Saturday, February 16, 2008

Emerging Learning Technologies and related practices.

This post provides an overview of current technologies, how they work and where are they going, and why they matter to teaching and learning.

E-Books ----2006
E-books offer new ways for readers to interact with content. E-books incorporating audio, movies, and simulations facilitate deeper understanding of subject matter, while annotation features let users customize a text. More>>

Facebook --- 2005
The social networking site originally developed for college students has now become available to anyone. It offers creative way of organizing social networks as well as extensive new features and access to other Web applications. Users can now manage online identities and engage other users more easily. More>>

Google Earth ---2006
Google Earth is an interactive mapping application that allows users to navigate the entire globe, viewing satellite imagery with overlays of roads, buildings, geographic features, and the like. Educators can use it to assess and bolster students' visual literacy. Students can use it to develop a context for spatial and cultural differences globally. More>>

Podcasting ---2005
"Podcasting" refers to any software/hardware combination that permits automatic downloading of audio files to an MP3 player for listening at the user's convenience. Podcasting allows learning to become more portable and gives teachers another way to meet today's students where they live and learn - online and on audio players. More>>

RSS, April 2007
RSS is a protocol that lets users subscribe to online content using a "reader" or "aggregator”. RSS allows users to create a list of those sources in an application that automatically retrieves updates, saving users substantial time and effort. More>>

Screencasting, ----2006
A screencast is a video recording of the actions on a user's computer screen, typically with accompanying audio, distributed through RSS. Screencasts can be thought of as video podcasts. They provide a simple means to extend rich course content to anyone who might benefit from the material but cannot attend a presentation. More>>

Skype ---- 2006
Skype is an application that offers free phone calls between computers and between computers and telephones. It usually provides voice and video communication for a low cost, allowing for more communications between colleagues and collaborators. More>>

Social Bookmarking ---2005
Social bookmarking is saving bookmarks one normally makes in a Web browser to a public Web site and "tagging" them with keywords. The resulting community-driven, keyword-based classifications, known as "folksonomies," may change how we store and find information online. More>>

Twitter ---2007
Twitter is an online application that that offer blog, social networking, and cell phone/IM tool. It is designed to let users describe what they are doing or thinking at a given moment in 140 characters or less. As a tool for students and faculty, Twitter could be used academically to foster interaction and support More>>

Wiki --- 2005
Wiki is a free, online encyclopedia that anyone can contribute to and edit. It is one of the most visited Web sites with millions of articles in multiple languages. It helps students both to analyze and create content for reflective, creative learning. More>>

YouTube -- 2006
YouTube is a video-sharing service that allows users to post personally developed videos of nearly any variety online. YouTube is one of an emerging group of social applications that allows users to share and form communities around their content. It draws users into engaging content as commentators and creators, activities that heighten students' visual literacy. More>>

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Building Interactive Learning Environment for our Classroom

Interactive learning environment are not created by chance. Institutions committed to interactive learning typically invest in a number of enablers. Some of the key considerations for the interactive learning environment include:

Leadership commitment: Are interactivity and improved learning recognized and Rewarded?

Faculty development: What skills, perspectives, and support do faculty need to adopt interactive models that improve student learning and engagement? What is the role of IT in supporting this process?

Technology infrastructure: Can the existing infrastructure be adapted to new models of interaction?

Learning spaces:
Learning takes place in many different environments—formal, informal, and virtual. How can space configuration enable interaction and a better learning experience?

Instructional support: What type of technical assistance, instructional design, or graphic design is needed to move interactive models into practice?

Assessment: How should institutions evaluate successes and failures? How can these evaluations be used to encourage ongoing improvement?

Student input: Students often have a unique and valuable view on interactive learning environments. Can faculty and college administrators gain valuable insight into what will work, and what won’t, from the students’ perspective?

where is your institute stands in terms of the seven pilars I outlined in this blog?

