Music in Instruction

Students of all ages are surprised when their instructors introduce a popular song to the learning environment.  Music stimulates areas of the brain that normally snooze along during a standard text or lecture driven lesson.  Any music will work- old, new, traditional etc- but it must be used with purpose.  Here is a recent Prof Hacker post with some inspiring uses for specific popular music, … Continue reading Music in Instruction

Mapping Tools

Do you ever have students brainstorm or collaborate in your face to face classes?  In an online course, the same end results can be achieved by asking students to use a “mind mapping” tool.  Online mind mapping involves adding concepts in bubbles or containers that can be connected as needed to synthesize learning and create conceptual frameworks. Many online mapping tools are also collaborative, allowing … Continue reading Mapping Tools


There are dozens of web 2.0 tools that can be used to enhance an online learning environment, but in evaluating these tools, one wants to ensure that the time spent learning to use the tool is proportional to the teaching and learning impact made by the tool.  VoiceThread is a tool that handily meets this criteria.  With VoiceThread, an instructor can post a primary source to be viewed by students.  This source can be a photo, video, piece of text, document, website etc. VoiceThread allows users to cluster around the primary source, sharing reflections, audio comments, video feedback, whatever is asked of them. Their feedback appears in a circular fashion around the initial object.  In this way the electronic conversation emulates more organically a face to face conversation.    Continue reading “VoiceThread”