Saturday, October 31, 2009

Blog Worthy Topics - The Month in Review

  1. DAY 0 of 31: Using mobile technology to learn – 09/30/2009
  2. DAY 1 of 31: Using digital assets in teaching and learning – 10/01/2009
  3. DAY 2 of 31: Social learning or learning socially with social media – 10/02/2009
  4. DAY 3 of 31: Delicious as a digital resource aggregator – 10/03/2009
  5. DAY 4 of 31: Using Google Reader to gather and sort information – 10/04/2009
  6. DAY 5 of 31: Twitter as a collaborative tool – 10/05/2009
  7. DAY 6 of 31: So, why use social media? – 10/06/2009
  8. DAY 7 of 31: Why Google Documents? – 10/07/2009
  9. DAY 8 of 31: Using Slideshare for presentations – 10/08/2009
  10. DAY 9 of 31: Best practices for technology in the classroom – 10/09/2009
  11. DAY 10 of 31: Screencasting – 10/10/2009
  12. DAY 11 of 31: Collaboration and technology – 10/11/2009
  13. DAY 12 of 31: Microlectures, microteaching – 10/12/2009
  14. DAY 13 of 31: Web 2.0 – 10/13/2009
  15. DAY 14 of 31: Using different technology, or using technology differently – 10/15/2009
  16. DAY 15 of 31: Evernote as a digital organizer – 10/15/2009
  17. DAY 16 of 31: Technology and quality – 10/16/2009
  18. DAY 17 of 31: My blogging statement – 10/18/2009
  19. DAY 18 of 31: Netbooks – 10/19/2009
  20. DAY 19 of 31: Using Flip video cameras to extend the classroom – 10/19/2009
  21. DAY 20 of 31: Deep learning – 10/20/2009
  22. DAY 21 of 31: Mindmapping – 10/21/2009
  23. DAY 22 of 31: Twitcam – 10/22/2009
  24. DAY 23 of 31: Blogger, Tumblr and Posterous – 10/24/2009
  25. DAY 24 of 31: Google calendar and task management – 10/25/2009
  26. DAY 25 of 31: Defining faculty development – 10/25/2009
  27. DAY 26 of 31: Technology use and integration – 10/26/2009
  28. DAY 27 of 31: My definition of technology – 10/28/2009
  29. DAY 28 of 31: Gathering and Sharing Digital Assets with Web 2.0 Tools - 10/29/2009
  30. DAY 29 of 31: Tweetmic for audio instruction – 10/30/2009
  31. DAY 30 of 31: Traditional technologies – 10/31/2009

Traditional technologies

Long before the computer, long before the smart telephone ... we learned. We learned by reading books. We learned by taking notes (on index cards, notebook paper, or spiral bound notebooks). We learned to write papers (long hand). We used typewriters (some manual, some electric). We didn't think of this as technology - it was supplies, it was expected that we would have this in our book bags.

So, does THIS technology still have a role in education? in the digital age? There is still something to be said about the tactile roles in learning - paper and pencils/pens fill this role. We can USE digital technologies to make this easier, more efficient, faster ... but putting pencil to paper still has worth.

Paperless? Digital? Parts of teaching and learning might be ... but there is still the need for paper and pencil.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tweetmic for audio instruction

Tweetmic - a small iPhone application. (Search the iPhone APP store). Can record AND upload audio file AND post link from Twitter to the Tweetmic audio file. This has the potential to add GREATLY to the Twitter experience. More than reading a 140 character message, Tweetmic is a VOICE to a Twitter user.

So, a text-based message can be accompanied by a voice message. Pretty cool. I'm still figuring out uses ... for instruction ... for professional development.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Gathering and Sharing Digital Assets with Web 2.0 Tools

Delicious, Diigo and Shareaholic. Three web applications. Using them to tag, classify, annotate, and share (or push) can make online research - or information gathering - easier to do. Granted, there may be some overlap between the services, but each has a distinct role. Using the plug-ins for the Firefox web browser makes each flexible and robust.

I've used Delicious more, probably, to gather and annotate URL's. My delicious account ( is growing. I use this to collect and share URL's (or web or digital assets) in professional development workshops. I don't have to worry about my bookmarks being "stale" as my delicious tags and bundles continue to grow.

Shareaholic is just a multi-application application. Find a URL and send it to many places, Twitter, email, Delicious, FriendFeed and MORE. Simple and easy to use. I use this to send URL's to email addresses and Twitter, FriendFeed for example.

I'm starting to use Diigo a bit more. The Firefox toolbar makes this easier.

How do I manage the avalanche of digital data, and find things? Delicious. How do I share things immediately via Twitter, email, FriendFeed and others? Shareaholic.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My definition of technology

There are two types of technology: educational technology and instructional technology. These technologies have three types of uses: social technologies, networking technologies and collaborative technologies.

Instructional technology is used to instruct. It presents curriculum to students. It may be used in small groups, seminars, labs, and lectures. The control of this type of technology rests with the teacher, and not with the students.

Educational technology is used in the process of education. It may be used by both teacher and student. Control of this technology is shared, between teacher and student. This type of technology can be used in any setting, any curricular context.

Traditional technologies that are naturally associated with the classroom space, chalkboard, pencil/pen, paper are common place and should not be considered to be exclusively instructional or educational.

With the pervasive presence of computers (whether netbook, laptop, or smart phone), this technology may be approaching traditional technology status. Digital assets, digital media, digital projection are finding greater uses in education, as well as life, and as such may soon approach traditional technologies.

Technology is shifting. Technology is becoming present in every aspect of teaching and learning, and is used in different and differing ways.

Instructional technologies are: desktop computers, multimedia projectors, graphics cameras.

Educational technologies are: small, lightweight, portable computers - netbooks, smart phones.

For further reading:

Anglin, G. (Ed.). (1995). Instructional technology: Past, present, and future. (2nd Ed.). Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.

Bates, A., & Poole, G. (2003). Effective teaching with technology in higher education: Foundations for success. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Januszewski, A., & Molenda, M. (Eds.). (2008). Educational technology: A definition with commentary. New York, NY: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Technology use and integration

So, how much technology should be used? Do I need to use technology when I teach?

Two questions that always seem to be asked. The more I think about the questions, the more I find different answers. We always rush to embrace the latest technologies, and sometimes we are successful, sometimes we are not as successful as we would like to be. I've always felt and believed that technology is not a primary part of teaching OR learning. Technologies always look enticing. But, do they REALLY improve teaching and learning?

The act, or art, or science of teaching and learning involves, first and foremost, a teacher and student - people. They must communicate, negotiate, collaborate, question and answer. Granted, technology MAY play a role, but the act of teaching starts with people.

Technology should be an asset to help, to facilitate, to manage - to process learning. Technology can help in the processing, the presentation or the delivery of learning content. Technology can NOT teach or learn - it helps, it assists, it supplements the process.

So, the questions still are (1) does technology HAVE to be used? (2) does technology improve teaching? learning? It still depends. There are no absolutes - only more questions.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Defining faculty development

Professional development (RE)defined

Professional development may be scheduled or unscheduled. It may involve a small-group (8 or less), large group (12-25), or one-on-one. The size of the group influences the breadth and depth of content coverage.

Scheduled or organized professional development may address topics of an institutional nature. Organized professional development fosters networking, deliberate networking, and is characterized by breadth and DEPTH of reflection and interaction.

Unscheduled or "just-in-time" professional development is ideal for specific situations, or questions. Professional development of this type can provide hands-on use of technology, for example, in a specific classroom that the teacher uses. This type of professional development addresses immediate needs of the faculty with immediate answers. Building connections around a classroom issue, technological issue, or curricular issue, this professional development can deepen faculty awareness and experience.

Quality professional development will be defined as hands-on, student-centered, active, organized small group workshops focused on enhancing and improving classroom instruction, student engagement, building faculty learning communities and offering instructional strategies grounded in contemporary pedagogical theory. Faculty who are familiar with the topic may conduct or facilitate professional development workshops. Workshops may also be conducted or facilitated by others as well. Workshop participants will include faculty and adjunct faculty who are responsible for teaching. Each workshop will model best practices and provide strategies for implementation. Workshop size will be limited to permit the best interaction among participants.

Google calendar and task management

I've been using Google calendar as a personal information manager (PIM). From Private calendars, to Public calendars to Shared calendars - Google calendar provides me with a wide range of possibilities. Events can be added, with or without attachments AND with Google location (for mapping purposes). Calendars can be color-coded as well.

