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January 2007
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March 2007

Flickr Groups Upgrade

Flickr just announced some new and exciting features to help you moderate your Flickr group: News Flash, Invite a Photo, Group Rules, Photo Moderation and Tiered Group Administration. Yay! More ways to connect with your community in Flickr!

You can read more about these improvements over on the 100% official Flickr blog.

Gen Y + Multiple Intelligences

The following list illustrates how online learning styles (in this case Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences), and social software technologies can work together to support Gen Y learning styles, and foster community in the online and blended classroom.

Over the next couple weeks, I'll be showing what types of social media support each of the different Multiple Intelligences outlined by Howard Gardner. I'll also list specific social media tools that support each MI type.


  • Verbal-Linguistic > To do with words, spoken or written. People in this area are generally good at writing, oration, and learning from lectures.


  • Wiki
  • Podcasting
  • Virtual Learning Environments (VLE)
  • eMail


Weblog/Self Publishing Tools

Wiki Tools

Podcasting/Audio Tools

Virtual Learning Environments (VLE)


Yahoo! Groups + Moderator Central

The Yahoo! Groups team has launched Moderator Central, a new web site for Yahoo! Groups moderators and owners to connect with a community of moderators both new and experienced. 

Moderator Central has a number of tools to help Yahoo! Groups owners share and collaborate with other moderators:

  • Moderator Discussions allows new moderators to ask questions, and lets Yahoo! Groups veterans share advice.
  • Getting Started provides helpful tours for moderators to learn more about creating their group and building membership.
  • Yahoo! Answers about Yahoo! Groups are displayed on the Moderator Central home page.
  • Yahoo! Groups Suggestion Board givers users a place to submit suggestions to the Yahoo! Groups team and vote and comment on the contributions they feel are most valuable and relevant.

If you are one of the thousands of educators who use Yahoo! Groups in your classroom, go check out the new Yahoo! Groups Moderator Community.

It's a great way to tap into the power of the community to get advice, help, and learn how to get the most of Yahoo! Groups. You'll also be able to learn or share tips and tricks that will help make your life as a Yahoo! Groups Moderator a little bit easier!

Related Links

Edutopia: My Friend Flickr

The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF) has long been an advocate of helping teachers use technology to support instruction and student learning in the classroom. This month's edition of Edutopia, their online community and print magazine, has a feature article on using Flickr in the classroom.

The article, written by Amy Standen, features interviews with Tim Lauer, Flickr Community Manager Heather Champ and several other educators on how they use Flickr in their classroom.

At the end of the article, Amy lists several education oriented groups created in Flickr. These groups (and there are quite a few!) are an excellent way to find out how your colleagues are using Flickr in their classrooms. So read the article, check out and join a Flickr education group today!

Also worth noting:

  • Flickr has over a million photos with a Creative Commons license that you are free to use in classroom projects.
  • You can create a private Flickr group where you control both membership as well as the content in the group. This is a great way to create a "micro-Flickr" for your school and/or classroom.
  • There are a TON of Flickr hacks (like Spell with Flickr) created by and for members of the Flickr community that you can use to make some fun and creative art projects. Huge Big Labs (aka FD's Flickr Toys) has an excellent (and free!) collection of Flickr projects. Thanks FD!
  • One of my favorite Flickr projects ever is the Flat Bobby Project. You can read more about her project by clicking here. This was a great example of what Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake calls the "culture of generosity" that flows freely through the Flickr community.

Related Links

New York Magazine on Gen Y

The February 12th issue of New York Magazine has a couple really terrific articles on Gen Y. The first, The Power (and Peril) of Praise, suggests that "according to the latest science, many parents may be killing their children's classroom performance with kindness."

In short, the kids that are perpetually labeled "smart" or praised for their "intelligence" by their parents and teachers, often cop out by choosing the easiest task in order to avoid the risk of being embarrassed. This is a fascinating read. Thanks to Kareem for the pointer.

The second article, Kids, the Internet, and the End of Privacy, takes a look at the MySpace Generation, social media, their seemingly insatiable need for attention and the biggest generation gap since Elvis shook his hips on the Ed Sullivan Show.

The author of the article, Emily Nussbaum, gives a pretty detailed look and analysis into how Gen Y is different than preceding generations. What are these changes? How are Gen Y learners and consumers different?

Changes in Gen Y Attitudes

  1. They Think of Themselves Having an Audience
  2. They Have Archived Their Adolescence
  3. Their Skin is Thicker Than Yours

Both of these articles provide valuble insight into the sociological changes taking place among Gen Y learners and consumers. Well worth reading.

Web Resources

Oscar goes all Web 2.0

In a sign that the earth may have shifted on its axis, the traditionally stodgy Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to reach out to Gen Y viewers by adding a little Web 2.0 glam to the newly revamped 2007 web site.

The new site features interviews with all 177 nominees, online games, an interactive Oscar fashion section, and vlog from Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres. On Oscar night, they also plan to have a live webcam backstage along with video interviews from the winners.

