Learning Repositories

Academic Earth

Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defines a repository variously as “a place, room, or container where something is deposited or stored” and as “one that contains or stores something nonmaterial”.

In education, learning repositories have tended to mimic traditional classroom learning spaces, where content and discourse have been constrained by time and space. Once a term ends, students have few or no options to access course materials or engage in continued discussions. One could argue that we are perpetuating an environment where students come to understand their learning experiences as discrete, disconnected and terminal. As more secondary and post-secondary institutions adopt and engage in more open and collaborative learning exchanges, how could this impact our programs, our research and our students?

We will have the opportunity to explore that question by focusing on various web-based social networking environments and how they can be used to support our students in the development of their linguistic and intercultural competencies. We’ll work together not only face-to-face, but online as well, posting our thoughts and comments on our blog, adding content to our wiki, meeting regularly in a virtual classroom and, I hope, connecting and collaborating with others through live video streaming of our face-to-face sessions.

Hands on activities during our first class will include practicing the various aspects of posting to a blog, including tagging, linking, and adding media, as well as the consideration of audience. At our first meeting you will be creating your blogger profile (you can see past examples here and here), so please have accessible, either on a portable media device or online, a digital photo or avatar you would like to use for your profile.

I look forward to learning with you!

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One Response to “Learning Repositories”

  1. celeste2010 Says:

    Barbara,
    my expectations for this course are a lot and it has been an amazing experience so far.
    I know it’s a big challenge for us to explore all these new tools but I’m sure eventually we’ll become social networking experts. 🙂
    Our virtual class last Tuesday was a good experience. What I liked the most is that we were all watching the same video at the same time. And that was great because it seemed like a real classroom to me. We were able to write and talk to each other while watching the video without disturbing others. I think that’s an advantage.
    On the other hand the chat window was quite small for our comments and it was difficult for me to follow comments and answer them at the same time. I don’t like missing others opinion while I’m writing.
    By the way, thanks for the chat session doc you sent us. That’s another good thing because I always like to keep records of classes
    and to be able to access course materials after a course ends.


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