Using Tablet PCs to keep students engaged

Hi all,

Colleges and schools are working hard to find ways to keep students engaged in classroom activities. Traditional teaching activities are not being very effective in seizing students’ attentions and engagement anymore.

As numerous studies found that the learners of the 21th century are highly motivated to learn; they are self directed and independent; they want to participate in decision making whenever they can; they need to be convinced on what is being taught to them will benefit them; and time is extremely important to them.

The task of the trainer/teacher/coach, whatever name you use, to keep the learners engaged and motivated in class room is not easy. Using technology effectively in classroom is one way of making the teachers' job little bit easier sometime and difficult at other times.

At my current job, all students have laptops (tablet-pc). Full time access to wireless network and internet connection. I have used many different methods to keep my students engaged. I give them access to my online course. All assignments and projects have restricted submission dates. All mini and major projects are done in groups and requires the use of internet for researching info; and plenty of feedback on their progress. With all these methods of keeping students engaged, I am still searching for ways to get the full benefits and make most of their laptops and internet availability to meet the course objective.

I would love to hear from people with similar settings

Students with laptops and full internet access.. How can we keep them engaged and concentrating on task at hand?


Saturday, February 9, 2008


An interesting article is published by the British Computer Society on how the current web 2.0 tools are affecting the way companies do business online. The article highlights the way businesses have been transformed from the sole owners of the contents to contributors to contents creations and to designers of social-based websites with collaborative interface.

Complete article can be read on

Hope you have a good read.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Top Tech Tools for the Classroom

Share with us what you use in your classroom..

We are currently using uboost.
“It's affiliated with weekly reader and allows your students to read the online weekly reader magazine (current events, news, current science, and much more), take quizzes, earn points, and get cool prizes. Take advantage of it because it's free till december. I just got my students on it and they love it!
go to and check it out! “

We are using
“This year in my Language Arts classroom (seventh grade). See my discussion thread for more info. “

How to use GCP in Classroom

How do you use the GCP in the classroom. I like this site and I think they do a nice job explaning the "HOW TO".

I use the followings
“Google Documents for education. www, (Collobrative word processor and spreadsheet and web site bulider)
Filimentality ( lesson plans).
Rubistar fpr teachers. (rubrics)
Thinkfinity Resources and lesson plans ( create tutorials usig screen shots)
GCF (online computer training”.

I use a smart Quiz tool

“I use a smart Quiz tool to create online tests and assessments. The good thing is that I can use images, Flash, music and record narration for my testing content.
You can see a sample at “

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Personal Social Networking

Very important thoughts on Social Networking and Education by
Will Richardson

Friday, January 25, 2008

Web 2.0 tools

An interesting discussion I had the other day with a very traditional English language teacher who is not ready to introduce any technology tools to embrace his teaching and learning in the classroom. After one hour of heated discussion I could not get him to accept nor see the benefits of the web 2.0 technology of today. Maybe he did not want to understand nor see the benefits of such tools. Maybe, I was not convincing enough. Anyway, below is a summary of my argument with him.
The web 2.0 tools like Twitter, Podcasts, Wikis, Skype, Voice Thread, Sketch Cast, etc. are tools that are bringing fresh approaches to learning and we should not underestimate the impact of those tools on our students to keep them engaged in classroom discussions.
I believe that many of the traditional teachers and public schools are afraid of letting our students learn "skills" that actually do provide the means to learn on their own.
“Schools are scared because the means to truly become a life long learner often include methods where the teacher and a school lose control over the students learning”. Instead of allowing the community and world to become additional teachers for our students, we are too scared that it will reflect poorly on us if we make mistakes on public forums.

Many of the web 2.0 tools I mentioned at the beginning facilitate the following standards better than traditional methodology:

1. Innovation, Creativity, Communication and Collaboration
2. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Decision Making, Research and Information

3. Digital Citizenship
4. Technology Operations and Concepts

As I continue my journey of recording my reflection for the FET8611 course, I would appreciate hearing from people with specific examples from life experience on the effectiveness of web 2.0 tools in English Language classes.