Wikis, Blogs, Podcasts, OH MY!

Wikis

collaboration

Wikis can be used for numerous purposes and by educators, businesses, and organizations. A wiki is a collaborative effort, where anyone can edit, delete, or modify content (Esichaikul, Win, Bechter, & Rehman, 2013). Individuals need nothing more than a browser and internet access to participate.

Wikis can be utilized in the e-learning environment for group assignments between instructors and learners and are considered beneficial for knowledge sharing. One method for utilizing a wiki in 21st Century learning is through a class or group project. One method would be to create an assignment requiring class individuals to create a useful study guide (Lending, 2010). Components of the assignment would require a main page which each student would edit and add to. Additionally, each student would create their own page and link to their page from the main site. Finally, they would also be required to edit and review each others pages.

Informal learning occurs outside of a structured learning environment and does not lead to formal qualifications (Mulder, 2013). Businesses and educational institutions can create wikis for strictly for informal learning when no structured learning or qualifications will be taking place and the primary purpose is informational. Formal learning wikis, such as those created in the classroom, can in turn become informal when they are used outside of formal learning. They can be created on specific subjects to be used as references when individuals need them or are just curious about different topics.

According to Wikibooks (2013), starting a wiki should begin with extensive research to check if the topic already exist on a suitable wiki site. Next, you need to determine the reason and purpose for the wiki. Once you have established the purpose, you can begin searching for a host or someone to manage your server which can be accomplished through a simple internet search. Wikis are designed for collaborative efforts, so be aware that individuals will be able to edit the page. Try to welcome others in to read, add, delete, and edit the site to enhance its purpose and validity!

To learn more about wikis in education visit:

Appalachian State. (n.d.). Using wikis in education. Retrieved from http://www.appstate.edu/~fountainca/wiki/

University of Deleware. (2008). Wikis in higher education. Retrieved from http://udel.edu/~mathieu/wiki/resources/2008-5-23_Wikis_in_Higher_Education_UD.pdf

Wiki Education Foundation. (n.d.). Wiki Edu. Retrieved from https://wordpress.com/post/learningtechnologies2016.wordpress.com/74

 References

Esichaikul, V., Win, M. A., Bechter, C., & Rehman, M. (2013). Development and evaluation of wiki collaboration space for e-learning. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 26(5), 536-552. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JEIM-07-2013-0045

Lending, D. (2010). Using a wiki to collaborate on a study guide. Journal of Information Systems Education, 21(1), 5-13.

Mulder, R. H. (2013). Exploring feedback incidents, their characteristics and the informal learning activities that emanate from them. European Journal of Training and Development, 37(1), 49-71.

Wikibooks. (2013). Starting and running a wiki website/overview. Retrieved from https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Starting_and_Running_a_Wiki_Website/Overview

Blogs via WordPress

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WordPress is a site that allows individuals to create a blog. A blog is a collection of blog posts, information, or opinions written by one or more individuals. Blog posts are kept, usually chronically, and are not updated or changed (Kien-Weng Tan, Jin-Cheon, & Theng, 2011). Individuals can contribute through comments posted to each blog post.

Blogs can be utilized in learning through a number of ways. Instructors may find it beneficial for relaying assignments to their students, students can then post comments related to the assignments and the instructor can reply (Zhang, 2013). Additionally, students may find it beneficial to blog about what they are learning and apply it to real world examples. Students will become more familiar with technology and learn communication skills.

In a formal education setting, blogging would be beneficial to take the place of traditional class forums (Zhang, 2013). Educators who create a blog and use it to pose assignments will be not only teaching on the class subject; but also teaching about technology and its benefits in the classroom. In a more informal method, educators may find it beneficial to create blog posts related to the material to help students learn and understand better (Zinger & Sinclair, 2013).

Getting started is simple! Once you know what you plan to blog about, select a blog site such as WordPress, and sign up for a free account. Now select your template or build your own, next start typing. It is as simple as that! Your thoughts, ideas, and assignments can flow from mind to fingers and online. You can attach photos or embed videos, and link to outside sources. You can post blogs as often as you like and respond to comments left by your followers or students. Whatever your purpose, a blog allows you to communicate with every one.

To learn more about blogs in education visit:

deLaBruere, L. (2005). Action research: Blogging in education. Retrieved from http://vtedblogresearch.blogspot.com/

Teaching and learning resources. (2012). Blogs in education. Retrieved from http://teachinglearningresources.pbworks.com/w/page/19919542/Blogs%20in%20Education

Walsh, K. (2010). Blogging in education today. Retrieved from http://www.emergingedtech.com/2010/08/blogging-in-education-today-a-multipart-series/

 References

Kien-Weng Tan, L., Jin-Cheon, N., & Theng, Y. (2011). Influence detection between blog posts through blog features, content analysis, and community identity. Online Information Review, 35(3), 425-442. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14684521111151450

Zhang, S. (2013). An empirical study of the factors affecting weblog success in higher education. Journal of Information Systems Education, 24(4), 267-279.

Zinger, L. & Sinclair, A. (2013). Using blogs to enhance student engagement and learning in the health sciences. Contemporary Issues in Education Research (Online), 6(3), 349-352.

Podcasts, Do you hear me now?

Podcast-photo

A podcast is a program that can be downloaded and played back for the listener. Podcasts support auditory learners or individuals who prefer listening (DeSarkar, 2012). Podcasts are typically recorded in episodes or sessions and are released over the Internet for download.

