Evaluating Learning Environments

Peace World!

Its meeeeee. Ms.Sho’ King. I hope that you are all in good health and great spirits upon reading this web-log.

Okay, so I am enrolled in an online class this term Fall 2012. My first assignment is to evaluate three learning environments and education technologies. I must explain three positive aspects and three negative aspects of them for each one.

I figured since i hadn’t written anything on my blog in a while, and being that this medium, WordPress, is listed as a learning environment, I thought it would be clever and use this canvass to complete my assignment while simultaneously using this as a learning tool, as it states, for all of those who will read it.

The instructions were direct. I am given specifics in order to complete this assignment. Information as follows:

    • Academic content: Is it aligned to standards or learning frameworks? Is it credible, accurate, and appropriate?

 

    • Materials development/usage: Is it based on scientific research? Is there evidence of a positive impact on student learning outcomes? Does it facilitate learning more effectively or in ways that couldn’t be achieved otherwise?

 

    • Instructional Design / Features: Is it easily understandable and usable for teachers and students? What skills do schools and teachers need to implement the technology? Do they have these skills? If not, are training and supplementary materials available? Is the technology accessible for students with special needs, disabilities, or different learning styles? Does it incorporate learning theory and effective educational practices? Is it developmentally-appropriate? Is it culturally-appropriate?

 

  • Product specifications, qualities, and costs: For what school and environmental conditions is it appropriate (what technological capabilities will a school and classroom need for implementation?). What does it cost to teachers, schools, or students? What will a school, teacher, or educational provider need to do or have in place to manage or maintain the technology? What are the points of risk for implementation problems or failure?

     

In addition, I was given a list, by a classmate, consisting of the 100 TOP Learning Tools of 2012. A list compiled by Jane Hart in collaboration with/voted by over 500 education professionals worldwide (http://c4lpt.co.uk/top-100-tools-2012/)

I have combed that list and though my assignment states to observe only three, i can say that i have searched the  list of 100 almost in its entirety and thus i will share what i have learned and observed upon further study and research of them with regards to learning environments, for which I am delighted to share with you.

The list was given on the website, for which the presentation was also given via SlideShare, program ranked #13 on the list (http://www.slideshare.net/).

1. SlideShare is a free online slide hosting site and is listed as a tool used for personal and educational use.

I didnt find it too amusing to use educationally, as i believe anything and everything can be a useful tool for informing, enlightening and educating. However, for me, its just like a powerpoint presentation without any graphics or pictures, which, for my learning style, wouldnt be very useful in terms of attention-getting. Thus in my opinion, its not my favorite tool.

2. Facebook is listed as the largest social networking tool, that allows you to make connections, join groups and share interests. (www.facebook.com)

I believe facebook can be a very useful tool for learning as well. However, the majority of  the conversations, posts, pages and likes, its doesnt seem to be the place to perhaps take an online course. Though there are many groups that specify their interests in sharing and learning, those groups/pages dont seem to be overwhelmed with those who are trying to learn them. I’d say it is a good medium.

3. I have chosen Google products as follows:  (www.google.com)

YouTube, Docs, Search, Blogger/Blogspot, Reader, Plus/Hangouts, Email, Sites, Chrome, Maps, Scholar, Apps and Translate all voted in this years Top 100 Tools list from #2-#57. I believe that together these products are free and offer a range of what can be done as a educational tools and mediums that are free of costs to all around the world to access easily.

Thank you!

Blessings and Peace..

-sho’

 

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