How To Be A Highly Successful Online College Student [INFOGRAPHIC]

When most students hear the word “math” they think of the school subject consisting of repetitive, sometimes confusing, formulas that seem to have no application to their daily lives outside of shopping and cooking. However, Elementary School math teacher, Trisha Baxter, sees things differently. With a strong interest in the field of online education, Ms. Baxter decided to take her daily teaching subject and apply it to e-learning. Using her familiarity with math and the workings of a classroom, Ms. Baxter created a formula that should allow students to more effectively manage their time, work independently, and focus within the confines of a distance learning environment.

Check out this great infographic, a visual representation of the formula, detailing how online college students could more effectively work toward and achieve their goals in the arena of online learning.

Online College Student Success

Source: Online College Plan

YouTube in the Classroom- Bridging the Gap between Summer and School

With the school year now underway and classes beginning to take on a daily pattern, teachers are struggling to bridge the gap between the activities in which children participated over the summer and classroom lessons.  How can that be done without having students running around, swimming, or playing sports?  One great way of grabbing students’ attention away from summer and acclimating them to the new school year is by integrating the technology in which they are immersed into the class curriculum.  Since students are no longer at home and able to watch television on whim, teachers could use visual aids to their advantage and start integrating videos into the classroom.

In a May 2016 article titled “Harnessing the Power of YouTube in the Classroom”, author and speaker Monica Burns discusses how YouTube can be used for “so much more than music videos and clips of animals doing tricks”. She explains that the key to effectively using YouTube in the classroom is:

  • Finding the “Right” Videos
  • Accessing Content
  • Exploring Virtual Reality
  • Sharing Student Work

For details and more information on how instructors can use YouTube to their benefit inside and outside of the classroom, see Burns’ article on edutopia.org.

 

Source: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/harnessing-power-youtube-in-classroom-monica-burns, by Monica Burns

 

27 Tips for Meaningful Technology Integration

One of the great advantages of living and teaching in a world of technology is that there are countless apps, software, devices, and more available at our fingertips to help make learning come alive. However, what is the best way to use this technology in a classroom? How can teachers best engaged students using the technology with which they’re growing up?

Kelly Walsh’s 27 Meaningful (and Fun) Ways to Use Technology for Teaching and Learning discusses the best methods for breaking free of the traditional teaching method. She explains that #EdTech (Educational Technology) can and should be used to to enhance a learning environment. Gone is the age of lecturing and teacher-centered learning. Now, the best way to reach your students is to think like the students!

Interested in taking advantage of the benefits of 21st Century technology? Check out these 27 suggestions for making your classroom “Even More Awesome”:

 

Source: 27 Meaningful (and Fun) Ways to Use Technology for Teaching and Learning, by Kelly Walsh

How To Find a Mentor in a Virtual World

40002939_sSo, you are excelling at your online courses but wondering about where they may one day lead you. You are toying with the idea of pursuing a career as an astronaut, a science teacher, or a food chemist. You enjoy a variety of courses but would like some more knowledge on the practical application of the material you have covered.

Everyone can benefit from a little guidance and seeking out a professor or a career adviser to serve as your mentor is a wonderful way to get more direction and gain a sounding board for your ideas. As an online student, you will need to be proactive to find your mentor match. 

Read “Find a Mentor as an Online Bachelor’s Student” by Bradley Fuster on U.S. News Education to learn how to ensure that you don’t miss out on this important academic relationship.

The Four Cs of Online Education

36302079_sA school’s role is complex and constantly developing. What began as means through which to teach a trade evolved into a forum through which to impart knowledge. Today’s classrooms go beyond these original objectives and are intended to “prepare all students to be active participants in our exciting global community” (Kolk 2011). This new classroom goal is often summarized in “The Four Cs” – Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Critical Thinking. A successful teacher will be sure to incorporate these themes into his lessons and classroom design.

However, the Four Cs play a slightly different role in an online course. Not only will students who nurture these skills be equipped to tackle today’s changing society, students who use these strategies in online courses are likely to succeed in a positive, stress-free environment. Check out the tips below to learn how to integrate the Four Cs into your online classroom.

