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An Idiosyncratic Tour of Web 2'0 Tools


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Title: An Idiosyncratic Tour of Web 2'0 Tools

An Idiosyncratic Tour of Web 2.0 Tools
  • Course management systems
  • Homework Management systems
  • Webcasting and Vodcasting
  • Podcasting
  • Blogging
  • Wiki
  • Social Networking
  • Games and Simulations
  • Virtual worlds Second Life
  • Personal Response Systems Clickers

About you
  • Where are we?
  • A quick show of hands
  • How many have i-Pods? i-Phones?
  • use Course Managers?
  • social network accounts?
  • have ever texted?
  • how many of you have blogs?
  • read blogs about economics?

Frontiers of Pedagogy A Magical Mystery Tour
Endangered Species?
  • Inspiration Gap
  • Just tell me what I need to know!

  • The "next big thing! Weve heard that before.
  • Three propositions
  • 1.) Web 2.0 has won. 
  • 2) Today's students are different
  • 3.) Learning communities increasingly have no
    boundaries. (ex i-Tunes U, MIT Open Courseware)
  • Implication Economics educators can focus on
    how to facilitate student learning with the
    plethora of new tools.

Web 2.0
  • The original World Wide Webthe Web 1.0 that
    emerged in the mid-1990svastly expanded access
    to information.
  • Debate on definition Web 2.0 refers to the
    improvements of the way the web is used.
  • Behind web 2.0 is the idea that users can add
    value to the internet by harnessing their
    collective intelligence.
  • Key principles of Web 2.0 applications
  • Web is the platform
  • Collaborative/participatory nature
  • Ease of learning curve

Web 2.0
  • Web 2.0 is an umbrella term that is used to
    refer to a new era of Web-enabled applications
    that are built around user-generated or
    user-manipulated content, such as blogs,
    podcasts, wikis, and social networking sites.
  • In many ways, Web 2.0 is about using the web as a
    global brain to make life easier? for all of us

Demand Pull Learning
  • Web 2.0 makes possible a new approach to
    learningone characterized by a demand-pull
    rather than the traditional supply-push mode.
  • The demand-pull approach is based on providing
    students with access to rich virtual learning

Demand Pull
  • A Grand Transition ?
  • (Supply) Push ------gt (Demand) Pull
  • Education
  • building stocks of knowledge --gt participating in
    flows of knowledge
  • factory model of education ---gtEducation 2.0

About you
  • Where are we?
  • A quick show of hands
  • How many have i-Pods? i-Phones?
  • use Course Managers?
  • social network accounts?
  • have ever texted?
  • how many of you have blogs?
  • read blogs about economics?

  • GROWING UP DIGITAL The Rise of the Net
    Generation by Don Tapscott is an examination of
    the first generation to be bathed in bits since
  • Because of their access to the digital media
    young people today learn, work, think, shop and
    create differently than their parents.

Our students today
  • Digital Natives
  • Multitaskers
  • Collaborative learners
  • Always connected
  • Device rich
  • Highly visual
  • Experiential action oriented just in time learners

Students Today
  • Thought process has evolved around the web
  • Boomers were raised reading books Younger
    students today were raised on the web
  • Books reinforce a linear style of thinking and
  • Younger students have developed a hypertext
    style of thinking

  • Traditional profs have seen teaching as a one-way
    street we 'produce' and students 'consume'.
  • The new paradigm is to let students be part of
    the production, to have them help create their
    own knowledge. Students as prosumers.
  • Anyone who has tried to incorporate 'active
    learning' into their classes hopes that such
    activities are the things that students remember
  • It doesn't really seem like that big a stretch to
    accept that the more involved students are, the
    more they are likely to learn.

Broadcast Learning
  • The traditional system of one-way broadcast
    learning, was designed for an age when industry
    needed workers who did what they were told. The
    teacher was the sage who delivered knowledge, and
    pupils were expected to write down the sages
    utterances and deliver them back if they wanted a
    good grade.
  • The definition of a lecture is the process by
    which the notes of the teacher go to the notes of
    the student without going through the brains of
    either. This largely doesnt work with n-Gen.

The New Frontier
  • The educational system is undergoing a
    transition from a heavy emphasis on teaching to
    an emphasis on learning outcomes. 
  • New courseware allows students to learn anytime
    or anywhere at a pace that is comfortable for
    them, learning about topics that they are
    interested in.
  • Adherents of Education 2.0 forecast that teachers
    will transition to a role in which they act more
    as guides, coaches, mentors, designers.

An Idiosyncratic Tour of Web 2.0 Tools
  • Course management systems
  • Homework Management systems
  • Webcasting and Vodcasting
  • Podcasting
  • Blogging
  • Wiki
  • Social Networking
  • Games and Simulations
  • Virtual worlds Second Life
  • Personal Response Systems Clickers

Course Management Portals
  • Blackboard, Moodle
  • Course cartridges now usually include Web 2 tools.

Some Principles for CMS Good Practice
  • Encourage contact between students and facultyby
    creating a faculty profile to share contact
  • Develop reciprocity and cooperation among
    studentsby creating a community of discourse on
    the discussion board
  • Give prompt feedbackthrough the use of
    immediately scored quizzes and exams
  • Emphasize time on taskby adding events to the
    course calendar
  • Communicate high expectationsby outlining your
    course's learning objectives in an online
  • Respect diverse talents and ways of learningby
    presenting content in a variety of formats
  • Encourage active learningby constructing
    individualized learning paths through the use of
    adaptive release criteria ?

Adaptive Release Rules
  • An Adaptive Release rule consists of a set of
    criteria that defines the visibility of a content
    item to users.
  • To view an item, a user must meet all of the
    requirements of the rule. This means that if a
    rule has multiple criteria, the user must meet
    all criteria before the item is available.
  • Example a rule for a particular Assignment may
    allow all users in a group to view an Assignment
    once they had completed Homework 1. This rule
    would consist of Membership criteria and
    Gradebook criteria.

Aplia, Connect, and other Homework Managers
  • See Jen Jelinski of McGraw-Hill for more info
    about Connect

Aplia is a web-based product offering
  • Automatically graded problem sets
  • Math review tests and tutorials
  • Economics experiments
  • Interactive economic models
  • News analysis exercises
  • A blog tailored economics course content
  • E-book integration

Benefits of Aplia and Homework Managers
  • Encourages regular effort
  • Provides students with immediate feedback
  • Consistency in grading
  • Students work with interactive economic models

Homework Managers
  • Instructor becomes the "answerer of the last
    resort" needed only for difficult situations.
  • Class interactions can become more
  • Early research indicates that course systems
    appear to be able to help student achieve active
    learning as seen through their improved
    performances and positive feedbacks.

Tips for using homework managers
  • 'Practice' assignment/'Graded' assignment pairing
    of all homework assignments is of great value.
  • It is very helpful to have practice problems
    which students may do first. These practice
    problems prepare them for the graded problems.
    After the due date for the graded problems has
    passed, students can go back and see how they
  • I encourage students to read and study the
    explanations for questions that they missed.
  • An incentive exam questions can come from both
    modifying both the practice and graded questions.
  • E-book integration works well in my experience

Conclusion Homework Managers
  • Students in my classes prefer to use the computer
    to do homework rather than to complete pencil and
    paper assignments--even though it costs them
  • I have never had a student suggest that I should
    stop using Aplia.
  • Find out more about Connect Econ at the

Videocasting, Vodcasting, Lecture Capture
  • Software Camtasia, Tegrity, Slideshare, YouTube
  • It easy is to record what youre doing.
  • Just in time lectures, review sessions, comments.

  • Makes possible inverted class time transforming
    lecture into discussion time.
  • Can free up class time to do active learning
    exercises, groups, etc.
  • Classroom time may be better spent in dialogue
    among students and instructors, if crucial
    lecture material is available online for later
  • Why not personalize your CMS?

Record your class
  • With Camtasia running on a tablet, PC and a
    bluetooth mic in your ear, you can do what you
    would normally be doing for class presentations
    except that its all being recorded.

Borrow other lectures
Econ Lectures are everywhere on the web. You can
do it too.
  • i-Tunes U
  • FORA tv
  • Uchannel
  • Classroom20
  • Free Video Lectures

Webcasting, Webinars
  • Ex Eluminate, CCC Confer
  • With web casting, you can pull together a large
    group of people from anywhere at a specific time
    on a given day, teach them something, and then
    let them all get back to their lives without the
    traditional interruptions and expenses of travel.
  • Web casting enables you to literally present just
    about any type of information or educational
    material you want.

