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  • tomwhyte1 7:45 pm on September 25, 2012
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    Tags: , eLearning Coach, Khan Academy   

    http://www.khanacademy.org Sal Khan, the founder and current Executive Director of The Khan Academy, holds two different bachelor degrees and two different masters degrees (which include an MBA from Harvard), which not only demonstrate his passion for learning, but also shows he is capable of innovation as well as leading a successful educational technology venture.  As […]

    Continue reading http://www.khanacademy.org Sal Khan, the… Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • Doug Connery 9:43 pm on September 25, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I saw Sal Khan as a Keynote speaker at a conference this last summer and he truly engaged me and the entire audience because of the passion that came through for his organization and his cause. It certainly made me rethink the concept of free educational materials.


      • tomwhyte1 10:08 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I agree, he is a very passionate and persuading speaker. However, I wonder is many people have been swayed by passion in the past? I am not saying that passion should be ignored, but we are beings that are very emotive… therefore, what might we do to recognize the passion of the presentation, but then move to a place more cognitive to assess the information.


    • manny 7:30 pm on September 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Tom,

      Upon reading our course materials this week I was going to do a biography on Sal Khan myself but noted you post yesterday. Nevertheless I thought I would go ahead and comment on your post as I think the Khan academy is probably one of the front runners in the flipped learning concept. I have seen some of their videos and they range in quality from great illustrative examples to just a recording of a teacher on a blackboard. Some educators fear that this method of instruction is a threat to teacher employability and that eventually schools will begin to shut down. Of course this is a far fetched thought as students still need to learn how to search and decipher the vast amounts of information that are out there. Doug was lucky to have seen Sal at a conference. There is no doubt that he is passionate about his product, a key entrepreneurial skill one must possess to ensure success. I have left a link to a TED talk below in which Sals enthusiasm and passion is evident.



    • tomwhyte1 8:02 pm on September 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I find it amusing, that with many new technologies, educators fear we will be replaced. Such stories can be found with the overhead projector, that min wage staffers would simply place overheads upon the surface, students would mindlessly copy down material and…poof…learning would happen. If it was that easy, there would be no schools, and education would be that simple.

      The Khan Academy allows myself as an educator to help the student when it is important, trying out the new skills they have learned, not the “download of information” otherwise known as the class lecture.


    • teacherben 9:13 pm on September 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I don’t know if you have seen his TEDtalk, but you should. It might provide you with some inspiration. His project has very humble beginnings. He was just making videos to supplement his weekly tutoring sessions with his niece. When she told him he didn’t need to come over anymore and that the videos were good enough on their own, he knew he was on to something. Personally, I’m not a big fan of all of his work. I think the idea is sound and the quality of the videos is certainly improving, but most of the videos are still excruciatingly boring. he has yet to really leverage the power of a truly interactive experience. (The new programming section is definitely a step in the right direction.) A lot of educators have (I think correctly) expressed concern that people are trying to use these videos in place of some other curriculum. They are a great supplement, but, as he points out in his TEDtalk, the whole point is that these free up the teacher to work with kids individually and in small groups to differentiate instruction based on student needs, and to give contextual tasks a more central role. The kids learn it at home and they apply it in the classroom. To what extent this is actually happening is an important question.

      • tomwhyte1 10:07 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        What I appreciate, is the Khan Academy coaching information. The overall level of detail, down to individual student responses on specific questions, provides myself as an educator a tonne of information to help make decisions on areas of growth, areas of focus, who can help and who needs help.

        And yes, the videos are not a replacement. Just another way to deliver basic information.


    • pcollins 8:10 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I have used Sal’s videos when my science classes have been flipped. Although the videos can be a tad dry – they are succinct enough to engage the student at home. The Gates foundation and Google both gave significant donations to get the Khan academy off the ground. Great to see other tech companies supporting e-learning


      • tomwhyte1 10:10 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Interesting point about the “dryness” of the videos. I wonder if this is intentional… to avoid the novelty effect, or to reduce cultural items that only specific groups associate with…


    • adi 6:24 pm on September 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      What I find fascinating is how many of these ventures are born, i.e. from a need. In this case it was from the need to help out a niece online; ‘Slideshare’ from one of the co-founders wanting to share his conference slides and not being able to; ‘Dropbox’, from its founder constantly forgetting his USB. How many more things could we make ventures out of if we only stopped to think ‘Hey, there´s a need here, and a possible venture!’

