Collaboration 2.0 :: July 16, 2008

Viewpoint

Changing Designs of Online Learning

While the wider uses of technology have increased student awareness of what is possible, within teaching and learning technology use often remains quite stagnant and out of date based on notions of what good teaching looks like and how standards must drive the process rather than the process itself. This is most clearly seen in current course delivery software platforms, which remain supportive of teacher-driven instructional design and content production and delivery. But a tension now exists between the potential for individual customization that threatens the very essence of conventional wisdom in course design and delivery.

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News

Linden Lab and IBM Teleport Avatars Between Second Life and OpenSim

Linden Lab, creator of the virtual world Second Life, and IBM have demonstrated virtual world interoperability by teleporting avatars between the Second Life Preview Grid and an OpenSim virtual world server. The Second Life Grid is a development platform created by Linden Lab, and OpenSim is an open source server for hosting 3D virtual environments.

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PBS Launches Online PreK-12 Education Community

PBS launched a new online community for preK-12 educators that supports the advancement of digital media content and technology integration in education. PBS Teachers Connect allows teachers, school library media specialists, technology coordinators, early childhood educators, and others to share ideas, collaborate, and support the use of instructional technology and multimedia for student learning.

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TokBox Offers Free Live Video Talk Functionality

A new plugin called TokBox, from a San Francisco company of the same name and funded by YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim, allows users to talk with each other over live video. A component with a "Push to Talk" button can be added to a social network profile, blog, or personal Webpage. A visitor clicks the button to connect to the host in real time using live video and audio.

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Schoolwires Service Combines Content Management with Web 2.0

Schoolwires has launched Centricity, a Web-based service that combines K-12 Web site management, online community management, and collaboration and communication tools. "Superintendents at dozens of districts have told us that one of their primary strategic objectives is to facilitate communication around high stakes issues and among multiple constituents--from parents to principals to taxpayers," Schoolwires CEO Ed Marflak said. "Centricity was developed with this need very much in mind."

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School Town Aims for Safe Social Networking for Students, Teachers

School Town has launched a "student learning system" aimed at encouraging self-directed study and building "life-long" skills in students, including time management and effective social networking.

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Virginia District Adopts Angel Learning Management System

Frederick County Public Schools in Virginia has adopted the Angel Learning Management Suite in an effort to provide electronic learning resources to students and meet it goal of providing 21st century tools to teachers and students for collaboration, assessment, and learning outcomes management.

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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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