I recently discovered Duolingo, a free website that delivers language lessons. If you’re an English speaker, you can take lessons in Spanish, German, French, Italian, or Portuguese. What’s really cool about it, though, is the way that it teaches you the language of your choice using online instruction. I think that Duolingo is a website that really gets online learning right, and it taught me a lot more about how to use the Web to teach something than it taught me Spanish (though I re-learned quite a bit of that, too!).
This is a guest post by Michael Kelley, W&M Professor of Applied Science. Michael has been teaching courses at W&M using lecture-capture and distance learning technologies for over ten years. He writes about his experiences with e-learning, and about some of the changes in technology that have altered the accessibility of e-learning for instructors.
I never thought I’d see the day when I had to confess to becoming a classroom flipper. After generations of teaching courses that focus almost entirely on interaction among the students, I’m now trying to learn how to create screencasts of my “lectures” so that students can “cover the material” before they come to the class session. The course I’ll be teaching this spring is an undergraduate course in the Mason School of Business on “using computers to make business decisions.” I taught the class last spring as an experiment, and if there ever was a course that begged to be put online, this is the one.