There's also Oscar Insider blog, The Gold Rush, where movie fans can get the latest scoop on the telecast and in a bold embrace of community--you can leave comments! 

Overall the Oscar 2.0 site, which is somewhat awkward to navigate and has some really obnoxious ad placement, is a great step into community driven participatory media. The Academy gets extra credit for *not* having rounded corners and a pastel color palette on their revamped site!

Now the only thing to do is kick back and enjoy Hollywood's biggest night.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that nobody will say anything in their acceptance speech that lands them in "rehab." But if they do, hopefully will be there to catch it!

Learning 3.0: Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

"The fates guide those who go willingly; those who do not, they drag" ~ Seneca

Learning 3.0 will be about harnessing the ubiquity of the mobile phone/handheld device and using it as an educational tool. Given the fact that many in the education ecosystem are finding the Learning 2.0 pill hard to swallow, it may seem a bit premature to start discussing Learning 3.0.

However, the future of learning has already arrived in the European Union, Africa and Southeast Asia, and if the United States doesn't act now we will be even further behind the rest of the world.

Another key indicator that the internet is trending towards a mobile experience is the move by media giants such as Yahoo!, Google, Disney Internet Group, Apple Computer, and Sony to provide more and more of their content on mobile devices.

The convergence of mobile and social technologies, on-demand content delivery, and early adoption of portable media devices by students provides academia with an opportunity to leverage these tools into learning environments that seem authentic to the digital natives filling the 21st Century classroom.

Clearly, the spread of web-based technology into both the cognitive and social spheres requires educators to reexamine and redefine our teaching and learning methods.

A few quick facts on mobile technology, Gen Y and education:

  • A 2005 study conducted by the USA-based Kaiser Family Foundation found that, although 90% of teen online access occurs in the home, most students also have web access via mobile devices such as a mobile phone (39%), portable game (55%), or other web-enabled handheld device (13%). [link]
  • Last year, 64 million votes were cast for American Idol contestants using cell phones, more votes than have been cast for any U.S. president. Kudos to News Corp/Fox Interactive Media for recognizing this trend and tapping into the love affair between Gen Y and their mobile technology. [link]
  • Palm estimates that mobile and handheld devices for public schools will be a 300 million dollar market. A few progressive school districts in the USA have already started using mobile devices in the classroom. [link]
  • Australia is emerging as a leader in mobile learning (mlearning). [link] [link]
  • The National College of Ireland, University of Scotland and other European universities have already started experimenting and integrating mobile technologies into their classes. [link] [link]
  • A recent study by the Irish National Teachers Organization (INTO) found that students are using their mobile phones for just about everything--except making phone calls.
  • There are a myriad of new Mobile Social Software (MoSoSo) applications being developed, and the number is poised to explode.  [link]
  • Some developing countries, like Kenya, are bypassing the use of desktop computers all together and using handheld WI-FI devices and open source software to reduce the cost of education in rural areas. [link] [link]
  • Mobile School is a Belgian non-profit organization who is using mobile technology to provide educational opportunities for homeless children. [link]
  • Mobile phones are in the early phases of being used for student testing and assessment. [link]
  • YouTube, the popular online video community, has also recently launched a service that allows users to upload video clips via their mobile phones, PDAs, or other wireless handheld devices.
  • SparkNotes are now available for download on both the iPod (text and audio format) or via SparkMobile, a SMS version for mobile phones.

The combination of social interaction with opportunities for peer support and collaboration creates an interesting, engaging, stimulating, and intuitive learning environment for students. Effective course design will need to blend traditional pedagogy with the reality of the media hungry and mobile Gen Y learner.

At the 2006 International Consumer Electronic Show, Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel outlined the explosive growth of mobile technology. According to Semel (2006), there are 900 million personal computers in the world. But this number pales in comparison to the 2 billion mobile phones currently being used in the world.

Even more astounding is how mobile devices are increasingly being used as the primary way in which people connect to the Internet. In fact, Semel notes that 50% of the Internet users outside the US will most likely never use a personal computer to connect to the Internet. Rather, they will access information, community, and create content on the Internet via a mobile device.

In order to create a better learning environments designed for the digital learning styles of Generation Y, there is a need to use strategies and methods that support and foster motivation, collaboration, and interaction. The use of mobile devices are directly connected with the personal experiences and authentic use of technology students bring to the classroom.

The use of mobile technologies is growing and represents the next great frontier for learning. Increasingly we will continue to see academic and corporate research invest, design and launch new mobile applications, many of which can be used in a learning context.

Web Resources

Maps + Wiki: Wikimapedia

Wikimapedia is a Google Maps/wiki mash-up that your students can use to explore geographic features like the Great Salt Lake, illustrate where the Battle of Gettysburg was fought, get a birds eye view of the Great Pyramids in Giza, look down into an active shield volcano in Hawaii, or give students learning French a virtual tour of the City of Lights!

You can even embed a Wikimapedia snapshot into your own class blog or website. It's easy peasy! Thanks to Noel Jenkins for the heads up on this fantastic resource!