Saturday, December 4, 2010

Week 15. Networks of Personalized Learning --- Final Week

The Reflection of the Week:
Welcome to final week of this semester. In this week, we are going to present our final projects about the course. I am sure I am going to see brilliant projects, cool YouTube videos, and great wiki chapters, which make me excited. These presentations will provide to look at web 2.0 technologies from their perspectives.
The topic of this week is networks of personalized learning. Web 2.0 technologies offer great opportunities to teach and learn beyond classrooms, schools and even the borders and countries. People don't have to be tied any physical place or specific time and want to be more flexible and accessible to what they want.
I am not sure that web 2.0 technologies make people more social or not. I was thinking of emerging technologies like Facebook, twitter, blogs make people to confine them in front of computers and take away them from communities. But the Horizon Report (2010) says there is no negative impact of emerging technologies to make people unsocial. The report says people who use them more active to participate in activities in communities. These results made me surprised.
Emerging technologies have been shifting from teacher centered to student-centered learning in our education. I think emerging technologies enable and support both individual learning and collaborative learning. The rapid innovations and advances in web 2.0 technologies, people can communicate and work with people from different countries via blog, wikis, Facebook, twitters, etc. Also, people have a various opportunities to work and learn what they want individually with YouTube, TeacherTube, and other free open sources and tools provided on the web.
Finally, I have completed my reflections about this course, R685. I believe creating and using this blog really help to rethink, remind and criticize on what we did and have learned on the course. I would like to thank my professor, Dr. Bonk, Dr. Xiaojing, my critical friend, Hesham, and the other classmates.

The Example of the Week:

I have a lot of example to inform as you know: Wikis, Blogs, Podcasting, Webcasting, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TeacherTube,…………..

The Quote of the Week:
"The world is open with web technologies." Curt Bonk
Final quote is from Dr. Bonk. I chose it because this course show me the world is getting smaller and flat with web technologies.

The Picture of the Week:

I started with this meaningful picture of Dr. Bonk to my blog and wanted to finis with the same picture.
I hope you enjoy this blog.

Week 14. Podcasting

The reflection of the Week:
   Is there anybody hear me? You cannot hear me but read my ideas because this is not a podcast. Are you ready to talk about podcasting? Podcasting allows user to share their ideas verbally via internet. First, podcasters record their voice and then put them on the internet to share with people.
   If we look at using podcasting in education, we can recognize that they can be used for various educational purposes. For example, as some of my classmates (like Hesham) have been doing, podcasts can be used to reflect what we have learned from the course. This is useful to rethink, remind, and comprehend what we learned on the course and I think with this way, we can have permanent and solid information about the course. Also, they can be used to record lectures, student projects, assignments, and interviews.
   Some strongly recommend using podcasting for language learning. I believe they increase listening and speaking skill for podcasters and listeners who want to learn second language.  I am not sure about podcasting is useful for language learning for every language learners. I have an experience about using podcasting to learn language. English is my second language and when I was in Intensive English Program, my teachers recommend to listen podcasting and radios. After trying to listen podcasting, I realized podcasting was not an effective way to learn second language because 5 minutes after starting listening to podcast, I was falling asleep. : So podcasting could not work for me to learn English.

The Example of the Week:
Audacity® is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. This can be used to create podcasting.

The Quote of the Week:
Podcasting offers to extend universities' educational reach more than it offers to improve education itself..."      David J. Malan

The Picture of the Week: 

With podcasting, you can make your voice hear anybody around the world via web.


Week 13. Mobile Devices and Learning

The Reflection of the Week:
   The topic of this week is mobile, wireless and ubiquitous learning. Also, we have a great speaker, Dr. Paul Kim from Stanford University, who has a numerous of work about mobile devices and works in different countries such as India, Mexico, Palestine, Rwanda, etc. He works about how mobile devices can facilitate learning and be useful for students who live in rural areas and have no opportunities to have access and use technology.
   Let’s talk about the benefits of mobile devices. For me, the biggest benefit of mobile devices is that they can be used in bad economic, social and political issues. Let me give example, one of Dr. Kim article talks about Palestinian students in West Bank. He states that the students do not have access any technology and they have electric and water only two hours four a day. Mobile devices were provided to these students and Israeli students use and create their interactive storytelling. Mobile devices allowed them create their stories without any technologies like internet, web, and electric. Finally, these both Palestinian and Israeli students share their stories with each other, which should be useful to improve mutual understanding and make contributions to peace between two countries. Thus, mobile devices allow student to learn beyond classrooms and even the borders.
   However, there are some points needing to be improved on mobile devices. First, there are no common operating standards created and accepted by companies for different kind of mobile devices. Battery is also a kind of barrier. Also, mobile devices should need to be more functional and usable. From perspective of learning and teaching, new studies are needed and should be conducted to integrate mobile devices into pedagogy in order to increase effectiveness of mobile devices.

