SomeONE comes up to me and asked, “…

A. What is happening in your field these days?

A lot. Period.

As I was googling the phrase “Instructional Technology” or “Technology in education”, the list of happenings in that field was endless. The list includes theories and new models with modified instructions for e-learning, edu-tech, plus innovations to enhance, and integrate , never to replace, I repeat, NOT to replace the traditional (not referring just pen, pencil or even paper)

Let me list a “few”.

1. Web 2.0 by Tim O’ Reilly (30 Sept, 2005). Click here to read. It is still a much discussed issue and this has lead to the merging of Web 2.0 in education.

In response to that, it evolves to Education 2.0 which focuses on how Open Source Tools has contributed or influenced the development of education software.

Prior to that, blogs, wikis, RSS, Moodle, podcasting, video casting like YouTube, social networking such as Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, social bookmarking like, furl, becoming tools for teaching and learning.

Here are more categories of tools for learning taken from this website

VIRTUAL OFFICES – online editing and sharing of text files, spreadsheets, chats and emails, calendars, etc.

  1.’s Basecamp –
  2. activeCollab –
  3. ProjectSpaces –
  4. TeamworkLive –
  5. Zoho Vitural Office –
  6. SPresent – online flash presentations –


  1. Jotspot –
  2. Schtuff –
  3. Web Collaborator –
  4. Writeboard –
  5. Writely –
  6. Designing Learning Spaces – Example of a Class using an Open Wiki


  1. EditGrid –
  2. iRows –
  3. Tracker (Jotspot) –
  4. wikiCalc –


  1. Lazybase –
  2. My Own DB –


  1. Map – – for GIS users
  2. Quickmaps –


  1. Flickr Magazine Cover tool –
  2. Other Great Flickr-based tools
  3. Scanr – – scan and send from a photo phone
  4. Stickam – – upload photos, videos & audio to post on blog pages


  1. Learning Blogs – – for K-12 students
  2. Uni Blogs – – for University students
  3. Edu Blogs – – for Education professionals (teachers, etc.)
  4. ESL Blogs – – for ESL & EFL educators


  1. Yack Pack –
  2. Apple iTunes U –


  1. Vyew –


  1. Google Scholar –
  2. Post Genomic –
  3. Windows Live Academic –

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT – classroom tools that span the needs of Students, Parents, Teachers and School Administrators

  1. My Note It –
  2. Schoopy –
  3. School Tool –
  4. Teach Learning – Free K-12 curriculum materials on any topic
  5. Engrade – – online grading tool
  6. Moodle* – – open source course management system (CMS)

If you want more, go to this website

These are tools where you can customize it to your own learning-setting it according to your pace. In short, the learner can have her or his very own personalized learning environment.

BUT the best part of the above tools of Web 2.0 or Education 2.0, it is FREE!!

Of course, the common risk of this will be WHEN ONE DAY, INTERNET CRASH!

Click here to read more and here on a very critical presentation in Education 2.0.

2. Computer games, online games.

Computer games is a much talk about issue. A long time ago, teachers, and parents shuddered when they hear the phrase “computer games”. Until now ,there are a portion of these groups are quite skeptical about how computer games can teach kids.

Researchers, practitioners and games designers want to push that doubt away.

Therefore, researchers, practitioners and games designers have been designing and integrating games in teaching and learning. It is a tool that engages student in learning, provides instant feedback, measures the learner’s skill, and it can come as close as imitating the real-life.

Click this article: The impact of digital games in education (2003).

Examples of digital games:-

Labyrinth, Education Arcade’s Newest game, is an on-line puzzle adventure game, and designed to promote math and literacy learning. Target audience middle-school students. The product of a collaboration between TEA, Maryland Public Television, and Fablevision, Johns Hopkins University, and Macro International.

PeaceMaker is a video game simulation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A tool that can be used to promote dialog and understanding among Israelis, Palestinians and people around the world. It is a game that allows the player to interact with the world as the leadership role from both sides of the conflict. The primary conflict management issues that we address revolve around creating empathy and a deeper understanding of multiple perspectives.

