Friday, 22 June 2012

Weekly Learning Technology Digest... 17

Image from carboNYC available under a
CC BY 2.0 license
It feels like a really short week this week some how - despite us passing the longest day as we headed towards this Friday!  Despite that feeling, it's still been a week which had oodles of interesting bits and bobs to look at and think about.

Let's start off with a bit of tech news...
  • Guess what?  Microsoft launched a competitor to the iPad* - it's called the 'Surface' (which sounds like a weird combination of Apple's 'Siri' and Facebook) and there was an interesting article in The Guardian about the Apple-ification of Microsoft which is worth a look.
  • Academic publishing: The essential checklist for ebook authors isn't tech news particularly, but if you are thinking about new and different models for producing content these 5 ways to improve your content might be right up your street.
  • ... and if you're wondering why ebooks are worth thinking about, then IDC Increases Media Tablet Forecast should flag that the growth of mobile computing with more tablets shipping is a trend to watch in terms of the delivery of learning on such platforms.
  • 8 Resources for Preventing and Detecting Plagiarism is also related to ebooks - if you're creating ebooks or encouraging your students to do so as part of their learning, then you really do have to get your head around the issue of plagiarism and think about how to prevent it (as far as possible)
  • Plagiarism from CommonCraft is a nice little video (in the style of the other 'plain English' type videos they've put out in the past) and might be a good way to introduce your students to the topic
  •  Meanwhile, Stanford are upping the pressure on higher education institutions worldwide with the news that they're adding a social learning component to their free online courses. When you're talking about enhancing courses with an enrolment of 400,000 students, this is learning on a really massive scale.
  • Extending the learning environment from JISC came out as well and is a really fascinating publication - instead of thinking about virtual learning environments thinking about distributed learning environments as well as looking at open institutional data (a very hot topic).  The message is that students want a seamless experience and if you'd like to find out more, then head off to that publication.
  • Playing at war, pestilence and death (but it's only a model - shh) was a fantastically titled article in the Times Higher Education and if you've heard of serious gaming but aren't sure how it might apply in your teaching practice, then this review of how serious games have been used at a range of instutions is a great place to start.
Oh, and I forgot to mention 'Using social media to boost student employability' and 'Teaching with Twitter' which The Guardian's Higher Education Network put out recently and which I stashed away in my bookmarks for later!

Quite a random selection of stuff I think - everything from serious games to plagiarism, ebooks and a little sprinkling of social media.  And Surface.  Already that seems to have slipped from my mind.  Whoops!

Until next week!


* other tablet computers are available!  :o)

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