I just finished a presentation on teaching with social software at the Developments in Economics Education Conference held at Cambridge University. I actually drafted a paper for this conference, something I hadn’t managed for the last several presentations I had done on this topic. I’m still trying to get a handle on the social aspects of social software, but writing out my ideas, however tentative, is a start.
I ran into an interesting problem with this presentation. I was given only 30 minutes to work with, including Q&A. I decided I couldn’t do justice to the material in 20 minutes, so what to do? The solution I came up with was to build a website that was both presentation as well as links to more detailed treatment of the topics. (Thanks to Alan and Barbara for the inspiration based on their Faculty Academy presentations.) The presentation then was a brief overview that essentially directed interest to the detailed links. You can find the website here.
I used WordPress to build the site on umwblogs.org, with separate pages for social software, blogs, rss, blogreaders, wikis, social bookmarking, and twitter. I made the presentation pages fairly minimalist, with a quotation and a no more than half a dozen bullet points on each to stimulate discussion. I created a separate page for examples, and another for references.
I had never built a conference presentation that was intended to provide a permanent resource. Many of you have experience with social software, and so I invite you to read the paper and offer suggestions for improvement.