Here’s an example of what an engaging and exciting online course might [look like]. 

You start with a short video that introduces the subject. It focuses on the course’s main ideas, and how they relate to one another, getting your learners interested in the topic and making them eager to learn more.

 
 

Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021 [Hart]

Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021 — from toptools4learning.com by Jane Hart

Excerpt:

2021 was the YEAR OF DISRUPTION! There were a substantial number of new tools nominated this year so the main list has now been extended to 300 tools to accommodate them, and each of the 3 sub-lists has been increased to 150 tools. Although the top of this year’s list is relatively stable, there is quite bit of movement of tools on the rest of the list, and the effect of the new tools has been to push other established tools down – if not off the list altogether. Further analysis of the list appears in the right-hand column of the table below.

This table shows the overall rankings as well as the rankings on the 3 sub-lists: Top 150 Tools for Personal Learning (PL150), the Top 150 Tools for Workplace Learning (WL150) and the Top 150 Tools for Education (ED150). NEW tools are shaded YELLOW, tools coming BACK on the list are shaded GREEN. The most popular context in which each tool is used is also highlighted in BLUE.  Click on a tool name to find out more about it.

 


Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021 -- from Jane Hart


 

 
 

Elaboration Strategies That Benefit Learning — from theelearningcoach.com by Connie Malamed

Excerpt:

Although retrieval practice and spaced learning may be more well-known, elaboration is an instructional strategy worth our attention. Elaboration strategies refer to the many ways of connecting prior knowledge to what someone has newly learned. This has the potential to make the new material more memorable and meaningful.

We all know that new learning requires a foundation of prior knowledge. Elaboration techniques give people opportunities to make the connections stronger. In the book Make It Stick, the authors write, “The more you can explain about the way your new learning relates to your prior knowledge, the stronger your grasp of the new learning will be, and the more connections you create that will help you remember it later.” (Listen to my conversation with one of the authors of Make It Stick.)

 

Tools for Building Branching Scenarios — from christytuckerlearning.com by Christy Tucker
When would you use Twine, Storyline, Rise, or other tools for building branching scenarios? It depends on the project and goals.

Excerpt:

When would you use Twine instead of Storyline or other tools for building branching scenarios? An attendee at one of my recent presentations asked me why I’d bother creating something in Twine rather than just storyboarding directly in Storyline, especially if I was using character images. Whether I would use Twine, Storyline, Rise, or something else depends on the project and the goals.

 

Four Steps to Improve Retention with Schema Theory — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Hannah Hunter

Excerpt:

If you read the word “breakfast”, what comes to mind? Do you think of your favorite breakfast foods? The smell of a cup of coffee? Time spent with family? A quick bite in the car on the way to work?

It is likely that many words, images, and emotions come to mind. This collection of interconnected thoughts and feelings constitute a schema.

What is a schema?
A schema is a mental model stored in long-term memory that the brain uses to organize information. Schemas are built from memories and experiences and are unique to each individual. You have schemas for every topic imaginable: objects, events, people, activities, relationships, and even your concept of self.

Also see:

An entire generation of the workforce is on its way out over the next 5-10 years. And then look who’s coming behind them. A new generation that learns differently than their predecessors, that has different expectations, and that stays in jobs exponentially shorter than their predecessors.

 

AI voice actors sound more human than ever —and they’re ready to hire— from technologyreview.com by Karen Hao
A new wave of startups are using deep learning to build synthetic voice actors for digital assistants, video-game characters, and corporate videos.

Excerpt:

The company blog post drips with the enthusiasm of a ’90s US infomercial. WellSaid Labs describes what clients can expect from its “eight new digital voice actors!” Tobin is “energetic and insightful.” Paige is “poised and expressive.” Ava is “polished, self-assured, and professional.”

Each one is based on a real voice actor, whose likeness (with consent) has been preserved using AI. Companies can now license these voices to say whatever they need. They simply feed some text into the voice engine, and out will spool a crisp audio clip of a natural-sounding performance.

But the rise of hyperrealistic fake voices isn’t consequence-free. Human voice actors, in particular, have been left to wonder what this means for their livelihoods.

And below are a couple of somewhat related items:

Amazon’s latest voice interoperability move undermines Google — from protocol.com by Janko Roettgers
With a new toolkit, Amazon is making it easier to build devices that run multiple voice assistants — weakening one of Google’s key arguments against licensing the Google Assistant for such scenarios.

People should be able to pick whatever assistant they prefer for any given task, simply by invoking different words, Rubenson said. “We think it’s critical that customers have choice and flexibility,” he said. “Each will have their own strengths and capabilities.”