  • You can do everything from a simple "radio" type
    presentation where people passively listen, to a
    multimedia presentation complete with Power
    Point slides and live tours of actual websites.
  • Some instructors find webcasting to be a useful
    tool for holding office hours.
  • Synchronous, but can archive
  • See Maria Gamba (University of Findlay) for
    further details on Eluminate Live and using

  • Podcasting is on of those technologies that can
    supplement traditional lectures.
  • Students who can access the lectures as podcasts
    can replay detailed or difficult parts of the
    class material.
  • An article New Scientist detailed a recent
    psychological study from the State University of
    New York - Fredonia. The study, Can Podcasts
    Replace Professors?, conducted by psychologist
    Dani McKinney, indicates that students who listen
    to class lectures in podcast form score better
    when tested on the lecture material than students
    who heard the lectures in person.
  • Why not vodcast and podcast especially in econ?

  • Audacity is an easy to use open-source software,
    which can record and edits audio files, for
    podcasts. The software is free it makes creating
    podcasts and editing audio files pretty easy.
  • Great Econ Podcasts can be found on
  • i-Tunes U
  • Planet Money
  • EconTalk

Facebook - what is it?
  • Social networking website of over 200 million
    registered users
  • Expect 90 of your students to be registered on
  • They may well regard it as "their" space

Facebook demographics
  • Average age of a Facebook user is mid-late 20's
  • Older over 35 users are fastest growing group
  • 70 of Facebook users are outside of the United
  • More than half of Facebook users visit at least
    once a day
  • Average user has 120 friends, Me, not so many!

Social Networking Facebook
  • Students are supporting each other on Facebook by
    passing on books / references, debating issues,
    asking for help
  • As it is "their" space communication is easier
    and less formal
  • Could be a place to hold informal study groups

Social Networking
  • Consider a separate teacher profile for sharing
    with students.
  • Link to interesting and interesting blogs, casts,
  • Be aware of security / privacy settings.

Facebook Model?
  • The Facebook model is weird. Facebook seems to
    be trying to get people to use and enjoy the
    Internet within the confines of Facebook.
  • Seems like the old days of CompuServe and AOL?
  • When I work I have multiple tabs open on my
    browser. There is so much stuff on the Internet,
    why would you limit yourself to the stuff your
    friends posted?

Over the top?
  • Lets face it. You would live on Facebook if you
    could. Imagine a world where you could manage
    your entire life from Facebook its not that
    far off! Right now, though, one thing missing is
    your academic life. You have to access a
    different system to get your course information
    and you dont always know when something new has
    been posted or assigned, so its difficult for
    you to stay on top of your studies. We get it.
    Thats why Blackboard is offering an application
    that delivers course information and updates from
    Blackboard to you inside Facebook.

Opportunity Cost of Facebook
  • A recent study indicated Facebook users have
    lower overall grades than non-users, according to
    a survey of college students who also ironically
    said the social networking site does not
    interfere with studying.

  • LinkedIn is a large professional network with
    over 37 million members and growing rapidly.
  • LinkedIn helps the user exchange knowledge,
    ideas, and opportunities with trusted contacts.
  • LinkedIn is a social network that is business
  • You will find several elearning, online learning
    and higher education groups.

  • Ning lets instructors set up workspaces that
    include web feeds to pull in relevant resources,
    chat spaces (synchronous or asynchronous),
    forums, profiles, shared documents, calendars,
    music, and many other tools.

Cyber Study Groups!?
  • Twitter is the latest fad. It's a mass
    text-messaging service that allows anyone to send
    short--140 characters or less--updates about
    anything, from what you are doing at any given
    moment to news.
  • Asks what are you up to right now?
  • Twitter is a phenomenon which seems to be really
    catching on among the younger internet users.
  • Part blog, part social networking site, and part
    IM tool

  • Tweets can be sent and received on,
    traditional e-mail accounts, mobile phones, RSS,
    and Facebook.
  • Allows you to follow other organisations such as
    World Economic Forum,, Freakonomics, The
  • Everyone is tweeting these days, in its 14
    million users, who visited its site 99 million
    times last month to read posts tapped out with
    cellphones and computers.
  • Twitter reverses the notion of the group, said
    Paul Saffo, a Silicon Valley futurist. Instead
    of creating the group you want, you send it and
    the group self-assembles.

Twitter - possible uses
  • Pointers to online resources based around a
  • Student reminders about deadlines
  • Breaking down barriers and getting to know others
    over this "virtual water cooler"
  • Keeping up to date for you and students
  • Instant lecture feedback - are you twittering
    about this presentation?

