Digital Literacy Centre

The Affordance of Social Media in the Classroom

July 23rd, 2009 · No Comments

This week the Digital Literacy Centre has been offering workshops on the Affordance of Social Media in the Classroom. The workshops are examining a number of typical Web 2.0 applications and the ways in which they can be used in the context of pedagogy. There is growing interest in the educational prospect of these kinds of tools and applications, and particularly since they are part of a Digital Generation’s common literacy.

Here is one example of an attempt to create a collaborative space for educators and students called the Social Media Classroom and Collaboratory (HERE). The Wikinomics blog (here) posted by Danny Williamson describes it thusly:

“The project, created by Howard Rheingold, describes itself as, “an invitation to grow a public resource of knowledge and relationships among all who are interested in the use of social media in learning.” The site is a series of Web 2.0 tools (it offers forums, wikis, blogs, chat, social bookmarking, microblogging, social video, curricular materials, resource repositories and an online community of practitioners – available as an install or SaaS) that help to facilitate collaborative, student-led learning across a distance. The value of this project is not simply the ability to slap a 2.0 paintjob on an existing system but rather as a means to enhance the learning process.”

Tags: Digital Literacy · digital media in the classroom · Digital Resource

Cliff Missen, eGranary & Widernet

May 11th, 2009 · No Comments

Quote: Cliff Missen is Director of the WiderNet Project and an Instructor in the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Iowa. Following a year as a Senior Fulbright Scholar at the University of Jos (Nigeria) in 1999, he founded the University of Iowas WiderNet Project which has delivered technology training programs for over 4,000  African university administrators, librarians, and technicians. Missen oversees the development of the eGranary Digital Library, an innovative way to deliver the worlds knowledge to people and institutions with inadequate Internet access.

Quote: With installations in over 200 schools, universities, clinics, and hospitals in Africa, India, Bangladesh, and Haiti, the eGranary Digital Library provides lighting-fast access to educational materials — video, audio, books, journals, Web sites — even where no Internet access exists. Removing the barriers imposed by inadequate infrastructure and costly connectivity, the eGranary makes it possible to put immense libraries into the hands of the information-seekers everywhere. The current collection, which is both updatable and customizable, contains over 10 million documents. That includes over 1,000 Web sites like the Wikipedia, the World Health Organization, and the Gutenberg Project. Few people in the developing world have adequate connections to the Internet and those that do are spending enormous amounts for their connectivity. For those without an Internet connection, this library is a phenomenon. Even those with an Internet connection experience documents opening 3-5,000 times faster from the eGranary Digital Library while saving enormous bandwidth costs. Our objectives are to grow the application of this off-line technology to provide broader access to whole communities (leveraging local computers and networks), to work with partners to include more of their local content, and to develop social entrepreneurial franchises that will spread and maintain this low-cost innovation.
From: Stockholm Challenge

Cliff Missen talks about meeting the information needs of developing countries at the DLC Tuesday, May 26 @ 1 PM. Bonny Norton from  LLED is the discussant.  See our Events page for more details.

Tags: Digital Archive · Digital Literacy · Digital Resource · E-Learning

QR Codes for Learning

April 17th, 2009 · No Comments

This quote is from an interesting piece entitled ‘7 Things You Should Know About QR Codes.’ The full pdf is available from Educause.edu

“QR codes link the physical world with the virtual by providing on-the-spot access to descriptive language and online resources for objects and locations. In this way, the codes support experiential learning, bringing scholarship out of the classroom and into physical experience. They offer expanded pedagogical value in exercises that draw students into creating and contributing content. In history projects, students might research information about local sites, write up what they have learned, generate QR code for their content, post the codes at key destinations, and tour the sites where a network of information from other students has been posted. Such exercises move students outside the bounds of the campus and into city centers, historic neighborhoods, and manufacturing districts, where learning becomes a matter of exploration. Because much of the information in QR codes is browser-based, students engaged in study abroad can use the codes to read websites in their native languages or turn a local destination into a foreign-language lesson. Finally, the greatest importance of QR codes could lie not in their specific use, which may be superseded by newer codes and interpreters, but in the opportunities they offer for moving away from keyboards as input devices in learning environments.”

Tags: Digital Literacy · E-Learning

In the News: Teaching for the 21st Century

April 9th, 2009 · No Comments

LINK
“Teaching for the 21st Century” is a collaborative initiative between British Columbia School District 62 (Sooke) and faculty at the University of Victoria, the University of British Columbia, and Simon Fraser University. The project is garnering some attention and was highlighted by the Goldstream Gazette earlier this week. Researcher-practitioners teaching in a Victoria-area school are joining forces with university researchers to examine the use of and possibilities for e-readers in high school settings. Two classes of students in a Victoria-area school have been given Sony E-Readers. The Electronic Textual Cultures Lab at the University of Victoria is building a corpus of electronic texts comprised of classroom readings with the expert help of Serina Patterson, and these texts have been loaded on the e-readers so that students have all of their materials on one machine. A team of researchers, including Teresa Dobson (UBC), James Nahachewsky (UVic), Ted Reicken (UVic), Ray Siemens (UVic), Devon Stokes-Bennett (West Shore Centre for Learning and Training), and Kirsten Uszkalo (SFU) will study the way in which students employ these devices in their learning.

Tags: E-Learning