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These featured sessions are open to the University community as part of the 2009 Summer Faculty Institute. Full details and links to online registration appear below.

Harnessing the Power of Social Networks in Teaching & Learning
Alec Couros, University of Regina
Friday, June 5, 10:00 a.m., Trabant Multi-Purpose Room A

Alec CourosIn the last few years, the world of education has changed significantly as more and more teaching and learning blends online opportunities with face-to-face classes. Web-based communication has exploded, in large part due to the emergence and increased popularity of social networking web sites like Facebook and Twitter.

What are the implications of social networking to education? And how are educators using social networks to not only engage their students but also connect with each other?

For answers to underlying questions about social networking and education, join colleagues at the closing event for UD's 2009 Summer Faculty Institute. At 10 a.m., Friday, June 5, in Trabant Multi-Purpose Room A, keynote speaker, Dr. Alec Couros will present "Harnessing the Power of Social Networks in Teaching & Learning." This session will address these questions and inspire you to explore social networking personally and for teaching.

Dr. Couros is actively engaged in social networks as both an educator and a participant. A graduate level professor in the University of Regina's Faculty of Education, his coursework focuses on how educators can best use these tools to reach their educational objectives. Dr. Couros blogs at educationaltechnology.ca/couros.

Registration for the keynote address is free, but required. Space is limited, so early registration is advised. All members of the campus community are invited to attend.

» Register online.

Beyond Our Biology: An Inside Look at Second Life
John Lester, Linden Labs
Tuesday, June 2, 12 noon, 104 Gore Hall

John LesterImmersive three-dimensional online virtual worlds are a new medium for education and training, giving educators and students a platform for collaborative work, simulation, and experiential learning. John Lester will give an overview of Second Life as a platform for innovative learning environments, providing examples of current educational and academic use as well as ideas for future exploration and strategies for success. He will also touch on why virtual worlds in general resonate with human beings, and how they can be used to leverage our basic biological tendencies while at the same time giving us a change to grow beyond them.

John Lester joined Linden Lab (the creators of Second Life) in 2005, bringing experience in online community development as well as a background in the fields of healthcare and education. John leads Linden Lab's customer market development in Education and Healthcare. He acts as a strategist and evangelist for people using Second Life in teaching, academic and healthcare research, medical education, simulation, and scientific visualization.

Previously, John was the Information Systems Director for the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he pioneered the use of the web in 1993 to create online communities supporting patients dealing with neurological disorders. As a Research Associate in Neurology at Harvard Medical School, he also created online collaborative education environments for professors and students to advance the case-based teaching method in medical education.

John lives in Boston and is commonly referred to by his avatar's name in Second Life - "Pathfinder Linden." For more information, please see www.pathfinderlinden.com.

Registration for this guest presentation is free, but required. Space is limited, so early registration is advised. All members of the campus community are invited to attend.

» Register online.

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