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My initial experience matches well with yours. The iPad is a nice device to have around the house. (Of course, when you leave it about, your son will grab it and start playing games or even reading with it.) I can also imagine an iPad serving as a laptop replacement when traveling, depending on one's computing requirements. I have also been impressed when testing the Blackboard Mobile Learn app. It has few clunks to work out, but is actually very good for viewing Bb content including Word document and PowerPoint presentations.
Toggle Commented Apr 12, 2010 on 7 Days with the iPad at CC blog
Does this imply that your Bb Mobile work aids and abets addicts? How does it feel to contribute to feelings of abandonment?
Thanks for all the Bb teaching and learning. Hope you are enjoying your new position. Keep on truckin. -Brian
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2009 on Goodbye and Hello... at CC blog
Sounds like it could be fun, and a good thing to view all the portable curricular media that Josh clamors for. Microsoft may be going in a noticably different, but also interesting tablet direction: I wouldn't mind having one of each, but what will the pricing be?
Cool. I like the way that "students" and "faculty" are orthogonal.
Good questions and comments, Clayn. Sorry that I was a little unclear (sloppy?) in my comment about sloppiness. I meant that since I wouldn't recommend sloppiness in an academic setting, I wouldn't recommend that particular video as an exemplar of scholarly work. I meant it very specifically about that video, not the medium. Aadmittedly, I was being a little provocative with my "hallmark" commment. However, I did temper the comments with "almost seems like a hallmark." I don't really think that there is anything inherently sloppy with social media, but I do think that a lot of social media seems to be spewed out with limited review. As a counter to that generalization, we seem to be having a reasoned, thoughtful discourse in this social media setting. A little more such thoughtfulness and review before putting things in the "river" could be a good thing. I wonder if part of the issue is one of "audience," a factor that is traditionally considered in rhetoric. If the Social Media Revolution video is seen as essentially an advertisement for a book, and the audience is people who might buy the book, then maybe its level of "facts" is ok. As a example of scholarly work about social media, where the audience is other scholars, it's not ok.
You can see a lot of the particular problems with the video pointed out in the comments at . And I will give Erik Qualman credit for at least giving a list of sources and responding to people's critiques, and he makes reference to an improved version 2 of the video. Having students do projects in various media can be useful, although to do it well in any particular unfamiliar medium may take significantly more time. The option of publishing to the wide world should be used carefully however, in my opinion. As one is learning a topic in an academic setting, I can certainly see publishing to a class blog to solicit peer comments in addition to instructor comments. To publish something of academic integrity to the wider world, it should be subject first to significant review. I could see such publication being a culimnating goal of some college courses.
Maybe it's not necessary to distinguish between audio and text for all the books. Perhaps just mentioning a particularly good (or bad) reader when appropriate would be useful.
Toggle Commented Sep 14, 2009 on August 2009 books at CC blog
Josh, did you listen to some of these and read print editions for others? I have noticed that some books come out better in one form or the other, and that a really good reader can really help. It might be nice to know for which ones you had a good audio experience.
Toggle Commented Sep 14, 2009 on August 2009 books at CC blog
I agree with Malcolm's and Josh's conclusions here - using technology to serve learning, telling the students about why it's being used. However, I'm a little baffled about the student's example of "bad" and "good" lecture capture. To summarize: In two courses recordings were made of class periods. In a large physics lecture, full videocasts were created. The student complained that these worked to the detriment of the class, since with complete recordings, not as many people came to the lecture. In the other course, presumably a smaller one, students were doing some of the presenting and were more involved in class interaction. And since "the weekly problem sets were based on the material presented in all three lectures, the podcasts provided a crucial tool that students could use." I'm confused about why a student wouldn't get benefit from reviewing the physics lectures in an analogous way he/she would reviewing the other course recordings. The material on the weekly problem sets and exams in the physics class would have been contained in the physics lecture recordings. (I have observed someone auditing both Physics and Astronomy classes using these full videocasts which capture what is displayed on a computer, what is written with chalk, and what is done as demonstrations. The material in class is important on the problem sets and exams!) And on the other side, why couldn't a student skip the smaller class meeting and just view the slide presentations and listen to the podcasts to do the weekly problem sets? The student's logical distinction between the two classes and the effectiveness of the class recordings doesn't seem to fly.
