Create 4.1.1 Define and Explain Learning Object Authoring Tools Quest



Hot Potatoes has six applications and is a downloaded program.  It is free.  You can create activities that are short-answer, crossword, fill in the gap, jumbled sentences, and multiple-choice.  The applications are interactive.  These could be used as a pre-test, activities during the module and review. It is available for Windows, and for Mac.  It no longer has technical support available.

Quizlet is free, unless you want to load images into the activities.  Putting images in activities, however, is easy to do from their repository.  Since we do not teach World Languages by translating to and from English, the use of images is essential.  In Quizlet you can make matching activities and quizzes, flashcards and Scatter games.  You can add audio yourself or use their program which translates into 18 languages.  There is an app available for iPhones and androids.  A set can be created and then used in a variety of activities.  These activities can be used for pre-testing, activities, review and for assessment.

Pixton allows the user to create comics that communicate graphically.  The selected characters are posable and can be enhanced with props and speech bubbles.  This product is free for limited usage.  This tool allows teachers to create highly engaging activities.

Audacity is an excellent recording and editing system.  I have edited recordings that were to the split second.  It is available for Windows and Mac and is free. Teachers can use this tool for all audio needs.  Students can also use it for assignments.


Quia costs $45 a year for a teacher to use for creating activities.  I like Quia so much because of the variety of activities, including Battleship and a Jeopardy-type activity.  You can add audio.  Images can be uploaded into Quia and then placed in activities.  It is more time-consuming than placing images in Quizlet.  You can prepare a list and use it in a variety of activities. These activities can be used for pre-testing, activities, review and for assessment.

Articulate Storyline builds fantastic interactive learning modules.  It has audio and produces a high quality product.  It, however, is over $1300.  The premium online version is right at $6,000, but the information in the store does not articulate how many people can use it.  It can also be rented by the month.  If the usage covered an entire school that is in the development process, it could be worth investigating.  Articulate could be used to create full modules, from what I saw.

Communicate 4.1.1 Evaluation Methods and Communication Practices Quest



Students need to have a sense of community in their virtual classes.  This is no different for learners in any setting.  The tricky thing about online learning is that some of the given of the face to face classroom are not present. Thus, the teacher has the responsibility of creating an environment online that meets this need of community.  From the beginning, I want to note that in my numerous years of teaching I have had students who not connecting with their fellow students nor me in a face to face classroom.  It took thought, creativity and patience to bring about the feeling of community.  We are, then, not unlike face to face teachers.  Teachers must lead by example in the classroom and online.  We simply need to be more aware of the need.

With the exception of a few students I have taught online who had Asperger’s or other learning or emotional challenges and wanted to work in isolation, my online students have thrived when they felt part of a community of learners.  Retention and satisfaction with virtual learning are highly correlated to the student having a feeling of community.

What is important is for the teacher to have a real presence in the virtual classroom.  The more teacher-student and student-student interaction, the more meaningful the course is.  What are things the teacher can do?

Giving meaningful feedback as quickly as possible is essential.  Those of who are working on the TOOL have to be feeling just like our students.  We submit quests and we want feedback…and we want it quickly.  Just think of the natural impatience of adolescence.  Feedback can be given on dropbox assignments, on quizzes and on tests.

Discussions have a two-fold purpose with regard to community.  Students communicate with the teacher and they communicate with each other.  Here is another important place for feedback.

In my online teaching career I have had, and continue to have, students who need a one-on-one talks with the teacher.  Sometimes there are issue that are too difficult and time-consuming for them to write.  Sometimes there needs to be genuine, on the spot dialogue to find out what the student needs and have the teacher formulate a plan of redirection towards success in the course rather than failure.  A phone call or a one to one live meeting can make a world of difference.

Our students need to feel that they belong and that their efforts are valid.  The basic psyche of the adolescent has not changed so drastically, even if they are social-mediaed, texted and gamified.  Their intrinsic desire to belong and be recognized has not morphed out of their systems.  We, their teachers, their coaches, need to be constantly aware of their need for feedback and encouragement.



Navigate 4.1.1 Trend Impact Quest

cloud 4

There are numerous trends being identified by educators as how the future of virtual learning will evolve.  These include emobile learning, development of new devices, gamification, and social media.  I have chosen the Cloud.

The Cloud:  The cloud is a network of servers, and each server has a different function.

Increased use of the cloud promises flexibility and cost-efficiency.  Schools will not bear the load of outdated infrastructure and investments for systems that no longer adquately serve their needs.  As rapid changes occur in software needs, the cloud will offer adaptability.  This will help with rapid development of complex solutions. Teachers can choose from an ever-increasing pool of applications that fit their curriculum.  A vast array of net-based software and tools can be accessed in the cloud.

Information on the Cloud is accesible on the go and can be viewed by many people simultaneously.  The Cloud can be used by teachers to set, collect and grade work online.  Teachers can teach anywhere, and students can learn anywhere.  Each student will have the capability of independent learning according to his/her own style.  All stakeholders will benefit from the expanding use of the cloud.

Participate 4.1.1 Rights and Responsibilities


One size fits all?

One size fits all?

Can one size fit all?

Every school, organization and site where the citizens have access to digital tools must have an Acceptable Use Police (AUP) to protect all of the stakeholders.  There is no one size fits all.  Consider that ground schools, libraries and community centers must have provisions for the actual equipment on site.  They also are concerned about any possible breeches to their system.

Online schools usually do not have those concerns if the students are working from home…unless they provide the equipment to the students.  That does occur.  Online students in a school setting do need to have an AUP that covers all areas regarding hardware, software and the school’s own system.

Some elements of an AUP are universal.  Please read:

One issue concerns how much we put in an AUP.  As I read some online, they were so long that I started losing interest.  It is the human reaction, and our students and their families are human.  It takes care to craft an AUP that sufficiently covers the essential concerns without becoming so wordy that people just stop reading it.

Then, in addition to the AUP, we face the whole world of intellectual property, copyrights and public domain.  Intellectual property can be viewed as follows:

So how does a creator lay claim to his or her mental creations?  Across the globe, different countries have varying ways of registering a creation that belongs to someone.  We have copyrights, patents, trademarks, and even trade secrets.  The purpose is, of course, to protect the person who created something from losing control of it.  That control includes commerce.  If I have an idea and bring it to fruition, I want to be the one to receive money for that idea.

The proliferation of knowledge, texts, and images on the Internet has made it increasingly tempting and easy to co-opt someone else’s property.  In my opinion, it requires a new level of vigilance to guard against copyright infringement. I believe that forcing intellectual property into the public domain too quickly has some serious consequences.  It certainly could dampen the creative spirit of artists, artisans, writers, entrepreneurs and others in the intellectual domain to be less inclined to share their creations if they will quickly become public domain.

Fair Use is a policy that has grown in the U.S. because of a large number of court cases.  Fair Use is not a clear cut policy for every situation, but there are guidelines.  For the purposes of criticism, teaching, news, scholarship, and research, portions of the material may be used.  This use is further limited using factors like the amount of the work used, whether there is financial gain and how the copyright privileges of the holder might be affected.  This is a tricky area for teachers and for students.

Certainly, the public domain opens the doors to the spread of ideas and innovation.  It makes the information more affordable.  Perhaps the most balanced approach is that of Creative Commons.  This non-profit enables the creative to have special licenses to give protection to their work, and make it easier for others to have some use of that work.