Podcasts can be useful for educators who record their lessons and provide them to their students. Each lesson that is recorded allows students to listen as many times as they desire. While feedback is limited in this type of technology, students will still be able to contact their instructor with questions. Additionally, educators who record their lessons can provide them to students who may miss class or not located locally.

Podcasts can be used informally in many different ways. Simply recording each class session and making it available online allows individuals outside of the formal learning environment to gain access and learn. Podcasts can also be created specifically for informal learning, individuals may wish to create them just for no specific reason at all and release them.

Creating a podcast requires your voice, a method of recording, and a computer to release your podcast. Begin by selecting your topic, create a script, and start recording. The benefit is that you can record as many times as you want until you obtain your desired creation. Next, determine where you want to upload it, for educational purposes uploading to the library or to your class site is optimal, but may limit who has access. Placing it on a blog or other more public site will allow others to gain access and listen in!

To learn more about Podcasts in education visit:

Educational Technology Network. (2009). Classroom podcasting/vodcasting. Retrived from http://edtechnetwork.com/podcasting_vodcasting.html

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. (2016). Teacher’s guide on the use of podcasting in education. Retrieved from http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/12/teachers-guide-on-use-of-podcasting-in.html

Podcasting-in-Education. (2016). Podcasting-in-education. Retrieved from http://podcasting-in-education.wikispaces.com/

 References

Baker, R., Harrison, J., Thornton, B., & Yates, R. (2010). Podcasting in higher education: Does it make A difference? American Journal of Business Education, 3(6), 7-10.

Besser, J., Larson, M. & Hofmann, K. (2010). Podcast search: User goals and retrieval technologies. Online Information Review, 34(3), 395-419.

DeSarkar, T. (2012). Introducing podcast in library service: An analytical study. VINE, 42(2), 191-213.

Donovan, J. (2014). How to make a successful podcast. Retrieved from http://www.digitaltrends.com/how-to/how-to-make-a-podcast/

Wrap-Up

Wikis, Blogs, and Podcasts are not necessarily known as education sources; but what this guide has shown us is that they are great education sources and have many uses! A big part of learning is the ability to come together and learn from each other, these three technologies allow for that collaboration and connection to happen. Anyone can use these to teach or education others about any topic they want, the amazing thing is that you do not have to be a formal educator or business to use these technologies!

Welcome to Learning Technologies 2016!

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

About the Author

My name is Ashley Hendricks and I have begun an expedition to educate the masses on how to properly use the Web 2.0 technology that is WordPress.com.  I am currently seeking my Master’s degree at Colorado State University-Global in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement with the specialization in Organizational Learning and Performance.  I have a Bachelor’s Degree in History with a minor in Criminal Justice from American Military University.  I was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska and am excited to begin this journey.  With this specialization I hope to broaden not only my own horizons, but those around me on the benefits of education and technology.  My goal is to educate myself on learning technologies and bring what I have learned to my job and to anyone who wants to learn about learning.  This blog is the beginning of that horizon!

WordPress, A Web 2.0 Technology

WordPress is a Web 2.0 technology that offers a wide range of versatility.  WordPress can be a blogging site or a website, offering vast themes and options for users.  So why use it?  WordPress sites are viewed by 409 million people, looking at  15.5 billion pages each month (WordPress, 2015)!  WordPress is worldwide, is easy to use, and offers the reader the ability to provide comments, sharing ideas, and sharing input!  Blogging is much similar to an online diary, the author can post their personal thoughts and ideas, link to outside resources and references and then allow for responses and comments (Olofsson, Lindberg, & Trond, 2011).  WordPress’s personalization options lead to reflective learning, where the authors personal thoughts and experiences allow the reader to relate and retain the information and place themselves in those same situations.

Who is WordPress for?

Anyone!  WordPress possesses an ease of use that can be used by anyone.  Experience in technology is not a necessity.  It can be used by professional organizations, subject-matter experts, educators, or just individuals who want to share their word and opinions with the world!  Businesses can use it to keep in contact with their customers or to advertise new and upcoming products.  Educators will find it useful for staying in contact with their students in ways that the traditional or online classroom may not offer.  The key is ensuring the site is useful, intuitive, and kept active (Liao, To, & Liu, 2013).  WordPress is currently used by both large and small companies, educators, technology gurus, and everyday individuals.  Notable companies that use WordPress include The New Yorker, BBC America, Harvard Business Review Blogs, the Dallas Mavericks, and The Rolling Stones (wpbeginner, 2014).

Using it now!

Selecting WordPress to spread the word on Web 2.0 technology and on WordPress itself is the best method for reaching everyone and showing the vast abilities of WordPress!  By using it to show what it can do, potential users can visualize their own blogs and own sites.  One of the best ways to get the word out about everything is through the internet and more specifically a blog.  WordPress is free with several features, as this blog has been created and will show.  Or for a yearly fee, additional features can be added for a wider range of options and personalization.

References

Liao, C., To, P., & Liu, C. (2013). A motivational model of blog usage. Online Information Review, 37(4), 620. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/OIR-02-2012-0032

Olofsson, A. D., Lindberg, J. O., & Trond, E. H. (2011). Blogs and the design of reflective peer-to-peer technology-enhanced learning and formative assessment. Campus – Wide Information Systems, 28(3), 183-194. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/10650741111145715

wpbeginner. (2014). 40+ most notable big name brands that are using WordPress. Retrieved from http://www.wpbeginner.com/showcase/40-most-notable-big-name-brands-that-are-using-wordpress/

WordPress.com. (2015). About us. Retrieved from https://wordpress.com/about/