Archive for July, 2010

Foursquare and other location-based apps

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

I’ve been using Foursquare (www.foursquare.com) a lot lately. Fun little location-based app, works on your smartphone. The basic idea is that the app uses the GPS chip in your phone to pinpoint your location. It then presents nearby landmarks that you can ‘check in’ to, earning points along the way.

I’m still trying to figure out the educational application. So far it’s just for fun.

Do you use Foursquare or similar location-based apps? If so, what has your experience been?

Technological Illiteracy

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Susan Zvacek, director of instructional development at the University of Kansas, has raised an important point about technological literacy that impacts our pre-service teacher candidates.

She notes that computers are so user-friendly that basic competence in how to work the machines is not the best indicator of competence. Instead she thinks we should ensure our students know how to think critically inside the structures of Web 2.0 applications.

She suggests a sort of tech-skepticism in which students are conscious of the potentials and the implications of emerging technologies and do not reveal too much personal data that could affect their careers. In EDMT 330 we discuss at some length ethical issues related to the impact of technology but Zvacek believes more collaborative work and  scrutinizing of information is in order.

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