exploring technology options for teachers,
students, instructional designers, and instructional programmers

ABOUT MINDdrops.com

The goal of MINDdrops.com is to help teachers, faculty, instructional designers, and instructional developers use technology that is appropriate, effective, and efficient in order to improve learning and teaching.

The MINDdrops.com web site was developed and is maintained by Dr. Bruce L. Bird to serve as a resource for those who are interested in exploring the impact of technology on instructional design. While there is a great deal of valuable research and literature available on instructional design, it is sometimes difficult to move from abstraction to reality. In order to make instructional design issues more concrete a series of learning objects will be placed on this web site for all to explore and critique.

Initially, these learning objects were created with Macromedia Flash 8 in order to illustrate the capabilities of this web authoring, animation, and vector graphics program. Over the years this software has evolved to Adobe Flash Professional CC. This software, like tennis, can be played productively at several levels. Also, as in tennis, many will find doubles more comfortable. In this case the doubles team consists of instructor and the instructional design support group. One goal of MINDdrops.com is to help instructors at schools or colleges that have limited or no instructional design support play at a more productive level by providing customized learning objects. An additional advantage of Adobe Flash Professional CC is that it provides a straightforward way to integrate PHP and mySQL database into the learning object so that student self-assessment, as well as object, topic, and course assessment can be carried out. Another goal of MINDdrops.com is to encourage and support this integration, as it adds a powerful assessment capability to all learning objects.

Rapid development of computer hardware (cell phones, tablets, laptops) and software (MOOCS,educational games,LMS) along with the rise of the profit driven edtech industry raises the question as to whether teachers, or faculty, can control the rate of assimilation of technology in their classroom and still provide a unique, appropriate, and effective learning environment for their students.

Faculty and teachers will need to insist on data-driven demonstrations of effectiveness over a statistically significant student population before adopting the latest technology marvel.

With some exceptions, school systems and college administrators have not recognized that the new system (code,tablet, web) is fundamentally more complex than the old system ( chalk, blackboard, and books). As a consequence there continues to be inadequate training and IT support for teachers and faculty. I have long supported the formation of interactive teaching teams (instructor, programmer, media specialist) needed to provide effective teaching materials for the wide range of students that exist in every classroom.

Finally, for those curious about the origin of the name MINDdrops, I have a dislike for the term "learning objects" because, although it is an accepted term,  it resonates in my ear as techno-babble. So let your mind's eye picture MINDdrops falling on a mountain of ignorance and eroding it away, one drop at a time

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