EdTech

Moodle Vs. Google Classroom

These two platforms serve a similar purpose, which is online learning. A comparison of Google classroom vs Moodle helps us understand the different approaches towards online learning using different platforms.

Moodle

Moodle is preferred by many teachers and professionals as it is an open-source. Moodle also has many collaborative tools such as Chat, Forum, and Discussions. The Learning Management System facilitates efficient course and user management to allow for easy integration with 3rd party applications. It is based on a modular design that allows educators to design their curriculum using plug-ins to serve various purposes.MoodleCloud comes in two packages: Moodle for Free and Moodle for School.

Moodle does everything that Google Classroom is capable of. But the vice versa is not true. Moodle is huge, vast, and offers a lot more features than Google Classroom. Simply because Google Classroom is not officially an LMS. Teachers can design the entire curriculum right from scratch as Moodle supports plenty of content authoring tools. Moodle also provides parents with access to the grades of their children.

Moodle provides multilingual support, attendance tracking, videoconferencing through BigBlueButton, plenty of gamification modules, enables gamification of tests and quizzes, etc. To make sure learners stay on track and do not drop off, viewing trends of participation, submissions, and other data is incorporated. As a result, it improves the overall e-Learning experience, vastly helping retention rates and student successes.

Tip: Make sure you use more clickable activities, gamification, audio, and video-based learning instead of going for text-based learning. Also, students love learning through games, points, badges, puzzles, crosswords, treasure hunt, and embedded videos.

Google Classroom

Google Classroom is part of the G Suite for Education. It provides a simple and straightforward interface and is accessible via Google account. It encourages collaboration between students and teachers to foster better communication. This tool is a free promotes free collaboration that allows instructors to create online classrooms, invite students, and conduct classroom discussions. For teachers and students to be able to use the platform for e-Learning, their schools must be first registered with Google Classroom. It simplifies the process of creating, distributing and grading assignments. Grading, class organization, and administration can all be managed in its interface.

When working within Google Classroom, it is important to know that you cannot design your own curriculum in the LMS but it is fairly easier to set up classes and assignments. You can even reuse tests or assignments for future classes, set access rights, export grades to Google Sheet, share study resources in the form of videos, links and images with the students. With Google Classroom, you can easily manage classwork and homework assignments into one simple thread. It has everything top-down in one fluid thread for students and teachers to be able to easily find and access.

Google Classroom is a cloud-based platform that integrates Google Apps for education and helps teachers co-ordinate day-to-day training activities.

Major Differences

Pricing– Google Classroom is a free service for teachers and students. However, they can’t sign up unless their school has registered for Google Workspace for Education. The Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals platform is free for qualifying institutions and includes many basic Google features. There are three paid plans:

1. Google Workspace for Education Standard – This plan costs $3 per student, per year and includes all of the features of the Fundamentals platform, plus a security center and other features.

2. Teaching and Learning Upgrade – This plan costs $4 per license, per month and includes all of the features of the Google Workspace for Education Standard, plus advanced Google Meet features (e.g., meetings with up to 250 participants, interactive Q&As, breakout rooms).

3. Google Workspace for Education Plus – This plan costs $50 per student, per year and includes all of the features of the other plans, plus live streams with up to 100,000 in-domain viewers.

Pricing– Moodle’s open-source platform is free to download and install. However, its cloud-based deployment, MoodleCloud, has five paid plans:

  • Starter: $120 per year for 50 users and 250 MB of storage
  • Mini: $210 per year for 100 users and 500 MB of storage
  • Small: $380 per year for 200 users and 1 GB of storage
  • Medium: $840 per year for 500 users and 2.5 GB of storage
  • Large: $1,490 per year for 1,000 users and 5 GB of storage

Features- Some of Google Classroom’s key features include platform branding with school colors/logos, along with the ability to reuse tests, assignments and other content for future classes; share videos, links or images with other students; schedule postings of assignments. Moodle provides many features, such as a mobile app, content authoring tools and support for multiple languages. Some of the features include the BigBlueButton for video/web conferencing, Quizventure for gamification with quizzes and tests, another gamification module called LevelUp that includes progressive checkpoints. Google also has the ability to export grades to Google Sheets and set permissions for student access/commenting. Some new features introduced recently include the ability to send assignments to individual students, email and mobile notifications of assignments’ due dates, and the ability to customize the types of notifications received. Moodle also has Word Count for writing assignments, Chemistry Editor for chemistry assignments, Group Choice for group projects, and Checklists and Attendance tracking.

EdTech, Media Tools, Professional Development, Teachers, Virtual Learning

What is E-Learning and Instructional Design?

E-learning is the use of computer technologies to explore learning opportunities.

E-learning is not a one-package deal.  There are multiple ways to explore e-learning.

E-learning is not one particular tool or management system.

E-learning centers around providing accessibility and the integration of technology to meet the needs of the varying learning styles of its learners.

“Effective e-learning starts with great instructional design.“

Instructional design requires selecting, organizing, and specifying the learning materials to create an online course.

Instructional design translates high-level objectives to choices for technology and content

Instructional design provides insight on online tools, management systems, and other technologies

Together, we work as a TEAM!

There are numerous instructional design models:

ADDIE Model

Merrills Principles

Multimedia Principle Model

Gagne’s Nine Principles

And many more!

Course Design: Addie Model

Step #1 Analysis — Why is the training/course needed? We collect information and profile target learners, and understanding the needs and expectations of the organization. Analysis drives design and the development process.

Step #2 Design —In this phase, IDs select the instructional strategy to follow, write objectives, choose appropriate media and delivery methods.

