EdCC Instructional Technology Services (is that the new name?) held its quarterly DL Institute on Friday. Yours truly was tired and burnt out from Fall Quarter, low on sleep and too much sitting and staring at the computer screen. And, I came away pumped up with ideas after collaborating with the others all day! Amazing how that happens.
Here are my notes and thoughts, along with links to resources...
The internet and web-based communication tools are changing how we teach, and how we use time and space....nothing new with that. But, we have moved from a read-only environment to read/write environment, where the participants are contributors and we have an opportunity to build plug-and-play curriculum. For our students, the traditional classroom environment is a foreign environment, and the mode of lecture data-dump delivery doesn't work well.
The breadth of resources available has given rise to 'seat-of-the-pants' analysis and JIT journalism. One result is analysis is on a very shallow level. We still have to teach critical thinking and evaluation!
Different communication styles should be expected in the discussion forums vs. formal papers. Don't be a grammar Nazi on the discussion forum. Set clear expectations for each and allow students to figure out appropriateness and context.
Social Bookmarking Sites.....
Peanut Butter Wikis
Flock - New social web browser
Blackboard's biggest disadvantage is that it is password-protected. It's second biggest disadvantage is the hierarchical structure of the pages. We can and should use blogs and wikis to build a network of educators, communicators, thinkers, teachers and learners to explore how to use these tools, share ideas and practices, and to have some fun. Don't lock down the network. Open it up! The value of the network will expand exponentially in relation to the number of people using the network.