Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Blog 9: The beast can be tamed

Blog Thing 9
  1. What do you think of the ideas behind CamTools (Sakai)? What "ideas" hide "behind" the tool?  I suppose the same objectives underpinning other similar tools: technological integration of communities of learning.  Regardless of this objective, however, the tool could in principle be adopted beneficially for sharing academic resources (including audio) in the context of an academic course or a dialogue among scholars.
    What was your impression? If you already used CamTools before, did it change your opinion? Had barely linked to it in the past in order to download a conference document.  I now see the potential for adopting the platform for a course--esp. to share files (both texts and audio) with students, and possibly come colleague.  I am still weary of adopting software as a means for students to dialogue.  Let them dialogue face to face (no "facebook"), or write directly to the educator without (or with minimum) "peer pressure".
  2. In what ways do you see this being useful to you as a course organiser? (i.e specifically about the ability of letting you pull together and use various curriculum design tools?) Were I to have access to the profiles of various courses via CamTools, I might find handy suggestions therein when preparing my own course.  Otherwise, the platform would be helpful in sharing course material with students, and to receive feedback on it.
  3. What would you like to see from CamTools? "Like to see" of what I do not?  A straightforward means to link to educators across the UK or even abroad via a  "research subject" search.  Thus, e.g., in case I were seeking a scholar who has been working and/or teaching in the area of Ancient Ethics, perhaps (one day) CamTools could prove instrumental to my acquiring relevant data (including inter alia, previous course outlines to refer to in editing my own).
  4. What do you think of the possibility of having a specific CamTools site where lecturers and course organisers could share curriculum design outcomes, preparations and ideas? (e.g. a specific CamTools site that would allow you to do that?) I would be mostly interested in shared course resources (texts, images, recordings) helping me (and other educators) see what some colleagues find most relevant to specific areas of discussion/investigation.  The software might also prove handy in sharing course resources.   I wonder, however, to what extent students' direct exposure to an indefinite variety of sources could prove distracting, not to speak of the bad habit of rejecting *concentric* speech (revolving around central/cardinal problems) as an evil, in favor of unbound diversity or dispersion of interests (or dissolution of focus) ad infinitum.

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