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Showing posts from October, 2014

Who Is Telling Your Story? You Can With A Blog!

A few of my colleagues have asked me, “What’s the one thing that has had the biggest impact on your personal learning?” I am personally and professionally reborn as a result of becoming a connected educator. Social networks, and in particular, my PLN (personal learning network) have taught me more about schools, teaching, education, technology, learning, and most importantly, myself during the past two years than my previous 25 plus years spent as a professional educator and student. The single activity that has had the biggest impact on my personal and professional learning is blogging.
Creating a blog requires no technical or coding skills. You do not have to be a great writer to have an effective blog. Blogs provide a web presence with simplicity and versatility. Blogging has been around for some time. John Barger, when describing his site called Robot Wisdom, first coined the term “weblog” in 1997. Two years later, Peter Merholz shortened this term to “blog”. Evan Williams, a co-fo…

Gamification vs. Game-based Learning, Who Wins?

Educators are looking for ways to increase motivation and engagement in learners. Gamification, and game-based learning, are increasingly popular discussion topics in educational circles. Research suggests gaming significantly contributes to engagement, focus, and self-determined learning. Anyone who has played Minecraft, Clash of Clans, or Angry Birds understands the intrinsic power of overcoming obstacles. leveling up, and achieving success as a result of improved skills. Recent posts have shouted the virtues of gamification and game-based learning interchangeably, but aren't these concepts vastly different?

While both gamification and game-based learning (GBL) can contribute to motivation, focus, and engagement in learners, these concepts when applied to classroom situations, are not the same thing. Which practice makes a bigger impact on learning? When it comes to gaming in the classroom, who wins?

Gamification
Gamification adds a layer of gaming elements to classroom practices. …

How Information Flow Supports Connected Learning

Ubiquitous access to unlimited information is creating massive adjustments to modern learning. There are some that say learning, in the traditional sense, is no longer necessary because of the instantaneous availability of boundless information. For example, I no longer need to memorize the names of all fifty states and their capitals because Google will provide me this information in a fraction of a second. These shifts in learning are causing many educators, and with good reason, to reshape their thoughts on the purpose and function of schools, and of education.  



Whether informal or formal, information is feeding our learning significantly. With only 24 hours in a day, how can we possibly make sense of all of the information that is available to us? As with water, electricity, or air, I find it helps to have a process or plan for information flow. Three stages make up this flow model, input, processing, output. Each stage contributes to the overall understanding of a topic or situat…