Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Some of the things that I've read:
An excellent article on "Rapid eLearning" http://proquest.umi.com/pqdlink?did=1232702341&Fmt=4&clientId=8553&RQT=309&VName=PQD
A blog on how to effectively use wiki's and blogs in an online class: http://karlkapp.blogspot.com/2007/09/web-20-lessons-learned.html
Another blog that talks about what's happing in the world of eLearning:
Monday, September 17, 2007
I read a statement that came from AECT today, which talked about the need for systemic change in our schools. Systemic change is more than just learning how to do things a little different. It means chang from the bottom up (and the top too). For the new technology to reach its potential in our old shcool systems, the old "systems" must be completely changed. Completely new paradigms must be developed. I love technology. It has the potential to revolutionize education, but to work, it will take a revolutionary change.
By the way, the video was created at http://animoto.com
David Warlick and Gary Stager had an interesting discussion about Animoto on their blogs last week. It's certainly a fun toy, but can it be used for education? I think it has possibilities.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I just finished reading Sarah Levendusky's blog on 1 to 1 Computing. 1 to 1 computing is, so it seems, all the rage right now, at least in educational circles. I have to admit that I find myself a little skeptical about things that have the appearance of a fad. As a pastor and an educator, I’ve seen more “great ideas” come and go than I care to mention. Unfortunately, I’ve bought into one too many of them, and now I’ve become something of a skeptic.
I’d never heard the term before I started back to school almost 2 years ago. I’ve heard the term a lot since then, but it wasn’t until this semester that I found out what it meant. That makes me a late comer to this discussion, and, as you may have guessed, my reaction has been somewhat mixed.
As I set out to do a little research on 1 to 1 computing, I looked for both the positive and the negative. I found a lot of positive, but quite a bit of negative too. I’ll not take the time to review all that I found, but three writers stood out to me.
David Cole a professor at
Ryan Bretag, a high school administrator responded to Professor Cole by saying that he agreed with him so long as the teacher hasn’t “gone through the pedagogical shifts needed to use such a tool successfully. It is only when instructors shift their practices that technology possibly begins to play an important role in the classroom.” (The Four Eyed Technologist) Simply trying to integrate laptops into a traditional classroom setting will only create problems.
Finally, Jim Hirsch (the director of technology for Plano ISD in
I’ve listened to the arguments for 1 to 1 and I recognize that there are tremendous advantages that can be gained, but I also see some dangers. While my kids have always had access to computers, and our household has been connected in one way or another since the late ‘80’s, I’m still not ready to give them complete and unsupervised access to “their own computer.” Maybe I’m just too old fashioned.
Monday, September 10, 2007
I was thinking about this in the context of learning and applying new technologies to education. While I'm sure I need to put more effort into learning and using this technology, I also see another lesson. As we begin to use new technologies in our classes, we need to be sensitive to the fact that not all learners are going to be comfortable with or motivated by everything we try to do. We dare not get stuck using one particular technology (no matter how great it is) and expect everybody to get it. Not everybody will. We need to be willing and able to adapt our teaching to the needs of different students. Even students who may not like our favorite way of doing things. Something that I've heard several times since beginning my Master's program: it is the teacher's responsibility to make learning accessible to the students. Technology is great, but only to the point that it helps with the learning process.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Both businesses and educational institutions are working franticly to create an online virtual presence. Whether this will turn out to be a long term development or just a fad, I'm still not sure. Some businesses are making money and some schools are creating effective educational content, but most are still trying to find their way. I find myself amongst the second group. I believe that virtual worlds, like Second Life, have tremendous potential, but it will take a totally new approach to both business and education. I need to get this figured out as I may be getting myself into a major Second Life project.
I find that the first thing that I need to do is to get better acquainted with and skilled at functioning in Second Life. I've tried just exploring and trying things out, but I'm really not getting very far. Today, after reading Dr. Z's wiki on Second Life, http://secondlifezeitz.wikispaces.com/, I started researching other resources. I found a great site with tons of tutorials. www.sltutorials.net/ Over the next few weeks, I plan to spend a lot of time there. I'll let you know how things work out.
Monday, September 3, 2007
As technology has created new ways of working which require less physical exertion most of us don't do as much "work" as we used to. My kids have no concept of how hard I used to work, and my parents thought I had it easy. Technology does so much for us, but we can also become overly dependent on it. This is true in education too. Much of what people used to have to learn has become unnecessary because we now have computers and other gadgets to do things for us. My daughter took a practice ACT test today and she had to take a break to go get her calculator to do her math. As I am typing this post, my word processor keeps correcting my spelling and my grammar. People used to have to do these things without the aide of technology.
We need to make sure that we use new technologies to help us become stronger and smarter as opposed to the other way around. I love technology, but I want to be careful that it doesn't make me lazy (physically or mentally).
Saturday, September 1, 2007
One definition given for Rapid eLearning given on the Rapid eLearning Blog is: "The ability to create the highest quality course in the shortest amount of time."
Rapid eLearning encompasses both special tools and methods. There are several different software packages that are designed to simplify and speedup the development process. At work we use Articulate. This program allows the developer to take a PowerPoint presentation with animations, embedded flash and other learning objects and create a flash movie that is SCORM complaint and can be loaded directly to an LMS (Learning Management System). There are several other programs available that perform a similar function.
I have subscribed to "The Rapid eLearning Blog" (http://www.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/) and hope to learn ways to implement both the tools and methods of Rapid eLearning more effectively in my own work setting.