Archive for October, 2007
A quick added note on my previous post regarding Dr. Wesch’s “A Vision of Students Today.” The Chronicle picked up the story on the publication of Dr. Wesch’s video; however, they carried it under the headline, Kansas State U. Students Read Half of Class Material. The article suggests the video:
seems to indicate that higher education—-or perhaps just Kansas State University—-is failing to engage students.
I understood the sample was taken entirely from K-State, particularly given the details and description of the activity available on Dr. Wesch’s blog. I understood the purpose of the video was to highlight a prominent issue within higher education. I know the actual research activity was particularly engaging for the 200 students fortunate enough to be in Dr. Wesch’s class. I know, from recent experience, the undergraduate learning experience is in many instances exactly as Dr. Wesch’s course portrayed it. I clearly understand the communication technologies so-called millenials are using to interact with one another and that higher education should be taking advantage of those technologies in the classroom rather than barring them from it. As an educational technologist, the video provides a worthwhile starting point to trigger or further stoke a valuable conversation.
Any number of headlines could have been chosen to call attention to Dr. Wesch’s video. However, the headline chosen by The Chronicle, to me, seems at least uninformed and at most irresponsible or belligerent. Which is it? The Chronicle attempts to point out that Dr. Wesch’s sample is not necessarily representative of all higher education institutions; anyone taking the time to point that fact out should also be keenly aware that Dr. Wesch’s sample is also not necessarily representative of the entire Kansas State student body.
A news story from The Chronicle highlights a brain-computer interface developed by a biomedical engineering lab in Japan. The input device allows users to control their Second Life avatars via brain activity rather than traditional input devices.
Read more after the jump.
This raises a great deal of potential for alternative educational delivery methods for learners with significant learning disabilities.
When I was originally looking for a way to use Second Life in computer labs which did not have it installed and do not allow users to install software, one of the suggestions I received/came across was MojoPac which enables a Virtual PC on a memory stick.
Of course, one of the original issues I encountered was the $30 price tag. This article from Lifehacker notes that MojoPac now offers a freeware version. This potentially provides a workaround for SL’ers working in labs or environments which do not support or allow SL installations. The only question is whether or not the current version of MojoPac requires administrative rights on the computer by the user running the application; if that’s the case, many academic labs will still preclude the use of MojoPac as an alternative.
Dr. Michael Wesch (creator of The Machine is Using Us) has published a video focused on the relevance of digital culture to higher education; entitled A Vision of Students Today, the video was – as noted by Dr. Wesch’s blog Digital Ethnography – the result of a the following instructions:
… the basic idea is to create a 3 minute video highlighting the most important characteristics of students today – how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime. We already know some things from previous research (and if you know of any interesting statistics, please list them along with the source). Others we will need to find out by doing a class survey. Please add whatever you want to know or present.
The blog describes the process and results of the survey which are used throughout the video. Definitely worth a read, a viewing and healthy resyndication ;-)
I originally overlooked missed this October 1st post at the Official Google Blog, and I’m surprised I haven’t seen it in the feeds I read on a regular basis.
In short, Bloggers can issue a “Challenge” to their readers and the general internet public to support the Donors Choose program which connects donors with classroom projects and funding needs.
Now granted, I haven’t been reading ALL of my feeds lately, but I’m surprised that, in the ones I do manage to read on a daily basis, I haven’t seen mention of this elsewhere. More following the jumps below.
I’ve been reading Indexed for some time now. In my words, it’s the world viewed, often comedically, through graphs and Venn diagrams. That sounds boring though. Blogger Jennifer Hagy’s description of her space is:
a little project that lets me make fun of some things and sense of others. I use it to think a little more relationally without resorting to doing actual math.
There’s been more than a few posts that have made me laugh out loud and more than a few posts that have made me think twice about an idea or concept.
Today, Ms. Hagy posted a graph that summarizes much of what I/we do. Visit Indexed. Add it to your feed reader.
Will be coming back to this new feature (as of 9/24/2007) from Twitter and discuss it in more detail. It’s worth a short post and quick mention.
In short, Twitter Tracking now makes it possible to receive alerts based upon keywords/tags/concepts. Rather than only receiving alerts from individuals you’ve chosen to follow, you may now receive alerts containing a particular keyword, phrase, concept or tag – whatever you want to call it.
While the Twitter Blog uses a couple of general examples, I’m going to use one related to attending educational conferences. When I go to the League of Innovation CIT conference to be held in Nashville in early November, I can submit to Twitter from my cell phone: “track leagueCIT.” After that, I’ll receive any tweets – as I understand it, by any Twitterers – containing the phrase “leagueCIT;” plus, I’ll have the option of then finding more information about that Twitterer and may choose to follow them as well.
Pretty cool stuff!