led to some frustration. There have been so many promising tools,
ideas, and toys that have not met our requirements. On the positive side, we have been lucky enough to experiment with ample resources to try out a variety of edtech tools and techniques. Continue reading
With the ever-increasing availability of technology in education, and ever-shrinking institutional budgets, there seems to be a lot of movement towards online learning. Blended learning combines face–to-face and online activities, and is much better suited to language learning than online learning alone. The opportunity to use language in real-time situations is important for developing good communication skills. Well-developed blended courses provide an experience for the student where the face-to-face and online parts work together to support the learning in an integrated way.
From an institutional point of view, online and blended courses have the ability to provide more revenue with less overhead owing to the cost savings realized by potentially allowing for delivery of the course to a greater number of students, while at the same time freeing up physical space. Pedagogically, students are not only able to learn how to use a language, but also how to use technology. A blended set-up looks like it is beneficial from many points of view. But how do students and teachers feel about blended language learning? Continue reading
I am currently developing learning opportunities for blended learning courses with English as a Foreign Language students. Over the summer, I have had a few months to add some motivating learning objects to these courses. One of my courses calls for a group project based on Internet research. Using the term research is a stretch in this context. I think of it more as a guided internet search. Continue reading
I am currently developing blended learning courses with English as a Foreign Language teachers at a technical college. One of the challenges that we face is incorporating rich media such as videos and animations. Rich media can result in vibrant demonstrations, simulations and presentations.
Issues with Embedding Media into a Digitally Hosted Course
Creating or locating the media itself is obvious and could fill five blog posts. Beyond acquiring the media are concerns that these learning objects adhere to the institution’s fair use and copyright guidelines. As well, the learning object and its intended learning event must map to one or more of the course’s learning objectives. Issues of placement on a digital platform such as layout, colour scheme, skins, support features, and accompanying activities are a few of the elements that we negotiate when adding media to a course page.
Once the video is embedded on a digital page, I suggest adding interactive and self-assessment activities to transform the activity from a passive event into an active one. Continue reading