Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Training through the Web
Summer is an opportune time for educators, like me, to learn about and experiment with new teaching tools. Since the end of the Spring term, I have done research on classroom response systems (specifically i>clicker) and networked classroom control systems (such as SchoolVue). I found that most vendors of these systems offer the convenience of Webinars to familiarize potential customers with their products. Web conferencing is a real-time medium for company representatives to connect with customers, providing a way for customers to experience and ask questions about the products.

I have also been experimenting with Macromedia Captivate to create training video clips, demonstrating how to do a variety of tasks in the Learning Management System at KWC. These clips are a few minutes in length and can be downloaded at the user's convenience. I plan to develop a library of "QuickTip Clips" to use in the place of or in addition to printed step-by-step instructions.

After briefly sharing what I learned about creating mini-movies with Captivate, one of the faculty members began using it in his online class to show his statistics students how to do Microsoft Excel laboratory exercises. With the course being mostly asynchronous, the students have commented that the video clips proved very helpful in understanding the procedures and being able to complete the assignments. He plans to provide the clips for future face-to-face classes, as a resource for struggling or absent students.

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posted by SG @ 3:51 PM   0 comments
Monday, July 2, 2007
The "Social" in Social Bookmarking
When I began to use the social bookmarking site del.icio.us a few months ago, I was mainly interested in the storage, management, and "access from anywhere" features. I had hundreds of Web favorites saved in several browsers on several computers; because of this, it became difficult to relocate specific bookmarked sites. Being able to tag and store the bookmarks in one online location was the solution to this problem.

I learned recently, however, that the advantages of using social bookmarks also include connecting people and allowing the sharing of bookmarked sites. While reviewing some of the tags I had been assigning to my saved sites, I noticed in the sidebar the networking area of del.icio.us. A del.icio.us network functions as a "people-aggregator," connecting users with friends, family, coworkers, and even new acquaintances.

Every saved bookmark in del.icio.us provides a link to a list of individuals who have also saved that bookmark to their favorites. Clicking on a user's name from this list displays a complete list of their saved bookmarks and tags. By looking over the user's tag cloud, one can get a pretty good idea about the user's interests; if some or all of these interests match your own, you can become a fan by adding the user to your network.

Though not certain that my profile was found using this method, I noticed last week that I was starting to accumulate fans. Viewing one of these fan's network, I stumbled across the saved bookmarks of David Warlick, a well-known speaker, writer, and thinker in educational technology. What a great find! I have seen him speaks several times at conferences, where he usually shares a treasure trove of Web resources. I added him to my network, and now I can easily access his most recent bookmarks as well as view bookmarks he has tagged in the past on various subjects of interest.

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posted by SG @ 11:20 AM   0 comments
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Location: Owensboro, KY, United States
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I am attempting to develop practical instructional applications of developing technologies and provide educators with tools to implementing instructional technologies effectively.
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MUVEs, Web 2.0, assistive technologies, digital video

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