Treats and sugary drinks, confetti and silly party hats — these are the customary items in a celebratory setting and the NEO team had them all. Ok, we didn’t wear the silly party hats because that’s… well… silly, but we had them laying around nonetheless.

What were we celebrating, you may wonder? Wonder no more: it’s the anniversary of the NEO Blog! It turns two.

The combined effort of the entire NEO team — and all our readers — made our blog climb even more in the mighty list of all e-learning blogs, settling in the first 7%. Hopefully this percent will get tinier and tinier over the years.

Top 10 blog posts of NEO

We learned a lot in the past two years and if you’re not new to this blog, we hope you did too. E-learning and education technology seem like never-ending subjects. That’s probably why we like them so much and why most of NEO posts relate to them. And since we’re in celebration mode, let’s put the spotlight over the best performing ones:

  1. The PROs and CONs of competency-based education

    Competency-based education shift the focus from time to mastery of competencies/skills. The PROs and CONs list for this approach to education is pretty balanced. Making the transition to it raises quite some challenges to all major stakeholders, but the advantages that promise to come along are more than luring. While some are afraid of the many things that can go wrong, others are convinced that competency-based education will eventually become the norm.

  2. 7 E-learning trends for educational institutions in 2017

    Trends come and go, but being aware of them is alway important if we want to remain relevant in what we do. The students and the communities in which schools exist change with time, so educators need to keep up. The e-learning trends we identified for this year were: gamification, personalized learning, bite-sized learning, video-based learning, adaptive learning, peer to peer assessment and official degrees for online courses. Which one did you follow?

  3. 3 Benefits of using Augmented Reality in education

    Augmented Reality has many benefits, like making students more motivated to learn, transforming classrooms with interactivity, or supporting students learn faster. In other words, AR technology in education spikes up student engagement and motivation, enables learners to use their imagination, and encourages them to be curious. While it may take a while until the use of AR becomes a norm in schools, this actually might happen.

  4. Top 7 education apps for the classroom

    There’s an app for any activity you’d want to do in the classroom. There are, in fact, so many apps especially designed for education, that’s notoriously difficult for teachers to find the right ones for their classroom activities. The seven educational apps that we thought can spice up learning activities were: Kahoot!, NYT – VR, G Suite for Education, Kaizena, TED Talks, Curiosity and of course NEO LMS! Do you use any or all of them?

  5. Why students love a game-based learning experience

    For as long as children have preferred playing to sitting quietly and learning their ABCs, preschool teachers have been craftily devising games as Trojan horses to teach them concepts such as shapes, letter recognition, colors, seasons and relationships. But why exactly do students of all ages simply love a game-based learning experience? Well, because it’s fun, it helps them gain mastery over a subject or another, it encourages self-directed learning and it offers immediate feedback.

  6. How new technology can boost student creativity in the classroom

    Children are creative and their imagination is limitless. But traditional and standardized education has the tendency to hinder creative thinking and imagination in students. To prevent this from happening, educators and the education system have to nurture students’ imagination and creativity through various techniques, that often include new technologies: gamification, video creation, or flipping the classroom, to name just a few.

  7. How can teachers use VR in the classroom?

    While VR has yet to be incorporated into advanced educational LMSs, there are a number of encouraging developments that are interesting to explore. Teachers can consider using VR in the classroom through Google Cardboard or Second Life, and these are only two examples. Although the expense of hardware, connectivity issues or the validity of the content may raise pertinent questions regarding the feasibility of VR for school instruction, educators should keep an eye on its ever-growing potential.

  8. Why we should all think about the gamification of education

    The use of gamification in education is a step away from the old ways of doing things, and brings education closer to the future. Gamifying the entire educational system might be the best solution for it to become again highly effective, and respond to the current and future needs of students. In a gamified educational system, all subjects are like big games. Students decide how many games they play at once and how many levels. The results will be so much different than what the current system allows.

  9. 10 Free browser extensions supporting students when learning online [Infographic]

    Being online while studying can be very distracting. Even when having the best intentions, students can get off track when studying online. And once interrupted, it can be really challenging for them to get their focus back. So we gathered 10 free browser extensions that can be easily installed and help students stay focused when learning for an online course. Some of these are useful not just for students, but for teachers as well.

  10. Will AI replace teachers?

    Will AI replace teachers? A lot of debates have been held on this topic, but not one argument supporting this idea is truly convincing. There is too much creativity and people skills in teaching that no artificially intelligent machine could ever perform better than the living breathing teachers. AI will not replace teachers any time soon, but it definitely has the potential to become the best teaching assistant ever.

And these were the top-performing 10 posts on the NEO Blog, from the last exactly 366 days.

Happy anniversary, NEO Blog! NEO LMS is proud of you! May there be many happy returns of this day!

Author: Livia M

Livia is one of the online voices of NEO by CYPHER LEARNING. She writes about education technology for K-12 and higher ed, gamification, BYOD, as well as other ed-tech subjects.