Tag Archives: Technology

Join Me for Social Media for Academic Professional Development

Ever wished you could choose what would be covered each year during those continuing education seminars? In this webinar, you will learn how to harness social media to build your own Personal Learning Network and expand your personal professional development choices into any and all areas of interest. DIY ProfDev is here!

Thu. Jan. 26, 2012, 2 pm (PT) 3 pm (MT)

Register – It’s free!


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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in miscellaneous, Teaching Online


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ADDIE and ITIP – Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Having come up through the K-12 ranks in education, my course design background has been, until recently, almost entirely based upon face-to-face educational theory models like Madeline Hunter’s ITIP and Grant Wiggin’s Understanding by Design (UBD). These methods of course design and lesson planning have served me well, even as I transitioned to hybrid teaching and, finally, fully online.

Now, as my teaching (and OpenPhD studying) has branched out into online professional development and educational technology, I am working with many trainers, corporate instructional designers, as well as teachers, and I’ve repeatedly been exposed to the ADDIE model used by instructional systems designers. At first glance, ITIP and ADDIE appear to be different models for different purposes, but the more I compare and use them – the more they seem two sides of the same coin.


1. (Learning Objective) Select an objective at an appropriate level of difficulty and complexity, as determined through a task analysis, diagnostic testing, and/or congruence with Bloom’s cognitive taxonomy.
2. (Anticipatory Set) Motivate instruction by focusing the learning task, its importance, or the prior knowledge/experience of the learners.
3. State the lesson objective(s) to the students.
4. (Input) Identify and teach main concepts and skills, emphasizing clear explanations, frequent use of examples and/or diagrams, and invite active student participation.(Includes Modeling).
>5. Check for understanding by observing and interpreting student reactions (active interest, boredom) and by frequent formative evaluations with immediate feedback. Adjust instruction as needed and reteach if necessary.(Can be Closure at the end of lesson as well).
6. Provide guided practice following instruction by having students answer questions, discuss with one another, demonstrate skills, or solve problems. Give immediate feedback and reteach if necessary.
7. Assign independent practice to solidify skills and knowledge when students have demonstrated understanding.


When designing lessons, the teacher needs to consider the seven elements in a certain order since each element is derived from and has a relationship to previous elements. Also a decision must be made about inclusion or exclusion of each element in the final design–NOT ALL ELEMENTS WILL BE INCLUDED IN EVERY LESSON. It may take several lessons before students are ready for guided and/or independent practice. When this design framework is implemented in teaching, the sequence of the elements a teacher includes is determined by his/her professional judgment.

“Planning for Effective Instruction: Lesson Design” in Enhancing Teaching by Madeline Hunter, 1994, pp. 87-95.



I found this simple explanation of ADDIE to be most useful in comparison. The five phases of ADDIE are as follows – with the ITIP comparable added in blue:


  • During analysis, the designer identifies the learning problem, the goals and objectives, the audience’s needs, existing knowledge, and any other relevant characteristics. Analysis also considers the learning environment, any constraints, the delivery options, and the timeline for the project.

1. (Learning Objective) Select an objective at an appropriate level of difficulty and complexity, as determined through a task analysis, diagnostic testing, and/or congruence with Bloom’s cognitive taxonomy.

2. (Anticipatory Set) Motivate instruction by focusing the learning task, its importance, or the prior knowledge/experience of the learners.


  • A systematic process of specifying learning objectives. Detailed storyboards and prototypes are often made, and the look and feel, graphic design, user-interface and content is determined here.


  • The actual creation (production) of the content and learning materials based on the Design phase.


  • During implementation, the plan is put into action and a procedure for training the learner and teacher is developed. Materials are delivered or distributed to the student group. After delivery, the effectiveness of the training materials is evaluated.

3. State the lesson objective(s) to the students.

4. (Input) Identify and teach main concepts and skills, emphasizing clear explanations, frequent use of examples and/or diagrams, and invite active student participation. (Includes Modeling).

6. Provide guided practice following instruction by having students answer questions, discuss with one another, demonstrate skills, or solve problems. Give immediate feedback and reteach if necessary.

7. Assign independent practice to solidify skills and knowledge when students have demonstrated understanding.


  • This phase consists of (1) formative and (2) summative evaluation. Formative evaluation is present in each stage of the ADDIE process. Summative evaluation consists of tests designed for criterion-related referenced items and providing opportunities for feedback from the users. Revisions are made as necessary.

5. Check for understanding by observing and interpreting student reactions (active interest, boredom) and by frequent formative evaluations with immediate feedback. Adjust instruction as needed and reteach if necessary (can be Closure at the end of lesson as well).


