A new app to transform education: MapMyLEARNING

Map My Learning

MapMyLEARNING lets teachers and learners create learning maps or use those already logged by others. It tracks your activity, and allows you to set goals and follow your progress. It promotes healthy study habits, helping you learn how to make your education work for you. It’s loaded with robust reporting tools, quickly and easily allowing you to keep track of the resources you use to achieve your learning objectives.

Fully integrated with other social networks, you can use your existing login and password to access MapMyLEARNING. You can also “find your friends” easily and continue to build community. Through secure authorization, you can share information about your learning accomplishments easily to your Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts.

Users can set up groups within MapMyLEARNING to share information and help each other meet their learning goals. They can also create Learning Events and Learning Groups tied to a specific class or assignment. Advanced users can create Challenges for themselves or their friends.

GO MOBILE: iMapMyLEARNING works on every phone and every network. This enables users to use the built-in GPS of your mobile device to track all your learning activities. Record details of your learning on an interactive map. You can even effortlessly save and upload your learning data to the MapMyLEARNING website where you can view your learning journeys and comprehensive education history.

Check it out today!

I had fun during ePweek, and learned a lot

Many thanks to those who participated in the University of Guelph’s first (annual) ePortfolio week.

ePweek 2011

Dave Cormier joined us on Tuesday: Managing to know – a tale of cave paintings, eportfolios, printing press and PLE. Dave’s talk visualized by Giulia Forsythe in the image below:

Managing to Know

Some great presentations during the week, drawing on expertise and experiences from the School of Engineering, Educational Development, Student Life, the Graduate Student Learning Initiative, Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Bachelor of Arts and Science Program.

Looking for good introductory videos on the use of ePortfolios

I’m looking for good introductory/overview videos on the use of ePortfolios. Here’s 2 that were forwarded to me by colleagues:

Know of any others?

4squarEd: Foursquare for Teaching and Learning?

I was interested to see that foursquare was has partnered with 20 US Universities to launch Foursquare For Universities. From Foursquare’s site:

Foursquare for universities helps students, alumni, and staff connect with each other, find new and interesting things to do, and earn rewards for exploring their campus and nearby areas. We combine a communication platform and a campus guidebook to create a fun experience for our users; students earn points, win ‘Mayorships’ and unlock badges for checking in to places and trying out new activities on campus.

Some big names in higher-ed have already climbed on board (Harvard, Stanford, Syracuse…). Others are sure to follow. This partnership makes good sense. An institution can create a page on the service, broadcast information, make recommendations, etc. Students can share tips on campus services and events. On-campus hospitality and entertainment venues can promote themselves.

But, what I’m interested in here goes beyond the gimmicky location-aware check-in and broadcasting what a user is eating for lunch. Higher-ed institutions need to think about how they can build upon the social-grid that service like foursquare are helping to foster to build a learning-grid where students and instructors can share in an easy, social, “knowledge-aware” way. It should be fun too.

Here’s my pitch: “Foursquare for Teaching and Learning” (or maybe you prefer “Foursquare for Education”) YES! 4squarEd. Here’s the script to the not-yet-created-and-maybe-never-will-be promo video:

Wish you were more aware of all the incredible learning experiences around you? With 4squarEd, you can unlock your learning and find happiness. You will need 4squarEd, a mobile device, and a passion for education.

Step 1: Download the 4squarEd application to your mobile device, and instantly connect with your library account, your institutional LMS, your ePortfolio, your social networks, registrarial services and more! Connect with your classmates and other learners within and outside of your institution to see what they’re learning. Build your Personal Learning Network (PLN).

Step 2: Tell your friends what you’re studying, what you’re learning and what you want to learn by checking in to one of the learning activities you’re institution’s 4squarEd lists, based on your current courses. Leave tips and resources for other learners. If the learning activity isn’t listed, you can add it to 4squarEd.

Step 3: Check out tips from your friends in your PLN and others outside it. Find recommendations for resources and suggestions for other activities.

Step 4: The more you use 4squarEd the more you’ll get out of it. Capture your activities, unlock learning objectives and earn points towards competencies based on what you’re learning. Check out stats at 4squarEd!

