28 December 2007

Digital Inclusion: Content, Community and Technology

Didactics World, December 2006
Derek E. Baird, M.A.

"Despite enormous strides towards digital inclusion, technology is only part of the solution. Another vital component of the digital divide that gets less attention, but is nearly as important is lack of quality, free, and open content on the web.The key aim of the open learning movement is to have quality educational content available for students once they cross the digital divide."

30 September 2007

Mashup Edu: A New Digital Pedagogy

Dr. Mercedes Fisher and I just finished a new book chapter titled "Pedagogical Mashup: Social Media, Gen Y and Digital Learning Styles" that will be published early next year. I'll have more details in a future post, but in the meantime I wanted to share the bounty of resources we culled together for the article.

We've saved the links for all the resources and references cited in the book chapter over on the social bookmarking tool del.icio.us, which you can find here: http://del.icio.us/mashup.edu

If you have any questions, or know of a great Education 2.0 resource that we should include, let us know!

Related Articles by Mercedes Fisher & Derek E. Baird

26 September 2007

Facebook, Buzz, Twitter & Election 2008

A Guide to Twitter in Libraries: iLibrarian has put together a very impressive slew of resources on using Twitter in an educational context. This is one of the best collections on TwitterEDU I've seen to date. Great work. I'm also doing research on Twitter and education, if you have a story or case study drop me a note. I'm also interested in stories regarding bullying via Twitter.

CBS Aims to be the Talk of the Web: This story really frustrated me. On the one hand, CBS totally gets social media (it's about building community around your brand and having an open platform).

On the other hand, Katie Couric & Company were smacked down by the CBS brass (boo hiss) for trying to move the CBS Evening News into a new format that would appeal to Gen X & Y viewers. Seems like a case of one hand of the company not knowing what the other is doing.

Didactics World: A new magazine focused on the Middle East and Subcontinent. When it comes to Gen Y media, mobile, and eLearning the Middle East is still a largely untapped and ignored market. Didactics World is aiming to be the leading voice on education in the region.

Du Jour: Looks like everyone is talking about Facebook. But it's not all good news.

Youth & Election 2008: Lots of interesting news on the youth vote front. Looks like mobile phones and  Twitter will play a bigger role in the 2008 election. Smart candidates will get on the band wagon and reach out to Gen Y and Gen X voters via mobile devices and platforms.

BUZZ: It looks like AT&T is getting into the social networking fray. Is it to late? Or will AT&T leverage their partnership with the uber reality series American Idol to create the next big thing? Time will tell.....in the meantime, don't get too excited---it's a closed beta.

15 July 2007

Creative Commons: Wanna Work Together?

This is a great introduction to Creative Commons. I learned about this video from one of the amazing teachers attending the Yahoo! Teachers workshop in New York City a few weeks ago. Thanks Mr. Circe!


08 July 2007

B.J. Fogg on Web Credibility

Related Resources

22 April 2007

The Digital Alliance: ICT Education for All

For the last month or so I've been doing some consulting for The Digital Alliance, a not-for-profit humanitarian organization dedicated to providing ICT knowledge and skills to marginalized groups around the globe. Last week, I was thrilled to learn that the Digital Alliance was invited to participate as a Member of the UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID) High-level Panel of Advisor's.

The UN Global Alliance responds to the need and demand for an inclusive global forum and platform for cross-sectoral policy dialogue on the use of ICT for enhancing the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, notably reduction of poverty.

Next week Quinn Sutton, Executive Director of the Digital Alliance ,will be heading to an UN sponsored Pan-African Education conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. During the week long conference, Quinn will will have the opportunity to meet with high ranking education officials from several African nations and share with them how they can integrate social media tools like PBWiki, Yackpack, and Yahoo! Teachers into their classrooms to support student learning.

I strongly believe that social media and Open Education Resources (OER) have the potential to support learning and economic advancement in developing countries and I'm proud that I've been able to work with the Digital Alliance on this project. I hope that this is the first of many more collaborations together.

Congratulations to Quinn & The Digital Alliance!

03 April 2007

Yahoo! Teachers: Seeding a new community

β€œThe basic idea of the Web is that an information space through which people can communicate, but communicate in a special way: communicate by sharing their knowledge in a pool.

