Collaboration 2.0 :: May 21, 2008

Viewpoint

Social Networking: Learning Theory in Action

There has been a lot of recent debate on the benefits of social networking tools and software in education. While there are good points on either side of the debate, there remains the essential difference in theoretical positioning. Most conventional educational environments are "Objectivist" in nature and highly structured in terms of students progress and choice. Social networking essentially requires a less controlled, user-generated environment which challenges conventional views of the effective "management" of teaching and learning. Therefore, can social networking both as an instructional concept and user skill be integrated into the conventional approaches to teaching and learning? Do the skills developed within a social networking environment have value in the more conventional environments of learning?...

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Focus

21st Century Learning: Making Technology Relevant in Today's Classrooms

"21st Century Learning" is currently the hottest catchphrase in education, but what it means has yet to be fully determined. Technology is a part of students' everyday lives, and substantial advances in technology have profoundly affected the way they learn. As a result, educators are working hard to meet the ever-evolving needs of 21st century learners. Translating the ongoing technological revolution into a learning experience is a fundamental part of that challenge....

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News

Unified Communications System in Tulsa Powers Virtual Classroom

Tulsa Technology Center, a school district with four campuses that offers career and technology education classes in Oklahoma, will be deploying a Nortel and Microsoft unified communications platform. The district will be using Xeta Technologies, a national provider of converged voice and data communications solutions. The platform is expected to enhance student-teacher communication while reducing school expenses....

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Louisiana and British Kids Share 'Virtual Sleepover'

Students from a British school were joined for part of their annual reading sleepover by students from two schools in Louisiana. Organized by Renaissance Learning, which publishes Accelerated Reader, the schools were linked together live by video conference....

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SightSpeed Releases Free MySpace Widget for Video Mail and Chat

SightSpeed has launched SightSpeed Light on MySpace, a free widget that adds integrated video mail, public video posting, and video chat for members of MySpace. The widget was built using MySpace's Developer Platform, introduced in February....

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Rumors on Social Networking Site Could Affect Testing Results

False rumors spread on a social networking Web site could affect the outcome of performance testing in a school district, according to coverage in The Gateway News, a newspaper in Portage County, Ohio. The rumors started after a fight took place at Streetsboro Middle School, involving six students....

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New Media Consortium Launches $100,000 Program for Virtual Learning

The New Media Consortium, a not-for-profit group of organizations focused on bringing technology into the learning process, has kicked off a competitive award program for educational communities in Second Life and Project Wonderland. Twenty grants totaling $100,000 in cash and development assistance will be awarded this year to fund these educational efforts....

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T.H.E. Journal Opportunities

Share Your Best Practices

T.H.E. Journal is currently looking for the following types of articles for future issues and for our eNewsletter, T.H.E. SmartClassroom:

  • School Perspectives -- discuss a specific topic, trend, or concern about education technology.
  • Case Studies -- have you implemented technology and learned a lot from the experience? If so, share your efforts about what worked -- and what didn't.

If you have a potential article, or questions about the above topics, please e-mail editorial@thejournal.com

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