Monday, December 31, 2007
Phil Bradley has just created a web 2.0 resources search engine, and a while ago, Tony Hirst created a recipe CSE, What's Cooking?
So clearly the next thing to do was to Googlewhack What's Cooking. My first successful attempt? "turbot caramel" (try it - the search that is, not the recipe!). And then come up with your own What's Cooking? Googlewhack - kudos for the weirdest combination (leave a comment)!
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Transliteracy: Crossing divides. First Monday, 12, 3 December 2007
Abstract: Transliteracy might provide a unifying perspective on what it means to be literate in the twenty–first century. It is not a new behavior but has only been identified as a working concept since the Internet generated new ways of thinking about human communication. This article defines transliteracy as "the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks" and opens the debate with examples from history, orality, philosophy, literature, and ethnography.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Eventually I gave up after 15 minutes. Oh well, I tried.
And of course, the long tail will have a similar effect on education:
The simplistic view would be to see the long tail in curricular terms: the interactive Web means that, in theory, every learner should be able to learn what they want when they want, without having to worry about the structural constraints that are inherent in any formal system of education.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Learning management systems under fire: Course management systems can just as easily stifle learning as enable it.
An educational technology dead end? Sakai may be open source, but it's not free by a long shot (those salaries add up)
Networks, Not Tools: It’s different now, somehow, than it was a year ago. It’s more immersive.
What the heck is a PLE and why would I want one?
A guide to the pedagogy and practicalities of personal learning environments.
Monday, December 17, 2007
The long tail is getting longer, but the head is getting bigger.
Towards the personalised learning environment: Reality versus rhetoric
Presentation by Steven Warburton, University of London.
Microsoft in Denial: Google Threat is Classic Disruption
To understand why Google is such a threat to Microsoft you need to understand how disruptive technologies work. If history is any guide, the Google threat will end badly for Microsoft.
Incorporating Screencasts In Online Teaching
Screencasts can be used to supplement teaching materials and can also be prepared in response to student email queries, then saved and sent to other students with the same question. Screencasts can be applicable across all disciplines for online learners.
BBC staff rewrote Wikipedia pages to water down criticism
An investigation of "anonymous" edits on the site has revealed that the broadcaster's staff rewrote parts of a page entitled "Criticism of the BBC" to defuse press attacks on "political correctness". Also included in more than 7,000 Wikipedia edits by BBC workers are unflattering references to rival broadcasters.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Reader's friend list comes from the list of people you can chat with on Google Talk or Gmail chat. To invite friends to see your Reader shared items, simply invite them to chat. To remove them, delete them from your Gmail contacts, or from your Talk list.
The academic blogosphere as a kind of Invisible College - this site is supposed to help make the College a little more visible to itself and its readers.
Really Simple People
Really Simple People format (RSP) puts the portable social graph within reach. Now.
Discovering versus teaching principles of social information management
Nobody understands what del.icio.us does.
Linear and non-linear learning
In nature, linear learning doesn’t exist.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Here's another example. Take a look at these two videos about Second Life. Which one tells you more about the educational potential of this technology?
OK Tony, here's the poll:
Thursday, December 13, 2007
And here's the Facebook Fotowoosh version:
And the educational value of this is???
BTW Fotowoosh people, I have been unable to install the FB Fotowoosh application via Flock (several different OS X machines) - the page just cycles endlessly without ever loading. I was able to install it via Firefox. I can't run the FB Fotowoosh application via Flock - the page just cycles endlessly without ever loading. I am able to run it via Firefox - see the above sample.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Best of all, because it's based on Flash, Asterpix is cross platform (unlike Fotowoosh), and there's a Facebook application, Hypervideo.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Methods: A semi-structured online questionnaire survey of 3000 medical students and 3000 qualified medical practitioners (consultants, general practitioners and doctors in training) on the British Medical Associations membership database.
Results: All groups had high familiarity, but low use, of podcasts. Ownership of digital media players was higher among medical students. There was high familiarity, but low use, of other Web 2.0 technologies except for high use of instant messaging and social networking by medical students. All groups stated that they were interested in using Web 2.0 technologies for education but there was lack of knowledge and skills in how to use these new technologies.
Conclusions: There is an overall high awareness of a range of new Web 2.0 technologies by both medical students and qualified medical practitioners and high interest in its use for medical education. However, the potential of Web 2.0 technologies for undergraduate and postgraduate medical education will only be achieved if there is increased training in how to use this new approach.