The example of the Week:
There are a lot of mobile devices to use such as IPhone, BlackBerry, kindle, and recently IPad. I heard that these mobile devices decrease the selling of PC’s and laptops. 

The quote of the Week:
The Future is Here; It's Just Not Widely Distributed, Yet.
                        William Gibson
The Future is Not Widely Distributed. Therefore, it is Not Here, Yet.
                                                                      Paul Kim
The Picture of the Week:

Mobile devices provide collaborative learning between students. This picture shows two students using mobile devices.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Week 12. Educational Blogging

The Reflection of the Week:
   Welcome to the week of blogging. We had a nice class to talk and discussion on blogging in this week. Right now, you are on an educational blog (my blog) and are reading it. I think first I need to define what a weblog is. Weblog is a website that contains information about a particular subject. The difference between a website and blog is that readers always find newest information at the top of the page. After defining the blog, let’s talk more about it.
   For me, the most useful point on blog for bloggers is to write, think and reflect what they have learned, thought, criticized, questioned and more. Moreover, they give bloggers to communicate people not only in their local environment but also across the world and bloggers have opportunities to see their weakness and strengths by reading comments from the readers.
    How to use educational blogs in education!!! Teachers can use blogs as a class webpage that indicating class times, rules, assignment notification, suggested reading and exercises. They can be used to link to online resources that relate to their courses. Also, class discussions can be placed on blogs. How about students.  As a student who posts a weekly reflection for this course (R685), it is really important and useful to see and read ideas on the topics of the weeks from my classmates’ perspectives in terms of the similarities and differences, which they have come up with really interesting and brilliant ideas on the topics.  Thus, blogs leads both bloggers and reader to lead to further writing and thinking.
    For last point, I am not sure to keep writing my blog after this class and I think weblogs is not for everybody. So maybe in order to keep writing weblogs, bloggers should have a purpose, maybe passion and motivation that encourage to them to keep posting information and share their ideas with the others.

The Example of the Week:
If you want to cool blogs that relate to different areas, please go to this website, which provide you to see really nice blogs. 

The Quote of the Week:
Instead of assigning students to go write, we should assign them to go read and then link to what interests them and write about why it does and what it means.

Downes emphasizes how to begin to write weblog for students. He says that students first need to read and make a link to their interests and then they should write a blog. So it is not good idea to create a blog with first writing.  (Downes, Stephen (2004, September/October). Educational blogging, EDUCAUSE Review, 39(5), 14–26)

The Picture of the Week:

What is on your mind to post what you think? Blog? Podcats? Photos?


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Week 11. Alternate Reality Learning: Massive Gaming, Virtual Reality, and Simulations

The Reflection of the Week:
   There are a lot of methods for teaching and learning we can use. In this week, we talked about online games, virtual reality and simulations.  I believe games are really useful and effective teaching and learning tools. It is enough to look at the term of baby and child in order to understand how games are really important for learning and teaching. We learned or were taught a lot with games.
   Online games enable learning anytime and anywhere. One of the useful point of online games is that player is put in a position to think and solve problem with information provided. Also, in the games, players try to find ways and strategies in order to win the game, which strengthen the ability of critical thinking.  
   In order to create educational games, we should take the following into consideration: A game which has a good scenario or story can make players to participate in games. Just imagine you are a hero and are supposed to save the world. I think this make players more motivated. Context is also really important, which helps you where you are and where you should go.  For players to engage in games, the beginning of the game, players should not know who will win the game.
   Games allow players to do what they cannot do in real life like flying, walking on the water and running so fast. Also games and simulations can be used to teach difficult scientific concepts. For instance, we cannot recognize the colors of the light which contains all colors but a simulation that were created by The phet project team, creates educational simulations, can visualize and demonstrate all colors light contains easily.

The Example of the Week:
The world of war is a strategy game, covers 8 different races fighting each other, which allows players to play online and real time chats among players all across the world. The research that was conducted regarding the game indicates players learn spontaneously how to play game, what the strategies are and should be done to win the game by asking questions via chat. So this chat session creates great social interaction and informal learning environment.
(Bonnie A. Nardi, Stella Ly, & Justin Harris (2007). Learning conversations in World of Warcraft. forthcoming in Proc. HICSS 2007. Retrieved on June 25, 2010)
The Quote of the Week:
Game designers should allow players to learn new skills and apply them in a variety of situations.
This quote reminds that chess was played to improve the strategic skills by the generals of old world.
Squire, Kurt (2005, February). Game-based learning: Present and future state of the field. The Masie Center. Retrieved on June 25, 2010, from

The video of the Week:
Dr. Robert Appelman talks about games for learning. Students from Jackson Creek Middle School visited the IU Bloomington campus to participate in a study by the School of Education about video games. Researchers gathered data on the students' technique and decision-making in the games to help develop instructional technologies that will better impart knowledge in the classroom. 

