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Episode 32: Part 3 with Dr. Tony Bates
November 30, 2020 11:00 AM PST
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This is the third and last podcast interview with Dr. Tony Bates, a leading light for Canadian educators on questions of online and distance learning. In this episode,we are talking about how educators can make creative use of media. Tony describes the key ‘affordances for the main media types and what each does best.

Episode 31: Part 2 with Dr. Tony Bates
October 29, 2020 03:22 PM PDT
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This is the second of three podcast interviews recorded with Dr. Tony Bates, a leading light for Canadian educators on questions of blended, and online learning. In this episode, we are talking about the world of online learning in the aftermath of COVID-19. How will all the innovations educators made in response to the crisis shape the adult education world of the future?

How will teaching be different post-COVID? Is face to face teaching always better than online? What will learners expect online versus face to face? What are the affordances of face to face compared to online? Educators will be thinking much more carefully about how they should be using their face to face time. Teachers might prefer to deal with more sensitive topics face to face. People may be more reluctant to gather together. Learners may want to understand why they are being asked to leave their homes and travel to school. The answer may lie in what do students most enjoy doing.

Episode 30: Interview with Dr. Tony Bates, Part 1
September 30, 2020 05:47 AM PDT
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This is the first of three podcast interviews recorded with Dr. Bates. In this episode, we are talking about educator responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, better practices in blended learning, and how educators can take advantage of the ‘affordances’ of the media available.

Tony is a Research Associate with Contact North, Ontario’s Distance Education & Training Network. Tony is a leading light for advocates of online and blended learning in Canada. He is the author of eleven books in the field of online learning and distance education.

He has provided consulting services in the planning and management of online learning and distance education, working with over 40 organizations in 25 countries.

Episode 29, Spotlight on a LINC teacher: Rostam Pooladi-Darvish
April 27, 2018 11:06 AM PDT
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The Edulinc courseware, and the Moodle open-source learning management system on which Edulinc is built, provide a wide array of functions and tools. Wikis, blogs, the grade book, Activity Tracking, the discussion and news forums are just a few examples. But not every LINC teacher wants or needs all the tools to make blended learning work.

Rostam Pooladi-Darvish has been using Edulinc with his LINC learners at Bow Valley College in Calgary for four years now. In this podcast, Rostam describes how he makes limited use of the tools available, but he still finds the courseware is very effective for teaching and learning. He describes how he used the system initially and how his teaching has evolved. He also talks about how his learners benefit from Edulinc and enjoy it.

Episode 28: Emerging LT Tech with Dr. Greg Kessler
December 19, 2017 07:40 AM PST
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As today’s educator knows, Learning technology doesn’t stand still. In the past 25 years we’ve seen the Internet, and social media transform daily life and we are all experiencing the downstream effects on adult education.

As demonstrated by his work on the TESOL Technology Standards, Dr. Greg Kessler is keenly aware of technology’s impact on language education. Through his teaching at Ohio University, Greg oversees the research of many post graduate students who are challenging the boundaries of what’s possible and exploring new ways to put technology to work in language training.

In this podcast, Greg tells us why information technology matters so much to language educators. He describes some of the ways technology impacts language training today, and he gives us a glimpse of emerging technologies that are moving from campus laboratories and becoming available to TESL educators and learners.

Episode 27, Spotlight on a LINC Teacher: Agnes Kucharska
November 30, 2017 08:19 AM PST
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This spotlight on a teacher episode focuses on Agnes Kucharska, who teaches Literacy and CLB 1 for a LINC program in Hamilton Ontario. Agnes was nominated as an exemplary teacher by her LearnIT2teach project mentor.

The LearnIT2teach team often gets asked what the learner courseware can do for lower level learners. Agnes describes what she’s doing with blended learning. Agnes started using the learner courseware while she was still in Stage 2 of the teacher training. She’s now finished Stage 3 and is about to start Stage 4. Agnes started using Edulinc with her learners in 2016 with a class of about 20 students, and today she uses it with ten literacy students..

