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Simon Sinek’s quote The only way to “find out if it will work out” is to do it reminds me of an adadge that I have held onto from my early youth.

I want to know what was….not ponder what could have been.

In addition to awesome sitcoms, Dunakroos, and slap bracelets, the 1990s gave us some great technology too. Here are 15 of the best innovations from 1990-1999.

I remember this period all too well. Still wish I would have bought stock in Amazon at the very beginning.

Source: Tech nostalgia: The top 15 innovations of the 1990s – TechRepublic

For a learning theorist and Professor there are few things more invigorating than working with a group of highly motivated learners. My long time colleague and friend Dr. Craig Montgomerie often asks me to join his online Athabasca University class MDDE 610: Survey of Current Educational Technology Applications to provide his students the opportunity engage with a professional like myself who has extensive experience in promoting the use of Educational Technology.

In the MDDE webinar for March 10, 2015 titled Leading learning and technological change we focused on the most difficult challenges in any organizational change — dealing with an organization’s culture and implementing strategies that require a cultural shift. Through examining a case study of the ACU Connected Mobile Learning Initiative we explored how addressing the following four key principles increase your chances of success significantly:

  1. Start with Why
  2. Identify and engage key influencers
  3. Install an effective execution strategy
  4. Enlist and empower self-differentiated leaders

We also analyzed how ignoring even one of these principles can contribute to failure and how these principles are currently being used in the BCIT School of Health Sciences Future of Learning initiative.

Webinar slide deck – MDDE 610 March 2015.pdf

The following resources were mentioned or briefly discussed in the webinar and can be used to gain a deeper understanding:

The Head Won’t Go Where the Heart Hasn’t Been
This post stresses that:
If you really want to bring about change in people then you need to appeal their hearts and not to their heads. The sharing of more information or engaging in more rational discourse on its own doesn’t appear to help people to make significant change but an appeal to values, attitudes, and feelings first can motivate people toward making changes.

People who like this stuff…like this stuff
Includes a short annotation and links the books Start with Why (Simon Sinek), Influencer, Four Disciplines of Execution (4DX) and Freidmen’s Failure of Nerve.

Connected The Movie by the ACU Connected Initiative
Link to the ACU Connected mobile movie that started and provided the fundamental Why or vision for Mobile Learning at ACU.

Additional resources on Change and Innovation:

Blended learning has been around since the mid to late 90’s. I developed and instructed my first blended course back in 1994-95 and we referred to this form of instruction as alternative delivery or computer-mediated instruction. Today you will also see terms like hybrid, technology-mediated instruction, web-enhanced instruction, mixed-mode instruction and the current flavor of the day the flipped classroom. The term blended learning really took hold when Bonk and Graham published the first Handbook of Blended Learning back in 2005.

In a blended course a significant amount of the course work has been moved online. Face2face time or seat time has been reduced. The online components of the course are done instead of face2face time and not in addition to. If well designed, a blended course can offer the best of both worlds. The online components of the course can be used for information transfer with the goal of preparing the students for the limited and valuable face2face where the instructor can lead students much deeper into the learning objectives of the course. This enables the instructor to lecture less which changes their role from sage on the stage to a guide on the side as they lead the students through discussions and other collaborative activities in the face2face setting.

Over the years many resources have been developed and several books have been about Blended Learning. I am always on the lookout for the next best blended learning resources but I continually keep on returning to the Faculty Development for Blended Teaching and Learning at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee/Sloan Consortium 

The primary reason I encourage my colleagues to use these resources is that they have put a priority on purposeful design and start from the learning outcomes/objectives. So many other resources start with the blending activities but until you are clear on what you want your students to learn/do (based on the course learning outcomes) you run the risk have having great blending activities but no alignment to the learning outcomes. If you want to take your learners deeper then you need to start with your learning outcomes.

Even though these resources were developed in 2008 they are still current because they address the fundamental design issues that really haven’t change significantly. Other than the incorporation of social media into courses all the examples would apply to the present day.

I encourage you to review all the resources on the site but if you are pressed for time then consider reviewing the following resources in this order:

  • Ten Questions: “Ten Questions for Blended Course Redesign” presentation by Alan Aycock
  • Student support: “Helping your students in a blended course” presentation by Alan Aycock
  • Backwards design: “Designing a learning module for a blended course” presentation by Alan Aycock
  • Integration: “Strategies for integrating online and face-to-face in blended learning” presentation by Alan Aycock, Tanya Joosten, and Amy Mangrich
  • Content delivery: “Content delivery in blended and fully online courses” presentation by Amy Mangric.

The example presentations and other related presentations make more sense once you have the pedagogical foundation to appreciate why things are being done. You also don’t have to listen to the presentation but can view the slides and the transcript which could save you some time

For a more recent perspective on blended learning and a really good definition of the newer models you should look at

WARNING – this site has a K-12 focus and if you follow the Resources link to their Blended Learning Universe While these resources do have a K-12 focus the principles still apply to higher education.

Additional Higher Ed focused resources you can consider include: