September 22, 2007
20 Tools to Convert PowerPoints to Flash Presentations
Identifies reasons why you might want to make the conversion and is very helpful because it includes list of known problems. Check it out. [JH]
September 18, 2007
Learning 2.0 is an an online self-discovery program that encourages the exploration of Web 2.0 tools and new technologies. From the site:
This program was originally developed and launched for the staff at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in August 2006 with a total of 352 PLCMC participants creating blogs and many additional guests joining in. Since the program's launch, the exercises here have helped other library systems develop programs of their own, the first being the Yarra Plenty Regional Library system in Melbourne, Australia.
If you're interested in duplicating this program for your own staff, please feel free to do so under Creative Commons. And although PLCMC staff have already completed this program, this site will remain up for your use.
See also New Wiki on Libary 2.0: "The "15 minutes a day" approach to new technology is a growing trend in libraries. This wiki page is designed to provide a practical curriculum for any library interested in putting on their own Library 2.0 program. The whole reason for the '15 minutes' approach is that time is of a big concern, and certainly every library won't have time to build a full curriculum of this sort." [RJ]
September 13, 2007
A Quick Guide to Gaming in Libraries
From the web page: "Gaming in libraries is a very hot topic this year. We are seeing gaming presentations at library conferences such as ALA Annual and Computers in Libraries, as well as entire symposiums dedicated to the theme, articles are appearing in major papers such as the Chicago Tribune, and libraries are starting to report on their successes. Here’s a quick guide to some of the resources available related to the gaming in libraries meme."
LittleBigPlanet. My observations indicate that the only gaming going on in law schools is students playing Texas Hold'em online in the computer lab or the lecture hall. However, some bright LIS student is going to use PlayStation 3's killer application, LittleBigPlanet, to take library gaming into a whole new direction. See Hands-on: LittleBigPlanet and this cute little video: LittleBigPlanet cardboard robot boxing match. [JH]
September 12, 2007
Critical Reading of Electronic Materials by Law Students
Check out Nova Southeastern law profs Debra Moss Curtis and Judith R. Karp's "In a Case, on the Screen, Do They Remember What They've Seen? Critical Electronic Reading in the Law Classroom," 30 Hamline L. Rev. 247 (2007) [Westlaw]. From the introduction:
In 2005, we produced a well-received article and presentation entitled, "In a Case, In a Book, They Will Not Take a Second Look!’ Critical Reading in the Legal Writing Classroom.” [41 Willamette L. Rev. 293 (2005) Westlaw] The article examined the educational foundations of critical reading, as well as, critical reading techniques. The purpose was to establish that law students need instruction in critical reading. In the article, we offered creative solutions that had been successfully used in our legal writing classes.
In the two years since, we have found it necessary to reconsider the problem of critical reading in the law school classroom, in light of the different formats in which students may be presented with material. Our first article centered on reading cases in a paper format. This article focuses on the different problems that arise when students read electronically - on a computer screen, rather than in a paper format.
Part II of this article discusses the biological and physiological differences readers experience when reading on a computer screen versus on paper. Part III discusses our uses of on-screen reading in the law classroom, and establishes why this is a very real situation law students encounter. In Part IV, we offer solutions for assisting students in their practical on-screen reading skills, as well as, thoughts on how to improve their critical reading in this format.
September 04, 2007
The Role of Virtual Worlds in Education
Looks like some of us may need to attend a professional development seminar on how to use a Gameboy, Xbox, PS3, Nintendo, etc. All new to me. The only computer games I've played are The Oregon Trail with my step-son (my wagon train usually starved to death) and Links (used to be able to shoot par); the only online game I once played is Texas Hold'em (win some, lose some; not nearly as interesting as real world play at El Cortez in Las Vegas after CALI sessions).
Check out Sharon Stoerger's It's Not Whether You Win or Lose, but How You Play the Game: The Role of Virtual Worlds in Education: Annotated Bibliography. From the introduction:
"Boring" and "dry": these are two words that today's students often use to describe their experiences in school (Prensky, 2001, 2003). Oblinger (2003) asserts that these new students - individuals "raised on the Internet and interactive games" (p. 44) - may have expectations that are not met by the current "skill and drill" system of learning (e.g., Gee, 2003; Steinkuehler, 2005). They, and more specifically the Net Generation or the Millennials (Carlson, 2005; Oblinger, 2003), come into the classroom equipped with different attitudes toward education, as well as a diverse array of technological skills. These individuals want more than the traditional lecture format; instead, they are seeking out authentic and active educational experiences, like those found in video games.
According to the Entertainment Software Association (2007), the typical game player is 33 years old and has been playing games for more than 10 years; 38% of these games players are women. But, this is not to say that younger individuals are not playing games. They are, and as Lenhart, Madden, and Hitlin (2005) report, the majority of teenagers are now using the Internet; further, 81% of these teens (or approximately 17 million individuals) play games online (p. 35). More importantly, though, the exposure to certain technologies, like video games, may have altered the minds of these students, or "digital natives," in such a way that educational theories that worked in the past may not in today's world (Prensky, 2001).
