Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ken Robinson: How to Change Education

I'm a huge fan of Ken Robinson and with the start of each new year, I try to ensure that all teacher candidates are familiar with his work. In this talk "How to Change Education" at the RSA July 2013 event, Robinson aims to move forward from his popular RSA Animate Changing Paradigms, to offer some views on how to improve education. 

Back to the Basics: this position tends to focus on WHAT - i.e. returning to an ideal group of most important subjects [today's version is STEM], however the basics for the purpose of education should be about WHY we do this.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Utopias & Dystopias: Looking to the Future

Film 1: A Day Made of Glass (5:58) Watch on YouTube
These are two video advertisements - one from Corning, and one from Intel - setting out these companies’ visions of how their products will evolve and be used in the future. In both cases, the companies position their information technologies as completely integrated with daily life and education. 

Utopias & Dystopias: Education

Daniel, J. (2002). Technology is the Answer: What was the Question? Speech from Higher Education in the Middle East and North Africa, Paris, Institut du Monde Arabe, 27-29 May 2002. 
In this speech, Professor Daniel, at the time the UNESCO Assistant Director for Education, offered the view that ‘in all parts of the world evolving technology is the main force that is changing society’ (a model technological determinist position, you’ll observe!). He argued that, despite popular opinion, education was not exempt from these changes, nor should it be. Indeed, technology could solve the three most pressing problems of education: access, quality and cost. His praise of open universities directly prefigures the current fascination with MOOCs, and you will recognise many of the same arguments about economies of scale at play. He asks his audience to be critical in assessing the claims that are made about educational technology and what it can accomplish. Using Daniel’s four ‘b’s - bias, bull, breadth and balance - what observations can you make about his utopian arguments about education? What currency do they continue to have in this field? 

Utopias & Dystopias: Ideas

Chandler, D. (2002). Technological determinism. Web essay, Media and Communications Studies, University of Aberystwyth. Download as PDF. 
(, but we are also providing it as a PDF. An alternative, web-based version is available via the Wayback Machine.) 

Chandler’s web essay explores the concept and history of technological determinism, which he defines as ‘seek[ing] to explain social and historical phenomena in terms of one principal or determining factor’ - technology. Chandler calls this theory ‘reductive’, and points out that as a way of understanding social phenomena, reductionism is often criticised as being overly simplistic. This is especially the case when determinists become ‘technocentric’ - ‘trying to account for almost everything in terms of technology'. He introduces concepts such as ‘reification’; ‘autonomy’; and ‘universalism’, as elements of technological determinism. Importantly for our purposes, he also indicates how we can identify when a determinist position is being taken, even if an author or speaker doesn’t make it explicit: 

Utopias & Dysotpias: Looking to the Past

Film 1: Bendito Machine III [6:35] Watch on YouTube
Technological development in terms of ritual & worship - the characters in the film treat each new technology as god-like, appearing from the sky and causing the immediate substitution of the technology before it. 
What is this film suggesting are the ecological and social implications of an obsession or fixation on technology? 

Friday, November 8, 2013

e-Learning & Digital Cultures MOOC

Starting eLearning & Digital Cultures offered by the University of Edinburgh through Coursera!

My First Badge for the cMOOC Teaching Online

A great way to end an incredible learning experience - my first badge to certify that I successfully finished my first cMOOC How to Teach Online! It is one thing to have been reading all of the discussion out there about MOOCs - are they good, bad, etc, etc... - and quite another to actually participate in one. I am happy that I chose a cMOOC, as my inauguration to this kind of online learning and look forward to continuing my personal growth and professional development using this format in the future.

In addition to regular participation in the course, the final task to qualify for the badge required completing a final reflection that responded to the following questions:

I. How will you apply the “fundamentals of online teaching” in your own teaching?
In past years I have taught instructional design using the ADDIE framework. As I consider the question of how to apply the Fundamentals of Online Teaching, I believe this model integrated with Bates’ Nine steps to quality online learning provides a structure for how to think about this. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Education's purpose? To help get students to the point they can learn on their own


Teaching should inspire people to learn on their own - challenge them to learn from the achievements of the past, ask questions, challenge, pose alternatives... 

I came across this video link on a Learning [Re]imagined posting. In this 2012 video, Chomsky talks about two different worldviews on the purpose of education, and then touches on the issues of the impact of technology, education as a cost or investment, and assessment vs. autonomy

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Personalizing Virtual Learning Space [pVLS]

This is a presentation I have created for a webinar presentation on October 24th, for Moodle MOOC2 which will be going on the end of October. Here are links to the Course Overview and actual course envirionment Moodle MOOC 2 on WizIQ. Here to are PPT Presentation NOTES

Sunday, October 13, 2013

WK5 - Not with a whimper but a bang?

The Community Wall is looking pretty quiet, but I feel compelled to add my last response. Too little too late – apologies for that – but I take solace in that I still made it by the last day of WK5!

Loved this week’s topic and enjoyed the Morrison and panel webinars! 
This is something I took from Barrel, PBL: A Foundation for 21st Century Skills. His focus and examples are K-12, but the chapter provides a good overview along with the following practical guidelines for Developing Curricula for PBL:
1.  Identify a Topic
2. Map out the concept
3. Consult & integrate standards [if applicable]
4. Generate set of intended unit outcomes or objectives & specify essential questions that demand students engage in 21st Century skills – questioning, problem solving, critical/creating thinking, hypothesizing and reflecting – i.e. complex thinking

Friday, October 11, 2013

Time to make sense of the chaos

Response to Weeks 3 & 4

I've been busy working on another project but happily all things have been interconnected, and so I have been applying and thinking about a lot of the topics we’ve been looking at. I’ve gone through the Community Wall and added a response here and there.  My head continues to spin with all of the materials and postings in the course. I worry that I wont be able to do it all justice, and that time is running out. In spite all this, it has been great to be part of this MOOC. The different perspectives, insights, and experiences shared make me feel that I’ve been a part of something very special! 
We’re near the end and I still have to create my Week 5 activity and final reflection to go for that badge [it will be my first!] So here is a combined response for Weeks 3 & 4...

Wk 3: Create Community: Connect Learners with Each Other 
COI Model - appreciated the review and the discussion helped to embed it more in my mind and also gave me some good examples for each dimension

ECAR 2013 UG Study Report

The ECAR - Educause Center for Analysis and Research 2013 Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology REPORT came out in September. I always appreciate the insights and perspective it provides on technology trends, ownership, and how students evaluate both their and their instructors' use of technology. The numbers are impressive. Of the 1.6 million students solicited across 251 college/university sites, 113,035 responded from over 13 countries.

In discussions I have had with educators and teacher candidates, a recurrent concern has been that their students often have greater experience using technology -  the digital native vs. digital immigrant argument.  My response has been that though this may be the case, students tend not to know how to use the tools for learning, and that our role as educators can be to provide perspective and help develop their digital literacy skills, or 4C's: Critical Thinking & problem solving, Communication, Collaboration,  and Creativity and Innovation [see: Partnerships for 21st Century Skills].

Thursday, October 3, 2013

OER on Hybrid Course Design

One goal I had for my sabbatical was to develop some open educational resources. Here is a new OER for Hybrid Course Design for educational practitioners interested in online teaching and learning. It integrates work from a previous resource I had on instructional design, but is specifically targeted for a blended modality. This is a work in progress, but enough has been developed that I feel comfortable sharing.
Feedback or links to supporting resources or practical examples are welcome.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Web 2.0 in Educational Practice

In the previous presentation, A Systems Framework Examination of the Impact of ICTs on Educational Practice, I suggested a few ideas for how to start thinking about integrating technology for your own professional development and teaching.

I also would like to share an opportunity to enroll in course that has just started - MoodleMOOC 2 on Wiz IQ. I highly recommend that you consider taking it as it promises to have something for new and experienced Moodle users as well as other topics of interest related to technology integration.

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Systems Framework Examination of the Impact of ICTs on Education

I have had the great pleasure of spending part of my sabbatical as a visiting professor in Chile, working on a few different projects with the Faculdad de Educacion. This is the first of what will be three presentations that I am giving during my last week. In this presentation, I look at the impact of ICTs on Educational Practice using Bronfenbrenner´s Chronosystem, Exosystem, Microsystem, and the Individual to frame the discussion.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Learning to Change Changing to Learn

Was cleaning up some of my other resources and still like the message of this video: Learning to Change Changing to Learn [5:37] 

Other Resources Related to Technological Literacy

Mobile Teaching & Learning

Other Video Resources:
Digital World: Digital Teachers

Continuing the Discussion on "Creating Effective OL Discussions"

I finally got to review the Farmakis webinar (Prezi presentation, Video recording) and found these tips really helpful: providing clear protocols/guidelines; using subjective or opinion rich questions; and providing rubrics along with good examples.

