Annotation: MOOCs in K-12

Locke, M. (2013). MOOC: Will these four letters change K-12? Scholastic Adminstr@tor, Summer 2013. Retrieved December 8, 2013, from http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3758098

This article describes the potential of MOOCs, or massive open online courses, being used in K-12 education They could be used for SAT prep or for schools that struggle to find instructors to lead an advanced course like AP Calculus. Unfortunately, cheating is hard to regulate and MOOCs also lack the relationship/teacher contact element that can be so important to younger learners. The author reviews advantages and disadvantages of the tool, but largely concludes that MOOCs could be useful as a supplement to the structures already in place. The article provides a succinct review of the possible impact and development of MOOCs in K-12 education and references a couple innovators in the field worth investigating.

Annotation: Online Tutorials

Bautista Sparks, O.  (2010). Five minute screencasts — The super tool for science and engineering librarians. Science and Technology Librarianship, 60. doi: 10.5062/F4JH3J4S. http://www.istl.org/10-winter/tips.html

This article explores the use of screencasting as a tool for librarians to create online tutorials. Several examples of video screencasts for instructional purposes are featured, such as orientations, reference consultations, class instruction and virtual library workshops. The author wrote this article for a science and engineering librarian audience, but her tips are applicable to most instructional librarians. She offers a section discussing the different features of screencasting tools in order to assist librarians in choosing a tool. There is also a table comparing four common free tools. Because this article was published in 2010, these comparisons and features may already be outdated or inaccurate. Her tips for creating screencasts are brief, primarily discussing the logistics of how you might set up the content you want to record. She does, however, reference several other sources with instructions and checklists, though these are even older—from 2009. I suspect that such guidelines for creating a user-friendly experience do not expire as quickly as other digital trends.