As I see it, the real differences between ADDIE and ITIP are 1)semantics and 2) a slight shift in focus. ITIP’s focus is on the instruction and ADDIE’s is more on design. While a designer (course or training) could use ADDIE to create the training/lesson, ITIP can be used like an outline to actually teach the course/training. These models are more complementary than competing, and online course developers, trainers, OER authors, should look into both models to better improve their teaching and opportunities for student engagement and learning – face-to-face or online.

As always, I look forward to your perspectives and commentary!


Posted by on February 9, 2010 in Teaching Online, Year One


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My Top Tools for 2009

The Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies is compiling its annual list of Top 100 Tools based on the recommendations of tools from hundreds of eLearning professionals.  Below is my submitted Top 10 list.

  1. Twitter – This tool has revolutionized the way I communicate, disseminate, and collaborate – simply great!
  2. WordPress – The power of the blog continues to amaze me in its reach and connectivity.
  3. Blackberry Cell Phone – It is my mini “go anywhere” computer now…(includes apps for Social Media, email, Course Management Systems, and blogging).
  4. – Social Bookmarking (plus it goes with me no matter what computer I am using).
  5. Windows “Snipping Tool” – great little utility for screen shots.
  6. Firefox – Avoiding the blue screen of death.  Firefox performs as described.
  7. Word – Still my “go to” wordprocessing program.
  8. Outlook – Email, calendar, and RSS reader keeps me organized.
  9. OER Commons – Best interface for Open Ed resources
  10. Creative Commons Licensing – makes OER possible

The Top 100 List for 2009 will be listed here, soon after November 15th.

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Posted by on November 8, 2009 in The Plan


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The Value of Digital Teaching…

When people ask what I do for living, I answer, “I teach.”

Most people are usually very supportive when they hear I’m a teacher, just like when they hear someone is police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, soldiers, and other service professions.  I can almost read their mind as I watch the expressions flicker across their faces: That’s a tough job. Wow, I wouldn’t want to do that.  She had to go to a lot of school.  Glad it’s not me.

The cocktail conversation inevitably gets around to question #2:  “Where do you teach?”

I know they are expecting me to answer XYZ Public School or University of XYZ.  In fact, I used to answer that way.  I spent 15 years in public education, face-to-face.  Traditional.  Hotdogs, Mom, and Apple Pie.

Now I answer, “Online.”  Oh my, you should read those expressions now.

Disbelief. How does that work? Is that really even teaching? (and my favorite look) I hate computers *shudder*.

Not so traditional anymore.  In fact, I do still work for land-based schools – I just do so from a distance.  And it works quite well, thank you very much.  And yes, it is really teaching.  Some studies argue students are even more successful online than face-to-face.  This is not your grandmother’s education anymore.  You hate computers? (Here is one caveat to the revolution – online learning may not be for you then).

In the blog post There’s No Such Thing as Virtual, It is All Teaching, The Intrepid Teacher explains the fallout of a two week school closure due to the swine flu.  He further explains a comparison between his school (without a CMS platform) and his wife’s (with Blackboard), and how they are managing to cope with educating their students despite the closure.  He comes away with some interesting observations:

Teaching online, or being a virtual teacher, is more than a skill set; it is a mindset and a philosophy. Teachers who are well versed in a variety of tools, not just Blackboard will fair [sic] much better in times of crisis and will be better prepared for finding ways to reach their students than say teachers who rarely use technology at all. Teachers who themselves are connect and use many tools for their own learning will barely miss a step. While I understand the unease these teachers are experiencing, I think their apprehension speaks more to the limitations offered not only by blackboard, but of school philosophies when it comes to technology use and pedagogy.

This crisis has clearly illustrated that creating a valuable web-friendly ethos/community of teachers well versed with technology, is the first step in creating a sustainable system to deal with not only emergencies, but in helping to maintain strong ties between teachers and students beyond the classroom.

My online teaching partner and I strongly believe what The Intrepid Teacher has come to realize.  To that end, we even opened our book with 26 reasons (supported by research) why online learning successfully reaches beyond the traditional classroom:

  1. Students must be active learners.
  2. Course materials remain current.
  3. Instruction engages learners with the content through multiple channels.
  4. Learners are engaged with each other as well as the instructor.
  5. Online learning is pandemic proof.
  6. Exploration of ideas builds one on another through discussion boards.
  7. Discussions are captured in perpetuity for later reflection.
  8. Anonymity of the online environment frees students to disagree and question.
  9. Learners benefit from discussions that build cyclically over time.
  10. Asynchronicity allows for students to work during convenient times and to use conducive working styles.
  11. All learning styles and disabilities can be met to allow for learners to thrive.
  12. Education is not bound by geographic constraints.
  13. Issues of gender, race, or physical characteristics are invisible to the online classroom.
  14. Economic issues are lessened.
  15. Time for the learner is maximized.
  16. Class sizes are smaller.
  17. Students (in well designed courses) showcase their learning in authentic tasks.
  18. Students have access to best schools, guest speakers, or instructors despite the distances.
  19. Online learning is a green industry.
  20. Global diversity of ideas are shared.
  21. Technology skills are further developed.
  22. Communication skills increase.
  23. Feedback is meaningful, timely, and expected.
  24. Instructors are able to devote more time to teaching and less time to administrivia.
  25. Successful online communities can feel “closer” than large scale traditional courses.
  26. Successful use of social learning theory and communities of practice create transference of learning beyond the immediate course in a positive, impactful way.

