Playing with Technology

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

Afternoon session

After lunch we broke into the small groups to begin discussions. I went to the tagging group and came away with some interesting ideas for applications of tagging in the classroom. One is to have the class search the tags that they think relate to the topics being discussed and evaluate the relevance of the resources discovered. This helps educate students about judging sources and introduces them to tagging. Then let them look for their own resources to tag and have them develop a taxonomy for the course. This gets them to think about meta content and larger themes.

Another idea was to have small groups tag resources for their projects and share them with each other. This provides a very easy way for the students to share the research they have found. Another thing that was discussed was the application of flickr in the classroom. No one really had a strong sense of where flickr fits into the classroom.

After twenty minutes we were to move to different groups if we so desired. It turned out that everyone joined the pedagogy discussion. It was an interesting discussion touching on issues like can we force sudents to blog, how do we measure the impact of social software, how will the use of social software in teaching be viewed when faculty are up for tenure. We then moved onto the remaining topics.

I went to the specific tools discussion as did most of the group. We looked at and how tags come into play, flickr, and Moodle. The discussion focused on giving people an idea of what was there and what was possible.

In the showcases I was really impressed with Gnosh and rideboard which were shown by Mike Richwalsky. I asked Mike if he planned on making rideboard open source and he said he thought he would. Very exciting. I also think the Skype conference idea showcased by the Oberlin i.t folks has some very interesting possibilities and I look forward to learning more about it.