Posted by: jackjohnston | May 2, 2010

Blogfolio Contents

Introduction:
Welcome
Introduction to Blogfolio
Teachers and Technologies

Threaded Discussions:
Podcasting Chapter 15
Wikis Chapters 7 & 8
Social Bookmarking Chapter 10
Social Networks Chapters 2 & 16
Web 2.0 Tools Chapter 4

Assignments:
SlideShare
Podcasting
Wiki
Mobile Web Site
Social Networking Site
Online Presentation Web 2.0 Tool

Conclusion:
Overall Reflection IT 780

Posted by: jackjohnston | May 2, 2010

Overall Reflection IT 780

It is hard to believe that I am at the point of writing a final reflection for my class, IT 780 Seminar in Instructional Technology. This course in Instructional Technology has opened a door to new world of learning. I knew that the rewards would be great from taking this class, but actually they are much greater than I could have possibly imagined.
The course was a hybrid class which assists today’s learners meet their many obligations. Online class several times this semester, allowed me to coordinate work and family related responsibilities, notwithstanding the responsibilities to my engagement in IT780 learning opportunities. Meeting face-to-face was something I always looked forward to. The instructional time was always extremely interesting and beneficial. Dr. Yuen is a great teacher and I feel very fortunate to be one of his students. It was also fun to be face-to-face with my IT 780 social networking online peers and friends. I enjoyed the hybrid class style of schedule that was exercised in IT 780.
From the first class meeting until now, I have been working diligently trying to learn as much as I can, as fast as I can. This could be partly because the subject matter is so interesting, and one thing leads to another, so I am constantly wanting to dig deeper.
Its appears that Dr. Yuen has created a learning environment in which students are actively constructing their own learning. He has modeled a teaching style that can be applied to variety of educational settings. This style recognizes the changes in learning that have evolved from emerging technologies and the advancements developed to enhance learning.
Having access to an educational social networking site allowed for learning anytime, anywhere. The site provided a wealth of current materials to investigate and apply in learning. Complete information was explained on the expectations of course requirements. Reminders and updates about assignments were frequently posted. This online place was used for students to post questions that were addressed by classmates and Dr. Yuen. Also, as students’ work was posted comments and discussions followed that created online interaction among classmates which lead to greater learning. A “sense of community” emerged.
The assignments required for the class were all tools that I can apply to my K12 teaching setting. Podcasting was the most difficult assignment that I encountered. It is hard to pick a favorite assignment, but it sure is fun being able to pull up my mobile web site on my wireless. Which brings me to my thoughts on m-Learning. I think that m-Learning will develop as a key component of our educational environment for a number of reasons. One reason is because wireless phones are so popular and most people have them in their hands. The possibilities seem endless.
Overall, IT780 was a very positive and encouraging experience. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to be involved in this learning experience and I look forward to continuing my study in Instruction Technology and Design at The University of Southern Mississippi.

Reference for Chapter Readings:
Yang, Harrison Hao & Yuen, Steve Chi-Yin. Collective Intelligence and E-Learning 2.0: Implications of Web-Based Communities and Networking. Hershey, Pa.: Information Science Reference, 2010.

Posted by: jackjohnston | May 2, 2010

Online Presentation Web 2.0 Tool GlogsterEDU

I first read about glogster.com when I was researching top Web 2.0 tools. Later when I discovered edu.glogster.com, I knew that I had found a Web 2.0 that would be a great learning tool for my students. GlogsterEDU is designed for students and educators to access web-building tools to create virtual posters called glogs, using text, images, audio, video, links, graphics and more in a safe environment.
The site was designed for teachers to use with their students. On this site, the teacher can protect the privacy of the students’ work. The tool presents educators the opportunity for discussion and feedback. In addition, the teacher has control over the content being used and can monitor what is being created and edited by students. GlogsterEDU is free and once you register and activate your account, you can add up to 200 student accounts. After you register students, GlogsterEDU sends you a list of students with their passwords.
GlogsterEDU is teacher friendly and of course student friendly. It is a very flexible tool to use in your classroom. . Anything that a student can create on a poster or paper, they can create on a glog with web-building tools. This interactive poster creating site opens up a whole world to students. It reaches across the curriculum and addresses higher level thinking skills. In addition, students are able to instantly publish their work. However, only teachers can make glogs public for others to view.
GlogsterEDU is fun to use and has many educational benefits. My students are very excited about opportunities to work on their glogs. It is a great motivator for students. Here is the Slideshare slidecast which gives an overview of GlogsterEDU, which I presented for my IT780 class.

