The LectureTools Blog

Export LectureTools Participation Data to Blackboard Gradebook

Posted by Christopher Machielse on Mon, March 18, 2013
lecturetools in your blackboard course site

Awarding students participation points for in-class activities can help to incentivize attendance and, more importantly, engagement with course material. Though LectureTools has always provided participation data in the Assess tab, instructors have had to export these student metrics to Excel to calculate grades.

Now, instructors using Blackboard as their LMS can easily import LectureTools Assessment participation data into their Blackboard Gradebook. You and your students can sign in to LectureTools straight from Blackboard, creating a single sign-on for both LectureTools and Blackboard.

If you already have a course set up in LectureTools, linking it to Blackboard is as easy as launching LectureTools from your LMS course tools and selecting it from a dropdown menu. If you haven’t used LectureTools before, an account will be created using Blackboard’s sign-on, and you can create a linked course in seconds.

Then, sending participation data is as simple as selecting lecture columns to include and clicking the “Send total to LMS” button.
send assess to blackboard

 

The LectureTools data then shows up as a single column in the Blackboard Grade Center. Like any other assignment or exam column in gradebook, you can add the LectureTools column with a percentage weight to easily factor it into your students’ final course grades.
lecturetools column in blackboard learn grade center 

For more information about how to configure and use the Blackboard integration, visit the LMS Integration topic in our support portal. Don't use Blackboard? Watch out for later announcements about your LMS!

 

Unleash Analytics to Improve Teaching and Increase Learning

monitor student confusion

In-class quizzes and student Q&A help keep students attentive and engaged while providing you with real-time student comprehension data during class. See how LectureTools can increase participation and deliver learning analytics before, during, and after class.

Topics: LectureTools News, New Features, emerging technologies in education, Educational Technology, LMS Integration, Student Assessment

Will MOOCs be the End of the College Campus?

Posted by Christopher Machielse on Wed, February 27, 2013

MOOCs allow students to access courses from anywhere
Photo: Ed Yourdon

From Coursera to edX, “MOOC” has become one of the top education buzzwords of 2013, with some of the most powerful brands in higher education like Stanford, MIT, and the University of Michigan offering courses for free. These Massive Open Online Courses have been growing in number over the past year, and with over 2.7 million “students” on Coursera alone, it is easy to see why MOOCs have become the topic de jour.

With courses being taught online for free from the Harvards, Stanfords, and MITs of the world, will there be a place for the physical college campus experience in the future?

MOOCs share some characteristics of disruptive technologies

Wired notes that MOOCs have certain traits that have traditionally been held by disruptive technologies. MOOCs are serving people who aren’t already enrolled in college, making content free and accessible to those who otherwise would miss out. Additionally, with materials online, students have some flexibility with their schedules that students who must be in a brick-and-mortar room at a specific time do not.

MOOCs also are now at the point where their quality is allowing them to be desirable to “upmarket” users as supporting technologies like bandwidth and online sharing have proliferated. While they are not yet sufficient to meet the needs of many college students, they are beginning to approach a more rigorous standard that will increasingly meet the needs of consumers.

 

Why MOOCs aren’t ready to replace “traditional” colleges just yet

On paper, MOOCs sound like the revolution in education that we have been waiting for. But it isn’t that simple. While the features of MOOCs – captured lectures, the ability to discuss material with fellow students, and practice assignments – parallel or are similar to the traditional classroom, MOOCs have yet to see the same success.

Most importantly, only a small fraction of students who enroll in MOOCs go on to complete the course. This phenomenon is so pronounced that it caused Richard McKenzie, a UC—Irvine professor, to leave his Coursera “Microeconomics for Managers” course because of his 37,000 students, “fewer than 2 percent have been actively engaged in discussions.”

Professor McKenzie viewed uninformed or superfluous responses from students in discussion forums as an impediment to the learning of the students serious about completing the course. In this arena, MOOCs may not meet the standards of the traditional university because students in many cases may not be coming from the same level of commitment as their college-enrolled counterparts. Without tuition to pay or an official transcript, many who register for MOOCs could be enrolling simply out of curiosity – the stakes are low. Unlike the full-time student in a university who could be wasting tens of thousands of dollars in tuition for not devoting their full attention to a course, a Coursera user can leave a course at any time with no real consequences.