Step #3 Development — IDs utilize agreed expectations from the Design phase to develop the course materials.

Step #4 Implementation — The course is released/rolled-out, delivered, to the learners, and its impact is monitored.

Step # 5 Evaluation — Is the course providing the expected results? IDs collaborate with the client and evaluate the impact of the course based on learner feedback, surveys, and even analytics. 

Course Design: Merrill’s Principles

Learning is promoted when learners are engaged in solving real-world problems 

Learning is promoted when prior knowledge is activated as a foundation for new knowledge

Learning is promoted when new knowledge is demonstrated to the learner — they are shown, rather than just being told.

Learning is promoted when new knowledge is applied by the learner — they are required to use their new knowledge or skill to solve problems.

Learning is promoted when new knowledge is integrated into the learner’s world — they are able to demonstrate improvement in their newly acquired skills and to modify it for use in their daily work.

Resources:  Merrill, M.D. (2002). First principles of instructionEducational Technology, Research and Development, 50(3), pp43-59.

Course design:
Alignment of Goals and Objectives

Consider a wide range of goals

Identify real goals through research

Objectives are clear, precise, and worthy

Identify prerequisites

Identify what each objective needs

Identify high value objectives and eliminate unnecessary objectives

Learning Styles

Visual (spatial):You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.

Aural (auditory-musical): You prefer using sound and music.

Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing.

Physical (kinesthetic): You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch.

Logical (mathematical): You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems.

Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people.

Solitary (intrapersonal): You prefer to work alone and use self-study.

Resources:  https://www.learning-styles-online.com/overview/

Types of Online Learning

Synchronous Learning-
In synchronous learning activities, all students are involved at the same time. Formats include online chats, instant messaging, video or audio conferences, live webcasting and virtual classrooms. 

Asynchronous Learning-
With asynchronous learning, students set their own schedules. An entirely self-paced curriculum fits this model. Courses that have both synchronous and asynchronous components might include discussion forums, email, blogs, videos, webcasting, simulations, and games.

ADA Accessibility

“Establish requirements for making the goods, services, facilities, privileges, accommodations, or advantages offered by public accommodations via the Internet, specifically at sites on the World Wide Web (Web), accessible to individuals with disabilities.”

5 Steps to Creating Accessible Online Content for People with Disabilities

Hyperlinks

Text Design

Images/Graphics

Audio/Visuals

Documents

10 Steps to Designing
a Wildly Successful Online Course 

1. Choose perfect course topic

2.  Ensure course is in high demand

3. Create magnetic and compelling learning outcomes

4. Select and gather course content ¡5. Structure modules and course plan

6. Determine most effective and delivery methods for each lesson

7. Filming, editing and recording online course (i.e. including visuals)

8. Setting up online school through LMS or other platform

9. Ensure pricing is in tact

10. Develop marketing strategy

Resources: https://www.thinkific.com/blog/10-steps-creating-successful-online-course/

“Design is thinking made visual.” – Saul Bass

Marilynn Andrews, M. A.

EdTech, Media Tools, Professional Development, Teachers

How to Format a Word Document Using the “Styles” Feature

Learn how to format your Word document using the ‘Styles’ feature in Microsoft.

Microsoft Word has a tools known as styles, which help in formatting a document. The styles tool can be found in the Home ribbon of Microsoft Word.

The purpose of Styles tool is to allow the user to classify certain formatting characteristics as a specific ‘style.’

To create a style, select at least one word you wish to format. Then, change its formatting specifications to match the style you wish to create.

Once your selected word(s) are formatted to your specifications, you can then tell Microsoft Word to make these specifications a ‘style’ by going to the style menu and clicking “New Style.”

The new style window should appear, allowing you to specify the characteristics of your new style. It should already contain the formatting specifications, so all you’ll need to do is name it and then click OK.

You should now see your newly created style within the Style menu.

By Marilynn Andrews, M.A.

Clever Kids Corner, Parenting

Top Virtual Zoo’s for National Zoo Lovers Day 2021

Grab your tablet or device and get comfy! National Zoo Lovers Day is April 8th and this year, virtual Zoo’s are back with more to offer!

Click the links to learn more about each virtual zoo!

Houston Zoo

Watch the gorillas take control of the exhibit or the sea otters flip past the camera. There’s even a camera set in front of the smallest animal at the zoo…ANTS! To learn more about the Houston Zoo click the link!

Denver Zoo

Denver Zoo TV (DZTV) is provided through YouTube to allow viewers the opportunity to engage in the virtual world of their favorite zoo animals! To learn more about the Denver Zoo, click the link!

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Participate in a Wild Chats and Zoo on the Move with Zoo Keepers. Parents have the option to choose non-school virtual trips or school related virtual zoo trips. Click the link to schedule a chat or tour!

San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo offers 10 cameras for young and old viewers to engage with wildlife! Watch the koala’s, apes, or polar bears in action! Click Here!

Georgia Aquarium

Join the Georgia Aquarium for Virtual Yoga by the Water, virtual tours, Sea Otter webcam along with many other online activities for young children. Click the link above!

Memphis Zoo

The Memphis Zoo offers a virtual experience with tracking through the Northwest Voyage with Sea Lion. Or, travel down the Zambezi River with hippos! The primates are also an option, as young and old viewers can virtually engage in the world of apes through Primate Canyon! Click the link!

Each zoo offers the ability to engage with wildlife for all zoo lovers! Take advantage of the opportunity and Happy Zoo Lovers Day 2021!