A bi-weekly update from Contact North ǀ Contact Nord, Ontario’s Distance Education & Training Network
Now on teachonline.ca:
SEARCHABLE DIRECTORY OF OVER 2,500 VENDORS OF ONLINE LEARNING PRODUCTS AND SERVICES WORLDWIDE
To help colleges, universities, training providers, and faculty and instructors find the latest products and services to help improve the learning experience for their students, Contact North | Contact Nord Research Associate Dr. Don McIntosh compiled a comprehensive directory of over 2,500 vendors of online learning products and services.
They are part of a fast growing ed-tech (educational technology) industry with over 8 billion dollars in annual sales of hardware and software with no sign of a slowdown.
These innovative technologies range from software to host and organize learning content to adaptive learning systems that use intelligent algorithms to adjust learning to suit individual needs.
Companies within the directory are broken down into 11 categories:
- Adaptive Learning Platforms
- Additional Resources
- Big Data Integration, Analysis and Reporting Tools
- Consulting/Custom Development Companies
- Course Authoring Tools
- Generic (off the shelf) Online Learning Courseware Vendors
- Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS)
- Learning Management Systems (LMS)
- Social Networking/Learning Tools
- Virtual Classrooms
Within each category, additional filtering options are available, including a keyword search to help you find products and services you are looking for.
Contact North | Contact Nord is providing this directory as a service only. It does not endorse nor recommend any of the companies listed in the directory. Education and training providers using the products or services of any companies in this list should do their due diligence prior to selecting a vendor.
Search the directory.
TOP 200 TOOLS FOR LEARNING 2016
The Top 200 Tools for Learning offers a wealth of online tools and resources chosen as the most useful and effective by learning professionals from around the world.
A particularly helpful feature this year is a list called Best of Breed, with the most popular tools arranged by function – instruction, content development, social tools and personal tools.
The link for each tool features basic information, a link to its website and a compilation of comments on its usefulness (or lack of) from education professionals.
Complied annually by Jane Hart, this list is an excellent resource for assessing and accessing the key online tools for education.
Browse Top 200 Tools for Learning.
SECOND SERIES OF POCKETS OF INNOVATIONS FROM ONTARIO, CANADA
Between 2011 and 2015, Contact North | Contact Nord showcased 125 cases of innovative work in online learning taking place at Ontario’s 24 public colleges and 22 public universities through its Pockets of Innovation Series.
Contact North | Contact Nord now offers the second phase of Pockets of Innovation from Ontario featuring faculty and instructors exploring how emerging technologies and online tools can improve the learning experience for students.
The Pockets of Innovation Series features projects with three specific characteristics:
- They represent a new approach;
- They support students; and
- The developers are prepared to share what they’ve learned with other public colleges and universities.
Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute is located in the lush wine region of Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario. When instructors at the Institute expressed the need for a tool to provide more meaningful feedback on student learning in face-to-face lab environments, the director of the college’s Centre for Academic Excellence had a serendipitous meeting with the founder of Sesame, an app designed to meet this very need.
Read how Niagara College enhanced instructor feedback with the Sesame Digital Platform.
Discover all examples of the innovative work from Ontario’s 24 public colleges and 22 public universities in the Pockets of Innovation Series.
SOURCES OF BIG DATA TO SUPPORT POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION, WITH SOME CAUTIONS
The volume of data we generate grows at a staggering rate each year. As we spend more time on connected devices, and devices themselves become connected to each other (i.e. Internet of Things), the opportunity to make use of it is irresistible. Sectors as diverse as insurance, transportation, financial services, and healthcare are investing heavily in software and processes to capture, organize, and make sense of big data.
But what about higher education?
- What type of data constitutes “big data” in higher education?
- What are the sources, current and potential, of this data?
- What concerns does it raise?
REGISTER TODAY FOR TEACHING IN A DIGITAL AGE WEBINARS
With Dr. Tony Bates, Contact North | Contact Nord Research Associate
Register today for a 60-minute webinar on Ensuring Quality – How to Design and Deliver Quality Courses in a Supportive Learning Environment (covering Chapters 11, 12 and Appendix A of Teaching in a Digital Age) on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.
New technologies and the needs of learners in a digital age require a re-thinking of traditional teaching so that learners can be successfully helped to develop the knowledge and skills they require. Quality is defined as teaching methods that reach this goal.
