129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms from eLearning Guild

If you are looking for some new tips about using technology for learning or are looking for a refresher you might want to take a look at the free ebook from the eLearning Guild. 129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms. You’ll need to give contact information to download the ebook, but I’ve never been spammed by the guild and have confidence in recommending this to readers.

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In this new, free 32-page ebook you’ll see short tips on everything from low-tech classroom training to using Google Hangouts as a tool for online learning. Topics covered include:

  • Using virtual-classroom and virtual-world features effectively
  • Instructional design and presentation skills for the classroom
  • Pros and cons of virtual classrooms and virtual worlds
  • Pros and cons of physical and blended classrooms
  • Games for the classroom
  • Mobile and social learning for the classroom

Download your complimentary copy from: http://bit.ly/109Ejyg

I’d love to hear what tips caught your attention. Add a comment and let’s discuss!

One tip that resonated with me as both a trainer and a learner is accountability during online training sessions or webinars:

A typical challenge in the virtual classroom is keeping participants from multi-tasking. After all, participants are often taking the virtual course on the same devices they get their email and do other work on. Many instructional designers and virtual trainers build in some level of interactivity (polls, chat, Q&A) to address this challenge. But it’s equally important to build in accountability. For example, assign participants a learning partner, then use the chat feature to allow participants to check in with their partners several times during the session.

~Anne Scott,  Training Program Developer, Sodexo

I’ve always tried to incorporate interactivity, but it’s challenging to keep learners engaged even with polls, whiteboarding, and chat. A partner makes accountability less intimidating for the learner and lessens the load on the facilitator.

What is digital learning, e-learning, online learning? Short answer, learning!

Laysha Ward, president of Community Relations for Target, published a fantastic post this week on the parallels between the different modes for learning. In her post Ward writes,

…we may be witnessing the death of “digital” — at least as an adjective. We don’t go “digital” shopping — we shop, online, by phone and in stores. We don’t read “digital” media — we read, on the printed page and on screens of every size.

Ward goes on to discuss classroom versus digital versus blended learning which many of us in the profession have been discussing for a decade. What’s exciting is to see this discussion taking place in mainstream media where everyday people can see what we’ve been saying for years. It’s all just learning!

Ward’s last paragraph really struck me as it’s something we’ve said about adult learning as well,

Too many of our students are not graduating from high school ready for a post-secondary education or a career in the 21st century economy. We know that, with the rate of technological change, those jobs will require a lifelong commitment to learning.

Laysha Ward as a Reading Buddy. Photo courtesy of Target

Laysha Ward as a Reading Buddy. Photo courtesy of Target

I would add that the same holds true for many students in undergraduate and graduate experiences as well. We still have professors teaching who do not value digital tools much less teach their students about them and how to use them in the workplace. I think this is one reason why workplace learning and development will continue to flourish in the 21st century. It’s one thing to have students who Tweet and have 1,000 Facebook friends. It’s another to have students, i.e. future workers, who know how to use those tools effectively in their jobs.

Ward’s post is a great read. Be sure to check it out!

Ward, Laysha. Re-Imagining Learning: Digital and Physical Convergence. Huffington Post. April, 23, 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laysha-ward/reimagining-learning-digi_b_3135414.html.