Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How Twitter can be used as a powerful educational tool

How Twitter can be used as a powerful educational tool

Think Twitter is just a waste of time? Think again. Its organizational structure makes it an effective tool for connecting with students and others online

Learning how to filter through tweets will bring clarity and meaning to Twitter and will get you past the mosh pit of random thoughts and lackluster chitchat.
(Editor’s note: This is part three in a series of articles about how to build students’ web literacy and research skills. In case you missed them, here are parts one and two.)
On Feb. 10, 2011, the world was transfixed on the protests raging in Egypt. We all watched as thousands gathered in Tahir square, where they had been for the past several weeks, to listen to a speech by President Hosni Mubarak. Many figured this would be his resignation speech. Instead, it offered the citizens of Egypt very little in the way of change, even if it was being presented as something positive. For outsiders looking in, it seemed that the situation would only get worse.
What Mubarak might not have known is that while he was trying to maintain his iron grip on power, thousands of Egyptians were tweeting about their frustration with the dictator. Eventually, the people on the street, armed with nothing more than a cell phone and a free social media site, changed the course of history.
If you are a middle or high school social studies teacher, and you wanted to provide your students with a close-up view of the events unfolding in Egypt, you could turn to a traditional news service. Or, you could follow the hashtag #Egypt on Twitter and tap into the real-time pulse of unfolding events by people on the streets of Cairo.
Through our previous articles, we have introduced you to three pillars we believe are essential to be web literate. We have shown you how to use advanced search techniques to raise the quality of information found on the web, and we have explained how the information you find can be organized into a comprehensive library of knowledge using powerful web tools like Diigo. In this final part to the series, we will demonstrate how tools like Twitter can allow a researcher to share what is learned with the world, tap the knowledge of others to help make even stronger connections with the material, and even provide students with real-world problems at a moment’s notice.
Attend Alan November’s premier ed-tech conference and get $100 off the cost of registration!
For more information about Building Learning Communities 2012, to be held in Boston July 15-20, click here. Get $100 off the cost of registration when you enter the promo code eSchoolMedia12.
At first glance, Twitter doesn’t appear to hold much value. Who cares about Justin Bieber’s haircuts! In fact, we both saw it as a waste and quit using it two or three times until we truly understood the organizational structure of information within this tool. Learning how to filter through tweets, organized using hashtags, will bring clarity and meaning to Twitter and will get you past the mosh pit of random thoughts and lackluster chitchat.
A hashtag is nothing more than a word or phrase (with no spaces) that is preceded by a # symbol. Examples include #edchat, #london2012, and #youthvote. Simply type a hashtag like one of these into Twitter’s search box to immediately generate results that are focused around the topic of your choice. Tagging is a beautiful thing, and a tag is something you can invent at any moment.
If you’re interested in a topic, but you don’t know of a hashtag that will be helpful with your research, simply do a search in Twitter using a keyword rather than a hashtag. Then, scan the results to see what hashtags people are using when they are discussing that particular topic.
For example, Brian did this the evening of President Mubarak’s speech, and he discovered that the two most popular hashtags being used at that time were #Egypt and #Jan25. By looking through the resources he found, he was able to see what the world was saying about this event. But then, Brian took it a step further.