Hear from Dr. Tony Bates, international expert in online learning and Contact North | Contact Nord Research Associate, offering advice and guidelines on:
- What are the characteristics of quality in a digital age?
- What are the nine steps to quality teaching in a digital age?
- What are the characteristics of an effective learning environment?
The webinar features a short introduction to the topic, with Dr. Bates posing a series of questions for discussion amongst the webinar participants on the topic and an open Q&A.
Registration is limited so register early to avoid disappointment.
The remaining webinars will be held in February with the dates announced in upcoming editions of Online Learning News.
Click here for information on past Teaching in a Digital Age webinars.
Click here to read Teaching in a Digital Age: Guidelines for Teaching and Learning.
Click here to read 10 Fundamentals of Teaching Online for Faculty and Instructors by Dr. Tony Bates.
CALL FOR PROPOSALS NOW OPEN
WORLD CONFERENCE ON ONLINE LEARNING
OCTOBER 2017 – TORONTO, CANADA
Share your experiences and expertise with other faculty, instructors, students, researchers, academic administrators, technology experts, industry leaders, and policy makers from North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Pacific Nations, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Arab States.
Under the theme of Teaching in a Digital Age, all sessions in the Conference program examine the ways in which teaching and learning are responding to new challenges and opportunities across five tracks:
- Emerging Pedagogies and Designs for Online Learning
- Expanding Access, Openness and Flexibility
- Changing Models of Assessment
- New Delivery Tools and Resources for Learning
- Re-Designing Institutional Business Models
Click here for more information on the Theme and Tracks.
Now is the time to submit your proposal focusing on a topic that offers grounded experience using interactive presentation strategies involving your audience. All proposals must align to one of the five tracks above.
While the majority of presentations will be in English, presentations in French and Spanish are also possible. Translation of these presentations into English cannot be guaranteed.
Using the Oxford Abstract system configured specifically for the World Conference, you can easily create an account and submit details on your proposal, including an abstract of up to 600 words.
The deadline for proposals is April 30, 2017.
All proposals will be peer reviewed.
Visit the World Conference on Online Learning portal for full details on the Call for Proposals and how to submit your proposal.
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Cochrane, S., Jones, M., Chhabra, M. and Spragg, D.T. (2017) Culturally Responsive Teaching and Reflection in Higher Education - Promising Practices from the Cultural Literacy Curriculum Institute. London: Routledge.
As college and university classes (whether in person or online) become more culturally diverse, faculty and instructors need to be sensitive to, and able to, leverage the cultural diversity of their students in support of learning. One consequence of our deepening understanding of the needs of Indigenous learners, for example, is the need to honour and respect traditional knowledge and ways of knowing and learning.
But how do we do this? This is a “hot button” topic. The reality of cultural pluralism is not really debatable – we have some of the most diverse classroom environments in the developed world. Diverse cultures coexist, and members of different cultures grapple to maintain their uniqueness while respecting others’ differences. At the core of vigorous debate on the staff room, however, is the question of how, not whether, to address cultural pluralism in the general education curriculum. This book provides some responses to the “how” question.
For Instructional Designers
Hodell, C. (2016) ISD From the Ground Up: A No-Nonsense Approach to Instructional Design (4th Edition). New York: Association for Talent Development.
Even though Instructional Systems Design (ISD) has been somewhat out of favour for some time, it is the backbone of many other instructional design strategies and is still widely used in skills-based training. This is an excellent introduction to ISD and is full of practical suggestions, guidance and best practices. The writing is clear and the suggestions helpful. It is one of the books you need to read from time to time to refresh yourself on basic principles and the essence of design.
For Administrators and Policy Makers
King, E. and Alperstein, N. (2017) Best Practices in Strategic Planning for Online Educational Programs. London: Routledge. [Review available]
The design, development, deployment, delivery and assessment of online learning is not a simple and straightforward practice in many institutions. There are nuances, complexities and challenges which get in the way of best practice and effective implementation of online learning strategies.
This book documents most of them and provides insights, especially for administrators, about what to anticipate and what steps to take to ensure the effective and efficient deployment of online learning. There is an especially helpful self-assessment and audit section which will help you look systematically at how ready the institution is for the next stage of your online learning plan.