    • ETEC522grp8 8:37 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great discussion so far guys! I think that the point of the vanishing educator is a persistent concern. I heard in one of my Literature classes at UVic that people expressed the same level of fear when the printing press was invented and information could be widely disseminated by text. is this the same situation, or completely different? I like the idea, too, that the “dryness” of the videos could be intentional. Good food for thought.

  • manny 11:15 am on September 16, 2012
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    Tags: eLearning Coach   

    In her article titled “Learning Technology Trends in 2012,” Connie Malamed shares her insightful predictions on trends to watch out for in 2012. The full list is available by clicking on the link provided above. For the purpose of this discussion, I will focus on the idea of backchannels and flipped learning.      Backchannel […]

    Continue reading Learning Coach: 2012 Top Trends Posted in: Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace
    • Doug Connery 1:14 pm on September 16, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Manny:

      I like your approach to focus on two technologies. I work in a post secondary and have seen both of these used.

      The Back channel was in a demonstration situation in one of our new “technology rooms”. I signed up for the session last May not knowing what is was and I was going light that day so I did not have any personnel technology with me. Needless to say I was not an active participant, just an observer. They did tie in participants from other parts of the institute so it went beyond the classroom. I certainly found it hard to keep up and focus as there was so much going on: the facilitator speaking, their presentation on one set of screens, the twitter back channel on other screens and the F-2-F back channel at each table. In the end, I can’t remember what the topic was, only the apparent confusion of everything going on at once. All I could think of was the student who did not have the technology/twitter account and any special needs students that find it hard to focus, it would have blown their circuits. So this technology/method is in its infancy and participants/facilitators need some training, guidelines and best practices are needed to direct it so it is actually useful and not some neat thing to play with.

      Flipped learning is a great method that is being used and is possible through courses developed for blended learning. It also provides a way for instructors to get away from the traditional lecture style classroom format to a style that is more engaging and interactive project and group work. In post secondary we are finding it is many students who oppose this style as it means they need to actually do something in the classroom rather than come for a lecture. For the most part we have been able to check the students helicopter parents at the hanger before entering the school.


      • supatel 4:15 pm on September 16, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I agree. The idea of flipped learning is making significant leeway within educational settings. With the shift to project/inquiry based learning, educators are opting to front-load the material/content online via tutorials/videos and having students engage in work in the classroom. I have tried this myself on a few occassions, and allowed me to focus on those who need the extra help while allowing those who feel comfortable move on.


        • Lisa Nevoral 5:06 pm on September 16, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          I have heard about flipped learning from a few teachers at another school in my district. One of the courses was Math 12 and the other Biology 12. They taught in this style last year, but I don’t know if they are continuing to try it or how beneficial it was in their classes. A few of us in my department were thinking of trying it for the Space Unit in Gr. 9 Science. We have the students do a large space project, so we thought this would be a good idea to try.

          • supatel 11:27 am on September 17, 2012 | Log in to Reply

            Hi Lisa,

            It definitely exciting to try something new with a class and more importantly learn from it. Have you had the opportunity to talk to the grade 12 math and biology instructors to see if the experience was fruitful. I would be interested to know how it went and what were some things that needed to be improved in order to make it more productive.


            • Lisa Nevoral 8:27 pm on September 17, 2012

              Hi Suhayl,

              I sent them an email a couple of weeks ago, but with the start up of school, they were probably too busy to answer. If I hear anything back, I will report back on what I found out.


