Wednesday, November 02, 2005

answers to your four questions

What, if any, experience do you have with blogs, wikis, or podcasting as a consumer that suggests these technologies are successful and "here to stay"?

None. I used to teach students about PGP encryption and USENET and I don't anymore. I don't think this matters as long as the technologies are useful at the time. I never use slide projectors in my classes but they were an important educational technology once.

What, if any, experience do you have with blogs, wikis, or podcasting as a teacher or technical support staff that suggests these tools might successfully be incorporated into teaching, learning, or research activities.

Classes where I use blogs:
In each of these, blogging is required. The class web site is also a blog. The large lecture class with TAs also has an instructor wiki (not linked here) to exchange information between TAs and I.

Imagine that you are going to pilot the use of a blog, wiki, or podcast in a spring 2006 semseter course on this campus (either your own or for another teacher) what might you try? Describe the pilot and some discipline and/or course specific tasks or objectives that the pilot would hope to facilitate?

This isn't really relevant to me as I already use these technologies.

I would be interesting in joining one or both of your new working groups (see notes below) (a) Teaching and Learning With Blogs n Wikis (b) Teaching and Learning With Podcasting and Desktop Audio (c) both

Sorry -- I am going to pass because I feel too busy but I will keep an eye on them in case I get more time.

What would be more useful: Campus-wide support for these technologies adapted to classroom needs (e.g., centralized installation of Movable Type) the way that LAS ATLAS has provided centralized support for segue.
Also, improved integration between campus authentication systems (reduction in the many usernames and passwords) -- this is a major barrier to adopting new educational technologies and a constant headache in class. Finally, reinstate the functionality of campus gradebook and dump WebCT. Okay, I'll stop now.

Christian - I looked at some of the blog posts and comments for the big class. I couldn't tell if the comments were written by others students or by TAs, but they had the feel of TAs trying to improve the work rather than of peers simply asking quesitons or chiming in. I also couldn't tell whether the students were posting only because of the required assignment or if there were some that were follow ups and to keep a theme going. Do you have a sense of how effective your approach has been for building community within the class and whether the software helps/hurts for doing that?
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