Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The View on the Horizon

The 2007 Horizon Report is now available. This collaboration between The New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative is a must-read for anyone involved with teaching and learning in higher ed. This annual report discusses key trends, critical challenges and technologies to watch that will impact higher education.

The key trends they have identified this year:

  • The environment of higher education is changing rapidly
  • Increasing globalization is changing the way we work, collaborate and communicate
  • Information literacy increasingly should not be considered a given
  • Academic review and faculty rewards are increasingly out of sync with new forms of scholarship
  • The notions of collective intelligence and mass amateurization are pushing the boundaries of scholarship
  • Students’ views of what is and what is not technology are increasingly different from those of faculty
Over the next few weeks, we’re going to discuss each of the following six Technologies to Watch in more detail and I look forward to hearing your comments and questions about integrating these into your classroom.
  • User-created content
  • Social networking
  • Mobile phones
  • Virtual worlds
  • The new scholarship and emerging forms of publication
  • Massively multiplayer educational gaming
The first two of these technologies, user-created content and social networking, are already established on many college campuses. The time to adoption is one year or less. Are you using them?

Download your copy of the report today and start thinking about the possibilities.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I'm Your Teacher, Not Your Internet-Service Provider

Is this what you wanted to say to your students? If yes, read this article I'm Your Teacher, Not Your Internet-Service Provider and you will find more shared experiences between yourself and the author.

Although the article was written back in 2003, it looks like the students are still the same. 24/7 office hours, the students missing the deadlines, technology difficulties......the frustrations are still in the online courses, too. However, the author was not beaten by all of these, instead she had a positive attitude and shared a lot of thoughts and suggestions on finding the solutions in the article.

By the way, it's a very humorous one and really worth reading:-)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

New Treasures in OpenCourseWare

As a valuable and innovative distance learning resource, OpenCourseWare has grown up firmly in the recent years (for more information, read another post OpenCourseWare Grows Up). Along with the development of OCW, a bunch of useful tools and resources have been provided for the users to benefit more from OCW.

For the OCW provider institutions, eduCommons, a learning management system designed specifically for OCW, is freely available now. The participating institutions can simply upload their course materials into eduCommons and have an OCW site similar to that of Utah State University. Such a LMS may take OCW into its next period.

For the users, OpenCourseWare Finder is a handy tool to browse or search for courses in specific disciplines. Some other open resources include Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, Flickr: Creative Commons, and so on. Various resources can be found on these websites, including electronic books, text, music, media, image, and animation. All the resources are free, but usually some rules apply to the usage of them, including non-commercial usage, share-alike distributing, etc. It is a good idea to check the websites for such requirements before one uses the resources.

More and more people are taking advantage of OCW. According to what I learned in a seminar on the UH main campus last Friday, the Utah State University OCW has approximately 2000 visitors per day. The number is continuingly increasing, while is still not the most among all the OCW sites. Among all these users, 48% are self-learners, 31% are students, and 15% are faculty.