    • Mike Rae 10:33 pm on September 16, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I’d be interested in hearing how a flipped classroom experiment goes. Reading about it, I can see how it makes a lot of sense. The problem I saw with it is that students tend to be lazy, and the ‘homework’ of watching a lecture the day of, might be ignored by a lot of students. It requires a lot of trust of the kids to do those things. Also, lots of times in lectures and presentations, questions arise as you go, and there are cool tangents that you can take as the teacher to facilitate discussion and more questioning and clarifying. I think there would have to be some sort of question period at the beginning of the next day – perhaps that could be a homework check, to improve the accountability of the class.

    • Shaun Pepper 8:22 am on September 17, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I have experimented with the Idea of the flipped classroom. I think it is important to enforce the watching of videos like you would a homework check. If students start to look at it as a ‘serious’ assignment not just fun, they tend to gain good insight. In my classroom, I usually get them to write 1 thing they found interesting about the video and 1 thing they found confusing. You can use polling software and reference the video the next day in class while clearing up any misunderstandings.

      This flipped technique can be effective. However, I still have found the most effective way is to use the videos in class, pause and explain or clarify as the video is playing. This isn’t traditional, but it is not a flipped classroom either. It allows students to take a resource home (Khan academy, TED Ed) that we have discussed and work on their homework with assistance.

  • teacherben 11:31 pm on September 11, 2012
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    Tags: eLearning Coach   

    This is the second annual blog post from ‘The eLearning Coach’ where the author, Connie Malamed, gives her predictions of which educational technologies will really take off in the upcoming year.  The article is perhaps meant as casual reading and provides some ‘food for thought’ but her predictions are fairly conservative and there is nothing particularly surprising […]

    Continue reading Learning Technology Trends to Watch Posted in: General, Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace
    • tomwhyte1 12:39 pm on September 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I find it interesting the delay this article has in presenting “trends” when compared to other similar articles. Might this be her attempt to allow the general educator time enough to become familiar with the technology to use, and not those on the cutting edge?


    • teacherben 7:21 pm on September 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      My guess is that she composed her list based on her reading of other people’s top ten lists. Her blog rarely has anything original. She is more of a content curator than anything else.

      • tomwhyte1 8:39 am on September 13, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Interesting observation, which would force one to recommend this type of posting based upon the individual teacher. Those who need time, and more general information, experience should utilize this type of information. Where as our early adopters should steer clear?


    • Mike Rae 11:05 pm on September 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I think that lists like these that are casual, light readings are more important than ones that are overly technical. The majority of educators and administrators do not subscribe to “Wired” or follow Ed Tech professional’s twitter feeds. Lists like this might be purposefully underwhelming as to not scare off an on-the-fence educator who might be looking to become more tech-savvy. If the overall goal is to encourage more teachers to use and become interested in the available technology to increase learning efficiency, it is important to give opportunity for some to start in the shallow end of the swimming pool, so to speak.

      • tomwhyte1 8:41 am on September 13, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I agree with your statements, as to not scare them off.

        However, to help facilitate more general educators, would it not be beneficial to add ideas, suggestings, examples on how this technology might look like within a classroom. Allowing teachers to get their “feet wet” before jumping into the pool.


    • adi 2:18 pm on September 13, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I agree she just mentions the tools, but not how they could be integrated into classroom practice. She says that the advantage of clouds is that you don’t have the content of your course in your desktop; i though this was the case with an LMS, too. And if you look up the sites she mentions, they are all private companies that offer, easy online course creation tools and even hosting of the course. Isn’t this what Blackboard does? I was not impressed

      • tomwhyte1 8:05 pm on September 13, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I see what you are getting at, however I have a different opinion between Blackboard and a Cloud Based Application. Blackboard is a Learning Management System. I go, get information, maybe take a quiz, maybe have a working “chat room”, post comments, upload assignments, get grades. Basically, an electronic version of a traditional classroom. Where as cloud based applications, like Google Docs, simulate traditional software, such as MS Word, that would be entirely housed on your PC, but can be accessed from anywhere.

        Yes they have similarities, need the Internet, function regardless of computers operating system. But LMS’s facilitate learning, where as true cloud based applications facilitate the creation of learning artifacts.


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