May 31, 2008

Become an ANGEL Mixer: Blending Web 2.0 into Your Courses

ANGEL 2008, SUNY CIT 2008: Become an ANGEL Mixer: Blending Web 2.0 into Your Courses

Where: Cincinnati, Ohio (ANGEL Conference), Geneseo, NY (SUNY CIT Conference)

When: May 2008



Web 2.0 brings many things to mind: tagging, sharing, podcasts, RSS feeds, social bookmarking, mash-ups, blogs, wikis, overhyped, and what is it really? Although not easily defined, it can be characterised as a constantly changing hyperspace of collective knowledge built on innovative, continually emerging technologies and the sharing and collaboration of users. Web 2.0 is the common platform that makes it easy for people to create and remix content, share their knowledge and expertise, and collaborate with others.

Most everyone has benefitted personally and professionally from Web 2.0 and social networking services such as eBay, Craigslist, and Flickr, and Blogger, although the majority of instructors have not used them for teaching and learning. However, faculty experienced in these technologies agree that their strengths — engagement, participation, and collaboration — have potential to improve student learning.

Developed before the emergence of Web 2.0 applications, course management systems have become popular among faculty because they excel at organizing and delivering course materials, facilitate communication with students, and are easy to use. Although there are built-in course management system tools that encourage feedback and participation, a recent Educause survey revealed that students still prefer the convenience of accessing assignments and checking their grades. Discussion forums rate low on their learning usefullness list. The recent of incorporation of wikis and blogs into ANGEL courses provide promising opportunities for student involvement, but their initial release is limited and in general LMS vendors will be hard pressed to replicate these services within their own environment.

If we seek to improve student learning through blogs, social bookmarking, mash-ups, and video sharing, how can we facilitate their access within learning management systems? Join me to examine possible strategies that integrate content from these applications into ANGEL courses through the use of RSS feeds and personal portals. During the session we will look at specific examples that demonstrate instructional uses of “Web 2.0” applications.

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