Ayiti:Cost of Life helps the learner to understand conditions in contemporary Haiti and how poverty is an obstacle to education.The game aims to develop problem-solving, critical thinking and such life skills as resource management, budgeting, and planning for the future.The player will also learn about ways in which they can advocate for action to confront poverty and increase access to education in Haiti.

3. Seven Competencies of Online Interaction(7COI) by Nancy White (11 Feb, 2006)

Click here to check her FLICK slides and here to listen to her presentation recorded live

by Alan Levine.

Then she further develop it into:-

3.1 Eight Competencies of Online Interaction (8COI) by Nancy White (Oct, 2006).

The same slides with ONE more competency. COI brings about the issue on what skills should be done and learnt during online interaction.

4. Intel unfolds the 1:1 e-Learning environments for the 21st century in their INTEL World Ahead Programme. It is believed that 1:1 system (Intel call it a “starter kit”) is to “create a 1:1 relationship between the student and the student’s learning environment.”

A 1:1 eLearning environment includes a dedicated laptop computer for each student and teacher that can be used at home and in the classroom. Internet connectivity is a beneficial, but optional, part of a 1:1 eLearning environment.”

Download INTEL starter kit here.

As for the laptop, it is called Classmate PC (powered by Intel).

It is created to be a “tool to think and learn with” with the aim of transforming education.

Excerpt taken from the website:

A classmate PC is designed with a set of particular features, such as:

  • A rugged, lightweight, and easy-to-carry design, integrated handwriting hardware technology, and software stack with validated educational applications (for example, education management technology).
  • Wireless and messaging systems that allow tight integration and collaboration between users from different groups, allowing them to share experiences, communicate and coordinate activities.

Hold on…Apple is also implementing the 1:1 learning which also holds similar philosophy.

…A 1 to 1 learning program is defined as an environment where students and teachers have 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week access to a notebook computer as well as digital content, educational software, and digital authoring tools.”

Apple’s laptop is the Macbook.

Check the website for further info.

Actually, 1laptop per child was started by an organization call OLPC. The focus is giving every child the right for an education. Here, education is more than just a piece of scroll or the matter of graduating. It encompasses the rights to express, to be creative, and to explore ideas. OLPC was built on the constructivist platform.

5. Professional Development for the teachers who are overwhelmed, suffocated and could one day become an anti-edutech, with the rapid existence of tools, and technology.

For that, we have :-

5.1 Professional Development in Your Pajamas-PDNPJ, at St. Mary Parish Schools. (August 24, 2007) PDNPJ allows the teachers to use the software at any time, anywhere. The teachers were not forced. They were given an option to learn and of course, the much emphasis of PAJAMAS. The teacher becomes the learner. Click here for more info.

5.2 Online communities to transform teacher development (June 13, 2007) These communities present a 24/7 platform for resources, tutorials, and know hows. Examples of such online communities are Discovery Education’s Discovery Educator Network, TeacherLine Peer Connection by TeacherLine. Click here for more info.

B. What is the status of the instructional technology field?

Looking back at the description, the status will be “accelerating at warp-speed” BUT without sacrificing the teacher and the learner.

It is also the ONE similarity in that short list:

It not only talks about integrating technology in education to make learning fun and teaching great.

It is also about teacher being learner and the learner being the teacher.

Teacher being learner:-

Teacher’s plea of help in this roller coaster world of technology is heard. In Instructional technology, there are tools designed to help simplify the teachers’ understanding on other tools.

Learner being teacher:-

Learner is given the rights to state and design their own learning (of course, with the help of the teacher as the facilitator). Here, learner has the freedom to use their own “leisure” tools such as IPOD, digital games, blog as the “essential” learning tools.


One thought on “SomeONE comes up to me and asked, “…

  1. Wow, nice synthesis. Synthesis is one thing that I sense we don’t pay enough attention to. It is the bridge we offer to those who feel lost or overwhelmed in a time of great change.


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