Week 10. Interactive and Collaborative Learning

The reflection of the Week:
   This week, we discussed about interactive and collaborative learning. I would like to start my reflection by asking a question, which is “How can we establish interactive and collaborative learning on the Web.” If we look at the traditional classrooms, it is easy to create collaborative learning through discussions, brainstorming, group works, and using tools together in the classrooms. Also, traditional classrooms put students in real environment that allows them to interact, help, support and give feedback immediately each other.  
   So how can we establish interaction and collaborative learning in online learning environments? This lecture and readings of this week demonstrated nicely how to create interactive and collaborative learning environment for online courses. I think one of the important to create collaboration and interaction on the web is that learners should have a virtual workspace (classroom) that can provide them to work, discuss, and make decisions together.  Also, these kinds of virtual workspace allow them to share and download files, see and talk with each other.
   In order to get prompt feedback, real time chat sessions are an effective tool. Also, I think real time chats make easier to understand and save time in terms of comparing to communicate via emails. Furthermore, real time chat sessions decrease the immediacy between instructors and students and increase the social learning.
   However, there are some challenges and factors affecting the quality of interaction and collaboration for online course. For example, people who take online course should have technical skills to fix problems if occurred. The other factor is incompatibility of time and location because difference schedule of each person may make them to have real time chat session.

The example of the Week:
Breeze is an online system that allows users to see, hear and talk each other; make presentations and real time chat sessions; exchange files; make discussions and brainstorming. Breeze is an effective and efficient communication tool that creates interactive and collaboration learning for online users.

The Quote of the Week:
Instructor immediacy and student immediacy positively influence and enhance participant mutual understanding, while, at the same time, creating an overall social climate which increases interactivity among participants in online discussions.
   So we can use the Breeze to decrease physical distance and increase to immediacy between instructors and students in order to enhance participant mutual understanding.
Reference: Park, Y. J., & Bonk, C. J. (2007). Is life a Breeze?: A case study for promoting synchronous learning in a blended graduate course. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT), 3(3), 307-323

 The picture of the Week:
 These pictures are nice examples of indicating how to establish interactive and collaborative learning with using technology between students and professors IU and University of Houston.
(These pictures are taken from the presentation of week 10 0f R685)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Week 9. Educational Shared Online Videos

The Reflection of the Week:

   Welcome to the week of shared online videos for learning. So far, we have discussed new resources and materials coming up with Web 2.0 technologies such as e-book, open resources, wikis, etc. Now it is time to talk about online videos for learning and teaching. There are many websites providing shared online videos such as YouTube (it offers about one billion online videos), teacher tube, MIT and more.
   So how can we use online videos to facilitate learning and teaching? Actually, online videos can be used anytime in the courses. Dr. Bonk states that online videos can be used to start discussion and activities as a capstone event. Actually, I think using online videos in this activity should be useful because online videos enable students to brainstorm what they watched. Also, I believe online videos increase student motivation and prevent courses not to be boring because online videos allows them to learn with visual learning style and make students to engage in the topics.
   For learner centered, online videos are also useful to learn the content. For example, I am supposed to create a YouTube video for my final project in R685. I am working on online education to create my videos and need to figure out top main points of online learning and write down a script for the video. I can absolutely say that I have been learning more about online learning since I have started to create the video because I need to know what online learning is in order to talk about that.
   In order to increase the effectiveness of courses, online videos should relate to course content and objectives. Also, online videos should be checked whether or not they are still available to be watched because they can be removed without informing users.

Reference: Bonk, C. J. (2008, March). YouTube anchors and enders: The use of shared online video content as a macro context for learning. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2008 Annual Meeting, New York, NY.

The Example of the Week:
   Teacher Tube is a website providing over 200.000 shared educational videos. In addition to online videos, the website allows users to share online videos,auidos, fotos, documents, and tools. The more information, please go to .

The Quote of the Week: 
    Online videos extend learning beyond text to visual or episodic memory, thereby student dual coding of information, and increase learner retention of information.
Bonk, C. J. (2008, March). YouTube anchors and enders: The use of shared online video content as a macro context for learning. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2008 Annual Meeting, New York, 

The video of the Week: 
I would like to share an educational video that explain how to create a quiz with PowerPoint from You tube  in order to point out the usefulness of online videos.