Posts Tagged ‘social media’

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Weekly EdTech Roundup, 2/23/2011

February 22nd, 2011

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:

Weekly Roundup: Aaaaaaand we’re back! edition

February 7th, 2011

Bibliographyphoto © 2006 Alexandre Duret-Lutz | more info (via: Wylio)

People. Whatever you do, do NOT ignore your google reader for 45 days. Ouch. But writing a dissertation is a good excuse, right? Things are back and running here at the TE(a)CH arm of BCC. So, without further ado, here is a roundup of some useful ed-techy things.

  • An interesting tool that allows you to make fake facebook walls. The obvious use would be for English or History teachers to have students create walls for literary/historical figures. Are there other creative uses? 
  • A promising looking website, Higher Education Teaching and Learning Portal, has grown out of a Linked-In group for higher education folks interested in using technology. You can also submit articles of your own experiences for bi-weekly publication. 
  • BiblioBouts online resource and citation game: A really cool way to have students collaboratively (and competitively) create bibliographies for projects and assess the quality of the information while building them. It works in phases, or “rounds” in which students complete various tasks of finding sources, ranking the sources found, and generating a bilbiography.
  • TeachPaperless provides ideas for how to give your students non-exams. And then provides an example of a final exam in human geography. The final makes use of visual data and a variety of websites. Some of the questions are more scavenger-hunt level while others make use of aggregating and comparing data and asking students to synthesize their responses.
  • Boomerang plug-in for Gmail. Make emails reappear in your inbox or set a delay for sending out responses/reminders. Between this and the priority inbox feature I’ll either be super-productive or lose half my emails…
  • At one of the sessions I attended at the CUNY IT conference, a professor talked about having their students create actual Wikipedia entries. This idea is gaining ground…at Wikipedia! They’ve announced an initiative to recruit college professors who are interested in having their students contribute work. Rather than banning Wikipedia from our classrooms (another discussion entirely), the idea of having our students contribute to a site and inherently learn the tools of evaluating information seems very promising.
  • Finally, what are you using now instead of delicious? Derek Buff chronicles how he’s switching to using Diigo with his students and is enjoying the more participatory aspects of the service.
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