Educational uses of Twitter?
  • Could Twitter be a valuable option for
    communicating with students both in and out of
  • I have resisted setting up a Twitter account
  • I am sitting on the pedagogic fence.

Twitters Downsides
  • Twitter seems to be a voyeurs dream.
  • Who wants everything broadcast for anyone to see?
  • While using Twitter it is almost like we can see
    what others are thinking. Are they thinking at

  • Blogs are online journals that display the most
    recent content first
  • Can combine text, images, and links to audio and
    video files.
  • Readers may often leave comments and interact
    with the writer.

  • Uses
  • Commentary
  • Deliver news
  • Personal diaries
  • offers free blog space.
  • Blogger is the first and only blog tool that I
    have used, and I think it is pretty good.
  • Read 100s of economics blogs at the Economics
    Roundtable http//

How might you use a blog for economics education?
  • Potential teaching and learning uses of blogs
  • Replacing standard class web pages
  • Professor-written blogs which cover interesting
    developments that relate to the theme of the
  • Organization of in-class discussion
  • Requiring students to write their own blogs as
    part of their grade
  • Discussion Board topics
  • Extra credit

Some of my favorite Blogs
  • Naked Capitalism
  • The Baseline Scenario
  • Marginal Revolution
  • Calculated Risk
  • naked capitalism

Educational value of blogs
  • Individual blogs
  • Write a blog for students in your courses or
    department link to articles, news items, videos,
    conferences, etc. and get student responses
  • Have students create blogs for journaling
  • Group blogs allow and engagement
  • For each work or topic that you cover in a
    course, have small groups publish blogs on how
    their assigned theory would analyze or interpret
  • Quasi blogging can also be done on a Discussion

Econ Teaching Blogs
  • http//
  • http//

What is a Wiki?
  • Web pages designed to allow multiple users
    contribute to the pages.
  • Think of a wiki as a community forum, where
    people can think aloud, comment, and correct one
  • Open source textbook wikis are coming
  • See Professor Arianne Schaurer, Marymount
    College Using Wiki to Engage and Assess

(No Transcript)
  • App Assigning group reports Enable students to
    create a report using a wiki. They can see who
    has posted what and when, and write the report on
    the wiki.
  • App Tracking group projects Members can track
    their research and ideas, along with everyone
    else's information. The wiki provides a central
    place to collectively prepare the final product.
  • Wiki could help eliminate endless meetings.

YouTube and Videocasting
  • YouTube has been used as a video blogging
  • Similar to podcasting, users can subscribe to
    channels on YouTube and can also vote for
    popular videos, as well as comment.
  • Making comments on videos is quite popular.
  • Videos are limited to ten minutes
  • Use YouTube to add comedy, embed in CMS

You Tube
  • Yoram Bauman, Ph.D. claims that he is the
    world's first and only stand-up economist."
  • Click here to see his comedy shtick on economic
    principles translated for the uninitiated from
    You Tube.

Virtual Learning Environments
  • Virtual Learning Environments
  • Second Life was the hot thing
  • There are many ways that Second Life could be
    used for teaching/learning
  • office hours in Second Life for (adult) students
  • meet new people (economics educators)
  • there are also already many learning resources
    in-world (museums, simulations etc.).
  • virtual study groups, etc.

Second Life
  • You will need to take some time to get to know
    all the different possibilities, but a good place
    to start is either the SimTeach Second Life Wiki
    or the Second Life in Education wiki.
  • On these sites you can also find a list of
    institutions that are already using Second Life
    for teaching, and also some examples of how SL is
    used in education.

Games and Simulations
  • Video gaming in the U.S. is simply huge, both as
    an activity and an industry. A whopping 97
    percent of American teens aged 12 to 17 play
    video games using the Internet, personal
    computers, consoles or hand-held devices, and
    half of them do so every day.
  • Adults do it too. In 2008, the average age of
    gamers was 35. And collectively, gamers in the
    U.S. fueled 9.5 billion in computer and video
    game and video game sales in 2007.

