Saturday, July 11, 2015

New gear for new heights

Early in the book Personal Learning Networks, Will Richardson and Rob Mancabelli compare schools to the newspaper industry. This hits home for me since I have spent much of my adult life in the printing industry as a designer. I think about how many industries have been so hugely impacted by the information age and the technologies that are here are not just part of our lives but on our persons. Think of politics, medicine, music, art, business in general– mobile devices, have literally changed the way humans operate and think. For a while industries just tried to incorporate the web as an add on tool, but now I think we all realize that the tools of the web have already transformed most industries and continue to transform them in dramatic ways.

This class has exposed us to the primary tools that are changing education. Websites, blogs, twitter, RSS, mobile apps, learning management systems, collaborative tools individually and as a whole have tremendous potential for education. I look forward to seeing even more changes in future of education as more and more school systems, teachers and students adopt these tools as part of what I like to call “learning gear.”  It makes me think of rock climbers. They need specific gear. So do learners. Learners (teachers and students), need access to and practice with this new gear to reach new heights of learning.

I have to agree with the authors when they say, “It’s an amazing time to be a learner.” I am so glad to have had this opportunity to explore this class and its content with an amazing group of learners connected by the very gear we are learning about.

Keep on climbing and see you at the next summit. The view will likely be grand.

Richardson, W., & Mancabelli, R. (2011). Personal learning networks: Using the power of connections to transform education. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

Hammock time vs Realtime

Ok, I did not stay in the hammock very long.  I'm finding once you're exposed to this many feeds of interesting ideas and new technologies it is difficult to give it up for very long.

I found a neat site and wanted to share it. It is another collaboration tool that looks like it would help organize personal and group content in a unique way.

 Has anyone had experience with Realtime Board?

What is RealtimeBoard? from RealtimeBoard on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Feel the breeze?

Somewhere there is a hammock with my name on it. The hammock is not hardwired or bluetoothed in, there are no usb ports or ring tones. It just sways gently on a warm summer breeze.   Ahhh.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Podcast Process

I have to admit, I sort of dread doing podcasts. The funny thing is that once I get several audio tracks lined up, I suddenly switch over to enjoying it.   It is fantastic to see an idea grow and evolve into a finished audio piece.  I like to start with a very rough "sketch" recording to sort of ease into the tone of the piece.... after that everthing begins to take shape.  Not a quick process by any means.  I am happy with my content.  I do wish I had time to rerecord a few segments and work out some of the noise issues.   I had a flapping noise that I could not get rid of. If any one has any suggestions, I would love to hear them.  Here's my podcast link. I posted it on Google Drive. At the top you can click open with Music player for Google Drive.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

App Design Complete

I started the App Design assignment knowing nothing about how to design an app or even how to think about designing an app. My app is called sifter and it is at its core a jazzed up time management app.  I found that once I began focusing on how I would personally like it to work, the task of designing became easier.  I feel confident I could dialog my app design with a developer in a way that makes sense. After submitting my first proposal, Dr. Ingram brought up an interesting feature that I had not thought about:

“One of my favorite ToDo list (features) “ages” the ToDo list. For example, if I submit a proposal to a conference and have it accepted, then obviously I will need to have things like Outline the presentation, Create the Powerpoint, or whatever on my ToDo list. The thing is that I might get accepted in June when the conference is in October. Clearly, it shouldn’t be a top priority in July but the closer the conference comes, the higher the priority should be, until the program (is) screaming at me two days before to finish preparing the presentation.”    –Dr. Albert Ingram

"Sifter development team" (me) liked this idea. So now a variety of notification options are available for any date(s) added to the sub-pages in sifter. Seamless communication will also be available through popular calendar programs such as google calendar and ios and android calendars, featuring notifiatication via email, voice mail, text message, calendar alert or sifter alert.

Now on to the podcast assignment.  Happy 4th of July everyone!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

How do we lead in the new space?

I’d like to bring some light to the book we’ve been reading for our class. With all the technologies we’ve been consuming we’ve not had much time to reflect on the reading. Tonight I’ve been reading the “What it all means” chapter 10 and realizing the responsibilities we have in the role of technology educators. While much of what we learn in the skill zone is exciting and the realized abilities for ourselves and our students to make cool stuff with our new literacies is all good and certainly fun,  I can’t help ponder the more serious side of all of this. Will Richardson highlights some of these topics from which I’ve gleaned the following:

We must model and teach:

  • Critical thinking, reading, viewing and writing - not simply reiterating what we have consumed but always questioning for deeper understanding
  • Safe and ethical use of the tools
  • Creative ways to share ideas and equally important– ways to manage ideas we collect and create
  • The power of collaboration and the potential for good that can come from it
There is considerable weight to the comment from George Siemens, that (in this new space)  “Ideas are presented as a starting point for dialog, not the ending point” (Seimens, 2002)

I respect all of your opinions and I hope to get some feedback on these questions:
How can we be more than trainers of technology? What must we do to be leaders in this new space?

Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful Web tools for classrooms. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Questioning Technology

 Ted Radio Hour Podcast

Today I stumbled upon a podcast that may be of interest to all of us.  It talks about the promise and perils of technology.  I think it is important to examine the ways we use technology and the ways we teach technologies so that they bring us together to make real human connections and not divide our efforts into solitary technical snippets.  The podcast is the TED Radio Hour Podcast   episode title: Do We Need Humans? June 26, 2015.  I know I should be working on my podcast assignment, but it seemed like a reasonable diversion.