Facebook in the Classroom

I found this interesting article by David Nagel on the Campus Technology website: Can Facebook Make Better Students?  Here at Austin Community College, several teachers have Facebook pages for their  programs, and students sometimes set-up class specific Facebook pages so they can share info (think study group, only virtual).

Is using Facebook helpful for education?  Have you used it?  How did it work for you?

Taking the Next Steps in the Higher Ed Classroom

This article –  How Professors Are Using Your Favorite Apps – has some great ideas for using technology in the classroom in ways you might not have ever imagined.    Using Skype for multi-university collaboration, using Twitter for reminders, and sharing documents via Dropbox are great ideas, but some professors are taking advantage of the tools to restructure learning and the delivery of information.   Some professors have even designed their own apps to take attendance and provide interaction during lectures.

How can we apply this to our department?  What things are you already doing?

Gaming with a Purpose: Charting Nerve Connections in the Brain

I heard this on NPR when I was coming back from buying some things for our next ACCHaoS school visit.  This is even better than Words with Friends – imagine charting the billions of nerve connections in the brain with your computer.  Sebastian Seung, a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is recruiting people – gamers specifically – to help unravel the mystery of the neural connections.  Seung and his colleagues have developed EyeWire  in attempt to map the neural connections in the eye.   “Anyone sitting in their living room can just fire up a Web browser and look at images of neurons, and help us figure out how they’re connected,” he says.

I’m in!  I’m not a gamer, but anything about the brain – and/or computers – fascinates me.  Here’s the story – Wanna Play?  Computer Gamers Push the Frontier of Brain Research

I hope there’s an iPhone app soon 😉