The Social Media Revolution

The eLearning Technology blog has an interesting video up about the Social Media revolution that has overtaken much of the world. Some of the interesting statistics posted included:

  • 2009 US Department of Education study revealed that on average, online students out performed those receiving face-to-face instruction
  • 1 in 6 higher education students are enrolled in online curriculum
  • 80% of Twitter usage is on mobile devices…people update anywhere, anytime…imagine what that means for bad customer experiences?
  • Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passé…In 2009 Boston College stopped distributing e-mail addresses to incoming freshmen
  • According to Jeff Bezos 35% of book sales on Amazon are for the Kindle when available

I don’t think it’s quite news to most people these days that the changes in the way information is sent, sought out and digested has major implications for the way instructors teach and the way students learn, but I do think that often we don’t fully understand the scope of just how large Web 2.0 really is.


The World Digital Library

The World Digital Library makes it possible to discover, study, and enjoy cultural treasures from around the world on one site, in a variety of ways. These cultural treasures include, but are not limited to, manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings.

Items on the WDL may easily be browsed by place, time, topic, type of item, and contributing institution, or can be located by an open-ended search, in several languages. Special features include interactive geographic clusters, a timeline, advanced image-viewing and interpretive capabilities. Item-level descriptions and interviews with curators about featured items provide additional information.

Navigation tools and content descriptions are provided in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Many more languages are represented in the actual books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, and other primary materials, which are provided in their original languages.

The World Digital Library

Is 7 your lucky number?

If it is, and especially if it isn’t (!) the “Seven Things You Should Know About …” series by Educause Learning Initiatives is well worth a look.  Each  3-page brief on various instructional technology topics provides an overview of the topic, such as geolocation or citizen journalism, its pros, cons, implications, and examples of how it is actually used in teaching in higher education.  Is your new interest in digital storytelling?  data visualization? twitter?  There are currently 51 briefs available and more are added regularly. Check it out at

And, since UM is a member of Educause, while you are looking at the 7 Things series, check out the other wonderful resources available to you at the Educause Learning Initiatives site  It is an impressive resource!

Flat World Knowledge

I first stumbled upon Flat World Knowledge in the spring of last year, before the enterprise had even officially launched.  At that time, there was only a website with some basic information and some very adorable videos featuring stick figures explaining their business model.  However, I was intrigued by their ideas.  Flat World Knowledge is an online textbook store…that provides digital versions of textbooks to students for free. Let me write that out one more time: for free.  Students who want a physical version can purchase a soft-cover copy for under $30.  They also have self-print and audio options available for many texts.  As a not-so-former student, the idea of cheap or even free! textbooks greatly appeals to my fiscal sense.

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What Does It Mean to be Educated in the 21st Century?

The Wide, Wide World of Wikis

“Wiki” is a word that’s beginning to be bandied about quite a bit in academia, particularly by me because I am rather enamored by them.  Often people want to assume that wikis are like blogs, and while they do share some features, wikis are run differently and in fact embrace an entirely different philosophy than almost any other type of webservice.

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Anatomy of a Domain Name

One of my Google RSS feeds is a tag search for  This presentation popped up in my feed list this morning and I thought it’d be great to share because I think that, while we talk about domain names a lot, few people really understand what they are and what they do.  This is a simple explanation of those terms that maybe you’ve heard but never really knew much about.