The goals of this site are to provide a basic understanding of Web 2.0 technologies and to suggest ideas for instructional applications of interactive media both inside and outside the classroom for online and on campus students. The target audiences are folks working in Academic and Student Affairs.
is the graphical representation of information. Information technology combines the principles of visualization with powerful
applications and large data sets to create sophisticated images and animations.
a visual representation of statistics once involved compiling
data, interpreting it, parsing it, and then determining what kind of visual presentation would best elucidate what the data meant. New data visualization tools provide a shortcut—a straight line from compiling data to illustrating it.
library of applications at IBM’s open-source venue Many Eyes or the Visualization Lab available from the New York Times. Wordle
is a social networking site designed to connect users.
Sites such as MySpace and Friendster are similar, but Facebook
is generally considered the leading social networking site among
college students. Facebook allows individuals to create profiles
that include personal interests, affiliations, pictures, and—with
some limitations—virtually anything else a user wants to post.
offers a long and growing list of features, as well as tools to tie the site’s functions into other Web-based applications. With the added functionality, Facebook users have far more power to create and share online identities and to use the site to locate and interact with other users. Added to this flexibility is what some believe is one of the industry’s strongest, most detailed privacy policies, one that puts unprecedented control into users’ hands to determine who can see their information and what they can do with it.
is a photo-sharing website where anyone can upload and tag photos, browse others’ photos, and add comments and annotations.
Users can create photo sets and collections to manage content, and participate in topical groups to cultivate a sense of community.
camcorders are simple, with a lens and microphone on the front and a video screen and a few buttons on the back. These devices are entirely automatic, without the need—or the option—to change manual settings. A spring-loaded USB plug on the device allows it to attach directly to a computer for file transfers. Built-in software enables video transfer for processing, storage, or sharing on sites like YouTube and Facebook
Unigo.com, an online guide to North American colleges and universities, provides Flip devices to students, who capture video on the fly and deliver it to the site promptly.
also called geotagging, is the practice of associating
a digital resource with a physical location. Location information
is typically given in terms of latitude and longitude coordinates, which can pinpoint any place on the planet with a high degree of precision. If a photographer includes the coordinates for where a picture was taken, for instance, the value of the photograph is increased,
for both the photographer and others who have access to the photo and its metadata. Other sorts of digital artifacts—such as videos, podcasts, and news stories—similarly benefit from being tagged with location data. With this new layer of information, users have new abilities to search and organize content, discern correlations
between related material, and take greater advantage of the growing interconnectedness of computing systems.
is a participant in a presentation or class session
who surfs the Internet for terms, ideas, or Web sites mentioned by
the presenter or related to the topic at hand. A screen displays the
jockey’s searches for all participants to see. Typically the instructor
or presenter will use at least one projection screen to show slides
or other content to a class. Google jockeying adds one or more
screens to the session, allowing students to see related resources
and additional information that clarify the main topic.
has elements of existing communication tools but is built around a different model of how communication—and collaboration—take place. With Wave, users create online spaces called “waves,” which may include multiple discrete messages and components—“blips”—that constitute a running, conversational document. Users access waves through the web, resulting in a model of communication in which separate copies of multiple messages are not sent to different people; instead, the content resides in a single space. People go to a wave to access the content,
respond to it, change it, replay it, send it to a blog, or add new material or attachments.
a collection of web-based programs and file storage
that run in a web browser, without requiring users to buy or
install software. Users can simply log in to the service to access
their files and the tools to manipulate them.
Communication tools - Gmail, Google Talk, and Google Calendar
Productivity tools - Google Docs: text files, spreadsheets, and
is an interactive mapping application that allows
users to navigate (or “fly”) the entire globe, scanning satellite imagery
with overlays of roads, buildings, geographic features, and
numerous other location-specific data points. Users can add their
own points of interest and share them with others, chart routes,
plot areas, calculate distances, and overlay separate images onto
the application. Google Earth connects to the Internet, making
online resources available in connection with particular places.
Users can add placemarks, which are clickable indicators of
particular locations, and create structures using SketchUp, a 3D
design application that integrates into Google Earth
technnologies provide force feedback to users about the physical properties and movements of virtual objects represented by a computer. Haptics incorporate
both touch (tactile) and motion (kinesthetic) elements. For applications that simulate real physical properties—such as weight, momentum, friction, texture, or resistance—haptics communicates
those properties through interfaces that let users “feel” what is happening on the screen.
is an umbrella term describing any technology that allows instructors to record what happens in their classrooms and make it available digitally. The term is used to describe a wide array of software, system capabilities, and hardware options. In its simplest form, lecture capture might be an audio recording made with an iPod. Alternatively, the term might refer to a software capture
program, such as TechSmith’s Camtasia Relay, that records cursor movement, typing, and other on-screen activity for demonstration
purposes with an audio voiceover. At the other end of the complexity spectrum, a lecture capture system might mean a turnkey operation like Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite, a webcasting
platform that is frequently set up in a dedicated studio where software and hardware reside permanently to provide as-needed audio and video recordings of presentations and accompanying slides or other digital resources
Recordings made with an iPod
TechSmith’s Camtasia Relay
Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite, a webcasting
Panopto suite, for example, includes CourseCast Recorder, CourseCast Editor, and CourseCast Server
is a web-based service that lets audience members at a presentation post questions for the speaker. As questions are added, other participants can submit comments and cast votes for the questions they hope to see answered first. It is hosted on Harvard University’s Berkman Center website, where it is freely available to anyone who wants to use it.
