I recently discovered Duolingo, a free website that delivers language lessons. If you’re an English speaker, you can take lessons in Spanish, German, French, Italian, or Portuguese. What’s really cool about it, though, is the way that it teaches you the language of your choice using online instruction. I think that Duolingo is a website that really gets online learning right, and it taught me a lot more about how to use the Web to teach something than it taught me Spanish (though I re-learned quite a bit of that, too!).
Over the course of the summer, my mind was ablaze with many a new input surrounding technology and higher education. I have been working closely with April Lawrence and Gene Roche to construct a series of pedagogical modules that will help William & Mary faculty introduce online tools to their courses. I also taught my first blended/hybrid course: an introductory cultural geography course at John Tyler Community College. My involvement with these projects has exposed me to an array opinions, strategies, and tactics with regards to the intersection of technology and post-secondary institutions. These are clearly volatile times for those of us in higher education.
I recently started using more of Swem Library’s electronic books available via ebrary. Before this week, when I’d seen that a book was only available electronically, I rolled my eyes and would ILL a copy. I just didn’t want to have to read the book on my computer screen. Fast forward to this week. I […]
I was recently on a research trip in Hungary when, three days into my two and a half month stay, my laptop, camera, and passport were stolen. Although the theft made my research trip much more difficult, it was not devastating and I was able to complete the research I had set out to do. By taking a couple of simple measures beforehand and asking for support from the academic community when I needed it, I survived my worst-case scenario.
When there are many software products that do similar things it can be a little confusing to choose one. Like a neophyte oenophile looking at a wine list, one might be tempted to make an arbitrary choice just to move things along — and wind up with a snootful of inappropriate complexity and a character that doesn’t suit the meal. So, without further ado (or beating this metaphor to death), here’s a sampler of the computer video conferencing and collaborating products in use at the College, somewhat arranged in order of complexity.