Step 5: Check-in frequently to become a mentor for a learning activity or competency.

Step 6: Use 4squarEd wherever you go: in museums, on your co-op placement, with your extra-curricular club or while you’re volunteering. You never know when you’ll come upon a little piece of learning!

What do you think?

Canadian EdTech Landscape, version 1.0

A status report based on the post below.

Canadian Edtech Landscape (version 1.0)

  • 29 responses to date
    • 4 from British Columbia
    • 2 from Alberta
    • 2 from Saskatchewan
    • 1 from Manitoba
    • 14 from Ontario (most/all within a 2 hour drive of Toronto)
    • 2 from Quebec
    • 3 from New Brunswick
    • 1 from PEI
    • zero from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, or the territories

We’ll keep this up for awhile yet. Participate via the links below if you’re interested. Fill the form out out for yourself, or someone you know.

Help me map the Canadian EdTech Landscape!

I was putting together my notes and slides for a workshop last week on Understanding and Using Social Media, and quickly noticed that nearly every example and every website I referred to was Canadian.

Here’s a smattering of my references:

This got me to thinking. Seems to me that there are a bunch of great Canadians who are involved in Educational Technology at some level: teaching, researching, developing, administering. And wouldn’t it be great fun to have a list of who and where these people were, with links to their professional and personal websites and their Twitter IDs? I think it would.

awesome canadian edtech

And here’s how I’d like to gather it: fill out the form to help map the Canadian EdTech Landscape. Fill it out for yourself, or someone you know: mentor, colleague, friend…

The results might look like this.

On Learning Management Systems and ePortfolios

The University of Guelph has a 10 year history of using (in some shape or form) Desire2Learn as a Learning Management System. For the past year, D2L has been a campus-wide tool for all websites for distance education and face-to-face offerings. If you’re into this type of thing, you can read about the details of the migration, as well as the official rationale for the decision.

With the move to a campus-wide solution, came an increase interest and activity in the use of ePortfolios. Guelph has a long history of scholarship and initiatives with (e)portfolios. Some of them:

In June of this year, we facilitated a series of focus groups on the use of ePortfolios to gather feedback on current use and planned use to help guide what needs to be in place to support these initiatives.

So, all that said, what I wanted to talk to you about was this:

Some of the feedback we’ve received from students and instructors is that there is a fair amount of confusion about the connections between the CourseLink (D2L) ePortfolio and the (D2L) Learning Management System tools (both where they are linked and where they are separate). Overwhelmingly, there is a perception that the eP is a course-level-tool only and not a user-level-tool. As we’ve witnessed, the eP can (and has been) effectively incorporated into course design. The struggle, I guess is the promotion of the tool for use outside of formal assessment and/or across courses.

Let’s set aside (for now) the real hurdles that a majority of students will not use a tool unless it a) is going to be graded and/or b) can see the usefulness of the tool for advancement (career advancement, graduate studies application, etc.) Let’s assume that can and will be…hurdled.

What I’m chiefly interested in (now) is how we can present the eP as “linked but separate” from the course-based LMS tools. Do we need a separate entry point for users to access the tool? Where are the links? Do we need to build stand-alone, separately branded web apps to allow users to upload material? Can the links be made so that when I post/upload material to my other networks (Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, etc.) I can cross-post to my ePortfolio (please)?

Curious to hear what other institutions are doing/thinking about here.

Architects of Education, #D2L10, Chicago

Up early this morning to catch my ride to Toronto Pearson airport, en route to Chicago for FUSION, the annual Desire2Learn Users Conference.

This will be my sixth time attending FUSION. I’m one shy of a perfect record, as I was off one year on parental leave. It’s a good conference. Three days, hanging with system administrators, instructors, technical support and help desk staff and institutional administrative staff from K-12, Higher Education, Corporate, Government institutions. I’m excited to (re)connect with D2L users to share experiences and build knowledge. It’s a lot of fun too.

Some highlights to look forward to (for me) at FUSION 2010: