Web 2.0 applications and social media have provided new venues for businesses to inform, understand and connect with their customers. This book provides a general understanding of using blogs, podcasts, live streaming, wikis, social buzz, social media, and more to enable businesses to rethink their approach and leverage new digital media’s advantages. It covers theoretical concepts such as RSS feeds and practical examples such as constructing a WordPress blog in detail. Other topics examined from a business perspective include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Klout, and others. This free textbook provides information about the changing digital environment and how it impacts modern business practices.
Most people are happy to use Facebook without worrying about its more sophisticated capabilities. Others might want to take it to the next level and use it to communicate with more than one audience. For instance, a teacher might have personal messages posted but may also want to use Facebook to reach students. This is done using custom lists and privacy settings. For a long time, I didn’t realize these features existed. And as a teacher, I worried about mixing my personal life with my faculty role. Fortunately, Facebook provides a reasonable solution and once set up, managing more than one audience becomes easy. Facebook permits profile owners to assign groups of friends to specific lists. For me, this means a Personal Friend List and a Student List. Privacy settings can be applied separately to each list so only certain material is visible to each group. For instance, I may not want my students to access photos and posts related to my family. Likewise, my personal friends really don’t want to see a student study guide. So how does this work? First, a list must be available. To create a new list, or add someone to an existing list, the profile owner can visit his or her group of Facebook friends on the profile page. Mouse over the name of the friend to be added to a specific list. When the dialog box appears, click on the ‘Friends’ button and a box with all available lists will appear (see Figure 1).
You may have to click on an item that says ‘show all lists’ to see lists you previously created. If you haven’t created the desired list previously, it is possible to do so from this same dialog box. Click on the list or lists for this particular friend. A check will appear next to the lists you have assigned. Once a friend is added to a list, content can be screened from their view more easily. How do you do this? In order to post information restricted to specific people, first create a post, load a video or add a photo as you normally would. Then, use the drop down box associated with the content to select the list of friends as an audience. As an example, Figure 2 shows how a post about a power outage will be made visible only to my family members. My students will not be aware of this posting. After posting the content, the settings can be modified to include more viewers.
Figures 3 and 4 show how this can be done using a drop down menu then adding lists or specific friends to a particular post. This is a very powerful capability in Facebook that makes it possible to use one account for multiple purposes. And for teachers, this can be very helpful! Using one list for students and another list for everyone else makes juggling the two worlds just a bit easier!
The world of higher education could be on the verge of a major paradigm shift. Sebastian Thrun, a former professor of computer science at Stanford, has stepped down from his academic post to dedicate himself to running Udacity, an online university poised to offer high quality online education. At first glance, this might not seem like a big deal because there are literally hundreds of online universities. But here’s the catch: Thrun, together with cofounder, David Evans, formed the company with a goal of providing these classes to anyone for FREE. That might send a shudder through many cash-strapped traditional universities, working hard to survive in times of budget cuts and pressure to offer more services. Udacity has powerful backing. Thrun has already used the model to provide a highly successful free course through Stanford in 2011. He and Peter Novig (Director of Research at Google) developed an “Intro to Artificial Intelligence” as an experiment and ultimately ended up with 160,000 students from all over the world. It took a small army of 2,000 volunteer translators to eliminate language barriers. The end result was highly successful.
Thrun has also dispensed with the classic idea of assigning grades. In fact, he has stated: Grades are the failure of the education system. His approach is to allow students to continue working on material until they master it. He envisions an entire class finishing at an A+ level. His vision draws on something said by Salman Khan, founder of the online Khan Academy: “When you learn to ride a bicycle, and you fail to learn a bicycle, you don’t stop to learn a bicycle, give the person a ‘D’ and move onto unicycle.” A class is about teaching and learning, not about segmenting and categorizing achievement.
Udacity’s first official course begins February 20th, 2012 and people are already gearing up to be part of the grand experiment. The next course is titled: Building Your Own Search Engine. I for one, will be watching to see what I can learn from Udacity and its new approach to teaching and learning. These ideas will begin restructuring higher education on the New Digital Shoreline. For more see Udacity.
