Tag Archives: active learning

Free Online Courseware for Computer Beginners

Recommend these websites and resources as additional practice for your students and use them to support independent online learning.

GCF Learn Free ( – Goodwill Industries created this website and it contains many tutorials in subjects ranging from computer basics to advanced software.

Basic Online Skills ( – The Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium created this website. This site features simple and straightforward text-based and interactive tutorials which covers: computer skills, email skills, word processing skills, and web skills.




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Posted by on December 8, 2015 in Teaching Tools, Technology


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Links for Self-Directed Learning for Tech Trainers

This information is helpful for librarians and teachers.

  1. T is for Training — ( a biweekly call-in podcast run by Maurice Coleman of the Harford County Library System, Bel Air, MD, and a 2010 Library Journal Mover & Shaker.
  2. NCOMPASS Live — (  a weekly video series from the Nebraska Library Commission, hosted by Christa Burns with monthly Tech Talks by Michael Sauers.
  3. Techsoup for Libraries — ( webinars and articles on libraries and technology.
  4. IDEALWARE — ( a site that suggests and reviews software and services for nonprofits; also has video tutorials and articles.
  5. Former Librarians — ( a couple of former librarians have branched out into offering webinars and workshops for staff.


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Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Teaching Experience, Technology


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Summer Learning for Students

These online learning opportunities might be worth posting on your school’s webpage for moments when students (grades K-12) get bored and start looking for something to do during the summer

10 Online Summer Learning Opportunities

  1. Brain Chase – A online five week program for grades 2-8.  This adventure has students working in the subjects of math, reading, writing, and more, while watching animated episodes and solving educational problems.
  2. CK-12 Brain Flex – A free and self-paced online summer program that has students working on the subjects of math and science.
  3. Connections Learning – A nice collection of technology related online courses for math and reading grades K-8.
  4. DimensionU Summer Chill – A fun online competition that has students of all ages working in the subjects math and literacy in DimensionU’s innovative 3D virtual worlds, with the chance to win prizes.
  5. Electric Company – The Electric Company from PBS is offering a six-week multimedia summer learning program that will focus on vocabulary and core math concepts.
  6. GoNoodle (Camp GoNoodle) – A fun and free online program that has students learning through play and other various educational activities.
  7. K5 Learning – A online reading and math program for grades K-5 with real time results and detailed reports.
  8. SpellingCity – A summer program for grades 1-12 for spelling, writing, and vocabulary.  The program is self paced and has over for educational activities.
  9. TenMarks – A free online adaptive program that has students strengthen their math skills while receiving detailed results.
  10. Time4Learning – A fun online program for grades preK-8 in the subjects of math, science, social studies, and language arts.

Bonus (Not Offered Online)

  1. Robolink – A excellent way for students to learn how to program and build robots.
  2. Tynker – A fun way to learn how to program or code to build, games, apps, stories, and more.


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Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Teaching Tools, Technology



Article Review – What Is Being Learned From MOOCs? New Report Takes Stock

Casey Fabris wrote an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. The article discussed a report by the MOOC Research Initiative, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The report found five key research themes with MOOCs: student engagement and learning success, MOOC design and curriculum, self-regulated learning and social learning, social-network analysis and networked learning, and motivation, attitude, and success criteria. The findings of the MOOC Research Initiative are just one section of a larger report called “Preparing for the Digital University: A Review of the History and Current State of Distance, Blended, and Online Learning”.

Full Article —

Full Report —


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Posted by on May 1, 2015 in Technology


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Classroom Response System


Academic librarians are always looking for ways to get students’ feedback during and after an instruction session. I believe that students want to give feedback. They just don’t see an option to engage with the librarian or instructor during the instruction session.

Classroom response systems are becoming a helpful tool for librarians and instructors. My current employer use clickers during an instruction session. Clickers are fun but they are time consuming to pass out and collect clickers for every session. If you have a large group of students attending the session, someone is left out due to lack of clickers. Clickers are not free. We only have one set and the set is rotated between four campuses.

Last semester, the Public Services Librarian introduced Poll Everywhere ( to her instruction session.  Poll Everywhere enables students to answer questions during the instruction session by text or a web form. The answer appears in real time, which I like for quick question and answer icebreakers. Poll Everywhere is free.

Another free technology is Wiffiti ( I have no experience with this technology but I am hoping to use it during the Fall Semester with my computer students (to get feedback of my lectures). Wiffiti is a digital bulletin board that allows people to add comments anonymously by web form, text message, or Twitter hash tag.

I got a feeling that more librarians and instructors will embrace the active learning model. These tools could be a helpful beginning to active students and effective instruction.

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Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Uncategorized


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