Cool Tools for Back to School


The new issue of EDUCAUSE Review presents a set of features on some of the groovy tools and applications that are seeping into higher education: “blogs, wikis, swarms and games.”

Stephen Downes does a great overview on educational weblogging, one which is especially strong in how it presents applied examples. This one leaps to the top my list as the canonical article on weblogs in education, and it will be a welcome addition to my workshops in the future. Whether you are new to the subject or immersed in it, this is a must read.

Bryan Alexander’s piece on mobile learning is loosely based on his brilliant keynote at last January’s NLII annual meeting. My head was spinning after that talk — it was so packed with novel and stimulating notions that I simply could not process it all — and I’m grateful to see it set in type. Bryan is the one of the few people in this field who can get away with citing Deleuze and Guattari, Hakim Bey and Franz Kafka, and he does it with style.

Joel Foreman interviews five experts on gaming and education — a subject that seems to interest many, but which is laregly undefined territory. This is a welcome and engaging primer, full of choice quotes.

A really fine collection of features — and I’m sincerely honoured and humbled to have my own piece on wikis in such estimable company. It’s the longest piece of writing I have done since my Masters thesis… so it was something of an intimidating project. I’m indebted to ER Publisher/Editor Teddy Diggs, who gave me plenty of room to write the article I wanted, while performing invaluable reconstructive surgery on the clunky bits.

The process of putting the piece together was a real learning experience for me, but I don’t pretend that this is the last word. Comments, suggestions, complaints and confessions are welcome about the piece. I also welcome any input to the InsurgenceEmergenceConvergence wiki, which is based on my own NLII presentation last January. The idea is to provide a space in which newcomers to the wiki form can play around and share examples of emergent learning… I’m hoping people will throw in some groovy stuff.

About Brian

I am a Strategist and Discoordinator with UBC's Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. My main blogging space is Abject Learning, and I sporadically update a short bio with publications and presentations over there as well...
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