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Many Students Loosely Joined: Social Software to Support Distance Education Learners

Monday, March 3, 2008

Abstract

Over the past decade, colleges and universities have increasingly turned to the web to increase student access, expand course offerings, and reach out to adult learners through online courses. The growth of distance and online education has been mirrored by a similar explosion in social software tools such as Facebook, Second Life, blogs, wikis, Flickr, and a host of Web 2.0 competitors that offer new ways for us to learn with and from each other. As our Web 2.0 toolbox grows, so do faculty and administrator concerns about control, privacy, assessment, and the effectiveness of these tools in the classroom.

In this seminar, Anderson will highlight an educational model for distance and online learning that leverages social software to help both learners and educators determine the most effective tool and granularity of application for their learning needs. He will also demonstrate a number of current and emerging tools and share practices that promise to help us learn from and with each other with an emphasis on social learning that includes groups, networks, and the collective.

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