I have seen and experienced every aspect of that list of 26.  What’s not to love about online teaching?  It’s a great profession and more valuable every day.

“I teach online.  Yes, really!   Sure I can explain how it works…”

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Posted by on October 1, 2009 in Teaching Online


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Catch the Google Wave?

Will you be one of the first to try Google’s new Wave?  You can see it introduced here in this longgggggg video.


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Posted by on September 30, 2009 in Teaching Online


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Twitter, Twibes, and Tweeple…oh my!

I tweet.  I tweet on Twitter.  I’m in a twibe.  It’s twue!

Er, I mean, it’s true!

It’s taken me a while to get into Twitter.  Not to understand it.  That I got right away.  In fact, after just a few minutes of checking it out, I was quickly able to explain it to my friends by saying it was like the status update on Facebook only without the rest of Facebook.  That was almost two years ago.

I also remember thinking I had no use for this micro-blogging thing.  I had my smart phone.  I had instant messaging, texting, mobile email, my blog, Facebook, a website, my course sites, and numerous other ways I was technologically connected to my students, my colleagues, and my friends.  I was burned out on innovative ways to connect, and I didn’t need one more to add to the pile.  So I embraced my future shock and ignored Twitter.

Twitter didn’t ignore me, or to be more specific, it didn’t go away despite my best efforts at giving it the cold shoulder.  A very purposeful UnFollow, if you get my twift.

Instead, Twitter grew. Ten-fold.

Or perhaps one hundred-fold over the next two years.

And it kept tweeting to me….the same post over and over.

(Forgive me, Gene Roddenberry)

“You, too, shall be assimilated.”

And I am assimilated.  Sort of.

Now I am struggling to find practical uses for Twitter in my busy world.  Oh, sure, I can find many impractical uses – the same as all the other tweeple on Twitter.  I can babble with the best of them, and I can waste precious time online when I want to procrastinate – just ask any of my Facebook friends.  Apparently, that is what most of the Twitterati are doing as well according to this 2009 research:

San Antonio-based market research firm Pear Analytics analyzed 2,000 tweets (originating from the US and in English) over a 2-week period from 11:00a to 5:00p (CST) and separated them into six categories:

  • News
  • Spam
  • Self-promotion
  • Pointless babble
  • Conversational
  • Pass-along value

The firm found that “pointless babble” accounted for most of Twitter’s content making up 811 tweets or 40.55 percent of the total number of messages sampled.

Conversational messages accounted for 751 messages or 37.55 percent, tweets with “pass-along value” i.e. retweets – accounted for 174 messages or 8.70 percent, self-promotion by companies made up 117 tweets or 5.85 percent, spam was 75 tweets or 3.75 percent and tweets with news from mainstream media publications accounted for 72 tweets or 3.60 percent.

-Kelly, Ryan, ed. (2009-08-12), “Twitter Study – August 2009” (PDF), Twitter Study Reveals Interesting Results About Usage, San Antonio, Texas: Pear Analytics

That’s a lot of background noise.

So how can online educators find some educational value in the midst of all this technological spam-babble-hype-chat?  I did a little searching (Bing!) and came up with some more promising Twitter tools and apps that makes micro-blogging a bit more educator-friendly.

