In Module 3, we took a look at Web 2.0 technologies for distance education. During class discussions we focused specifically on different uses of social media in education. In reviewing the list of ideas on the blog by Online Universities, there were several strategies that seemed valuable to educators. One of my favorites was the use of Skype for learning foreign languages – students can use the technology to chat live with native speakers.
Right now I am actively engaged in a Web 2.0 technology used for educational purposes: a blog! On the blog post by Les Pang (2009), reflective journals like this “encourage students to review and consolidate learning, evaluate performance, and plan future learning based on past learning experience.” This is my first attempt at composing a learning journal, and so far it has been a good way to review all of the topics we have discussed and read about in class. I think that the key for me will be keeping up with the blog and making sure that I post my entries in a timely fashion. Otherwise, the potential benefit offered by a reflective journal will be lost.
Also discussed during Module 3 was the debate over open educational resources (OERs). There seems to be an ongoing argument over the practical value of OERs. While some, like Tony Bates (2011), would argue that OERs are little more than a mismanaged online library, others, like Rory McGreal (2011), are adamant that OERs provide vital information to uderserved populations. My own personal take on OERs is that they are, in essence, a good thing and a big step forward in the leveling of educational playing field. However, I feel that until accreditation and certifications become an “open resource” as well, there is still a lot of progress to be made.
Bates, T. (2011, February 6) OERs: the good, the bad and the ugly. Retrieved from http://www.tonybates.ca/2011/02/06/oers-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/
Pang, L. (2009). Application of Blogs to Support Reflective Learning Journals. Retrieved May, 21, 2009, fromhttp://deoracle.org/online-pedagogy/teaching-strategies/application-of-blogs.html
Rory McGreal Blog article: http://www.tonybates.ca/2011/03/12/a-defence-of-the-oer-movement-any-which-way-you-can/.
Online Universitities blog: http://www.onlineuniversities.com/blog/2010/05/100-inspiring-ways-to-use-social-media-in-the-classroom