Social networking sites are websites where users create personal
profiles and connect with each other. The idea behind the sites is to
link up with your friends and see who they are friends with and their
Social networking sites excel at creating and highlighting social
connections. You can usually send massages to and chat with other
users, and some sites allow you to create personalized
webspaces. Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn are some of the common
When used for learning, the easy communication and connectivity of
such sites can be helpful in supporting and strengthening connections
between both the teacher and students and between students.
One use for social networking sites is to set up collaborative problem
solving. By allowing the students to discuss a problem with each other
they can bounce idea off of each other and find a solution
together. This use of social networking is likely already happening,
with students discussing course related subjects among themselves. By
participating in or directing this discussion, a teacher can influence
the discussion and assist if the problems prove too difficult.
Another use is as a way to share files and news quickly. If someone
has a file that the rest of the course could use, they can quickly
share it with the rest. Mind the copyrights when doing this,
though. This can also be used by teachers to share course material and
slides. Some schools and universities are already doing this,
including official Facebook and MySpace pages, Youtube channels, and
official presences in online games like Second Life.
Social networking sites can also be used to allow the students to
create profiles and establish their course identity with new profiles
created specifically for the course, either as a part of the course,
or because the students want to keep their private profile separate
from their course profile.
You will need an internet connection and the course participants will
all need to be members of the same social networking site. With
younger students, this is likely already the case. You will also need
to be somewhat proficient in the chosen social networking site if you
want to participate in the social networking yourself.
A good reason to use social networking sites in learning is that many
younger students are already avid users of social networking sites,
and are used to communicating like that.
Social bookmarking is a way to share internet bookmarks with
others. They work more or less like the bookmarks in a web browser,
except you share them for others to see and use.
Like standard web bookmarks, the social bookmark is only a link to the
content, not the content itself. To create a social bookmark you
create an account on a social bookmarking website, and start adding
links to your profile. Usually, these social bookmarking sites will
have a plugin for your web browser to make this easier to do.
Social bookmarking for learning can be used in a setting where all the
students subscribe to the teacher’s bookmarks and get all the links
and references that the teacher adds. That way, everyone has the same
links and online materials. Expanding on that, the students can make
bookmarks of their own and share them with each other, creating a
social bookmarking network. This network can be used to find many
websites relating to the subject and can become a solid collection of
By subscribing to each other, you can share interesting sites with
each other and help each other catch useful web links that you might
otherwise have missed. This can also be useful in an administrative
fashion where if you find something that would be useful to someone
else, you can social bookmark it.
You can also add so-called "tags" to you links. With the tags, your
bookmarks become easy to find both for you and the people you share it
with as it’s possible to search for these tags, both on your own and
others’ profiles. It is also possible to subscribe to other people’s
bookmarks, allowing you to instantly see when they add a new link to
You will need an internet connection and an account on at least one
social bookmarking website.
Participants are asked to send a fictional text message with 11
words to a person they know (school director, school board member,
spouse, child, etc.) at the end of a meeting or after a session of
Students will choose an animal they think they would like to have for
a pet. They try to find out what environment they would have to
build/create to keep this pet at their home. Students will write, in
letter format, a convincing argument to justify why they should be
allowed to have this animal for a pet. Students will present their
argument to the class. The letter should include a picture of their
pet, a description of a healthy environment for their pet, its needs
(special foods, etc.) and more.
Read the background of this activity to the class.
Discuss what the students should be looking for when they conduct
their research at big chalk.
Write an example of the kind of notes they should take.
Go over Activity 1 with students.
Have students individually explore the Internet to learn more about
a favorite animal.
Complete Activity 1. Outline of Procedure – Day 2
Students should finish Activity 1 if it isn’t complete. Using the
notes they took and Activity 1, students should write a convincing
argument to persuade their parents to let them have this pet.
Students should sketch pictures of the housing they will provide
for their pet and include ideas on how they will support it (i.e.,
pay for its care!). Outline of Procedures – Day Three
Students should be given 10 minutes to put their work together in a
folder or notebook.
Simulations are a useful teaching strategy for illustrating a complex
and changing situation.