Top higher-education technology news: August 2012

Top higher-education technology news: August 2012
Here are some of the top higher-education technology news stories in our July/August 2012 edition.
eLearning programs have gotten a reprieve from a controversial federal rule that some people viewed as too heavy-handed; a new resource helps ed-tech leaders understand the various standards for ensuring that campus technology systems are compatible with each other; and two recent court rulings have important implications for campus technology use: These are among the top higher-education technology stories in the July/August edition of eCampus News.
Our July/August edition is now available in digital format on our website. You can browse the full publication here, or click on any of the headlines below to read these highlights:
eLearning programs get a reprieve
The U.S. Court of Appeals has sided with an earlier court ruling that would eliminate a controversial federal regulation that some higher-education officials characterized as heavy handed and a potentially devastating blow for online learning…
Ed-tech leaders schooled on interoperability standards
When campus technology directors purchase an innovative product from one vendor and a new upgrade from another vendor, they can find themselves in a tangle of incompatible formats. A primer released by the Software & Information Industry Association explains how adoption of interoperability standards can streamline technology systems in K-20 education…
Colleges join web giants in long-awaited IP change
June 6 was perhaps the most important day in the history of the commercial internet, and hardly anyone noticed…
Admissions officials: Students shouldn’t bank on multimedia gimmicks
College applicants shouldn’t rely on a viral YouTube video to spring them from the confines of a university’s lengthy wait list, admissions officials say—despite the success of one high-profile applicant whose video plea recently went viral…
For colleges, social media ‘Klout’ isn’t everything
A blitz of retweets and Facebook likes can be a nice boost for a college’s social media presence, but measuring success with the popular Klout score could give schools a false read of their Twitter and Facebook influence…
Court: Facebook posts about student’s lab cadaver justified punishment
The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that the University of Minnesota did not violate a mortuary student’s free-speech rights by punishing her for Facebook posts about the school cadaver she was working on, which included “satirical commentary and violent fantasy.” But the court, in one of the nation’s first decisions addressing college students’ online free-speech rights, said the sanctions imposed by the university were justified by “narrowly tailored” rules directly related to “established professional conduct standards.”
Judge: Schools can publish small excerpts of texts online for students
In a case closely watched by academia and publishers, a federal judge in Atlanta has ruled mostly in favor of Georgia State University in a copyright case that would allow professors to continue posting excerpts of published works online for their students…

Saturday, July 28, 2012

EduDemic: 10 New Ways Twitter Is Changing The College Lecture

Posted: 25 Jul 2012 01:30 PM PDT
intel-bridge-the-gapWe've been trying to figure out what the classroom of the future will look like for, well, years. But it's been all discussion, analysis, and data. Lame, right? Time for a visualization!

Posted: 25 Jul 2012 08:30 AM PDT
5247270_mDespite the backlash against Khan Academy and the controversial evolution of online schools, it’s clear that bringing education online is a big part of tomorrow’s schools. If you’ve been looking for a simple and relatively hassle-free way to do so, I’ve got good news for …

Posted: 25 Jul 2012 05:45 AM PDT
10twitterlecture10Continuing our theme of using Twitter in education this week, we bring you a look at the ways Twitter is causing the current lecture model to evolve.

BlendKit2012 Coming Soon!

We are pleased to announce the dates of BlendKit2012, this year’s open, online course focused on blended learning: Monday, September 24 – Monday, October 29, 2012 (five weeks).
During last summer’s BlendKit2011, approximately 200 faculty/designers from seven countries registered to participate as part of the cohort engaging with the BlendKit Course materials and with each other.

BlendKit2012 will build on the successes of last year’s open, online course by adding to the existing course:
an LMS-based communications hub for registered participants
· two participant roles for registrants: 1) participant and 2) auditor
· online badges for completion of course activities
· certificates for successful completers of BlendKit2012
· new guest faculty for weekly webinars
· additional faculty case study audio interviews
For more information on BlendKit2012 and the underlying BlendKit Course materials, please visit: http://bit.ly/blendkit2012
If you are interested in either auditing or participating actively in BlendKit2012, please complete the registration form at: http://bit.ly/blendkit2012_registration
Please forward on this message to anyone who you believe would be interested.
You are receiving this message because of your past interest in http://BlendedLearningToolkit.org. If you would prefer not to receive any more messages related to BlendKit2012, please respond to this message telling us so.
Dr. Kelvin Thompson and Dr. Linda Futch
BlendKit2012 Facilitators
Kelvin Thompson, Ed.D.

Assistant Director
Course Design & Development
Center for Distributed Learning

Research Coordinator
Partnership for the Advancement of Distributed Learning (P-ADL)
Graduate Faculty Scholar
College of Education

University of Central Florida



"In times of change, learners inherit the earth
while the learned find themselves
beautifully equipped to deal with a world
that no longer exists."