  1. Twitrans: Twitrans can translate your tweets to any language using human translators.
  2. Tweeteorology: Tweeteorology will show you tweets about the weather.
  3. Book Price Check: Check prices of books from your mobile device through Twitter using this tool.
  4. twiggit: Let your students know about the articles you digg by using twiggit.
  5. SI-Messenger: SI-Messenger is a service that integrates IM, Twitter and more in Second Life.
  6. TwitterBox: Use Twitter from within Second Life with this tool.
  7. LoudTwitter: Send tweets to your blog and keep contacts updated even if they don’t read your Twitter.
  8. Twit2Do: Use Twitter to manage your to-do list using Twit2Do.
  9. twtvite: This event management Twitter app can help you plan classroom events.
  10. TrackDailyGoals: TrackDailyGoals will help you keep track of your productivity and goals.
  11. Tweetizen: You can start your own group, or find groups with specific interests on Twitter.
  12. HappyTwitday: Celebrate classroom birthdays on Twitter by using HappyTwitday.
  13. twtpoll: Take classroom polls and surveys with the help of this app.
  14. GroupTweet: Make twittering in your classroom group-easy using this tool.
  15. Tweetworks: Tweetworks offers groups and threaded discussions on Twitter.
  16. tweetparty: Communicate directly with your Twitter group by using tweetparty.
  17. TwitOrg: TwitOrg offers a great way to create, manage, and join organizations.
  18. StrawPoll: Get tiny polls from StrawPoll.
  19. ConnectTweet: ConnectTweet will help you combine the voices of your group.
  20. Twibes: Create your own groups on a specific topic and let others follow it.
  21. twitority: Perform Twitter searches that offer authoritative sources by using twitority.
  22. TwiST: This Twitter search tool will help make your searches more efficient.
  23. Just Signal: Using Just Signal, you can create a filter to only get tweets that discuss keywords you choose.
  24. Twups: This Twitter news aggregator makes it easy for you to follow all of your favorite subjects.
  25. QuoteURL: Quote a number of different tweets at once on one page with this app, great for presentations.
  26. TwitPic: Share photos on Twitter, or find photos from all around the world using this service.
  27. TweetCube: Share files via Twitter using TweetCube.
  28. SnapTweet: Use SnapTweet to post your latest Flickr photos to Twitter.
  29. TweeTube: Share videos on Twitter using TweeTube.
  30. Twitxr: Send photos from your mobile phone using this app, great for teachers and students alike.
  31. Annotated Links: Put a bunch of links and a note into one URL to share on Twitter with Annotated Links.
  32. LiveTwitting: During lectures, events, and more, you can use LiveTwitting instead of liveblogging.
  33. Twubble: Twubble will help you find people who have interests that are compatible with yours.
  34. Twits Like Me: Find other users in education through Twits Like Me.
  35. Splitweet: Get multi account management, so you can separate your educational and personal accounts.
  36. Followize: Use Followize for a fast and efficient way to read your tweets.
  37. Qwitter: Find out when students and other followers stop following you.
  38. The Tourism Twitter Project. The tourism industry group shares experiences from around the world.
  39. Black Friday Twitter Project. Learn how this experiment uses Twitter as a real-time news alert system.
  40. WiZiQ and a twitter experiment. One man gathered a Twitter community to test an educational program.
  41. twittories. Create a story where each person can add 140 characters to contribute to the greater story.
  42. twitterbookgroup. Participants leave their thoughts on the book in their 140-character answer.

– Most of the list was garnered from these resources (plus Bing!):  100 Tips, Apps, and Resources for Teachers on Twitter and Top 100 Tools for the Twittering Teacher .

This is a great  link to all things Twitter on Wikipedia…does that make is Twikipedia?

Another link to 25 Interesting Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom

Post a comment if you have some great ways that you use Twitter teaching online, hybrid, or face-to-face.  Or if you just want to commiserate with me as I stumble my way through the Twittersphere trying not to babble.

Oh, and you can always follow me online @chambo_online.

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Posted by on September 14, 2009 in Teaching Online


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Top 10 Most Popular Learning Tools of 2007

In July and August ’07, the Centre forLearning and Performance Technologies polled “learning professionals”, bloggers, and others, asking these contributors to rank what their top learning tools were out of a list of 400 possible choices.  The list ranged from the purchased and high tech software like Outlook to the old school paper and cardboard book.

Don TaylorSaid one polled contributer, “The Book – if this weren’t a technology-focused list, this would be number one. Still, what other learning tool requires no power, is lightweight, carries so much information and can withstand being dropped in the bath? Gutenberg, 557 years on, we salute you!

Topping the list by order of popularity is the web browser Firefox – getting raves for it’s “ease of use,” functionality, and add-ons which “make it useful in many different situations.” got the next most popular ranking among those polled.  The social bookmarking tool was considered “indespensible” for 40% of the respondents for their personal learning.

 And so the list went – Skype, GoogleSearch, PowerPoint, WordPress, Gmail, GoogleReader, and Word rounded out the top ten in popularity.  Those creating the poll emphasized in their analysis that the rankings of any one individual item wasn’t really the point:

The ranking in the Top 100 Tools list is relatively unimportant – it is the range of tools that are being used for learning that is the key take-away here, and which demonstrates that (e-)learning is not just about online courses (which is still the view held by many people) – but includes education, training, information sharing, communication and collaboration.

I have to believe them on this one…after all,  -“the written word” – the foundation by which all these other tools are creatively used, only tied as the 43rd most popular

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Posted by on September 29, 2007 in Teaching Online


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