Thursday, July 31, 2008

FNO - on Online Collaboration

Jamie McKenzie has a wonderful article I think is worth sharing and diving deeper into. McKenzie, J (2008, Summer). Beyond Mere Gathering: Converting Social Networking into Collaboration and Synergy. FNO, 17, Retrieved July 31, 2008, from Beyond Mere Gathering
Productive collaboration requires more than the exchange of ideas and suggestions. For a team to reach the synergy level in which 3+3=13 - an inventive surge of productivity and imagination that leads to high quality and imaginative production - the players must all have some grounding in the group strategies that nurture that kind of exchange and invention.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Do Schools Kill Creativity

This is the discussion that Sir Ken Robinson gives in his TED Talk - Go Schools kill creativity. It's worth the watch.

Online Leadership program

I wonder if I can get my children involved.

Global Kids

Global Kids, Inc. is a nationally recognized leader in using digital media to promote global awareness and youth civic engagement. Global Kids’ Online Leadership Program (OLP) integrates a youth development approach and international and public policy issues into youth media programs that build digital literacy, foster substantive online dialogues, develop resources for educators, and promote civic participation.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Twiddla - web-based meeting playground

Just when I start getting used to Vyew and DimDim - a friend (thanks Jeff) tosses out another. Take a look!

Team WhiteBoarding with Twiddla - Painless Team Collaboration for the Web
Mark up websites, graphics, and photos, or start brainstorming on a blank canvas. Browse the web with your friends or make that conference call more productive than ever. No plug-ins, downloads, or firewall voodoo - it's all here, ready to go when you are. Browser-agnostic, user-friendly.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What I hate about Twitter

After discussing Twitter last week in class, and then using it throughout the GLS conference, I am shown this posting by Joy - very cool.

Weblogg-ed » What I Hate About Twitter
What I Hate About Twitter

I’ve liked Twitter since I first started playing with it last year, but there are some things that are really starting to annoy me about these 140-character “conversations” that we’re carrying on there, server issues notwithstanding.

Whether it’s some people getting a little snippy from time to time and then other people making a way-too-huge-a-deal about it, or whether it’s two very smart people like Gary and Sheryl blowing out a Tweet-a-minute micro debate about the state of education in this country, or whether it’s people trying to live Tweet hour-long presentations that turn into like 347 updates, I’m finding anything that hints of substance just too scattered, too disjointed to read, even with the wonders of Tweetdeck. It’s like trying to eavesdrop on the conversation of a bunch of people with really bad cell phone reception, hearing a part of one response ’til it cuts out into the other. Frustrating.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

UStream TV

USTREAM.TV Shows: Free LIVE VIDEO, Webcam & Video Chat Rooms, Streaming Broadcast, Stream Video Clips, Internet Radio Cams, Web News Events, Watch .TV

Here is a possible way to do distance learning - I'll have to look into it a bit more. My concern would be if it is only for broadcast and does not have interactivity. Won't know till I try it!

Evernote: Remember Everything

Evernote Logo
OK - I started by installing this - now to see if if can make it useful.

What is Evernote? | Evernote Corporation
Remember everything.

Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere.

Transforming Teaching

Friday, July 11, 2008

I am experimenting with Cover it Live

Local Games Lab

.:Local Games Lab:.
Our team at the University of Wisconsin makes and researches what we call “local games” that are set in real-life neighborhoods and ecological habitats. These games explore the ordinary environments we live in, and the extraordinary places we visit occasionally. When deeply immersed in such games, players experience the complex dynamics of a place. Local games deepen our connections to people and places.

Our vision is rooted in community: the people we work with, the locations we document to create our games, the groups and organizations such as schools where people play and study with local games, and the sense of place that informs our theory of learning.

AR Games

AR Games | Scheller Teacher Education Program
Welcome to the MIT Teacher Education Program's Handheld Augmented Reality Simulations Site

The MIT Teacher Education Program, in conjunction with The Education Arcade, has been working on creating "Augmented Reality" simulations to engage people in simulation games that combine real world experiences with additional information supplied to them by handheld computers.

The first of these games, Environmental Detectives (ED), was an outdoor game in which players using GPS guided handheld computers try to uncover the source of a toxic spill by interviewing virtual characters and conducting large scale simulated environmental measurements and analyzing data. This game has been run at many sites, including universities, nature centers, and high schools. Our research has shown that this mode of learning is successful in engaging university and secondary school students in large scale environmental engineering studies, and providing an authentic mode of scientific investigation.

Games to play to uderstand gaming

God of War

All of these games have different ways to teach through gamine (dialogue, problem solving, etc)

Engage Learning: Using Simulations and Games

Workshop at GLS

Engage Gamequest Process - based on Joseph Campbell ideas. - Call to adventure, preparation, road of trials, achieving the boon, return to the ordinary world.

We have a role (e-learning project manager), goals are outlined

Context - a team (professor, TA, Instructional Technologist, graphic artist, programmer

Discussion - what challenges will we have.

Good workshop approach to dealing with how one has t go through a process in game creation.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Guide for Online Learning

Education Week: Ed. Dept. Releases Guide for Evaluating Online Learning
Ed. Dept. Releases Guide for Evaluating Online Learning
By Andrew Trotter
San Antonio

The U.S. Department of Education today released its first guide to the evaluation of online-learning programs in K-12 education.

