Tag Archives: Innovation

Exploring Different Ways to Teach Math

Math. It’s a word that strikes fear into many students. Whether or not you’re a math major, at some point you may have to use math in post-secondary. For example, Sociology students are required to take a course on statistics, but it may have been years since they’ve taken a Math course.

At Academic-Zone, we approach this challenge with our online Numeracy-Zone module. The module is broken down into four topics: Calculations, Statistics, Algebra, and Equations & Lines. Mathematical concepts are explained using real-life examples and the module’s easy-to-navigate design allows students to explore based on their own needs and interests.  Math is learned through doing, and our modules provide students with many opportunities for practice through interactive exercises and quizzes.

There are many different ways to effectively teach math. One approach is through the use of games. In an article on Forbes, Stanford Mathematician, Dr. Keith Devlin, explains why video games are the perfect way to teach math. He explains that math is not something you know, but rather an activity that you do. He argues that games encourage students to do, by providing challenges and rewards.

What are your thoughts on the use of games as a tool for teaching math? What other strategies do you use to teach or learn math concepts?

Check out the full article on Dr. Keith Devlin here.

Will Teachers Eventually Be Replaced?

Is it possible for technology to replace teachers? Some people view it as a strong possibility, while others believe teachers won’t be replaced any time soon. As technology continues to evolve, it may seem as though the possibility of teachers being replaced by technology and online learning is becoming more and more likely.

However, an article on the Huffington Post explains why this won’t be happening. “Technology Will Not Replace Teachers” provides some insight on why teachers are irreplaceable. It talks about how technology is only a supplementary tool to enhance or improve on current teaching methods, and is not a lesson on its own. The author brings up a very interesting point, mentioning that with this increase in technology in the classroom, there is a greater need for teachers. He explains that teachers are needed to figure out how technology works for each student based on their individual needs, and where its use is most appropriate.

The article ends off with an intriguing statement:

“A computer can give information, but a teacher can lend a hand, or an ear, and discern what’s necessary for a student to succeed, and to want to succeed.”

Do you think teachers can be replaced by technology? Why or why not?

For more reading on this topic, check out the original article here.

Is it Time to Retire the Binder?

Has the time come to abandon binders and the whole concept of handwritten notes? In a recent post by the Canadian Education Association, one instructor gives his thoughts on this matter. “Let’s Ban the Binder” discusses why we need to move on from the traditional methods of having students copy out notes or keep copies of handouts towards the use of more collaborative learning practices. It touches on how exploring of modern tools and technology should be emphasized, rather than having students simply review notes in preparation for tests.

Do you think it’s time to abandon the traditional methods of teaching and learning? What role might technology play? In your opinion, are there  factors that stand in the way of change? Share your thoughts!

An intriguing quote:
“If we believe that creativity is more important than regurgitation, that inventiveness is of greater value than memorization, that learning is more experiential than observational, then we must engage students in thinking beyond pen, ruler and paper.”

Click here for the full article.

Visit the Canadian Education Association website for more.

Can Mobile Devices Be Used in Academics?

“Students are ready to use their mobile devices more for academics, and they look to institutions and instructors for opportunities and encouragement to do so.”

This key finding from a recent study conducted by the EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research (ECAR) provides insight on students’ experiences and expectations when it comes to the use of technology in their courses. The article, “ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2013”, raises many interesting questions. How exactly will mobile devices be used in courses? Will students actually use their devices for academics, or will they simply be a distraction? How can instructors monitor who’s using their mobile device for academics and who’s not? Let us know what you think!

Check out the full article here.

Technology Will Change Education

I came across an article earlier today on how technology will change education. The article provided insight on how technology has changed almost all aspects of our lives. It goes on to state that education has always revolved around a teacher formally instructing students in a classroom setting, but with the emergence of interactive, adaptive learning software, technology could dramatically change the entire learning process. This relates to my recent post about how online learning allows students to be more self-directed and learn at their own pace, as opposed to an instructor’s pace. Although there are barriers to the use of technology in education, I agree with the author, in that it is very likely the implementation of educational technology will increase and expand sooner rather than later.

