a review of student information systems 


Distance Learning, The Future Of Teaching

Distance Learning Online:

Online learning has ended up being the supreme hi tech alternative to the old-fashioned classroom teaching.

Exactly what is distance learning?

Distance learning as a term is generally utilized when talking about education where the student is located in one location worldwide and the school/teacher in another location.

Why use it?

There are many excellent reasons a school would opt to utilize distance learning or e-learning.

1. The school has students from a big geographical area. And to be able to increase this location (and the variety of possible students), without the need for a larger campus or more dormitories, the online learning approach works effectively.

The school has multiple school areas, located over a wide area. The student really is situated in a campus area, however as the school has numerous campuses and the student (and teachers) would have to travel for hours to reach each one of them, the classes have been altered into distance learning experiences.

3. Less teachers. This is possible as an instructor without travelling can teach in numerous locations around the country (and the world) without leaving his or hers own space!


There are many different levels of technical tools as well as teaching methods used when utilizing distance learning.

Everything from e-mail and an easy bbs, to streamed live video and advanced meeting locations where students and teachers can work together in an interactive method, using a Learning Management System, like Moodle.

Tests and work papers can be mailed or fetched and archived through filesharing straight from the schools servers.

And by integrating things like high resolution live cams and skype, the learning environment can be taken to an entirely to new levels.

There will be a lot of advancements in the area of distance learning in the future. Who knows, your kids might even have the choice to take some classes from home, utilizing tools incorporated in your television in the future.

And to be able to increase this area (and the number of possible students), without the need for a bigger school or more dorms, the online class technique works very well.

The school has several campus locations, located far away. This is one of the latest ways of utilizing distance learning. The student in fact is located in a campus area, but as the school has numerous schools and the student (and instructors) would have to take a trip for hours to reach each one of them, the classes have actually been changed into distance learning experiences.

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St. Louis, Mo schools and Virtual Education


What's going on in St. Louis, Mo. Schools??

St. Louis Schools are bravely going where no man, or school, went before. They are going virtual. To put it simply, they’re offering more classes online for kids within the K-12 school system to be able to provide learning online and much more educational diversity for the students within their area. What exactly is it? They’re classes online made especially for different age levels. Submissions are different for each grade and designed to facilitate learning and pique the eye of scholars within the St. Louis Schools area.

Can there be More details Regarding Virtual Education in St. Louis Schools?

Obviously! St. Louis Schools have given the solutions to a variety of questions due to the newness of virtual education, mainly in the lower grades.

Grades and Subjects: From the 2008-2009 school year, St. Louis Schools is going to be offering virtual education to children in grades K-12. The topic list is simple since it is just like inside a normal classroom. Language Arts, Math, Science, Health, Music, Art, and History can be taught inside a virtual St. Louis Schools classroom.

Materials: St. Louis Schools provide all of their virtual students using the materials they should be successful in virtual education. The low the grade, the greater books they’re going to have because St. Louis Schools realize that younger students require more educational diversity as their attention span is shorter. Our recommendation is that a maximum of 20-25 minutes each day be allocated to the pc. Yes, a pc is required for virtual education. Simply how much though, depends upon age a student. Younger students get a shorter period, older students have more time. A higher school aged student in St. Louis Schools will expend the majority of their time focusing on the pc.

Overall, it would appear that St. Louis Schools are selling a much better education its their students by looking into making virtual education readily available for all grades within the public school system. But, there’s more to become learned inside a classroom than simply facts and figures. The issue with virtual education in St. Louis Schools is the fact that there’s hardly any interaction from a student and the peers. Because the classroom setting is another spot to learn valuable social skills, an online education student would want some kind of an after school program to have interaction along with other children his age. This ultimately the task from the parent as there is hardly any, or no involvement, through the school itself. Perform the positives override the negatives? This is a question for you personally as well as your child to go over at great length before choosing signing up for virtual education. Call your son or daughter’s school and talk to an expert, they might be in a position to help guide to you more.

