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Circumnavigating the blogosphere

It’s been busy in blogland while I was away. My RSS feeds are full of articles! Here’s some tidbits:

The problem of U of Phoenix ads showing up on the web next to small colleges in searches (something that has been noticed in this region) warranted an article in the Chronicle. After the Phoenix president was confronted at a conference this practice was corrected. But search engine ad placement will always be tricky for small institutions that don’t have large marketing budgets.

I might have to be careful here if I ever need to change jobs! I am liking these Chronicle first-person articles by pseudonym-ed professors from midwest liberal arts colleges.

The Encyclopedia of Distance Learning looks interesting (though pricey). The table of contents is most impressive as is the editor list. Judith Boettcher visited Augsburg a year or two ago (I forget exactly when) and she was an impressive woman to talk to.

I was listening to the World’s technology podcast (July 8th) and was interested in the segment on the role of social technologies in the London bombing aftermath. With most voice communication networks overwhelmed, people used their blogs to post “I’m alright” so that friends and family would know. And camera phones and social picture networks like flickr generated immediate pictures of the aftermath. Even though the voice systems were overloaded, the phones could connect to the internet and upload pictures! One woman started a wiki for people to build an information center on the tragic event — several news outlets followed with pages for people to post their accounts. It seems like these technologies are linking people both in text and images after a major tragedy like never before.

In addition, On The Media had a bit on wikipedia’s entry on the bombing. It fascinates me that this page did not exist and then was created and is filling with information on the event. And the page will continue to change as details unfold. The segment is worth a listen. It really helps differentiate wikipedia from an encyclopedia and from the media. The social nature of these technologies — wikis, blogs, personal devices, flickr — fascinates me in that they allow for the construction of information in almost realtime by everyone.

Sloan-C View and Blended Learning

The latest issue of the Sloan-C View has some initial results from their April workshop on blended learning. They defined some key elements of blended learning:

Courses integrate online with traditional face to face class activities in a planned, pedagogically valuable manner in which a portion (institutionally defined) of face to face time is replaced by online activity.

I am looking forward to some further publication of workshop results.

ok, m-learning heating up

I noticed several m-learning posts in the blogs I read. Here is a link to mlearnopedia.com in case you want to read more about m-learning.

m-learning again

Things haven’t been too exciting for me in the blogosphere as of late. But from the Online Learning Update, this article on m-learning for ‘hard to reach’ young people is interesting. I could see how the Net Generation (still working on that book, I’ll summarize soon) could take to m-learning. In case you haven’t heard, m-learning is the term coined for mobile learning often with cell phones or PDAs. I don’t think it would work for me. I still have a cautious truce with my cell phone. It’s never glued to my ear nor do I enjoy looking at its little screen. But I am not of the Net Generation.

Achieving Success in Internet-Supported Learning in Higher Education

A new study from the Alliance for Higher Education Competitiveness looks at what makes for successful internet-supported learning. That could be online classes, or just courses that use the internet in a significant way. Their difficult-to-read website offers the full report in PDF, chapter-by-chapter on the web, or a summary version. It’s a bit big to look at right now but…..

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