I'm not sure I would want Dartmouth students doing such shoddy academic work. The "references" for the statistics quoted in the video are at . I started to look at a few: Stat 1. By 2010 Gen Y will outnumber Baby Boomers….96% of them have joined a social network Ref 1. Source: Grunwald Associates National Study – Info highlighted on Trendsspotting Blog Comment 1. The reference does not say anything about size of Gen Y versus size of Baby Boomers. Generation Y is not clearly defined, but most would have it's birth year ending around 2000. So how is it growing? Or are the Baby Boomers dying off at high rates? The actual reference says 96% of teens/tweens have used some form of "social networking technology including IM/chat, text messaging and email." That does NOT say that they have joined a "social network", at least as I think of a social network. Also the reference is much more narrow that most definitions of Generation Y. Stat 2. Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web Ref 2. Source: Huffington Post Comment 2. The Huffington Post is not an original source. In this case Huffington references a Reuters article about a book by Bill Tancer, "Click: What Millions of People are Doing Online and Why It Matters". What Tancer, who works at Hitwise, says in his book is that searches for social networking sites are greater now than searches for porn sites. It doesn't say that social media is the #1 activity on the web. I think the most interesting thing in the Reuters article is Tancer's statement "With the explosion of this type of false information on the Internet I think we will see someone come forward and develop a new type of software that can filter for the most accurate information. Maybe accuracy is the next thing we will all search for." Maybe this new filter could be applied to this Socialnomics video! Stat 3. 1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media Ref 3. Source: McKinsey Study also posted by David Dalka Comment 3. The source is a blog by David Dalka, referencing "McKinsey". I couldn't easily find the original reference, but since it's in a blog so I guess we should believe it. Also, the video lifts the exact phrase "1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media" from Dalka's blog entry which was posted in 2006. The video is posted in 2009. So what year are we talking about? And the sloppiness keeps going and going. There is lots more questionabble stuff like "Attempting to relocate" the source and: Stat 10. % of companies using LinkedIn as a primary tool to find employees….80% Ref 10. Source: Jobvite Social Recruitment Survey Note: 80% will use social networks in their assessment. 95% will use LinkedIn in their assessment. When we revise the Video needs to be updated changing “their” to “a” primary tool need to see if we bump 80% to 95% Comment 10: This "survey" is by a company that offers online and Web 2 job recruitement solutions. The is no mention of who actually was surveyed. I doubt it was a random sample of all businesses across the US, or the world. Stat 17. Wikipedia has over 13 million articles…some studies show it’s more accurate than Encyclopedia Britannica…78% of these articles are non-English Ref 17. Source: - calculated based on # articles per language category Comment 17. There is no reference for the studies that "show" Wikipedia to be more reliable that Encylopedia Britannica. Stat 32. According to Jeff Bezos 35% of book sales on Amazon are for the Kindle when available Ref 32. Source: Henry Blodget Silicon Alley Insider Comment 32. Here the source actually has a picture with Jeff Bezos and a chart. OK, but note that the actual statistic is 35% of the sales are for the Kindle when the book is available on Kindle. The video leaves out the "when available on Kindle" part - this is a somewhat significant part of the statistic. This sloppiness almost seems like a hallmark of social media. I wouldn't recommend it in an academic setting.
Here's another example of using Blackboard quizzes with the emphasis on learning and not on grading. One of our Med School courses, On Doctoring, uses Blackboard quizzes as preparatory exercises for small group sessions. The quiz questions are constructed by the instructor and include multiple choice, multiple answer, matching, fill-in-the-blanks, and image hot spot questions. So it's a little more involved to get the quizzes set up (it's time consuming as Anthony points out), but it's all automatically graded. The students are required to take the quizzes, but their scores are not included in their course grade calculation. The students can take the quizzes as many times as possible using any resources, sometime before class, with a goal of getting at least 70% (most do a lot better). Their immediate reward is a copy of the quiz answer key (automatically made available using Bb adaptive release when the quiz score > 69). The reward for the course instructor and small group leaders is that the students are much better prepared for small group sessions.
I was critical of the design of the advertisement, not the product. And that's just my pedantic nature. I've worked with innovative online programs.
Toggle Commented Jul 30, 2009 on Time for a new university? at CC blog
Blackboard's next move? More litigation: "...Blackboard is continuing its litigation against Desire2learn on other intellectual property issues involving patents that the company has been granted since the Alcorn patent. And, according to Blackboard Chief Business Officer Matthew Small, Blackboard will appeal today's decision. Small characterized Monday's ruling as a disappointment, but a minor one in the company's plans." -
An online program is certainly a different experience compared to a residential college. The ad seems targeted to people who can't or don't want to attend school full time. If you can deliver the same or better quality education to someone at home, that is different from the approach of residential colleges, where offering lecture recordings is more of an adjunct to the main experience. (There seems to be a logical fallacy in the ad - the professor says he has failed the students in the classroom, but then he argues that he has failed the people he doesn't reach in that format. Doesn't make sense. But whoever claimed advertising was logical.)
Toggle Commented Jul 30, 2009 on Time for a new university? at CC blog
Josh, I just can't consume book reviews in text format anymore. Minimally, I need a rich media presentation. Can you do a video mashup for each of these? ;-)
Toggle Commented Jul 29, 2009 on July 2009 books at CC blog
Josh, I like the social enhancements that you suggest. Speaking of social enhancements, when are you going to invite me to the lavish parties in your colleagues' offices?!
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2009 on BB world questions at CC blog
This is an interesting report. I wonder about the uses of the term "face-to-face" in the Dartmouth "myth" versus its use in the Dept. of Ed. report. They seem somewhat different to me. Although not defined explicitly in the report, I assume it to use "face-to-face" to mean dealing with any course that meets with a physical presence. With this meaning I'm sure there are many "face-to-face" courses at Yale, Harvard, and MIT. In the Dartmouth "myth", I assume "face-to-face" means more direct contact with instructors, that Dartmouth does instructor-student interaction better. So the report doesn't seem to me to be a myth buster. It does suggest that to maintain an advantage, perhaps more attention could be given to online elements in courses. Dartmouth could do "blended" better and still hype instructor-student interaction. Also, the conclusions in the study do go on to say "Despite what appears to be strong support for online learning applications, the studies in this meta-analysis do not demonstrate that online learning is superior as a medium, In many of the studies showing an advantage for online learning, the online and classroom conditions differed in terms of time spent, curriculum and pedagogy. It was the combination of elements in the treatment conditions (which was likely to have included additional learning time and materials as well as additional opportunities for collaboration) that produced the observed learning advantages. At the same time, one should note that online learning is much more conducive to the expansion of learning time than is face-to-face instruction." If faculty put more thought and effort into teaching (including online activities), and students spend more time learning, good things may result.
I could see having one or two students being specifically responsible for coordinating the internet connections during a class session. They could prepare ahead of time to be the expert Google-meister (Anthony's role in the course he helped teach) or a tweet interpreter/collator. That role could rotate.
Toggle Commented Jul 13, 2009 on Tweeting in the back row at CC blog
How about trying screencast-o-matic? It's browser-based (Java applet) and allows upload to YouTube as well as exporting the resulting video. I have made a sample and it works, but have not uploaded anything to YouTube.
Even before Blackboard bought WebCT, they bought Prometheus (aka the "Edsel" of learning management systems). I think that was the end of Prometheus.