Efficient use of the available Classroom 2.0 online resources to increase learning/productivity.

This is the Wiki entry for the ICT fundamentals project appointed to Ibn-i-Rushd and Mohsin Shehzad.
Its contents are as follows:

Project Description

The term project chosen by us is the use of online resources of Classroom 2.0 (classroom20.com) to enhance productivity and aid in the learning procedure. It involves reviewing the website and going through all the features and resources presented by it and finding their applications in our engineering studies and practices.

Classroom 2.0

Classroom 2.0 (www.classroom20.com) is a social network like facebook or myspace, designed for educationalists interested in the practical application of computer technology (especially Web 2.0) and other collaborative technologies in the classroom and in their own professional development.

HISTORY

It was a project started by Steve Hargadon in March 2007 as a platform for educationalists to utilize the existing networking tools to assist them in incorporation of Web 2.0 and other collaborative technologies in their physical world Classroom environment. It is created using the Ning Create your-own-network web application (www.Ning.com). It gradually became popular for its easygoingness and user friendly interface as well as welcoming environment for newbies. Right now it has more than 18000 educationalists blogging and sharing their experiences from across the globe in more than Eleven (11) languages including Portuguese, Hebrew and Japanese.

DESCRIPTION OF SITE

The main aspect of this site is to aid the educators, in particular those ones who hadn’t had much experience with online tools offered by WEB 2.0.But gradually it has become a site for discussions of other conventional means of teaching and education too.

Since it is a networking site So it provides one with all the networking tools as given below:

MAIN FEATURES OF CR 2.0 AND ITS APPLICATIONS

All the features which are offered by the CR 2.0 and their applications are explained below in the order that they were researched.

BLOGGING

A weblog (usually shortened to blog, but occasionally spelled web log or weblog) is a web-based publication consisting primarily of periodic articles, most often in reverse chronological order." [From Wikipedia]

In Cr 2.0, the blogging is a very rich tool used in a great way to communicate the thoughts, ideas, experiences and the resulting comments and feedback provides great encouragement and morale building. As a result people open up to these Web 2.0 tools and become a part of this online community more actively.

Importance and Uses of Blogging in Education and for Students

• Parents-Teacher interaction:
• Teacher Communication:
• Student’s Blogging with each other and across the globe:
• Creates enthusiasm for writing and Communications:.
• Helps them find their Voice:
• Empowers students:

Forum Discussions

The forum or Discussion board is a discussion place for all the educationalists to discuss a particular topic or related topics. This is a great way to discuss problems, difficulties and other teaching related issues with other teachers and educationalists. This way a kindergarten teacher from some central Asian state could suggest a solution to a difficulty faced by some KG teacher in Brazil. This also serves to create bonds between people participating on these forums and interest groups around a group discussion.
In CR 2.0 forums, it was amazing to see how enriched and useful conversations were taking place between people thousands of miles away from each other but they were linking and connecting so easily that the marvels of internet forums couldn’t be ignored. It was interesting to see how people from different parts of world with different religious, cultural, ethnic backgrounds approach the same problem or point under discussion.
Importance and Uses of Forums
CR 2.0 forums are the backbone of all the technological innovations being discussed and carried out in their classes by the members of the CR 2.0 because that is where their ideas are given birth to and shared with others.
The forums could be used to:

  • Find solutions of problems/issues faced by educationalists
  • Discuss any new technology being implemented in classes at other regions
  • Find links for resources and multimedia content
  • Sharing of ideas of teaching methods
  • Compare assignments and exam questions
  • Compare the syllabi and course contents

To sum it up the uses and importance of Cr 2.0 forums are observed to have immense value at increasing the efficiency/productivity of educational process.

Media Content of CR 2.0

Like any current networking website, CR 2.0 also lets you upload media content which is quite useful as described below.

1. Audio Playlist

The audio playlist contains interviews, dialogues and audio clips discussing the implementation of the technologies mentioned before in classroom environment, innovative ideas about educationalists growth, technological advances and their increasing role in teaching process and also the general environment of CR 2.0.

2. Video Clips

The learning process becomes quicker with the help of the video clips uploaded on CR 2.0 which range from all topics of science, arts to teaching methods .They involve great clips to motivate educationalists to use Web 2.0, tutor how to use them in an easy way as well as explain the their advantages along the way. It also has video content related with parental guidance for good education of their children. Also there are videos which make even the tough most conceptual lessons a piece of cake for students.

3. Photo Slides

We know that in enhancing the learning process, Visual contents play a great role so CR 2.0 also provides its members with the ability to upload pictures which involve all sorts of content ranging from snaps taken during the usage of technologies in class to lesson related pictures diagrams etc, to photos of the events, seminars, workshops organized by CR 2.0.

Networking and Groups

Since CR 2.0 is originally a networking site so the main purpose of it is to help interconnect people with same interests and objectives. It is observed that CR 2.0 serves this purpose in a very fine way by allowing people to hit up each other with all the networking tools like messaging, chatting, etc.
Further CR 2.0 allows members to form groups with a particular theme or heading where members with that particular interest or field could join it and benefit. The practical use of it is that to make subgroups within Cr 2.0 allows educationalists from a single branch of science or arts subject to congregate and discuss technological innovations in their field of education. This sub grouping technique allows educationalists to concentrate their energies to further improve their skills and bring innovation to impart better education.

Events

In Cr 2.0, many events occur regularly which include real life, online as well as Second life events which are basically to pursue the same cause of incorporation of technology in education process to further improve its productivity. Although sometimes their themes are more conventional ones like environment, scientific etc which are mostly organized by other organizations and CR 2.0 members are invited in them.
Though mostly the real life events occur at USA but their video clips and detailed report of what happened is available so that someone who is unable to attend these events could also benefit from them. While the online events and Secondlife ones are organized keeping in mind the physical distances of the members from each other or their inability to meet due to different reasons.
These events serve great purpose as they are designed to create awareness about technological use in classroom environment at all levels and they have been quite successful in selling the people with their ideas and making them a believer. They also serve as a way to get feedback from people about the work being done.

