ConnectYard: Assessment of Spring 2010 Pilot Presenter: James Greenberg, SUNY Oneonta
Who I Am? Director TLTC Explore Emerging technologies See the emergence of Mobile technologies in education Also interested in integration w/ Twitter, Facebook and Texting I coming to believe in the Power of Widgets in developing more flexible learning spaces. Pedagogical problem to solve: I needed a way to engage my students in my online discussion space from their cell phones, twitter space, etc.
Some of the research suggests Key benefits might include: • Exploring innovative teaching and learning practices. • Enabling the embodiment of ‘authentic learning’ – i.e. facilitating anywhere, anytime, student centered learning. • Engaging students with the affordances of mobile Web 2.0 technologies: connectivity, mobility, geo-location, social networking, etc. • Moving from a model of fixed, dedicated general computing to a mobile, wireless computing paradigm that turns any space into a potential learning space.
Why ConnectYard? Widget based. Can easily use in Portal, LMS, Ning, Grou.ps, etc. Integrated texting, Facebook, Twitter, and email Nice pricing model… lost cost to enter. Faculty don’t have to be “friends” with their students or even have students “follow” them in Twitter.
What is a Widget (Gadget)? Widgetbox Popular in sites like: Ning Grou.ps iGoogle Portals LMS
“The underlying nature of this new class of software exists in the effort to combine the power of social networking (that is, of social learning) with the academic infrastructure. And its critical nature is that faculty members are not on the spot to activate or support or train students to use these new student-oriented learning management systems.” Batson (2010)
Widgets allow for integration in sites like Grou.ps
What we learned: Technology was easy to learn and use. Little or no instruction was necessary. Widget approach proved useful – integrated into any platform. Students don’t use it unless it counts (glad you were sitting down?). Given a choice, email was the preferred method. Let’s look at the space to see how student’s used it.
Bibliography Ash, Katie. "Full Speed Ahead In Higher Ed." Education Week 29, no. 26 (March 18, 2010): 30. MasterFILE Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed May 25, 2010). Batson, Trent, “Academic IT for Students: A New Growth Area?”, Campus Technology accessed via web May 2010 at: http://campustechnology.com/articles/2010/05/05/academic-it-for-students-a-new-growth-area.aspx Cochrane, Thomas, and Roger Bateman. "Smartphones Give You Wings: Pedagogical Affordances of Mobile Web 2.0." Australasian Journal of Educational Technology 26, no. 1 (January 1, 2010): 1-14. ERIC, EBSCOhost (accessed May 25, 2010). Cornelius, Sarah, and Phil Marston. "Towards an Understanding of the Virtual Context in Mobile Learning." ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology 17, no. 3 (November 1, 2009): 161-172. ERIC, EBSCOhost (accessed May 25, 2010). Dew, John, “Global, Mobile, Virtual, and Social: The College Campus of Tomorrow” , The Futurist, March-April 2010, pp 46-50. Schaffhauser, D., “ConnectYard Launches Hosted Social Learning Service on Facebook”, Campus Technology, accessed via web May 2010 at: http://campustechnology.com/articles/2009/02/18/connectyard-launches-hosted-social-learning-service-on-facebook.aspx Relynard, Ruth, “Mobile Learning in Higher Education”, Campus Technology, accessed via web May 2010 at: http://campustechnology.com/articles/2008/04/mobile-learning-in-higher-education.aspx ConnectYard also has a Facebook presence. Search for “ConnectYard” A Twitter you can follow : ConnectYard ConnectYard has a Ning Site at http://connectyard.ning.com/