Saturday, November 22, 2008

some post class thoughts...

two posts in one day -- i'm amazing even myself :0)

so i thought that today's online session went well even though at one point i think i inadvertently kicked myself out of the webconferencing system. funny, this time i was annoyed whereas early on in the course i panicked when i lost my connection. i'm really looking forward to seeing what my students say - hopefully they'll talk to how the class went for them. we saw lots of interesting things and i was able to use Jing to demonstrate creating a screen capture on how to add delicious bookmarlets into one's browser toolbar. then i uploaded the screen capture to it all worked except that i just realized in reviewing the class session archive that my students couldnt hear the sound in my screen capture. i noticed the same thing a few weeks back when Jennifer was sharing a video that she uploaded to her blog - i could hear it but the others couldnt. i suspect it might be related to my headset but that's something i need to look into for the future.

a sense of something evolving

this has been an exciting week for me on the technology front. i feel as if i have been transitioning into a new level over the last few months. my tech course has certainly helped as it has made me spend more time playing and thinking about web 2.0 for my classes. but it truly is interesting how after a while things dont seem as intimidating or overwhelming. i am starting to sense a shift in my self concept about my facility with these tools. it's hard to explain but all i can say is that i think it is directly related to the increased time i have been spending exploring, nosing around and searching what's out there and what people are up to. and i have to say i'm truly jazzed by what i've been discovering. using igoogle to help organize this has also been very helpful. for example, i've starting using my google reader [rss] to bring in sites and networks that are related to my interests in technology and education. there are lots of people doing some cool stuff out there!

Friday, November 14, 2008

SITE 2009 conference

just found out this week that one of our conference proposals was accepted for the Society for International Technology in Education (SITE) 2009 next spring i'm really hoping my second one will be accepted too - that would be great. i feel like i've been really sucked into the world of technology over the past weeks. having the tech course really helps as i'm always thinking about the portal, course wiki, lessons, etc. and then there are the projects the students are doing. but i've also been setting up a lot of sites for some of the various committees and boards that i'm working with. i think i've set up 5 over the last 1 1/2 months. i'm so getting into exploring with googlesites - i think it has great possibilities. we're also am trying a new social networking tool called ning as our working space for the site conference. apparently it has been around longer than google but i have yet to discover how similar they are.

SITE 2009
Zijdemans Boudreau, A., Headley, S., Ashford, R. (2009). Do Educators Need a Second Life? Exploring Possibilities for Enriched Technology-Based Distance Learning.  In I. Gibson et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference 2009 (pp. 1617-1622). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Zijdemans Boudreau, A. (2009). Web Conferencing as a Means of Enhancing Online Learning in a Hybrid Course Delivery Model. In I. Gibson et al. (Eds.) Proceedings of Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference 2009 (pp. 4180-4185). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. Retrieved from

Friday, November 7, 2008

just so many possibilities....

i had one of those rare mornings where i was able to sit at home in my pyjamas propped up with pillows lap top in my lap [imagine that!] just surfing the net and looking at all kinds of new tools and gadgets. it all started while going through my students' ideas for their projects and imagining some ways that they might actualize them. then i got to adding more to my exploring web 2.0 pages. in the past i've had students do an activity around them but this term as we have the richardson book i have just left the pages as a resource. anyway it's incredible how one link takes you on to another, and just never ceases to amaze me how many possibilities exist out there, many free, for anyone to access and use!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

think i'm getting the hang of it

so i'm going to practice what i preach and do a post class reflection. i decided to do it right after the class because frankly i think it's best to do it while still in the moment, with everything fresh in my memory, but also because if i dont now chances are i wont get to it again for days.

i look forward to reading how my students responded to today's class but i know for me it definitely felt better. i felt less anxious about whether i was reaching my audience and trusted that they would let me know if there was a problem. my sense was that the technology was working well for everyone, no sound glitches that i know of and none seemed to be having trouble seeing my screen or following me.

having said that, it is odd to be the only one speaking out loud - you feel like you're just talking into dead air. it's very helpful when participants provide input just to let you know that they're ok or understanding clearly. you just have to trust that everyone is paying attention and staying on task. it's also frustrating when individuals are having problems and you cant just help them out as easily as you would be able to face-to-face. i'm sure it's not any easier being the one who is having trouble either - it must be difficult.

