On Friday, SL-NET held its first professional development activity. Shaun and the other committee members did a great job pulling it together. CDB Barkley and Max Chatnoir talked about what educators are currently doing in Secondlife. At one point, we had about 35 “people” present.
There are more pictures available at the SL-NET website.
Since last January, I’ve been using a blog for my classes at Red Rocks Community College. I post what we’ve done in class, so the students don’t have to try to get in touch with me if they miss class or forget. I also have links for each class.
It finally occurred to me this week that a wiki might suit my needs better, so I’ve started one at PBwiki, though I don’t have anything in it yet.
I guess it seemed logical to use a blog because I was making regular chronological posts about the classes. However, the students aren’t commenting on the posts–at least no one has to date–so I don’t really need that feature. Another problem with the blog is that during times when I’m not teaching a particular I can’t save the related links in the sidebar except by leaving that element on the page. In the wiki, I can just hide (or not link to) a page I don’t need during a semester, but the content is still there. With the wiki, I can also embed a widget from Box.net for the folder with the files for the class rather than just linking to the page.
I just read in a post on the Socialtext blog about an article in the Telegraph, which states that Wikipedia “is to stop people from editing entries after a series of questionable updates cast a shadow over its accuracy and reliability.” Does anyone really believe that Wikipedia has ever been accurate and reliable? This is certainly a case of too little too late. I won’t let my students cite an article from Wikipedia in any papers they submit. I know of some faculty members who require their students to use Wikipedia but only to demonstrate how inaccuate and unreliable it is.
Citizendium, an encyclopedia project that aims “at credibility and quality, not just quantity,” and Scholarpedia, a “free peer reviewed encyclopedia written by scholars from all around the world” are already traveling on the path that Wikipedia seems to want to take.
This week’s issue of the Metaverse Messenger has an article (starting on p. 22) about the christening of the Gloriana on Renaissance Island on August 18. I was mentioned and pictured in the article because I submitted the name that was chosen for the ship in the contest.
As I mentioned before, I’m using a Ning social network for my hybrid technical writing class at Red Rocks. Each week the students have to do an online assignment, most of which will be in site, where they can post in forums or on their own blogs.
Their first assignment was to join the site, post an introduction, and respond two at least two other people’s instroductions.
In class yesterday, we talked about tools for technical writing, primarily rhetoric and technology. Here is their second assignment, to be done this week:
On the web, find a free or trial version of a software program or web-based service that may be used for creating documents, communicating, and/or collaborating (as discussed in Chapter 3 of the textbook). Test the program or service. On your “My Page” create a blog entry in which you tell where you found it (be sure to include a working link to the website), explain what it does, and discuss its strengths and weaknesses. Use the name of the program or service as the title of your blog post.
I’ve also joined another Ning social network. This one is called College 2.0, and it’s for people in higher ed who are interested in online education and Web 2.0.
TouchGraph Google Browser (also available for Amazon.com and Facebook) shows connections between websites listed in Google’s database. You can graph connections based on URLs or keywords. Here’s part of the graph I got when I put in “instructional technology” with the quotation marks. I focused on the section with CU-Denver bcause that’s where I’m taking an instructional technology class.
I read about it on TechCrunch.
Also posted at Issues and Trends in IDT.