Though some MOOCs are beginning to offer certifications for students who want to prove their work in online courses, even the co-founder of Coursera doesn’t think they will reach the value of a traditional degree from one of the MOOC-provider’s partner institutions.

 

Lessons from MOOCs that can be applied to higher education via blended learning

MOOCs aren’t ready to replace the classroom experience for the majority of students yet. But, there are a few qualities of MOOCs that can be used in a blended learning class (i.e. combining both face-to-face instruction and online elements) to improve student learning and satisfaction.

Among these are providing ways to students to ask questions and get answers digitally. Personal capture (PCAP) and lecture capture videos are also great resources for students to access when studying after class, even if they are on a physical campus. Ultimately, digital tools and practice problem sets can enhance student learning in any course setup because they increase the opportunities for students to engage with material, think critically, and learn in the way that is most effective for them

 

How Students Consume Complex Concepts with Blended Learning

Attend our free webinar -- Snacking on Substance: Active Learning Cuts Rich Course Content into Bite-Sized Chunk -- to learn how students at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine consume complex concepts with some help from lecture capture and a student engagement system.

Topics: Active Learning, traditional teaching methods, Online Education, MOOCs, Massive Open Online Courses, emerging technologies in education, Teaching with Technology, Educational Technology, Web Applications

7 Ways to Study Smarter This Term with LectureTools

Posted by Christopher Machielse on Tue, February 05, 2013

For many college students, another semester is underway. With it comes the juggling act between academics, clubs and sports teams, a part-time job, and – yes, even a social life. Time is a precious commodity, and that’s why LectureTools is an active learning platform designed to help students study more efficiently and learn more.

study session
Photo: presta

Here are a few tips on how to study smarter with LectureTools:

 

1. Take notes. Review them anywhere, anytime.

When professors cover material in class, take notes with each slide. Having the slide deck provided within LectureTools means you can rely on the course materials for basic understanding and definitions, and focus on examples and in-depth insights when you take notes.

Since notes are stored in the cloud, you can review them from any computer or iPad with an internet connection. Going offline? Print out your notes attached to the slides, or save them as a PDF to save paper (and to save on your printing quota).

 

2. Ask questions now, not the night before the exam.

The night before the exam is the last time you want to realize something from your instructor’s slides just doesn’t make sense. Even if your professor is quick to reply to your emails, and besides, cramming is probably not going to help you as much as you’d like it to.

Pay attention during class. When you get confused, don’t be shy: submit your question with LectureTools. You’ll get a notification when your instructor or teaching assistant answer your question. And with their help, you’ll already understand the material when exam time rolls around.

 

3. Check the question stream for Q&A from your peers.

While we’re still on the topic of questions, don’t only worry about your own. LectureTools will anonymously show you questions submitted by your classmates that have been answered by the instructor or TA.

These provide a great way to double-check your understanding – if you find yourself knowing how to answer most of the questions then you are likely in good shape for the exam. If you don’t, revise your study plan accordingly.

 

4. Practice with the activities from lecture

Re-reading material isn’t a bad idea. But be sure to actually engage with material when you are studying for that test. Chances are, the activities (multiple choice, free response, or otherwise) that your instructor gave as practice during lecture will bear at least some resemblance to future quiz questions.

Make sure, at minimum, you know how to approach the problems already discussed in class and can apply what you learned to other problems.

 

5. Don’t forget about your bookmarked and confusing slides.

So you marked a slide as confusing, or bookmarked it in LectureTools during class. Great! This will help you down the road and save you precious time during exam week because you are the best judge of which concepts are causing trouble, and which slides are the most important. 

When the time comes to review, filter your slides. Make sure slides that you had marked confusing are no longer a problem, and use the bookmarked slides as a starting point for your studies.

 

6. Stop keeping your course materials in more than one place

There was once a time when you had to keep track of your notes, quizzes, and slides – and a lot of people just threw them into their backpacks. But you can use LectureTools as a comprehensive place for everything you need to study.

