New Google+ WASH Community

22 01 2014

This semester I’m going to use a Google+ community to support my course on Water Supply and Sanitation in Developing Countries. Whereas the community I created last semester for my sustainability seminar was private, this WASH (water, sanitation, and health) community will be open for anyone to join.

WASH

My transition to using Google Apps is fueled by my interest in using Google Glass in education. While the VT Glass Team is still working on an App that I can use during my class (more to come on this), I have had some initial success in recording assignment-feedback videos for students. This semester I have teamed up with Mary English in VT’s Network Learning Initiatives, to formally evaluate my video feedback process. I am aware that there are many ways in which video feedback could be provided, but the Google Apps and Glass platform does make the process easy and therefore doable. I also believe that this use of Glass is one area where the device can add real value in an educational setting.

Since the assignment-feedback videos are privately shared with each student (via their Google+ account), they will not be available on the Google+ WASH community. However, I plan to post videos that discuss new WASH material that will be of interest to my students. These videos will provide a sense of how the assignment-feedback videos work in practice. I will share the results from our formal evaluation of this application of Glass as soon as they are available.

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3 responses

25 01 2014
Penelope Muelenaer

Hi,
Can we go ahead and invite pertinent participants in our WASH community? I would like to invite Jim McGill, an engineer who has spent most of his life in Malawi, Africa focusing his work on water and sanitation. He is well respected throughout the country and is known throughout southern Africa for his expertise and work in water and sanitation. He and his wife Jodi live in Mzuzu in northern Malawi, where she works as a nurse now at Mzuzu Central Hospital and teaches nursing students. They are busy raising their 6 adopted Malawian children. Periodically they return to the US to speak about their work, as they are long term volunteers for the Presbyterian Church USA. I think Jim will be a grounding force, a man in the trenches with practical knowledge about WASH, not to be underestimated. He is experienced in use of GIS systems. He promotes health through his work and empowerment of Malawian people.
P. Muelenaer

25 01 2014
rphall

Yes – please do invite your colleagues in Malawi to join our WASH community. Their input would be most welcome.

25 01 2014
Penelope Muelenaer

Since you are working with Google on its use for teaching, perhaps you could comment to them about the need to get access to international participants who may not be able to get Google or Google + access. I am checking with Jim McGill to see if there is any way he can get Gmail there. His email address is:mcgill@africa-online.net and the message I get is that he needs gmail. Jim was very generous with his time, teaching and attention to the two mechanical engineering students who accompanied me to Malawi this summer.

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