The idea was not just that it should be a big browsing medium. The idea was that everybody would be putting their ideas in, as well as taking them out.” ~Tim Berners-Lee

In July of 2006, Yahoo! invited a cadre of teachers, media specialists, and librarians to come spend a week on the Yahoo! campus and talk about how together we could leverage the technology and social media know-how at Yahoo! to support teachers in the classroom.

We called this group of educational pioneers our Yahoo! Teachers of Merit. They came from urban, suburban, wired, not-so-wired, public and private schools located all over the San Francisco Bay Area. We had veteran teachers and newbie teachers. We had Teach for America teachers and teachers entering their final year of teaching.

We asked this amazing and diverse group of educators to bring their teacher's eye, and plenty of advice. We wanted to know what technology works, what doesn't work in the classroom. We also made it clear that Yahoo! understands it's about using technology to support instruction, not using instruction to support technology.

Teachers talked. Yahoo! listened.

Our Yahoo! Teachers of Merit (YTOMs) told us that teaching was a very isolating profession. They also told us there was never enough time in the day to get everything done. Collaboration between teachers, even at the same school, was difficult. Finally, they also expressed that they needed help to tame the myriad of standards, scripts, and testing requirements.

From the get-go we also understood that this was very much a collaborative process, all of us, building something together that would benefit the teaching community. We started with an early prototype of Yahoo! Teachers and based on their ongoing feedback we have continued to refine the service.

Video by Yahoo! Teachers of Merit Judy Pappas

Almost a year after this journey started, we are ready to share Yahoo! Teachers with the rest of the teaching community. Last week at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference in St. Louis, we launched a sneak peek of Yahoo! Teachers and the Y! Gobbler.

The feedback from teachers at NSTA was phenomenal. Science teachers from Gilbert, Arizona to Stockholm, Sweden crowded around the Yahoo! Teachers booth and watched us use the Y! Gobbler to easily collect, organize, and annotate resources from any page on the web.

Teachers at our NSTA workshops saw first hand how they could use Yahoo! Teachers to collaborate with teachers from down the hall or Down Under. Like our YTOMs, teachers at NSTA caught the vision of how social media tools can be leveraged to support the teaching community.

In fact, on the last day of the conference, several of the teachers we met at NSTA asked us to thank our YTOMs for taking time out of their busy life and summer vacation to help steer the development of Yahoo! Teachers. I couldn't agree more.

There's a quote by Margaret Wheatley that I hope will become the core foundation of the Yahoo! Teachers community.

β€œLiving systems contain their own solutions. When they are suffering in any way - from divisive relationships, from lack of information, from declining performance - the solution is always to bring the system together so that it can learn more about itself from itself.

Somewhere in the system there are people who have already figured out how to resolve this problem. They are already practicing what others think is impossible.” -Dr. Margaret Wheatley

Last July our Yahoo! Teachers of Merit helped seed a new community that we expect to be the start of something great. And we want you to join us. Yahoo! Teachers is about more than technology and we know that community is the heart of Yahoo! Teachers. After all, "people are the killer app."

So if you, or someone you know is a teacher,  let's work together to bring the system together. Let's use the power of the web to leverage the knowledge network that exists in this community. Let's make the seemingly impossible, possible. Together we can explore all the possibilities.

Welcome to Yahoo! Teachers. Bring your passion and creativity. We'll bring the technology.

07 February 2007

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!

06 February 2007

Eduwikipedia: Share, Learn and Connect

Eduwikipedia is a collaborative wiki project covering the use of Web 2.0 and other technology tools in education. This is a great way to share what you know or learn something new.

The best part about a collaborative project like this is that everyone is invited and encouraged to contribute their knowledge and expertise. So what are you waiting for--join us!

10 January 2007

One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Project

Negroponte brings Green Machine to Hong Kong on Vimeo


13 December 2006

Harvard Open Collections Program

ImageHarvard University's Open Collections Program has launched " Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930," a web-based collection of approximately 1,800 books and pamphlets, 6,000 photographs, 200 maps, and 13,000 pages from manuscript and archival collections selected from Harvard's library, archives and museums.
The collection is available to Internet users everywhere. By incorporating diaries, biographies and other writings capturing diverse experiences, the collected material provides a window into the lives of ordinary immigrants. In addition to thousands of items now accessible, the collection includes contextual information on immigration and quantitative data. (via)

01 October 2006

Wikipedia: It's about Community

Jimmy Wales, head of Wikipedia, speaks on trust, community and the wisdom of crowds.