Posted by: jackjohnston | May 1, 2010

Threaded Discussion #5 Web 2.0 Tools Chapter 4

Summary: Chapter 4
As more educators have included technology in their teaching in hopes of greater learner success, unfortunately the results of their efforts have not reflected the desired results. Correct implementation of technology and effective instructional models and strategies that support this implementation in the learning environments are key to their effectiveness as tools to facilitate desired learner outcomes. Today, many educators are discovering and implementing Web 2.0 technologies in the learning environments of their students. This chapter suggests the need for appropriate frameworks to be developed for Web 2.0 technologies effective use in education. The frameworks should address the complexities and the cognitive demands associated with Web 2.0 learning, in order to take full advantage of Web 2.0 innovations and achieve optimum learner success .

Web 2.0 technologies consists of tools such as blogs, podcasting, wikis, and social networking. These learning tools involve a participatory, collaborative, and dynamic approach to learning, in which knowledge is created through the collective efforts of the participants. As a result, instructional designers and teachers are faced with the challenge of constructing models and strategies that align with the ill-structured, non-linear fashion of Web 2.0 learning.

Web 2.0 learning and the cognitive demands associated with it are different from those of traditional Web technologies. First generation web technology consists of one to many with the main purpose being the consumption of information. Web 2.0 learning is characterized by shared ownership, simultaneous traversals of multiple knowledge spaces, and social negotiation. Web 2.0 learning creates challenges in cognitive demands related to cognitive load, selection/use of appropriate cognitive strategies, and integration of information across multiple domains.

Early instructional design models were designed for goal oriented, well-structured, linear learning. They were based on behavioral principals. SID models following in the 80s and 90s, were based on Gagne’s (1965) learning theory of five outcomes related to human learning. The SID models were linear and limited what the instructor could teach and what the learner could learn. The theory of constructivism applied to instructional design resulted in changed. The resulting non-linear SID models are descriptive, emphasizing priori instructional goals and objectives, thus consisting of limitations when applied to ill-structured Web 2.0 learning. Recently, new models have been developed to provide a framework for effective online learning. These emerging e-learning instructional design models such as the WisCom Design Model, the “T5” Design Model, and the Three-Phase Design Model address some aspects of Web 2.0 learning, but appear to lack a systematic approach to coordinate various components of learning in the design process. WisCom and T5 both focus on the existing content as a starting point and do not provide for knowledge creation and construction. The 3PD model lacks measurement of bottom-up behaviors, and how feedback between teacher, learner, and others is used to form a collective wisdom for learning.

The author of Chapter 4 proposes a new framework for online learning that differs from traditional instructional design models and suggests that it provides an alternative view to these design models. The framework is characterized by learner-centered approach, interactive social communications, and dynamic learning in Web 2.0 application. The theoretical bases for this framework includes: emergence theory, functional contextualism, literature in individual differences, metacognition, and self-regulation. Implementation of the framework is presented from a conceptional perspective. The designer first determines what behavior should be involved in the learning activity and the criteria that should be applied to the behavior. Next , a refined open-ended learning which includes posteri goals and objectives is initiated. Finally, the design promotes metacognition and self-regulation. Thus, the proposed framework takes into account the cognitive demands involved in Web 2.0 learning, encourages learning that focuses on metacognition and self-regulation, enhances knowledge integration and construction of schemas-of-the-moment in ill-structured learning, and creates an environment by connecting activities with behavior to form a dynamic learning setting in Web 2.0 application. The author concludes the chapter by explaining several suggestions for future research and exploration.

