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February, 2011:

2-3 Credit Courses in Digital Media Practices

Learning Technologies is offering two classes for Fall Quarter 2011. There are no prerequisites and all majors are welcome.

  • BISMCS 234 – Working with Video (2 credits)
  • BISSKL 402 – Art of Teaching and Learning with Digital Media (3 credits)

See the time schedule for more detailed information and hours.

Social Media Class Skypes with Internet Celebs

At the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, students enrolled in the course Social Media Optimization & the New Web learn and become “experts” on web applications such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. They stay up-to-date on the latest trends on the Internet by reading and thinking critically about the industry and reporting on the changes that are occurring.

An interesting part of the class is that students get to Skype with several industry leaders:

Craig Newmark – founder of Craigslist
David Meerman Scott – author of the New Rules of Marketing & PR
Guy Kawasaki – author of The Art of the Start
Zadi Diaz – host of Epic Fu
John Batelle – founder of Wired

Find out more at Inside Higher Ed: Social Media Class Skypes with Internet Celebs

Using Backchannels in the Classroom

A backchannel is the use of networked computers to maintain several side-conversations while the main conversation is occurring concurrently. In higher education, a model of this would be an instructor lecturing about a topic with students collaborating in small groups at the same time. The Twitter Experiment at UT Dallas is an example of conducting a backchannel through the use of mobile technology.

This post at the Teaching with Classroom Response Systems blog  outlines nine possible uses of backchannels in education as well as several examples of backchannel use at other universities. Check out the page at: http://derekbruff.com/teachingwithcrs/?p=472

Distinction between “digital natives” and “digital immigrants” Dying

The following blog posting from EdTechDev brings up an interesting point on the commonly used terms “digital natives” and “digital immigrants”.

I guess I never blogged this before, but I keep seeing references to the 10 year old distinction between digital natives vs. digital immigrants as it relates to educational technology.  This is the idea that “kids today” are born in a digital world and have their brains wired differently than us old fogeys. The “single biggest problem facing education today” is that teachers, being digital immigrants, don’t know how to teach digital native kids, who want nothing but video games and so forth.

Quite a lot has been written about how this idea isn’t really substantiated.  At the very least, the distinction is quickly growing irrelevant.  Unfortunately, the idea is still uncritically accepted even in some journal articles, and perhaps used as an excuse or crutch too often for poor or ineffective teaching practices.

Read more at: http://edtechdev.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/the-digital-natives-digital-immigrants-distinction-is-dead-or-at-least-dying/

Social Networking and Grades

According to a study done by student researchers at the University of New Hampshire, there is no correlation between the amount of time spent on social networking and the grades that students received. The study defined people with light social media usage as using social media for less than 31 minutes per day and heavy users were defined as having more than an hour use per day. Social media was defined as Blogs, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Check out the study at http://www.unh.edu/news/docs/UNHsocialmedia.pdf