Listing of Recent Diigo Links (weekly)

  • Real-time, analytical, fun, free polling. Create your own polls.

    tags: tools

  • “We prepare children to learn how to learn, not how to take a test,” said Pasi Sahlberg, a former math and physics teacher who is now in Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture.

    tags: openeducation

  • These Technologies Are Changing Education. Are You Familiar With Them?

    It’s been nearly two and half years since the publication of the first “10 internet technologies that educators should be informed about” article on this site and given the fast paced evolution of technology it’s time for an update. The start of new school year is the perfect time to refresh this list!

    tags: openlearning

  • “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” 
    Alvin Toffler

    tags: openlearning

  • Top Free Learning Resources Online

    Europeana: A digital library with 4.6 million items from libraries, archives, museums and other institutions across Europe. Read Charles Darwin’s letters or listen to Pavarotti singing Verdi.

    The Internet Archive: A vast nonprofit digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts—video, audio, texts, and live music.

    Khan Academy: The Khan Academy has over 2000 videos covering basic math through calculus and trigonometry, physics, biology, chemistry, banking, finance, and statistics. The videos are short—5 to 15 minutes long—simple, and entertaining. They’re all made by Sal Khan, a 33-year-old former hedge fund analyst who started making them to help tutor his young cousins.

    LearnFree: 750 free lessons on basic computer skills, reading and math. Half a million free books. May not be exactly legal. Browse at your own risk.

    MIT Open Courseware: The oldest open courseware site, with 1,900 courses on everything from history to physics. A favorite for science and math.

    Open Courseware Consortium: This site has even more courses, from 200 institutions, including MIT. To search, go to the “Courses” tab.

    OpenCulture: A well-edited blog and site chronicling “the best” cultural and educational media on the web. They have lists of free online courses from top universities and free language lessons.

    Open Learning Initiative: The Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon has 13 free complete courses in topics ranging from physics to logic to French. The courses are highly interactive, using video, animations, and lots of embedded quizzes and assessments so you know how you’re doing. The site requires a signup and sometimes you may have to download some software.

    Open Textbooks: A catalog of open textbooks that are free to read online.

    Quia: On Quia, you can create your own games and quizzes to test yourself, or take thousands of quizzes—flashcards, matching games, word searches—that other students and teachers have created for the ultimate study guide.

    Saylor Foundation: Saylor lists 241 original courses on the site, for which the material comes from around the web.

    Scribd: Scribd is a place to find free books and presentations on almost any topic, uploaded and shared by the authors.

    Slideshare: Slideshare is a collection of free PowerPoint presentations, sometimes with audio. It’s a good place to learn about up-to-date topics like design, technology, and music.

    TED: TED (for Technology, Entertainment, Design) has an excellent collection of 300-plus short video lectures by scientists, authors, artists, political figures, and more. Browsing the site is sure to be enlightening and can give you clues about fields you might want to study, like behavioral economics or biophysics.

    Textbook Revolution: A student-run site with links and reviews to textbooks and other educational resources. Many are available free as PDFs, viewable online as ebooks, or websites containing course materials. You can also use the site to find descriptions of books that aren’t free, and find where they may be cheaper.

    Wikiversity: Wikiversity has a wide variety of multimedia course materials. Courses are run through the site, meaning students at universities create and publish course modules for other students’ use. Like Wikipedia, you can participate in the community by editing course material (a great way to test and expand your own knowledge) or by joining discussions in the “Colloquium” section.

    YouTube and YouTube EDU: Don’t forget to search YouTube for lectures and presentations on any topic you find interesting. YouTube EDU contains content that’s been tagged “education,” which may include quirky things like Tina Fey’s 2011 book talk at Google.

    tags: openscholar

  • 1 Promote active learning – Under a constructivist learning model, it is essential for students to be actively engaged in their learning. This can mean a variety of things, but most importantly, it means that learning cannot be passive. Your students must be doing something either to initially learn the material or to reinforce the learning provided through lecture and reading. This article from the International Conference on Technology and Education, titled “Strategies to Incorporate Active Learning into Online Teaching,” outlines several tactics that instructors can use.