Reaction:
The chapter explains the development of instructional design models for online learning. It provides information about learning theory and its application to online instructional design. The chapter gives theoretical bases for why the previous instructional models have not resulted in desired learner outcomes, and for proposed developments in instructional design models for Web 2.0 learning. The information was apropos to the needs of education today. The educational setting is changing, and appropriate use of the emerging technologies is imperative in creating technology rich learning environments for our students. Web 2.0 application for greater learner outcomes is dependent on proper implementation of the tools and effective instructional models and strategies that support this implementation. Discussing these issues was one of the many strengths of the chapter.
Understanding learning theory as it applies to technology in the classroom is imperative to providing an appropriate learning environment for students. Technology in the classroom is much more than a space for students to play and gather information. This chapter explains appropriate use of innovative technologies from a theoretical bases, therefore meeting a need in improving instruction.
Online learning, in my opinion is here to stay and I believe that we will see more and more use of it in education, especially as generation y continues to enter the classroom as educators. I hope that instructors gain understanding in the correct implementation of this technology and effective instructional models and strategies that support this implementation, so that we witness the desired learner outcomes.
The chapter provided a lot of new information for me. I have used webquests in my instruction, but had never investigated the development of online instructional design models or the learning theory that they are based on. There were others areas of the chapter that I was more familiar with. Understanding how children learn has been an important part of my education and interest. For example, early childhood development, how children learn to read, and gifted learning are addressed in principles of learning. In addition, teaching metacognitive skills is an important aspect of teaching gifted students.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading and studying this chapter. This chapter helped me better understand the use of technology and learning. Reading this chapter helped to confirm that I am in the right area of study. It left me with questions, in that, I have a greater desire to investigate learning theories and instructional design. I have always been interested in theories of learning as a bases for creating appropriate learning environments. Today, with the addition of technology to this picture, makes learning even more exciting to explore. I find this area of research and development fascinating. (However, right now I am having cognitive load issues.)

Posted by: jackjohnston | May 1, 2010

Threaded Discussion #4 Social Networking Chapters 2 & 16

Summary: Chapter 16
Our society today is marked by rapid technology change and the expansion and intensity of information science. This growing body of information and many advances in digital communications is changing methods of interactions between educators and students. As a result, “anytime, anywhere” learning has evolved as component of our educational institutions. Fully online courses and hybrid course are currently available for today’s students to take advantage of in higher education. Researchers have expressed concern however, that in both fully online courses and hybrid courses the focus tends to be centered on the instructor/corporation needs rather than the student’s needs. A necessity to an e-learning course is a sense of community. The development of Web 2.0 applications, specifically social networking, provides opportunities for enhancing and enriching e-learning courses to ensure greater learning.

Chapter 16, Using Social Networking to Enhance Sense of Community in E-Learning Courses, summarizes the development of sense of community and social networking, detailing the potential of social networking uses in education. It also examines the development and implications of a case study involving two graduate courses which integrate social networking to determine the effects on students’ learning.

Sense of community in courses is related to connectedness and learning. Using today’s variety of interactive technologies can facilitate a sense of community in online learning. Social networking is currently a mainstay in the lives of many students. Social networking, with its intense influence in communication and interaction today, suggests that educators harness this tool as a means for constructing richer learning environments. In addition, digital natives or generation Y, have a unique way of thinking, communicating, and learning which is far different from earlier generations. This active style of learning lends itself to the use social networking in education. The potentials in education that social networking offers includes: providing a casual place of learning; developing literacy and communication skills; providing effective communication and collaboration; enhancing students’ learning experience; building an online community; offering immersion in a foreign language environment; developing e-portfolios; learning about data protection and copyright issues; learning about self-representation and presentation; learning about e-safety rules; producing public showcases of works, events, or organization; forming communities of practice; organizing and scheduling educational timetables; and being where learners are (page 289).

Using a case study for investigation in two graduate courses, Dr. Yuen gathered information about social networking as an instructional approach in teaching and learning, as well as students’ perception of social networking on the sense of learning in e-learning. Ning social networking site was selected for use in the classes for the study. The participants involved included students enrolled in educational technology class from two universities. The construction of a questionnaire was implemented for evaluating the use of social networking in teaching and learning and for investigating social networking effectiveness on the sense of community among learners. The findings of the study concludes that the social networking approach to learning should be considered, designed, and implemented for e-learning courses. Dr. Yuen’s findings also indicated that further research investigate culture issues and the use of social networking in education.

