Online Gaming as Educational Tools

Many people view online gaming as simply a form of entertainment. However, there are many educational opportunities to be found in these games. SAT and regents prep work may be disguised as arcade games or even charity fundraisers (see freerice.com). Many of your students may be playing these games already and not even realize they are studying while simultaneously having fun.

The following article provides tips for finding educational online games.

Games in the Classroom (part 2)

Online Learning

As Online Learning has become increasingly popular over the last few years, certain questions have been raised asking whether or not colleges are truly ready to support online learners. Many changes will have to be made if this new form of schooling continues to grow in popularity as it has in recent years. The following article poses many questions about online learning and includes some helpful tips for Student Affairs.

Are We Ready To Support Online Learners?

Teaching with Technology

Christine Paige, Educational
Technologist, discussed the many free web tools available for classroom use
(there are currently almost 4,000 of them). She emphasized the free and easy
use of these programs and the convenience that many of them offer. Several of
the web tools she mentioned are relatively new to the World Wide Web, including
Glogster EDU, a new and improved way to create posters. This tool allows
students – and teachers – to create interactive posters using video clips,
animations, graphics, and sound. Teachers can create a free account using an
e-mail address that can hold up to 40 glogs. Other web tools, like Prezi, have
also started to replace outdated classroom tools. Prezi and GoogleDocs offer
cheaper and more advanced tools for creating presentations and written
documents. While Paige mentioned several advantages to these web tools she also
mentioned a few disadvantages to them as well, although she does not want to
discourage anyone from using them. The fact that these tools are not installed on
computers, but are in fact online, makes their future uncertain; they could
disappear overnight along with the work of anyone using them. However, the
advantages to using web tools still seem to far outweigh the disadvantages.

Liz Yanoff, Assistant
Professor of Teacher Education, also discussed a web tool that can be used in the
classroom. She used Wimba as a way to create a virtual classroom. Prior to
using Wimba her undergraduate methods research class communicated with a
classroom of fourth graders via snail mail. Wimba allowed the college class to
communicate with the fourth grade class by means of video calling several times
over the course of a semester. By using Wimba the students were able to
accomplish the same things they would have if they had actually been physically
present in the fourth grade classroom. This virtual classroom also provided
several benefits that being in the physical classroom could not. The college
students were able to watch lessons being taught by the fourth grade teacher
and make comments without being a distraction to the younger students. Wimba
also provides several other uses including virtual field trips, meetings (both
professional and non-professional), and as a replacement for professional office
hours.

Theresa Flanigan, Assistant
Professor of Art History, discussed how she enhanced student learning
experiences in her Art History class using LUNA. This web tool allows anyone in
her class to view digital images of artwork. This system replaced the use of
slides; which took up too much room and were not always available to students.
LUNA not only allows students access to hundreds of pieces of art but it also
affords them the ability to zoom in on the digital images in order to see
specific parts – even brushstrokes. Flanigan said that the use of LUNA
permitted her students to become more “actively engaged participants in their
learning process and strengthened their skills at thinking, writing, and
reading critically about art.” Not only are all the students afforded access to
more artwork, they do not have to worry about the information being incorrect
(as some internet sources may be).

Below is a link to a
web page listing many different web tools that can be used for educational
purposes.

http://betalibrary.strose.edu/visual_resources

Christine Paige’s Handout

Theresa Flanigan’s Handout

Audio for September Session