Sunday, October 24, 2010

Week 8. Wikis, Wikipedia, Wikibooks, and Collaborative Writing

The Reflection of the Week:
  Week 8 was the week of the wikis in our course, the world is open with Web 2.0 Technologies.  We had a chance to listen four presentations about wikis. One of them was about how wikis use in business settings. Especially, I liked the presentation presented by Dr.Bonk and Chun-yu lin the most, which is about Teaching Innovations on Wikis:  Practices and Perspectives of Elementary School Teachers.

   I think the presentation clearly indicates wikis are really useful for students learning and instructor teaching in education. Wikis are really useful to create learning environments by providing chapters, editing each other parts, making comments on their ideas and more. Wikis enable students make critical thinking on what they create. Furthermore, wikis help students not only construct their knowledge but also have social activities with the other members.

   I also recognized that motivation is important to create wikis. For example, the studies presented in this week show that students were excited to get a certification for creating a wiki and this certification encourage them to continue to create new wikis. Also, the middle school students were happy to see and share their own wikis so that wikis encourage them to keep working on wikis.

The example of the Week:

Wikipedia and Wikibooks are the most famous wikis. I think all internet users know Wikipedia, which allows users to create, edit, update contents and share them in public domain.  Wikibooks provides users to create free textbooks that anyone can edit.
The Quote of the Week:

I think this quote clearly defines wikis. “A wiki is a collaborative web site that collects and organizes content, created and revised by its users” (The eLearning Coach, 2009)

The Picture of the Week

I wanted to post a video instead of a picture about wikis.

Week 7 Connectivism

The Reflectiion of The Week

   In the week seven, we discussed connectivism, social knowledge and participatory learning. If we compare our current world to the world one hundred years ago, we can figure out how our world is getting smaller. Now it easy to reach or go somewhere or something   I mean technology makes people live in a global village not a planet. People are in interaction and connection in this small World, which makes people, cultures, countries, etc. affect each other.
   Existing and being crated technology that accelerates and facilitates the communication in the world enable students or learners influence their learning styles, approaches, ideas and time. We discussed whether or not connectivism is a learning theory like behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism. For me, connectivism works with constructivism well because it focuses on a network that provides personal contribution and network. Also, Connectivism refers to learners who are in interaction and communication shares the ideas, opinions, products and more. However, I don't think so that connectivism is a learning theory. In my opinion, connectivism is like a vehicle that facilitates leaning, creates dynamic learning environment, encourage and enable students to participate and engage in learning activities. Thus, I think connectivism is an excellent way that may be able to make students motivated.
   I was a teacher and I certainly say that motivation is one of the key factors in student learning. Motivated students can be more successful and I think connectivism can provides and increase student motivation. For example, helping and supporting each other in groups which are in contacts can make students increase the persistence and of motivation of learning. Furthermore, a variety of ideas provided in connectivism may enable student creativity and makes them motivated and involved in new projects.  

The example of the Week:

The Dropbox Company is an excellent example of connectivism, which is a website that provides people put their works and shares each other it. Last spring, in the course, R541, we used the dropbox in order to store, share, and download the files of my classmates. It gave me many opportunities, for instance, the application of one of my classmates deeply influenced me to think on my project and create dynamic tools for my project. The link is

The quote of the Week:

I would like to share some idioms that I think they are related to the benefits of connectivism.
Four eyes are better than two.
Two heads are better than one.
Many hands make light work.

The Picture of the Week:

Do you think it seems too much complicated?


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Week 6. Open Educational Resources (OER)

The Reflection of the Week:

In this week, we talked about Open Educational Resources (OER). Actually, I liked my article a lot, which provided important points on OER in European countries. It seems to me that OER in US is better than in Europa. Various cultures and languages in Europa are some obstacle to the improving and spread of OER because there are limited educational tools available in different languages and cultures.

OER creates free open software and development tools, course content, standards and licensing tools. OER is beneficial to both institutions and students and teachers. If we look at OER from the perspective of institutions, OER offers long term conceptual framework, enrich the pool of resources, save money by reusing resources. Also, OER promotes digital competence, which increases the ability of search, collect, and process; ability of use appropriate aids; ability of access and search a website and to use internet-based services. OER can be enhanced by promoting sharing and reusing resources and establishing rewards in institutions.

For teachers and students, OER saves time and effort by using resources, provides various subjects and topics, and promotes user-centered learning in education. Teachers should let their students use new tools and services. In addition, students and teacher should be aware of the license agreement that tells you how to use resources.   
Reference: Geser, Guntram (ed.). (2007, January). Open Educational Practices and Resources: OLCOS Roadmap 2012

The Example of the Week:
The Global Text Project was created at the University of Georgia in 2004 to create electronic textbooks that will be freely available from a website. The main goal of this project is to make textbooks available for those who cannot afford them. More information:

The Quote of the Week:
“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”- Nelson Mandela. OER has been growing for a decade and I think it will make easier to reach a broader of subjects of topics. So OER can be an important part in the education of future.