is a web-based self-publishing service. It provides online access
to the tools an individual needs to design, publish, and print original material, including books, brochures, reports, calendars, and posters. Users can also create digital content, such as music
files, videos, graphics, or e-books.
combine separate, stand-alone technologies into a
novel application. Unlike open source software, mashups typically
function through an application programming interface (API),
which facilitates communication between the technologies without
modification of the source code. Mapping mashups interoperate
with an online mapping service, such as those developed by
Google or Yahoo, combining data with the mapping application’s
is the practice of posting small pieces of digital content—which could be text, pictures, links, short videos, or other media—on the Internet. Microblogging has become popular
among groups of friends and professional colleagues who frequently
update content and follow each other’s posts, creating a sense of online community.
FriendFeed or Socialthing to aggregate accounts from multiple microblogging services
is an online service that allows users to create their own social
networks and join and participate in other networks. Ning lets creators of networks determine the site’s appearance and functionality,
as well as whether the site is public or private. Most networks
include features such as photos or videos, lists of network members and events, groups within the network, and communication
tools such as forums or blogs.
replaces traditional peer-reviewed publishing with an open access model, in which the workflow for the submission, review, and publishing of content is transparent. With open journaling, authors can track the progress of their submissions, access reviewer comments, and revise and resubmit articles. Reviewers, editors, proofreaders, and others involved in the process also have access to the status of submitted material and the issues of the publication. Open journaling tools manage this process through an online application that lets users publish academic journals and other scholarly material more easily and at considerably lower cost than with traditional methods.
Open Journal Systems (OJS), developed by the Public Knowledge Project (PKP), an initiative at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University. Other open journaling tools include Digital Publishing System (DPubS), a project from the Cornell University Library and Penn State University Libraries and Press; HyperJournal; and OpenACS (Open Architecture Community System).
describes the tools, communities, and services that constitute the individual educational platforms learners use to direct their own learning and pursue educational goals. A PLE is frequently contrasted with a learning management system in that an LMS tends to be course-centric, whereas a PLE is learner-centric. At the same time, a PLE may or may not intersect with an institutional LMS, and individuals might integrate components of an LMS into the educational environments that they construct for themselves.
Teaching becomes less a matter of data transmission and more a collaborative exercise in collection, orchestration, remixing, and integration of data into knowledge building.
The goal for the student shifts from a need to collect information to a need to draw connections from it—to acquire it, disseminate it, and collaborate in its use.
WordPress, StumbleUpon, Flickr, YouTube, iGoogle, My Yahoo,
refers to any software and hardware combination that
permits automatic downloading of audio files (most commonly in
MP3 format) for listening at the user’s convenience. Unlike traditional
radio or other Web-based streaming media, podcasts give
listeners control over when they hear the recording. Podcasting
makes use of the Internet’s Real Simple Syndication (RSS) standard.
It differs from broadcasting and Webcasting in the way that
content is published and transmitted via the Web. Instead of a
central audio stream, podcasting sends audio content directly to
an iPod or other MP3 player.
is a protocol that lets users subscribe to online content using an RSS “reader” or “aggregator,” which checks subscribed Web pages and automatically downloads new content. The aggregators display a list of subscriptions, with highlighting or another indicator of RSS feeds that have added content since the user last logged in. Without having to go to all of the individual Web sites, users can quickly and easily access new material from sites that interest them. For many, RSS has become the pipe through which content flows from providers to consumers.
is a screen capture of the actions on a user’s computer
screen, typically with accompanying audio, distributed
through RSS. A screencast
captures what happens on a monitor over a period of time. The
audio track can be the sound from an application being demonstrated,
a narrative from the presenter, or background audio from
another application. Screencasts can be produced in various formats,
and users generally watch them streamed over a network.
Screencasts can be thought of as podcasts of a computer monitor.
Screencasts capture the feeling of personal connection. They can be easily distributed through blogs and other Web pages.
is the largest virtual world, with tens of millions of square meters of virtual lands, more than 13 million registered users (or “residents”), and a thriving economy. Since its debut in 2003, Second Life has added several key features, including
VoIP, which lets users speak to one another. It offers a compelling synchronous experience for geographically disparate users to meet and interact.
is an application that turns a personal computer into a telephone.
Skype uses voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) technology,
which converts voice signals into data streams that are sent over the
Internet and converted back to audio by the recipient’s computer.
