Monday, July 21, 2014

IUPUI’s Impact: How CN is Adding to IT Fundamentals

Dr. Nancy Evans, IUPUI
IUPUI’s Nancy Evans knows what matters when it comes to computer, information, and graphics technology. And where it matters in her Information Technology Fundamentals course isn’t just in her classroom, because Dr. Evans is also interested in transforming the way the world learns within in her field. So how is she using Course Networking to guide her students to achieving their academic goals? Dr. Evans tells us, “I like to introduce students to the new, upcoming technologies, so anything in educational technology that I find will be relevant and useful to students is something important for our field.”
It began with online discussions that got her students involved and collaborating with each other the instant they logged on. “I like using posts for the class online discussions because students write more and better than they do in traditional course management systems,” Dr. Evans explained. “I also think students are more inclined to read more students' posts.” This type of interaction amongst students has made it easier for them to learn about the thoughts and feedback of their fellow peers that has encouraged a welcoming learning environment. Dr. Evans has found the value in CN’s ability to build classroom discussion. “My students have much more to say using CN than in a traditional course management system forum,” she commented. “Their responses are detailed.”From an educator standpoint, Dr. Evans found the task tool to validate her reasoning why she calls CN a, “fully functional course management system.”
Student feedback included overall positive remarks. A student from her course this summer commented, “I was very excited to utilize something other than the boring old Oncourse!” This change of pace from Indiana University’s current system gave students more enthusiasm and drive to learn in an easy-to-utilize, functioning learning environment. 
Dr. Evans even explained how some of the features that have been updated and improved over the course of its existence has given her faith for continuing her use of the platform in the future. “The addition of the Task tool and Gradebook functions have kept me using it. They’re huge improvements from when CN was available as a pilot.” As far as how CN could impact higher education technology and real-world applications, Dr. Evans was certain of its lifelong benefits. “CN is important for the real world because it is the direction education is moving. Within 10 years, I anticipate the majority of high school students will be taking an online class (either high school or college level) so educational technology is critical for student learning,” Evans summarized.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Breaking Language Barriers with the Help of Course Networking

Dr. Dan Kulmala is responsible for making an impact in global learning on a daily basis. His career in education, more specifically, Global English at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, has not only helped foreign language learners develop stronger English speaking capabilities, but bonds with other non-native English speakers as well. The connection between how we speak, no matter what language, and the rate at which we can learn other languages, is becoming critical to successfully conducting business in the real-world. So how does Dr. Kulmala help his students find these gateways to interactive and global learning with a simple platform? Well, as the Chair of the Modern Languages Department with years of experience reaching a global audience, it’s no surprise Dr. Kulmala supports and encourages Course Networking’s functions and capabilities.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Purdue University Builds Young Professionals with the Help of Course Networking

Purdue University has a few things to brag about.
                Tied with the University of Michigan Ann-Arbor for the 8th best graduate program and 10th best undergraduate program of engineering in the nation, as well as being the first university in the United States to establish a computer science department, it’s obvious Purdue has built an empire within the study of the sciences. This reputation has attracted some of the most skilled professors in such fields. One of them, Dr. Mihaela Vorvoreanu of Computer Graphics Technology and Technology Leadership and Innovation, has found success in teaching the students of her Introduction to User Experience Design course through Course Networking.
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN (Google Images)
                Vorvoreanu needed a tool that could do more than just connect. “I needed a platform that would enable this sharing and lightweight interaction among course participants,” Vorvoreanu commented. Certain tools on the network gave her advantages for the course that she couldn’t find in other traditional teaching methods. “While we used the CN for assignments, day-by-day tasks, and gradebook, the primary motivation was this ability to share links.” CN was a way for Dr. Vorvoreanu and her students to engage in an inviting, academic setting. “I found the private social networking* aspect of the site to be quite enjoyable.”

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Tourism Global Classroom

A dynamic addition to the development of higher education technology

What is the Global Classroom? 

(Google Images)

The CN Global Classroom is an interactive, online environment that provides students studying the same subjects in different parts of the globe an opportunity to connect with each other through CN course site capabilities. This feature has soared to new heights giving students, teachers and scholars across the world an opportunity to change the way they learn. In the future, CN hopes to incorporate advanced algorithms into the Global Classroom function, such as keyword tagging, that help better filter information based on specific content categories. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Indonesian Teacher Calls CN, “The Future”

Ines Puspita is one busy woman.

Ines Puspita, Deutsche International School of Jakarta
As an educator at the Deutsche International School of Jakarta, Indonesia, Puspita is responsible for not one, but several courses, ranging anywhere from grades 4-9 in a variety of subjects. Her integration of technology in the classroom began with the use of Facebook, where she soon realized that while the social environment of the popular site helped her students stay connected, it also created a great deal of distractions. “I wanted to incorporate something more appropriate for my classes,” Puspita commented. “I needed a platform to use with Facebook that was not just social, but also academic.”

Puspita was searching for a network that allowed her students to develop concrete social media skills, something she believed would help her students connect with other learners abroad. “Because I teach so many courses, I needed an environment that was controlled, where socializing and interaction was not only encouraged, but necessary” Puspita stated.