After the face-to-face traditional class, Agnes brings her learners to the computer lab where they practice what they’ve covered in class to give them the opportunity for repetition and practice that are especially important for low literacy learners. The visuals included in the Edulinc courseware help learners understand what Agnes is teaching. Literacy and CLB 1 learners are sometimes afraid of using computers initially but as they move along they develop IT skills and learn to appreciate what learning technology can do. Some even access the courseware outside class on their own initiative or go to the lab on their own after class or during lunch break.

Agnes clearly sees benefits for learners but she also has a message for other LINC teachers: Edulinc benefits teachers too by helping them stay organized.

Length: 9.5 minutes.

Episode 26, Spotlight on a LINC Teacher: Bonnie Sibley
October 27, 2017 12:01 PM PDT
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This is the first in a new series of podcasts where we focus on one LINC teacher making exemplary use of learning technology. Bonnie Sibley teaches for Abbotsford Community Services in the Lower Mainland in BC. Bonnie has been teaching ESL for ten years and has been “…loving it and growing ever since.” Bonnie has completed all four stages of the LearnIT2teach teacher training. She’s created her own resources and shared them on Tutela, including a mini app for goal setting, and a language companion to enable learner assessment and reflection.

Bonnie teaches part time CLB 6 courses, both mornings and evenings. Students access the courseware from wherever they have an Internet connection and computer, smartphone or tablet. She uses checklists to help her and her learners organize and track their work. She also uses discussion forums to enable discussion between and among learners in her blended learning classes. She even has students in one class communicating with learners in her other class. She supplements the Edulinc learner courseware with resources on current events and Canada. She sources some of her own resources such as TED Talks and Youtube videos.

Bonnie feels the online component of blended learning has increased learner access, engagement and participation. Students even log on in the wee hours of the night: “They realize they have to be online to be successful.” And, “Students realize they need the technology and they need the skills to use it.”

The courseware supports PBLA in Bonnie’s opinion. She uses the online component to encourage skill building. "They know if I give them a skill-using or an assessment in class, that it’s linked or built on their online work. It’s so helpful for me because I don’t always have the time.” Hers is a part-time program so when learners do work on their own time to build skills, it saves her time and helps keep the student progressing. Bonnie’s last word: “I would encourage all teachers, every level, to seriously consider blended learning.”

Length: 12 minutes

Episode 25: Marijke Geurts, Part 2
August 29, 2016 08:29 AM PDT
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In Part Two of her conversation with Jim Edgar, Marijke Geurts discusses using PBLA in her context, and its benefits and challenges.

Marijke concludes by offering some advice to other LINC teachers who may be required to use PBLA in a blended context

Episode 24: Marijke Geurts
August 29, 2016 08:23 AM PDT
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Marijke Geurts is an instructor at the YMCA of Greater Saint John, New Brunswick. She is implementing Portfolio-based Language Assessment (PBLA) in a LINC program through a format that blends face-to-face and online delivery using the LINC courseware (edulinc.org).

Marijke’s teaching context is not a typical LINC program. She meets her students in class for half of her contact time and she assigns work for her learners to do outside of class. Marijke has successfully integrated this blended delivery model using edulinc.org and PBLA.

There are two parts to Marijke’s podcast. In Part One, she describes her teaching context including how she integrates the face-to-face using some sample activities.

Episode 23: Nicola Finnson & Carleton Trail College, Saskatchewan
August 21, 2014 08:22 AM PDT
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Child care, transportation, cold winters and work shifts are some of the challenges learners face in getting to LINC classes in rural Saskatchewan. To make it easier to participate in LINC, Carleton Trail College in south central Saskatchewan has piloted a delivery model where face to face study in a classroom is combined with online studies at home, or in the workplace. The result for immigrants is a more flexible delivery option.

Nicola Finnson led the piloting of the delivery model. Carleton Trail wanted to preserve the social aspects of face to face learning while making it easier for learners to participate when not in class. The college created three blended learning ‘sites’ and initiated a 16-week pilot project. Finnson reports, “The results were phenomenal”: great language training results and positive impacts on learner retention and participation numbers. For example, pilot attendance was 89% versus 77.2% in traditional classrooms. Employers report communication gains at work, including more ‘mingling’ between older employees and the newcomers. The pilot has been extended.

In this ten minute podcast, Nicola describes the challenges newcomers and the college faced, and the impact of the pilot program on learners, their course attendance and participation, and their workplaces.

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