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What is a MOOC?

The recent announcement by a number of universities on offering online courses for free and open to anyone heralds what some call as the beginning of a wave of MOOCs, or massively open online courses. Just what exactly is a MOOC and how does it differ from a typical distance learning course? The video below gives a good summary of how MOOCs work and why they are different from other models of distance learning.


EdTech Cheat Sheet

Ever wonder what the latest acronyms and terms used in edtech mean? Check out the infographic below the jump for a quick summary.


EdTech Magazine Interviews Director of UWBLT, Andreas Brockhaus

Last month, we received the fantastic news that the UWB Learning Technologies Blog was named one of 50 “Must-Read” educational technology blogs by EdTech Magazine.

As a follow-up to that, EdTech Magazine’s Jimmy Daly interviewed director of UWB Learning Technologies, Andreas Brockhaus. In the interview, Andreas discusses different aspects of technology in higher education: cloud computing, learning analytics, EDUCAUSE, hybrid/online courses, and technology on our campus.

The full interview can be found here. For more Q&As from other “Must-Read” edtech bloggers, check out Karine Joly and Eric Stoller‘s interviews.

Media & Communication Students’ Projects are Great Examples of Blogs/Sites in Education

Last quarter, I completed BISMCS 333: Media and Communication Studies, the core class for the UWB Media & Communication studies major. Taught by Amoshaun Toft, the class covered many different aspects of communications, media, and policy, all while putting them in a 21st-century context. As part of our final project, each group created a communication object to share with the rest of the class, also to be showcased to the public in a way of our choosing. Initially, groups were assigned to research and discuss topics of gender, race or class within the media. The research turned to analysis, which then turned into the object, presentation and reflection. Communication objects groups chose to create included Twitter accounts, memes, informational/satirical posters, and web sites–which I’d like to take a moment to discuss.

All of the student work was creative, impressive and fantastically put together. Although, working in Learning Technologies made me automatically pay close attention to the sites some groups created using WordPress and Wix. Usually whenever these sites appear in the classroom, they are being used as the course website (a great example of this is Professor Toft’s site for that class). Using these sites and others like it for student projects is a bit less common. However, all of these groups pulled it off and created some great sites. If you are wondering how to use blog hosting sites in your classroom, or if you just want to be inspired by awesome student work, read on:


Immune Attack Review

After reading my introduction to learning and video games, it is quite appropriate that I follow up with a short review of a game. Below is a trailer of Immune Attack, a game that teaches players about basic immunology. The game puts the player in the role of a nanobot traveling within the body of a person who is afflicted with disease. The player’s vehicle allows them to attack bacterial/viral infections as well exploring the different cells and their functions. The game itself is a bit dated but it does integrate elements of the learning principles such as probing and exploring areas of the body to complete objectives as well as actively learning about the various functions of the cells that the player encounters. It is also a great way to reinforce certain concepts that players have learned in class. The game, produced with collaboration between the NSF, the FAS, and several universities  is available to download for free.