Weekly EdTech Roundup, 2/23/2011

February 22nd, 2011 by Valerie Futch Leave a reply »

Pen en papier / Pen and paperphoto © 2009 Nationaal Archief | more info (via: Wylio)A useful post at ProfHacker outlines an interesting way to “Avoid ‘Grading Jail’ through Course Writing Contracts” in which students create their own due-dates and these serve as binding contracts. The papers trickle in throughout the semester and you’re faced with a little bit of reviewing/grading per day than a whole stack a few times per semester. I experimented with a similar approach by having a large class divided into groups that had rotating due dates. I also remember my Human Sexuality professor providing a list of response paper topics and their due-dates and we were instructed to complete any three of our choosing by the end of the semester. I suspect this worked particularly well because the topics were often personal and controversial and so interest is what drove our decision to choose an earlier paper rather than procrastination.

Will Richardson, author of “Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms” has a post outlining the difference between “online coursework” and “online learning” and his skepticism at the increased lauding of online courses as the silver-bullet of education reform.

Finally, as a follow up to last week’s post about Twitter and Classroom engagement, I appreciated this post at TeachPaperless on How Social Media Changed My Novel. The author cites Twitter and blogging as two major influences in the writing of his recent novel. Twitter helped him tune in to writing more succinctly and blogging helped him find his voice (and also provided a useful forum for feedback on drafts). The benefits and drawbacks that he discusses are readily applicable to your own writing and particularly to how students conceptualize and write-up their ideas in your classes.

Other notable bits:

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