Open Education – How to Think About Your Online Community’s Purpose

Useful metaphors for creating a vision of your online education portal:

1. An InstructorNet Mall of available resources for instructors to meet their needs.

2. A Google “Knowledge Map” of available content that’s searchable, zoomable, and subscribeable through RSS so the network alerts you for items meeting your interests instead of waiting for you to craft a search every time you feel a conscious need.

3. The Amazon/eBay “smart network” that automates the search and recommend function based on stated interests AND by remembering searches and paths

4. Customer Service center for instructors seeking help

5. Tour guides/Marketing Aide to demonstrate “How to use these resources”

6. Magazine model of info mgt/distribution: a targeted demographic, whose readers shape the course of the magazine/tools (Dear Readers! We listened to you!) Lean 6 Sigma (LSS) techniques have a way of accomplishing this, and a partnership with an LSS project seems like a natural one

Other work to be done:

1. Considering how we encourage/reward professional writing like lesson notes, course content, blog/wiki work that contributes to the practice of knowledge, in the same way we have tied promotion and retention to academic writing.

2. A faculty Development Program that incorporates more ideas related to “Master Classes in graduate teaching” on a regular basis. Some ideas include: a. Group learning vs Team-Based learning. b. RSS in the classroom (and blogs and wikis and podcasts…oh my) c. Live dialogue mapping skills to frame group discussions better (Google “Compendium” for demonstrations) d. How about giving Voice to faculty to let them nominate classes they want to receive, or challenges they face, and target the top vote getters?

3. An instructorNet Mall should have a “store” that has searchable index of available, recorded Faculty Development Programs with quick summaries of what’s available for the individual instructor looking to sharpen his practice.

I hope these ideas generate some quality ideas in your situation.

Did You Know About Fish Smarty? Educational Portal With Many Interactive Games

Moving on to serious things, I recently found Fish Smarty and I must say that I am sorry I have not had something like this when I was little. No problem though, because I’ve recovered now: I stayed for over an hour and I played on the site, I saw the characters, what they know to do, what educational games are on site and what are the most colorful!

For those of you who are on the run and do not have time to discover the wonders themselves, I will tell you in the best way I can.

Fish Smarty is an interactive place where they gathered all the most beautiful games, comic books and drawings for the children, a kind of educational portal for children aged between 3 and 9 years that provides education through fun and laughter. In other words, children feel that they play, in fact what they do, but you parents, you can rest assured that playing is actually pure education.

At the end of exercises / games, results are noted to be able to see trends, but far from being boring notes to offend anyone, there are three levels of assessment: Good, Better and Fantastic. Oh, and it sounds so much better in this way to the final assessment right?

Meet the teachers

1 – Fish Smarty: It is an explorer who likes to discover and find new things all the time.

2 – Albert: Fish Smarty’s best friend, always next to Fish Smarty on adventures, though it fails every time to jump in to help, but often even distracted.

3 – Bernard: A true gentleman who comes from England and who can solve any problem, no matter how difficult. I can tell you about his secret talent: He loves to cook!

4 – Sarah: It’s a bit shy, but in all the adventures of the game, the characters have much to learn from it.

5 – Amy: It’s mature and very wise and often gives important tips to others.

6 – Fred: Fred is the mentor team provides that whenever it is needed “guidance” needed adventurers.

7 – Chad: Chad is left many times outside the adventure. He is too concerned about who does what, that no longer has time for his adventures.

8 – Antonio: As in any case there must be someone who sticks wheel-n characters. In this case is him, Antonio!

9 – Lotski: Lotski crew lead all the adventures around the world.

Now that you know what it is and that we all made friends with the characters, I can tell you that everyone has a well established role and with them “on screen” children will learn a lot of things.

To play, learn and get diploma or became the next smarty super star on Smarty Hall of fame, you can choose one of the three packages available, as desired: package for one month for six months or a year.

What do you think about Fish Smarty? Have you tried the educational portal by now?

Further Education Jobs

Education jobs are numerous. Of course, there are those which are solely focused on teaching. There are many educational institutions offering from preschool to post graduate education which constantly hire professional teachers. They alone provide thousands of education jobs for those with degrees in education.

However, there are further education jobs out there which are not limited to teaching. For starters, there are administrative education jobs you can apply to. If you don’t like teaching kids and grown ups, you can always apply for administrative positions like being a dean, principal or department head. Your main focus will be the supervision of the overall function of the institution. You’ll be in charge of educational programs and supervising the faculty and see to it that they’re doing their responsibilities according to standards.

Another interesting job in line with education is that of a registrar and cashier. You don’t need to have an education degree to apply for such positions. A degree in accounting or commerce is enough. As a registrar, you’ll be in charge of the records of all students. On the other hand, being a cashier entails responsibilities such as organizing all accounts including payments of students and salaries of teachers.

If you’re a bookworm, you’ll find the job as librarian very enjoyable. Most educational institutions prefer licensed librarians to work for them but for small schools, a degree in education is enough. In addition, you have to be extremely organized and strict when it comes to the policies of the library in case of borrowing and using of books and other resource materials.

Being a guidance counselor is one of the most challenging education jobs out there. You need to have a degree in psychology to get into this job since it’s very sensitive. You’ll be dealing with students of all ages and from different backgrounds. Oftentimes, you have to help students deal with their problems, decision-making, and preparing them in choosing their desired careers in life.

Just so you know there are also education jobs you can now find online. Many online education portals are looking for tutors to teach English as a Second Language to non-native speakers. You can earn extra money by simply teaching English to foreigners for a few hours everyday or by helping kids with their homework. Not only that, but you can also help others publish eBooks, write articles, and maintain blogs.

Education jobs are varied that even if you don’t have a degree in education, you have a big chance of getting in. You can earn a reasonable salary as a full time employee and earn extra cash at the same time working online or after school hours.