- Eric Hoffer

EduDemic: 3 Simple Ways Teachers Can Embrace Technology

Posted: 26 Jul 2012 10:30 AM PDT
edtech-cheat-sheet-thumbThere's a whole galaxy of terminology that you should know about when it comes to education technology. From PLNs to Blended Learning to Synchronous Online Learning... it can get overwhelming.

Posted: 26 Jul 2012 08:00 AM PDT
newipadapp-thumbI don't usually use exclamation points in the titles of posts, but this one calls for it. The new, totally redesigned, all-new Edudemic Magazine iPad app is now available.

Posted: 26 Jul 2012 05:00 AM PDT
iwb-thumbUsing technology in the classroom is important for adapting to modern times. While educational professionals have mixed opinions about the value of technology in the classroom, the truth is that technology has become a major part of American society.

Campus Technology Archived Webinar: Getting the Most Out of Moodle with joule®


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

MIT Open Courseware Newsletter - July 2012

MIT OpenCourseWare
Stay Connected to OCW
Stay Connected to OCW

In Cynthia's July 2012 Newsletter

Current Events in Context: Higgs Boson

Installation of an optical alignment system. Image by delaere.
Installation of an optical alignment system. Image by delaere.

Five decades and millions of hours of research might seem like a long wait, but for the group of physicists who discovered evidence of the Higgs Boson particle earlier this month, it was a mere blip in cosmic time and well worth the effort.

Finding conclusive evidence of this subatomic particle puts the finishing touches on the single most likely explanation (excluding gravity) for how the universe operates, called the Standard Model. Although further review of data is required, the experiments conducted at the famous European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), found a particle matching the predicted mass and behavior of the elusive Higgs Boson.

The Higgs Boson is the missing seventeenth particle in a working model of subatomic relations between a group of sibling particles with exotic names like quarks, leptons, and gluons. The forces and energies that interact between these particles are what determine the set of behaviors observed in all matter.

While it's clearly time to pop the champagne, researchers speculate that the discovery may be a mixed blessing. As they start to sift through the experimental data and better understand the properties of this potential Higgs Boson, they will likely discover details that unravel earlier theories. But for all those physicists who love the thrill of the chase, that just means more research, which can't be all bad.

If you want to brush up on your quantum theory, OCW has published several courses that cover the Higgs Boson:

New Courses

Supplemental Resource

Updated Courses

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OCW Course Champion Eva Abraham.  Thank you for your gift on behalf Sam Abraham in support of OCW and the Mathematics course - SP.268
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Highlights for High School

This past weekend, a huge asteroid flew by Earth at a distance of 3.2 million miles, well beyond the orbit of the moon. The asteroid was the size of a city block. Space enthusiasts were able to watch all of the action online during a live webcast of the event.

If you're interested in all things thing related to space, we highly recommend you take a look at our Chandra Astrophysics Institute course. Here you can learn about supernovas, black holes, and colliding galaxies.

> See the Chandra Astrophysics Institute course

OCW in the News

OCW has been selected as one of the "Best Free Reference Web Sites" for 2012 by a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The award is part of an annual series initiated by the MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of the ALA to recognize outstanding reference sites on the World Wide Web.

The OCW site is one of 26 other websites to be recognized this year by a committee of member librarians from across the United States. Selection criteria include the quality, depth, usefulness and uniqueness of the content, as well as the ease of accessing the information. MARS noted that OCW content was "amazingly rich" and "a great resource for self-improvement and for college students who would like extra guidance … in parallel courses."

> Read more about the award

Views from Supporters

"I'm from Pakistan and my college offered very few courses. I started using MIT OCW in 2006 and just learned by myself, specially advanced mathematics courses like Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, Analysis, and so on.

After graduating from college with excellent grades, I got a scholarship to go to LSE for a Masters in Economics. While there, I learned a lot and realised how much more there is to learn.

Yesterday I finished my 1st year of PhD in Economics at Boston University. I will be taking some classes for real at MIT in the next few years.

All through my educational journey, the MIT OCW has been an invaluable source to supplement my classroom learning. I hope to become a regular supporter of this noble cause."

-Talal, Student, Pakistan

> Read more

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