Avoid the need to carry everything around by using the cloud. And don’t even worry about having things spread across different websites and files on your computer. Just keep everything in one organized, central environment.

 

7. Go mobile with LectureTools for iPad

If your laptop is weighing you down or your school has an iPad initiative, get LectureTools for iPad. The app enables you to take notes and access every feature of the LectureTools web app in the intuitive interface of iPad. Oh, and the best part is that the app is included for free with your subscription.

 

Hopefully these tips help you ace those exams!

aced the examPhoto: thebarrowboy

 

teaching with lecturetoolsLearn More About the LectureTools Active Learning Platform

Let us give you a tour of both the student and instructor sides of LectureTools. LectureTools has been shown by the UM CRLT to increase student engagement and attentiveness. If you give students an opportunity to participate, they will.

Topics: Active Learning, Benefits of LectureTools for Students, Educational Technology, Student Note-Taking

LectureTools Acquired by Echo360

Posted by Chelsea Jenkins on Wed, November 07, 2012

 

An Active Learning Platform


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In 2005 Dr. Perry Samson started LectureTools at the University of Michigan as a research project with one goal: to revolutionize the classroom and to engage students with their laptops and cellphones, regardless of class size. 

LectureTools launched commercially in August 2011 and has since been adopted by professors at over 30 universities and colleges across the United States, Canada, and Asia. Today, we are excited to announce that we are joining forces with Echo360, whose lecture capture technology is in use at over 600 schools across the globe and backed by Steve Case's Revolution Growth.

LectureTools: An Active Learning Platform on Vimeo.

Echo360 provides not only resources, but also a like-minded vision and talented employees that will help us achieve our long-term goal of building an active learning platform that revolutionizes the way people teach and learn using technology in and out of the classroom. This is not the end of LectureTools, rather, a new beginning, and current accounts will not be affected. LectureTools will always exist and it will continue to improve as a stand alone product. It will also be developing an integrated solution with lecture capture and other active learning features. 

We would like to extend a special thank you to our early adopters, who have given us amazing feedback and their continued support. We look forward to continuing our work with you and the Echo360 team.

 

To a new beginning, 

The LectureTools team.

 

Samson is also a co-founder of the Weather Underground, which sold in the summer to the Weather Channel, with a group of former students. LectureTools also sprouted with a dedicated group of recently graduated U-M students including Jason Aubrey, Bret Squire and Sharanyan Ravi. Aubreyco-founder of LectureTools, joins Echo360 as a product manager while Squire and Ravi join as developers. 

We would also like to say thank you to a few key players in the LectureTools story – University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Michigan TechArb, University of Michigan Office of Technology Transfer, The National Science Foundation, our advisor Jim Sterken, and the instructors and students who have helped us grow.

 

 

Make your class more interactive: click below and become the next addition to our team!

 

 

 

describe the image

 

Topics: Online Education, LectureTools News, New Features, classroom engagement strategies, emerging technologies in education, interactive classroom technology, enhance student engagement, Teaching with Technology, Student-Instructor Interaction, Engaging Students in the Classroom, Classroom Response Systems, Educational Technology, instructor interaction, instructor communication, student engagement, student engagement strategies, Student Response Systems, student response, Flipped Instruction, educational networking, The Flipped Classroom

A Supplement of a LectureTools Testimony

Posted by Chelsea Jenkins on Tue, October 30, 2012

LectureTools: An engaging presentation tool to use in the classroom

Jim Barbour, associate professor of economics, uses LectureTools in his introductory-level courses.

Jim Barbour, chair of the economics department and associate professor of economics, uses LectureTools in his introductory-level courses.

 

While searching for an alternative to clickers to use in his classes, Jim Barbour, chair of the economics department and associate professor of economics, stumbled upon LectureTools.

Run by a five-person team in Ann Arbor, Mich.,LectureTools is an engaging, web-based program that allows instructors to create interactive presentations.

“I was looking for something that was more robust,” Barbour said. “Think of [LectureTools] as a combination of clickers, Facebook and Twitter all rolled into one.”

