Sail's Pedagogy

Sail's posts about her class, classes she is taking, and education.

TED – can new media spaces predict social and political revolutions?

Ramesh Srinivas asks the question? Can new media predict social or political revolution? Howard Rhiengold thinks so and discusses this in his book Smart Mobs.

If you know me, you know TED is my one of my most favorite places on the internet. Now they have smaller TEDs’ around the world. This place is great for anyone and has fascinating people.

Here is a TED video that relates to this discussion — looking at new media spaces to predict social and political revolutions.

Other TED videos about social media include:
Way-new collaboration: Howard Rheingold
James Surowiecki: When social media became news
Clay Shirky: How social media can make history
Seth Godin on the tribes we lead
Stefana Broadbent: How the Internet enables intimacy

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10 Simple Google Search Tricks

I can find anything on the internet. Partially because I do not give up and keep switching my terminology but also becuase I use some of the tips described in tis article in the New York Times by Simon Mackie.

No matter what search engine you use, they is always a page of tips. Google search tips are here. The use of and and or plus putting some or all of the query into quotes are key to a good search.

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Mirror neurons

I did my masters thesis on how the brain learns. It was years ago, but I found the little information on mirror neurons fascinating. But we were not sure they existed in humans. Now in this article from New Scientist we have found proof that they exist in humans.

Mirror neurons is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another. This is how we learn from others including behavior and language. This is also why when someone yawns, we also yawn. Mirror neurons are linked to empahty, or our understand of others feelings and emotions. They may also be the cause of some autism. This could be a great discovery in how the brain and mind learns.

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What do instructors need to know about teaching with technology?

Are the programs and degrees cropping up teaching teachers about technology effective?

Having taught teachers in a Masters of Education program about technology, I often wondered how much of this program was effective. I once heard a well known educator say that “if the teacher cannot find a use in her/his own personal life, then they will not use it in the classroom”. I was teaching about Web 2.0, which is now morphing to “Cloud computing”. Many of the programs I was teaching about are now, either gone or evolved into something else. I tried to tell my students that they needed to keep up, that all of this technology was quickly changing. Such as now Ning is not going to be free and many of my former students had Ning sites. What will happen to the collaborative groups they were forming?

Tony Bates posts an article on his blog discussing what might be involved in a good training program whether a short class or a Masters degree. Just teaching about tools does not mean that should be all involved in teaching about technology.

Here are some of this points:
1. epistemology
2. the biological basis of learning
3. learning theories
4. the design of teaching
5. learning technologies
6. project work

These are great points. I think we may be teaching more about tools than we are about how we learn.

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Medical simulation in Second Life

Practicing for a medical disaster can be costly in real life, but now we can simulate the event in Second Life. Stephanie Simon posts in the Wall Street Journal about many of the universities involved in medical simulation. Play2train is a company involved in helping to create these simulation.

I have two previous articles in this blog about medical simulation in Second Life. Virtual Worlds in Medicine and Health and Training Paramedics in Second Life.


Watching the Watchers

Henry Jenkins is posting an article from Peter Ludlow on this blog. In this article about virtual worlds, specifically Second Life, Peter talks about how groups form to combat “trouble makers”.

It always amazes me when we see such reflection of real life in a virtual world. I have a friend that has been accused of griefing and much has been said by others about him. He also started one of the very first groups in Second Life to combat greifing. I have meet many of the Woodbury clan at SLCC last year. All this destroys lives, real ones as well as virtual ones.

All this infighting is also what gives Second Life a bad name. When we as educators are trying to convince administration to allow us to use Second Life to facilitate our online teaching, this type of press makes it hard.

This story would make a great spy movie. Is mankind just destine to always find an enemy and destroy others along the way?

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