Tag Archives: Online

5 Tips to Improve Your Writing

Academic writing is a challenge for most students entering post-secondary education. In response, most institutions developed their own resources to assist students struggling with academic writing. Still, some students prefer the convenience of online resources. For example, a short 12-minute YouTube video with over 500,000 views, posted by the YouTube account “Learn English with Emma [engVid]”, recommends 5 simple tips to improve academic writing skills.

Emma, an English teacher who primarily works with ESL students, outlines 5 ways to improve academic writing with the use of simple sentences, stronger words, and active voice. Emma’s energetic voice, a white board, and several great examples make this video enjoyable and educational.

After investigating “engVid,” I realized Emma is only one of 8 teachers who have posted a collective 550+ lessons online. I would recommend exploring some of their videos if you are an international student, learning the English language, or would like some comedic relief (I would recommend Ronnie’s videos). Similar to “Khan Academy,” in my post a couple weeks ago, Emma and her colleagues have adapted to the fast-growing technology age.

Be sure to like/comment this post if you enjoyed reading!
Let me know if you have topics you would like to discuss in future blog posts in the comments below.
I would love to hear from you!

Have a great day!

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.

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.

Technology can help in solving problems in face-to-face classes

This is a very interesting article! The post showcases an instructor’s strategy of creating YouTube videos as online resources for her students. She discusses the benefits and setbacks of providing an online lesson to students. The post compares the pace of teaching face to face to the pace of teaching online or online resources. When teaching face to face, the instructor typically sets the pace of the lesson based on personal preference, timeframe, and students’ note-taking speed. An online resource or lesson, however, allows the student to control the pace through pausing and resuming. I believe students often have a hard time keeping up with professors.
Academic-Zone sees the benefit of self-directed learning and provides students with online resources that allow them to work at their own pace and improve their academic writing skills inside and outside the classroom. What are your thoughts? For more reading on this topic, check out the original article.

Module Update: Essay-Zone

Essay-ZoneEssay-Zone has been updated! Yes, that’s right, yet another update! This update includes three new updated activities, which are more intuitive and user friendly (the picture above is one of the new activities from Essay-Zone). The updated exercises also provide more valuable feedback for students.

We have also made Essay-Zone consistent with the other modules by incorporating the use of purple triangles to access the pop-ups instead of the blue question marks.

This update also brings a new feature to Academic-Zone. We are now able to embed PDF resources directly into the Academic-Zone modules. Students working through the module will have access to even more information. The resources vary from things like editing checklists to sample essays in different citation formats. These additional resources are now more accessible than ever before, and can be downloaded and printed off by students for use inside and outside the module!

Be sure to check back to see what other news Academic-Zone has to share for the upcoming 2013-14 school year.

New Module Announcement – Numeracy-Zone: Equations and Lines

Numeracy-Zone

The Academic-Zone team is excited to announce the release of another new module: Numeracy-Zone: Equations and Lines! This is the fourth module to be developed under the Numeracy-Zone title, other modules include Numeracy-Zone: Calculations, Numeracy-Zone: Statistics, and Numeracy-Zone: Algebra. Numeracy-Zone: Equation and Lines will be available to Brock students during the 2013-14 school year.

Topics covered include introduction to equations and lines, the Cartesian plane, linear relationships, using the equation of a line, graphing, and systems of linear equations.

As we continue to grow, we will continue to develop and improve the line-up of Academic-Zone modules. What module do you think we should develop next?!

If you are interested in learning more leave a comment or send us an email!

Module Update: Co-Op Writing and Grammar Strategies

Module Screen Shot

That’s right! Another update!

The Academic-Zone team just finalized updates to the Co-Op Writing and Grammar Strategies module. Members of our team met with Brock’s Co-Op Program Office to discuss possible updates to the Co-Op module, and there is a good chance there will be even more updates to this module down the road. For this update we focused on the content. We have incorporated more information on effective resume writing and cover letter writing strategies. We have also added full examples, in the form of PDFs, directly in the module for students to use as a reference.

We will be releasing more information on new products and other module updates later this month!

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.

Top 99 Online College Student Resources

Check out Top 5 Online Colleges.org‘s list of online college student resources. The organization has listed what they believe to be the top 99 online college student resources. I really like how the resources are broken down into categories: General Online Learning, Continuing Education, OpenCourseWare, Tools & Supplies, Videos, Podcasts & Webinars and College Preparation. Students are able to break down what they are looking for by type of resource, and then choose from a list of top resources in that category- allowing for easy access and navigation to the topic of choice.

I have listed the #1 resource in each of the categories below, but make sure to check out the full article for more details and links to the other resources.

General Online Learning- Khan Academy
Continuing Education- findCE.com
OpenCourseWare- MITOpencourseware
Tools & Supplies- Evernote
Videos, Podcasts & Webinars- TeacherTube
College Preparation- CLC College Prep

Click here to view the full article.

Link

Steve Wheeler’s Three Things About Learning For This Generation

Steve Wheeler’s Three Things About Learning for this Generation

I read another very interesting article from fellow blogger and noted e-learning expert Steve Wheeler. He is an Associate Professor of learning technology in the Faculty of Health, Education and Society, at Plymouth University.

To view the blog post click the title or click here. This article focuses on three things that Steve thinks we need to know about learning for this generation. These three things are:

  • Learning needs to be personalized
  • Learning needs to be social
  • Learning needs to be globalized

Steve notes that learning must be differentiated because one size definitely does not fit all. Everyone learns in a different way, and personalized learning allows for a stronger connection to the material being taught. Academic-Zone avoids the “one size fits all” aspect of online resources through its interactivity, helping create what can be described as a personalized experience. Social interaction is also very important in the learning process. Steve notes, “Much of what we learn comes from contact and communication with others.” Through the use of video and audio clips featuring students and educators our modules deliver a very interactive and social learning experience. Globalization is the last topic discussed in this post. It is important to create a global learning community. “Students who share their content online can reach a worldwide audience who can act as a peer network to provide constructive feedback. Teachers can crowd-source their ideas and share their content in professional forums”. This is the reason Academic-Zone is available to other institutions. We want to share our resources to enhance education across the board.

The tools and devices students choose, and the pathways they decide to take are in many ways beginning to challenge the synchronised and homogenised approaches we still practice in schools, universities and organisations”

Academic-Zone is bridging the gap between traditional learning and innovative learning practices. As a result, Academic-Zone has a community of engaged and empowered student learners and supported educators making significant strides in developing academic success throughout the field of education.