Posts Tagged ‘cloud apps’

site: Google Wave – wikipedia
site: About Google Wave – Google

clip: What is Google Wave? – epipho
clip: Google Wave Collaboration Tool – wwwinsanelygreatmac
clip: Google Wave Preview Review “Revolutionise Email”? – mobilephone2003

Yesterday I got my developers ‘sneak peak’ version of the long-promised Google Wave… I have to say that I like it a lot better than wiki for the tasks I’m thinking of using it for.

My first thought is to use this as a curriculum development tool – allowing SME‘s (Subject Matter Experts) and an Instructional Designer (or ID Coordinator) to get together and work synchronously or nonsynchronously on developing courses, units, reading materials, etc.

I can see potential in the future to write the use of this tool into assessments – specially for group work, but also perhaps a way of revising ‘how’ a doument was built (because of the ‘playback’ mode).

Will it kill email? – not convinced, but I can see that it would be a helpful tool in collaborative work. Still won’t be useful for emailing out my Christmas newsletter with pictures of my dogs.


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site: Wikipedia – by Wikipedia
site: Academic Papers on Wikipedia – by Wikipedia
site: Wikipedia Watch – critical look at Wikipedia
site: Principles and Patterns of Social Knowledge Applications – a paper on Wikipedia
clip: Trailer 1 from “Truth in Numbers: The Wikipedia Story”

I think you have worked out by now that I tend to use Wikipedia links to help explain jargon, conceptual and technical words and issues. So, in principal, I’m a fan of using Wikipedia.

Where this gets interesting, though, is siting Wikipedia as an academic source of information.

Do we trust Wikipedia – which is produced by ‘the masses’?
Or do we disown Wikipedia in favour of academically peer-reviewed works – therefore, produced by ‘the few and elite’?

My own view is that with ALL sources, it needs to be measured – for bias, for its own sources, for relevancy, for reliability. I like using Wikipedia as a first step in research, it tells me the basics and then I dig further into the sources mentioned at the end of the article.

In my own study, the academics will not accept Wikipedia being sited, so I leave it out of the bibliography.

– That being all tertiary… should Wikipedia be accepted as source for Primary or Secondary schools?

– Is Wikipedia more up-to-date (and so ‘correct’) then those huge collections of encyclopedia that collect dust in the reserve section of the library – and requires yearly ‘updates’ that never get used?

– Wikipedia is certainly more accessable then other encyclopedia, but is that a good thing?

– Is the collective might always right when it comes to ‘truth’ – or does that lead to being revisionist? is being revisionist wrong?

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Article: New Smithsonian site lets teachers and students create short historical movies — eSchool News

Site: Picturing the Thirties — Smithsonian American Art Museum

Tool: Primary Access — University of Virginia

More info on DigitalStorytelling: Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling — University of Houston; Center for Digital Storytelling

Ever been tempted to try out DigitalStorytelling for yourself, but didn’t know where to start (or have a bottomless wallet for resources)?

The Smithsonian and the University of Virginia have teamed together on a project focussing on a Modern History topic (namely the 1930’s), and because the tools and resources are free (hurrah!) this means YOU get to play with it.

Digital Storytelling is a fantastic way to engage students, teachers and just about anyone else who has ever wanted to be the next Ken Burns or Steven Spielberg. There are many different definitions of “digital storytelling,” but in general, all of them revolve around the idea of combining the longstanding art of telling stories with any of a variety of available multimedia tools, including graphics, audio, video animation, and Web publishing.

Digital stories are “mini-movies” created and edited by people like you and your students – using cameras, computers, scanners and their own photo albums. Everyone has a story to tell and new technology means that anyone can create a story that can be shown on a website or in a digital presentation.

Most Digital Stories contain a spoken story supplemented by photographs. Some contain small pieces of video footage and a musical background. Photos can be recently taken as part of the workshop or scanned in from old photo albums. — Digital StorytellingNew South Wales Country Area Program

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Article: Cloud Computing in Institutions by “cetisli”

‘The term “Cloud Computing” refers to any computing capability that is delivered as a service over the Internet. While there is no authoritatively accredited definition of the concept, one of the most frequently used definitions is the one given by Gartner, who describe cloud computing as “a style of computing where massively scalable IT-related capabilities are provided ‘as a service’ across the Internet to multiple external customers.”’ — Cloud Computing in Institutions

I know this sounds like technobabble but the basics are simple…

1. software comes to you over the internet/server, instead of being downloaded onto your computer.
2. your files are stored over the internet/server, instead of on your computer.
3. this frees up your computer to just needing to run the browser, and email – this allows you to go without a hard drive, like some of the new netbooks, so you can have it cheaper and lighter than ever.

If you are an old computer geek , this might sound a little familiar.

Back in the bad old days before PCs landed on every desk, the world of business (and engineering, and the geek world in general,) used what were called ‘Dumb Terminals‘ linked up to a massive ‘server‘ that, essentially, did all the work and stored all the files.

Do you remember Tron? The big baddy was the Master Control Program (article on MCP & friends). That’s the mainframe server. The original Cloud.

Now – if you use Gmail and Google Docs (for example) you are using Cloud Apps. The software exists only online, you access it online, and your emails and docs are saved on huge banks of servers taken care of by Google staff (in this case).

This blog is also in The Cloud. I don’t have a copy of it anywhere. WordPress give me access to the software I need to make it look pretty, and they host it. I don’t have a copy on a computer, but I can access it from any computer, with a login.

This is working in a fluid way. You are not tied to one computer. You can be anywhere, but you are right there, accessible.

– what does this mean for books? think about the Project Gutenburg, if a text of the book is available online and a student can’t just accidently leave it at home if the class is reading the e-text.
– what does this mean for project documents? think about Google Docs, groups of students can work collaboratively on projects from the library, from home, on a weekend after a sporting event.
– could teachers use the Cloud to discuss students that might need more attention? Take a look at Google Wave and think about its use for teaching staff.

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