Microlearning and MyEnglishLabs

SCAD Language Studio ? Professor Christina Cavage, Human Resources headshot, Fall 2013 ? Photography by Stephanie Krell, courtesy of SCADChristina Cavage

Why FLIP, or blend face-to-face learning, with digital learning? Well, the reasons are numerous. Many I have outlined here in the previous months. Moving some content outside of the classroom allows us more flexibility in the classroom. Additionally, it allows our classrooms to go back to a collaborative, communicative, rich language environment. However, it also allows our students to microlearn.

What is microlearning? While the term may seem new to you, the concept is not. Students learn best when content is presented in small chunks. Think of YouTube and Khan Academy. The success of these sites speaks directly to their appeal to digital natives—learning in bite-sized pieces for those ever-dwindling attention spans for traditional lectures. Recent research indicates that exposing students to new content in small doses is the most effective for learners today. Yet, while traditional learning methods are decreasing, media consumption is rapidly increasing for learners of all ages. Thus, the success of Khan Academy and TedEd. So, what about our ESL learners? How can we provide more microlearning for them? Continue reading

Using Technology versus Integrating Technology

SCAD Language Studio ? Professor Christina Cavage, Human Resources headshot, Fall 2013 ? Photography by Stephanie Krell, courtesy of SCADChristina Cavage

Last month I introduced the concept of using technology versus integrating technology. Since then I haven’t stopped thinking about this concept and my own classes.  I believe that we need to strive towards true integration rather than just technology use.  One criteria outlined in recent publications regarding the integration of technology is where we use the technology.

With this push towards technology in learning, is it really effective to use it in the classroom?  Research says no.  Although certain tools can help facilitate learning, students using technology in the classroom takes away from the cooperative, communicative environment needed for language learning.  So, how can we effectively use tools in the classroom to facilitate learning while at the same time integrate technology outside of the classroom? Continue reading

Applying the FLIP – Part 2

SCAD Language Studio ? Professor Christina Cavage, Human Resources headshot, Fall 2013 ? Photography by Stephanie Krell, courtesy of SCADChristina Cavage

Like many of you, I am bombarded on a daily basis with ESL and education “news” from a multitude of sites. There are a few I breeze over, and others that I really pay attention to. One that has me stopping and thinking on a weekly basis is te@chthought.com. For those of you who may not be familiar with te@chthought, it is a vibrant website that is committed to providing resources for the 21st century teacher. Personally, I love the site because it really holds true to its mantra: learn better.

I recently came across a great article that reinforces what I believe about a good blended or flipped model. The article highlights the difference between using technology in the classroom and integrating technology.
UsingTech

While many of us are simply trained to use technology in the classroom, few of us are trained to effectively integrate this technology in a planned and purposeful way into our students’ learning experiences beyond the classroom walls. This integration of technology transitions us nicely into our discussion on the next two pillars of a FLIPped model: Intentional content and Professional educators. Continue reading

Applying the FLIP

SCAD Language Studio ? Professor Christina Cavage, Human Resources headshot, Fall 2013 ? Photography by Stephanie Krell, courtesy of SCADChristina M. Cavage

Blended learning, the Flipped classroom, Extended learning . . . all terms that are being used today. However, the big question remains—are commercial materials readily available that allow us to move toward FLIPping and extending learning opportunities for our students without creating more work for teachers? Absolutely! This month I would like to focus on just that—how MyEnglishLabs, particularly Next Generation Grammar, have been designed with blending or flipping in mind.

The four pillars of the FLIP include: Flexiblity, Learning culture, Intentional content, and Professional educators. Over the next two newsletters, I will walk you through examples on how Next Generation Grammar meets each of the pillars. Continue reading

Fresh Beginnings, Blended Learning and FLIPping

SCAD Language Studio ? Professor Christina Cavage, Human Resources headshot, Fall 2013 ? Photography by Stephanie Krell, courtesy of SCADChristina Cavage

In few professions do you get start over every year, every semester, or quarter.  It’s a wonderful thing, and one of the best parts about teaching.  As we begin anew, it gives us an opportunity to try new techniques, materials, employ those innovative strategies on a fresh group of learners.  It was a few years back that I decided to try something new—blended learning.  Extending my students’ learning experiences has not only proved valuable to their learning, but has allowed me to become the kind of classroom teaching I have always wanted to be.

Some of you may have been following my articles on blended learning and flipping your ESL classroom, some of you may have been decided to make that leap.  For those still on the fence, or wanting to know more, I thought I would review some of the finer points I covered in the last few newsletters. Continue reading