Accepting a challenge: only good if you follow through...
A few weeks ago, my good ole Twitter friend and fellow tech enthusiast Kevin (@kevalliere) challenged me on a blog topic. I happened to have been watching several videos from iTunes University about social media and educational technology. I also happened to have made the comment that there were a lot of great resources here.
And almost instantly, Kevin replied:
Yea I know, a few weeks have come and gone. I am not going to let this challenge go unsettled/incomplete (Achiever is my #1 and Competition is #10).
Here are a few resources from iTunes University that are engaging and informative.
These are out of the iTunes U Collections. They are primarily videos, but some are just audio. They are also in no particular order as I found them all note worthy.
Social Media & Technology - Appalachian State University
Center for Social Media - American University
Social Media - American Public University
Social Media Society - University of South Florida
Faculty Development for Online Teaching - University of Minnesota
Teaching Online - University of Arizona
Faculty Tutorial Videos of Desire2Learn - South Dakota State University
What I found overall is that iTunes University has a little something for everyone that is interested in learning a little more. Are these intensive videos much like most coursework many of us have completed? Not necessarily. Some are video podcasts of courses being taught, but others are a simply information to get a conversation started. My next adventure in to the world of iTunes U is to do a little self teaching using photo editing software.
Have you explored iTunes U? What was your favorite course or content that you viewed?
Want to challenge me to post on a particular technology topic? Comment below!
Would you rather to share on a tech topic and need a home for your thoughts? Contact me about guest blogging here!
A couple weeks ago I was finishing up my last couple classes for my Master's (while exciting, not the center of this post). The last project for my Adult Learning course was a group project. We were given a theory and were charged with the task of designing a case study. It was left to us if we wanted to create a paper, but a presentation to share with the class was mandatory. It seems kind of odd to make it a requirement for a presentation to be made, but here is the reason.
The class was an online course.
An online group project, that sounds crazy and impossible. Well, to be honest, it was neither. It was not a crazy assignment nor was it impossible. While desire2learn (I am calling it E-Learning from here on out) has some software to allow for file sharing, it is not tremendously helpful in file creating. The solution was simple, Google.
I took the lead in getting my group members over to Google. I provided any assistance that I could via our group discussion board on E-Learning. The transition was smooth. Collaboration immediately occurred as we were able to work and chat in real time. Utilizing the comment feature allowed us to make notes for each other when we work on the assignment on our own, and it was a great success.
Regardless of a campus being a Google powered campus or not, why are we not teaching these tools in our work/classroom? We expect students to learn to work in groups. We often are found working together on various projects. We probably assume that students already know about Google. We probably take advantage of our shared drive and are always wishing we can access it from home. At the end of the day, where is the formalization and confirmation that we all do in fact know about Google?
Is it perhaps that we are unsure of its potential? Is it that we have not been formally trained? I have no formal training, but I can tell you some of the immediate benefits of using Google:
Collaborative work spaces - Work in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel like documents all at the same time! While I don't suggest it as a final product, it does generate great rough drafts of papers/presentations/publications.
Sharing is Caring - Google Drive is much like the shared drives on our computers. We can create folders and files to share with each other. Great for group research, creating an inter office filing system of commonly used documents.
Professional email - This one is a trick because you do not have to have Gmail to have an account with Google, but as we talk about being career ready, a student could take advantage of Gmail and create a professional looking address to use on resumes.
Embedding - There is the ability to embed your material into websites, online portfolios, and whatever other embed enabled tools you have access too. My tutorials on this site are nothing more than Google Slideshows.
Google+ - Much like a professional email, a Google+ profile is an exceptional way to start building a positive, professional identity for you or your students. Most people use Google to do their internet searches. Google+ is a product of Google. The opportunity for someone to see that profile is almost immediate. Take advantage of that and start sharing yourself in a professional manner. No to mention the capabilities of Google communities, hangouts, and a few other extra perks (more on that perhaps later)
These 5 simple benefits is truly the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using Google. Now, check with your institution things like information storage, but for the most part, you will be good. It sounds like one more thing to learn, but this is a real time saver in the long run. If you have questions or if you have success stories using Google, comment below!