Protocol Next Up — from protocol.com by Janko Roettgers
Defining the future of tech and entertainment with Janko Roettgers.

Voice is becoming a true developer ecosystem. Amazon now has more than 900,000 registered Alexa developers, who collectively have built over 130,000 Alexa skills. And those skills are starting to show up in more and more places: “We now have hundreds of physical products” with Alexa built in, Alexa Voice Service & Alexa Skills VP Aaron Rubenson told me this week.

 

So this is what my new Streaming TV studio looks like – I call it ‘Keynote Television’ — from futuristgerd.com by Gerd Leonhard

Excerpt:

Many of you have asked me how I do my online keynotes, specifically my green screens, lights, virtual backgrounds etc. So here are some pictures and below is a short video from Twitter but the bottom line is… it’s complicated and took me some 6 months to learn it all:)). But well worth it: Keynote Television rocks!

Gerd Leonhard's studio where he makes what he calls Keynote Television

From DSC:
I was one of those people who asked Gerd if he would tell teachers, professors, trainers, IDs, and others how he does what he does. Thanks Gerd for sharing this information! May it be a blessing to many!

 

What I Learned: 4 Things L&D Should Borrow from Peloton — from learningsolutionsmag.com by JD Dillon

But modern technology has evolved the experience in ways that can inspire L&D solutions.

Excerpt:

Engagement is personal. What motivates me may not motivate you. Therefore, the best gamified systems allow users to make their own choices with regards to how they engage. Some will change their behavior to earn points, ascend the leaderboard, and capture rewards. Others will disengage if they’re forced into a competitive environment. It’s fun to scroll through my Peloton badge collection, but it doesn’t bring me back for the next ride.

 
 
 

When Should You Use Branching Video Scenarios for eLearning? — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Bill Brandon

Excerpt:

Among the many changes today in the way we think about learning and training is the shift from knowledge transfer to skill development. Scenario-based learning (SBL) and the inclusion of practice with feedback are often overlooked but in many cases more effective approaches to the development of skill and competence.

What’s a scenario?
A scenario is a type of story; it presents learners with a situation in a way that engages them and places them in the situation. Scenarios are a methodology for quickly creating and delivering content to an audience based on needs and feedback. Scenarios are closely related to microlearning, and in fact some microlearning employs short scenarios as the main method of delivery. Learners are able to make decisions, solve problems, apply knowledge, and practice skills. The scenario presents challenges like the ones the learners will face in real-life situations.

The story is important! In his book Scenario-based Learning: Using Stories to Engage Learners, Ray Jimenez says, “The design of scenario-based training requires the craftsmanship of a storyteller, an instructional designer, and a subject matter expert.” 

 

Teaching: Why an Active-Learning Evangelist Is Sold on Online Teaching — from chronicle.com by Beth McMurtrie

Excerpts:

Now, says Mazur, the results are in and he’s convinced: online teaching is better. Not in all circumstances, to be sure. But in his applied-physics courses, students showed larger learning gains and felt more supported than students had in in-person classes. In fact, they appear to have learned so much more effectively in this new format that he wonders if it’s “almost unethical,” to return to the classroom this fall.

“I have never been able to offer a course of the quality that I’m offering now,” he says. “I am convinced that there is no way I could do anything close to what I’m doing in person. Online teaching is better than in person.”

One benefit of this setup, says Mazur, is that students go at their own pace. He has thought a lot about how classroom-based work, even when it is student-led, is hostage to the clock and the instructor. Not every group works at the same pace, yet everyone has to wait until others are ready, or rush ahead when they fall behind. When groups set their own pace, it gives them the space to work through problems or get help as needed. The value of self-paced learning is also evident outside of class, says Mazur, who built more asynchronous work into his online course.

“I have never seen students work this hard for my course,” he says. “Never. And so consistently.”

Also see:

A snapshot of Eric Mazur's physics class from Canvas.

But he’s so convinced of how valuable this model is that he asked Harvard to allow him to keep teaching online this fall. 

Also relevant/see:

 

Record, transcribe, clip, and share video from Zoom in real-time. — This Grain tool/resource is from Jeremy Caplan’s Wonder Tools newsletter. Thanks Jeremy for passing this info along!

From DSC:
These kinds of tools should make for interesting discussions in online-, hybrid-, and hyflex-based courses…as well as in microlearning-based streams of content perhaps.

This image shows the home page of a tool called Grain -- Record, transcribe, clip, and share video from Zoom in real-time.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian