Friday, August 20, 2010

App This, Tweet That: Teaching in the 21st Century and Beyond (Rami Maysami)

"To teach them, reach them. To reach them, speak their tongue." Awesome quote...speaks to learning relevance. Make the content relevant, make the context familiar, and the content will stick that much more.

Using Music to Teach Economics

Sugarlans song (groan) is used to illustrate several economic principles (The cost-of-living in urban areas is higher than living in the country vs. "Please send me money, I'm so broke it ain't funny"). Good way to get their attention, then to tie in to the subject area (Pink Floyd sings about it, Barenaked Ladies sing about it).

Not just music - Poker, for example, is shown via YouTube. A video produced by students, but still - Poker is used to explain econ. Just goes to reinforce the fact of context, context, context. "Economics is a study of how people make choices, and poker is a game of choices." Good stuff.

Research At Your Fingertips

Card catalogs? What are those? If it's not at their fingertips, it's not worth the search/effort. I follow, but, again, I think it comes down to instrinsic motivation as a behavior driver. If they're motivated, they'll find ye olde card catalog...

(Technology is having a field day with the speaker...)

iPad, iPhones, and Interoperability

Apps are now becoming more intertwined than ever before. Practical apps, like Dragon, are now interfacing with Facebook, Twitter, and the like. So, what does this mean? Even the most practical of apps are now giving credence to social media as a credible field. SpeakIt is one I haven't heard of...find text, copy it, paste it, and it reads it. Okay...doesn't Windows screen reader do this? I mean, it's mobile...I get it...but this isn't new technology at all.

But Why Not Challenge Them To Do More?

NPR App is shown next. Touted as unique, you can click on a story, click the Twitter icon and it auto tweets the story for you, along with your comments. As a prof, teacher, or the like, this is useful as a knowledge transmission tool. Mark Frydenberg, seated behind me/speaker on social media, brings up an awesome question: Why not just email it to him?

Is this getting into Technology for the sake of Technology? It's cool, I get it, but is it necessary and is it the best means by which to transmit the knowledge? It comes down to yesterdays FGDLA presentation: Technology is the truck, not the groceries it's carrying. We can't eat the truck...

There's some mention of video, recording it, and making it available online for student download. Isn't this what PodCasts are for?

I get what they're doing here, and I'm glad to see a higher acceptance rate for social media being used for serious purposes. That said, not a whole lot new here, but still well presented (depsite the gods of technology giving the speaker a hard time).

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