I’ve begun developing a presentation I’m scheduled to give on January 16 to Carroll faculty tentatively titled “Pioneering Web 2.0 Learning Tools with Carroll Students: Educational
Technology of the Future, Catching Up with What Fifth-Graders Already Know,
or Another Fad?”I hope to
share with interested members of the Carroll community some of the Web
2.0 learning tools and resources
that I have explored this past semester(Download FYS 100 Section U Syllabus – Dr, David Simpson Labor Day Version PDF with my students (who were especially playful with their photoshop skills).
As I grow older I become increasingly contemplative about life and mortality. I just heard from an alumna (always so good to hear from you) who was asking about a classmate who had passed away. I have fond memories about both former students—one of the rewards of dedicating one’s life to teaching so long at the same institution. Another reward is when former students send sons and daughters here and I have them, too, as students.
It’s been a semester now since I blogged for JSOnline as “Curious David.” Much has happened since then. Carroll College has been renamed Carroll University (I still fail to find compelling reasons why the change was made). I’ve taught Web 2.0 Tools in a Freshman Seminar, and I’m giving serious consideration to retiring from College teaching.
I’ve given a lot of thought to which blog authoring tool I want to use. I’ve heard good things about WordPress (endorsed by Jane Hart) and Blogger (which I taught my freshmen)—both of which are free. However, partly out of the high respect I hold Jane Hart in I’ve decided to freelance using the basic version of the software she uses, Typepad. I like the “look” of it and its ease of use.
It is very important that I be able to blog easily across operating systems. Tonight I am writing this on my Mac. When next I sit down I’ll try writing something from my PC. I also was attracted to the ease with which TypePad “ports” blogs to Face book since an increasing number of alumni are using that social network—sometimes to monitor their children!
It’s amusing and edifying to revisit the last “Curious David” blog I wrote for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (JSOnline) before they discontinued (terminated) their educational community bloggers.
Pioneering Web 2.0 Learning Tools
By David Simpson
Monday, Sep 1 2008, 09:32 AM
I’m nervous and excited. Time to take
off my invisibility cloak. Tomorrow
(Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 8:00 a.m.)
I meet in person for the first time with my
20 first-year students. What an immense
responsibility to be their first professor!
We’re going to explore 21rst
century learning tools such as blogs,
wikis, podcasts, social networks, virtual
worlds, and Youtube.? The idea for this
course emerged from my
experiences writing this Curious David
blog column. Last year’s opportunity to
write for JSonline was transformative for
me as I learned from elementary and
secondary school teachers, high school
students, virtual school advocates, retired
faculty and readers about innovations,
challenges and successes they faced
In this first-year seminar we shall focus
on some of the 25 free learning tools
described by educator Jane Hart. As we
examine these learning tools we hope to
answer questions such as these:
1. To what degree can these web
tools truly enhance student learning?
2. To what degree are they just
3. Could they be used to develop
4. Do they improve or degrade
5. Might they be applied to fostering
cross-cultural or international
6. Might they strengthen or weaken
7. What are their weaknesses or
dangers? Should they complement or
replace 20th century learning
8. How can one evaluate their
We shall read two books—Little Brother,
a work of fiction (maybe it is fiction) and a
work of nonfiction Dispatches from Blogistan. My
intent is to assist students in the transition
from high school to college—and to
investigate Web 2.0 learning tools which
might be useful across classes and in the
workplace. I want to involve them in
educational experiences that will develop
and enhance abilities in reading, writing,
reflecting, presenting, thinking, and
producing. Writing exercises will include
papers, journals, blogs/wikis, and exams.
Presentations will be both formal and
informal; individual and in small groups.
Collaboration will be both with fellow
students and with me
I welcome reader feedback about
this course. I’d gladly share a course
syllabus in .pdf format which has many
hypertext links. (Indeed, I’d welcome
reassurance that I still have readers after a
two month hiatus!).
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tomorrow’s final exam may give me some insight into what the students have learned. Interestingly, I received an email today from someone in Great Britain interested in the course.
It is my intent to begin (renew) serious writing in a blog format starting in January. I’ll most likely use Type Pad.
I’ve learned so much—and have so much to learn.
The dumbest generation or Pioneers of Web 2.0 tools?
Edicy is a bare-bones web creation tool. I am using the tool “i-Lighter” and a Google tool-bar button “Blog This!” to send this to blogger.com.
But what Web 2.0 tools are truly useful? Will make me more efficient? More enlightened? A better person?
Hulu allows high density TV/Video to be incorporated into blogs. Try searching for Web 2.0 videos.
Here is a screen capture with voice over using my Mac and Techsmith’s free tool Jing. Try using it in your blog.
Here are some frequently asked questions about JING .
How might this tool be of use to members of the Carroll Community?
Look at my cluttered desktop above (click on the JPEG to see the screenshop taken with SnagIt). Cluttered with Web 2.0 tools waiting for me to fully master, evaluate, and teach.
Doggy is snoring by my feet. My First Year Seminar students are sending me their first formal blogs as I type this. So far I am pleased by their efforts.
I’m pondering whether I should request release time of two course next year to more fully develop my mastery of these Web 2.0 tools and to promulgate their use to other faculty and interested students. Every day I discover a new application which has high potential for learners. What do you think> Cast a vote.
So much to learn. Should I give up two classes next year and in return use taht time to become a Web 3.0 tools educator for all interested faculty and students? Write a book? It’s a tempting idea since time is such a precious commodity and i think that i now have the knowledge base, the momentum, and the student talent. Carpe diem?
There are so many NEAT and potentially useful gadgets. And I believe that the potential readers of this blog actually know that if there is a hypertext link, they might be rewarded by clicking it!
Here for example is a way for students to search for Psychology topics on the Social Psychology Network.
Time to return through the Looking Glass. (Ask Alice).
Even more curious in Carroll Land and seeking help.
Curious how each piece of blog authoring software takes getting used to. I’m looking for something as close to what I used when I was writing the “Curious David” column JSOnline yet will allow me to share the many things I now know are possible.
I’m writing this on my Mac। I hope to make this blog useful and of interest especially to my students and former students.