As we come to the end of Wk 3: Create Community - Connect Learners with Each Other, I'd like to attempt to bring the topic of OL Discussions back up to the top of the Community Wall, because the general consensus seems to be that discussions are the heart of online teaching but yet quite possibly the most difficult element to implement effectively.

I'd like to start by referencing this discussion thread that Ed initiated a few days ago, first because I want to capture it in my blog, but also because I appreciate what he shared. I was hoping that others might consider contributing some practical examples of how they create, facilitate, and evaluate discussions in their courses.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Multi Access Learning Framework

I was really excited to see this article from Irvine et al. (2013) as it addresses some of the very thoughts that I've been having around how to pull together the best elements from learning theory - can't forget our foundations :0) -  along with what we have been learning about MOOCs and Online Learning into a model that makes sense for those of us in Higher Education. The article references the works of:
  • Brown & Campione's Fostering a Community of Learning [FCL] - research-share-perform; 
  • Bruner's 4 Aspects of FCL - agency, reflection, collaboration & culture; and 
  • Code's Agency Model - personal, proxy, and collective 
to establish a theoretical foundation for their Multi-Access Framework. They define Multi-Access Learning as a means of enabling students, in F2F and/or OL contexts, to personalize their learning experience while participating in a course.  The framework consists of 4 Tiers:

Tier 1 - F2F: traditional classroom teaching & learning
Tier 2 - Synchronous: both F2F & OL through web conferencing.
Tier 3 - Asynchronous: OL access to archives of F2F classes + collaborative activities that support co-construction of meaning
Tier 4 - Open Learning: following the xMOOc & cMOOC approach, non-credit students are able to access the course at no cost & the learning community has potential for global reach.

As I see it Tiers 1-3 describe Blended Learning. But the authors claim that this model is different

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review: Sue Waters Webinar

I was really sorry to have missed the live session of Sue's webinar on "The Art of Blogging: How to connect, interact & build rapport with students" but really appreciated having access to the archive. For me it has been the most engaging session I've reviewed so far - as I watched I kept wishing that I had been there to engage in the conversation and ask questions.

Here's why it worked for me:
  1. Interactive Discussion vs. Presentation: Sue modeled good web conferencing practice. She asked questions, had attendees respond to a question by writing on the whiteboard, got us to think about our own personal experiences [to help us think about how best to get our students engaging in blogs], and encouraged us to think critically about different tools.
  2. Engaged in Some Good Focussed Distraction: The discussion went on an interesting detour that included topics/tools related to online teaching - e.g. how our MOOC facilitators are creating the newsletter using mailchimp, how to make good use of flipboard, pinterest - but then came back around to the main topic of blogging. 
  3. Practical Focus: Sue talked about how things work, and pointed to examples, to help us understand how we might use these tools in our own practice. 
  4. Excellent Resources: Some great resources and exemplars where shared throughout the discussion - see list below

This post is written for a business audience, as it is talking about the role of learning in the workplace, but I think it gives some food for thought about the role of the LMS in learning and in education. Jennings captures something in this statement: Learning can only be managed by the individual in whose head the learning is occurring. The visual highlights the increasing role of informal, self directed learning particularly in  the workforce. In education, however, we should be thinking not only about the informal learning that takes place outside the classroom but also in eLearning contexts.

PEW Results: Cell Use & the Internet

Of a national study - surveys and interviews - of 2252 18 years + from April to May 2013, results indicate that 63% are cell internet users [i.e. use their phones to access the net] up from 31% in 2009. if this, 34% - comprised most likely of young adults, non-whites, with relatively low income and education - are cell-mostly internet users.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Adding Formative or Summative Grading to G Forms Using Flubaroo

Google Forms: are a great way to create surveys, quizzes, etc, but combined with Flubaroo instructors now have a quick way to grade.

Flubaroo: is an tool that integrates with Google Forms [just add the Google App Script from the gallery in the spreadsheet drop down menu] that lets you easily perform diagnostics, grade assignments and do in-class assessments [such as dipsticking or thumbs up/down but on an individual student basis], as well as exit slip/tickets to see how well students have understood content. The tool allows the isntructor to create a report and these results can be emailed or shared out to students [with an individualized message and their score]. 

More information on how to use Flubaroo can be found at Google Education - which includes an archived webinar]:

Here too is video with a shorter review:

The history of technology in education

This short video provides an timeline of some of the technologies that have influenced how we teach and learn through the centuries [The only thing I saw missing in the 510BCE Pythagoras Academy the was the use of wax tablets]. The journey ends in 2011, with the Smartboard. What struck me was how, in the short time between then and now, we have had an explosion in mobile learning and Apps.

