Learning Community, Micro-Blogs

Teaching with Twitter

Some college students may be introduced to instructors & courses that ENCOURAGE micro blogging with Twitter.

Twitter is becoming a fast buzz in both media and celebrity circles, however, I think that more teachers are beginning to realize the power this social media tool for learning.

Here are a few benefits for professors who experiment with Twitter as a teaching tool:

  • source of news
  • opinions of peers
  • gain knowledge from experts
  • live & archived tweeting in class
  • capture lecture content
  • add depth to lecture material
  • build a learning community inside & beyond the classroom

For those faculty/instructors who might consider tweeting in class, I might recommend that you start up your own Twitter account and play with it. Also, be sure to read up about strategies &tools that to optimize learning with Twitter.

I personally like TweetDeck (an Adobe Air-based app) to organize & categorize my tweets. I can clearly see my messages, replies and content areas I am interested in at a quick glance.  Some categories I use for tweets include Higher Ed, Web Tools, Career Research, T.O., Students, etc.

Are YOU tweeting with your students? If so, please share!

Learning Technologies, Photo Sharing

Easy Online Tools for Visual Teaching

For many educators, the use of multi-media is a regular function in the classroom.

I went to an excellent workshop hosted by Carolyn Guertin from the eCreative Lab @ UTA about Moving Teaching Online: Screencasting.  This is one of many in their digital workshop series they offer.  It was  a great (free) workshop for faculty & staff to gain more knowledge about slide & screen casting to best support educational practices.

screencast

The wealth of media resources available online is overwhelming.  If your objective is to enhance instruction and learning, here are a few tools I use, and a couple new ones I have just begun to play with:

  • Screen Capture tools
    • SnagIt – screen grab tool for Window users; purchase required (test out the 30-day trial version)
    • Grab – a tool included in Mac computers to get screen shots/images
    • Jing – great for screen capture for image or video for any platform, able to do voice-overs & it’s FREE!
  • Slide Casting
    • SlideShare – online community forum to share slides (& audio) with students and others; able to match audio recording with slide content easily [I use this website the most.]
    • MyPlick
    • Sliderocket
  • Slides
  • Audio
    • Audacity – get a solid microphone with headset & start recording and editing tracks for your presentation
    • PodcastPeople – record your audio & get a link to an mp3; downside: there is no post-production editing feature
    • GarageBand – Mac users can get this free application to record & edit audio tracks
  • Screen Casting
    • Camtasia Studio – record, edit & share on screen activity; costs $
    • Camstudio – FREE streaming video software for screen capture
    • Captivate by Adobe – for those who are serious about their online learning and visual screen capture; purchase required (pricey even with education discounts, but worth it if used often)
    • Windows Media Maker – able to create videos for the screen cast; not part of the new Vista package (down grade OS)
    • Snapz Pro X – high quality imaging; able to use video, images and save the in a smaller format; time lapse editing,  audio voice-over and great editing options
    • iShowU – records audio & video; tagline = “when words aren’t enough”
  • Video Content Storage Online
    • YouTube EDU – YouTube videos posted for learning; great for archiving teaching material for your students
    • CaptionTube – new feature from YouTube that allows for adding captions via a sophisticated video caption editor – this means that the  text transcription sits beside the video
    • Recommendation:  use institutional web portal or closed site if you are using any copyrighted material or content

Have fun!

Learning Technologies

Mind-Map It Out.

To help process information it is always great to introduce a mind map as an effective learning tool.

A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing. (c/o Wikipedia.org)

mindmap_2

(c) Mind Tools Ltd

There are a few online tools that best support the mind-mapping approach for learning. Lifehacker.com recently reviewed the Five Best Mind-Mapping Applications for online mapping action. These tools are FREE & very user-friendly.

These resources are quite useful for both learning and teaching. There are plenty of online mind-mapping resources to support visual learners which makes mapping information fun!

Map on, my friends. Map on.

Collaboration, Learning Community, Learning Technologies

C4LPT Resource Centre

Looking for ideas on how to best utilize technology for learning?  Then I would recommend that you check out Jane Hart’s website:

 C4LPT Resource Centre
Here you will find a collection of technologies, tools and learning trends emerging in education.  There are a many links, bookmarks and collaborations to provide any educator with ideas on their technology projects for learning.  I especially enjoy Jane’s Pick of the Day, which is updated consistently in her blog. This website is divided into two main elements:

  1. The Resource Centre
  2. The Social Learning Network

The best part of this resource is Hart’s interest in collaboration for learning technologies.  She wants recommendations from YOU for the Top Tools of 2009.  This database of information is regularly updated and contributions come from various educators using technology.

web 2.0

Web 2.0 Dictionary

Just when you think you are savvy to the ways of the web… a new tool or application is added.

web2-directory2

Every day a new web 2.0 tool is designed & released online.  For those of you interested in staying “in the know” with the most recent tools and applications, be sure to check out the Go2Web 2.0 – The Complete Directory of Web 2.0. As of Sunday, February 08, 2009 there are 2796 logos..and counting.  The 2.0 story never ends.