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Blended Learning is known as a disruptive innovation, not least because emerging educational technologies cannot just be bolted onto an outdated industrial system of education without a fundamental shift in how we teach and learn. The advent and development of the World Wide Web impacts every facet of society, including education.  New learning media emerge daily with the proliferation of Web 2.0 applications, mobile devices and social media - all of which has spawned a new kind of learner profile.  We would be foolish to ignore the ubiquitous nature of technology and its impact on the places, spaces and ways in which knowledge builds and learning constructs.

Globally, there are relatively few educators who are taking the lead in exploring new learning spaces and technologies that enhance learning. This is especially true of the traditional higher education sector compared to the schooling sector where the rise of K12 Blended Learning is growing exponentially. Researchers and academics like George Siemens, author of Connectivism (an emerging learning theory) are laying the theoretical foundation to guide us through the transformation and Siemens' point is profound:  "It is not about the tools....it is about the change."

This page is designed to support and encourage the development of your teaching craft in a connected world. Applied principles of connectivism and emerging networked learning theories should inform the nature of the shift that needs to start (one strategic step at a time) in your classroom. The visuals and commentary provided here will be regularly updated and serve to bring to you curated content and opinion for your comment and discussion. Soon we hope to see posts here by members of this learning community.

Smarter "Googling"

80 Alternatives to YouTube

 

The Educational Technology and Mobile Learning blog offers a couple of free eBooks written by Med Kharbach. This one is really useful for offering over 80 alternatives to YouTube. 

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"Educational video are possbily one of the most effective learning tools, and honestly, even most grown-ups will find them enriching and entertaining. But what if the only video resource you use is YouTube and you can not access it in your school or classroom. Are there any alternatives ? Yes there are more eighty alternatives to YouTube that you can use with your students. These video resources are among the best online. We have spent so much time reviewing every single one and therefore we confirm their suitablity to education."

Read on to get eBook..

A Brief History of Technology in Education

Adam Bellow aka eduTecher created this video himself and shared it through his Youtube channel back in May 2009. Adam is a college teacher and his assignment was to create a video on educational technology. Winner of ISTE's 2011 Young Educator Award, Adam has this to say: "Educational Technology can inspire, encourage, challenge and enable teachers of all content areas and learners of all abilities."

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Edtech adoption - The Pencil Metaphor

 

The Pencil Metaphor

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Shift Your Classroom : Small Strategic Steps

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Voices from the Learning Revolution is a superb blog on the Powerful Learning Practice website. I subscribe to many quality blogs via my Google reader and this valuable post by Shelley Wright came to me on January 10, 2012. She describes how she shifted to a student-centred classroom and offers four simple strategic steps for those who teach to start the process themselves. A really worthwhile read!

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Digital Learning Futures

These slides accompanied an invited speech given at Learning Technologies 2012, January 26, Olympia, London. The video of this speech can be found at http://www.learningtechnologies.co.uk/

Digital Citizenship

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Image attributed to Tony Gurr from allthingslearning.

Helping our students develop good digital citizenship is essential in today's connected world. It cuts across all subjects and involves knowledge, awareness, skills and fluencies in three key areas according to iKeepSafe: safety and security; digital literacy; and ethics & community. 

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Broadband and Video Streaming

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We are excited to announce that all of our campuses are now fully wifi enabled. This means that you and your students are able to connect to the internet from any classroom or other space on campus. This connectivity is designed to support and enhance teaching and learning and not impede it. To this end we need to be realistic about the expectations and challenges that may arise with the speed of access and the students BYOT (bringing their own technology device) into classrooms. 

We are aware of the bandwidth limitations in South Africa and are committed to offering you the best possible connectivity whilst understanding that within the national context there will still be challenges with access speeds as we embrace new technology. Our broadband has been upgraded since last year to the current SA maximum of 10MB. Therefore, we need to ensure the most efficient use of what we have available.

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Networked Student

Wendy Drexler uploaded this video onto her Youtube channel in November 2008. It beautifully illustrates problem based learning and the journey a student takes in a digitally fluent manner.

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