Special Features

By uploading preexisting PowerPoint presentations to LectureTools, instructors can enhance classroom materials by incorporating multiple-choice, short-answer or ordering questions, as well as images and videos onto slides. Students can access presentations on their own devices by logging in to the program.

“All of this is like a clicker on steroids,” Barbour said. “But now, you don’t have to keep track of the clickers, and you don’t have to charge them up.”

Instructors can incorporate multiple-choice, short-answer or ordering questions, as well as images and videos onto slides.

Instructors can enhace classroom materials by incorpoarting multiple-choice, short-answer or ordering questions, as well as images and videos onto slides.

 

LectureTools is free for instructors, Barbour said, while students must pay a flat $15 fee at the beginning of the semester.

LectureTools works best on laptops, tablets and smartphones, Barbour said, though students can still participate if he or she has a mobile phone with texting capabilities.

Barbour said out of the seventy-odd students he has had in his LectureTools-based classes, only one did not have a laptop, tablet, smartphone or phone with texting capabilities. Because of this, Barbour is lending his Kindle to the student.

“There are places [students can] checkout [laptops] from the school, so I’ve run into that once out of 74 students,” Barbour said. “It’s probably going to be a problem less and less as we go forward.”

Students can control the view of their individual screens, take notes on slides, mark slides as confusing, bookmark slides to review later and direct questions to instructors by typing inquiries into a comment box.

 Students can control the view of their individual screens, take notes on slides, mark slides as confusing, bookmark slides to review later and direct questions to instructors by typing inquiries into a comment box.

 

While logged in to LectureTools, students can control the view of their individual screens. Students can take notes on the slides, and because the program is web-based, students’ notes are saved online and can be accessed later.

Freshman Michelle Rich, a student in Barbour’s introductory-level economics class, said she likes the flexibility of LectureTools in that it allows her to control what slide is displayed on her screen. She said she likes the interactivity of the technology too, because it helps her to better learn the material.

“LectureTools is helpful, but I am still adapting to this new way of learning,” she said. “I really like how my professor asks us questions through LectureTools because it tests us while we’re learning.”

Students can mark presentation slides as confusing, and they can bookmark slides to review later. Further, students can direct questions to instructors by typing them into a comment box, and professors receive those inquiries instantly.

“It’s another way for me to communicate with the class, and that’s really what I’m interested in because at the core, we are storytelling creatures,” Barbour said. “This allows me to tailor the story as I go to match what the class seems to need. Any good instructor always does that.”

LectureTools records all student activity and converts the data into a report, which is sent to an instructor approximately 20 minutes after class is over.

Students in Barbour's economics class collaborate on a short-answer question.

 Students in Barbour's introductory-level economics class collaborate on a short-answer question.

By Sam Parker 

 

 

To use LectureTools and start increasing engagement in  YOUR classroom click here:

 

 

Topics: Mobile Devices for Education, classroom engagement strategies, emerging technologies in education, interactive classroom technology, enhance student engagement, Teaching with Technology, Student-Instructor Interaction, Engaging Students in the Classroom, Large Class, Classroom Response Systems, Educational Technology, instructor interaction, student engagement, student engagement strategies, Student Response Systems, Student Participation, educational networking, Enriching Scholarship Conference, Laptops in Education, Learning Outcomes, The Flipped Classroom

How I Use My iPad as a College Student and Educator

Posted by Chelsea Jenkins on Mon, September 24, 2012

2012 09 11 1331

I'm currently working on my post-baccalaureate degree in speech language pathology, and I also work around 40 hours a week as both a freelance writer and early literacy tutor. I rely heavily on technology to help me accomplish my academic and professional goals. I can't imagine life without it. My first college experience, in the late 90s, was much different from my current one. I used the computers in the school library to type up my papers, but that was the extent of how I used technology. Now I spend what seems like all day on my iPhone, iPad, and laptop.

