Friday, 6 July 2012

Weekly Learning Technology Digest... 19

Image from Craig Allen, under a
CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license
What a rainy week it's been!  I seem to comment on the weather most weeks at the moment, but it really is a pretty grim excuse for a summer.  The one up-side of it is that you're less likely to want to go outside and having something interesting to read is more appealing (cue link to the weekly learning technology digest!)...

So... here are a few interesting ed tech things to read that I spotted on the web this last week...

  • JISC Inform 34 came out at the tail end of last week - too late to be included in last week's digest - but it's rammed full of excellent articles including one from Aaron Porter about the student experience, an interesting article about TED talks and more about future researchers and their use of technology.
  • From The Guardian came a provocatively titled piece called 'Academics need to spend more time  teaching and less time marking' and as someone who's spent hours and hours and hours and hours of her life marking... often at the expense of other far more worthwhile things... can I just say... yes! There has to be a better way out there...
  • For a few learning and teaching ideas, although this has been out for a while, I saw something which reminded me how handy the 3E Framework from Edinburgh Napier University is for thinking about elearning within the curriculum.  The Es stand for 'Enhance', 'Extend' and 'Empower' - from fairly basic enhancement with technology to empowering learners for a world beyond their degree.  Useful examples in there too.
  • I also liked the 'Introduction to Instructional Design: videos' shared by George Veletsianos at the University of Texas.  These are some great resources 
  • Something a little more techie - Google did some spring cleaning in summer - which is their way of telling you what they're stopping supporting.  This time out iGoogle is due for the chop in November 2013, and Google Talk Chat Back as well as Google Mini are going.  Google do this from time to time which is why a good approach to their tools is to stick with the core tools, and treat the others in a more thematic way.  In other words, 'I'm using this as a way to support cloud-based note taking' rather than 'Google Notebook is *the* tool for note-taking'.
  • That said, LifeHacker offered 'The Best Google features you're probably not using' and there are lots of things there that will make you go 'oh, that could be handy'... which is always handy!
  • Mobile technologies continue to grow and an article in ReadWriteWeb called Top Trends of 2012: The Continuing Rapid Growth of Mobile points out very neatly how this is happening. Mobile is increasingly going to matter in learning and teaching - why not take learning out of the classroom?
  • Oh, and don't think that openness wasn't on the agenda - another article in The Guardian's Higher Education Network asked Are open educational resources the key to global economic growth? - and some of the figures shared in this article are pretty darned impressive to say the least!
  • Talking of mobile, one of the biggest mobile apps is Instagram - which is a photo-sharing app, but which allows people to give their images a vintage feel through the use of filters - and if you fancy some ideas on how you could use it in education... Education Rethink gave Ten Ideas for Using Instagram in the Classroom - which was good of them!
  • The final thing to share this week is a video resource... this one is pretty long at 40+ minutes, but since our students love to use Google Scholar, then why not point them towards a video that helps to teach them about it?

And that... is just about that for another week!  Here's hoping for a bit of summery sunshine in the next few days... at least the flow of information and news will continue to brighten things up regardless of the weather!!

Stay dry.  Stay inside.  Stay happy!


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