Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Two Quick Points

Internet Time Blog :: Mark Oehlert on the Future Look of Learning

  • Two interesting concepts here that I can thank the good folks at Think:Lab for bringing to my attention.
  • First, is the nanocast: a short quick podcast that relies on pointed, concise questions and zero scripting. Jay Cross at the Internet Time Blog has switched his format entirely to shorter versions of longer podcasts, which he claims do not hold his attention. Who doesn't have a problem with attention span these days? Nanocasting delivers nano-sized points on a specific topic. The benefit, as I see it, is for pulling in an audience with the promise that you don't need to keep them for a long time. As I write this, I am already thinking of doing this with the teachers that I work with as a post-lesson wrap up after they have completed their projects and have taken student feedback into consideration.
  • Secondly, I listened to Cross interview Mark Oehlert on one of his nanocasts entitled: The Future Look of Learning, and I have to confess, I was both energized and slightly awestruck at some of the possiblities that Mark mentioned. As we search out more and more uses for Web 2.0 in education, the quest will probably become more competitive, not between those of us using the technology, but between those who are delivering it. The key word now is customization. What Web 2.0 is allowing us to do more than we have ever seen is to customize our environments to what we would like to see. Think widgets, think your personalized Google homepage or whatever aggregator you are using. The competition to make those type of platforms customizable for schools will be fierce. Once we really begin to overcome our fears of "what is out there," schools will likely embrace the idea of off-site hosting and "software" that is personalized. Oehlert and Cross mention that learning styles will be met much more successfully because we will be able to create a series of application that appeals to a visual learner by giving that student a series of applications and feeds that provide resources that are specific not only to the topic that the student is learning, but also to how that student will best learn it. I am psyched.
  • Trepidation here lies within the fact that deciding what is best for those whom I work with will be difficult. What I am grappling with all the time is this very fact of what is best for me. Recommending to someone else is barely in the cards yet.

BTW, I apologize for the bullets, but this post was the result of a failed experiment with Diigo's "blog this" feature was does not currently support Blogger. End of January, they say.

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