    2 Create a community of learners – A community of learners provides accountability and learning-focused interactivity. It is one of the things that happens naturally in a successful F2F classroom, and is more challenging to replicate online. Challenging does not mean impossible, however, and incorporating some or all of this list from Engaged Learning of  10 things you should and should not do to create a virtual community, will help guide you in involving students in your online classroom.

    3 Make coursework authentic – Though making coursework reflect what professionals in the field do is challenging, it is well worth the reward in terms of student interest and the feelings of accomplishment and confidence that it inspires. This overview of authentic learning for the 21st Century from EDUCAUSE provides an excellent background on the ways in which you can incorporate authentic learning into your online curriculum.

    4 Connect students to real-world mentors and experts – In much the same way as providing authentic learning experiences, connecting students to active professionals in the field gives them a sense that they are engaging with their intended professional field in deep and meaningful ways. According to Lave and Wenger, students learn most effectively when they can interact with insiders in their area of study, preferably in the actual context in which they intend to work. Edutopia provides a resource about how to connect students to real-world experts in the teaching profession, while FacultyFocus offers a how-to guide for connecting online students to leaders in the business world.

    5 Incorporate social media into the instruction – According to this article from iePlexus, which reviews survey data from the Sloan Consortium, students want social media in their classes. Today’s students are generally so tied in to their social networks that utilizing them in an online class is essentially as normal as talking. If students are interested in using a particular tool, the instructor has an inherent advantage in terms of creating interactivity and engagement with that tool. Faculty Focus provides advice on how to best integrate these tools into the online classroom.

    6 Require collaborative learning among students – An effective way to encourage participation in online learning is to require that students work together to socially mediate the meaning of the course content. Sometimes you, as the instructor, may need to force students into learning in a way that makes them uncomfortable. Collaborative learning exercises often do just that. From the perceived difficulties associated with working with others at a distance, to being responsible for their own learning, students often resist this model of instruction. As the authority figure in the online classroom, you need to require and support collaborative learning as a way to increase both interactivity among students and the retention of the knowledge they create. For a more detailed explanation of collaborative learning, visit this page from the Learning Commons at Evergreen State College.

    7 Provide regular and timely feedback – Accountability to an authority figure in the classroom is one of the best strategies for engaging students (Faculty Roles in Student Retention, Penn State). One easy way to accomplish this is through providing timely and meaningful feedback for student work. Not only do you, as the instructor need to be accountable for providing the feedback, but the students themselves need to be accountable for handing in work on-time. Feedback is a two-way street.

    8 Encourage critical thinking – Crafting your curriculum around sophisticated, real-world problems that require students to delve into broad societal issues while simultaneously solving practical, discipline-focused problems, provides an excellent way to inspire students. The Foundation for Critical Thinking maintains a resource page to help college instructors better incorporate critical thinking into their classes.

    tags: openscholar

  • But the enormous prices charged for the content in these journals (which produce profit margins of more than 35 percent for the three major publishers who control the industry, according to Monbiot) aren’t the only thing about the journal business that draws fire from critics. One of the biggest issues is that the content in these publications is provided to these journals for free, and in many cases, the research that is being produced is publicly funded via government grants. So private corporations are raking in huge sums for access to research they get for nothing — and even the peer-editing of the articles in most journals is done for free by other researchers.

    tags: openscholar

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

One Response to Listing of Recent Diigo Links (weekly)

  1. Camie Rodan says:

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks so much for including the Saylor Foundation on your list! We’re excited to be listed among all these excellent resources. We’re continuing to add more resources to our site each day and, with our Open Textbook Challenge (, we anticipate the inclusion of numerous textbooks on our site that will be available to all.

    Best regards,

    Camie Rodan
    The Saylor Foundation

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