Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ning, The Learning Place, Blackboard LMS

Okay, Ning is a great online community that encompases Oliver's learning theory to a 'T' as you join groups of like minded people in collaboration and discussions on topics of your choosing or you may start your own group. Ning also aligns with Keirsley & Schneiderman's engagement theory as Ning is an all in one tool for collaboration and creation within a community.
The tools within Ning facilitate the process by allowing, individual blogs within groups, chat rooms, forums, wiki's, everything you need to collaborate with others. I however, do not envisage myself using this tool with my students as all of these features are also housed in a 'project room' at The Learning Place and Ning will require further investigation on my part to set it apart from the Learning Place's project rooms.

The Learning Place is a terrific facility for me, as a teacher to be, as it has the features listed above within a secure Ed Qld site that I do not need to obtain extra permission to use. There are multiple links to other educational sites, I quite simply have not had time to explore the site in its entirety due to the sheer volume of information. I can access copyright free clip art and pictures which are always great for students projects and various unit outlines, teaching tips, personal development courses and other Ed Qld pages. The Learning Place has a Learning Management System in the form of Blackboard, which through my CQUniversity courses I have a good understanding of.

Blackboard is an easy to navigate site for e-learning. Threaded conversations can be held under differing topics in forums, quizzes can be included, and links provided to other sites of interest. You can use Blackboard to give students notice of their grades as soon as you have completed marking assignments so students don't have to wait until the next class to receive this information. Students can upload assignments as well as participate in chat rooms which I have the ability to close down or open only during specific times that I am able to moderate to ensure that proper netiquette is followed by all students.

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