Technology can definitely be a distraction at times, but it's mostly a lifesaver. I don't think I'd be able to work and study as effectively as I do without the help of my laptop and iPad. My iPad has been a particularly useful tool over the last couple of years. I use it in a million different ways in my day-to-day life. On an average day, here are some of the ways I use my iPad as a student, writer, and educator:

1. I check my class assignments on Blackboard while riding the subway to school to make sure I've completed them all. (I usually have).

2. I use my Evernote app to take notes in class and organize those notes. When I know a lecture is particularly important or just don't have the energy to take notes, I record what my professors are saying with a neat little app called Audiolio.

3. In between classes, I'll read eTextbooks for my courses. Unfortunately, not all my textbooks are available in eTextbook format. So, I do have to put my iPad aside every once in a while and crack open an old-fashioned book.

4. All of my classes are scheduled in the mornings. When I'm done with them I ride home on the subway and use my iPad to reply to emails from my editors/freelance supervisors. I also use Evernote to write out ideas I have for various writing projects.

5. I switch over to my laptop and complete writing assignments for work when I get home. Once I'm done, I'll usually spend some time on my iPad, going over my class notes for the day. I also frequently use my iPad to peruse SLP job postings. I'll be graduating this December, and I like to keep track of what sort of job openings there are.

6. At this point in my day, it's usually almost time to meet up with one of the kindergarten, first, or second grade students I tutor. I might call my boyfriend or one of my friends on the way to the subway to catch up and make dinner plans or other plans for the evening.

7. On the subway, I go over my lesson plan for whichever student I'll be meeting with that day.

8. I meet up with my student. We typically read and re-read a print book together and then read a fun, interactive book together on my iPad. This week I'm reading The Cat in the Hatwith all of my kids. This classic book totally comes alive on the iPad. If you have or teach young children, you have to check it out!

9. Oftentimes, I'll end the lesson with my students by playing some sort of literacy game on my iPad and practicing sight words on digital flashcards (on my iPad, of course). I typically use the ABC Pocket Phonics app with my kindergarten students to practice their letters and signs. And I'll use apps like Early Reader and K12 Timed Reading Practice Lite with my older kiddos to work on their fluency and more advanced phonics skills. The young learners I work with pretty much love everything we do on my iPad, and I truly believe all of them have benefited from using this technology.

10. Once I'm done tutoring, I usually take a break from my iPad. I plug it in, and leave it alone for a while. I might meet up with my boyfriend or friends for dinner and usually spend some time unwinding with them at the end of the day. Before bed, I might research different literacy and speech therapy apps. I get excited about all the cool apps I'll be able to use once I officially start working in speech therapy, and I drift off to sleep, oftentimes still holding my iPad.

As you can probably tell, I'm glued to my iPad and technology in general throughout the day. As a student or educator, how do you use your iPad to optimize what you do? Let us know!

 

Angelita Williams is a freelance writer, student, and educator who frequently contributes to onlinecollegecourses.com. She strives to instruct her readers and enrich their lives and welcomes you to contact her at angelita.williams7@gmail.com if you have any questions or comments.


 

Lecturing with an iPad eBook

Control Your Lecture with an iPad

Wander any place in your classroom and still control your slides! Download our free eBook and learn how to use your iPad to untether yourself from the podium and start teaching more interactively.

Topics: emerging technologies in education, interactive classroom technology, enhance student engagement, Teaching with Technology, Student-Instructor Interaction, Engaging Students in the Classroom, Educational Technology, instructor communication, student engagement, student engagement strategies, educational networking, Apple iPad in Education

How Tech Changed My University Classroom

Posted by Chelsea Jenkins on Thu, September 06, 2012

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As a (now contentedly former) English professor at a large public university in the American South, and, obviously, a longtime student myself before that, I have seen firsthand how technology transformed the classroom...and then transformed it again. This is a big mistake we make when thinking about technological change: thinking that the world can be divided into “before” and “after” a given technology, and that once the latest thing is ubiquitous, we’ll get to stay still. Unfortunately this is not the case, for it’s not one shift that makes the difference but multiple simultaneous, overlapping, and qualitatively different revolutions that may soon be made obsolete themselves.

