July 2008 Archives

Moving Beyond Wikis and Blogs

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Synchronous Collaboration Tools are revolutionizing traditional faculty office hours and allowing students to redefine teamwork in virtual space.

Chat room tools, such as those included in Moodle or WebVista, work amazingly well for online office hours and students meeting online to collaborate on a class project. More advanced tools, such as the U's (Adobe) UMConnect (formerly Macromedia Breeze) include additional features -- such as screen sharing and whiteboards. Students can work together online, at any time of the day or night in these virtual spaces. Faculty are seeing much-improved results in student projects because their students are enjoying the convenience of being able to connect with their fellow classmates online at just about any time. For more information, please see, "Taking the 'A' Out of Asynchronous" in the July 2008 issue of Campus Technology http://campustechnology.com/articles/64817/

Texas State University - San Marcos holds an annual two-week workshop for faculty. The faculty participants receive a $1,200 stipend. Across the country, a growing number of colleges and universities are offering similar programs and stipends designed to incent educators to embrace technology. The thinking behind most of these programs is simple: By offering educators an immediate motivation to embrace technology, colleges and universities hope to ensure that faculty will implement the latest and greatest technologies, and innovate with them, to bring new levels of learning to their students.