Summary: Chapter 2
Chapter 2 reviews the use of social networking tools and examines the legal and ethical controversies associated with their usage in an educational setting. The authors initiate a social cognitive framework to explore and analyze ethical issues present. The following three ethical vulnerabilities were prevalent surrounding the use of social networking tools: medium provides magnified forum for humiliation or hazing; blurring of boundaries between private and public information on social networking sites; and medium merges individual professional and nonprofessional identities. An investigation of prevalent legal and social issues resulted in suggested responsible use. The authors created an intervention whereby preservice teachers read and think about real cases of educators using social networking, in hopes of improving students‘ critical thinking about ethical issues. In addition, the chapter includes a discussion of applying institutional codes of conduct to ethical dilemmas pertaining to social networking.

Social networking sites are extremely popular mediums for means of networking, connecting, and staying in touch among teenagers, college students, and young adults.
The online identity created when using these sites leaves a permanent digital footprint.
At the same time, social networking tools a gaining popularity among many innovative educational institutions seeking to enhance learning through this medium. However, the understanding of ethical issues surrounding this new tool of social networking in the classroom has been slow to develop. Consequently, there are some institutions that refuse to embrace the innovation of Web 2.0 learning tools because of risks involved.

Social networking sites were designed to bring together groups of people. Their capabilities has resulted in an interconnect-ability that without the web would be impossible. The social network continues to expand, along with the opportunities to view the users personal life. Consequently, problems can arise from personal disclosure, seemingly innocent at one stage of the users life, failing to consider future ramifications. Additionally, there are questions concerning appropriate responses by those in authority when faced with perceive misuse of social networking sites. This dilemma of concerning ethical conduct and personal disclosure has resulted in some school districts and universities warning faculty not to use social networking sites.

The authors of Chapter 2 apply a social moral framework with a legacy of describing non-moral features of complex interactions. An examination of student ethical decision making was conducted to assist students when engaged in online networks. Due to the very nature of online interactions, social cognitive domain theory is considered a useful framework to analyze issues that arise from social networking tools. The authors described in detail the three ethical vulnerabilities listed above of social networking usage. They suggest that in order for educators to enhance students’ learning with these promising Web 2.0 tools the fear of legal actions must be diminished
so that real innovation can occur. Suggestions for future studies focused on these issues are provided.

Reflection:
Social networking in education is an exciting innovative tool with promise for the teacher and learner and yet at the same time there are ethical issues that give reason for concern. I enjoyed reading and studying Chapter 16, but I cannot say the same about Chapter 2. It is hard to be innovative and excited about teaching when fear is involved.

The implications from reading Chapter 2 are for teachers to be mindful when using social networking in the classroom. Recently, I was given permission to create a Ning account for the teachers at my school. As a result of budget cuts, my school is closing and the gifted teachers are being reassigned to individual elementary schools throughout the county. My thinking is that with a social networking site like Ning, we could continue to collaborate, share knowledge, and learn from each other, even with the new distance involved. My hope is that communication will actually improve from what it is now at our one location as a result of using Ning. After reading Chapter 2, it was brought to mind the importance of remembering how easily some people can take things out of context to create problems. I also want to investigate my school district’s policy concerning these ethical issues. Interestingly, today’s headline in the Laurel Leader Call was “Fired WJ teacher likely to hear fate Monday.” The high school history teacher contends that perhaps one of the biggest factors in his firing is his involvement with the T.E.A. Party Movement. According to the LLC, he states, “I do have a Web site for students to visit assignments and a couple of students posted something there about our president. I was told it was inappropriate and should be removed. I had nothing to do with that. It was the students sharing their thoughts and ideas. What happened to freedom of speech?”
I cannot imagine what the future holds concerning the ethical issues involved when using social networking site to promote learning. I do agree with the idea presented in both chapters, that we would be doing our students a great disservice, if we do not embrace these rich media tools to create a more appropriate learning environment for today’s students.