When I was a child, we still watched filmstrips in class. Yes, actual strips of actual film. I remember watching the first President Bush’s inauguration on TV in a classroom, though I can’t remember if it was cable yet or simply broadcast. Then video infiltrated classrooms, with the beloved clunky TV cart that heralded a day off from book-based study (Marshall McLuhan once warned that introducing television into education would blow the classroom apart -- I’m not so sure he wasn’t right).

Thanks to the famed visionary forward-looking genius of Apple (and/or their self-serving canniness), green screen and then full-color Macs proliferated in my schools. I was in college when cell phones became popular, but few people had laptops.

By the time I started teaching, nearly every student had a laptop, though as those years went on, fewer and fewer bothered to bring it to class. Why? I wish I could say it was because of their desire to put away anything that might distract from my words of wisdom.

In truth, the cellphone and laptop had merged, and their iPhones were now a one-stop shop for research, socializing, and pure time-wasting. We now have the iPad and, interestingly, tablets seem to be trending smaller and iPhones bigger. Will the two products merge? Where does our future lie, and what does it mean for education?

My most recent classrooms featured computer podiums hooked up to a projector. This was moderately useful in my Introduction to Fiction class, where I mainly used it to call up YouTube videos so that authors like James Baldwin, Ray Bradbury, and Vladimir Nabokov could explain their work in person. I also found biographical documentaries of writers such as Edgar Allan Poe and James Joyce, who did not live to see the television era, let alone get grandfathered into YouTube.

But it was the other literature class I was teaching, Introduction to Drama, where technology really brought the subject alive. Unlike prose fiction, after all, drama is not in its essential form a “text,” but is meant as a blueprint to be interpreted and brought to life. So after reading, say, Euripides in our anthology of plays, I could show my students a slideshow on the development of tragedy, a documentary clip demonstrating the spatial quality and remarkable acoustics of the Theater of Dionysus in Athens, and four or five different interpretations of the same scene from Medea taken from live and cinematic versions in English, Greek, and Japanese. This truly showcased the mind-blowing potential of the wired classroom, and all that was missing was an interactive element to make it more hands-on for my students.

 

Stephanie Brooks is a freelance writer and blogger who mostly enjoys covering all things education, including at top10onlineuniversities.org, but also regarding traditional brick-and-mortar institutions. When she's not writing, she can be found at the gym working out to Zumba and cooking healthy recipes at home. She welcomes your feedback.

 


Lecturing with an iPad eBookFree eBook: Lecturing with an iPad

Students are far less likely to stray when you are able to roam the aisles. Download our free eBook and learn how to use your iPad to untether yourself from the podium and start teaching more interactively.

Topics: Apple, classroom engagement strategies, emerging technologies in education, interactive classroom technology, enhance student engagement, Teaching with Technology, Engaging Students in the Classroom, Classroom Response Systems, Educational Technology, instructor interaction, instructor communication, student engagement, student engagement strategies, Flipped Instruction, Guest Blogger

The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Flipped Classroom

Posted by Chelsea Jenkins on Wed, August 29, 2012

 

 

The "flipped classroom" has been making waves in the educational world for some time now. With the introduction of the Khan Academy, the concept of the flipped classroom has become one of the hottest debates in the academic world among primary educators, professors, and administrators alike. As education-based technology and online platforms continue to grow and improve, more and more devices, programs, and concepts are entering the educational world and shaking things up. Where at one time the concept of online learning, computer-based assignments, and the virtual classroom were scoffed at, today online education and technology in the classroom are top priorities for schools, teachers, and researchers.

 

Within our increasingly digital world, most of us agree that education and academia must respond to the changing atmosphere of society. By and large, we accept that online learning and certain academic technologies are worthwhile. However, with all the hoopla over the Khan Academy and the flipped classroom, there remain both positives and negatives to the approach.

 

The Advantages

Many of the advantages of the flipped classroom have been covered throughout the blogosphere and elsewhere. There are many things to praise about the concept of the flipped classroom. With positive results from many teachers and school districts throughout the country, there's no denying that the approach can (and has been) successful in certain cases. Students are able to approach material and take it in at their own speed. By covering lecture material at home and from a video-based platform, students can privately view the material. This allows them to approach things at their own pace without worry of peers noticing them moving slower or faster. Students can stop, pause, rewind, and fast forward material so that they can examine things in their own way.

