7 Things You Should Know About Series



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Educause – “7 Things You Should Know About Series” - http://www.educause.edu/7ThingsYouShouldKnowAboutSeries/7495
The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative's (ELI's) 7 Things You Should Know About... series provides concise information on emerging learning technologies and related practices. Each brief focuses on a single technology or practice and describes:

  • What it is

  • How it works

  • Where it is

  • Why it matters to teaching and learning



Use ELI's 7 Things You Should Know About... briefs to:

  • Enhance faculty development activities

  • Open a dialogue with senior administrators about emerging technologies and their implications for your institution

  • Stay up-to-date on emerging technologies



7 Things You Should Know About...pieces provide quick, no-jargon overviews of technologies and related practices that have demonstrated or may demonstrate positive learning impacts. Any time you need to explain a new learning technology or practice quickly and clearly, look for a 7 Things You Should Know About... brief from ELI.
Below is a brief description of each topic available with links to that brief.
Haptics, September 2007

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. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/45154



Cyberinfrastructure, August 2007

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. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/44951


Twitter, July 2007

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. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/44762



Wikipedia, June 2007

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. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/44397




Facebook II, May 2007


Since ELI's first brief on Facebook, the social networking site originally developed for college students has become available to anyone. It 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. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39402

RSS, April 2007

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. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39401



Creative Commons, March 2007

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. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39400



Open Journaling, February 2007

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. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39399



Digital Storytelling, January 2007

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. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39398



E-Books, November 2006

E-books offer new ways for readers to interact with content. An e-book that abandons the notion of reading from front to back, for example, encourages readers to take an active, self-directed role in how they learn. E-books incorporating audio, movies, and simulations facilitate deeper understanding of subject matter, while annotation features let users customize a text. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39397




Google Earth, October 2006


Google Earth is an interactive mapping application that allows users to navigate (or "fly") the entire globe, viewing satellite imagery with overlays of roads, buildings, geographic features, and the like. Educators can use it to assess and bolster students' visual literacy. Students can use it to develop a context for spatial and cultural differences globally. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39396


YouTube, September 2006


YouTube is a video-sharing service that allows users to post personally developed videos of nearly any variety online, from animations to personal recordings. YouTube is one of an emerging class of social applications that allows users to share and form communities around their content. It draws users into engaging content as commentators and creators, activities that heighten students' visual literacy. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39395


Facebook, August 2006


Information literacy - the ability to negotiate the opportunities and risks of the Internet age - is increasingly important. Facebook, a leading social networking site, highlights the information literacy challenges college students face. It enables easy, spontaneous networking through dynamically linked user profiles. However, students may not recognize the potential consequences of submitting personal information to a public forum. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39394


Mapping Mashups, July 2006


Mapping mashups use online mapping services, such as those offered by Google or Yahoo, to display customized, clickable markers showing points of interest and related information. In the classroom, they can place lessons in a rich geographical context and increase interactivity. They can be useful for spatial display of research data or for enhancing information on campus Web sites. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39393


Virtual Worlds, June 2006


Virtual worlds are immersive online environments whose "residents" are avatars representing individuals who participate via the Internet. Many institutions are experimenting with virtual worlds for educational purposes. They may foster constructivist learning by placing students in a context that challenges them to learn without explicit learning objectives and assessment. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39392


Google Jockeying, May 2006


A Google jockey is a participant in a presentation or class who surfs the Internet for terms, ideas, Web sites, or resources mentioned by the presenter or related to the topic. The jockey's searches are displayed simultaneously with the presentation, helping to clarify the main topic and extend learning opportunities. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39391


Remote Instrumentation, April 2006


Remote instrumentation involves remote, network-based control of scientific instruments. The expense and complexity of specialized instruments limits some institutions' access to them, and logistical issues may prevent institutions that have such instruments from fully utilizing them. Remote instrumentation addresses these access and efficiency issues to improve educational quality and student opportunities. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39390


Screencasting, March 2006


A screencast is a video recording of the actions on a user's computer screen, typically with accompanying audio, distributed through RSS. Screencasts can be thought of as video podcasts. They provide a simple means to extend rich course content to anyone who might benefit from the material but cannot attend a presentation. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39389


Virtual Meetings, February 2006


Virtual meetings are real-time interactions that take place over the Internet using integrated audio and video, chat tools, and application sharing. They offer a way to engage students in fully interactive, online learning experiences such as lectures, discussions, and tutoring. Many virtual meeting applications integrate with course management systems, providing students and faculty with a unified learning system including access to online meetings. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39388


Grid Computing, January 2006


Grid computing uses middleware to coordinate disparate IT resources across a network, allowing them to function as a virtual whole. The goal of a computing grid, like that of the electrical grid, is to provide users with access to the resources they need, when they need them. Grids address two distinct but related needs: providing remote access to IT assets, and aggregating processing power. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39387


Collaborative Editing, December 2005


Collaborative editing tools allow a group of individuals to simultaneously edit a document, see who else is working on it, and watch in real time as others make changes. As a functional hybrid of wikis and instant messaging, collaborative editing creates a new dynamic for group work and multitasking, two hallmarks of today's learners. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39386


Instant Messaging, November 2005


Instant messaging (IM) is a form of online communication that allows real-time interaction through computers or mobile devices. It has become such an integral part of students' lives that many colleges and universities are working to move IM beyond the social sphere into teaching and learning. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39385


Augmented Reality, September 2005


Augmented reality adds information and meaning to a real object or place. Unlike virtual reality, augmented reality does not create a simulated reality. Instead, it takes a real object or space and uses technologies to add contextual data to deepen students' understanding of it. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39384


Blogs, August 2005


A blog - shorthand for "Web log" - is an online collection of personal commentary and links. Blogs can be viewed as online journals to which others can respond that are as simple to use as e-mail. Faculty are using blogs to express their opinions, promote dialogue in their disciplines, and support teaching and learning; students increasingly use blogs for personal expression and to meet course requirements. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39383


Video Blogging, August 2005


A videoblog, or vlog, is a Web log (blog) that primarily utilizes video rather than text or audio. The ability to easily create video segments and post them online makes videoblogs a potential tool for recording lectures and special events. Videoblogs can also be used for personal expression and reflection. As a result, they are being incorporated into e-portfolios and presentations. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39382


Wikis, July 2005


Wikis are Web pages that can be viewed and modified by anyone with a Web browser and Internet access. They support asynchronous communication and group collaboration online. Wikis are also being used as e-portfolios, highlighting their utility as a tool for collection and reflection. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39381


Podcasting, June 2005


"Podcasting" refers to any software/hardware combination that permits automatic downloading of audio files to an MP3 player for listening at the user's convenience. Podcasting allows learning to become more portable and gives educators another way to meet today's students where they live and learn - online and on audio players. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39380


Clickers, May 2005


Clickers, along with well-designed questions, provide an easy-to-implement mechanism for enhancing two important learning principles - interaction and engagement. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39379


Social Bookmarking, May 2005


Social bookmarking involves saving bookmarks one normally makes in a Web browser to a public Web site and "tagging" them with keywords. The resulting community-driven, keyword-based classifications, known as "folksonomies," may change how we store and find information online. http://connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/7ThingsYouShouldKnow/39378
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