Academically Intellectually Gifted (AIG) Conference at UNCW

I encourage everyone to check out the Academically Intellectually Gifted (AIG) Conference at UNCW 4.17.2015. The focus is on technology being utilized to support learning. There are several really great presenters that I am excited to watch. I will also be doing a presentation on trends in gaming and gamification in K-16 classrooms. Space is limited so please book soon. Here is the link to the website – http://uncw.edu/ed/aig/conferences.html

Harvard and MIT sued over closed captions on videos and podcasts in online courses

This is something every online instructor needs to consider. Why? Because our materials need to be accessible to everyone. Thus we need to conform to standards, such as 508 when developing our materials. Obviously, its nearly impossible to make all videos and podcasts with closed captioning because it would take a significant amount of time and resources making these types of media worthless. One of things we have done at UNCW is to make sure that we provide an optional resource that covers similar material. Thus if my course has a podcast I can either type it up, which would take forever, or I can simply provide a reading that contains similar content. For all of my videos, I put them on youtube. Youtube does CC for all of their videos so all of my video sources are usually taken from there. This saves me time and everyone is happy. The only downfall is that my videos are then available to the public and on googles servers, which could be an issue for some people. There are many issues that this lawsuit will bring about such as…should online materials be accessible for everyone if there is a face to face course option? I say that because online courses are definitely not made for everyone (ie people who are not self motivated). Fortunately for me I am not a judge so I do not have make these decisions. I just try my best to make my materials available to everyone. And if you do have a disability or some other issue preventing you from viewing your instructors materials simply ask them for an alternative – I would hope they work with you on this.

You can check out the article here

The MOOC Hype Fades

I have been seeing this trend over the last two years and I predicted this trend when I first heard about moocs. My reason? I have stated it before but one of the comments from this article sums it up nicely so I will repost it. Here is the comment from the article by user hyptiotes

“Remember too that universities have been around since the middle ages. They are resilient institutions. The demise of universities were also claimed with the invention of books (who needs a teacher now!), invention of public libraries (free books to learn at your own pace!), invention of mail order courses, invention of closed television courses, and now the invention of online courses. You can at least understand why academics aren’t worried about their demise (again). Self-motivated learners obviously benefit from MOOCS, just as they did with the invention of public libraries. What keeps universities in business is essentially human laziness. Without a cattle prod and the pedagogical equivalent of a life coach standing over you and checking your work, most people would never finish a course. This is borne out by the abyssmal completion rates of MOOCS. Unless you can cure procrastination, laziness, and minimize cheats in the system for credentials, there will also be a place for credentialed brick-and-mortar universities…”

Why does instructional design exist?

Why does instructional design exist? This video is a great example of why – Because people would focus on the number of balls being passed in this video and not the dancing bear, which was also a key learning objective