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...