As most educators now know, using technology can increase student engagement in your classroom – but how can utilizing these tools in your classroom put students in charge of their learning? There are so many free tools available over the Internet that can be utilized in the classroom to empower students, and selecting the right tools will be dependent upon what tools your students are interested in, and what your goals are for particular lessons.
The great thing about using online tools is that everybody’s voice is the same volume, which creates the feeling that all ideas are equal. This can inspire students to share openly. Students may be more active in online forums because they feel more comfortable using them. They might make some students to share and actively participate in discussions that they may not take part in if it were an in-person discussion. These tools are the tools that students use outside of the classroom, so why not find a way to use those same tools in teaching?
Blogs and wikis are both great tools you can use to empower students. These tools are great because they are collaborative and students get the chance to have their voice heard. In one of my classes we use both blogs and wikis. We have small groups, and each one of the group members had to create our own blog. Each week we have a big idea question we have to write about on our blog, then we visit each one of our group members blogs and comment on what they posted. Our class wiki is created with the idea that students will reference the resource throughout the course. To build the wiki each student is responsible for finding five resources on a particular subject and citing the resource as well as summarizing information from the resource. Both tools have proved to be very beneficial from a learner’s perspective.
I recently had the opportunity to travel up to our Salt Lake City offices to see the production studio. I had heard stories about how impressive our blue screen was, but really I had no idea just how big it really was. I have heard that our production studio has the largest blue screen in the Salt Lake Valley, and I can see why. I was only there for a short time, but it is quite the experience in our studio and I actually got to do a little bit of filming.
It is a full studio with all of the cameras lights and expected equipment. The Salt Lake Production team was great and made me feel very comfortable. The filming went smoothly and was a lot of fun, hopefully it turns out okay and they don’t have to do too much editing. You will have to stay tuned to see which course I am making a cameo in!
Recently I traveled to the annual ACTE conference that was held in St. Louis, MO. I traveled with all guys from our company, and it has been pretty interesting trying to keep them all on task and under control!
It was a great experience; we arrived on Tuesday afternoon and had a great evening relaxing after our long day of traveling that consisted of a two hour car ride to the Las Vegas Airport, about a minute train ride to the gate, then a three hour flight to St. Louis, a five minute bus ride to the rental car counter, and a fifteen minute drive to the hotel. Yes, you read that right; excluding a boat we pretty much covered all modes of transportation.
Set-up and event
The next day it was time to head over to the booth and set-up. Everything went well and thanks to Kari, our graphic designer, the booth we have takes about an hour to set-up. As we headed out to the parking garage, we noticed a sign that said cash only. Living in the modern age that we do it was shocking and of course we had no cash on us. Well we talked the nice parking attendant (I won’t name her just in case her boss by a small chance reads this) into letting us out on the honor that we would bring her back the two dollars we owed her. We went and got some supplies and brought the money right back to her.
That night we held a reception at our hotel; it went off without a hitch and everyone had a great time. So thank you to everyone who attended the event and to everyone who helped make it a success!
Show Time and chow
So on Thursday it was time to get down to business and start talking with all of the wonderful educators that made it out to this year’s show. It was a great show with a lot of enthusiastic people and a great energy. People were loving the giveaways, and of course gobbling up the Dots candies that we put out.
After a really long day on our feet, we all decided that when in St. Louis you better eat some BBQ. So we asked around and got a tip that Pappy’s Smokehouse was the best place in town, but that we better make it there pretty early because once they run out of stuff it is just gone. We got lost, but eventually found our way there and boy was it worth it. We ordered the Adam Bomb named after Adam Richmond from the television show Man vs. Food. It was a lot of really good food and we all ate way too much, but everyone was in consensus that they would recommend it to anyone who ever visits St. Louis. The food was so good that we ended up getting another Adam Bomb for take out on Friday.
We made our way back home and back to the LearnKey offices. Sad to leave our new friends and the great food, but excited to be back home!
A few pictures from the event:
In our support of the fight against bullying, we are giving all of our education customers our Bullying: You Don’t Have To Take It Anymore course for free! Over the last few years a light has been put on the problems that young men and women face because of bullying. This light has given us an idea of just how bad the problem really is.
We are giving our support in hopes that this course will be used as a tool to help kids understand how they can help stop bullying in their schools. The more kids understand and know the more they will be able to recognize bullying and help put a stop to it.
Our current Education customers should already see our “Bullying…” course in their library. If you are not a current LearnKey customer and are interested, call 1.800.865.0165 or leave a comment on this blog (using a valid name and email address) and we’ll send you access to the course absolutely free.
Read the full press release here:
LearnKey’s Efforts to Support the Fight Against Bullying with Online Training
St. George, UT- January 30, 2012- LearnKey, an online training company based in Utah, has announced that all educators will have access to their Bullying: You Do Not Have to Take It Anymore course for free.
The company is showing support for the fight against bullying by supplying all of their education customers with the course for free. In addition if there are any educators that are not current customers who are interested in the course, the company will give you free access to the course as well.
In recent years the concern over bullying that is taking place in schools has been spotlighted by the media, and schools are responding with new programs to help eliminate bullying. LearnKey is hoping that, by offering this free tool, they are helping to do their part in the fight against bullying.
