Archive for February, 2010

Digital Education

In surfing the web on e-learning and web 2.0 I came across this article by  Steve O’Hear


To start with I am not sure  he  uses the term web services correctly,  a web service in my  field of study (computer science) means a function that  resdies on a remote machine, to which you pass parameters and it replies with an asnwer. Not at all a  wiki or a blog as the writer coins it… but anyway…He gave an interesting example of how blogging helps in education, he says a teacher in a class, asked his literature  students to create a blog and post on it their reviews on a certain book, and later he asked to author of the book to view the blogposts! Kinda dynamic and an interesting idea, which coming to think of it , resembles inviting the author to the class through a virtual visit, that is not confied by time or space. In Blogging the possibilities are just amazing and that’s just one approach…

Another interesting approach is the podcasts. Podcasts are “pre-recorded audio programs that are posted to a website and are made available for download” and so they provide the opportunity to record the lecture( they can be either voice or video) and make it available online.The writer of the article shares how apple is collborating with stanford university to make available  podcasts made by the teachers. Not only that but  recently there is also student genrated content  available  on itunes and there is a whole  area for education. Which to me is interesting because I ask my professors to record their lectures and I find it useful to listen to them while on the bus..It’s interesting how there is a whole industry booming around that.

The AUC Angle

I was going through CLT ‘s website,  that is to say,  the Center for Learning and Teaching at AUC.Their goals and mission..And to my surprise, I found out  that they help  teachers record their lecture with  the Panopto lecture capturing system through the simple steps below. I think we are going somewhere fast ..

How to record and Post your lecture online:

Get an account
Send clt.vid.ser@aucegypt.edu for a Lecture Capture account.
Install Recorder / Get trained
Bring your laptop to CLT and take a 20-minute installation/training session on how to use Lecture Capture.
Prefer your office? ~ Make an appointment with sta@aucegypt.edu for a trainer to meet you there.
Record your lecture
Use the Lecture Capture recorder to make your recordings anywhere/anytime.
Upload your recording
A click of a button and your lecture gets automatically uploaded, packaged, and posted online.
Share your recording
You will get an Email with a link to your recording. Forward/Post it on BB for your students.


other  related articles

on e-learning


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Why Do People Blog?

I have typed the question: “Why do we blog?”  in the search bar of wordpress. And here are some of the answers that came up:

Blogger Lea Ann says:’I’ve gone from a snooty ”I don’t have time to read blogs”  to  “Hello, my name is Lea Ann, and I’m a blogaholic””she loves recving reply and feedback on her posts. She abolutely looks forward to them. and to interacting with the blogging community. She has made many friends through the blog. She says it’s teh next step after facebook. Her Blog

Blogger Hunter-Seeker says:”Slowly it dawned upon me that one of the principle reasons for blogging is an inherent need for self expression! Call it Ego, call it whatever you want but we all have this need to express ourselves to others even the most die hard introvert needs to express himself and has the need for an audience, even if it is just one person! And it is through this self expression that we come away with fulfillment…I was brought back from the brink of Blogger Suicide ( Deleting the Blog ) with a better understanding of human nature and how it is that we must address our needs.” His Blog

 “Ulitmately the best part about blog writing.[is] Getting a reaction.” says blogger Brian Moffatt, qtd in Sandy Hill’s blog post “why do we blog
Why do we blog? Part of me says that I am doing this because I have to for a class called Technology in Ministry. Another part of me says that I should reconsider the purpose of my class. I am learning how to use many aspects of technology in a way that aids my ministry to others. I need to make the most of it. ” Her first Blogging Experience!

This is like my version of a diary (because Im too lazy to keep a real life one and am not neat enough to do so) and if people end up reading it, then so be it. The blogging community does indeed seem to be “fading” but that doesnt concern me. I blog because I enjoy it and its a place where I can look back on (I looked back on my original posts a few weeks ago…. Her Blog

other interesting ones

“-…Why do people blog? Why not?”

“I blog, therefore I am.”

“East, sleep, BLOG.”

“Blogging is a journey within yourself.”

“I blog because you told me to.”

qtd in English11ib class Blog

lastly, why do I blog?

I like it!

