Friday, 5 October 2012

Weekly Learning Technology Digest... 28

Image from Reuben Chase, under a
CC BY SA 2.0 license
Oh dear - I've managed to miss another weekly learning technology digest.  Freshers' Flu got me!  Ah well, all better now, so let's see what interesting stuff has happened out there this week.
  • One of the first things I spotted was a new report out from Educause: ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology 2012 and if you can make time to read it, it's a very useful perspective on students' relationship with technology and this isn't just based in US-institutions, there is global representation which makes this one to bookmark.
  • Towards the end of last week Google announced More spring cleaning and this is essentially where they let users know what's disappearing!  One of the most significant changes is the removal of Gadgets from Spreadsheets - if you know what those are, then you'll know why this is something you need to be aware of!
  • Not sure when this one came out but I did notice it during the last week - Teaching skills from the academic jobs site and I thought that it might be a useful primer for anyone new to teaching / with a role which impacts on learning and teaching.
  • Now for a few facts and stats... Move Over Twitter: Instagram Now Boasts More Active Mobile Users - this is an interesting one - 7.3 million active users per day on Instagram vs. 6.9 million per day for Twitter during August.  That's a real shift and if you haven't got Instagram on your radar as a potential learning technology... then it's worth a peek - think photo sharing, think hashtags, think location mapping, digital storytelling... then... go play!
  • Other numbers - Google Says Apps For Education Now Has More Than 20 Million Users - so reports TechCrunch.  That's a lot of educational usage of Google going on.  We're developing support / policies for Google Apps in learning and teaching here at the university, so with a growing body of users out there, it would be great to know if anyone's heard of someone doing something great for us to learn from - whatever the source!
  • Meanwhile, Facebook hits 1 billion users a month.  One.  Billion.  Let's write that out... 1,000,000,000.  Wowsers.  And if you think that's a lot, there have been 1.13 trillion likes.  Yes - trillion.  Mind bending stuff!
  • If you're looking for other places to find new toys... I mean... technology to have a look at and to hear the latest in what's being developed in the wider world, then MakeUsOf provided a really good list of 10 Technology YouTube Channels You Can't Miss which while having a US-slant, are generally worth subscribing to.
  • I also found that this article on Video: Our Most Misunderstood Teaching Asset was a thought-provoking one.  We've got some great support available if you're interested in using video from our Teaching Technology Team plus the facilities in the Creative Media Suite over in the Information Commons are available 24/7 - what's stopping you?
  • For some new teaching ideas you might like 5 Tech-Friendly Lessons to Encourage Higher-Order Thinking - from podcasts to infographic construction, there are lots of ways to get your students' creative juices flowing!
  • A copyright update from YouTube that's useful to be aware of appeared in Wired - apparently they're updating the algorithms to reduce invalid copyright claims - which will be good news for some as the automatic suspension has been a real problem (as we've blogged about before)
  • Oh yes, and Future Undergraduates: Colleges are Cyber-stalking you and there's nothing you can do about it.  Don't you just love it when I end on a cheery note?  I guess this is just a further nudge that awareness of your own digital footprint is now an important social, educational and employability skill.
It was also National Poetry Day on October 4th... so... this week's video is a little poem for educators...

Have a great weekend and I'll see you next week for another run-down of learning technology loveliness!


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