Web 2.0 technologies for undergraduate and postgraduate medical education: an online survey. Postgraduate Medical Journal 2007 83: 759-762.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
From JISC Legal news:
Staff in FE and HE considering (or already using) external social networking sites in a work related capacity in teaching and learning, or in communicating with students will be interested in the report that the Information Commissioner is to investigate a complaint regarding the retention of personal data on servers of a well known social networking site. This story highlights a concern that the level of privacy and data protection offered by some social networking sites may not always match that provided by an institution's own systems and staff should check that their use will not conflict with their institutional policies. For the full story and links see The Register.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Intra-group communication and recording student contributions to group work on the University of Leicester i-Science degree.
i-Science students generate designated Twitter accounts and use them to update their status at specified intervals during group projects, e.g. every 2-3 hours.
(AJCann on Twitter)
Available immediately Ref: D3550
The University of Leicester is seeking a highly motivated individual qualified to PhD level in a science discipline with the ability to make a contribution to the skills development of postgraduate and other early career research scientists. Based in the Student Learning Centre, the post-holder will be required to work closely with a range of partners that including academics from across the Faculties of Science and Medicine and Biological Science.
Downloadable application forms and further particulars are available from www.le.ac.uk/personnel/jobs. If you require a hard copy, please contact Personnel Services - tel: 0116 252 2435, fax: 0116 252 5140, email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Please note that CVs will only be accepted in support of a fully completed application form.
Closing Date: 25 January 2008
A detailed description of the job is at http://www.le.ac.uk/personnel/jobs/d3550p.html
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
"What we care about is what makes information inadequate." David Weinberger's keynote about the value of the implicit at Defrag Con. He's describing the route to web 3.0.
Fight For The First Year in College
Myths and realities of how to survive the first year of college.
In Defense of Cheating
We need to rethink the curriculum and not try to cram everything students will ever need to know into their heads in a short period. Instead, we need to train curiosity, self-reliance, cooperative skills, and knowledge of how to learn on their own.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
When we speak to colleagues across campus and across the country, almost everyone who teaches online tells the same stories. An increasing number of students spend considerable energy seeking, finding, and negotiating loopholes in online course assignments. While this behavior is not new or shocking, the anonymous, self-driven nature of online classes may exacerbate the tendency. Rather than the exception, this behavior is becoming the rule.This is equally true of UK higher education as it is of the USA. I've been tending to blame the changes on assessment practices at GCSE and A level, but hearing the same complaint from the USA makes me pause. Summerville and Fischetti identify four loopholing strategies:
We coined the phrase Loophole Generation to describe a group of students whose approach to coursework is influenced by the ease of online communication, hovering parents, a limited sense of intellectual curiosity, and a lack of experience in solving problems imaginatively. These students spend their time (and their instructors' time) exploiting gaps in class policies or assignments - sometimes spending more time than would be necessary to complete a particular project in the first place.
- The Excuse Maker: Old howlers typified by "my dog ate my homework" have evolved into more plausible stories such as "the system was down," "I have a virus on my computer," or "I sent you the wrong attachment." Appeals to a family or personal crisis remain the most popular source of excuses for not completing assignments, and the technology that makes online education possible makes an ironic contribution to this class of loophole-seeking behavior.
- The Bully: The bully can cast a pall over an entire class, often by combining negative comments with personal insults, threats, and harassment. Some bullies use derogatory or flippant language in discussions and postings that they would not use in live settings. Communications technology can enable this behavior, making students feel less pressure to moderate their self-presentation.
- The Cheater: He or she may copy entire assignments from another classmate, submit work posted as examples by the professor as his or her own, contribute little to no work to group projects, have someone else help with an online test, or purchase an entire paper from an online retailer. These students are fully aware of what they are doing. Even with university honor codes and instructor-developed online codes of ethics, this behavior persists.
- The Plagiarizer: specializes in creating a mosaic of several sources and presenting the results as his or her own. Many such students have plagiarized their way through high school and basic studies courses in college, often without completing any project that consists of something other than borrowed information. The ease of access to an abundance of materials on the Web makes this easy to accomplish, and the emphasis on test-taking in K-12 education has influenced many students to seek answers rather than to explore questions.
Alternatively of course, we (academics) could just show some cojones, expose their lying and cheating behavior as worthy of shame and publicly chuck them out without qualifications. Sadly, I don't believe that in our cost-driven higher education system, where bums on seats are more important than truth, trust and integrity, that this is likely to happen. Instead, we will continue to beat ourselves up over our failure to devise sufficiently complex assessment strategies that the cheating little bastards can't crack. Maybe they would benefit more from some tough love.
Or am I being too hard on the poor little darlings?