The report Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader is designed to help school leaders gauge the effectiveness of online education, as its use grows rapidly across the United States.

“While online-learning programs that deliver courses have been around for about a decade, this report is the first to fully address the issues in evaluating online programs in K-12 education,” said Susan D. Patrick, the president and chief executive officer of the North American Council for Online Learning, or NACOL, which released its own standards for online programs earlier this year. ( "Voluntary Online-Teaching Standards Come Amid Concerns Over Quality," ...

More on Assessment

Dialog on Strategic Meaning Making with Gamestar Mechanic

From game design thinking to game design literacy. Criticisms of current assessment
  • Undue emphasis for "commodity" jobs
  • "standardized " knowledge fails to recognize othe ways of knowing
  • undue emphasis on evaluative function has undermined formative function
Challenge for assessing within gaming
  • design literacy as participation in three dialogs
  • Big "D" discourse htery (Gee, 1999)
Studio Thinking and Game Design
Game design through mentoring and collaboration. Visual arts meets gaming

This can be used in game design
  • Framework for teaching
  • characterizing and assessing learning

Assessing Game based Literacies

epistemic games
Knowledge and Skills are not enough - adding identity and values brings you closer - but with Epistemology you have a lens to work through

It's about finding ways to work through learning to think. Using Soda Constructor you can have students work like engineers. They work with others and construct knowledge. Part of an epistemic frame is getting the values of enjoying work, so students learn lke engineers and find value.

How do we assess this though, we cannot do this in isolation with 19th century assessment techniques. If we use an epistemic frame we are going beyond one assessment to including multiple and know how they are doing at any given time.

Social networking analysis is one method or piece that allows for patterns of conversation and interactions, creating a map of the social relationships. Measuring the kind of thinking that is going on in a game over time. Beyond knowledge and skills - but seeing how integration of learning that is taking place. We need to think about thinking in a different way.

Virtual Fieldtrips


I saw a Tweet on this by Wesley Fryer, so am doing a quick peek. It looks like a great way to take students where they cannot go typically.

Many subject areas and many trips - worth investigating.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Mobile Learning

A resource for Mobile Learning - now is the tipping point for these devices.

Finding Online Apps

Simple Spark - About Simple Spark
Cool Stuff for Your Life Online.™
Simple Spark is the place to find and share a new world of web applications.

Introducing a Catalog of Cool Stuff
simple spark logo

The web is the next great platform and not just for publishing, but for everything. You'll use the web to do all the things you did with traditional applications — write papers, keep your calendar, play games, keep in touch — and you'll do it from your personal computer, your cell phone and your iPhone. The Simple Spark Catalog is the place to find all of the really cool web applications, or "apps" that will become an integral part of your life online.

Not only does the Simple Spark Catalog have a comprehensive listing of really cool apps that gets larger every day, but we also give you the tools to organize and share all these apps with your friends. Our catalog is a marketplace where both established companies and independent developers come to strut their stuff.

Online Learning Daily - Stephan Downes

I am at AcademicFest, day 2 - listening to Stephen Downes give a keynote over Skype, while he is in Canary Islands broadcasting from an Internet Cafe. - He temporarily lost his connection so I looked at his posting today - and could not agree more. Thoughts?

OLDaily ~ by Stephen Downes
Web Apps and Netbooks
Cloud computing is now one of my areas of interest, and in spite of the 45 minute outage of Google Docs today, I think that it is exploding as a trend. Cloud computing refers to the many services available for free on the web, which are replacing traditional software applications that run on individual computers. When you pair a mobile device like a smartphone or ultra-lite computer (what Intel is calling a "netbook") with web apps, you have a ground-shifting change in how we are productive using information technologies. Simple Spark, a directory for web applications has over 9,600 web apps listed. Tony Vincent highlights many that would be useful for education, and reviews the advantages and disadvantages of netbooks. -GW Tony Vincent, Learning in Hand, July 8, 2008 [Link] [Tags: Google] [Comment]

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Bernie Dodge Keynote

I am at AcademicFest in Madison, listening to the afternoon Keynote by Bernie Dodge.
How the Net Makes Us Smart
  • Net penetration (greatest in North America)
  • 1/2 the world online by 2015 
  • Wikipedia growth (content, knowledge creation - people interaction)
  • Marc Prensky
How the net makes us Stupid
  • Google Hot Trends - is this what knowledge we seek?
  • Blogs, Politics & Polarization - 94% of political blog readers consume only blogs from one side if the ideological spectrum
  • Is Google making us stupid
  • Digital Natives debate - do we quickly accept Prensky? (See FNO)
  • It allows us to spread ideas without deep thinking
  • Read "The Machine Stops" by E.M. Forster ... we are removing ourselves from direct expereince and using mediated experience
Why smart <> wise (what is wisdom)
  • If we have the pieces but not a deep understanding we have knowledge but no wisdom

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Evernote: Remember Everything

Evernote Logo
OK - I started by installing this - now to see if if can make it useful.

What is Evernote? | Evernote Corporation
Remember everything.

Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere.