Thursday, November 12, 2009

Using New Technologies in Unexpected Ways

Leslie Mathews – Fielding Graduate University

This session was packed with useful tools for making learning and working easier and fun! The presenter began by talking about starting with a need and matching the right technology for what is needed. Reading blogs and keeping up to date with literature are good ways to stay current with emerging technologies.

Specific tools that which were discussed included: Flickr; Zoho; Clickers; and Second Life. Real life examples for use of each tool were shared by the presenter – again, packed with great information!

Flickr allows you to create private groups and allows commenting, tagging, and threaded discussions (similar to WebCT). Comments are tagged with date and time stamps so Flickr lends itself to classroom assignments. In the example shared, the librarian’s role was sharing knowledge of technology to help the professor enhance his/her class. Sharing images can help students understand definitions – and creates a collaborative atmosphere where they hear from others who may not speak up in class.

The second tool, Zoho was paired with a function that will make any reference librarian’s life easier. If you get weary of making hash marks on a statistics sheet, its is time to check out Zoho! Hash marks seem futile for lots of reasons: It is not easy to find meaning in them; capturing data is tedious; hash marks are not searchable; and they must be transcribed by someone. Enter Zoho! Try googling “Ellyssa Kroski blog” and you will see a great example of using Zoho to track reference statistics – You can even export the data to Excel.

Clickers are used to put the class in students’ hands and “choose their own adventure” and they are naturals for assessment purposes too. Blending social experience with technology gets students interested in learning.

Second Life is an immersive learning experience where role playing can make students actors at the Globe Theatre- becoming different characters from history (i.e. Dalai Lama) and discuss history from character’s point of view.

Try these links for more technology tricks and have fun:

Storybird – collaborative storytelling: http://storybird.com/
Purdue University Web 2.0 Tools: New Possibilities for Teaching and Learning:
http://wiki.itap.purdue.edu/display/INSITE/INSITE+MAIN
TED talks http://www.ted.com/
David Pogue, New York Times technology columnist: http://www.davidpogue.com/

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