Originally, the program was designed to exist in iTunesU, and use iPads. We made a quick pivot last year before launch and switched to Chromebooks and Google Apps for Educators (GAFE) before we started…thank goodness we did this. 🙂
This year we’re making another pivot as we begin. We are a BYOB (Bring Your Own Browser) program. As long as you can get to the Internet, and a browser, you can engage in the coursework for the program. We try to make the program and individual classes accessible for students using Google+, GAFE, Twitter, and student blogs. You will need to have a webcam and microphone to be able to use Google Hangouts and record multimodal tutorials for class. As far as browsers are concerned…we prefer Chrome for our device agnostic, ubiquitous access to data policy (Sorry Mozilla friends 😉 ).
Because of this design strategy, we’re able to provide a learning environment that adapts to all students. Feel free to bring in and use whatever digital tools that you already own and use. You can use your iPad, Nexus 7, Android phone, iPhone, old netbook, school PC, etc. Whatever devices you currently use/love/have access to…you can use for all teaching and learning activities. If you don’t have something you like, please ask me for recommendations. Our program has Chromebooks in our blood. I’d love to point you to a machine in the $300 range that “you’d look good in.”
There are no textbooks for classes. All materials for classes are built into the LMS (Learning Management System) or CMS (Course Management System) by instructors. We use free, and online tools to build the learning environment for classes. Most of the program exists in Google+ and uses Google Communities for class discussions. I’ve developed a series of video tutorials for you to use as you get started with Google+ and navigating around the social learning environment.
Google+ Basics: Introduction and Profile Editing
Google+ Basics: Create your personal learning network
Google+ Basics: Use Hangouts to communicate with others
Google+ Basics: Build your own learning management system
Image CC by opensourceway