Last year, my oldest son, Mark, called me and said his medical school acceptance would be put on hold unless he produced his vaccination records by the next day. That doesn’t sound like a difficult problem, until time and geography constraints are thrown in. His records were located in a lock box in our home in Kansas. My wife and I were both in Michigan, about a thousand miles away. Each of us had a key—the only two keys to the box. I threw out a number of possible solutions: contacting the family doctor (who informed us their paper records had been moved offsite for digitizing and were not accessible at the moment), breaking open the box with a crowbar, and begging the medical school to give him enough time for the key to be mailed overnight. My son, being a tech-savvy millennial, had other ideas. He went to the Internet, searched the Web for information about picking locks and quickly found a diagram that described the bends to put into a paper clip in order to create a replacement key for our specific lockbox. A YouTube video provided details about the mechanics behind picking the lock. Within a few short minutes, he had his medical records. I might also add that this was a high-end lock box, so I was surprised he opened it that quickly. He had “know-where.” Mark sent messages to his friends about his experience picking the lock and became a node on their information networks. He now is their go-to guy for future lock-picking needs! He used know-where to build know-how. This was a connectivist process in action. The learning resided in a community outside the individual but was available to him when he required it.
This is an example of connectivism in action. George Siemens summarizes in his blog:
1. Connectivism is the application of network principles to define both knowledge and the process of learning. Knowledge is the pattern of relationships, and learning is the creation of new connections.
2. Connectivism focuses on the inclusion of technology as part of our distribution of knowledge. Our knowledge resides in the connections we form, both with people and with information sources such as databases, wikis, and blogs.
3. Connectivism recognizes the fluid nature of knowledge and connections based on context.
It is the way our students are learning and applying their knowledge!
The New Digital Shoreline: How Web 2.0 and Millennials Are Revolutionizing Higher Education offers a fine survey of the complex effects of Web 2.0 on higher education, documenting forces that educators need to know about to modify interactions with students and peers. From understanding how the population of the new Web is different with different expectations to understanding the new mindset of Web 2.0, this is packed with details supporting a reinvention of higher education to meet these new perspectives – a support which goes beyond just adding new technology to the learning mix. Higher education collections must have this new approach. Post from MBR: The Education Shelf
Keeping up with the tech-savvy: Professor’s new book looks at how smartphones, tablet computers reshaping learning and teaching
MANHATTAN — College students are bringing their playthings — laptops, smartphones, tablet computers — into the classroom, and that’s good news for professors and for higher education, according to a Kansas State University expert.
Roger McHaney, a K-State management professor who specializes in education technology and training, is the author of the new book, “The New Digital Shoreline: How Web 2.0 and Millennials are Revolutionizing Higher Education.”
McHaney, the Daniel D. Burke Chair for Exceptional Faculty and a university distinguished teaching scholar, says professors shouldn’t view today’s mobile information devices as distractions, but rather as tools for learning. In his book, he makes the case for changes institutions must make to attract and engage today’s students.
“Two forces beyond our control — Web. 2.0 and tech-savvy millennials on campus — are shaping what I call the new digital shoreline of higher education,” McHaney said.
McHaney says his book, released by Stylus, is a tool for new and seasoned teachers to understand how today’s students get their information and how things like smartphones can help professors teach in new and improved ways.
“Web 2.0, social media and the constant flow of information that we are all exposed to are not only changing the way that we communicate, but the way students learn and professors teach,” he said. “Mobile apps, content sharing and these tech-savvy students can become assets in the classroom, even if they sometimes seem distracting.”
McHaney said that new ways of communicating with students can help create a base for lifelong learning.
“These students are motivating us to see the potential of the vast, co-created information resources within interconnected nodes,” he said. “We’re being challenged to rethink information creation, storage and delivery.”
Mobile information devices also provide students with new capabilities.
“They are time-slicers, shape-shifters, creators and mobile connectors. Their playthings will be the tools of their future,” he said.
The book’s eight chapters cover such subjects as platforms for learning, Web 2.0 and social learning, what students are finding on this new digital shoreline, what teachers can do beyond just adding new technology and more.
Along with education technology, McHaney’s research areas include discrete event simulation, computer-mediated communication systems and organization computing. His work has been published in numerous journals and he has lecture around the world. McHaney has written for textbooks and he has developed a variety of instructional materials, including ELATEwiki.