Playing with Technology

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. ~Arthur C. Clarke

Let’s make a book

PediaPress 1 got me to thinking. Having students construct knowledge is a great thing. They feel more invested, they hopefully understand the concepts, and they can look at their results with a sense of accomplishment. There are lots of ways to have students construct knowledge but the wiki is probably the most recent method to be “widely” adopted. A wiki assignment provides so much more flexibility than a paper. Students can come back and revise their thoughts over the course of the semester, they can see the history of their thinking (as can the instructor), and they can see the feedback provided by their peers. Even more a wiki makes it extremely easy for groups or even the entire class to participate in constructing a collective understanding. But what happens at the end of the semester? What do the students take away from the assignment? They have produced a living docuement but may not be able to access it after the course has ended. This is where PediaPress enters the picture. PediaPress allows you to select content from a wiki and turn it into a book form. You can choose a hardbound book or a PDF version. This is what students can take with them when they leave the class. I think it could be a very useful tool and something we should let faculty know about.



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