Connected to Distraction

I believe very strongly in students being able to read and write very well but I think we need to expand what we mean by reading and writing to include these new media forms. And we need a level of media literacy that includes a sophistication about how to use what media form, when, why and also when to shut it all and to have a moment to really think through it all properly.

Michael Wesch 

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MOOCs Are Like TV

MOOCs today are our equivalents of early TV, when TV personalities looked and sounded like radio announcers (or often were radio announcers). People are thinking the same way about MOOCs, as replacements of traditional lectures or tutorials, but in online rather than physical settings. In the meantime, a whole slew of forces is driving a much larger transformation, breaking learning (and education overall) out of traditional institutional environments and embedding it in everyday settings and interactions, distributed across a wide set of platforms and tools.

Wonder Wheel, Timeline, and All That Jazz

I used Google’s new Jazz interface for the first time yesterday, and I really like the filtering options for search results. Two of the search views in particular seem useful for teaching and learning.

Wonder Wheel

Google-wonder-wheel.png

Click on the image for a full-size view.
The wonder wheel view provides a graphic search result similar to a concept map, with semantically-related topics as branches. When users select one of the sub-topics, a new layer of the graphic is created, and the text search results on the right change. The wonder wheel encourages discovery, and would be particularly useful for WebQuests.

Timeline

Google-timeline.jpg

Click on the image for a full-size view.

The timeline view of the search results allows users to drill down the results by time period. In the example above, I was able to narrow down my search results to a 20-year period, which then yields another timeline with smaller increments. The text search results themselves are sorted chronologically. Certainly, there are a lot of ways to use the timeline view in teaching and learning.

Both views provide a nice visual interface for users to access information.