While I was busy writing a dry critique of a Moodle site, one of my classmates wrote about the interactivity of Amazon. I merely followed his lead with these thoughts here…
Some, but not all, of the dynamic features of the Amazon.com website are:
1) It tracks visitor activities in real time and reacts to those activities by creating buying recommendations based on the recorded activities.
2) The site greets each registered visitor by name and customizes the welcome page, recommendations page, and other features throughout the site based on user preferences.
3) The site allows for direct user input to tweak its recommendations and the like.
At the Orange County Department of Education, we have talked a lot recently about what it would take to implement a learning portal modeled after the success of amazon.com!
I am sure this is what you were getting at, but imagine an interactive site that include features such as this:
1) It tracks student activities in real time and reacts to those activities by creating learning recommendations based on the recorded activities.
2) The site greets each student by name and customizes the welcome page, recommendations page, and other features throughout the site based on student preferences.
3) The site allows for direct student input to tweak its recommendations and the like.
That was just plain fun to type!
We have talked about a page that would show the student (or staff member visiting our site for professional development purposes), all of the upcoming face to face classes, custom trainings, videoconferences, webcasts, and online courses that relate to their interests (such as content areas standards etc). It would of course also include links to archives of any past events… and to courses etc. that they are participating in at the time.
As I explore the possibilities of a future full of interactive games and simulations as learning environments, I can also imagine a portal that includes links to the latest games and simulations related to student interests. Imagine… Others who have played “The American Revolutionary War” might also enjoy playing “The French Revolution”, “Cinco de Mayo”, or “The Gaza Strip”… or something like that. ;)
This would very much capitalize on your ideas…
Imagine a web tutor that could track student habits and adjust the lessons based on their habitsâ€”capitalizing on strengths and also addressing weaknesses (detected by user input or activities which are avoided.) The model provided by Amazon.com suggests that such a site is in the realm of possibility.
I also appreciated Lauretta’s suggestion that “They often don’t remember from one class to the next what they had been working on, so having the computer ‘remember’ would be very helpful!” Students could always pick up where they left off… or even return to a previous “save point” to pick up the momentum of the lesson, game, or simulation.
I’m glad you decided to review an seemingly unlikely site.