Issue #4 – February 2007


Podcasting in Education: A Perspective from Bryn Mawr College

Podcasting is not just about the one-to-many delivery of lecture material; it also allows professors to reconfigure the use of class time in ways that enhance the intimate learning environment that is the hallmark of the small liberal arts college. Laura Blankenship describes the experiences of three Bryn Mawr professors in the sciences who began using podcasting last year.

French Through Songs and Singing: Language and Culture Through Music Online

Aaron Prevots was looking to incorporate music more in his French language, literature and culture classrooms, and beyond that, to create a dynamic, collaborative space online in which to share this music and exchange information, articles and music-related pedagogy with others. The result: a multimedia educational Web site featuring music-related articles, streaming MP3’s of primarily public domain material and annotated, downloadable lyrics.

Assessing Learning Objects: The Importance of Values, Purpose and Design

Posted February 8th, 2007 by Diane J. Goldsmith, Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium

Despite claims that “the learning object is dead,” learning object repositories continue to grow. But how do we measure the success of a learning object?  Diane Goldsmith provides her own clear and comprehensive “assessment” of the problem.

The Horizon Report: A NERCOMP SIG Event

The Horizon Report, a publication developed by the New Media Consortium in collaboration with the Educause Learning Initiative (ELI) “identifies and describes emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning or creative expression within higher education.” Reviewer Gail Matthews-Denatale attended a NERCOMP event about the 2006 Horizon report and reports on a fascinating workshop where “presentations were adapted on-the-fly to address participant questions and therefore sessions merged into a fluid day-long experience.”

Using Digital Images in Teaching and Learning: Perspectives from Liberal Arts Institutions

David Green’s study focuses on the pedagogical implications of the widespread use of the digital format for images. While the core of the study involved changes in the teaching-learning dynamic and the teacher-student relationship, related issues concerning supply, support and infrastructure rapidly became part of its fabric. In addition to the report, the site contains a set of one-on one-interviews with faculty on how digital changes everything.

You.Niversity? A Review of Reconstruction’s Special Issue: “Theories/Practices of Blogging”

Amid what he calls “speculation and scuttlebutt” concerning blogging, Kevin Wiliarty finds a welcome antidote in this recently-published series of essays. True to the spirit of blogging, the contributions are diverse and international, covering a wide range of topics and disparate methodologies, from academic blogging, to blogging as a literary enterprise, to blogging in journalism and beyond. Wiliarty provocatively asks if more “effective usage of blogs is restricted, practical, and collaborative rather than public, expressive, and individual.”

Renaissance Women, Text Encoding and the Digital Humanities: An Interview with Julia Flanders

Julia Flanders is a key figure in humanities computing and text encoding initiatives. She is Director of the exemplary Brown University Women Writers Project and Associate Director for Textbase Development at the Brown University Scholarly Technology Group, and Editor in Chief of the Digital Humanities Quarterly, due to launch in 2007. Academic Commons recently caught up with her to talk with her about her projects.

Digital Image Interview Series

As part of the ongoing discussion on Using Digital Images, we’re publishing a series of interviews with a small sample of those faculty who participated in the digital images project. Author David Green has returned to the interview subjects for updates and additional material.

Zotero: The Next-Generation Research Tool

Zotero is a free, easy-to-use open source research tool that helps you gather and organize resources (whether bibliography or the full text of articles), and then lets you to annotate, organize and share the results of your research. It combines the best parts of older reference manager software such as EndNote with more “modern” features like sorting, tagging, advanced searches and more.

Open Context: Community Data-sharing and Tagging

Open Context, a free, open-access online database resource for archaeology and related fields, is a highly-generalized tool that pools and integrates individual researcher datasets and museum collections. To help make sense of this widely varying body of material, we have developed a user folksonomy system. Individual users can add value to the pooled content by identifying and annotating items of interest using a tagging system. Open Context has a variety of demonstration datasets now available for exploration and testing. These include field archaeology contextual records and finds registers, geo-archaeological samples, and a variety of zooarchaeological analyses. Some projects have rich image collections and narrative material, and others are of primary interest for specialist comparative analyses.

Ukiyo-E Techniques Learning Object

This site is intended to help students, collectors and researchers to better understand the Ukiyo-e technique. Photographs and video clips show demonstrations of the techniques by master printmaker Keiji Shinohara. These demonstrations are accompanied by traditional prints from the Davison Art Center collection at Wesleyan University, and contemporary prints by Keiji Shinohara.With its impressive depth of information, captivating visuals and easy navigation, the Ukiyo-E Techniques website highlights the level of collaboration that is required to produce these sorts of materials.