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With the advent of technology, new ways of persuasion have given rise to new rhetorical situations  that were not apparent in the old days of Rhet.. Of those ‘new ways’, I would like to briefly discuss blogging. Blogging has evidently boomed recently. And of the famous booming blogs; blogspot(powered by google) and WordPress(the one I’m currently using).  Here are some interesting  stats I found about blogs (from the blogworld)

  • Over 12 million American adults currently maintain a blog.
  • Over 57 million Americans read blogs.
  • 89% of companies surveyed say they think blogs will be more important in the next five years.
  • Technorati is currently tracking over 70 million blogs.
  • over 120 thousand blogs are created every day.
  • There are over 1.4 million new blog posts every day.
  • 22 of the 100 most popular websites in the world are blogs.
  • Blog readers average 23 hours online each week.

of the  characteristics that I belive this new  medium brings are:

Invisible Audience

I  myself  have started blogging about a year ago, and I described the process on my  blog as ‘having my own space on cyberspace’. I can see the advantages to using a digital medium when sharing one’s experience or expressing one’s self through a blog . First of all it is an advantage not to see the audience as one feels compelled by having  a physical audience. It is like acting on stage or acting to a camera; It is one thing to know that you might have an audience, another  to actually face them. One might feel more free to express one’s self through the lens or similarly through the medium of blogging.

Forming bonds of identity that cut through geographical bounds

It is true that there are basically communities that  exist online. As  pointed out  by James Zappen in his article Digital Rhetoric: Toward an Integrated Theory (2005), quoting Sorein Matei and Sandra J Ball Rockeach that those communities may cuts across gender, income, age, education, and ethinicity.Moreover the idea of forming virtual identities is true in a sense  that one can have an online identity, that may or may not be more distant to the real self.

Time in your own hands
Another advantage is having time on our side. I can
have an inspiration about a topic,  sit down and write about it(or use a text editor for the matter if I am a computer savvy) and then when it’s good enough I post it.

And the great thing about  this online medium is that the audience can view it at their own leisure. At the time that they wish and at the place that they wish. Almost instantly they can read and more over respond.

Privacy, Limitation and Access
Moreover I can control who can see what, and if I wish to be anonymous  or not.  Giving permission, and granting access rights.

Attaining Perfection

The great thing about the blog is that posting is not the end, it could be the middle of the process. You can easily republish or update your posts, if  like me you would like to work on perfecting them, making it a  job that can consumate a lifetime.

Also if you wish, you can allow for commenting, which makes it ever the more interactive.

Last but not least (cliché, so true..)

Blogging an end in itself
At a time when I was blogging (which is not at all these days), I felt for some time that I live to blog. I would  be going through  my day thinking about  interesting stories to blog . Sometimes I would disable comments and at others  I add restriction to some blog posts to be seen by the certain friends with which I would love to share things. Thereby protecting my privacy.

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Reading all those posts in The Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab   about captology* has made me more excited about technology and it’s capabilities. It features new ways of persuasion, here are a few examples.

  2. Free Rice .
  3. Obama Fan Page.

THRU YOU is a website that features a collection music videos that are made outof  an unrelated collection of  youtube videos. It is very musical, and perhaps delightful . Very creative and impressieve.  And what makes it  persuasve  is that fact that in the credits, they tag the videos that are being used (the raw material in essence) so  people tune in to see themselves   when they know that they were tagged, which exponentially increases the numberof people watching … Read More

Free Rice is a game you play for free. The money coming from companies advertising on the website is  donated to hungry people. 10 grains of rice per correct answer. So  you play feeling you are playing  for a good cause. It is definetly a win-win situation for all, certainly a great way to use technology. And now I can learn Italian and feed hungry people both at the same time! Read More

last but not least Barack Obama’s Fan Page  shows that even Politics use this ‘new technology’ as a means of persuasion. The lab talks about Barack Obama’s fanpage on facebook, and their statistics,  I quote:

As of today, the actions of 3,134,949 [7,495,233  when I visited] real people on Obama’s Facebook Page are echoed by:

-578,708 Wall Posts
-1,670 Notes (1000+ Comments)
-41 Videos (700+ Comments)
-21 Posted Items (100+ Comments)
-15 Photo Albums (500+ Photos)

The numbers are very impressive to say the least.
*CAPTOLOGY: Computers As Persuasive Technology.

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