Wednesday, December 30, 2009

HU Announces Dates for Summer 2010 Educators' Technology Clinics

Harrisburg University of Science Technology will offer graduate courses from its Master’s Degree in Learning Technologies to educators who are interested in building their skills and knowledge of various types of learning technologies and strategies. The 2010 Educators' Technology Clinics provide hands-on exploration of technologies and instructional approaches that incorporate best practices for effective teaching and learning in today’s dynamic learning environments. Graduate credit applicable to the master’s degree and ACT 48 credit are available.

  • Classroom Technology
  • Media Selection, Design and Production
  • Course Management Systems
  • Digital Literacy
  • Engaging with Learning Activities, Games and Simulations
  • Implementing Web 2.0 in the Classroom
  • Visual Representation for Learning and Communication
  • Social Learning in the Organization
  • Writing for Learning Solutions

Visit for more information.

Additionally, Harissburg University is home to a Learning Technologies Master of Science (LTMS) program that is the only one of its kind in Central Pennsylvania. A key element of the University's LTMS program is the use of technology to integrate and develop new ways of learning and ways to assess learning, as well as explore new approaches to work with an emphasis on collaboration. The degree is a blend of theory and practice which develops skills that can be applied to complex education and training issues.

Visit for more information about the LTMS program.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

4 Cs of Web 2.0 and Storytelling

Web 2.0 in the Classroom with Jim Gates

Over the past few years some incredible changes have taken place online. You may have missed them while you were grading papers, writing lesson plans, learning new administrative software and trying to find some time for your family. The online world has gone through an incredible, jaw dropping evolution that changes everything about how education can work.

Largely, teaching hasn’t changed in the past one hundred (100) years, because the teacher held the key to the information and her/his role was to stand and deliver. As a result . . .

*1 out of 4 US students drop out of school before graduating

Now, technology enables higher order thinking in education and an opportunity for students to take charge of their own learning. Imagine a school where . . .

  • Economic students use RSS feeds to automatically collect new information about the economy
  • Social Studies students use feed aggregators to gather current information about world news
  • Creative writing students using blogs to publish their works for authentic audiences to read and comment on
  • Students work with other students from around the world to build a web site together

The 4 Cs of Web 2.0

Conversations, Content, Connections and Collaboration. It’s all possible online with “web 2.0” tools.

Conversations: Blogs, Forums, Micro-blogs, Chat, VOIP

Content: Creation, Sharing, Content Management, Tagging, Social Bookmarking, RSS

Connections: User Profiles, Social Graphs, Friends

Collaboration: Wikis, Project Support, Idea Generation, Calendars

Check out these web 2.0 resources:
Free PowerPoint Twitter Tools

Wikis in Plain English

Learning Outcomes Technology Matrix

Beginning in January, students in LTMS 600: Implementing Web 2.0 in the Classroom will explore various web 2.0 tools. But, the course is not about the tools. Equally as important is how the tools can impact the achievement of learning objectives and increase the level of learning in the classroom.

The course is taught by Jim Gates, an Educational Technology Consultant and “Web 2.0 Guru.”
Register today! Spring classes begin January 11, 2010.

LTMS 510: Learning Technologies and Solutions
LTMS 514: Media Selection, Design and Production
LTMS 518: eLearning Development
LTMS 600: Implementing Web 2.0 in the Classroom
LTMS 607: Writing for Learning Solutions

Learn more on the Harrisburg University web site or call 717.901.5101.

Once upon a time . . .

“It was about 3 o’clock on a Monday afternoon. I was Tweeting, Facebooking and web conferencing for information on virtual worlds. A knock at my office door unglued me from my chair. In a moment of exhaustion she dropped her digital devices to the floor as I opened the door. I untangled her from the spider web of cords that remained and pointed her in the direction of Harrisburg University. A semester later she had changed her name to Google. And, I caught a glimpse of her “Learning Technologies Wiz” tattoo as she jumped rope down the hall with her iPhone ear buds.”

We’ve all told a story at some point in our lives. But, as educators and trainers we don’t take advantage of storytelling as a tool for learning. We can improve learning outcomes by using stories to emphasize examples, metaphors, learning assessment and to build relationships with learners.

Beginning in January, students in LTMS 607: Writing for Learning Solutions will explore writing styles, formats and techniques for asynchronous learning solutions. Best practices for technical writing and writing for the web will be explored. Storytelling as an instructional strategy is emphasized throughout the course and will be examined as an important element for successful learning design.

The Writing’s on the Wall

The amount of information that is created, received and retrieved on a daily basis has exploded. A typical person checks his or her email more than 50 times per day, uses IM 77 times, and visits 40+ web sites (Perez 2008). Also consider social and leisure information available through the web, television and mobile media devices. There’s a lot of “communication” happening and most of it is “written.”

Maybe more than any time in our history, writing skills are important to our ability to collaborate with others, coordinate teams and communicate clearly. How will your message break through the clutter to communicate effectively and efficiently?

Check out these writing resources:
Dump the Drone for Livlier eLearning

Writing in a Conversational Tone

Folktales for Classroom Storytelling

Thursday, December 10, 2009

eLearning Development and Media Design

Users determine the quality of eLearning Development

If a program runs without any errors, but no one knows how to use it, does it make any impact? Too often designers and developers focus on the programmability of eLearning programs and neglect the usability. It’s a balance between feature and function that results in an effective product.

Graphic design can have an impact, but more often location, labeling and consistency have the greatest impact on the usability of eLearning programs.

Some usability considerations include screen resolution, navigation controls, user control and access and 508 compliance.

Beginning in January, students in LTMS 518: eLearning Development will be creating elearning modules that focus on navigation, usability and compliance to content standards. Planning and asset management will also be explored as elements of efficient eLearning development. Industry leading software and open source options will both be considered throughout the course.

Students will get hands on eLearning Development experience with PowerPoint, Captivate, Dreamweaver and Flash.
eLearning Development Programs

There is a variety of software (100+ software programs) available to create eLearning. The programs range from everyday Office software like PowerPoint to eLearning authoring systems like Lectora to multimedia development tools like Flash. Each tool presents strengths and weaknesses that must be considered as part of the tool selection process. Plan for the short-term with an eye on the long-term. Analyze the development needs and the content creation environment. Doing so will help with selecting a tool that will meet your immediate needs, but allow for long-term flexibility.

Check out these eLearning Development resources:

Webinar Recording of eLearning Guild Authoring and Development Tools

Brandon Hall Authoring Tool Knowledgebase

Rapid eLearning Blog

Spring 2010 Schedule:

LTMS 510: Learning Technologies and Solutions
LTMS 514: Media Selection, Design and Production
LTMS 518: eLearning Development
LTMS 600: Implementing Web 2.0 in the Classroom
LTMS 607: Writing for Learning Solutions

Learn more on the Harrisburg University web site or call 717.901.5101.

If a picture’s worth a thousand words . . .

Images, animations and video can create an impact on learning by increasing attention, motivation, comprehension and memory. Although, media can also get in the way. Without considering the learning objective, the technology and the audience media can also distract, confuse or frustrate.

Some strengths to consider when selecting media:

Graphics: Enrich or replace text, Minimize media download, Versatile, Low cost

Animation: Present visuals over condensed time, Realistic but simplistic images, Realistic but controlled movement

Audio: Summarize text, explain complex processes or graphics, efficient two-way communication

Video: Convey emotion, multiple media (audio, visuals, animation, text), demonstrate detailed and complex tasks

Beginning in January, students in LTMS 514: Media Selection, Design and Production will focus on selecting appropriate media to meet learning objectives as they create graphics, illustrations, audio, video and animations to support learning. Graphic design fundamentals will be addressed as well as production skills like media compression and conversion. Industry leading media software and open source options will both be considered.

Students will get hands-on media creation experience with PowerPoint, Photoshop, Fireworks, Flash, Audacity and MovieMaker.
Media Selection, Design and Production

Color, contrast, spacing and dimension are just a few graphic design elements to be aware of as you create graphics for learning. Animation, audio and video provide added value and additional elements to master. Media compression is also a valuable skill, especially when distributing to a wide audience with a variety of technology resources.

Check out these eLearning Development resources:

How Tiny Camcorders are Changing Education Tutorials

Some Photoshop Tutorials

Monday, December 7, 2009

Top 5 Ed Tech for 2009 - What do you think?

Top 5 Ed Tech for 2009

What tools, techniques and strategies made the most impact in 2009? Here’s a short list of the most used and talked about educational technology from my review of blogs, newsletters and industry reports:

Use: Collaboration (wikis, ePals, etc.)
• Use: Online Communication Tools (audio, video, microblogging, chat, etc.)
• Use: Screen Recording
• Talk: Games for Learning
• Talk: Virtual Worlds

Beginning in January, students in LTMS 510: Learning Technologies and Solutions will explore the strengths and weaknesses of various learning technologies. Hands-on opportunities with podcasting, virtual classrooms, games and simulations and virtual worlds will be part of exploring established and new learning technologies. Opportunities and considerations for selecting technologies will be reviewed in the context of a learning technology architecture and a decision analysis process.

Learning Technologies and Solutions will be offered at:

• Harrisburg University, Harrisburg
• IU 12, New Oxford
• IU 13, Lancaster

Upcoming IU Information Session Dates:

IU 13 - December 8 at 6 PM
IU 15 – December 10 at 5 PM
IU 12 – December 15 at 5:30 PM

Learning Technologies

Fifteen (15) years ago PowerPoint and a projector were the extent of learning technologies available to everyone. Even ten (10) years ago only PowerPoint a projector and the static web were available and accessible to everyone. Now the options are almost limitless. The following resources are helpful with getting a sense for the learning technology options available today.

Check out these learning technology resources:

Horizon Report
eLearning Guild

Register today! Spring classes begin January 11, 2010.

LTMS 510: Learning Technologies and Solutions

LTMS 514: Media Selection, Design and Production

LTMS 518: eLearning Development

LTMS 600: Implementing Web 2.0 in the Classroom

LTMS 607: Writing for Learning Solutions

Learn more on the Harrisburg University web site or call 717.901.5101.