“Studies show child/teen bullying and cyberbullying are at an all-time high and as many as 160,000 students stay home on any given day because they fear being bullied,” said LearnKey CEO Jeff Coruccini. “We have a responsibility to support the fight against bullying and this is our way of supporting that cause”.
For more information about LearnKey or the Bullying: You Do Not Have to Take It Anymore course, please contact us at 800.865.0165.
Established in 1987, LearnKey is self-paced online and offline training for corporate, education, government and personal users. LearnKey has decades of experience in the professional development arena. LearnKey offers interactive, engaging, and flexible training that is accessible anytime, anywhere. LearnKey course concentration areas include Networking, IT Technical, Web & Graphic Design, Leadership, Management, Safety and Compliance, Medical CE, K12 and Character Development.
So I am still working toward my certification and have found time to finish up with session 1 of our Word 2010 training. I took the post test for session 1, and apparently I need a review. I didn’t do so well on it, but the great thing is that you get to print out a study guide that shows you the questions that you missed, and you can see what sections the questions are in so that you can go back to those spots and review the material.
After I picked my ego up off the floor, I started watching the training for session 2. The topics covered in this session are: Working with Templates, Formatting Text, Formatting Paragraphs, Organizing Data, Bulleted and Numbered Lists, Manipulating Page Layout, Manipulating Page Backgrounds, and Headers and Footers. I found a lot of information in this session very helpful, but one feature stuck out to me and alone is worth upgrading to Office 2010; it is called Autotext and it lets you save text you use regularly under the Quickparts section, then when you need it you can just insert it into any Word document. This is a great time saver, and when I am writing press releases this would be so nice to have for the About Us section.
Again, this session provides you with material that will be on the certification exam, but also gives you some great shortcuts that you can start using right away.
Well, it’s that time of year again. No, I am not talking about the Holiday Season, I am talking about the Annual ACTE Conference. This year’s conference is taking place in St. Louis, MO November 17-19, 2011. It might seem like we are early writing this blog post, but we started planning for this show a couple of months ago and I am starting to get really excited about it. We have exhibited at this trade show in the past and it is always a fun and rewarding event to attend.
If you have never heard of ACTE before, it is the Association for Career and Technical Education. They hold an annual convention every year that draws over 4,000 educators and over 200 exhibitors. The highlight of the conference will be that Sir Ken Robinson will be speaking, if you have not heard him you should check him out on his website. This animated video created from one of his speeches is a particular favorite of ours.
If you are going to attend this years ACTE conference, be sure to come see LearnKey at booth 428!
Yeah! I finally dove into my Word 2010 training and I am so excited because I have already learned so many great new tricks in just the first session. If you are like me sure you can function in Word, but you are not necessarily the most efficient in the program, well that is the great thing about our training because not only is it preparing you for a certification exam you also learn shortcuts and new tricks that will help you be more efficient. There is a new File tab in this version that replaces the Office Button, which is probably the biggest layout change.
I have some tricks to share with you for Word 2010:
Continue reading “My Certification Journey”
A recent New York Times article caught our attention. The article is about research that was done over a period of 12 years about the effectiveness of online education in K12 and college settings. The study set out to answer a question on many people’s minds – does online education work as well as classroom education?
According to the results, the answer is “yes, even better”. There were some interesting findings that came out of the 99 studies, including that the report found that “online education could be set to expand sharply as evidence mounts of its value.”
Have you ever taken online courses? How were they different from classes you have taken in person? Do you prefer one method over the other? Why?
Okay, so I have an update on my certification journey. I am at a stand still and need to get moving back in the direction of certification. My semester for grad school started, and that coupled with working here at LearnKey full-time have stalled my certification efforts.
That said, certification is still something that is very important to me and it is still something that I am going to achieve. I need to quit making excuses! It is easy to make excuses when you set a goal and somehow you are not accomplishing things as fast as you thought you would. It’s like the ten… okay maybe 20 pounds we all say we will lose after New Year’s, and then the next year rolls around and that pesky ten pounds is still there, plus five extra.
Certification is something I see value in, so I am resolving to work on it this weekend, even if I just spend 15 minutes in the LearnKey Word 2010 training. Just the other day, I heard a story about a woman who had applied for a job and out of the stack of applicants she was chosen because she had a Microsoft Office certification that set her apart from the rest of the applicants. In a tough job market, certification can differentiate you from all of the other people looking. It is stories like these that motivate me to continue on in my certification journey!
Edit from Colin: In light of this recent news about Allacyn’s certification journey, I assure you, we’ve given her a sigh and a stern look of disappointment, and there might have been a sad face thrown in there too. I’ve also given her a deadline of October 4th to update us on her progress, so keep an eye out for that coming up soon!
This week I got the great honor to attend Dreamforce 2011. For those of you who don’t know, Dreamforce is the annual conference that Salesforce holds. The conference takes place in San Francisco where Salesforce is headquartered, and this year it drew a crowd of 45,000+ attendees. This is a fun, but long week with classes filling your days and exciting networking events taking up your nights.
The highlights so far: Metallica concert (I won’t be able to hear for a month), the exciting new Salesforce innovations that were announced at the conference, and the breakout session Set the Social Road Map for Your Company (Gary Vaynerchuck of VaynerMedia was refreshing). I am really excited about all of the great things I am learning here, and I am looking forward to bringing back some great ideas to LearnKey.