The Picture of the Week:

 Maybe in the future, all educational resources will be reached by the mouse of your computer. OER will be so close to you as much as the mouse of your computer close to you.

Week 5. The Movement toward Free and Open Source Software

The Reflection of the Week:
         We had a nice debate on Open Source Software (OSS) in this week. In recent years, we have heard more about that and maybe it will take more places in our educational, social, and economic life. OSS is like a freedom of users on codes, sources, tools, etc, in order to use, copy, redistribute, share, and modify them. It sounds good to freely reach, download and use them in terms of your needs.

     OSS is a nice example of Constructivism, which is one of the learning theories. If we look at OSS deeply, we will see a lot of participants who involve in it and share ideas, opinions, codes, tools to construct new productions and outcomes.  Collaboration is one of the key points in OSS and enables people to create some goods in short time.

    For the benefits and advantages of the OSS, I can say that you can save not only money but also your time. For example, you can download some codes and modify them in terms of your needs. Also, OSS can be used in a community by helping and supporting each other. However, there are some concerns about OSS. For instance, OSS that has a lot of participants who involve in considers the quality of works, which needs some standardization to improve the quality of works.

   I think OSS is similar to human life. I mean each culture and civilization made some contribution to our technology and science we have by sharing, changing and improving ideas, tools, and products. In my opinion, OSS will be more important and affect our life in the future.

 The example of the week:
The University of Colorado creates interactive science simulations that can be freely downloaded from This project is open to teacher ideas and contributions to create interactive simulations. They offer interactive simulations in more than 40 languages. Some of my friends from Turkey use the simulations in their courses.

The quote of the Week:
If I give you a penny, you will be one penny richer and I’ll be one penny poorer. But if I give you an idea, you will have a new idea, but I shall still have it, too.” Albert Einstein.  I think this quote explains very well why we use and improve OSS because I will lose nothing but obtain many valuable thing by sharing ideas.

The picture of the Week:
 There are some the example of OSS here. ( Source:

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Week 4. Blended and Online Learning

The Reflection of the Week:

This week was the week of online and blending learning, which we discussed a number of studies conducted regarding online and blending learning. Especially, the consecutive studies of Allen and Seaman provide us essential points and details indicating how online and blending learning have been continuing to expand in the US. The studies show the demand on online learning has been growing in passing year. I recognized that money is one of the key factors to use online education in their schools for large institutions. Small institutions felt the most negative about online education and they have less student and money. It made me thought the more money, the more positive reaction about that.

Although we use different types of learning in our education such as traditional, web facilitated, blended and even online learning, teachers are still central in various learning. I think even if the role of teachers change in time, the importance of teachers will not change in education and they will be always a vital part of any kind of education.

Actually, I have learning experience in traditional, web facilitated, blended and online learning and I can say I am a person of blended learning. Let me explain why I am a blending learning person. Traditional learning makes me bored because I am in passive role and there is no technology to use. It is really boring. Web facilitated learning is similar to traditional learning but technology I used was for only syllabus and other basic process. I was still in passive role. Now, I have taken an online course for 2 months and I realized I am not an online learner even though the studies of this week state the outcomes of online learning are better than face to face courses. The reason why I am not an online learner is that I face some technical problems during the online course and need face to face meetings in order to explain my ideas very well. Finally, I love blended learning because I have opportunities not only to talk and get help through face to face communication but also use technology to discuss topics, ideas or share videos, pictures, etc… I can benefit from advantages of both face to face course and technology in blended learning. For me, our course, R685, is a blended course because we use Oncourse, breeze, blog, internet effectively. In addition, we have face to face meetings, debate, role playing, and many other activities during the class time in the school.

The example of the Week:

I would like to talk about Oncourse we use at Indiana University as an example. I think Oncourse is a nice system in order to use for both online and blended learning. Oncourse includes many features and offers collaboration, sharing files, chat each other and more.

 The quote of the Week:

“Blended learning is a workable solution that allows trainers and staff developers to integrate online learning with a broad range of more traditional learning techniques.” (Kaya Thorne, How to integrate online& traditional learning, 2003).  Blended learning enables and uses both traditional and new innovative techniques in workplace or school settings.

The Picture of the Week:
This picture illustrates the approach of e-TQM College about blended learning. The picture clearly represents what blended learning is and includes the components.