Archive for the ‘teaching’ Category

Great video about social networking from the folks at Common Craft.  This would be a  neat intro for a workshop or class for beginners.

Common Craft (Lee & Sachi LeLever) create all kinds of videos on Web 2.0 topics for the non-techie web user.


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I’m currently taking a class in Second Life and we posted our first impressions of the virtual world to the class forum today.  One of my classmates posted this interesting article about a professor’s “second thoughts about Second Life”, which raises some important legal and ethical concerns about institutions of higher learning using and requiring students to participate in Second Life.  Among them:

What about a complaint by a student who agrees to meet the teacher’s avatar outside of class but in-world and then witnesses or engages in an unwanted virtual act? Or a claim of emotional distress filed by a student exposed to virtual shootings or any number of sexist, racist, homophobic, or offensive avatar behaviors?

Who is responsible?

Did you, as a faculty member who assigned your students an exercise on Second Life, have appropriate warnings in your syllabus for such scenarios? Will you have to pay legal fees to defend yourself if you signed up for Second Life and required your students to do so, too, without informing your supervisor?

Does your institution’s top administration or its legal, ombudsman, and equity offices even know about sexual harassment in virtual worlds? Has your campus teaching center promoted virtual-life games without investigating guidelines for use?

Based on its terms of service, Linden Lab may have anticipated some of those questions. It identifies itself as a distributor of content and, as such, “has very limited control, if any, over the quality, safety, morality, legality, truthfulness, or accuracy of various aspects of the Service.

That burden may fall on you.

These issues need to be discussed before land is bought, avatars created, classes formed inside the virtual world.

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EDUCAUSE Centre for Applied Research has just released the latest report in its longitudinal study of undergraduates and their use of information technology. It is called, “The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2007” and is,

“…based on quantitative data from a spring 2007 survey and interviews with 27,846 freshman, senior, and community college students at 103 higher education institutions. It focuses on what kinds of information technologies these students use, own, and experience; their technology behaviors, preferences, and skills; how IT impacts their experiences in their courses; and their perceptions of the role of IT in the academic experience.”

There could be some really useful stuff in this report for institutions of higher learning who want to use information technology in a meaningful way for their students’ learning.

 Read what Inside Higher Ed has to say about the report…

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Great compilation of 2.0 tools for students.  The tools are aimed at mostly college students, but I suppose the list could be adapted for elementary and secondary ed students.  Tools like Zoho Office Suite which has a whole cadre of free word processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications.  JotCloud and ShortText for taking notes, Facebook and Stikipad for collaboration on documents, plus many more…

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This very cool story about the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County gives me hope for libraries and relevancy in the 21st century!  The IT director charged her staffers with finding and using Web 2.0 technologies in the course of their jobs.  The results? They developed a program called Learning 2.0 which is being adopted by libraries around the country to insert Web 2.0 tools into their workflow and their outreach to communities.  Way cool!

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The Future of the Book website has just released CommentPress 1.o, a free, open source theme for the WordPress blog engine designed to allow paragraph-by-paragraph commenting in the margins of a text. I’m overjoyed to see this, as I am a firm believer in blogs as easier tools to use and manage than wikis. It would be so much simpler to manage collaborative writing projects with this tool, as opposed to wikis which seem to have a huge upfront cost in terms of learning syntax and maintaining backend support.

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I’m interested in finding out why you are attending today’s session.  Tell me what you hope to learn from the workshop by clicking on the comments link below and posting your thoughts.

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