After officially graduating yesterday, my days as a graduate student are O-V-E-R, thankfully. I now have more time on my hands and am looking forward to spending my time on a few hobbies. Photography will be one of them. Task #1? Identify and buy a new camera. Of course, I’m looking for any and all advice on which camera to purchase. If you have some, given my personal photography profile which I’ll describe below, I’d certainly appreciate the input via comments.
(If you’re landing on the individual post page directly, this is an abstract for a conference/professional development presentation. See the speaking page for more details.)
The education industry, at all levels, has been inundated with the “net generation” and “digital native” rhetoric for more than a decade. An uncountable number of conference presentations, technology initiatives, curricular changes and innovations, and faculty development projects have started with the assumption that we, as educators, are faced with a college learner of today that is radically different from the college learner of years past. They’re just different. Why? Only one reason: they’ve been surrounded by ubiquitous technology their entire lives. You’ve seen *that* presentation introduction 100x over… How many hours they surf the internet, play games, listen to music, text on their phones… blah blah blah blah. More >
Over at EduGeek Journal, Matt Croslin posted several weeks ago about using Twitter as a conference backchannel. That stirred up a frustration I’ve had with the last several times I’ve tried to engage colleagues at a conference via Twitter. I posted a comment there that provides more explanation and context to my argument.
The long and short of it is that, for me, the twitter backchannel at conferences has become damn near useless. It’s not because Twitter’s useless or irrelevant, and it’s not because of the conference; it’s a matter of how people at conferences are using… well… not using the Twitter backchannel effectively, in my opinion. Rather than an engaging backchannel shared by colleagues and professionals engaging each other in meaningful discourse related to conference presentations, by and large, the Twitter conference backchannels have become nothing more than a “mindlessly-broadcast-whatever-the-speaker’s-saying-channel.” Your thoughts?
With my dissertation officially complete, I have… gasp… free time to do any number of things. Tonight, I lost myself for an hour or more in long neglected RSS Feeds and was up long past my bedtime. Rather than reading specific feeds, I took the mixed bag of the top level folder and just started reading and watching content in one post/article after another.
Two items stand out in my mind at the moment.
- Roger Ebert’s presentation, Remaking my Voice. [Ebert @Suntimes and @Twitter]
- Stephen Downes’ presentation, The Lecture Must Stand.
Taking the two presentations juxtaposed, there’s a stronger message for me than perhaps either of the two presentations in isolation. I want to give this more thought, but briefly and roughly….. More >
EdTechatouille definitely will become more of a mixed bag of educationally related commentary over the coming months. I changed positions this past October and am no longer working day-to-day in EdTech. I’m still at the same higher ed institution, just a different position, office and location. My focus now is on curriculum development, innovation and assessment. I’ll explain that in more detail at some point, or it may become evident what that means exactly through some of the posts I’ll be writing.
In my new role, I spent the last three days in College Station, Texas at the 11th Annual Texas A&M Assessment Conference. I will post more about individual sessions and thoughts as I have time, but I wanted to mention three things that struck me throughout the conference More >
I wanted to experiment with a new tool: iPadio, a web-based “phonecasting” tool with an accompanying iPhone app. Since I haven’t had much time to blog, I leveraged iPadio and my 80 minute, one-way commute to record my thoughts on the recent story regarding the National Council on Teacher Quality research project supported by US News & World Report and the response it has elicited from educational institutions.
The articles I read regarding the story before I jumped to my own conclusions were:
- Teachers Colleges Upset By Plan to Grade Them, New York Times, February 8, 2011: http://me.lt/4C4xt:
- President and Dean Respond to NCTQ Project to Rate Education Programs, Montclair State University, February 9, 2011: http://me.lt/6a8bF
My thoughts follow in podcast form.
(I don’t know how often I’ll do this since I really don’t like the sound of my own voice – particularly when I’m in “rant” mode. Plus, the point of recording it is to get thoughts “out the door” without much overhead in minutes; so the recording is very rough, perhaps too rough. I slapped some *really bad* techno-geek music on the front and end and edited out a cough that strangely only surfaced during the podcast – not before nor after ;-)
Speaking with a faculty member who recently (past 6 months) entered Second Life and has been exploring potential uses within his Chemistry classroom, I described four levels of classroom use of Second Life to help organize an approach to incrementally implementing the technology in the classroom: presentation tool, guided experience, self-directed experience, and student generated content. I’m relatively certain others have previously described and likely posted something similar; if you’re aware of those, I’d be interested in your thoughts and other similar posts. More >
Teaching an online class, I’m always looking for ways for students to introduce themselves in a method other than a discussion board post. They typically don’t write anything spectacular, and after all is said and done, it is text. I have seen folks use ToonDoo.com, Animoto.com and other online tools to have students create media that introduces themselves in some way to their classmates. Tonight, I encountered a Facebook Meme that AJ (@sorry_afk) posted. It was interesting enough that I decided to follow along; I don’t do that very often. As I was finishing it, I thought this might be an interesting activity for students to do as a first activity in an online class. For it to work though, some intentionality would have to be inserted. My result, at least the image, for the meme is to the left, and the modified list of instructions for a first assignment are below. The original that AJ posted to FB is at the bottom. More >
(cross posted from http://blogs.sanjac.edu/virtualworlds)
I attended the Virtual Worlds in Education Roundtable (VWER) Annual “First Meeting of the Year” for 2011 this past Thursday. I believe this is the third year the VWER’s new year has begun with a panel discussion. The stated focus of the discussion was on the Probable, Possible and Preferable Futures of education in virtual worlds. Of course, the majority of the discussion focused on the first two. The discussion was moderated by (using Second Life monikers) AJ Brooks and included Buddy Sprocket, Fleep Tuque, Anthony Fontana, Wainbrave Bernal, and Kenny Hubble. So what’d the panel have to say? (with my thoughts mixed in throughout.) More >
Rockmelt, according to their site, is “re-imagining your online experience by creating a new web browser that makes it easy to stay in touch with friends, search online, and get updates from your favorite websites.” My explanation? It’s a Google Chrome-based browser that’s been modified to integrate social networks as a “native” part of the browsing experience. You can read and watch more about the browser from the folks at Rockmelt (video embedded below). I want to offer a few first impressions from an educational perspective after tinkering with it for a little while. If you decide you’re interested, let me know; I have a few invites available. More >