Thursday, October 18, 2007

7 Things You Should Know Abuot

7 Things You Should Know About provides information on emerging learning technology. Here is an example of what they offer:

Data visualization is the graphical representation of information. It offers one way to harness infrastructure to find hidden trends and correlations that can lead to important discoveries. Visual literacy is an increasingly important skill, and data visualizations also provide another channel for students to develop their ability to process information visually.

Haptics technologies provide force feedback to users about the physical properties and movements of virtual objects represented by a computer. For applications that simulate real physical properties—such as weight, momentum, friction, texture, or resistance—haptics communicates those properties through interfaces that let users "feel" what is happening on the screen.

Cyberinfrastructure merges technology, data, and human resources into a seamless whole. It integrates high-performance computing, remote sensors, large data sets, middleware, and sophisticated applications. It also helps faculty and students share expertise, tools, and facilities to generate knowledge.

Twitter is an online application that is part blog, part social networking site, and part cell phone/IM tool. It is designed to let users describe what they are doing or thinking at a given moment in 140 characters or less. As a tool for students and faculty, Twitter could be used academically to foster interaction and support metacognition.

Wikipedia—a free, online encyclopedia that anyone can contribute to and edit—is one of the most visited Web sites in the United States, with millions of articles in multiple languages. While it may help students both to analyze and create content for reflective, creative learning, many in higher education are concerned about its reliability as a research tool.

Facebook II now offers new ways of organizing social networks as well as extensive new features and access to other Web applications. Users can now manage online identities and engage other users much more easily. They also enjoy privacy policies that give them unprecedented control over how their personal information is handled on the site.

RSS is a protocol that lets users subscribe to online content using a "reader" or "aggregator." Internet users tend to settle on preferred information sources. RSS allows users to create a list of those sources in an application that automatically retrieves updates, saving users considerable time and effort.

Creative Commons, is an alternative to traditional copyright, developed by a nonprofit organization of the same name. By default, most original works are protected by copyright, which confers specific rights regarding use and distribution. Creative Commons allows copyright owners to release some of those rights while retaining others, with the goal of increasing access to and sharing of intellectual property.

Open journaling tools manage the process of publishing peer-reviewed journals online. They enable users to publish academic journals more easily and much less expensively than traditional methods. They also allow authors to track their submissions through the review process, as well as to access reviewer comments and revise and resubmit articles, which creates a sense of openness and transparency uncommon in traditional peer-reviewed publications.

Digital storytelling involves combining narrative with digital content to create a short movie. Digital stories can include interactive movies with highly produced audio and visual effects or presentation slides with narration or music. Some learning theorists believe that as a pedagogical technique, storytelling can be effectively applied to nearly any subject. Constructing a narrative and communicating it effectively require one to think carefully about the topic and the audience's perspective.


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