UbD is the Ultimate Learning Technology

This is a pretty dense, fiber-full article about backward learning design by one of my instructional design heroes, Michael Feldstein. It introduces the concept of Backwards Design (part of Understanding by Design, which he also introduces). Most importantly, it makes the case that designing course strictly aligned with learning outcomes enables us to collect data programmatically, scalably, so we can make timely interventions that result in better student learning overall.

Use Twine for Branching Learning Scenarios

The open source writing tool Twine bills itself as an “Interactive Fiction” authoring program – a way for people to make text-based choose-your-own-adventure games and post them online. In fact, there is a vibrant community of writers who create their own branching fiction stories for others to enjoy and play. …

Best Markdown Editors for Writers and Coders 2017

Over the years I’ve been exploring Markdown as a content development tool, I’ve tried most of the Markdown editors available for Mac and Windows. In this article I’ll share my preferred editors aimed at different types of writers. Writers vs. Coders Markdown is very popular among two main audiences — …

Sleep Conductor | App Prototype for IDEO CoLAB Makeathon 2016

In March 2016, I participated in the IDEO CoLAB Makeathon 2016, an all-day workshop where we went through the IDEO design process to envision future applications for blockchain and Internet of Things technology. This article outlines my experience at the Makeathon, and the Sleep Conductor App Prototype our mighty team …

Discussion Forum for Video Lectures Encourages Engagement

Most LMSes have a “Discussion Forum” tool that you can add into any course unit, and even make it a graded assignment in the course. Many online educators will post a discussion prompt and let students respond below. Here’s a little trick to help spice up your discussion postings with …

Some Love for the Mozilla Web Literacy Standards

I wanted to drop in a quick plug for familiarizing ourselves with the Mozilla Web Literacy Standards and 21st Century Skills. Though edtechies have lots of great tools that are focused on education, it’s also good to have a more fundamental understanding of basic web skills. These are skills and abilities that all …

Rapid Prototyping Magic with Alfred Workflows

I attended my second hackathon this weekend, and my teammates were noticing all my keystroke magic tricks that help me quickly prototype professional-looking app mockups with remarkable speed. A teammate asked me what my secrets are, and so I decided to share it as a post. My keystroke magic is …

Towards a High-Touch Competency Based Education Model

“At this time in our history, the most valuable institutions will be those that generate real learning from average or disadvantaged students, not those that generate learning from those students for whom learning is, frankly, easy.” USDoE, 2012 My goal for this article is to develop a blueprint for a …