Communication: Both the instructor and students play a significant role in effectively communicating in an online course. Instructors should be careful to create an intuitive course structure, write clear instructions, and effectively communicate their expectations. Students should pay special attention to the syllabus, all announcements, and discussion boards (Johnson 2015).

Commitment: An online course is often more work than a traditional one, not less. Therefore, due to the coupling of hours of school work with unstructured time in which to complete it, online students need to be very self-disciplined and organized in order to do well. Before a course begins, it is wise for students to allocate a proper amount of time each week in which to complete all readings and assignments as well as set aside a fixed location in which to do all schoolwork. Click here to learn more about what it takes to be an online student.

Community: Once again, both the instructors and students contribute to creating a strong sense of community in an online class. Instructors should portray themselves as a personable individual (instead of just a name on a screen) and interact with students personally, as opposed to only sending out mass messages. Students can form a virtual community through interacting with their peers via discussion boards and seeking each other out when they need help with an assignment. These relationships remove feelings of isolation and can dramatically increase a student’s performance in an online course.

Collaboration: The goal of education is not to walk out with a degree; it is to walk out with an education. A crucial component of the learning process to is to interact with learned thoughts and ideas and apply the sometimes intangible concepts. Collaboration is important in an online classroom because it facilitates this aspect of learning. Online students should work with their classmates to hone their critical thinking and analysis as well as to engage in active learning through teaching the information and receiving feedback.

How do you integrate the Four Cs into your online classroom?

Sources:

The 21st Century Classroom – Where the 3 Rs Meet the 4Cs! by Melinda Kolk on tech4learning.com

Four Cs of Success in the Online Classroom by Ronald Johnson and Katherine Riddle on OnlineLearningTips.com

Understand the Commitment Involved with Online Education on afli20.info

Rubrics for Assignments in Online Courses

26680711_sAn important aspect of an online course is grading assignments and providing feedback. This is especially true in an asynchronous course where there is no real-time interaction between the instructors and students. Once a student completes a learning activity, the instructor teaches via the grading of the assignment and provides clear and helpful feedback to the student.

A rubric is one of the most popular grading and assessment tools.

Here are five benefits to having rubrics as a central part of an online course:

  1. Goals – Due to the lack of external motivation in an asynchronous course, it is important for students to have established goals in order to remain motivated. A rubric explains exactly what their goals should be
  2. Expectations – In addition to goals, students need to know what is expected of them. A clear rubric creates an understanding between the instructors and students and minimizes miscommunication between them.
  3. Grading Consistency – Because online students are not communing in one classroom, some online courses may have larger enrollment numbers than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Consequently, there may be more than one grader for any given assignment. A set rubric guarantees consistency and fairness for all students.
  4. Detailed Feedback – A strong, objective based learning assignment should enable a student to know what concept areas he has mastered and where he needs to improve. Since a rubric outlines why a student received a specific grade, that personalized feedback can guide him to do better on the next assignment and in the course in general.
  5. Online Discussions – A major component of most online courses is the discussion board. While it is meant to mimic the class and conversation of a traditional learning environment, it is also a graded assignment. Rubrics can reign in the subjective nature of a adding to a discussion board as well as grading it by providing guidelines for the students and the instructor.

Here are three great online resources to assist you in making rubrics for your online class:

  1. RubiStar – This is a free online tool which allows you to customize rubrics for any course or assignment. It provides users with a general rubric which can be personalized through its easy-to-use user interface. Users can also select customized rubrics which were created by other instructors.
  2. Rubrics for Online Course – This website, powered by Northern Arizona University, provides examples of rubrics which are specialized for online courses. These provide a fantastic framework for instructors when they are creating rubrics for their classes.
  3. Blackboard Rubrics – This LMS allows instructors to create rubrics inside of the course and directly attach it to any assignment. Instead of attaching a rubric from a different source, such as a PDF, an instructor can fill out the rubric online while he is grading the assignment. The rubric is automatically shown to the student, all within the LMS, so that he knows where to improve. Blackboard also provides instructions and a tutorial explain how rubrics work and how to best use them in the LMS.