…via St Louis Schools And Virtual Education | Know Education


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How to Convert Company Knowledge into Online Training


Companies already have a great deal of in-house material that is suitable for online trainings. Many training officers and departmental managers create their own presentations in PowerPoint or PDF. After a classroom setting training, these documents are often sent out via e-Mail to trainees and shared publicly on the company intranet. Without knowing, this often times results to companies storing a lot of valuable department-specific knowledge and information, which are sitting idle in network drives and intranet folders. They are overlooked, left alone and will eventually become outdated. What is more, a new set of public could benefit from this knowledge too, such as partners and resellers, newly hired colleagues, and even other departments.

Sharing company knowledge

Colleagues, partners and resellers are interested in your content – make your online training a collaborative space filled with relevant up-to-date ate information .

The problem with sending PDF documents or PowerPoint presentations to people who are not directly involved in the training or department concerned is that, in order for them to understand and digest the static information they received, more details need to be added, or rather, explained. Moreover, it would be ideal to give them the opportunity to interact in the form of asking questions and getting their feedback. For trainees who have attended the training session, testing their knowledge right away would have helped immensely, and being able to follow and monitor their learning progress would be ideal. Just giving out static documents will not do justice to the effort you have invested on this knowledge. Share it smartly!

There is indeed a better solution to converting static documents such as PDF, PowerPoint, and Word into interactive online trainings. Files can be automatically converted, which allows trainers to focus more on what is important at hand—adding relevant content, enriching it with questions and building collaboration opportunities around it.

3 Easy Ways To Convert Company Knowledge Into Sustainable Training And Proactive Community Knowledge Sharing 

  1. Convert training materials in PowerPoint and PDF.
    Use existing training material to create a complete online course. In an online training platform like Coursepath you can start course creation by simply uploading a PowerPoint presentation or a PDF document. The system automatically converts every slide into a step (a page). Editing pages can be done on a fly and reordering them is just a matter of dragging and dropping across chapters. To make the training interactive and to make sure that your target group is stimulated, you can further add media content and questions.


    • Tips for PowerPoint: Make the most of your PowerPoint files and use the “notes” feature. By ticking the notes box, you convert the notes together with your PowerPoint slides into a course. They appear in the editor and can be further edited.
    • Tips for PDF: Before converting, we recommend changing the PDF layout to “landscape”, reducing the text to 12 lines per page and keeping the number of pages under 30. This way the content will be easy to read and helps give trainees the opportunity to focus on the key elements in your document.
  2. Upload documents for central storing and knowledge sharing.
    If you have content not suitable for conversion, such as files with large texts, forms, checklists, and Word documents, don’t keep them on the side. Storing this information in your training courses allows trainees easy access to additional learning content. For everyone’s benefit, upload the documents into short courses and ask colleagues for feedback. The best thing is, you have all your learning materials stored centrally in one single platform where you can easily update and upload newer versions when they are outdated. Trainees and other colleagues can further download the documents when they need it and at their own time.
  3. Collaborate with your trainees for information.
    Your training is truly collaborative when you empower trainees to interact and speak. Let them be heard! Get their opinions and feedback and let them share valuable and relevant information about the course you are training them on. Or design it allowing trainees to comment, upload files, and discuss with one other. On the other hand, you may want to use the training platform similar to a project or workshop environment where trainees can submit documents – from personal information to scanned documents, as well as tasks completed forms and assignments, and other file types such as MP3 for voice-overs or recorded calls for review purposes for example. This way you are making sure all relevant information are gathered and stored in one place where people can access, use and review together.

Motivate Sharing And Knowledge Consumption  

The trick in converting training materials for online training is making it concise. The Microlearning strategy encourages emphases on short and bite-sized online content. By focusing on selected key elements of your training as the major subject matter and using the rest of the content as supplementary through rich text format or downloadable documents, allows better impact and acceptance with your trainees. They are able to easily follow the training and better retain what has been learned as well.

. Through sharing this via an interactive platform, in-company knowledge gets spread out quickly and effectively. Not only that, they also get enriched by other employees

…via 3 Easy Ways To Convert Company Knowledge Into Online Training


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Create A Sense of Connection in Online Education

Published on July 30, 2015 by in Uncategorized


The EvoLLLution | Creating a Sense of Connection: Online Education in the Modern Era
Creating significant connections between students, faculty and staff helps to forge a connection between learners and their online institution, supporting retention and completion.


