Sunday, November 28, 2010

RWLD #6 - Learning Opportunities

Learning opportunities are made available through new tools, but more importantly, new ideas.  This Module will look at some tools and ideas that can provide additional learning possibilities.

Building Your Personal Learning Network
Back in Module 3 you were introduced to a Personal Learning Network (PLN). At that time you created your own PLN by subscribing to your classmates and some professional blogs. The world of RSS has provided a system for subscribing to things around the world as they occur. New ideas are posted on blogs; new articles are run in newspapers; new journal articles appear addressing specific topics; the latest comics can appear in your PLN instead of requiring you to run all over the world (wide web) looking for what you desire.  

Here are a few videos that explain how you can subscribe to some of these resources:
 Now that you know how to subscribe to various resources for your PLN, it is time to expand your PLN. This is your opportunity to expand your horizons. Dr. Z would love to see what you are doing, but the iGoogle PLN is quite private and there is no way to share it with others.

What you need is some way to create a video tour of your PLN to share with others.  You will have just the tool to create such a video (called a screencast) in a tool called Jing.  Jing is a tool that will record activity on your screen (up to 5 minutes) and then allow you to save it on a server to share with others.

***Read your PLN Assignment to see how you can put these two opportunities together.***

Collaborative Tools
Collaboration is important in today's world.  This isn't limited to a group of learners sitting at a table and working together.  In today's global world we MUST have tools that will allow us to work together regardless of location or time.

Google Docs - One of the most popular collaborative tools is Google Docs. Google Docs is an online tool that will enable you to work with others in a fashion that is less frantic and confusing than emailing copies of projects back and forth between authors.  Here is a short video that does a wonderful job of explaining how Google Docs works.

Here are some instructions for how you can use Google Docs to collaborate with a classmate or friend in being creative:   Getting Started with Google Docs

Another collaborative tool that is used widely throughout the world is the wiki.  The largest reference resource in the world is a wiki, Wikispaces. They are easy to create and even easier to use while working with others.

You have already entered information in our course wiki.  This wiki has been set so that anyone can make changes if they want. It can also be controlled so that only members who sign-in can make changes to it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

RWLD #5 - Learning in a Virtual World

This will be an opportunity to meet, greet and talk with people through virtual means. Review these materials, enroll in Second Life (SL), and explore Second Life.
After you sign-up for SL, remember to post your Second Life name on our Student Contact page.

We will visit the Iowa Island in Second Life. Read the materials and watch the videos below to get an idea of what SL involves. Can you find any materials on the web that you would like to add to our collection?

7 Things You Should Know about Virtual Worlds. A virtual world is an immersive online environment whose "residents" are avatars representing individuals who participate through the Internet. Many institutions are experimenting with virtual worlds for educational purposes. They may foster constructivist learning by placing students in a context that challenges them to learn without explicit learning objectives and assessment.
Using Second Life for Immersive Learning podcast
(Educause Connect Podcast) 14-minute podcast with Dr. Cynthia Calongne, Professor of Computer Science at Colorado Technical University. Discusses how she uses Second Life to provide real-life laboratories for her students.

Educational Uses of Second Life
Interesting 7-minute video introduction to the educational possibilities of Second Life.

Dr. Z's Intro to Second Life Wiki
A series of YouTube videos that Dr. Z found to introduce you to Second Life.
Virtual Social Worlds And the Future of Learning
Learning in Three Dimensions: Experiencing the Sensibilties Imagining the Possibilities of virtual worlds in education.

Dr. Z Explains Making Landmark Notecards in Second Life
A tutorial that Dr. Z created using his avatar in Second Life. It explains how to create notecards that can be used to help direct people around SL.

Assignment (Doing)
Complete the Second Life Education Tool where you will be find 10 or more resources in Second Life and then you will create a landmark card as well as a blog posting where you will share those resources.

Support Videos for the Assignment
Here are some videos that will help you learn how to create the Landmark Tour card and the blog posting for this assignment.

Creating a SL Educational Tool Tutorial - Part 1
Provides an example of the Landmark Notecard and then covers the first part of the process you will use to create this notecard. You will begin by identifying a topic; use the SL search engine to find places dealing with that topic; visit these places; and landmark each of these sites.

Creating a SL Educational Tool Tutorial - Part 2

Demonstrates how to create a new notecard; list the SL sites you will be including in your Tour; drag the landmarks from your inventory to your card; and save the card. Finally, you will see how to submit your card to the dropbox in Second Life.

Creating a SL Educational Tool Tutorial - Part 3
Demonstrates how to create your blog posting that includes the SLurls for each of your Second Life sites. You will copy these SLurls from SL and then use them as links on your blog page.

I hope that these are useful for you to create your virtual world tours.