Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Can Lore bring social networking to the classroom?

If you've ever wished that school could be more like Facebook, then Lore might be your new bff.

Lore is a new platform (the buzzword is "learning management system") that I've been testing in my Creative Communications classes this year; we did a quick rollout in advertising class last semester, and this semester I'm expanding it to public relations, work placement, and the advertising major.

If you'd like to visit last semester's ad class to have a look, go to: join.lore.com/A89X6W (you need the last six digits to join the class and sign in).

In essence, Lore is school in a Facebook environment without students having to “friend” instructors or worry about others seeing personal, non-scholarly information.

Teachers and students can use it to have discussions outside the physical classroom, and there’s a gradebook, calendar, document uploader, and Facebook-style timeline and newsfeed, where teachers and students can post information and have public discussions.

Students can upload their profiles and resumes, join “class communities,” and “groups,” message one another, and have coursework-related discussions among themselves inside and outside the class. As the network builds, grads can continue to participate in discussions, providing advice and mentoring to new students.

Key inspirations (from an instructor in my master’s program) for enhancing in-person instruction with online activities:
  • “Create dialogue and structure.”
  • “Give students more control.”
  • “Make your own online experiences.”
  • “Try something you’ve never tried before.”
  • “Impart a vision about what “distance education” can look like.”
  • “Find ways to increase dialogue, decrease structure, and increase autonomy.”
The only issue: I'd love a mobile app to go with the website, but I assume it's on its way. See you on the discussion board!

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