Archive for February 2011

I am currently in the process of writing a review paper. The usual procedure is that i will submit it to my advisor, then she will  read it, modify it and then having me (most probably) re-writing it.. From that time to the time it’s sent for publication_which we can say about 2-3 months, how many articles would be there every day writing about the topic I am doing my paper on?? too many of them..which means that everyday i have to go to pubmed or other databases and re-enter my search terms and see if there is/are new article (s) with this regard, or even to know if any one took the idea of my dissertation 🙂 When the invention of RSS was discussed in the class..i was thinking..WOW amazing..i can just rss the pubmed with my search terms and the articles come straight forward to my Google reader. Also I found a cool way to do that..please follow this link: Pubmed + RSS + iGoogle = Easy Lit Updates.

Enjoy the power of RSS+Pubmed+iGoogle !


While I was reading an article about the  general advantages of social bookmarking Social Bookmarking Even When You’re Not Social: Why I Use Delicious in the Chronicle of Higher Education, I thought what are the benefits of using bookmarking in teaching or in a course? In other terms, which of the seven good practices_discussed in yesterday’s class_ can be achieved through social bookmarking?

In my opinion, and as can be taken from the term SOCIAL bookmarking, this feature develop reciprocity and cooperation among Students. Considering the availability of online resources , students are not confined with what is said in the class, or what’s in their textbooks. They can have other resources and different points of view. Social bookmarking allows them to organize websites to these resources and SHARE them with other students in the class. Moreover, the tagging feature makes it easier to organize and categorize your saved websites. One thing we should pay attention for is the tagging terminology, many people tag websites with terms which they think relevant for them but not necessarily relevant to others. This may waste some time when trying to go to a tagged website with some term you think relevant but you read the whole thing to discover it was not what you were looking for. In addition to that, one should always keep in mind the validity and credibility of shared websites.

I cannot think of another principle which can be achieved through social bookmarking! Can you?

One of the good practices in undergraduate education is to exploit multiple ways to assess student performance. This will give chance for different students to be evaluated differently. For example, a student who scores low in an objective exam in a biology course, doesn’t necessarily means he is not good in biology. He might perform better in an oral presentation or higher level thinking problems. So a teacher should understand these diverse abilities of people thus, using different methods of students’ evaluation. Applying technology in education helps effectively to serve this purpose. For example, blogging can allow interaction between student and teacher in addition to student-student interaction which allow students to express their ideas, and ways of thinking. An article

The Chronicle of Higher Education about the use of web-cam to fine-tune student performance is a good example of the use of technology in education Using Web Video to Fine-Tune Student Performance which help students to look for a new perspective to self-evaluate and practice oral communication skills and open the opportunity for abroad, long-distance education.

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Blogging makes teaching more interactive such that it will not depend on a certain time or a place, which makes the educational process much more effective. Blogging also give students a chance to be reflective. In a classical class setting, where there might be hundreds students, teachers are not available to hear students’ feedback or questions, blogs can make this process more effective and student-centered rather than being teacher-centered. Moreover, this process will enhance the participation of some group of students who are smart but shy, not confident, or not comfortable speaking on public. Students could learn from each other; however, great attention should be give to false or biased information.  Another thing I thought of while I was complaining to my friend about the need to write weekly in my blog, in fact, this will end up to be very useful at the end. Think of a class where you have to take daily material and then only study at the end of the year for the final exam. You could get high grades but how much information will be retained in your brain? Almost none! Blogging in teaching allows you to continue learning all over the semester/year in which the course is offered. Blogging helps track students’ development and change over time. It teaches you how to be collaborative with your colleagues especially in individualistic societies, and can attract external parties outside the classroom from which teachers’ as well as students can gain different experiences and thinking methods. From the economical point of view, blogging can reduce the cost of teaching; it cuts off your transportation cost or even the cost of building new classrooms. Finally and You might not agree with me with this last point, but as a person with poor writing ability, I think of blogging of a way to enhance my ability to express my ideas by writing and force me to keep working on my writing skills!


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  • Regina Oyesanya: I thought GRAD 602 is the best class on campus. I'm not alone! Thanks Britt and Jeff :)
  • Britt Watwood: Pat yourself (yourselves) on the back. You all recharged Jeff and I as much or more than we charged you.
  • amal: I believe that too! It just takes time for us to accept new things..I have done experiments on virtual animals and human beings during my undergraduat