Wen's Woffle

An intermittent blog for work and play!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Several useful finds this week

This is a very simple explanation of RSS (video).
http://www.commoncraft.com/rss_plain_english

And here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEFKfXiCbLw is a very thought provoking video on technology in teaching...making the learning/teaching experience engaging... sent to me by Leigh Blackall, he asked for considerations. Here's my response to it-
This is like a well designed advertisement by Saatchi and Saatchi. Great musical score! Very inspirational. Is this an advertising stunt from the apple imac/ipod people? Technology is a wonderful way to engage students and help them learn. There is so much potential. Unfortunately the video comes from one view point, and judging by some of the comments this annoyed some people. I can see their point to some degree. Coming from a non-teaching background, I can only comment about my own experiences as a learner, and it did come across as the bee all, and I don’t necessarily think technology is the bee all and end all of good learning experiences-
a) you need to know how to use it,
b) the content needs to be engaging , and
c) I think good teaching practices and course design is still at the heart of effective learning, with or without technology. One size doesn’t necessarily fit all.
For me there needs to be variety and balance. jsdt4 is right when he/she says podcasting is a great way to connect with students, but you still need to make the casts interesting. I believe you need to use the technology effectively. For example I’ve recently read several wiki’s, that for me, were a real let down and quite frankly boring. They contained screeds and screeds of writing, and were not much fun to read! I just switched off, literally. So I don’t think the author’s of the wiki’s (in my case) gained anything by using their wiki as a learning platform. They needed to engage me and they didn’t. So I suppose what I’m trying to say is, the new technology is great! Use it, but use it wisely.

P.S. still a great video

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