Although Skype is not the only company that offers VoIP services
for consumers, it functions on a P2P model rather than as a centralized
application. With the P2P model, users download a piece of
software that allows computers to communicate directly with one
another, without having to be routed through a central location. This
decentralized model allows Skype to function as a robust, distributed
medium for communication. The service allows communication
between Skype-equipped devices, which is free, or between
a Skype device and a conventional telephone for relatively modest
fees. Skype offers features such as voicemail and call forwarding,
and the service also now supports video communication. Skype offers a searchable directory
of Skype users, as well as features including conference calling,
file transfer, chat, and alerts.
is the practice of saving bookmarks to a
public Web site and “tagging” them with keywords. To
create a collection of social bookmarks, you register with a social
bookmarking site, which lets you store bookmarks, add tags of
your choice, and designate individual bookmarks as public or
private. Some sites periodically verify that bookmarks still work,
notifying users when a URL no longer functions. Visitors to social
bookmarking sites can search for resources by keyword, person,
or popularity and see the public bookmarks, tags, and classification
schemes that registered users have created and saved.
is the practice of combining narrative with digital
content, including images, sound, and video, to create a short movie, typically with a strong emotional component. Sophisticated digital stories can be interactive movies that include highly produced audio and visual effects, but a set of slides with corresponding narration
or music constitutes a basic digital story. Digital stories can be instructional, persuasive, historical, or reflective. The resources available to incorporate into a digital story are virtually limitless, giving the storyteller enormous creative latitude. Some learning theorists believe that as a pedagogical technique, storytelling can be effectively applied to nearly any subject. Constructing a narrative
and communicating it effectively require the storyteller to think carefully about the topic and consider the audience’s perspective.
an online application that is part blog, part social networking
site, part cell phone/IM tool, designed to let users answer the question “What are you doing?” Users have 140 characters for each posting (or “tweet”) to say whatever they care to say. Many tweets do answer the question of what the user is doing, but plenty of others are responses to other tweets, pointers to online resources
that the user found interesting, musings, or questions.
is an interactive web streaming platform that lets users broadcast their own channels on the
Ustream network or on a third-party website such as MySpace or Facebook. a platform for users to host events, promote their own shows, or set up interactive conversations with participants across the globe. Like many Web 2.0 tools, the site functions as a social network, encouraging users to customize their profiles, identify favorite shows, create broadcast schedules, cultivate followers, add bulletins, and communicate with other users. Viewers can also rate and review shows, bolstering their standing on the site’s home page. Ustream offers a mix of live programming and archived shows, giving viewers an opportunity to search for older editions of just-watched shows. requires only an Internet connection and a webcam; membership on the site is free. Once registered, users simply enter basic information about their show, including the title, description, and any uploaded artwork, and click Start Broadcast to begin streaming. The feed is then live on the web. From the site, users can e-mail the broadcast URL to names in their address book or embed the URL in a Twitter stream. For savvy users, Ustream allows desktop screen sharing and visual overlays, such as picture-in-picture displays. Interaction is limited to chat and commenting features, without an opportunity for viewers to participate through voice or video.
or vlog, is a Web log (blog) that uses video rather
than text or audio as its primary media source. Cell phones
equipped with cameras, digital cameras that can record short
video sequences, or inexpensive video cameras equipped with
microphones make it easy to acquire the raw material of a videoblog. combines movies, sound, still images, and text,
increasing the information—and potentially emotions—shared
with users. Rich media allow authors to explore new ways of
communicating—many videobloggers believe that video allows
more natural expression than writing.
(FireAnt, for example) automate the downloading and display of videoblogs
through easy point-and-click interfaces.
such as BitTorrent to distribute their content
real-time interactions that take place
over the Internet using features such as audio and video, chat
tools, and application sharing
Elluminate Virtual Classroom, Adobe Connect, Live Classroom from Horizon Wimba
is a media aggregator that allows people to post media artifacts for community feedback. The application, developed at the University of North Carolina, makes it easy for users to add voice annotation to an artifact, which might be a document, a slide presentation, a video, or a collection of photos. Commentators can add remarks by means of microphone, webcam, keyboard, or telephone. The resulting Flash-based animation contains the original artifact and the commentary on it. In educational settings, students can post visual media, instructors can comment, and peers can offer verbal or text-based assessments. What sets VoiceThread apart from other post-for-comments sites is the ease with which voice commentary can be added.
is a Web page that can be viewed and modified by anybody
with a Web browser and access to the Internet. This means
that any visitor to the wiki can change its content if they desire.
is a video-sharing service that lets users upload files to
YouTube servers, where they are available online. With the exception
of content that is offensive or illegal, videos can be animations,
footage of public events, personal recordings of friends—virtually
anything a user wants to post. Videos can be informational, entertaining,
persuasive, or purely personal. One of an emerging class
of social applications, YouTube allows users to post and tag videos,
watch those posted by others, post comments in a threadeddiscussion
format, search for content by keyword or category, and
create and participate in topical groups. YouTube ties into several
blogging applications, giving users a quick way to blog about a
particular video and include a link to it. Users can view profiles of
individuals who have posted or commented on videos, see their
favorite videos, and contact them.