It is important to emphasize that these technologically savvy students are not searching for an easier path; on the contrary, as Steinkuehler (2005) suggests, these individuals are seeking out cognitive challenges via video games. Gee (2003) continues this line of thought, and argues that in the world of video games, "hard is not bad and easy is not good" (p. 165). Therefore, some educators, like Barab and his colleagues (2005), propose a different type of educational model. This alternative is one that blends together games and learning, while adding one ingredient that is typically absent in education - fun. Despite evidence to suggest that there are benefits to the interactions that take place within these rich, complex worlds, the fact is that the educational community has been slow to adopt the use of new technologies in the classroom (Hitlin & Rainie, 2005).
The articles that are summarized in this bibliography examine a wide variety of topics including immersion, creation (versus memorization), and game innovation, as well as Csikszentmihalyi's (e.g., 1993) concept of flow. Many of the authors take a constructivist rather than an instructivist approach to the topic and draw from the work of scholars, such as Piaget and Vygotsky. One theme that is repeated throughout many of these articles is the lack of empirical research and the reliance on anecdotal evidence that suggests conceptual learning. While the focus of the articles included in this collection is primarily on the positive aspects of educational gaming, references to concerns, such as violence, bias against girls, and game addiction are included, as well. In general, this annotated bibliography is an attempt to pull together and examine a corpus of the available literature on the topic of virtual worlds in educational settings. It is by no means an exhaustive list of resources; rather, it includes some of the more commonly cited sources related to the use of this type of technology for the purpose of teaching and learning.
March 13, 2007
Ohio Online Education Boom
In 2005, over 42,000 of the state's college-goers or 10 percent of the students enrolled in public universities, took at least one class online in 2005.
The Ohio Learning Network, a wing of the state's Board of Regents, recently published a study about Ohio’s online higher education efforts.
The study found that half of the online learners were full-time students, and two-thirds of them were women.
- Two-thirds were female.
- Half were 25 or older.
- Half were full-time students.
In Ohio, as elsewhere, many campus officials report that their online offerings are growing more popular with traditional students looking to squeeze extra credit hours into a semester.
Much of the information for this story is from the Columbus Dispatch story by Bill Bush.
Karen R. Schneiderman, Research and Instructional Services Librarian, Drexel University College of Law Library
February 16, 2007
Blackboard Launches Scholar, a Social Bookmarking Service
From the press release: Scholar is "a free, innovative social bookmarking Web service, aimed at connecting faculty and students and enhancing teaching and learning. This new tool enables millions of Blackboard users -- including faculty, students, and administrators -- for the first time, to connect on a regular basis across institutions, and share resources. Scholar allows members of the Blackboard community to save and classify bookmarks and searches, share resources with faculty, students and administrators from other institutions, automatically update courses with dynamic content feeds, and enable student contributions to course collections." [JH]
November 29, 2006
Forum on Legal Education in a Networked World at Harvard Law School
The Berkman Center is hosting a forum on the impact of technology and the Internet on legal education and training on December 7. Web-, pod-, and virtual-casting of this event is expected. Check out Gene Koo's announcment on the Law School Innovation blog for more details. [JH]
November 16, 2006
Professional Reading: The Pedagogy of Online Dialogues
The Pedagogy of Online Dialogues: an empirical study of asynchronous discussions at Harvard Law School (pdf) is Gene Koo's “3L paper” submitted in spring 2002 in completion of his J.D. studies at Harvard Law School. Drawing from surveys and textual analysis of discussions happening adjunct to classes at Harvard Law School, the author examines how computer-mediated intra-class communications fit within or challenge traditional legal pedagogy. Although the data set is small, Koo preliminarily conclude that online discussions can either defy or reify existing cultural dynamics within the law school classroom such as unequal gender participation. Koo provides practical guidelines for how professors can conduct online discussions to encourage better participation; suggest technological improvements to the medium itself; and identify areas for further research.
Gene Koo is a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society as well as Director of Online Training at Legal Aid University. Gene maintains a personal blog, video vidi visum : virtual and contributes to the Law Professor Blogs Network's Law School Innovation blog. [JH]
November 14, 2006
Automated Podcasting for Educational Use
David Aldrich, Bradley Bell and Tim Batzel of the University of Washington have written Automated Podcasting Solution Expands the Boundaries of the Classroom, a paper that looks at an automated podcasting solution for educational use. The authors review design considerations for a university podcast program and include an overview of the University of Washington's podcasting architecture.
Cross-posted on Law School Innovation blog. [JH]
September 29, 2006
Yale U. Plans to Offer Some Course Materials, Including Lecture Videos, Free Online
From the Chronicle:
"Cameras are rolling in Yale University classrooms this fall, as part of a project to make video recordings of several courses available free for anyone to view online.
Yale is the latest institution to pledge to create "open courseware," in which detailed material from courses is placed online in the hopes that it will be used by educators and students elsewhere."
Check out the rest of the story [sub req]. [RJ]