Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Building a Community for Online Learning

Presentation: Building a Community for Online Learning
Don Sutton, Director Academic Services
Jim McSorley, Director Web Services

OK – after a last minute room change (where I could, fortunately, recharge the laptop) able to do the presentation.

My takeaways: I need to take another look at Ning as a possibility for helping create an online Banner community for our University. If nothing else, may provide another synchronous tool.

An informal conversation with our friendly IT security folks may be in order to see what our compliance boundaries are. What can and can't be put on an externally hosted source.

May not be very much here that would be different for the blog audience. Did, however, get me thinking about potential solutions for my particular problems.


What is Web 2.0?
- 1.0 – central source of info (Read)
- 2.0 – create your own info. More 2 way conversation, multiple-source. Anyone is the content author. (Read/Write)
- 3.0 – (Read/Write/Execute) Semantic Web – search w/ context. Upload data – get something else back.

Big deal – content authoring done by the masses.

Cites The Long Tail, Chris Anderson
(lengthy discussion of Web 2.0)

Who are the Online Learners?
- Generational phenomenon (see my thoughts in previous presentation)

Characteristics of Millennial Generation
- Note taking on keyboard vs. pen/pencils
- Reading from screen v. printed
- Social networks v. physical meeting
- Multitasking in digital env
- Millenials are
+ intuitive visual communicators
- Comfortable with technology

Most relevant to classroom – text messaging and social networking

What are Social Networks?
- Facebook really for college students, higher ed, alumni (?)
- LinkedIn – professional

- Social network you control.
- Social network by invitation only.
- Costs nothing
- Can create network for any class you teach.
- Can use as project management tool.
- Can set up so that private. Personal email address not exposed to anyone. Can communicate.
- (maybe create one for Banner upgrade? Would have to look at potential Compliance issues)

Ning group – started using as class situation
- Students initially excited about it. But became more reticent once they were aware that “teacher looking at it.”
- Did use it to upload favorite music – get to know each other.
- Use as a communication tool within the context of the classroom.

Ning group – gave example of the Work-Literacy Ning group
- Both synchronous and asynchronous
- Can record live chat. Then can look at the artifact.

Ning – also used successfully with those using ITV systems
- Supplemental repository
- Allow interaction that was not available in original systems

Can use Ning to incorporate people outside of the institutional context
- (In my case – I can link to a Ning site from within my LMS. Adds synchronous tools that are not available)

Text-messaging as Social Network
- No real asynchronous component.
- 10-17 yr use text messages as primary form of communication – 44%
+ Analogous to when we were 17 and talked on the phone
- Teenagers need to be doing something at the same time or they “spaz out”. (I’ve seen many adults do this too)

Twitter – text message captured in asynchronous mode.
- Class chatter
- Classroom community
- Get a sense of the world
- Track a Word
- Track a Conference
- Instant Feedback
- Follow a Professional
- Follow a famous person
- Grammar
- Rule Based writing
- Maximizing the Teachable Moment
- Public Notepad
- Writing assignments
(all from Academhack)
Use of texting alone (even without Twitter and search functionality) can be powerful adjunct to other activities (ITV, classroom, etc)

Quality Control
- That’s the big question.
- Young people are building those filters.
- Can you use it to address misinformation as it bubbles up?

Do need to be sensitive about policies and types of information that is out there.

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