Live Shows

Classroom 2.0 LIVE is an online event organized for members to get together and interact as in real life all complete with audio, chat, desktop sharing, and sometimes even video. It is usually setup to discuss, ponder over some pre-selected topic using Elluminate technologies. These topics are selected from the suggestions put forward by the members of CR 2.0.
These shows serve great purpose of commenting on great new applications of technology in classroom environment as well as discussion of other education related topics. It serves to ease the difficulty faced by conventional educationalists in overcoming their fear or hesitation of using Web 2.0 technologies like Google Docs, Blogging, Skype, etc.

Wiki

It is a wiki site that is devoted to collecting resources for the classroom and professional-development use of Web 2.0 and collaborative technologies. It consists of some of the greatest links for the applications of Web 2.0 technologies on learning procedure. Each technology has given description of its application and links to sites which host those tools.
Its importance could be determined from the fact that it is recommended as the single most resourceful webpage with all the entries from the applications of Web 2.0 and other collaborative technologies given. If someone could master all the technologies mentioned on this wiki, his/her learning procedure is sure to become more productive and efficient by many folds.

Workshops

Classroom 2.0 organizes free workshops around the country in which they openly invite educators and all its members interested in Web 2.0 and collaborative technologies in the education sector. These workshops are held for the beginners with the theme of “free, open, engaging, participative, and highly collaborative” just like the Web 2.0.These workshops consist of presentations, discussions, addresses, all with hands-on experience to remove any hesitation, fear whatsoever from the mind of newbie. They are also helpful for experienced Web 2.0 users as they also get to learn something new and share their own experiences with the beginners.
These workshops are important as they create awareness about the web 2.0 phenomena which is enveloping the entire online world nowadays. Further it also serves as a recruiting and marketing purpose for Cr 2.0.

RSS

RSS is abbreviation of Rich Site Summary. It refers to a format for delivering regularly changing web content which includes news related to sites, updates in their weblogs, other online publisher’s latest content, and audio content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it.
CR 2.0 also sends RSS feed to your RSS reader for your convenience with all the latest news and updates regarding the forums, blogs, events, multimedia content, workshops and Live shows being hosted.
They are important as they serve to keep you updated without having to go through all the web pages separately. It saves ones time.

Applications of CR 2.0 Resources in Our NUST Class Environment

While researching for the project, we came across great applications of Web 2.0, Collaborative technologies and other common technologies (that we use commonly in our daily life), in the education process. By using them in our present class environment, we can greatly increase our efficiency in learning procedure. It just requires a little innovative thinking and maybe a little adaptation by teachers. The essence of this project could be described to be the following applications of technologies in our class study environment.

Use your Camera Phone

Camera phones are very common these days so they could be used to take a high resolution snap of ECA circuit diagrams at the end of class and archive it for later to be studied. Also if one finds it hard to keep up with the pace of teacher writing the solution of questions on white board while trying to understand them, one could just take picture of written material from his/her friend notebook and view it later on PC.

Online Calendars

Calendars could be maintained online by teachers and students posting the dates of assignment return, quizzes, Laboratory schedules, seminars and other extra curricular activities on classroom level as well just like it’s done on SEECS website.

Students Blogging

Students could blog with each other as well as with teachers to ask questions, discuss topics, setup help sessions, plan trips, etc. As described before it has numerous invaluable uses for a student. Both educationally, personality grooming, mental growth as well as it also serves the purpose of entertainment.

Maintaining each Course's website

A course website for each course should be created and updated on daily basis by collective efforts of class and teacher .This website should be posted with all the course related content, evaluated marks of quizzes and exams, latest assignments, information about makeup classes, etc.

Use of collaborative Document

Collaborative documents could be used to create projects while the members of the group are at home. Further it could be used to solve assignments by helping each other out.

Instant Messaging

IM could help a lot in student-student as well as student-teacher communication. The students could ask questions from the teachers and get answers instantly. They could also chat with their peers to remove their confusion or discuss about their assignment etc.

Online Meeting

Teacher and students could arrange online conferences by teacher preparing the lecture content and all students being online and they can almost have a real classroom environment by desktop sharing, instant chatting and A/V conferencing going on with Elluminate like software. In this way combined study could also be done.

Podcasting

Teacher’s lectures could be recorded and uploaded and then sent through feeds to students for listening to enhance their learning.

Lab management software

Lab management softwares like iTALC can be used to regulate the use of computers in computer laboratories by remote controlling computers so that they could be turned on and off, logged on and off and even locked by teacher or Lab assistant to ensure their right usage. Further text messages could be sent to each individual Pc user and their internet access could be restricted remotely.

Photo Sharing

The photo sharing could be used to upload or send photos to students cell phones through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi technology of particular events(with their date) in history in Pakistan studies Class to enable students to remember their date and event better by associating it with the picture in their minds.

Video Lectures

The lectures of teachers if could be recorded, Then they could be later on watched by students helping them understand their syllabus better.
Also, to further broaden or improve your concepts, the students could visit MIT opencourseware to watch video lectures of their eminent professors.

We hope that this wiki proves useful for you guys.Some links for the resources and references have been given below for you to check out for further information.

Resources and References Links

http://wiki.classroom20.com/
http://groups.diigo.com/groups/classroom20
http://wiki.classroom20.com/Blogging
http://live.classroom20.com/
http://www.whatisrss.com/
http://ict-in-science-education.wikispaces.com/
http://secondlife.com/whatis/

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License