After reading Chapter 16, I have a better understanding of the implications for using social networking tools in education. The previous knowledge that I had about social networking sites in education was from reading the lecture notes on our class Ning site and the personal experience using our IT780 Ning site. I’m not sure if this is the place to comment on my experience with our class site, but it has been a positive learning experience as suggested in Chapter 16. Sense of community as it relates to learning was a new discovery for me. It is exciting to learn how adjustments are being made based on the research to cater to the learning needs of digital natives. I enjoy learning about the new technologies and ways to implement them for great learner outcomes.

Posted by: jackjohnston | May 1, 2010

Assignment 6 Social Networking Site

Creating a social networking site using Ning.com was our 5th assignment in IT 780. Dr. Yuen created a ning site for us to use in IT780, so I was aware of the many benefits of this tool in our particular setting. Creating my own site was another story. However, it turned out to be a wonderful learning experience and I am glad that he made the assignment.
Social networking is an online community who share a common interest and collaborate with each other. A social networking site can be created around particular interests. Social networking is an integral part of the “digital natives” lives. Digital natives are constantly sharing information, thoughts, ideas, and opinions instantly with friends and the world. Educators are becoming aware of this change in students and are harnessing Web 2.0 tools to implement change in teaching and learning to meet the need of today’s learners. In this educational setting, students are responsible for their own learning, as they actively construct knowledge for greater learner success.
One aspect of social networking is that it helps to create a “sense of community” among users. I can speak first hand about this, as a result of use our class social networking site in IT780. There are many other benefits to using a social networking site in the classroom. It is more than an online interactive book, library, resource, and tutor. It is a connection that increases learning that is hard to explain. I think that is is crucial that educators explore social networking as an instructional tool to ready students for tomorrow.
My school, Star Reach Center for Gifted Students, will close the end of May. The teachers will be relocated at different elementary schools throughout the school district.
I decided to construct a social networking site so the teachers would have an online place to share, communicate, collaborate, and inspire from across the county. Several, about 2/3s of the teachers at my school have joined the network. So far, however, there has been little engagement. This could be attributed to apathy, discouragement about the relocation, or lack of technical skills. Regardless, I still think that a social networking site, with the mission of teacher collaboration, can do much to improve the educational quality for our students. Here is the site that I created using the social networking site Ning.com for my graduate course, IT780, as well as for my school.

http://starreach.ning.com/

Posted by: jackjohnston | May 1, 2010

Threaded Discussion #3 Social Bookmarking Chapter 10

Summary: Chapter 10
Chapter 10 explores effective pedagogical applications of social bookmarking in higher education. Today, with the many resources available online, social bookmarking provides a way to organize, search, share, and manage bookmarks of web resources.
Saving bookmarks and tagging them with key words is beneficial for sharing online resources for scholarly collaboration. Students learn critical management skills when collaborative research is in process. The chapter suggests practical examples and strategies for using social bookmarking and how these practices influence students’ thinking and learning.
Social bookmarking can be used as a pedagogical strategy that can easily be implemented by instructors who want to provide their students with a learning environment where they are actively engaged and have a sense of ownership over the course material and their own learning process. The chapter suggests that expanding active learning environments for their students through social bookmarking will not only increase learning for the students, but additionally, instructors will enjoy the connections with their own research. When the instructor uses social bookmarking strategies in their courses, students learn information analysis and research skills in addition to having opportunities for scholarly collaboration.
The chapter explains that taxonomies and folksonomies provide learning opportunities for students to gain greater disciplinary vocabulary in a variety of ways and contexts. Folksonomies are generally considered informal, less controlled context for tagging and finding resources. Taxonomies, on the other hand are considered formal, require training, and tightly controlled. There are additional benefits for instructors and students beyond those of specific course objectives when social bookmarking along with disciplinary taxonomies are investigated. Combining the study of taxonomies and folksonomies results in increased scholarly communication skills and the development of classification skills.
The chapter gives examples of strategies for implementing social bookmarking for expanding learning into the following levels: lower-level undergraduate, upper-level undergraduate, and graduate level students. The authors detail the research and collaboration skills needed for each level, examples of learning objectives to meet these needs, social bookmarking activities that teach these skills, and the pedagogical value.

What are the strengthens of the chapter?
I think the chapter was well organized. It explained social bookmarking and its importance to education and then presented activities for implementation. It seems to me that an instructor in higher education could use these ideas to teach social bookmarking in their class. Modeling is an important step in teaching and the chapter gave examples of modeling the use of social bookmarking in the classroom.

