Here's another example of a decision-branching game on the web; this time you're a castaway on a remote island. I bet a lot of cool skills could be taught using this approach; it seems like a very fruitful area for research.
I just created a group on Facebook call the San Francisco Educators. It's for education enthusiasts who live in the Bay Area, and we plan on meeting for drinks and discussion at least once a month. I'm looking forward to seeing the group thrive!
As part of the planning phase for the next set of edu 2.0 features, I've been investigating various ways to introduce educational adventures. One adventure site is here; I just spent the last hour having a great time solving the murder mystery "Murder without Escape"!
EDU 2.0 got a nice mention on TeachingHacks.com today. Quentin asks an interesting question: "Is it a CMS, LMS, Social Network, RSS Aggregator - I’m not sure yet?"
The answer is that it's none of these things. As the introductory video mentions, EDU 2.0 is the first web-hosted education site to provide integrated support for teaching, learning, resources and community.
In order to to this, it includes features for CMS (allowing you to upload, edit and publish educational resources), LMS (learning management system for teaching classes), social networking (messaging, forums, blogs, podcasts, video clips, etc.), RSS aggregation (for supplying topic-specific news feeds), and a host of other stuff. However, I would not classify the site as a CMS, LMS, or any other feature Quentin lists.
It will be interesting to see if the integration of previously disjoint education features becomes a trend.
I'm a big believer in voluntary help for people in need (charity), so I found the following article very interesting.
The US contributes about 1.7% of its GDP as charity, ranking 1st ahead of the UK which contributes around 0.7%. 2006 contributions were around $300b, with 32% going to religious organizations and 14% to education. Around 65% of households with an income of less than $100K gave to charity.
I thought that creating the edu 2.0 video tours would take about 2 days, but in the end it took almost 2 weeks!
The first version of the tour combined a story of my background with the features of the site, and it ended up being too long.
Then I decided to create live mini-tours of the site using demofuse, which reduced the size of the introductory video and made exploration of the live site self-paced. However, the introductory video was still too large.
Then I tried using Camtasia to create a video version of the mini-tours, but it was a clunky tool to use for voice narration (kept dropping the audio signal) and seems to be better for creating a single continuous screen recording rather than stitching together small pieces.
Finally I split the original video into two pieces - an overview and a founders background - and kept the demofuse live tours.
Many discussions about gun control focus on the use of guns by criminals and the potential for accidents in the home. It's important to realize, however, that the primary reason that the US constitution allows people to bear arms is so that they can overthrow the US government if it gets out of control:
"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in Government." -- Thomas Jefferson, author of The Declaration of Independence and the third president of the US.
Historically, one of the first things that dictatorships do is to forbid their citizens to bear arms. This of course makes them much easier to control and makes an uprising much less likely. Although it's true that unfortunate accidents can occur as a result of the right to bear arms, I think that the pros greatly outweigh the cons.
Update: The commenters have raised some good questions. I'm doing a little more research before I respond. There's a good synopsis of