Here are some notes on Kathy Gill and Paul Vogelzang’s session on tomorrow’s education:
- The premise here is that students at the University level are still working with newspapers, and old media, and don’t get the connection when someone says “Flickr.” Maybe in the US it’s different, but in my experience, University students are pretty cutting edge.
- Of Kathy’s students, juniors and seniors in Communications at the University of Washington, 11% had never heard of a blog, and only 7% had heard of Flickr. Only 11% were regular blog consumers.
- According to Kathy, the most common place to find blogs in education today is in English classes. This is not surprising to me, the fit is so natural.
- Blogs give instant gratification, something that “cannot be undersold” when you’re talking about University students.
- How are blogs being used in education – media literacy, managing course content, helps make sure students have read their readings, can be used for collaborative editing, facilitates user-centered learning.
- Some tips: use common tools for all students, specifiy a minimum post size, provide guiding questions so that students have a starting point, make sure comments are enabled, make sure a marking guide is well defined.
- Kathy says that online education (distance learning) 2.0 is coming, and it will shake up the current educational institutions.
- According to Paul, the US federal government is looking at blogs and podcasts as a potentially useful technology. He was forced to read at the start of his talk however, a small paragraph explaining that the government does not current do any blogging or podcasting.
- RSS makes a lot of sense for government, the biggest reason being cost savings. RSS allows rapid information dispersal at relatively low cost. And, it fosters good social interactions with citizens.
- In particular, the Treasury Department is trying to get more stuff online, and RSS will be key in that effort.
A bit of a shorter session, and definitely felt a little rushed.