Flipped learning – or the flipped classroom – is one of the hot topics in education at the moment. It’s a core part of the ‘EdTech agenda’ and often espoused as one of the things that will fix a broken education system. So, what exactly is the flipped classroom and what could it mean for … Read more
“Digital native” and “digital immigrant” are labels that have graced training seminar powerpoint presentations the world over for more than a decade, but what are the implications of these terms for publishers (and all other participants in the learning biz)? Are there any implications at all, even, or are these simply sassy strap lines that ricochet between blogs (like ours) but are inherently void of substance?
Hear that distant rumbling sound? That’s the sound of every ELT publisher rushing to create ebook versions of their coursebooks because we’re moving into the age of the paperless classroom. As one of my American colleagues so wonderfully puts it, “The toothpaste is out of the tube” – there’s no going back now. But most e-textbooks are too print-faithful to be really useful. We need to take things further, and this post ends with some of the key questions that we need to look at if we’re going to use the paperless classroom as an opportunity to improve what a coursebook is, rather than just re-create what we’ve already had for 30 years.
Byron Russell is a Director of Woodstock Publishing and Pete Sharma Associates, as well as being the Joint Coordinator of the IATEFL Materials Writing SIG (MaWSIG). You can follow him on Twitter at @byronofcombe. A publishing friend called me up the other day, full of concern – “Cengage!” she said. “It’s bankrupt, you know!” Formerly known … Read more
In case you missed it, last week the UK publishing industry was jolted out of its early-summer slumber when the news broke that Charlie Redmayne was to replace Victoria Barnsley as CEO of Harper Collins UK. In a piece last Friday for The Guardian, entitled Bad week for women in publishing as two giants step down, which also covered the news that Gail Rebuck would be replaced as chief executive of Random House UK (now Penguin Random House, of course) by Penguin’s Tom Weldon, the following caught my eye (my emphasis):
Though both Barnsley, who is 59, and Rebuck, 61, could be as tough as anyone when required, they have been author-centred. “What they’ve done is to enable editors. It’s not that they necessarily are those editors. Authors feel the most enormous respect for them and faith in them,” said the source.
It’s definitely a term that is being bandied around the ELT-osphere like a banned elastic band at a Band Aid concert. The Impatient Optimists site (of the Gates Foundation) declared that: “If 2012 was the MOOCs’ year for capturing venture capital and unrelenting media coverage, 2013 looks to be a big year for the adaptive learning … Read more
In the first post in this series, Nick set out a challenge to see if – and how – it might be possible to radically speed up the process of ELT course creation. The simple fact is that established ELT content providers don’t have much of a choice – radical change is needed because the … Read more
Re-run of a post from a few weeks ago, worth a read now that iOS7 is out in the wild. In a recent post, I predicted that tablets are inexorably going to take over our classrooms, at the expense of printed books (despite what Nick says!). However, there’s a big problem – implementing a one … Read more
SimCityEDU is the Great Gatsby of the video gaming world. That’s right. I want that to be my opening line. In the same way that Gatsby is a self-made man pursuing an idealised (albeit fundamentally flawed) dream that draws into it the rich variety of the city and its inhabitants, so too is SimCityEDU an … Read more
Now that web 2.0 is passé, and we’ve all got used to the concept of crowd-sourcing and the ‘wisdom of the crowd’, one of the hot crowd-related trends of the last couple of years has been crowdfunding. You may have heard tales of people raising huge sums of money in weeks on sites like Kickstarter. So, could crowdfunding have an impact on ELT? Well, why not.
The closer we get to the year 2015, the less certain I am that I’ll actually be able to purchase a hoverboard with which to zoom around town. Although the tech-laden utopia of Back To The Future Part 2 has been celebrated for its prescient creativity, I’ve come to realise that there comes a time when I have to manage my own sci-fi-fuelled expectations.
140 character bio I’m a teacher, trainer and writer of material for learners and teachers of English. I am a regular speaker at conferences. 1. What do you do? I teach, I train teachers and I write material for learners and teachers of English. 2. Why do you do it? I get a real buzz … Read more
When I’m not working, I’m generally eating and drinking. And, because cookbook publishing exists, my two interests occasionally intersect. The parallels between cookbook publishing and ELT publishing are greater than you’d expect – and one of the main ones is the enduring value and attachment to print books.
LMS provider Instructure has raised $30m in venture capital funding to further develop the commercial potential of its Canvas LMS. Canvas was not long ago seen as a cuddly upstart competitor to the behemoth that is Blackboard, in a David vs Goliath type scenario. This new round of funding takes total investment in the company … Read more
Book map. Sequence. Contents. All of these terms suggest that the course book is a predetermined learning journey for students; their participation or engagement is not required, they only need to listen and turn the page to the next activity when instructed. Learners are bystanders to their own learning journey rather then active participants.
To some extent, the whole concept of EdTech is based on the possibilities for disruption engendered by online and mobile tech. The belief is that the “education space” (ugh) is ripe for disruption, and the “factory model” of education we currently impose on our youth is rightly about to be swept away by an EdTech revolution. But what does EdTech disruption mean for ELT?
So it’s one thing to avail oneself of the endless blogs and sites that tout the ‘Top 10 Games For the Classroom’ or ‘Top iPad Apps for Learners’, but it’s entirely another to create a forum and approach for users to comment on the learning experiences they have encountered through the various games they play. This is … Read more