App Review Socrative 2 Minute Overview

A nice quick review of the possibilities for using the App Socrative - -  in the classroom. The power of the tool is that it is user friendly and can be used across different devices for quick a formative assessment or CFU [check for understanding].

Monday, September 16, 2013

10 Skills Modern Teachers Must Have

Some useful things to consider when trying to keep abreast in these digital times. Here's the visual summary of the article and the link

Friday, September 13, 2013

WEEK 1 Artifact & Reflection

The artifact I created is essentially a summary of my journey this past week that includes keywords, visuals,  and snippets of things that stuck. Like some others, I thought I'd try at different tool - PowToon was fun to use! I suggest this might be a lot more interesting than the lengthy reflection that follows.

Making Sense of Week 1
It's almost the end of WK1 & my head is spinning. I've reviewed a lot of materials over the last days and due to other commitments had trouble attending all of the live webinars - I just managed to squeeze in Bates' presentation but wasn't in a clear headspace to get a lot out of it or contribute to the discussion. I have, however, enjoyed reading his work in the past did find the 9 Steps interesting:

Thursday, September 12, 2013

eLearning in the Age of Choice

Ed Week Webinar 8/28/2012
Presenters: Sue Winkler Davis SD, Utah & Cleon Franklin Memphis City Schools

Two case scenarios are presented as examples of how districts are developing online courses to both meet State requirements for HS students to have an online course experience, as well as meet the needs of students.

Highlights from Davis SD
- Clients include homeschoolers, credit acceleration, credit recovery, blended learning
- Created own content with district teachers vs. using outside providers
- Developed consortium with 6 other districts based on common LMS and joint agreement to share resources
- Year round course offerings

Education in the Age of Mobilism

10/25/12 Lightening Webinar, ISTE’s SIGML
Education in the Age of Mobilism: Biggest Change to K-12-Ever
Eliot Soloway, U Michigan Cathleen Morris U N. Texas

The essence of this webinar is that the shift to mobile is here, but SW + mobile devices need to reflect 21st century learning – i.e. 4 C’s – Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, Creativity – and not to reinforce outdated pedagogies.

Some Highlights:
Post PC era = Age of Mobilism
1.5 billion smartphones connected to the internet – mobile fastest uptake ever
Smartphones vs PCs vs Feature Phones: FLURRY survey on Smartphone use:
- 2010 = Browsing @ 94mins/ Apps @ 43min
- 2011 = Browsing @ 72mins/ Apps @ 94mins
Feature or non-smart phones will disappear in 3-5 years [Horace Dedui, analyst]
PC shipments decline 1% in 2012 first time in a decade
School shipments of PCs down 13.9% even as & 1million iPads sold to schools
Negroponte’s $100 tablet is here now [one e.g. Google to drop 7” tablet to $100 when 10” is released]
- Smartphones = device of choice
Project Glass: $1500 wearable computer [glasses] à predict $150 in 2 years = BIG change
Why Software is Eating the World, Mar Andreessen [Mosaic browser creator] e.g. iTunes [SW + mobile device] Netflix

Smartphones to Surpass 1 Billion in 2013

Smart phones will grow 40 percent this year compared with 2012, while the overall mobile phone market will grow just 7.3 percent worldwide to 1.8 billion units. By 2017, smart phones are expected to reach 1.7 billion unit shipments per year, with overall cell phone shipments reaching 2.3 billion units.

The Anthropology of Mobile Phones

What are the top 3 most important items that people carry? Money, keys, and our cel phones. According to Chipchase, this is true across gender, cultures, and contexts.

This TED talk shares some interesting and surprising discoveries about how people in third world countries strive to connect over time and space - some 3 billion + have mobile phones worldwide. Street innovations - such as using the mobile phone as an ATM to send money to rural villages, and reverse engineering to meet the demand for fixing broken phones - exemplify how necessity is the mother of invention, as well as our impressive creative capacity when faced with few or limited resources.

Transcript: HERE

Trends in Mobile Device Acquisition 1975-2011

We've all heard about the massive proliferation of mobile devices, the worldwide increase in the purchase of cellular phone. This image [does not include all mobile platforms] shows units of devices shipped from 1975-2011 and provide an interesting window on trends in the marketplace.

