Sunday, August 22, 2010

K12 Online Conference 2010: Spread the Word!

K12 Online Conference 2010

It is great to witness the process of blossoming of online conferences and join the conversation with educators around the world about bringing change to the current ways of teaching and learning.

IT4ALL is just about that too! We will hold a Connecting Online conference in 2011.

The themes for CO11 (February 4-6, 2011) presentations are:

1. Connecting Online to Improve Instruction and Learning: Online Learning and Instructional Experience
2. Experiences with technology in face-to-face and online classes. What worked and what didn’t work for you?
3. How do you use technology to promote and sustain your online workshops, consultation, and communities of practice and learning?
4. Research conducted on e-learning, blended online learning, and blended learning.
5. Reviewing or promoting books on integrating technology into the classroom, e-learning, blended learning, and blended online learning.
6. Challenges administrators, instructors, students, and community members face in connecting online.

The live online presentations include a 40 minute talk and 10 minutes for questions. Each presenter is accompanied by one or two moderators who introduce him or her and provide support.

You are invited to sign up and present.

Visit all the above mentioned sites and join the communities to become empowered with the knowledge of innovative ways of using Web 2.0 technologies in teaching.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Importance of Personal Learning Networks

View and contribute to this Voicethread on the topic of Personal Learning Networks. I find it inspiring and interactive and also illustrative of how a teacher can use this tool in engaging students in communication and for sharing ideas through writing and voice re-cording.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

More Moodle Books to Review

I was asked to write a review for two more Moodle books published by Packt:
Moodle 1.9: Theme Design. Beginner's Guide and Moodle 1.9 Extension Development(Raw). I am curious what these books will add to my knowledge of Moodle and if they have some perspectives on Moodle 2.0 which will be launched in July, 2010.

Friday, June 4, 2010

How Rewarding it is to Share Knowledge with Like-Minded People!

"Innovative Pedagogy and Course Redesign: Crossing the Disciplinary Divide" - this is the theme of this year conference I enjoy going to. It an annual meeting of like-minded people from NY and other states of the USA. There were 27 institutions represented this time from about 10 states and there were a number of foreign scholars -- interestingly enough, they were from Russia, St. Petersbugh, Julia Sharapova, and a young scholar Ajara, from Beshkek, Kirghistan. I enjoyed the guest speaker of this year plenary session, Dr. Therese Huston, a cognitive psychologist from Seattle. She is the author of a just published book "Teaching What you Don't Know." Therese is a very dynamic presenter and very engaging and inspiring. We had a lot of fun at the session - she ran it for about 2 hours. Therese forced us to think out of the box! I was immediately thinking about inviting her to our college for the General Courses' design discussions or for creating a center of Academic Excellence - to encourage people's creative thinking and understand that it is OK to teach out of your comfort zone and there are ways how to be successful in that... I go to this conference to get inspiration and confirm my constructivist ideals and pedagogical initiatives. I am always well received and appreciated. It is here I was giving a Moodle workshop with Mary Anne Campo, when we first introduced Moodle at MSMC. I know for fact that Ramapo College switched Blackboard to Moodle after my workshop in 2008 and their Resource Teaching Center invited me to conduct a Moodle workshop for Ramapo faculty who planned to design their new courses based on Moodle. I also presented a session on Web 2.0 tools and pedagogical recidivism. This year presentation was about Global collaboration at IT4ALL with M4T workshops.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Snowblog CT Netcity International Project 2010

Today was the last session of the International Multicultural virtual project that I agreed to participate in during the Spring semester. I was invited to join the project in December by Gal Springman, the co-founder and coordinator of Snowblog project. I was scheduled to teach two online courses in the spring of 2010: Teaching with Technology and Literacy and Technology. I decided to invite my students to experiment and join the project to learn about integrating technology through using its tools in a context. It was in a way, a risky adventure. I knew nothing about the leader, about the project, and about the content of the project. But what a Russian would I be if I hadn't taken a risk and tried something totally unknown?!!

It turned out to be a powerful experience from the point of view of learning about the virtual projects, twists and turns of the project coordination by the educators from different cultures, time zones, and with different educational platforms, experiences and views.

I will need several blog entries to reflect on the project experience.

Here are the links to the final virtual meeting on WiZiQ and our team's Voicethread creation to greet and say Good Bye to the participants of the Snowblog Project 2010.

