Tag Archives | eLearning

iBook Author by Apple

There are times in an instructional designer’s life when the game changes and Apple has just changed the game-again. This time it is with their iBook Author.  Those who are considering an elearning situation, should consider using this new tool. The ability to interact with the content built in iBooks is amazing for all types of learners. Integrating audio and video right into the iBook allows the learners to integrate with the content.

Anyone who needs a workbook, textbook, manual. job aid, even a magazine, or newsletter should consider this type of learning aid. I will be getting mine soon.

This amazing new [FREE] app iBook Author allows anyone to create beautiful Multi-Touch textbooks — and just about any other kind of book — for iPad. With galleries, video, interactive diagrams, 3D objects, and more, these books bring content to life in ways the printed page never could.

This application has the ability to drag and drop text, images, graphics, video, movies and more into the template.  Apple’s Widgets add Multi-Touch magic to books with interactive photo galleries that bring images to life, engrossing 3D objects you can’t help interacting with, animations that burst off the page, and more.

Another beautiful thing about iBooks Author, it lets you create books that people with disabilities can read and experience. The table of contents, glossary, widgets, main text, and more are built to automatically take advantage of VoiceOver technology. Add accessibility descriptions to any widget or media — including movies and quizzes — so even those with vision impairments can use them.

And you can publish it to the iBookstore or iTunes U or share it with anyone with an iPad.

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The Self-Directed Learning [SDL] Support Model: Training Educators for Online Learning

Since August, I have been on a journey working with some fabulous educators, instructional designers and just all-round wonderful women drafting outlines and creating the content for a chapter that will be published in a book which is being published by the International Association for K-12 Online Learning [also known as iNACOL]. We just completed our draft of our chapter and are so excited.

This chapter will present a student-centered model for online teacher mentoring. The one-to-many online model is designed to be scalable, self-directed, and leverages social learning. The program, Self-Directed Learning [SDL] Support Model: Training Educators for Online Learning, introduces teachers to ideas of self-directed learning, partnering pedagogy, and metacognition while orienting new and prospective virtual teachers to the online learning environment. To maximize impact and sustainability, this program employs the Cognitive Coaching model through a social learning community.

Without giving away all our secrets -you’ll have to wait until the whole book Lessons Learned in Teacher Mentoring: Supporting Educators in K-12 Online Learning Environments is published [due out in the fall of 2012]- we explain ‘how’ we developed and taught an online course which has helped many educators-across Massachusetts- become better learners and in turn better educators.

Our chapter goes into great detail explaining how we used self-directed learning techniques and skills to teach educators how-to understand and use essential self-directed learning skills such as: goal setting, metacognition, motivation, critical thinking and time management.  We also discuss how we designed our online course, how we delivered it and how we improved it.

I can tell you that by implementing the use of social learning, collaboration and ePortfolios we have had a very good success rate with this online course. Here is what a few of our participants said about our course:

“This was a new way to approach teaching.”

“The course really helped me understand how to encourage and coach students not just around content but around linking content to their own goals in life.”

“It’s cool to watch students change over the course of the year. They start talking about what their goals are and what skills they’ve learned. Online learning puts their education in their own hands—it’s wonderful!”


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There is a very interested infographic of the 18-29 year old Millennials.  Note, 86% of those Millennials who invested in higher education feel it has been a good investment. 50% of those currently in school would like to earn a graduate or professional degree afterwards.  Seems to me, there’s an opportunity to promote online learning to this demographic.

Another good area to study is their Lifestyles.  According to this source, 75% are on a social networking site and 74% feel technology makes their lives easier.  This is even more good reason to expect Millennials are primed and ready to tackle higher education online.

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eLearning Coach Training Video

Nellie and I met at a local cafe to do this interview on what self-directed learning skills meant to her and how this training has impacted her thinking and teaching. With a simple background videos like these can impact others.

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Self-directed Learning Skills

How do teachers, parents, paraprofessionals and other working with children help those students develop self-directed learning [SDL] skills? How can we help students plan for and reach their potential?  I built and co-facilitate this course [within Moodle] to teach the skills necessary for developing 21st century habits of mind.

Participants learn to:

  • Negotiate student learning contracts
  • Teach independent thinking skills
  • Motivate and empower students
  • Become fabulous coaches
  • Build an ePortfolio

There is so much more to learn by participating in this course.  Come hear me and Meg Robbins give a one-hour presentation: Motivating students to becoming self-directed learners. MassCUE 2011.

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