February 28th, 2008
Well, I have to say Cozimo is one cool tool. My students had the option to use it in one section, and their comments were nearly all very positive, and Keith Lynip, Director of UMOnline (University of Montana) saw it here and thought his faculty would be interested (he forwarded it to someone in the Media Arts department).
Here are some student comments:
I actually really like this form of posting. It’s very interactive and the viewer can physically see what I am trying to describe.
I liked this because we are able to talk about the painting more and understand it better.
So, the question is, why does higher ed not demand tools of this caliber from the Learning Management Systems we pay so much money for? Why isn’t something like this a plug-in for Blackboard or ANGEL? Why are we stuck with the clunkiest tools in education, while the rest of the world gets great tools like Cozimo, or Voicethread?
I wish ARTstor would develop social tools. I understand that they developed the Offline Image Viewer primarily because of copyright restrictions on the images. But hell, someone needs to develop social tools for talking about images for higher education!
I’ve been talking to Stuart Feldman of Cozimo, and he has been extraordinarily helpful and interested in seeing how Cozimo can help educators.
Here’s the interesting part. We discussed how to use it in my class, and the kinds of instructions I would need to give my students about setting up an account, and walking them through the tools. I was going to use it in the module that opened nearly two weeks ago, but the thought of sending out emails to the students, inviting each of them as a “contributor,” making sure they each set up an account. I didn’t have time to deal with that hurdle. So, I just set up a page right here on the blog using the WP plugin and announced it on the course home page in ANGEL — with a link.
So, here’s the thing, tools like this are great. But it’s so hard to ask students to set up yet another account, and deal with additional functionality we are not going to use. I realized how appealing the mashup is — bringing all the tools and information you want to a single place. It also made me think of the value of very simple tools, without a lot of bells and whistles. Cozimo (not the plug in, the site) has a very clean interface and is very user-friendly, but there is something wonderful about the simplicity of the plug-in.
What’s a teacher to do?