Social Software in Academia

Todd Bryant

The author did a great job of identifying the difference in social media tools and their applications. It’s interesting to read that while some schools embrace the social media sources  it takes others time to discover their advantages. I really enjoy learning about the creativity of some professors and teachers when using social media tools in their instruction. I know that technology doesn’t replace the instructor but if used properly technology tools can enhance the learning environment. I think most institutions don’t give their students enough credit for being so resourceful. After all isn’t that what we want from kids in college. To become independent and think on their feet without having to run to someone everytime they need help. I will not get on my soap box about networking but I think kids do a better job of finding resources that can help them learn in social media tools like blogs, wikis, social networking  etc…

Amazingly, in the last two semesters I have used a blog, wiki, LMS, Skype and multimedia software to interact, collaborate, communicate, create, share, learn, and contribute to a learning community. A year ago all I had was email and a cell phone to communicate with. The web can only take you to the places that your brain thinks it wants to go. I have come to appreciate open source in any learning platform and I think that is one of the reasons some of today’s college students get the new technology. Why couldn’t a small universtiy with a small budget promote the use of open source applications? Is there still a huge cost for large access and use?

I liked the Plazes application and can see the possiblities in education. Of course I see the possibilities in any type of technology regarding education. GIS is similar to GPS in that it allows one to explore the tracking of something or someone. GeoCaching is the high tech game of treasure hunt but can become educational if performed in National Parks. I can see a teacher using Plazes in her classroom just it was described in the article to show someone the town of some student in a European country. Sounds like fun to me. Which one do you think the kid will remember, the map of Italy or the geographic montage of a childs neighborhood in which he lives in?

One thought on “Social Software in Academia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s