23 September 2006

techLearning + Yahoo! for Educators

Yahoo! for Educators: "Sixty-five Bay Area educators stormed Yahoo!'s Sunnyvale, Calif. campus this summer for the first annual Yahoo! Teachers of Merit Summer Session. During the seven-day "teacher camp," Yahoo! held working sessions on how new tools such as Flickr and blogs could be harnessed for curriculum activities.

The company also involved campers in discussions about common ed tech challenges and product development. "We talked to them a lot about what they need and what they're not getting," says vice president Lorna Borenstein. "It was like rapid prototyping using industry experts."

Could Yahoo!, which first jumped into the education fray with Yahooligans, be gearing up for a product launch? Borenstein did not say. However, she notes they want to make educational search better. "There's a great opportunity with Web 2.0 tools for education to jump ahead," she says."

Web Resources

13 September 2006

mynoteIT: Social Notetaking

mynoteIT is an extremely powerful social search utility for students. Since mynoteIT is web-based, you can store all your class notes and other information in one place, and access it anywhere in the world instantly. It's like del.ic.ious for your notes.

One of the coolest features of mynoteIT are the Workspace Utilities which "allow you to lookup the definition of a word, and translate words or sentences between languages, all in real-time while taking or editing notes." How slick is that? And a time saver too!

mynoteIT also provides a way for students to search and share your notes with friends and/or other members of their collegiate community. You can e-mail your notes, send them through mynoteIT, or use an unique URL link to your notes. Some other cool mynoteIT features include:

  • Upcoming assignment reminder
  • mynoteIT Groups
  • Track comments on notes
  • Make notes private or public
  • To-do lists
  • Grade Tracker

All in all mynoteIT is a fantastic new social search learning tool and one that I'm sure a lot of students--both in high school and college--will be taking advantage of this school year. It would be great to see mynoteIT's social notetaking application mashed-up with a student social networking site like Facebook, Univillage , or StudentFace.

It's important to note (no pun intended) that mynoteIT is still in beta and is subject to tweaks, bugs, and changes. It looks like the mynoteIT team and their social notetaking service is off to a fast start, and undoubtedly will find many friends and admirers in the education community.

31 August 2006

Pics4Learning, Copyright, and Community

Pics4Learning is a copyright-friendly image library for teachers and students. The library consists of thousands of images that have been donated by students, teachers, and amateur photographers.

Unlike other sites, permission has been granted for teachers and students to use all of the images donated to the Pics4Learning collection.

Need a photo for that lesson on California Mission, sloth, or dinosaur fossils? Then Pics4Learning is the place for you! Members of the education community can upload and share their photos in the Pics4Learning photo archive for other educators to use. In addition to photographs, Pics4Learning has lesson plans created by and for the teaching community.

Pics4Learning is a partnership between Orange County Public Schools Technology Development Unit of Orlando, Florida, and Tech4Learning, Inc.

Web Resources

29 August 2006

FUSE, Open Source Education & Connexions

"Richard Baraniuk is a Rice University professor with a giant vision: to create a free, global online education system.

In this presentation, he introduces Connexions, the open-access publishing system that's changing the landscape of education by providing free coursework and educational materials to everyone in the world. (Recorded February 2006 in Monterey, CA. Duration: 19:18)"

Web Resources

09 August 2006

YackPack: Let's Discuss the Blackboard Patent

In case you missed it, last week the U.S. Patent office granted BlackBoard a patent for many of the key elements used in many, if not all, of the Learning Management System (LMS). Shortly after the patent was issued, Blackboard filed a lawsuit against the online education company Desire2Learn.

This move is being viewed by many in the education ecosystem as a power grab by Blackboard and a way for them to fight against Open Source education platforms like Moodle, Docebo, and OpenCourseWare.

So what do you think?

Our friends over at YackPack have started a new public YackCast for members of the education community to discuss the BlackBoard Patent issue. Join the YackCast and add your voice to the conversation.

