eLearning – helping students achieve more in education

elearning_worldWhy has elearning been a great encouragement for students around the world? The prime reason for that is that access to knowledge was never open to all. People with financial restrictions, geographical barriers or physical impediments who had little chance previously in the academic sphere now have the doors to lifelong learning open to them. The new age education system brings you an updated version of knowledge that you can access at your convenience with millions of people from different parts of the world. It’s a blissful learning age for students far and wide.

In a nutshell, learning online is popular because it’s… Continue reading

Elearning in education vs corporate sector

corporate-learningElearning allows both students and business executives to learn anywhere and at any time. You can learn from virtually any place with a computer or mobile device and internet connection, meaning you can study from home, on vacation or in your break. But elearning is more than about convenience and there are fundamental differences between elearning in the corporate sector and in education.

Corporate training

The role of corporate training is to ensure an employee has the knowledge and skills to undertake a specific operation to enable an organization to continue to operate. Fundamentally, corporate training is centered on knowledge transfer. For example, conferences and workshops are an essential yet expensive part of business and elearning makes it affordable and efficient – sales people, for instance, can receive their training on new products and sales strategies online. Elearning can be translated to lower costs to deliver training in a shorter period of time, especially when employees are spread worldwide.

Corporate education however adds another dimension and depth to training by involving learners as participants in generating new knowledge that assists an organization to develop and evolve.

The main characteristics of corporate learning are: Continue reading

Top Tools for Online Teaching

Recently Top5 Online colleges.org published a list of the 99 Top Tools For Online Teaching, including eFront. The list includes some of our favorite resources too so heres an extract of the article.

Teaching Tools & Technologies

Videos, slideshows, games, and interactive group activities are all part of the online teacher’s toolbelt, and when a teacher is as savvy with technology as the students, amazing things can happen in an online classroom. These tools for online teachers and learners can improve communication between participants who may be thousands of miles apart geographically, but learning together in a shared technologically enabled space.

1. Articulate Studio

ArticulateStudio

Articulate Studio is a tool for authoring eLearning course materials, and the company keeps a blog that updates on happenings concerning education and how it ties into technology. Posts highlight different innovations, as well as walls that people typically run into when trying to innovate in the EdTech community or work in online learning.

2. The Sloan Consortium

TheSloanConsortium

Tap into Sloan-C for community, insight, inspiration, education, and professional resources geared specifically to online educators. A membership in this organization can provide numerous other benefits that can add clout to your resume.

3. Online Learning and Distance Education Resources

OnlineLearningandDistanceEducationResources

Online Learning and Distance Education Resources is run by Tony Bates and is dense with tools for improving distance education around the world. With quality commentary and up-to-date news, the site is incredibly thorough and helpful for teachers looking to expand their breadth of knowledge.

4. SmartBuilder

SmartBuilder

SmartBuilder is a suite of point-and-click authoring tools for elearning courses. Since building courses with SmartBuilder doesn’t require the user to write any code, it is accessible and easy to learn for any user with an interest in constructing their own online course.

5. Turnitin

Turnitin

How would you like to use software that checks against plagiarism, reduces grading time, improves feedback to students, and engages those students? Turnitin offers all this and more to help make the online educational experience one to fully savor as it evaluates and improves student writing.

6. Prezi

Prezi

Simply put, Prezi is a virtual whiteboard that transforms presentations so viewers can better see your ideas, understand them, and remember them. The smart folks are already using this too, from bestselling authors to business leaders and entrepreneurs around the globe. Continue reading

Part 1: Using Facebook as a learning platform

facebook-for-learningLet’s start this post by stating that Facebook was not actually created as a learning platform, it can however clearly be used to enhance and support elearning. Facebook is STILL the most convenient way to get connected to friends, get updated on existing friends, find new people, build relationships and express identities – so the big Facebook advantage is that your audience is most definitely there. Facebook makes it easy to network and interact with other virtual students, and because most people know how to use Facebook they don’t need to become familiar with a new platform.

It’s also relatively easy to create apps for Facebook, making it a great canvas for developers to add cool new functionality and get users involved pretty quickly. We have written about Facebook apps for elearning before in this post!

For those interested in using Facebook with students the following links may be of use: [Resource: Facebook as an “interactive learning resource”?]

1) Stephen Heppell: Using Facebook in the Classroom This page outlines the dos and don’ts of using Facebook with students. Examples include the following (and much more):

  • Do – build a separate teacher page for your “teacher” presence.
  • Do – keep your teacher and personal page very separate
  • Do – post pictures of school/lessons/trips – even diagrams you put on the board (snap them with your phone and post them) – it reminds students that you are there, generates a pride in the school and reminds them that this is not a vacuous space!
  • Don’t – ‘friend’ students yourself – not even as your “teacher” presence.
  • Don’t – accept complete ignorance of Facebook as an excuse for dangerous school policies like blanket bans. Instead offer to be an action researcher, and try it out for a year. Continue reading

Twitter in the classroom

It’s inevitable that any medium designed for ease of communication and networking will be applied to a learning context however many educators are still trying to come to grips with Twitter, and in particular its use in the classroom.

For a comprehensive list of resources on Twitter in the classroom and workplace, check out Dr. Tony Karrer’s list here – and also Edudemic’s 100 Ways to use Twitter in Education.

There are a multitude of ways Twitter can be integrated into classroom teaching, for example: Continue reading

FERGHSC on adopting eFront LMS & creating a new revenue stream

FERGHSC is an online tutoring business based in Sydney, Australia that focuses on supporting students in their final year of schooling (the Australian Higher School Certificate aka HSC) their focus is on developing systems for HSC success through video lessons, interactive feedback such as their essay marking service and website course material, developed by a team of experts.

We had the pleasure of speaking with the FERGHSC team recently and gained some insight into why they chose eFront over other LMS’ and how it helped them create a new revenue stream. Here are a few snippets from the full customer story:

On choosing eFront: “A strong consideration was the ability to monetize our online business model, offering various courses at different price points, however it was the suite of built in modules [in eFront] which we felt allowed us to get started quickly and hit the ground running.”

On what they’ve achieved: “Thanks to the eFront system we are able to continuously built upon our existing courses, adding value through additional lesson material and extra quiz questions. For example, with the math type built in we are able for the first time to offer mathematics courses online and continue to add new material to these courses.”

“The best thing is that students just love the software and find it very easy to use.”

For more check out the full customer story on Slideshare:

Customer story: An International Maritime University & eFront for education

When the John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University -DEOL Office conducted a study on different open-source LMS solutions to deliver education to a wide range of students around the globe – eFront came out on top. They decided that in terms of cost savings and ease of use and control, eFront was the best tool to use in engaging online distance learning.

Here’s what they had to say about implementing eFront:

“Among LMS solutions, eFront takes the lead in terms of integration with the corporate and educational environment. The overall implementation of the JBLFMU – ODL was successful and delivered on time and with beneficial results. The primary benefit is that all online courses provided by the school can now be delivered and accessed by all concerned. Instructors are now more adept at developing digital course content and have learned how to set, mark and record student progress online.” They added, “eFront is professionally supported and designed to last. It is always reliable because someone is regularly available on hand if something does go wrong.”

For more on this customer story, and the successful implementation of eFront for education, check this out!