PCs on the downfall:
  • iPad can no longer be considered a niched- volume of sales in its first 2 years places it within an order of magnitude of all PCs sold.
  • iPhone, Android, iPad as the new entrants into personal computing have a combined volume that is higher that PCs sold in the same period [approx. 358 million vs. 336 million excluding Macs in 2011]
Three Phases or Eras
1975-1991: Emergence & rapid growth but also multiple standards and experiments
1991-2007: Microsoft Dominates
2008 - 2012: iPhone & Derivatives Dominate

Which Tablet Case...?

As I prepared to loan out the half dozen iPads that I was able to pull together - from my Faculty Development Grant and loan from our Educational Tech Director Al Weiss - I was faced with the question of how best to protect the devices to ensure the longest shelf life. This turned out to be quite the challenge. First off, there are a gazillion varieties to choose from. What I'll share here are the 3 models we ended up going with. I did also buy one standard case sleeve model seen on the right here - those provide good basic protection and come in at various prices - but as those are fairly basic no further explanation is needed. 

I ended up buying 3 different models through Amazon, and between using them personally and getting feedback from my students have some thoughts about what one might want to consider when looking for a case:

Kensington - KeyFolio Pro 2 Removable Keyboard, Case and Stand For iPad 4 with Retina Display, New iPad (3rd Gen) and iPad 2 (K39512US) - approx $50 AMAZON

This case offers good protection so is a solid choice. To use the iPad alone, it is easy to remove the keypad, however, the bottom half of the case will hang loose and flap which may make using the iPad alone a bit awkward.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

I created this Open Diigo group called AboutMOOCs. I've been linking in resources from the 'How To Teach Online' course, Google+ and #tomooc groups, as well as adding others related to MOOCs as I come across them. My thought is to create a central resource base that can be used to help my learning and future teaching, but also to take this opportunity to explore social bookmarking .

Saturday, September 7, 2013


  1. What is your intention for this course (why are you here)? I'm here to learn about this approach to learning so that I can be more effective teaching online for my students. As I am by nature more constructivist leaning, the philosophical orientation of the cMOOC really resonates for me.
  2. What issues do you think are important? Collaboration, community, personalization, self-directed learning, creativity, challenging paradigms
  3. How will you contribute? Share any additional materials that I find, and, when I feel I have perspective to offer, share any thoughts that might contribute to the discussion. On a personal level, I am committed to making connections & documenting/reflecting on my experience through my blog.
  4. How would you like to see community develop among participants? Not sure. I'm thinking it will evolve organically, but guess I would like to see respectful interactions, constructive feedback so that we all feel encouraged/comfortable enough to participate, as well as, concise thoughtful postings as there will be so much material to engage.
  5. These types of courses are new for most people. In fact about 90% don’t even participate. How will you overcome the fear of learning in the open and the frustration of using new technology? How do you plan to courageously work through any setbacks, and not give up? I've been teaching technology for several years and so by now am fully used to the frustration it brings - I'm still here :0) I see this as a chance to play with some tools that I just havent had time to explore. My challenge is figuring out what tool or combination of tools work best for me in terms of capturing, organizing resources and documenting my learning process. I already feel that my fear of the open environment is subsiding - I just created an open public diigo group, About MOOCs, for this course. I'm challenged by the recognition of how stuck I am in a linear learning approach but open to confronting that. I'm intuitively drawn to the Chaotic domain, as described in Cormier's reference to Snowden's model, and agree this exploration of MOOCs fits best in this dimension, but am not yet used to working comfortably in it. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

First post TOMOOC course

Getting ready to sign up for my first cMOOC [just learned the difference between cMOOC and xMOOC]. Excited, and a bit nervous, but really looking forward to learning and making connections

How To Teach Online” is a massive, open, online course (MOOC) that takes a broad view of teaching online. This five-week MOOC is for instructors of all experiences who teach online. Whether you are new to online teaching or want to improve your craft of teaching, “How To Teach Online” is a great place to share, connect, and learn from others around the world.
This is an open-access MOOC – no fees are required to join and participate. For this MOOC to be successful, we emphasize and are dependent upon, participant contributions and discussions as a means of exploring how to teach online. Your contributions are what makes the MOOC a success.

How to Teach Online cMOOC

OK, so now I'm participating in my first MOOC, or to be more precise, cMOOC. Decided to create a separate blog to document the experience

Posted September 12, 2012
I cant remember how I learned about Stanford’s AI course last fall, but as I was interested in both the content and instructional design of Thrun’s course I signed up. I only got about 4 or 5 lessons into the course but the experience was fascinating. I found myself wanting to get my hands on the technology that so easily allowed one to create a quick end of unit quiz. But as a social phenomenon, what was more interesting was that some 100,000 people from around the world were interested in taking a course for no credit.