Recommended Modes of Communication in the Course

This course is designed to model open and distributed modes of networking and communication. More specifically, a goal of the course is to immerse participants in an environment that is similar in some ways to distributed, non-formal learning environments found across on the Web. While the course has somewhat of a central space (this blog), knowledge and information will be shared in many ways, through numerous interactions, using many freely available tools.

Below is a list of some of key tools and protocols to be used in this course. If you have suggestions for others, please let me know.

Course Blog: As mentioned above, this blog will serve as a central hub for the course. Please review the information pages for important course information, and follow the blog postings for frequent course updates.

Your Blog: Students taking this course for credit require their own blog to fulfill the course assignments. Blogs are relatively easy to setup and there are a number of free services such as:, Blogger and Edublogs. For this course, I would recommend a WordPress-based platform ( or Edublogs) or, if you are ambitious, a self-hosted blog would be a worthy challenge.

RSS: RSS or Really Simple Syndication will be an essential element to this course. In simple terms, RSS allows people to easily subscribe to news & information from various sources around the web. The most prominent RSS Reader was Google Reader, but it has now been discontinued. You want to consider alternatives such as Digg ReaderFeedly, and Inoreader. We will discuss how to use these tools in class.

Twitter: For many educators, Twitter is proving to be a powerful vehicle for anytime/anywhere professional development.This major microblogging platform will be used in this course to share information, encourage interaction among course participants, and nurture long-term connections to educators outside of EC&I 831. When using Twitter for course-related activities, it is best to use the #eci831 hashtag in your tweets to ensure ease of searchability. If you’d like to browse resources about Twitter in Education, check out this LiveBinder from Steven Anderson, this wiki on the subject, or view “Twitter in 60 Seconds“.

Google Plus Community: We’ve also set up a Google Plus Community. This will be a great place for more concentrated interaction (vs. Twitter). Feel free to join our EC&I 831 Google Plus Community.

Start with these – more tools to be introduced as the course progresses.