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

Sources:

Rubrics – More than Just Assessment by Dr. Renee Aitkin on Online Learning Consortium

Grading Rubrics and Online Assignments by Melissa Venable on OnlineCollege.org

Grading and Performance Rubrics by Carnegie Mellon University

Top 9 Ways to Use a Smartphone for School

Girl with smartphone 2For years now, personal digital devices have been a mainstay in society. Take for example, the 2011 story of the baby who thought a magazine was an iPad and didn’t know how to use it. Digital devices are everywhere.

Now, while many studies show that smart phones are a distraction to students and their use yields poorer results in the classroom, smart phones are not going anywhere. Students are going to have them even if they might pose a challenge.

Here are 9 clever uses for a smart phone to help enhance your performance in school:

1. Dropbox – Students often work on many different computer devices. Dropbox is a solution file storage solution which allows users to save their files on the cloud and access them from anywhere (beating the alternative of emailing files or saving them on a USB Drive). Users can feel confident knowing that their files are stored safely and securely and can take advantage of features such as a mobile app, automatic syncing to devices, and accessing previous versions of documents.

2. Evernote – More than simply a document sharing program, Evernote is a free, easy to use, multi-device, organizing system. Evernote users are able to organize files like documents, notes, audio, and photos, into notebooks and share them. Because of its versatile nature, Evernote is a great tool to use when organizing a project, researching for a paper, or keeping track of everyday life.

3. Flashcards – A smart phone enables learning to place from anywhere. Digital Flashcards is a great way to use a smart phone to study. Check out these free flashcard-creation tools to memorize as you go.

4. GoogleDrive – GoogleDrive is huge. A sophisticated cloud-based storage system, its capabilities run from simple to intricate and can be a tremendous boon for any college student. In addition to real time editing and collaboration of documents, spreadsheets, slides, it links directly to Gmail and an easy-to-read mobile version can be accessed from a smartphone.

5. RealCalc Scientific Calculator – While calculators which come pre-loaded onto phones certainly complete their tasks, sometimes you might need a tool which has higher functioning capabilities. Download a scientific calculator app and always be able to compute high level equations if the need should arise.

6. School reading/cramming – Ideally, it would be perfect if all students prepared well in advance for assessments and had no need to cram. However, in case you do need to squeeze in some last minute studying, use a smart phone to read on the way to school and finish preparing for exams. Or, use your smart phone to get a head start on reading assignments well before they are due and avoid that last minute rush.

7. GeniusScan – This app allows users to skip a bulky machine and only need their phones to create PDFs. After taking a picture through GeniusScan, users can edit the photo to create a clean, pristine look. Then, the image is converted into a PDF and can be shared through many means.

8. Take pictures of the board – No special app required! After a whirlwind lecture or a complicated physical science class, students often wish that their mental image of the whiteboard could stay intact since hurriedly drawn copies do not do it justice. At the end of class, snap a quick picture of the board with your smartphone. This frees students to pay attention and take notes in class knowing that they can review the detailed diagrams later.

9. Shoot videos – A smartphone’s video capabilities provide endless possibilities for a student. From conducting interviews for a school report, recording creative projects, or capturing a class concept in real life, video cameras enable learning to take place far beyond the classroom.

How do you use your smartphone to help with school?

 

Source: 12 Advanced Dropbox Features That You Should Start Using by Jane Callahan on Zapier.com

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

26 Tips for Using Twitter in the Classroom [INFOGRAPHIC]

An advantage of educational technology is that it allows learning to take place beyond the classroom walls. Whether through email, discussion boards, videos, or articles, there are many opportunities which instructors can use to engage their students.

Twitter, the 140-character messaging program, has transformed communication throughout the world. From the entertainment scene to political campaigning to national revolutions, it has changed the way individuals voice opinions, gather information, and connect to one another. Used by most demographics, it is a quick, free, and easy tool.

Because of its popularity and widespread use, Twitter is a perfect tool for educators who wish to connect with their students and peers. Check out this infographic Fedena.com which outlines from 26 terrific ways, from A-Z, for educators to use twitter. Learn how to use it to correspond with students, engage with other educators, and make a difference in your profession.

26 Effective Ways to use Twitter for Teachers and Educators Infographic

How do you use Twitter?

Source: Fedena.com