Posts Tagged ‘web research’

Weekly Roundup: 12/6

December 6th, 2010

What a busy week! Today’s flurries of snow follow a flurry of interesting activity on the educational technology front. Read on to see what caught my eye.

Free Technology for Teachers, which is an unbelievable wealth of constant ed tech information, has a post about free ebooks for teachers and parents. Two that you might find useful are 20 Webtools Applied to Teaching, which provides summaries and sample ideas for webtools such as Voicethread (which we love here at BCC). Microsoft has a free pdf guide for Developing Critical Thinking Through Web Research Skills. Of course it is Bing-centric but it is filled with resources for you to use to help your students evaluate information online.

It’s also time for ProfHacker’s monthly Teaching Carnival. These carnivals are basically a roundup of the top news of the month on “teaching in college and university classrooms.” There’s a ton of content in this one so I recommend sending the ones that intrigue you the most to Instapaper or bookmarking the page for those Sunday mornings when your neighbor swipes your Times, you know, if you still get paper delivery.

Oh, reflexivity. In every syllabus I make sure to include the requisite “Your paper must be in APA style, 12 point Times New Roman, double-spaced with 1 inch margins and page numbers in the header” blurb. But why is it requisite? A post by Evan Snider at ProfHacker sort of blew my mind a little when he argues “such draconian formatting requirements stifle students’ creativity and cut off any critical thinking about what should be a crucial part of any writing-intensive classroom, namely visual design.” I’m all about visual research methods when I’m wearing my researcher hat, so why have I kept the visual out assignments? Snider engages the skeptics and followers with a lengthy discussion about the how and why of document design and how to encourage your students to break the mold. There’s quite a healthy follow-up discussion in the comments as well.

And, finally, there’s an interesting article from Edudemic documenting How the Harvard Law Library is Embracing the 21st Century. They chronicle the changes the library is making to move into the digital era and how these changes in information management have influenced other areas of the university. The guiding principle behind the library’s organization is “to define it before it is decided for us” which is a sentiment that I think is often echoed throughout our own engagement with technology and our own institutions.

Honorable Mentions

Weekly Roundup: 11/22

November 23rd, 2010

1. Blogging success: Organic integration. Erica, a blogger at Cac.ophony, finds that blogging has been embraced by students in her course. They eagerly share other bits of media and relate classic works to current events. The blogs have produced some of the best writing in her course, but she wonders, how can excellent blog posts make the jump to well-written course papers? Chris Clark at NspireD2 was also a blog skeptic, at first, but outlines 8 strategies for using blogs in a course that have turned him from skeptic to convert. Already using blogs in your class? Check out this post on developing blog grading rubrics.

2. Presentation success: Beginning with a story. NML Blogger Shawndel offers her tips for developing “organic” presentations through digital storytelling and Prezi (full disclosure: I’m a recent Prezi convert myself). Though he takes a completely different approach, discussing the use of Powerpoint for presenting forensic evidence, Slaw blogger Nils begins with a similar point, the best presentations start with knowing the story you want to tell.

3. Technology in Education. If you’re reading this post you probably don’t need convincing about the power of technology for education. But if you want to see some very cool examples, check out Mashable’s post on 8 ways technology is improving education. Although, some students in Ohio may beg to differ, now that “snow days” have become “e-days.”

Honorable Mentions:

(Blog wordle via Flickr from KristinaB)

css.php