Friday, 11 May 2012

Weekly Learning Technology Digest... 11

Image by chotda, under a
CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license
This could well be my shortest weekly learning technology digest ever! What with a Bank Holiday and the fact that I've been ill for much of the week, I'm pretty sure that plenty of things simply passed me by.

Still, there are always interesting bits and pieces happening in the world of learning technology so the ones that caught my eye this past week are...

  • 'Making the case for creating Open Educational Resources' - I rather liked this article from Steve Mackenzie, De Montfort University, which not only outlines the case for making OERs, but gives a good overview of the area if you're not entirely sure what people are talking about when they mention 'open' in education!
  • Along those same lines came an article from ZDNet which asked 'Are universities reluctant to use iTunesU' - the short answer seems to be 'yes'.  The longer answer is 'look at the barriers mentioned, then think what they might mean for your institutions'.
  • The popularity of 'social readers' in Facebook also appears to be collapsing according to BuzzFeed - and if you've had the experience of seeing a link to a news article within Facebook and following it means you have to install a particular app to read it (which then puts you off entirely!), then you'll simply nod and say 'I'm not surprised' to this one.  The counter-argument is that it's Facebook's layout which is diminishing the use of them, but... they really *are* very irritating! It just shows, tying someone in to your environment / forcing them to install something to access content they can easily get elsewhere isn't the best way to go about things!
  • Which is intriguing, because apparently Facebook have just launched their own app store... interesting...
  • 'Carpe Diem' from the University of Leicester - this one is a couple of years old, but I saw something which reminded me about this approach to online course design and I think it's worth flagging the resources here.  The workshop outline / model is particularly useful for course teams working on new online programmes - worth a read.
  • So, flipping the classroom is a new buzzword... but... what about 'making the classroom turn cartwheels' which Cathy Davidson from Duke University is advocating - where students themselves build the content and course for open public consumption.   Some really innovative approaches to the curriculum in this article.  Connected, open, creative seem to be the key elements here.
  • Finally, Hangouts On Air were pushed out worldwide by Google - if you haven't got them yet, then they're coming.  This is potentially very big news for education, but (and I'll blog about this early next week) I think there are some key issues which we can't dodge when thinking about their role.
You know, every time I say there wasn't very much to note... there always was!  It's really hard to ignore the 'openness' agenda at the moment and with developments of social / collaborative tools... they seem to be pushing one another forwards all the time.

See you next week!

Sarah

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