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Blended Learning

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Currently preparing classes and considering using some social networksites and tools for teaching. Ning seems to be useful to create your own social network and there are even options for educational purposes (see education.ning) such as ning availability without ads for free. I signed up for at least two ning networks: Classroom 2.0 and Bibliotheek 2.0 (Library 2.0) recently. But with all these networks it's actually hard to keep up with everything. Nevertheless it is a great way to see how others deal with the whole 2.0 things in education and within libraries. Also good to know that people are actually actively thinking about it instead of shunning it.

Another treasure I came across today is VoiceThread. It is basically an online media-album that can hold loads of different types of media such as images, documents and videos. Nothing new there you say. But the beauty is that anyone can use voice, text or video to comment on it. There is even the possibility to comment by telephone. The coolest feature however is "The Doodler": it captures a drawing as an animation on the image or videofile and syncs it with the voice or text comment. The latter makes it not about the end doodle but exactly the process of doodling, which makes it all the more interesting.
A file that has been uploaded can be commented on (in all its forms) by many different people which makes it a collaborated work and experience. Brilliant! The comment system sort of works like it is used in Viddler when it is a video or slideshow. Comments can be made at certain segments of the video and the doodles can also jump from segment to segment. The person that made the comment appears to the side of the mediafile with his or her name and picture.

Have a look at this voicethread. Just click a couple of images and see or hear what people have to say about the classroom of the future.

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