On and Off (line) materials
Part of my job as a materials developer and consultant involves thinking through the role, purpose and process of combining online and offline learning. How do you link what physically happens in the class with what is possible online? Where are the borders? How to facilitate the transition and support of these two media?
It’s a big topic and today by way of illustration, just want to provide an example.
I’m really convinced that online websites and applications need to “bridge”. By that I mean that they need to facilitate access and use of their own tools / functionality by way of traditional media. In most cases, that means using a book to “translate” what they do. My course book We Teach | We Learn is an example but let me be clearer. Here’s what I mean. Your opinion of this, much appreciated.
I’ve written 3 books recently, real physical books you can either print out or order as a physical book. Teachers can use them in class. They have a minimum of complexity and detail on purpose. Each lesson rolls out the same. They are meant to transition and “bridge” the classroom and EnglishCentral, the online English language learning platform.
I think this approach allows teachers and learners to have a “core”, a very traditional and understood core around which to enter into “technology”. All learning needs a “place” and the online experience has challenges providing this. Further, people are still in an old “paradigm” and until that changes, we need to communicate in traditional forms, the power of the new forms.
Below, is the EnglishCentral video – that students can watch and “speak”. Also, do online video quizzes with. Also, the matching lesson from the book (Commercials for Learning English). The book lessons are designed with 3 principles in mind.
1. Can be used by a teacher in class or an independent learner.
2. The transcript can be used for both listening purposes AND personalization of the content by substitution of words/language.
3. The book has a pdf version and access to the online material (video/quiz) can be got immediately.
Let me know what you think about this approach (and it isn’t that radical, it is just a more “tight” version of what a lot of teachers and materials developers are doing presently). The books (Level 1, Famous Speeches, Commercials) are in beta and and available to EFL Classroom supporters or individual purchase.