 

By taking the lecture portion of the classroom home with them, students are able to utilize their teachers' one-on-one attention more successfully in the classroom. Students sit through lecture, gather questions, and prepare themselves for the day with the teacher to tackle "homework". Because the actual exercises are done in the classroom rather than at home with this model, students have their teacher available for questions with problems when they occur.

 

The flipped classroom also allows teaching to adapt more easily to the different teaching styles that individual students may be most successful with. By putting lectures in a video format, students can listen to the lesson and watch the video illustrate the lesson. Of course, this largely depends on how successful the actual video lecture is. You want a lecture (like the Khan videos) that explains concepts verbally, but also draws them out in images and pictures. This provides adequate learning opportunities for verbal learners and for visual learners. With in-classroom lecturing, the visual aspect of lecturing can be significantly more difficult to accomplish.

 

The Disadvantages

Of course, as with anything, there are going to be some disadvantages to the flipped structure of learning as well. Just as classroom lecturing works better for some and doesn't work for others, the flipped classroom method is not going to accommodate every individual perfectly. The biggest set back today to the flipped classroom method is that not all students and schools have access to technologies that can really work for this method.

 

Students from lower income areas and lower income families may not have access to the computers and internet technologies that the flipped classroom requires. The structure really hinges on every student having personal access to his or her own personal device. This simply is not the case for every student and every school district. Students who do not have personal home computers or access to the internet would be forced to use public computers at a library or at the school. This, to some degree, eliminates the personal and private experience of taking in the lecture. What makes having lectures as homework so powerful is that students can do it on their own time and in their own way. At a library computer or school computer time limits typically exist and access can be limited if it is busy. This is problematic.

 

Another downside to the idea of the flipped classroom that many people bring up is the fact that students would be spending all of their "homework time" plugged-in in front of a computer screen. Not only do not all students do well with learning from a screen, but this also adds to a student's time in front of a screen and sitting sedentary. While this concern isn't singular to the flipped classroom, the teaching concept doesn't help our young students to get up and get away from their computers, televisions, and iPods.

Flip your classroom with LectureTools! Check out one of our flipped classrooms by signing in as a student:

http://my.lecturetools.com

ID: icon20@lecturetools.com

PW: 2012

Mariana Ashley is a blogger and freelance writer who often writes for onlinecolleges.net about online college life. Mariana is passionate about all things education and loves writing about the latest trends in the world of academia. She welcomes comments via email at mariana.ashley031@gmail.com.

Topics: Learning Styles, classroom engagement strategies, emerging technologies in education, interactive classroom technology, enhance student engagement, Teaching with Technology, Student-Instructor Interaction, Engaging Students in the Classroom, Classroom Response Systems, Educational Technology, instructor interaction, student engagement, student engagement strategies, student response, Flipped Instruction, Guest Blogger, Learning Outcomes, The Flipped Classroom

Pros and Cons of iPads in the Classroom

Posted by Jason Aubrey on Tue, June 26, 2012

 

iPad Image resized 600

 

Since it debuted in 2010 the iPad has taken the world by storm. Tablets and e-readers have flooded the market from every manufacturer possible. People are regularly trading their laptops for the sleeker version of the tablet. Businesses are using them for presentations, meetings, and events. Basically, the iPad is saturating every market possible. So it should come as no surprise that it’s becoming a regular debate as to if iPads should be offered in classrooms or not. However there has been some controversy surrounding implementing iPads in classrooms, with some heavy pros and cons weighing on each side.

PROS

1. Eliminates the need for textbooks – Issuing students iPads at the beginning of the year virtually eliminates the need for textbooks in the classroom because of the ability to download books to the device. This means less money spent on books that are outdated within a few years, and less weight for students to lug back and forth from class to class and home and back every day. Plus, it’s easier for kids to highlight important information within the text and keep track of notes in the margins of pages. 

