Why technology?

One of me in SL

This is “me”

Why technology – why want it, why use it, why create it? Technology basically means just anything man-made, now-a-days it tends to mean the most modern man-made things. I’ve found a few things to share with you that, for me, answer the questions I just posed at the beginning of this paragraph.

This article in the Wall Street Journal by Katherine Rosman is a good example. Katherine writes about an online company called Craftsy, this company sells education in all sorts of crafts. You can learn about “Advanced Fondant Techniques,” “Explorations in Brioche Knitting,” “Mastering Lace Shawls”, “Handcrafted Sugar Flowers” and “Stupendous Stitching” and all for only $20-50. People like to learn, they like to learn how to do things, even very much more expensive courses are successful online. Do read the article it’s fascinating – may be you’ll sign up for one of the classes πŸ™‚ All joking aside though, this article answers so many questions that we might ask about modern technologies – people are using technology to save money, to make money, to have fun, to replace classes that cancelled due to the current financial climate, to help them deal with loneliness and frustration, in fact for all sorts of reasons.

This next example is particularly interesting for me as it is about how to get helpful information to people quickly – rather like the University’s QuileR site (see the link in our blog roll). The post in the Fast Company blog is actually about how to help the “average” computer user to know how to use their computers more efficiently and, at the end of the post, there are links to some great videos from Google about how to do things. Technology provides not only the means to help people but to do it 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Great reasons for using modern technologies.

I really like the Retronaut site, they have a wonderful collection of images and do some very clever things with them – things that we just would not be able to do without these modern technologies. The Retronaut site provides us with insights that would not normally be available to us. The images of the WWI soldiers on the particular page I’ve linked to are also an example of things we would not normally have seen.

This page from Edinburgh University of Undergraduate students’ advice to first year students is another example of something we would never have seen before. The ordinary person just did not get an opportunity to make their voices heard. In the past we would never have heard from individual Undergraduates like this, in fact you probably wouldn’t have heard from Undergraduates at all πŸ™‚ I rather thought that some students here would like to have a go at this sort of thing. If you do, just get in touch with me and I’ll arrange it all.

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Socio-Edu Media?

One of me in SL

This is “me”

As most of you know I also run the University Scoop.it site called Calling All Lecturers (it’s open to everyone, it’s just more focused on education). This morning I’ve been having a look at some of the other scoop.it sites that I follow and found some things that I’d like to share with you.

Susan Bainbridge’s scoop.it The 21st Century is always very interesting. From there I picked up on the use of Pinterest in the classroom and I wondered if any of you use Pinterest for your academic work at all. Do you use it to keep track of stuff you find on the web so you can share it with others? Do you create your own things (infographics, mindmaps) about your studies and Pin them? This infographic was on AvatarGeneration where I then found the next item I want to share.

This is probably not as reliable as Gartner but this infographic is a vision of the future of educational technology – all of you are using some of the things mentioned. Do you think this view of the future is possible or is it just pie in the sky?

ok, enough of the heavy stuff πŸ™‚ let’s see what else I can find.

Now this really looks good, they claim that DisplayNote is, “more than just your normal remote desktop application” I wonder if it is real or a scam? DisplayNote an app that could really be of use in a lecture hall or conference – has anyone tried it yet? Students can save presentations to their own devices and make their own notes on them. Students can also send private messages to one another and the lecturer on the same system. No more need for lecturers to print handouts – I’m must have try! I think it is only in Beta version at the moment but they claim that this App can be used by any platform to present and receive from a mobile device – I can’t wait to use it πŸ™‚ Do go and look at their video (link above) and their “About” page.

That will have to be all for now but I’ll find something else to bring you soon πŸ™‚

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