Thursday, April 10, 2008

On hiatus . . .

Hello Everyone:

Just to let you know that I'm on a blogging hiatus. However, I hope to be back just as soon as I finish my portfolio and complete the final two courses in my master's program.

Take care,

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Teaching in Second Life

As a postscript to my past posting, I also wanted to direct your attention to Second Life 'island' created for virtual teaching, an MSNBC article on the educational future of SecondLife.

Monday, December 3, 2007

YouTube: An eLearning Environment?

Back in September, I blogged about a course entitled "Learning From YouTube.” Taught by Andrea Jurhasz, a media studies professor, this class is still drawing a fair amount of attention from her colleagues in both media studies and ILT. Initially some thought that she was crazy to open herself up to possible mocking from her students, other YouTube patrons and educational community.

However, she’s attracted quite a bit of attention, including a notice in the New York Times:

September 15, 2007 – Here's a dream come true for Web addicts: college credit for watching YouTube. Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., this fall began offering what may be the first course about the video-sharing site. About 35 students meet in a classroom but work mostly online, where they view YouTube content and post their comments.

While there still has not been much posted about the effectiveness of YouTube as a learning environment, I would be quite interested in hearing what you have to say (after you check out this course, of course). What do you think: Is this just a way to generate hype? Does the YouTube environment have any validity as a learning space?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Constructivism & Blogs

I've been studying constructivism recently and ran across several articles that discuss how blogs, wikis and podcasts can be used as tools to turn theory into practical application. One of the most detailed is the eLearning Guild's Be Constructive: Blogs, Podcasts, and Wikis as Constructivist Learning Tools

This was an interesting read not only because of its practical pointers, but also because it adds credence to my previous rants about not using Web 2.0 tools just because they're cool. Instead, this article highlights ways to use these tools to assist learners in deliberately constructing their own learning environment.

Read it and let me know what you think!

Friday, November 16, 2007

When Is It OK to Copy?

Since multimedia is such a big part of eLearning, we often run head-on into the constraints of fair use. What's allowed? What's considered plagarism? How do you know the difference?

While I want to be respectful of the intellectual properties of others, I often find fair use guidelines somewhat murky. That's why I enjoyed reading this article from Inside Higher Ed: When It’s OK to Copy

Hope you find it useful as well!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Needing a New Phone

My wonderful teammates and I are currently crafting a mediated presentation on mobile learning and, as part of my research, I started to look at the various models of mobile phones on the market.

Now, I'm not a complete phone neophyte. In fact, I've had a mobile phone since I was 19 years old. (Remember the ol' bag phones? 30 minutes a month? Magnet antenna on the topic of the car? Anyone?) However, as I started looking at the various models and functions, it became why mobile learning professionals are predicting that phones are becoming one of the top mobile learning tools.

The iPhone, with its multimedia capabilities, is the perfect example of this. You can make calls simply by touching screen, download, store and play music, check email, access maps, surf the web, text, etc. And, following in the steps of it's iPod cousin, it also lets you synch information with your PC or Mac. With today's emphasis on "just in time" learning, the iPhone and the inevitable copy cats that are sure to follow, are revolutionining mobile learning.

As one who has both an interest in instructional design and eLearning, I find these new gadgets both fascinating and frightening. Fascinating because of the opporutnities they represent. Frightening in that I'm going to have to researching in warp speed to keep up with it all.

I guess my next step is to go get a new phone. One that does more than simply make calls, send and accept text messages and take the occasional photos. The options may be overwhelming, but just think how much fun it will be to play with.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Are You Ready for Mobile Learning?

As people become more comfortable with mobile technology, they should inherently become more comfortable with mobile learning, right? That’s not necessarily the case. As the EDUCAUSE article “Are You Ready for Mobile Learning” points out, “Frequent use of mobile devices does not mean that students or instructors are ready for mobile learning and teaching.”

Instead, we, as eLearning professionals, need to take a quick step back and consider the desired learning outcomes and our audience. Consider the following questions:

Who are our learners?
What are their needs?
How familiar are they with mobile technologies—very familiar or just somewhat?
What do want them to learn, demonstrate, etc?
How will they demonstrate both retention and transfer?

In the past, we’ve talked about the dazzling effect of Web 2.0 tools. I think that effect also carries over to mLearning. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fascinated by the topic, but am on a quest to learn how to do it right.

If you have a moment, please read “Are You Ready for Mobile Learning” and tell me what you think.