Thursday, September 24, 2009

Twitter in your Teaching

Is it just me or are you seeing the word ‘Twitter’ almost everywhere these days? I live in a semi-rural community and last weekend I was leafing through my local free community newspaper and I stumbled across a quarter-page announcement saying that I can now receive updates via their Twitter-feed. Wow! When the local community-based newspaper has a twitter feed that really emphasizes the fact that Twitter is everywhere!!!

So if it’s everywhere you have to ask yourself, how can you use Twitter for Teaching? Well, luckily other people are asking themselves that question too. I received an email from Amber Johnson who recently wrote an article on the subject called “50 Terrific Twitter Tutorials for Teachers”. She put me in the loop about the article because one of the blog posts on e-Learning Acupuncture (this blog post about Twitterfall) was selected to be included in the list of 50 terrific items.

If you are looking for ideas and information on how to use Twitter in your teaching then this article is certainly a good starting point. If you have your own idea about how to use Twitter in your teaching then be sure to let us know about it by leaving a comment below.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Social Media is BIGGER than you think? Are educators lagging behind?

This fantastic blog post and associated YouTube video embeded below really made me think about how marketers and business people view the fundamental shift in how the Internet is being used. The read/write web of Web 2.0 and the social media phenomenon sweeping our culture is fundamentally transforming how people use the Internet. Smart business people and smart advertisers are taking notice and taking action. What are educators doing? Are we using Facebook, Wikipedia, and YouTube in our classes? If not, are we lagging behind?

Watch the video and tell us what you think by leaving a comment below. Are educators lagging behind? Are we taking action? Is it the right type of action?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

How do I learn to teach online?

For some teachers, there are misconceptions about the process of teaching online. Some think teaching an online course is exactly the same as teaching in the classroom. Well, as a practitioner of both types of teaching I can attest that they are significantly different processes. So if you have never had the opportunity to be a student in an online course or have never had a mentor who can teach how to teach online then where do you gain the knowledge and skills?

There are few different answers to this question. You could go to school to learn this material. That’s what I did. However, if you don’t have the time to invest in that route, luckily there are many resources your can read that will help you develop and improve your skills. Today I came across one particularly good one. It is the Online Handbook for the University of Colorado Denver and it is available freely online.

It has four major sections: 1) trends and issues in online learning, 2) examples technology in action in online courses, 3) a brief overview of 25 emerging e-Learning tools that you can use in your teaching, and 4) additional resources for the online teacher.

This document is fantastic. It covers a wide breadth of topics from instructional design, multimedia, Web 2.0 tools, social networking, blogs, twitter, collaborative work online and has a significant amount of material on how to effectively use online discussion in your course.

If you are new or experienced in teaching online, this will be valuable reading. There is something in here for everyone.