EVENT: Teaching and Learning Uses for Social Networking Technologies

A little while ago, I tuned in for 3 of the speakers in this event, and found them all to be very different even though they share a theme (educational uses for social networking technologies). I’ll include my notes from each speaker below, so you can get an idea about the type of projects discussed. You can find the description of each session on the event website.

Some interesting points that I found in all three presentations:

  • You have to integrate the technology into the teaching and learning. It can’t just be added on top of an old learning structure, and expect the students to engage with it. Things have to be properly planned out and executed to the best of your ability!
  • With these ‘social’ technologies, the students are a part of the process, not just a casual observer. You may not want to give them the power to veto your use of certain features, but it can be useful for them to feel included – especially when the technology doesn’t work the way you were expecting. Their input and feedback is as important as yours (maybe MORE because they are supposed to be getting an education out of it!).
  • Choose solutions that utilize interfaces most users are already familiar with. Getting “past” the technology is often one of the hurdles to having an engaged group.

(My notes on each speaker below)

What Can Social Media Aggregation Contribute to Teaching and Learning?

Thomas Ho

Students not as inclined to do blogging… but maybe more receptive to micro-blogging. Wants them to post thoughts and reflections on their learning.

Likes diggo

Friend Feed used to aggregate the content.

cit499.info – uses Netvibes to display all of the aggregated content (Twitter feeds, social bookmarks, friend feed, podcast, etc.) Feels almost like a CMS, as it displays all of the content for the course.

blog.cirt499.info – his blog during that term

http://learnstream.info/ – uses this to collect all of his course info, using tabs

An Investigation of the Effects of the Creation and Use of a Student-Generated Podcasting Knowledge Base on Learning, Teaching and Technical Support

Howard Rosenbaum

Computer course that all students have to take. “Computer information tools”

Pedagogical models, and technological workflows so that the students could produce podcasts. 50 students, divided into groups.

Now trying to assess the impact of video podcasting on learning, teaching and technical support.

Building a podcast knowledge base. Now have 140 students taking the course. Each student will generate a podcast that has to do with learning a technical skill or information literacy. Will build on the knowledge base over the next few terms.

Using a control group (with podcasting module, but no access to KB) and the other two sections having access to the KB. KB students will be encouraged to refer to the knowledge base whenever possible.

How many hours did you spend on your assignments? how did you work, what resources did you use? how did you like it?

KB group: When, how, where did you watch the podcasts and how did you use them? Students can vote for the podcasts that they like.

What is the workflow involved for faculty & students as they become more involved in the podcast work? (unanticipated consequences, etc.) What are the needs that, if not met, could become problematic? What are the invisible requirements of the technical staff in order to make this technology transparent to the users?

Interested in the impact of the technology on teaching.

Using a blog for interactive training delivery

Chris Payne

How to support people after the workshop? Historically, offers of one-on-one in person (as well as email and phone, like we do!). Web 2.0 increases possibilities of supporting users with technology!

Blog –

  • informal rapid development of training content to supplement workshops
  • interactive – facilitates communication with users through commenting
  • Navigable – familiar interfaces, easy to use
  • Searchable – easy to categorize and search for training content
  • Growth – easy to engage non-IT Training authors
  • Integration – works with other W2.0 technology (subscription via RSS, etc.)

WordPress used

  • mature open-sourced bloging tool
  • free

ittrainingtips.iu.edu – this is their blog with lots and lots of articles

Have had the blog up for 6 months. Have 94 posts, and lots of hits (5,000 hits per month), but aren’t yet getting the user engagement (i.e. comments) that they would like to have yet. Using Google Analytics for stats.

11 non-IT Training authors

Ability to list multiple authors for a single post? (you can do this? need to look into it)