Flipping Tip: Set & Enforce Prerequisites

"Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence." - Abigail Adams

I received a surprising comment from a reader about bridging the digital divide. It seems my friend is finding her adult pupils don't have the technology skills she anticipated. So what might we do to prevent this?

First, identify the skills you expect students to bring to class.

Search for them in your school's curriculum. If an existing class covers a prerequisite skill then list it as a prerequisite in your course catalog and syllabus. If not, list the skill instead and provide remedial material so prospective students can get up to speed.

Video podcasting is often a great way to provide remedial training.

You cannot embed remedial podcasts within the online component of your course. They must be separate. Check with your web master and administration to see if they can be posted on the school's website.

So where do you get these remedial podcasts?

There are at least three potential sources; the Web, textbook publishers, and you!

The Web is a great resource. There are countless quality videos available to the public on sites such as Youtube and Vimeo. There are also discipline specific sites with video podcast offerings. However, it is always best to use a source that allows you to download the podcast files. Apple iTunes does.

Publishers often include videos with their textbooks. These can be offered as podcasts if you have a proper license from the publisher. This means you probably have to adopt their book but it doesn't hurt to ask.

You can always make your own. It's not difficult. You will need a computer, a microphone, and software. TechSmith's Camtasia. Camtasia creates screencasts of activity on your computer screen which is great for teaching software skills. Educreations Interactive Whiteboard is also highly recommended and you can use it on your iPad!


If you set a prerequisite you must enforce it. Failure to do so is a failure to take yourself seriously. If you don't do so no one else can be expected to either.

Sent from my iPad

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Dr. Winegar is available to help your organization wisely use technology. Email him directly at mark.winegar@mac.com or visit www.facebook.com/MobileLearningStudio.