Anyone going back to college will have myriad options, and one of the first choices a new student has to make is between an online program and a classroom experience.

Many people naturally assume it will be more enjoyable to learn where students gather in a traditional classroom setting, but this choice comes with structures that are limiting. The requirement to attend a class at a certain time every week becomes unworkable once you add the demands of a job, children or a spouse.

The limits of the traditional approach are leading more students than ever to choose online learning that fits their busy lives. Online learning also has its own drawbacks, such as the potential to feel isolated as a student. One university has found ways to create community among students from all walks of life by connecting them with faculty, fellow students and alumni.

Western Governors University created an online learning model that places student success at the center of all decisions. This includes efforts to ensure students are supported and connected to the university. Because WGU focuses on serving working adults, its students tend to be older, more focused on their career, and they often have families of their own. This means they typically have a built-in support system, but it also means they can be distracted from their studies by other obligations unless their commitment to their degree is supported.

An important pillar of the WGU model is the mentor support provided to students, which I highlighted in a recent article in The EvoLLLution (focusing on the mentoring model of faculty support). Weekly phone communication ensures that faculty mentors are up-to-date on important developments in their students’ lives. But the model doesn’t stop there. The faculty members who lead learning for specific courses are charged with guiding students through the coursework and creating an online forum for students to connect with other learners currently in the same course.

The personalized WGU learning model allows students to start and finish courses on their own time. That means students can enter and complete a course on any date. The online forum has a social media format, and learners can engage with fellow students as much or as little as they choose. Students connect with other WGU students across the nation, tackle the subject matter most challenging to them and support one another in the learning environment. Because our students are adults, they appreciate receiving help from other adult students.

Students under age 35 have grown up with Web-based tools, and are as comfortable with online interaction as with in-person gatherings. There is an expectation that a student can engage on their own terms, at their own time, and WGU’s online tools and forums take advantage of this expectation. Learning resources include videos and texts, but also online learning communities, simulations, discussion thread and Web conferences. Many WGU students also create informal communities through Facebook pages and offline study groups.

By creating a personalized learning environment that students can jump into with both feet, WGU has won 97 percent student satisfaction and one-year retention rates of 79 percent in 2013. In addition, the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) in 2013 polled 350,000 students from 613 institutions. Senior-level students rated WGU 9 percent higher than other institutions in the area of quality interaction with faculty and 19 percent higher than other institutions on the entire educational experience.

There are other ways that WGU creates a sense of community among its students, beyond their engagement with coursework. In a growing number of states, WGU has created state-based affiliates that serve students even more closely. The first state affiliate was created four years ago at the request of the Governor of Indiana, with the goal of creating a presence within the state to connect students and alumni and grow awareness of the WGU opportunity. Since then, WGU Washington, WGU Texas, WGU Tennessee and WGU Missouri have been established.

Each state affiliate has a state office and a chancellor championing the university’s efforts. Here in Missouri, the creation of the state university has not only increased enrollment but has also created a sense of WGU pride at the state level. Chancellors and state-level staff spend time hosting events and visiting students in their workplaces, embodying the concept that WGU is everywhere.

One example is the mixers that are hosted in cities and towns across the affiliate states. These meetings take many forms, from happy hours to breakfasts. All are designed to bring students, alumni, and state-based staff together to network and have fun. WGU students can connect with graduates and receive advice on their studies as well as their careers. Chancellors share news about developments within the university and points of pride that alumni should include when discussing their education.

The distribution of branded promotional material like shirts and pens is intentional. These are visual and physical reminders of the university’s presence in the state. Another way WGU shares its merchandise is with surprise visits to students and alumni at their workplace, celebrating their accomplishments with food and swag.

Chancellors of the state affiliates encourage students to show their WGU pride. Western Governors University has been called the “best university you’ve never heard of.” When students and alumni are engaged in distinguishing their university not just from local colleges but from other online institutions, their sense of affiliation is boosted. Enthusiastic students and alumni are vital to help ensure employers learn about WGU and its competency-based model. In that way, the entire community comes to recognize that the university produces high-quality graduates ready for the workforce.

These connections help WGU online students and graduates realize that they are not alone in their online university but rather, that WGU is everywhere. In surveys, 98 percent of WGU students say they would recommend WGU while 85 percent said they already have. This data provides a compelling argument that WGU has created a breakthrough model for higher education: a quality, student-centered online format that is highly personal and conducive to success.