Monday, October 27, 2008

this thing called blogging...

so i too need to learn how to be a good blogger and post regularly. i am reminded of when i kept a journal as a youth. there was a period between about grade 9 - 12 that i wrote in my journal religiously. i still have them and get a real kick out of reading them. at the time my journal was an important part of my life, it gave me a place to sort out some of the things that were going on - all those ups and downs teens go through, so many questions i had. then my writing dropped off and i picked it up again sporadically in my twenties. as an academic i've found keeping a notebook - more like a semi diary/ideas/catch-all - can be a nice way for bringing together the different elements of my life. i dont seem to write the personal, emotionally-laden stuff any more but more creative ideas or plans for things i'd like to achieve. thing is i find that if i dont drag my book around all over then i end up writing things on bits of paper that get lost...keeping organized is always the challenge isn't it?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

playing with technology

there are so many cool things to learn when it comes to technology. for example, i remember getting all excited about taking a flash workshop - i had all kinds of ideas that i wanted to develop for my teaching, so when the chance arose to take a course i was really looking forward to it.

i think many of us are used to learning technology by taking a tutorial or workshop. it is usually full of exciting new information that goes by in a flurry. then at the end you gather up your notes and handouts, and go home thinking about what you can do with your new learning. truth is that unless you sit down and play with it right away, the notes inevitably get lost somewhere in that so-well-organized filing system and it just seems to get more and more difficult to get back to. time passes, and when you finally do get the chance to sit down - if you do get it --- well, let's say that i have yet to create even one of those brilliant flash ideas of mine...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Web Conferencing eh?

well i like to think that i am fairly knowledgeable when it comes to web casting, webinars, web it what you will. my ph.d. involved using a different webcasting technology and i have attended enough webinars to know and understand that glitches happen. even with this previous experience, our first online session was a real eye opener for me. i'm up to the challenge - as are my students i hope - but i tell you teaching in this medium is a very different experience and requires a number of adjustments. basic things like having to take turns to talk to minimize feedback and time lag; remembering to keep an eye on the chat log for those students who arent using the voice feature; making sure that the screen i am showing doesnt block the chat so that everyone - including myself - can keep an eye on what people are saying; and then just making sure that what i am showing is centred on the screen and not getting cut off at the bottom [i didnt catch this until i looked at the archive]

Thursday, October 2, 2008

the possibilities...

when i started my career in education, i was far from expert in technology. i knew how to do the email thing, use a browser, word, a bit of powerpoint and excel. i dont even recall my teacher ed program having a tech course -- now it seems to be standard to get at least one. it wasnt until i started my M.A. that i stumbled across the potential of technology to support learning. my first tech course was taught by marlene scardamalia - whom i later discovered is an internationally renouned cognitive scientist/educator. anyway she and her husband carl bereiter [who i also later took a course from] have developed this collaborative learning environment CSILE [computer supported learning environment] which has since morphed into KF [knowledge forum] and the Institute for Knowledge Innovation & Technology [IKIT]. the whole premise of this environment was to support online learning communities by supporting what they call knowledge building - a collaborative approach to sharing the learning experiences that eventually lead to the creatio of new knowledge products.

this is of course very closely related to the ideals of web 2.0 needless to say, here i am some 13 years later, still excited about the possibilities, still exploring...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Getting with the blog thing...

i created this blog a while ago - last year i think - for one of my past tech courses. it was one of those things that i told myself i had to do. well i think i got side tracked with other stuff so here i am a year[?] later, i come to blogger and there it is, my empty neglected shell.

So i understand that blogs are a great tool for journaling, reflections, ongoing i think we should discuss the idea of each of you starting your own blog. just to try it on and see what you think.