Web Resources

04 August 2006

Wikimania '06: $100 Laptop, Wikiversity, Wikiwyg

via Andy Carvin: "A few minutes ago here at the Wikimania conference, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales announced that the One Laptop Per Child Project (OLPC) is including Wikipedia as one of the first elements in their content repository. (ac: though they've been talking about this for at least a year.)

He also announced a new project called Wikiversity. It will serve as an online center for the creation and use of free learning materials and activities. It will create and host a range of free content materials, multilingual learning materials, for all ages in all languages.

It'll host scholarly projects and communities to support these materials, and foster research based in part on existing resources in Wikiversity and other wikimedia projects. Launching in three languages, in a six-month beta, within a month.

Wikimedia Foundation will also now have an advisory board to help improve partnerships, public relations, financing, etc. Additionally, Wikia and SocialText is launching Wikiwyg. It will make it easier for more people to get involved in wiki editing.

The technological barrier to entry keeps out really smart people who are uncomfortable with the Wikipedia interface. "Wikiwyg, in some shape or form, will be the future of the Internet," because it will allow non-techies to become Wikipedians easily.

Web Resources

25 June 2006

Open Content, eBooks & the Digital Library

A couple months ago, I blogged about the recent Google Book Search release of the complete works of William Shakespeare. After reading her post, a member of the debaird.net community, directed my attention to an alternative to Google Books.

Bookyards is an open content eBook and Digital Library portal with "10,101 books, 22,141 web links, 3,941 news & blogs links and access to hundreds of online libraries (200,000 eBooks) for your reading pleasure."

In his comment on my blog, Victor points out that Bookyards also has a digital collection of Shakespeare's writings. It's great to see that there is such a growing interest in digital libraries.

And I for one am very supportive of any movement that opens content, knowledge and education to as many people as possible. I also acknowledge and appreciate people like Victor (and the Google Books team) who put in the hard work of creating digital library portals and digitize books.

I'd also encourage Google to work through some of their issues and find a way to work in a collaborative matter with organizations like Microsoft, Yahoo!, The Open Content Alliance (OCA), The Center for Open and Sustainable Learning (COSL), and Bookyards in creating a truly open and equitable solution for creating a Digital Library on the web.

Web Resources

26 April 2006

Download History: BBC Open News Video Archive

via BBC News: "For the first time in its history BBC News is opening its archives to the UK public for a trial period.

You can download nearly 80 news reports covering iconic events of the past 50 years including the fall of the Berlin Wall, crowds ejecting soldiers from Beijing's Tiananmen Square and behind-the-scenes footage of the England team prior to their victory over West Germany in 1966.

You are welcome to download the clips, watch them, and use them to create something unique. This is a pilot and we want to understand your creative needs. We'd like to see your productions and showcase some of the most interesting ones we receive.

Before you start downloading, there are certain terms and conditions you must read and agree to, about how the clips can be used. Find out more about the rules in brief and all you need to know about this trial."

Web Resources

22 April 2006

Building Communities and Sharing Knowledge

ABSTRACT: A grassroots movement is on the verge of sweeping through the academic world. The "open access movement" is based on a set of intuitions that are shared by a remarkably wide range of academics: that knowledge should be free and open to use and re-use; that collaboration should be easier, not harder; that people should receive credit and kudos for contributing to education and research; and that concepts and ideas are linked in unusual and surprising ways and not the simple linear forms that textbooks present.

Connexions, a non-profit start-up launched at Rice University in 1999, aims to reinvent how we write, edit, publish, and use textbooks (via Google Video).

Web Resources

15 April 2006

Tom Coates: People are the "Killer App"

"The age of social media then is probably about a fusing of these two ways of thinking - the communicative and the publishing/creative parts of the internet - into something new and powerful. It's an environment in which every user is potentially a creator, a publisher and a collaborator with (and to) all of the other creative people on the internet.

...It seems to me that the other main feature of social media is that they're looking at how each individual contribution can become part of something that's greater than the sum of its parts, and to feed that back to the individuals using the service so that - fundamentally - everyone gets back more than they're putting in.

These new services are about creating frameworks and spaces, containers and supports that help users create and publish and use all kinds of data from the smallest comment to the best produced video clip which in aggregate create something of fascinating utility to all." -- Tom Coates