Beyond Discussions: Expanding Social Networks


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A basic look a using Blackboard Discussion tools, facebook, and twitter ans part of your education arsenal.

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Beyond Discussions: Expanding Social Networks

  1. 1. Beyond Discussions Presented by Jordan Epp & Jeanette McKee CCDE Instructional Designers May 27, 2009
  2. 2. Beyond Discussions <ul><li>Who has used the Blackboard Discussion tool? </li></ul><ul><li>Who has a Facebook account? </li></ul><ul><li>Who uses Twitter? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Objectives <ul><li>To suggest learning strategies for expanded use of the Discussion tool in Blackboard </li></ul><ul><li>To explore social networking tools for expanding discussions: Twitter and Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>To determine interest in pilot projects using these or other tools </li></ul>
  4. 4. LMS - Blackboard Discussion Tool <ul><li>A tool in Blackboard used to facilitate online class discussions. </li></ul><ul><li>Typically, instructor posts a discussion topic; students respond. </li></ul><ul><li>Messages are organized into threads. </li></ul><ul><li>Asynchronous - flexible, convenient for distance learning </li></ul>
  5. 5. Discussion Tool in Blackboard <ul><li>Can be set up for small and large groups </li></ul><ul><li>Usually graded for evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Tracked in the course; instructor can view participation for evaluation and run reports </li></ul>
  6. 6. Discussion Tool in Blackboard <ul><li>Strategies for a Successful Discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Need structure, facilitation, & marks: </li></ul><ul><li>Have a moderator for each group to keep the discussion moving and on track </li></ul><ul><li>Assign roles and rotate them among the students </li></ul><ul><li>Require a no. of posts and replies per week </li></ul><ul><li>Include in course evaluation </li></ul>
  7. 7. Discussion Tool in Blackboard <ul><li>Example of discussion tool </li></ul>
  8. 8. Types of Learning Communities <ul><li>LMS </li></ul><ul><li>WebCT </li></ul><ul><li>Blackboard </li></ul><ul><li>Moodle </li></ul><ul><li>Places where learners and Instructors meet for synchronous and asynchronous communication. </li></ul><ul><li>Where students can access and contribute content. </li></ul><ul><li>Where tools for assessment and evaluation are integrated. </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networks </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Myspace </li></ul><ul><li>Ning </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Users communicate asynchronously. </li></ul><ul><li>Users build community of like-minded friends. </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing of content and ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Phone a friend lifeline”. </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Environments </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life </li></ul><ul><li>Quest Atlantis </li></ul><ul><li>Activeworlds </li></ul><ul><li>Vlearn 3D </li></ul><ul><li>Provides “Physical” space for learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Provides tools for building, communication and programming. </li></ul><ul><li>Media is imported via streaming/mapping. </li></ul><ul><li>Learners communicate synchronously through chat or voice. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Social Networks <ul><li>Social Networks In Plain English 1:53 </li></ul><ul><li>Social capital: resources accumulated through relationships among people </li></ul><ul><li>Filter the info from the web: build your social network with like-minded people and interests </li></ul><ul><li>Once you build the network, info will come to you continually </li></ul>
  10. 10. Social Networking Tools Facebook <ul><li>Largest social network for N.Americans </li></ul><ul><li>Network map built through viewing friends of friends or searching for interests. </li></ul><ul><li>Join Groups and Networks through searches and invites. </li></ul><ul><li>Prolific participation/profiling reaps rewards. </li></ul><ul><li>Activities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Commenting, tagging, uploading, linking, inviting, and joining. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Facebook <ul><li>Media/information Literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Networking </li></ul><ul><li>Build your own Network of Friends based on professional colleagues </li></ul><ul><li>Create a Group for your course </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage non-evaluated discussion and collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Chris Avenir - Ryerson Chem. </li></ul>How to use Facebook in learning
  12. 12. Facebook <ul><li>Edublogs Live: May 31st 6pm </li></ul><ul><li>Pimp My Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Regardless of your personal feelings towards Facebook it is the preferred method of social networking for many people. But are you using Facebook to your advantage? </li></ul><ul><li>Join Frances McLean ( while she pimps Larry Ferlazzo's Facebook account ( to demonstrate the different ways educators and bloggers can use the power of Facebook. </li></ul><ul><li>Click on this link to join: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  13. 13. Social Networking Tools Twitter <ul><li>The new front porch - Darryl Dash </li></ul><ul><li>Use up to 140 characters </li></ul><ul><li>Messages are called tweets </li></ul><ul><li>Public or private </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose: To share short updates about what you are doing, where you are, a question you pose, and/or resources to share. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Twitter <ul><li>Started in 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>March 2009: 15M users per month and increasing rapidly </li></ul><ul><li>Hospitals - fastest growing users (I.e. surgeons) </li></ul><ul><li>May 31 Conference “Twitter for Business” in San Francisco </li></ul>
  15. 15. Twitter <ul><li>Twitter and Learning: </li></ul><ul><li>“ The process of forming a community of learners is an important issue in distance learning because it can affect student satisfaction, retention, and learning (Brown, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Foster interaction - active learning </li></ul><ul><li>Support metacognition (thinking about and reflecting on your learning) which benefits comprehension and retention. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Twitter <ul><li>“ The brilliance of Twitter is that it so easily connects people on all different types of computers and cell phone platforms” (Whaley, 2009) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Twitter <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Twitterfox - plug-in for Firefox; messages pop up when open browser </li></ul><ul><li>Free! </li></ul><ul><li>Add-ons: webcam, songs </li></ul>
  18. 18. Discussion <ul><li>Think about how these technological tools could be used to enhance learning in our courses. </li></ul><ul><li>Q What ideas do you have for pilot projects using any of these technological tools or other technological tools?? </li></ul>