Simulations are used to put the student in a "real" situation without
taking the risks. Simulations are meant to be as realistic as possible
where students are able to experience consequences of their behavior
and decisions. Simulations are commonly used in social studies and
science but can be used in other curriculum areas.
Computer simulations are quite common in today"s virtual world.
Simulations are a useful teaching strategy for illustrating a complex
and changing situation. Simulations are (necessarily) less complex
than the situations they represent. In a simulation, the learner acts,
the simulation reacts, the learner learns from this feedback. For the
students to learn what you intend for them to learn from the
simulation, you must hold a discussion during and/or after the
game. This is integral to the students" learning. Practicalities have
to be explained before the simulation and outcomes debriefed
The Internet is an enormous collection of answers. The challenge is to
find them. Scavenger hunts help students discover how diverse this
information resource truly is. Through scavenger hunts students also
gain experience harnessing the Internet and strengthening Internet
browsing skills. Developing a scavenger hunt is one method teachers
can use to teach academic concepts and teach navigation skills to
The teacher develops a series of questions and gives the student a
link to the URL that will answer the question.
The teacher may take the following steps:
Identify an idea/concept that he/she would like to reinforce or
Search for web sites that reinforce/introduce the concept.
Develop questions that may be answered at the site.
Save it to a web site, put it on the computer, or give students
a paper handout.
The students use the information found at the web sites.
RSS (Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary) is an Internet
tool, which allows you to send out summaries of what’s new on a
website in the form of headlines and summaries.
Using this you can send out information from your website and have the
recipients see it, even if they haven’t visited your website today. A
series of RSS publications from the same source is called an "RSS
feed". RSS feeds are commonly seen on websites that update often, like
news sites or blogs. To read an RSS feed, you will need an RSS reader
of some kind. It can be a standalone program, or a part of an internet
browser or email program.
If you use RSS for learning, it is useful to have access to a website
that updates on a somewhat frequent basis and with an RSS set up. The
students will need an internet connection and an RSS reader to be able
to subscribe to your website. When the RSS is set up, the updates on
the website can automatically be sent out to the RSS subscribers who
will be able to see the updates without needed to keep an eye on your
website. This is extremely useful when it comes to sudden updates,
like rescheduling of classes or similar urgent administrative
It is also possible to use RSS as a news collector, by setting up a
subscription to several different RSS feeds and collecting information
from these. This allows both teacher and student to gain an overview
of the field covered by the RSS feeds. It is important to choose the
relevant RSS feeds that match the course and materials that the
students could want to use.
RSS can also be used to make the students into the RSS authors. By
having each student create their own RSS feed and have them subscribe
to each other, to form a collaborative network where both students and
teacher share RSS updates about the subject at hand. This is similar
to using social bookmarks, but with RSS, the students are not just
finding material to share, but actively creating it. Some blogs have a
built in RSS feed generator, which can help with the technical parts
You need computers and an internet connection. An internet server with
RSS enabled is also helpful to have, or some kind of blog software
with RSS built in.
Mit dieser Methode wird die Beantwortung von Fragen im Stile einer
Reportage oder Befragung geübt.
Jeder Teilnehmer erhält oder erarbeitet einen Fragebogen zum
In der anschliessenden Fragerunde sucht sich jeder einen
Interviewpartner und sammelt Antworten zu den Fragen.
Auswertung zu den Interviews und den thematischen Inhalten.
Benötigte Tools und Materialien
Falls es möglich ist, schaffen Sie etwas Platz zum Herumlaufen. Die
Befragung könnte auch im Freien durchgeführt werden, wenn es das
Wetter erlaubt. Die Auswertung kann im ersten Schritt in kleinen
A guided activity for getting to know members of a group.
At the beginning of a session, all participants introduce each other
with the help of their key chain. They say their name, show their
keys, explain what they are for and tell some stories about themselves
or the significance of the keys. They may also explain in which way
the key is related to the topic of the seminar.
"My name is Uwe. This is the key to my bicycle chain, which is very
important to me because I am an avid cyclist. I ride my bicycle to
improve my fitness."
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