2. Organization – This all but eliminates the “dog ate my homework” excuse and is a viable solution for the chronically disorganized. Students’ notes are all in one place, homework can be uploaded into virtual dropboxes, and each subject can be confined into an individual desktop folder. 

3. Teaches kids early on about technology – Like it or not, technology is taking over the way we do everything, from personal interactions to business ones. The sooner kids learn how to not only be comfortable with using technology, but also be extremely proficient in it, the more it’s going to help them succeed later on in life. 

4. It allows teachers to give lectures in cutting edge ways – Instead of the typical approach to classroom lectures where teachers stand at the front of the classroom and talk for the duration of the class, a practice which tends to leave students less then engaged, iPads in the classroom allow for a much more interactive approach. Through the use of technology like LectureTools teachers and students alike experience in the classroom learning experience in an entirely different, more hands-on approach.

Cons

1. Expensive – Let’s face it, iPads aren’t cheap. Buying an iPad to be issued to every student and teacher would get expensive fast, and then there’s always the worry that a careless student would accidentally break one, or that the inevitable accident would happen leaving the iPad broken and useless and needing to be repaired or replaced. 

2. Potential to be very distracting – Having an iPad at your fingertips all day has the very tempting potential to be extremely distracting, especially if you’re one of the many kids who has some sort of attention disorder. There would have to be some sort of monitoring in place to ensure that students used the iPad solely for school purposes, and even then there are ways around that. 

3. Connectivity – Relying on a device that has to be connected to the internet to get the full functionality out of it is risky, to put it mildly. One network outage can throw off an entire day’s lessons, which is an attractive argument for the standard textbook approach.

It’s plausible, and even probable, that at some point iPads will be the standard in the classrooms. While there are still definite cons to the approach, they aren’t anything that can’t be dealt with, and the pros weigh heavy in favor of the switch to a tablet-based learning experience.

Author Bio

Melanie Slaugh is enthusiastic about the growing prospects and opportunities of various industries and writing articles on various consumer goods and services as a freelance writer. She writes extensively for internet service providers and also topics related to internet service providers in her area for presenting the consumers the information they need to choose the right Internet package for them. She can be reached at slaugh.slaugh907 @ gmail.com.


 

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Topics: Mobile Devices for Education, emerging technologies in education, Educational Technology, student engagement, Apple iPad in Education

The Flipped Classroom: Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century

Posted by Katherine Pfeiffer on Fri, February 17, 2012

Have you heard of the flipped classroom? Imagine inverting the way instruction and homework is assigned. Instead of students passively learning during class time, students learn at home receiving instruction at their own pace. Class time is then open for an active learning approach where students get access to valuable time with the instructor. The instructor’s role changes from presenter of content to learning coach. 

Jon Bergmann and Jerry Overmyer discovered this solution when students were frequently missing class for school activities. They began by recording and annotating their lectures and posted them on-line for absent students.  Not only did the absent students use these materials, but, many students who did not miss class used the on-line materials to reinforce the classroom lessons. 

There is no one exact model, but a flipped classroom typically includes:

  1. Resources like videos and PowerPoint presentations that take place of direct instruction
  2. Time outside of school where students watch videos, follow lecture slides, take notes, and create questions.
  3. Class time for working on group projects, homework where they can have the teacher’s immediate assistance.

Providing students with videos of instruction and PowerPoint presentations to be reviewed outside of school allows them to learn at their own pace.  They may pause the video, take notes, write questions, re-wind the video, review for clearer understanding, or perhaps fast-forward.  The lecture material is always available for review allowing students to return and use these powerful resources to study and prepare for exams.

While in class, the once "home" work assignments become much more meaningful and have a greater potential of sticking in their memory.  Flipping the classroom gives students the chance to first study at home and then use class time to really learn and understand through doing.  Think of the science class. Instead of spending 3/4 of class time lecturing and only 1/4 conducting lab experiments, students can spend nearly all of class time in the lab!

If you would like to provide more in-class learning experiences give the flipped classroom a try.  There are many on-line resources available.

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Topics: Online Education, classroom engagement strategies, emerging technologies in education, Educational Technology, Flipped Instruction, The Flipped Classroom