EDUCAUSE‘s National Learning Infrastructure Initiative is holding a spring focus session on emerging technologies for teaching and learning that will examine blogs, gaming, and instant messaging, among others. Looks interesting – they’re focusing on "emerging learning practices enabled by new technologies as well as alternative pedagogies" as well as the student perspective – how to figure out what students are doing with the technologies and what their needs and expectations are around the use of things like social software in a classroom context. Though they do bring out the "students are driving this change" card, which I’m a bit skeptical about – yes, students are using the tech on campus for their own social and communicative needs, but are they banging on the doors of their professors to have it incorporated into the curriculum, to be used as teaching tools in the classroom? Not in my experience, thus far, but that’s another story.
Speaking of NLII, Barbara and Hector presented Beauty and the Beast: Bringing Blogs into the Higher Education Classroom in a session at the recent NLII Annual Meeting. They asked participants to reflect on two questions, and post their reflections on Hector’s blog: "Do you have a vision of where social software fits into learning?" and "What is it that you need in order to understand the integration of blogs into the learning?" The responses are an interesting read.