Friday, August 31, 2007


I have been involved with Midlink through my job at NC State, and they have been doing some impressive things in the classroom for over 10 years. The new issue just came out in August, and is just full of possibilities!

Joselyn Todd, one of the midlink editors, has an excellent blog up and is a great example of Web 2.0 in the classroom. She uses wikis in such an inspiring way at her school.

Check her out as well as all the other editors!

NCETC 2007

I'm submitting my workshop proposal to NCETC 2007 in Greensboro, NC today. I hope to teach on Podcasting, which I did last year, but I'm changing it up a bit. I will not only be mupdating it with more current projects, but also want to focus on some of the components that PC users can use as well - since I create my podcast in GarageBand on a Mac.

I'm also trying to decide what to speak on this year. The list is so far:
Digital Citizenship
Wiki - using PB Wiki
Preparing a class for LMS (Learning Mangement Systems - like BlackBoard)

We'll see what I can pair it down to....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

How do we define learning in the 21st Century

This question was posed in my grad class this week. My answer was:

I believe your question on "How do we define learning?" in 21st Century Skills is a huge issue. We are surrounded by such an evaluation (and blame) based society. Last year I worked on a project that was very standards based and trying to find evidence to back those standards. It was one of the most difficult projects I've ever dealt with, because defining learning can no longer be a letter grade. Yet, we are so stuck in one grade or one score telling everything we know about a topic. I have just seen the new Professional Teaching Standards for North Carolina, and it should be interesting to see how they get evaluated now.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Internet Safety Paradigm Shift

via Educational Technology & Life

Multi-faceted Refractions
" If people were to Google you, what conclusions would they make?

From observing your on-line communication, what kind of person would they believe you are? What type of thinker are you? What skills do they think that you have?

From looking at your digital self, would people think that you are full of creativity or are you a copy-cat, mimicking the works of others without any new original thought?

What do you do if your work is being misappropriated? What if you discover that there are images of you on other’s sites which are unflattering or potentially damaging?"

This reminds me of being in a workshop with David Warlick about copyright and the Internet. We discussed the concept of ownership and how if students felt they owned their work, they would not want someone to take ownership from them. How sometimes it is perspective changing that makes all the difference.

This gives me a great idea for a new way to discuss Internet Safety. Now how safe will it be to demo this and google myself in front of everyone :)

Workshops vs. Consulting

I am constantly being asked to help people with their websites, or show them some new software, etc. It the main aspect of my job, and I love helping people. The idea is that if enough people ask you about something you should have a workshop. However, workshops have not been that popular lately and attendance has been low. I enjoy the personal touch of consulting, but I wonder if I'm wasting my time by showing the same thing over and over. Or does educational technology truly need to be customized in order for it to be effective?

My current compromise is to send my faculty to generic workshops that provide basic information on a topic, and then do consulting with them to get it in their classroom. We will see how that works

Social Networking

Wesley Fryer has an interesting post about Myspace and virtually meeting your college room mate. It amazes me how much personal information people are willing to post about themselves on the web. As Fryer writes,

"EVERYONE needs to be monitoring the pulse of their web-based personna.

What do websites “out there” on the Internet say about you, your children, your students, and people you/they know? Sometimes surprises can be good, but in many cases, if we can avoid a surprise through some proactive conversations and explorations, that can be a good thing!"

I can still remember being afraid to drink and be seen by student's parents in town at a restaurant. I can't imagine posting that image of me on a website!

Friday, August 24, 2007

NetNews Wire

So I am completely addicted to my RSS feed reader. I've been really happy with NetNews Wire. Their free version has all that I really need in a feed reader. I have my subscriptions organized by category and it allows me to catch-up on or offline when I can. I am considering using some online tools, especially when I demonstrate the power of RSS to teachers. I'll have to see what I find.


So I am trying out the twitterverse and see what I can find. So far it feels a bit like stalking someone, but I can imagine the potential. If I had been able to go to NECC this year, I bet it would have been invaluable. Maybe on a college campus like State's it could do the same.

However, I have a feeling my mother will enjoy knowing where I am at all times :)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Defining Clutter

As part of my Master's Thesis - which I will I am sure post on about more in the future. I am trying to define visual clutter on a PowerPoint slide. My hope is to be able to make recommendations on how much information is too much to have on a slide. So how blown away was I when on BoingBoing I see that someone at MIT has defined clutter!!!

I hope to use the Eyetracking Lab at the Friday Inst that I use to work on as part of my data gathering. I start my research hours this semester - wish me luck!

Google Earth Update

I love using Google Earth to teach how GPS devices work. In fact I taught some 6th graders about this very fact this time last year :) It has the "cool" factor of flying through the sky like superman to your house, and is educational to boot!

They have just added a new component to Google Earth that lets you search the sky - just like you search the world. How freakin' cool is that! I can imagine a multitude of different ways this can be used. The NYT story discusses the more that one million photographs it took to piece together the sky!

Monday, August 20, 2007

New Venture

I have decided that upon my return from this summer to reassess where I am, both personally and professionally. I have enjoyed blogging a good deal, but have not kept up with it as much as I wish I had. In recognition of this new desire to not only go in a new direction with my life, but also to rekindle the blogging creativity within me, I have created this new site, Transparent Learning. I hope to also purchase the domain name soon, and use this as a venue for education consulting.

Wish me luck in my new venture!

Transparent Learning

Technology in Education has evolved over the years. Pencil and paper are technology, chalkboards are technology, books are technology. Yet, over time they become a given, teacher's use them effortlessly, they are transparent. The goal of Transparent Learing, is to make all technology this transparent. That the laptops, GPS devices, and iPods, can become an easy extension of the learning and teaching process.