Snowblog CT Netcity International Project 2010

Today was the last session of the International Multicultural virtual project that I agreed to participate in. I was invited to join the project in December by Gal Springman, the co-founder and coordinator of Snowblog project. I was teaching two online courses in the spring of 2010: Teaching with Technology and Literacy and Technology. I invited my students to experiment and participate in the project to learn about integrating technology through using its tools in a context. It was in a way, a risky adventure. I knew nothing about the leader, about the project, and about the content of the project. But what a Russian would I be if I hadn't risked and tried something unknown?!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Web 2.0 Tools for a College Classroom

I am in the process of designing a program for a SIG, I called it WOW (Wonders Of Web), at my college to introduce and experiment with web 2.0 tools. There are so many Web 2.0 tools that you cannot be current with them. I decided to start small. Sharing one at a time. is an Aggregating tool -- an easy way to compile a selection of videos for a class, group, or a network whether the instructor, facilitator or a leader chooses them or participants contribute them. It has an RSS feed and tag search, so it’s easy to change the way you receive and organize the videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Google video, etc.

in reference to: Magma (view on Google Sidewiki)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Book Review: Moodle 1.9 Teaching Techniques

Moodle, the free Open Source Learning Management System (LMS) introduced in 2002, has already been the subject of quite a few books, articles, websites and tutorials. Moodle 1.9 Teaching Techniques is a good addition to these resources.
The book under review stands out because it is a collaboration between an experienced designer, developer and administrator of online courses, Susan Smith Nash, and a software training professional who previously authored several books on Moodle, William Rice.
What makes this book different from other publications is that the focus moves beyond the description of Moodle tools to predominantly concentrate on how Moodle serves current principles of virtual learning and effective online teaching. To this end, the authors share their views and considerable experience with implementing Moodle pedagogy.
I liked that the authors first lay out the framework of Moodle course design based upon principles of how people learn and the theoretical underpinnings of effective virtual learning and teaching. This explanation is given in a user/reader-friendly manner and can be easily understood by a Moodle user who has no educational background. The words flow easily and the reader becomes immersed in current concepts of the digital world, visualizing the benefits of social, emulated, and experiential learning, the importance of communities of intelligence and of social practice. This description of the theoretical framework then organically flows into the course-building components in Moodle, how the tools and features of Moodle fit today’s learning/teaching requirements and how Moodle meets such needs of digital learners as accessibility, a user-friendly setting, a positive learning environment, a collaborative nature and a fast learning curve.
Screen shots are used instead of lengthy verbal descriptions to succinctly explain how to use Moodle tools in creating engaging and effective course components. The successive chapters go beyond introduction of Moodle tools to provide guidance for making online courses engaging for the students while meeting the pedagogical demands of instructors.

While the book provides a good general overview of learning theories applicable to Moodle coursework, a notable omission is the failure to include one of the most prominent and powerful theories behind current digital education, George Siemens’ work on connectivism or connected learning. Siemen’s work allows us to appreciate the power of Moodle as a platform for connecting people globally, providing an environment for uniting learners and teachers across diverse cultures. While the notion of connected learning is used implicitly between the lines, the authors should have underscored its significance as a key theoretical foundation for online learning and teaching.
The work thus falls short of demonstrating the mutual synergy of theory and application, embodied in Moodle, where programming not only applies the latest educational theory but itself becomes a force for further theoretical innovation in pedagogy. Such Web 2.0 platforms create pedagogical contexts never previously existent or even imaginable. And this new unitary context therefore offers a rich opportunity for both new theory and application at the level of social meta-learning not previously attainable.
Of the volumes available to date on this topic, Moodle 1.9 Teaching Techniques: Creative ways to build powerful and effective online courses stands out as a platform for experimenting with Moodle course design and discovering the enjoyment of engaged, collaborative, participatory culture successfully provided by Moodle and its Web 2.0 genre. It is a step toward the kinds of new learning that Moodle enables.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

KDP EXCITE Conference at Mount Saint Mary College

Sigma Tau Chapter of KDP where I am a counselor, hosted a new Leadership Summit and Professional Development Conference for the chapters of the N-E Region of the USA.

There were two parts of the confeence:
1. Brainstorming and the exchange of the ideas how to celbrate the Centennial year of KDP.
2. Professional Development workshops with the professors from different colleges and universities.

The conference was a success!

The officers of the hosting chapter showed their leadership skills and talents.

Here is a "Thank you!" surprise for them!

Click to play this Smilebox photobook: KDP EXCITE Conference
Create your own photobook - Powered by Smilebox
Another free digital photo book by Smilebox

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Moodle 1.9 Teaching Techniques (Book Review)

I am excited to read and write a review of the new book on teaching with Moodle by William Rice and Susan Smith Nash. The new book is titled "Moodle 1.9 Teaching Techniques." (To have a taste of the book read the extracted chapter in the provided link). Already in the name of the book it is announced that the authors will speak about Moodle pedagogy.

I have been using Moodle for four years and taught more than twenty courses (blended and online). I developed my own approach to teaching with Moodle and to the Moodle course design.

I am curious and anxious to explore the book and compare my way of using Moodle in course design and teaching and that of the authors.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ludmilla's Sabbatical in Pictures

I decided to share my sabbatical experiences using a Smilebox software.
It is a widely used in education Web 2.0 tool.

Here is my report about my sabbatical adventures.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

100 Helpful Web 2.0 Tools for Diverse Learners

I came across this blog where the author shares 100 Web 2.0 tools for every kind of learner. A teacher can select those instruments that willl help him/her tailor teaching to the needs and learning styles of the learners in the classroom! The main thing and wonder is the majority of these tools are FREE!