Back from the Election Time Suck

David Parry bio photo By David Parry

Now that the election is over, and my digital politics class will require less time, hopefully I can return to blogging here more. So to start here is a list of things I have been collecting over the last few weeks that just got placed in the “to blog about” pile. (Incidentally, if the local news here covered my digital politics class, so if you would like to see the short piece on them you can view the video on the news stations website.)

  • First up is an article by Michael Wesch, A Vision of Students Today (& What Teachers Must Do). The article appears on the Britannica Blog, an institution I do not always associate with progressively thinking about how technology changes knowledge production. Nevertheless Wesch’s piece is worth a read for he navigates the precarious but important middle ground between being a luddite and being techno-utopian, instead claiming that there is nothing new about the notion of playing the “getting by game,” even if the means by which this game is played is different. Ultimately he suggests a rather simple solution: Public Academia.
  • Group Table: Group Table is another web application in the list of online collaboration/group organization tools. While there are many out there, most people I know prefer Bassecamp and Backpack, Group Table is focused on specifically serving the student population.
  • Open Huddle: When I was searching for free online tools for hosting my virtual grad class, I looked into many (way too many) options. (I just needed chat function, so in the end ended up using a chat program but I digress.) But, Open Huddle was one of the better ones people sent me. Unlike Group Table (above) which is focused on organizing the group, Open Huddle’s purpose is to provide a set of tools for collaborating in real time. Open Huddle has video chat and a drawing board (think virtual white board) as well as allowing messaging and file sharing. My guess is in the future we will see a lot more of these types of sites for robust online learning and collaboration.
  • Last but not least, watch Antonio’s presentation on using YouTube as a Classroom Resource.