Lynda dot “cha-ching”–how lynda.com can enhance your classroom lessons
Type of technology: Webinar-style instructional videos and courses
SAMR Model Rating: Modification
Grade level: any grade, but especially secondary grades
Subject area: technology education,
Cost: free (SBUSD bought the district subscriptions)
Santa Barbara Unified School District employees, do you know that you have a Lynda.com account?
Lynda.com is an organization founded by Lynda Weinman in 1995 in her Carpinteria garage. Necessity is the mother of all invention, and as such, Lynda had a problem. She was trying to learn how to use a computer and finding no user-friendly manuals. Quickly assessing a need for internet learning, she began to teach technology through web-based video courses, and has created a website service of hundreds of on-line courses that mostly run 50 minutes to a little over an hour. On April 9th, 2015, she sold her company for $1.5 billion to the well-known professional/social media site LinkedIn.com. What a inspirational story of local business success!
SBUSD purchased subscription
SBUSD purchased a subscription for all teachers and students, and it is an easy way to teach students. Lynda.com can easily be linked to EDU, and I am going to share a bit about how it is working in my class.
I teach the San Marcos High School Yearbook class. I have been the Yearbook adviser for four years, and without having an education or expertise in photography, graphics, and design, I have found it very difficult to teach my students these topics which are so important when creating a great yearbook. With lynda.com I can have my students take the online courses in all of these subjects, and they can take them at various levels (beginning, intermediate, advanced). In fact, all of the students in my Yearbook class are currently working on different course, and at different levels. I link the courses to my EDU/NEO site so that I can grade their progress. All of my students are being challenged at their approporiate skill level, and they are learning new skills.
How to set-up YOUR lynda.com account
To set-up your account use any on campus device while on your school’s network, fill out the online registration to create your user name and password. Make sure to use your school email to register your account. After you have registered, you can use lynda.com with the log-in and password you have created from any device anywhere. Students have an even easier time setting-up their account, but you have a few things you have to do first before they can register.
How to set-up a STUDENT’S lynda.com account
EDU has created a lynda.com tool that you can launch and have it become one of your resources in your class “resource folder.” Our Tech Coach, Helen Murdoch has created a google doc with 4 easy steps in EDU/NEO to get lynda.com in your “resources” folder. Once the lynda.com link is in your resource folder, the students need to click on the link. The link will take them to lynda.com where they are asked if they have ever created an account. They click “no,” and because they were directed to lynda.com from EDU, lynda.com automatically creates an account for them. It is so easy! The students can use the site whenever they want. And although there is a lot of technology, marketing, design course that may not be applicable to all academic classes, the site offers courses in 21st Century skills that students can use in your class. They can learn about marketing and running webinars; design, video production, and photography. There are courses on how to use an iPad, iMovie, photoshop, and so much more. As a teacher using lynda.com, I feel very confident that I can give my students a project that requires 21st Century skills, direct them to lynda.com, and they will be able to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to complete a given task.
How I am using it in my classroom
So here is how I am using it in my classroom and how I am grading the students work…
- Lynda.com is huge and I don’t suggest just turning the students loose and having them find their own course. I have reviewed a number of courses, and chose eight courses I want my students to take this spring. We may only have time for six, and I am allowing the students to take the courses that interest them most and are most appropriate for their skill level. The courses I have chosen include beginning and intermediate photography, beginning and intermediate photoshop, beginning design, beginning graphic arts, and one on typography because I thought it looked cool.
- I used Helen Murdoch’s Google doc to include lynda.com as a resource, and got all my students to create their lynda.com accounts.
- I went into my EDU configuration settings and changed my course from being “instructor” to “self-paced.” This will allow my students to take the courses in any order and at their own pace.
- Then in EDU/NEO I created a unit for each course. In the unit description, I stated the name of the lynda.com course, the instructor, and the description of the course and the topics covered so that my students could decide which order to take the different courses and which course was right for them. I copied the url link of the lynda.com course and put it in my EDU unit description so that the students can easily find the lynda.com course by clicking on the link.
- Finally, I made three essay assignments in each unit. The assignments ask the students to watch 20-25 minutes of the lynda.com course, practice for 20 minutes and then in the EDU/NEO essay assignment, to write about three things they learned from the course on that day. At the end of the day, I simply go into EDU and read their essay assignment and grade their work.
Because I have made my class self-paced, the students can be in any unit at any time. If you do not want to make your EDU class self-paced, then simply just make separate assignments for each time they spend watching a course. And there are other creative ways you can assess their learning. You can have them create a product using the skills they acquired by watching the course. They can create movie reviews of the course that specifically demonstrates what they have learned. They can create a pamphlete or brochure that promotes the course, and many other ways to assess their learning. You can even give them course completing certificates when they demonstrate and put new skills into practice.
Welcome to the 21st Century
I am so thankful that our district has moved forward with technology innovation in the classroom, and I am thankful to work with students who do not fear or worry about new technology, but rather embrace new and innovative ways to learn. And I am thankful for sites like lynda.com that our students can utilize to learn 21st Century skills- skills that I am only just beginning to learn myself. Lynda.com is a fabulous site that will give our students the tools that will propel them into great careers in the future, and I hope you give it a try with your students as well.