…via Creating a Sense of Connection: Online Education in the Modern Era


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5 Points to Consder about the Flipped Classroom Model:

Published on July 22, 2015 by in Uncategorized


Here's one guy's perspective on Flipped Classrooms:


Ok, I'll be honest. I get very nervous when I hear education reformists and politicians tout how “incredible” the flipped-classroom model, or how it will “solve” many of the problems of education. It doesn't solve anything. It is a great first step in reframing the role of the teacher in the classroom.

It fosters the “guide on the side” mentality and role, rather than that of the “sage of the stage.” It helps move a classroom culture towards student construction of knowledge rather than the teacher having to tell the knowledge to students. Even Salman Khan says that the teacher is now “liberated to communicate with [their students].”

It also creates the opportunity for differentiated roles to meet the needs of students through a variety of instructional activities. But again, just because I “free” someone, doesn't mean that he/she will know what to do next, nor how to do it effectively. This is where the work must occur as the conversation of the flipped classroom moves forward and becomes more mainstream in public and private education. We must first focus on creating the engagement and then look at structures, like the flipped classroom, that can support. So educators, here are some things to think about and consider if you are thinking about or already using the flipped-classroom model.

1) Need to Know

How are you creating a need to know the content that is recorded? Just because I record something, or use a recorded material, does not mean that my students will want to watch, nor see the relevance in watching it. I mean, it is still a lecture. Also, this “need to know” is not “because it is on the test,” or “because it will help you when you graduate.” While that may be a reality, these reasons do not engage the students who are already struggling to find meaning and relevance in school. If the flipped classroom is truly to become innovative, then it must be paired with transparent and/or embedded reason to know the content.

2) Engaging Models

One of the best way to create the “need to know” is to use a pedagogical model that demands this. Whether project-based learning (PBL), game-based learning (GBL), Understanding by Design (UbD), or authentic literacy, find an effective model to institute in your classroom. Become a master of those models first, and then use the flipped classroom to support the learning. Example: Master design, assessment, and management of PBL; and then look at how you can use the flipped classroom to support the process. Perhaps it is a great way to differentiate instruction, or support students who need another lesson in a different mode. Perhaps students present you with a “need to know,” and you answer with a recorded piece to support them. This will help you master your role as “guide on the side.”

3) Technology

What technology do you have to support the flipped classroom? What technology gaps exist that might hinder it? Since the flipped classroom is about recorded video, then obviously students would need the technology to do this. There are many things to consider here. Will you demand that all students watch the video, or is it a way to differentiate and allow choice? Will you allow or rely on mobile learning for students to watch it? Again, these are just some of the questions to consider in terms of technology. Lack of technology doesn't necessarily close the door to the flipped-classroom model, but it might require some intentional planning and differentiation.

4) Reflection

Every time you have students watch a video, just like you would with any instructional activity, you must build in reflective activities to have students think about what they learned, how it will help them, its relevance, and more. If reflection is not a regular part of your classroom culture, then implementing the flipped classroom will not be as effective. Students need metacognition to connect content to objectives, whether that is progress in a GBL unit, or work towards an authentic product in at PBL project.

5) Time and Place

Do you have structures to support this? When and where will the learning occur? I believe it unfair to demand that students watch the video outside of the class time for various reasons. If you have a blended learning environment, that of course provides a natural time and place to watch the videos, but it will be difficult to ensure all students watch a video as homework. In addition, do not make epic videos that last hours. Keep the learning within the videos manageable for students. This will help you formatively assess to ensure learning, and it will feel doable to students.

I know I may have “upset the apple cart” for those who love the flipped classroom. My intent is not to say that the flipped classroom is bad. Rather, it is only a start. The focus should be on teacher practice, then tools and structures. The flipped classroom is one way to help move teachers toward better teaching but does not ensure it. Like the ideas above, focus on ways to improve your instruction before choosing to use the “flipped classroom.”

…via Five Best Practices for the Flipped Classroom | Edutopia


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Student Information Systems – What’s the Best Choice?

Published on January 23, 2012 by in Reviews
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