How can the information be used by educators?
The information detailed in Chapter 10 can be used by educators to expand learning. The chapter pointed out that students learn more when they are actively involved in their own learning. When instructors encourage the use of social bookmarking, this allows students an opportunity to sense ownership over course material and their own learning process, thereby expanding learning. Social Bookmarking could be used as an efficient tool by instructors and students to collect and organize references for research and scholarly collaboration.

What did you learn from reading the chapter?
Before I read the chapter I knew very little about social bookmarking. I gained a greater understanding of tagging and how it can assist in collecting and organizing information for research and collaboration. I also understand the relationship between taxonomies and folksonomies and the important roles that each hold in education.

Did you feel that the chapter gave you a greater understanding of technology in education?
The chapter helped in my understanding of the use of technology in education. It was an easy to read chapter, however I had to read and reread to actually grasp the information. It is difficult to “retell” information unless I have a complete understanding. The next step for me is to apply social bookmarking in my learning.

Posted by: jackjohnston | May 1, 2010

Assignment 5 Mobile Web Site

A look around in almost any environment, there is evidence that mobile technologies are growing in popularity. Wireless devices allow the consumer to talk, text, capture, send, view, and listen. This technology includes: smart phones, personal digital assistants(PDAs), portable game devices, portable media players, MP3 and MP4 players, tablet PCs, and laptops. Fortunately, these technologies are being embraced by people of all age groups and in many walks of life. Mobile technology is changing the way we live and interact in almost every aspect of our lives. Educators are starting to explore the educational values of wireless technologies in teaching and learning environments. Recently, I read that the Mississippi Department of Education is offering an online course, Cell Phones as Learning Tools . This progress is encouraging, especially considering that cell phones are band in many K12 settings. Mobile learning (m-Learning) is not intended to take the place of traditional learning, but rather one component of a complete blended learning solutions. M-Learning enhances learning success as it makes learning available anywhere, anytime though a wide range of online opportunities. I think that sound m-Learning opportunities can do much to enrich learning and increase access to learning.
For our next assignment in IT 780, the task was to create and design a mobile Web site using mobiSiteGalore. The mobile site needed to have at least five items on the menu bar. I decided to build a mobile site for my classroom. This seemed like a great way to communicate with parents valuable and relevant classroom information, which would be available anytime, anywhere. The mobiSiteGalore Demo Movie was very helpful in constructing my site. Since first creating my site, I have returned to mobiSiteGalore to make some additions and do some editing. This tool is not too difficult to use. I enjoyed creating the following mobile website for my classroom and I hope that it will benefit my learners. I also look forward to learning more about m-Learning and its many promises for enhancing learning.

www.starreach504.param.mobi

Posted by: jackjohnston | April 28, 2010

Assignment 4 Wiki

In IT 780, Assignment 4 was to form a group with no more than 3 classmates, and create a Wiki using Wetpaint. We were free to select any topic or theme. A wiki is a website that allows for easy creation and editing of web pages using a web browser. The term “wiki” comes from an Hawaiian word which means “fast”. Wikis are open-ended and collaborative in nature. Information can be gathered, shared, organized, or used to produce a product. The content can be edited by anyone who has access to it. Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, is the most famous wiki.

Jonathan Woodward and I formed a group for this project. Jonathan had already been thinking about a topic or theme for the wiki assignment. His idea was to create a place where men could collaborate about getting in and out of the “doghouse” with their wife or girlfriend. I agreed. However, at first I thought this is really going to be difficult since the site is for men. I was so wrong. The key to getting started with Doghouse Solutions was looking at it from a woman’s perspective. Once I did that, the ideas just kept on coming.
It was fun working with a partner online to create this assignment. I pushed myself to keep up, because I did not want to disappoint my classmate. In my opinion, this is just one of the many benefits of wiki in the classroom. It seems to me that a wiki project would create a sense of responsibility for most students. It was fun going to the site to see what changes and additions my classmate had made. As we continued to work on Doghouse Solutions, I could not figure out where Jonathan was getting access to his editing tools. There were tools that I needed, but they were not available on Wetpaint. Finally, about the time that the project was due, I realized that I did not have access to the tools because I was using Safari for my web browser. This was a lesson learned.

