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How are you (or your institution) using web 2.0

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Donna Cullen
30 November 2009

How do you (or your institution) use web 2.0 to support education, research, knowledge exchange or administration?

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Adam Read
3:28pm 30 November 2009

We made a concious decision to use web 2.0 tools offered as part of Campus Pack (plug-in to Blackboard VLE). This offered a secure chance to experiment with new ways of teaching without having to take a plunge into services outside of the institution. Staff were already comfortable with the VLE (majority use it well) so including additional tools in an interface they were familier with seemed like the natural progression.

Campus pack offers staff the ability to use a mixture of blogs, wikis and podcasts within the VLE, and they can control access and monitor engagment on many of them.

Some examples as follows:

Blogs: the biggest use of blogging has been in our large teacher training subject school. Staff on BEd and PGCE programs have replaced email correspondence with students on school placements with an individual (secure/private) reflective blog. Use of the blog is required as part of the student's evidence, and enables them to show weekly progress and easily summarise lectures and provide attachments (including lesson plans etc). Staff can then provide feedback directly to student posts. RSS feeds have also been useful.

There is no doubt that using blogging as a reflective placement diary has saved staff time, but also provided a secure and easy solution for students.



Wikis: a number of different departments have made use of the wiki tool. Our recently launched Centre for Educational Research have invited staff to share research interests and publications on a wiki in order to stimulate new collaborative partnerships. Colleagues from other institutions have also contributed to the wiki.



Podcasts: the number of staff podcasting materials on the VLE has increased dramatically over the past 2 years. Since initial experiments using laptops and trailing leads we've shrunk the technology down to small MP3 voice recorders and tie-clip mics! These devices are now so easy to use even confessed technophobes have podcasted lecture recordings and generic materials (e.g. research method tips).

We've recently applied and were granted an Apple iTunes U account so hope to increase the use of podcasting, and share our educational resources more widely next year.



There is no doubt in my mind that web 2.0 technologies have made a significant contribution to the student experience at our institution.

Donna Cullen
10:29am 1 December 2009

Thanks Adam that's really useful. I wonder if anyone else would like to share their experiences? It may seem a very obvious question to those living quite comfortably in a Web 2.0 world but it provides great examples for those in the community still getting to grips with evrything on offer and struggling to find the right tool for them!

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