Saturday, September 6, 2008

Facebook: Does It Have a Place in Education?

In this newest podcast episode I share a tip I learned a while back for determining the level of Internet access your students really have outside of school. I also share an idea I've about using Facebook or Myspace in education. Does Facebook or Myspace have a place in education? Listen to this short podcast and share your thoughts in the comments.

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player embedded below or use the widget embedded in the right column of the blog.

New Media - New Generation: What Does It Mean for Education?

Sacha Chua, who's presentations inspired me to create my own stick figure presentations, has developed a new presentation titled New Media, New Generation. In the presentation Sacha demonstrates, through drawings, how new media is used and consumed compared to old media. I've embedded Sacha's slide show below.

Applications for Education
Slides 12 through 20 in the presentation create a good picture of the role of a teacher in today's classroom. The role of teacher is changing (in some schools faster than others) from a position of standing in front of a class imparting knowledge to a position of facilitator helping students discover and create new ways of using knowledge. Another important job of today's teachers is not so much to teach students how to use a specific Web 2.0 application, they'll figure that out faster than many of us, but to teach students how to collaborate effectively. That said, I do think that there are still times when standing in front of the room lecturing is necessary, but those times are becoming increasingly few.
What are your thoughts? How do you view the role of a teacher in today's classrooms?

Collaborative Genealogy Projects

Our Story is an online, multimedia timeline creation tool. Our Story is designed to be used as a way to collaboratively record the events in a person's life or the genealogy of a family. The timelines that users create on Our Story can include videos and images as well as standard text information. Like any good Web 2.0 product, Our Story timelines can be embedded into your blog or other website.

I've looked at Our Story in the past, but haven't shared it for a couple of reasons. In the past the default setting for the timelines was set to public and you had to change it to "just me" in order to hide it. The terms of use stipulate that users need to be 13. Recently, Our Story changed the default setting for timelines to "just me" or private setting. The terms of service still require users to be thirteen or older so while Our Story can't be used with elementary students it could be used in a high school setting.

Applications for Education
Our Story could be used as a high school lesson in genealogy. Students interview their parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles to record the significant events in their family's history. If a family member has a picture or a video record the student can include it in the timeline. Our Story is a collaborative tool so if a family member wants to get involved they can add details to the timeline.