  • 99 percent of boys and 94 percent of girls play
    video games
  • 65 percent of daily gamers are male and 35
    percent female
  • The average gamer is 35 years old (25 percent are
    under 18 49 percent fall in the 18- to
    49-year-old category and 26 percent are 50 and
  • 76 percent of students, but only 49 percent of
    non-students, report playing games
  • 53 percent of American adults age 18 and older
    play video games -- about one in five adults

  • I have used various games to spice up a course
    and to stimulate class discussion.
  • Edward Castronova, a professor of economics at
    Indiana University, studies virtual
    macroeconomics in synthetic worlds. Castronova is
    excited that for the first time we have big
    online societies with thousands of people in them
    that may allow us to explore questions about how
    the macro economy operates. He calls large
    online computer games "Petri dishes of macro
    economic theory."
  • Next big thing?

Economics 100 at UNCG
Game Play Benefits
  • If video games lower tolerance for traditional
    learning styles such as lectures, is that
    entirely a bad thing?
  • Lectures may not be an effective way for anyone
    to learn regardless of how much video game
    playing the learner has done.
  • Games offer
  • Pattern recognition sense making galore
  • Continuous decision making
  • Conquering immense complexity
  • Immediate feedback
  • Joy from mastery of skills
  • Bottom line oriented scores matter

  • Clickers are a remote control-like personal
    response system
  • NPR ran a story on them, and The Chronicle of
    Higher Education provided an analysis of clicker
    economics and a critique of their use.

Clickers Knowing what the students dont
know-right now?
  • There are several applications of clickers
    including attendance, exam-taking and classroom
  • The "killer app" of clickers is to use them to
    ask questions during lecture.
  • At intervals during a class lecture, the
    instructor can display a question and students
    can respond to it using their clicker.
  • The questions can come in any of several forms,
    including multiple choice, true-false, yes-no,
    and numerical answers.
  • The system collects student responses, displays
    the distribution of responses on the screen, and
    records the student responses in its database.

  • Encourages students to remain engaged
  • May increases the comfort zone of quiet students
  • Allows instructor to keep tabs on class progress.
  • Clicker effectiveness is, of course, limited to
    what you do with the information you receive.
    Facilitating some discussion in response is
    probably the key.

Clicker costs
  • Cost is an issue.
  • No research (that I have found) demonstrates any
    particular learning benefit from clickers as
    opposed to raising hands.
  • You have to write good clicker questions, and
    that takes some time.
  • Most of the current clicker technology does a
    fine job with multiple-choice questions it don't
    do as well in letting students respond quickly
    with words, sentences, or phrases.
  • Other devices and technologies have better input
    systems allowing for written responses.

Geeky Mom Critique
  • I really don't like clickers. I recognize that
    there are certain classes, mostly large lecture
    classes, where they seem necessary. Buy why do
    they seem necessary? Because there's a
    recognition that students don't always learn well
    in those settings and so the clickers are used to
    determine if the students are learning and if
    they're not, in theory, to go over material again
    or differently so that they do learn. So rather
    than deal with the root of the problem, they
    throw technology at it. This is the worst use of
    technology in education and unfortunately, it's
    the most common……Geeky Mom

  • We must be realistic about what good pedagogy
    can accomplish. It is not a panacea it will not
    create a society of lovers of learning in which
    our social ills will finally be cured... Even the
    best teachers will not convert every student into
    a lifelong learner who embraces knowledge for its
    own sake. That is a commitment that must come
    from within it is an intentional decision to
    swim against powerful cultural and economic
    currents.…..Economics for Teachers blog

Content not form!
  • Ultimately content, not delivery, determines
    whether one is or is not a good teacher. No
    matter how well you deliver it, if you do not
    have something to say, you are not going to be a
    good teacher.…..David Colander

  • Teaching is an iterative process. Whatever isnt
    working you can fix the next time around.
  • I'd like to hear experiences (benefits/costs)
    from folks who have already jumped into using
    Web 2.0 tools.

Resources on Web 2.0 and its impact
  • Educating the Net Generation Diana G Oblinger
    and James L. Oblinger, Editors
  • Growing up Digital by Don Tapscott
  • Pew Internet and American Life Project
  • I would recommend taking a tour around Educause,
    especially their "7 Things You Should Know About"

More Resources
  • Online Handbook for Economics Lecturers from the
    Economics Network of the UK's Higher Education
    Academy Handbook for Economics Lecturers
  • The Art of Teaching Economics,
  • David Colander, International Review of
    EconomicsEducation, volume 3, issue 1 (2004), pp.
    63-76 Available at
  • http//

Thanks for attending!