I am running two workshops at ALT-C 2008 next week, one on mobile learning and the other on Web 2.0.
Hood 2.0: it’s a Web 2.0 world out there
This workshop will explore how using Web 2.0 can rethink the digital divide.
Gloucestershire College has been using Web 2.0 to enhance and enrich the learning process for a wide variety of learners across the breadth and depth of the curriculum. They have developed a range of learning scenarios and activities that are integrated into the learning process and support a diverse range of learners.
This workshop will demonstrate how Web 2.0 can be used to solve some of the issues facing diverse learners in this era of Facebook. YouTube, Twitter and then some…
The concept of Web 2.0 services in addressing the tensions between formal and informal learning, and empowering learners to take responsibility for their own learning will be examined. Then, how we need to address the pedagogical needs to drive the use of Web 2.0 services and not be blinded or awed by the technology of Web 2.0, will be explored.
During the workshop participants will be able to discuss and debate different learning scenarios and activities which utilise Web 2.0 services. Web 2.0 services will be used to demonstrate these scenarios.
Participants will discuss and debate these scenarios in small groups, covering how they could be utilised within their own institutions, examining the potential conflict between formal learning scenarios and the informal learning scenarios that Web 2.0 offers.
The groups will also discuss how the pedagogy needs to drive the scenarios and not the technology and address how Web 2.0 can empower learners to take responsibility for their own learning. Each group will provide feedback through either a blog entry, an audio podcast or a video presentation. These will then be made available online to allow participants to comment and continue the discussion beyond the workshop, and also allow other conference delegates to participate in the discussion.
After the workshop, the participants will have a greater understanding of the role of Web 2.0 in addressing the digital divide.
They will have considered how Web 2.0 can help resolve the tensions between formal and informal learning; discussed how Web 2.0 technologies in themselves mustn’t drive the learning, but support the pedagogy; and debated how Web 2.0 can empower learners to take responsibility for their learning.
The participants will have presented the results of their discussion and debate, through the use of a variety of learning technologies, to other participants and to other conference delegates.
Nice article on some of the academic uses of Twitter which I found out about after reading a blog entry on Twitter from Lindsay Jordan.
The article by Dave Parry says:
I thought I would explain how I use it, specifically for academic related uses, and teaching.
Includes a really interesting observation on the way that learners used Twitter for classroom chatter.
The first thing I noticed when the class started using Twitter was how conversations continued inside and outside of class. Most of these conversations were not directly related to class material, but many were tangentially related. Because the students had the shared classroom experience when something came up outside of class that reminded them of material from class time it often got twittered. This served as a reinforcement/connection between the material and the “real world.”
The whole article is well worth reading if you are wondering about the academic benefits of Twitter.
In case you are still wondering what Twitter is…
One thing about Twitter is that you need to “do it” to really understand it.
Many of these ideas would also work for Jaiku (and in some cases with the threaded commenting could work better).
I have always been disappointed with the battery life. My original intention was to use the UX1XN as my main conference computer, my first attempt was at the JISC digitisation conference in Cardiff back in 2007.
It’s small enough to be unintrusive, unlike a laptop which can be a bit of a barrier, it has two cameras which enable me to send images to Flickr or take short video clips, and the keyboard is usable unlike the fiddly mobile phone type split keyboard of the Q1 Ultra. You can also use it without needing to put it on the table or on your lap which makes it ideal in the conference hall or break-out room environment.
However as I said at the beginning the battery life is the downer, I only really get about an hour and half from it, and this means that it won’t last the day at a conference.
So recently I ordered the extended battery for it, which should make it usable and hopefully last the day at a meeting or a conference.
I have therefore been practicing using the keyboard, which is quite thumbs orientated, and have managed to get a reasonable speed using it.
I wouldn’t want to write a long blog entry (like this one) on it, but for entering URLs or posting tweets or jaiku postings, I think it will work just fine.
Now of course what works well in the conference means that it would work equally well in the classroom or lecture theatre or workshop as a communication tool for learners.
Alas Sony no longer produce the UX1XN in the UK and though available from some suppliers still, generally you would need to get another UMPC if you were going to provide them to learners.
Excellent blog article on though Twitter is winning the battle in the numbers game, Jaiku will win the war once Android starts shipping.
What if Google where to build Jaiku into Android as the standard phone Address Book? As soon as Android devices started to ship, Jaiku (whatever form it takes in the future) would gain hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of users rapidly.
Personally I much prefer Jaiku over Twitter, the RSS and the comments allow for me a much deeper richer experience, more importantly as well it allows for interactivity much more easily than Twitter. This for me is why Jaiku has more potential for e-learning than Twitter.
However, ever since Google bought Jaiku, sign-ups have been restricted, let me know if you want an invite, and there have been quite a few 504 errors with Jaiku slow and unresponsive at times.
Hopefully with a day off tomorrow for Jaiku (what am I going to do) Jaiku will get even better and more reliable.
Follow me on Jaiku, though as you might expect I am also on Twitter.
I demonstrated Jaiku at ALT-C and then sent a good hour out of session taking to a English Literature lecturer who was very interested in using Jaiku (or Twitter) to enhance a session on discussing a book.
The book was set in a cafe, and he wanted the students to go to a cafe and then post their observations and discuss the book whilst drinking in a cafe.
Obviously you could do this face to face (difficult in a cafe to find enough chairs) likewise you could use a moodle discussion forum (such as this one), however one of the strengths of using something like Jaiku or Twitter was that the students wouldn’t need a wireless laptop, all they need is a phone capable of SMS and what student doesn’t have a phone these days?