Monday, March 28, 2011

Web 2.0 Tools and Student Engagement

Learning management systems have become ubiquitous in higher education.  While some daring institutions employ open-source solution at little cost, most institutions are straddled with Microsoft-like monopolic marriage with their chosen vendor.  Last week, I presented some techniques on Engaging Students Online to the Business School professors at the University of the District of Columbia.  We discussed some tools available via Blackboard, but most of the applications were from the world of Web 2.0.

I recently stumbled upon Duke University's web 2.0 toolkit, a comprehensive site which introduces faculty to classroom appropriate tools. 
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The word 'introduces' is a bit troublesome as I've personally found it easier to transition tools I use personally into the classroom than vice versa.  Think back to your first time trying to keystone the image on your LCD projector...I can tell you from having owned a projector, it's a lot easier when 30 kids aren't staring at you and asking why the picture is warped.

The following graphic attempts to provide some steps for getting involved with Web 2.0.  Start slowly, make friends, and share your knowledge with others.

 Graphic by Andrew J Ryan -- don't steal!  

After viewing the Duke University site, why not choose a tool and see what it does?  Technology is experiential... GO FOR IT!

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