Posted on Sep 04, 2018

Personal Responsibility Without Educational Darwinism

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In a previous article, Education as Habit Formation, I described the Aristotelian notion that various educational virtues, in the sense of cultivating virtuous habits and character traits in students, are a matter of finding the middle ground or the golden mean between two opposing vices. One of those virtuous...

Posted on Jul 23, 2018

Bloom’s Taxonomy: Bottom-Up or Top-Down?

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Stepped Pyramid

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a well-known hierarchy of different levels of cognitive skills, often used in education to distinguish between higher-level cognitive skills and lower-level cognitive skills. (See this article for a history of the development and refinement of Bloom’s Taxonomy: Bloom’s Taxonomy by Patricia Armstrong.) A revised version of...

Posted on Jul 13, 2018

VideoScribe: A Powerful Whiteboarding Video Creation Tool

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VideoScribe is a powerful but simple animated whiteboarding video creation tool by Sparkol, Inc. Using text, images, audio, and a large library of premade stylized artwork, VideoScribe makes it easy to create professional-quality narrated whiteboard videos quickly and easily with a minimum of other tools or technical knowledge. VideoScribe...

Posted on Jun 29, 2018

Rediscovering the Power of the Link

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No, not that Link! These links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperlink It’s been over 20 years since I obtained my first internet-capable computer, way back in 1997 (an IBM Aptiva running Windows 95, if you’re curious). With this being my first taste of the internet, I remember being amazed at the power of...

Posted on Jun 08, 2018

Writing in the Second Person: Addressing Students Directly

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A common concern about online courses is that they can be impersonal, with communication between instructors and students often being faceless and asynchronous. Although there are various collaboration and communication tools available to enable real-time communication, one of the simplest things you can do to make an online course...

Posted on May 31, 2018

Instructional Design Lessons for Today from 1980s Edutainment Software: Gertrude’s Secrets

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I grew up in a unique time in the history of educational technology, being part of the first generation to grow up with personal computers in the classroom. For context, my kindergarten classroom (circa 1983) had a TRS-80 computer (in the back corner of the classroom, naturally), and the...