Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Diigo for Teaching and Research

Cloud, mobile, social (i.e. sharing) - three 'buzz words' that are constantly being heard in regard to technology. Many of these web-based tools are very useful to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom as well as online. All of them are lifelong tools that can enhance personal and professional interactions, collaborations, and communication.

Diigo is described as a "research and knowledge sharing community". I create course groups for my students and build a professional development library with relevant content that students can continue to use after the course is completed and they leave the institution. This can easily become an annotated bibliography that provides students with resources on an ongoing basis. Diigo is a lifelong technology that is mobile, i.e. accessible anytime, anyplace, on smartphones, tablets, or ultrabooks.

In her blog post "Diigo for Professional Development", Dianne Krause provides additional thoughts and perspective for your consideration. Diigo is an excellent technology for both students and faculty as they collaborate, communicate, connect, and co-create knowledge.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How to find original sources of pictures from the web

Have you ever wanted to use a picture in your academic work but could not because you could not find the original source? Well, Google is here to help. According to this article, the process of floundering through the misleading paths is easier than would would think. While there is not a tool that tells you where a picture is from, this is pretty close. Now the trick is properly citing the sources in APA, MLA, Turabian or whatever other form you are supposed to use in your given discipline.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Educause: 7 Things You Should Know About...Flipped Classrooms

In early May my post, "TED-Ed and Flipped Lessons", provided information about the new website within TED that provided strategies and content that might be used to create a 'flipped classroom'. Recently, I came across yet another valuable resource for flipped classrooms - this time from one of my favorite educational organizations, Educause. Their Series "7 Things You Should Know About..." has consistently provide valuable resources regarding emerging technologies recommended for the classroom. Articles focus upon the questions:

  1. What is it?
  2. How does it work?
  3. Who's doing it?
  4. Why is it significant?
  5. What are the downsides?
  6. Where is it going?
  7. What are the implications for higher education?

This particular two-page resource "7 Things You Should Know About...Flipped Classrooms"  includes essential facts and answers to the above questions on flipped classrooms. Clearly flipped classrooms can enhance classroom time and allow faculty to customize student assistance. Also, mobile technologies play a huge part in access and availability as the flipped classroom gains popularity. Placing increased responsibility on the students' shoulders can also result in added benefits.

After reviewing this resource, are you interested in flipping your classroom?


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Microsoft going after Facebook and Twitter

Is Microsoft going after the big 2 of social networking? Microsoft has just opened their social search site www.so.cl to everyone. Microsoft seems to make it clear in their FAQ that So.cl is not intended to compete with social-networking giants such as Facebook or Twitter. "It is an experimental research project using a minimal set of features which help combine search with the social network for the purpose of learning,". Is this a way of saving face if this is not a hit? Let's see if it catches on or if it is a little too late for Microsoft.