In conclusion, I plan on using wikis as a tool for learning in my classroom. Both teacher and student can create content for the wiki. I think that students will enjoy interacting online using wikis to collaborate on research, class projects, and a number of other activities. Wikis involve active learning for students as they create, synthesize, evaluate, problem solve, and share information with their audience.

http://doghousesolution.wetpaint.com/

Posted by: jackjohnston | April 28, 2010

Threaded Discussion #2 Wikis Chapters 7 & 8

Chapter 7: Summary
The main idea of this chapter is to point out how the implementation of Wikis into online courses can facilitate collaboration among far removed students. The chapter discusses the positive aspects of Wikis as well as the challenges of using a Wiki.
Collaboration activities have many benefits for learners as discussed by Alden.
One benefit of collaboration among students is that it tends to foster deep learning as opposed to surface learning. This deep learning happens when teaching strategies and assignments for a course are intentionally designed to facilitate and assess peer collaboration and self-reflection, along with the learner being both internally and externally motivated.
The “Wisdom of Crowds” concept is another benefit for online collaboration. Students exposed to the wisdom of the group, learn more and produce a higher quality product than if they had worked independently.
Finally, collaboration activities help prepare students to work effectively in today’s Information Age workplace. The workplace has changed and online tools are used to accomplish many of todays project team-based functions.
A Wiki is defined as a social networking web site that allows collaborative editing of its content and structure by its users. A Wiki has the potential to be an excellent tool to support online collaboration among the entire class or among small teams of students.
It can be used for: Student Team Projects, Discussion Summary, Course FAQ, Course Glossary, and Knowledge Repository.
It is imperative that the instructor plans, monitors, and prompts students to ensure the success of the Wiki for deep learning. Alden suggests seven critical responsibilities for the role of instructor: Set-up Wiki Software, Create Framework for Wiki Pages, Develop Instructions for Students, Encourage Editing of other Students’ Entries, Plan in Advance for Dispute Resolution, Monitor Use of Wiki during the Course, and Evaluate Collaborative Effort.
It is a challenge for academic institutions to select Wiki software. In spite of the challenges, far thinking institutions are taking advantage of Wikis to provide learning opportunities for their distributed students through online collaboration activities.

Chapter 8: Summary
According to many educational experts learning should be socially interactive and involve doing or building something tangible. Learning in a social context allows learners to participate in their own learning. In doing so, the learner becomes more deeply engaged and the learner is empowered. Greater learner related success occurs with more choices and self-directed learning opportunities. When learners are in charge of their on learning, learning is transformed.
Wikibooks are considered to be disruptive technologies. They have the power to change and improve education. Learners contribute to learning rather than the information being handed to them. Furthermore the Wikibook is shared.
Using the powerful disruptive technology of the Wikibook, learning can be transformed. However the authors of Chapter 8 found that building a Wikibook to be somewhat difficult. They also shared challenges in cross-institutional and international designed Wikibooks. Even though they encountered difficulties in their Series of Wikibook Research Projects which they detailed as well as the successes, the authors remain optimistic about transformative learning with Wikibooks.

Conclusion: 7 & 8
It seems to me that both Wiki and Wikibooks can be used to help improve instruction and enhance learning at many levels.
I want to use them both…right now! Experience has taught me not to be in such a rush and in one or maybe both chapters it pointed out to go slow when implementing new technologies.
Wikis and Wikibooks are relevant to teaching and learning today. Using these tools, students can experience transformed learning. I do not think that Wikis or Wikibooks are a passing fad. Clearly Wikipedia has caught on and is not going anywhere soon. I would like to be apart of a far-thinking institution that uses these tools as suggested.
Before starting IT780 I used Wikipedia, but had not given other Wikis much notice. I had not read about Wikibooks. I think that Wikibooks and Wikis are very powerful Web 2.0 tools that have multiple implications for the learning process.
The chapters did not confuse me, but they did leave me with more questions, which is a good thing. The chapters answered many questions that I had, and even some that I did not know that I had. I am eager to read further and learn more about these topics.

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