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NITLE Conference: LMS at LAC : 11 (connecting study abroad) November 6, 2006

Posted by ficial in conference, LMSLAC2006.
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“Connecting Study Abroad with the CMS” Harry Velez of University of Puget Sound

[Again, very little in the way of specific notes.

The problem he was trying to solve is that study abroad is a big, life-changing experience, but it’s very hard to communicate it both while the student is away and after they return. In short, a CMS can be a useful/powerful tool for this, but only if you have the time and energy to really work on it. He had some web 2.0/777 aspects, but it was still largely top down.

It seemed to me that the CMS was not the ideal tool for this job – he had to do quite a bit of work to make it fit. Might have been better off collecting a best-of-breed set of tools.

Some free tools:

  • Flickr – photo sharing and commenting / community
  • Blogger, WordPress, etc. – blog hosting
  • Various wiki hosts
  • MySpace / Facebook – online presense, ‘puire’ social sites
  • Del.icio.us  – link sharing and tagging
  • Gmail, Hotmail – web based email
  • Google Groups, YahooGroups – simple group systems (email lists, file sharing, etc.)
  • Google Calendar – calendaring system
  • Survey Monkey – simple surveys (and quizzes)
  • YouTube – video sharing
  • ITunes – audio sharing, podcasting

Using a sub-set of the above tools might be more effective that making a CMS try to fulfill those functions.

One interesting note, there is no free CMS tool out there. (free meaning hosted / managed by a third party and all you have to do is use it, a la Gmail; not ‘free’ as in you can download it and install it and run the service without any licensing fees, a la Moodle, but you still have to host it and maintain it and support it.)  That probably says something about something, but I don’t know what about what. Perhaps it’s an opportunity for some one…]

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