I can’t believe the semester is coming to an end. It went very fast, I think due to the magnitude and variety of things learned. I think the course was designed very well with maximum exposure to Web 2.0 tools. In addition to the tools that projects were completed for, the exposure to a new social network, Mixxt was also valuable. Since Ning began charging this month, the class social network was changed. I like Ning better, but Mixxt proved to be good, free alternative.
I liked the assignments dealing with the Web 2.0 tools the best and getting the hands-on exposure. I was disappointed when ScreenToaster became unavailable, but I think it just went to show that there are many other choices and one has to remain flexible. My favorite project was Second Life which probably comes as no surprise to anyone. I have been a resident of SL for over two years and enjoy its many features. It is a great tool for teaching and learning and I hope to be able to teach a complete class in this virtual world someday.
I also appreciated the interaction between class members as well as with our instructors, Drs. Yuen and Mark. I think they both did a great job making this class not just another online class, but one that felt inclusive and had a sense of community. Most online classes are so cold, impersonal and one-dimensional. It was fun meeting for training as a class in Second Life and seeing everyone’s avatars. It truly did feel like we were meeting in person in a classroom.
The class did make me realize how many great, useful Web 2.0 tools are available for free. The problem is trying to determine which ones are useful and then how to integrate them into teaching. This class really helped me sort this out. I am going to try to use Twitter and Voice Thread in my classes during the upcoming year. I have already integrated and used a personally designed Website, YouTube videos, Wikis and social networks (Ning) and the students were very receptive. I am always looking for ways to improve my course content and increase student engagement and courses such as IT 860 definitely help!!!