What are your thoughts on the use of technology in education? How do you think education will be impacted over the next few years? I will leave you with one quote from the article that really stood out to me and leave the rest of the reading to you,

We very well may be at the cusp of a revolution in education based on technological change.

Click here for the full article.

Blog Update: Frequently Asked Questions

Check out the FAQ tab at the top of the page! The tab now displays the answers to more of your frequently asked questions.
FAQ

Can’t find the answer to your question? Feel free to send me an email at academic-zone@brocku.ca. I will be more than happy to answer your questions.

Blog Update: Products Tab

Check out the Products tab at the top of the page for some fresh information on the suite of Academic-Zone modules! The tabs include tons of information on the major and add-on modules and we’ve even included screen shots! Make sure to check it all out!

Products

Let us know if you would like any additional information on the site by leaving a comment!

You can always send us an email too! We’d love to hear your opinion 🙂

Numeracy-Zone Updated

The Academic-Zone team has been working hard to serve your needs better! We recently updated all three of the Numeracy-Zone modules (Calculations, Algebra, and Statistics), and they will be available to all of our users this upcoming school year. The Numeracy-Zone modules are now filled with interactive exercises and activities to keep the learning fun and interesting!

Numeracy-Zone

The Academic-Zone modules are dynamic, offering a unique user experience. The interactivity allows information to flow both ways within the module. Students can view the material and concepts, apply their new knowledge directly in the resource, and most importantly, obtain feedback to improve or enhance their understanding of the concept.

Make sure to check back to find out what else is happening with Academic-Zone.

Want more information on Numeracy-Zone? Send me an email at academic-zone@brocku.ca!

Academic-Zone Attends 2013 LSAC Conference

LSAC 2013

Members of the Academic-Zone team will be attending the 2013 LSAC National Conference. This year’s event runs from May 22 to 24 at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Richmond Campus). The conference theme is The New Face of Learning: Transforming Lives. Lives are transformed through learning in many different ways, the conference looks to capture a variety of the different techniques used to bring this theme to life.  The conference schedule is packed with a variety of interesting workshops, tech-talk presentations, poster sessions, and keynote speakers; all illustrating different ways to transform lives through learning.

“Transforming lives is incremental, not climactic. It begins and is propelled by all members of the learning community striving towards common goals, while working with diverse, creative, critical and reflective students.” 

Academic-Zone will be leading two presentations during the conference. Margaret Groombridge, Assistant Manager Learning Services and Sue Guenther, Senior Learning Skills Instructor, will be leading a Tech-Talk Presentation discussing Learning Skills Technology to Create Strong Learning Partnerships. Paul Hacking, Sales Specialist/ Customer Service Administrator will be complementing the tech-talk with a webinar presentation to demonstrate the Academic-Zone modules and further discuss the benefits of implementing online educational resources into the classroom.

Conference Highlights

  • Preconference workshops for focused and extensive attention to specific topics of interest for learning strategies
  • A conference structure designed to facilitate networking with educators from around the world through colleague clusters, special interest group sessions, roundtable discussions, and social events
  • Featured session with representatives from around the globe
  • Opportunities to learn about the varied cultures of worldwide higher education
  • Commercial and nonprofit exhibitors whose products and services support student success

If you would like more information on the date and time of the Academic-Zone presentations, please contact us at academic-zone@brocku.ca.

Conference information at: 
kwantlen.ca/lsac2013.html 
learningspecialists.ca

Education, Technology and Game-Based Learning for all Ages

This blog post caught my eye this morning. Engaging a student in the learning experience is more relevant today than ever before. Technology allows students to learn in so many new ways, and the positive impact it has displayed is outstanding. It is great to see that people are realizing the benefits of learning through interactive activities and games.

By Pam Krengel, President of GlobalMagic Corporation

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”– Benjamin Franklin

Back in the 80’s we wanted to engage our daughter in learning. We found one featuring hand puppets, cassettes, books and an interactive game we played reinforcing what she learned. Included was a “high-tech” electronic over-sized pencil buzzing every time she answered correctly. Primitive and not very “high-tech” by today’s standards, but with various in-game stimuli provided hours of learning fun for her and us.educational-apps

So how does this game-based learning translate today for your student K-12? John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. He said “if we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow”.

Today Educators and the Technology industry have taken notice. It was reported…

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