Archive for November, 2009

Friday, 27th November, 2009

Google Wave

An interesting paper discussing google wave in education is available via:—revolutionary-tool-for-cscl-or-overestimated-hype.html

If you have a wave account, you can see the wave related to this paper here:

Not sure if this is worth the effort. I will wait for others to let me know. For the time being it is just another password to forget remember.

Friday, 27th November, 2009

A different way of using voicethread

Another experiment using voicethread. I took one of the presentations for grade 7 and put the slides into a voicethread, then shared this with the class. After showing the presentation in class, I then got them to log on to it and post comments to it for eachother.

I think the potential use of this is to give students the oportunity to review things shown in class even if they don’t get everything into notes. It also lets them share things in a different way – kind of multi-modal.

I guess I would say it went well if the comments were on topic and there were plenty of them. We shall see.

The challenge was managing accounts and passwords. I have three separate accounts at the moment, which messes things up. Some are free one and have limits.

Here it is:

[voicethread b=759336]

(Doesn’t look possible to embed this here – apparently because wordpress doesn’t allow this)

By the way – just set up a logger pro lab – these can work really well, though the students are not well trained at following the instructions. The hardware is good, but some components needed checking

Tuesday, 24th November, 2009

Reflections on BTG

Now that BTG is over, it is worth a quick reflection:

  • The presentation got done!
  • The screencast was good to learn and makes for an artifact
  • It was nice to have a small audience having not done this much before. I hope I can be more confident in letting this go a bit
  • The presentation might have benefited by directing people more to a specific conclusion or letting it go to a specific conclusion with more interaction
  • Authenticity through catalytic action? Only for me.
  • There was no significant discussion online related to this
  • I think I am a bit clearer about some issues – notably identifying things that are problematic.

So generally, good but not great!

Sunday, 22nd November, 2009

The Millennial Muddle: How Stereotyping Students Became an Industry – Student Affairs – The Chronicle of Higher Education

An extended article discussing generational stereotypes in HE

The Millennial Muddle

How stereotyping students became a thriving industry and a bundle of contradictions

via The Millennial Muddle: How Stereotyping Students Became an Industry – Student Affairs – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Thursday, 19th November, 2009

Presentations at BTG09

A slidcast of BTG09 -to see presenter notes you need to open in slideshare.

and the corresponding paper:

Comments here or on slideshare always welcome!

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Wednesday, 18th November, 2009

IBIA online learning

I am currently doing an online IBIA course. Some good things and some not so good. Today I will share the experience with the department. Here are my notes for the meeting. If I post them here I can add coments later to represent responses:

Show the moodle (SMEC)

Mention tech requirements – microphone not needed

Describe tasks:

Week 0 – familiarization and jikoushokai

Week 1 – overview of requirements and group 4 project

Week 2 – Review the IA criteria

Week 3- Assessment of investigations

Week 4 – more assessment of investigations

Handy research library – share checklist

Each has tasks and discussion groups

Lots of use of objectives and outcomes in materials

Some of the tasks – using wikis – were pointless and supported no engagement

Most participants didn’t post – barely any interaction

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Wednesday, 18th November, 2009

Half an Hour: An Operating System for the Mind

This gives one side of a skills/content discussion couched in terms of 21st century learning. Instinctively I don’t like the title, though I am not sure why. Also I am not sure this hasn’t fallen into an either/or approach, but I think this provides some thoughtful discussion.

The core of the opposition to what are being called “21st century skills” is contained in the following argument: “Cognitive science teaches us that skills and knowledge are interdependent and that possessing a base of knowledge is necessary to the acquisition not only of more knowledge, but also of skills. Skills can neither be taught nor applied effectively without prior knowledge of a wide array of subjects.”

In response, I pose this question to the defenders of this 'base of knowledge', “why is a common core necessary for the teaching of skills, and why is testing of that core necessary.” And specifically, “the question isn't whether skills can be taught in isolation, but rather whether they must be taught in the context of some common base of knowledge and whether students ought to be tested on the basis of that knowledge.

via Half an Hour: An Operating System for the Mind.

Wednesday, 18th November, 2009

File sharing for BTG

Having prepared a presentation for BTG, it would be useful to spend some time sharing this in a useful way.

Options for this are:

  • posting the ppt in googledocs – easy and includes presenter notes, but doesn’t play vids
  • posting the .doc in googledocs – easy and retains enough of the formatting
  • posting the ppt in slideshare – easy to do but loose the video elements and the presenter notes. This allows a soundtrack mp3 file to be added, and presumably then synced. This would be nice to try as it might have further application. How easy is the mp3 recording? This would make the lack of presenter notes redundant.
  • putting it in keynote and adding commentary – not sure I want to embark on this as there would need to be a few steps after that before sharing
  • Putting into voicethread and commenting – videos wouldn’t translate and the audio might be messy
  • videoing – more trouble than it is worth. This would require someone else to do this during the show
  • Adding to blog – this would be an addition to other steps

From this list it looks like the audio commentary for slideshare would be best as I would like to learn how this works – seems to have potential for student use. Will put in a tech request for this.

Can also publish the paper on docs and link both in this blog

Monday, 16th November, 2009

New Millennium Learners Conference

PDF of preliminary findings from this conference:

This paper offers an account of the preliminary findings which the project has cumulated so far. Its main objective is to feed the ongoing discussions about the impact of technology on learners, by taking stock of what the existing empirical evidence is telling and identifying areas that would eventually benefit from further exploration in the current phase.

via New Millennium Learners Conference.

Friday, 6th November, 2009

MS fac presentation

I am going to share some information about the voicethread project at the next faculty meeting. Points to make:

  • The students have learned to do something that might be useful in other contexts (e.g.?)
  • It would be beneficial if they could repeat aspects of the activity in a different context
  • Students might select this as an alternative presentation mode if reminded and encouraged
  • Our project was not great – it took too much time and the science was not deep enough – we will do it better next time
  • Biggest problems were: passwords, too many steps in the process, some access issues (network, accounts, computers), time, teacher time in class as tech trouble shooter for less confident students

There are some bookmarks of examples and stuff ready to go on my computer