I can add Google tasks to the calendar, and link these tasks to Gmail. I can track calendar events on my iPhone and add, update, or delete events from any calendar.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Blogger, Tumblr, and Posterous

My blog, at least for this month, has been my reflective journal. It's been my place to talk about technology that I have used. It's been my place to collect my thoughts, and capture them. Now, here's where things get interesting. Blogger, Tumblr, Posterous - and then Twitter and Friendfeed - it's almost impossible to keep each of these updated. Different people have subscribed to different things. So, here's my attempt at synchronization - post an email to posterous (, which will post to my Blogger ( and my Tumblr (, and and link from Twitter ( to Blogger, Tumblr and Posterous, and a link from Friendfeed ( to Blogger, Tumblr and Posterous.

Posted via email from dpeter's posterous

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Through a Twitter contact, I was able to "watch" a conference presentation using Twitcam. A link in Twitter sent me to Twitcam, and presto - I was watching and listening to a presentation. Live, streaming video and audio, right to my desktop. AND, it was archived for viewing later.

Set up the webcam, log into twitter, press broadcast - THAT'S IT! (And, twitter will tweet the URL for anyone to view.)

The video is only what the camera is focused on - in the case of a presenter, that was all I saw. Can't see the "screen" or audience. BUT, there is an embedded chat window. I was able to ask questions in real time, and hear the answers.

Possibilities? Yes. Limitations? Depends on what you call or label a limitation. But it is something worth looking into. And remember - what is recorded is there FOREVER in the digital archives of the world. Remember your digital footprint!

Pedagogical Approaches for Promoting Critical Thinking in Information Literacy, Technological Literacy and Information Technology

The terms information literacy, computer literacy, media literacy and technological literacy have some distinct implications for teaching and learning. While some may view these terms in a very limiting fashion, they can be broadly defined to include the abilities to “access, evaluate, and use” information (Doyle, 1992, p. 2). Doyle’s definition of information literacy identifies, in addition to other aspects, individuals “who … [use] information in critical thinking and problem solving” (Doyle, 1992, p. 2). It is the use of, or the application of information in a particular pedagogical approach that should be a goal in promoting information literacy. Thinking of the end result, promoting critical thinking, information literacy is the ability to discern quality, computer literacy is the ability to become efficient and each type of literacy must be developed to develop critical thinking (Kasowitz-Scheer and Pasqualoni, 2002).

Literacy is much more than skills taught, received or developed within an academic setting. It can be said that information literacy can contribute to “a productive, full, and satisfying life” (U. S. Department of Labor, 1991, p. i). Without an acceptable degree of information literacy and technological literacy, individuals who are seeking employment or advancement may be limited in their array of choices.

The pedagogical approaches to enhancing, improving and integrating information literacy both across the curriculum and into discipline specific curriculum include “the realms of critical thinking and ethical usage of information” (Spitzer, Eisenberg and Lowe, 1998, p. 26). Blending traditional curricular approaches of reading, writing and speaking with critical thinking should become the rule, if we are to view information literacy as an inclusive, rather than exclusive perspective (Doyle, 1994). This integration produces students who are competent and prepared to not only enter the workforce, but also succeed as a part of the workforce.

In the case of information literacy, it is more than keyboarding, composing, surfing and viewing. These skills, when developed, “enable the construction of higher orders of meaning, nuance, and inference” (Daley, 2003, p. 36). Through developing information literacy, we are beginning a journey. We choose to make the journey and want to experience all that we can along the way. The approach to literacy is based, in no small part, on the desires, needs and perceptions of the end user. Whatever approach we take, we know that we must become literate. The approaches need to be flexible and include “other literacies: visual, media, computer, network, and, of course, basic literacy” (Spitzer, Eisenberg and Lowe, 1998, p. 26).

Technological literacy becomes a subset of information literacy. An individual who becomes information literate will, from necessity, become technologically literate (American Libraries Association, 2000). Technology becomes a means to an ends: through the use of technology, one can become information literate much easier and quicker because of the mere presence and availability of technology. Education should focus on enhancing critical thinking skills. Technological literacy will produce a greater sense of information literacy. Information literacy, when refined, produces critical thinking. We should focus less on requiring critical thinking skills, and more on acquiring critical thinking skills (Kurfiss, 1988). Once students understand the process of critical thinking, and we provide them instructional opportunities to develop their skills then, and only then, will they begin to understand critical thinking.

The benefits of technology to teaching and learning

With the increasing presence of technology in our classrooms, and the comfort of students using technology, it is important for faculty to understand the pedagogical implications of integrating technology into their classrooms (Gilbert, 1995; Watts and Hammons, 2002). It is important to provide a model classroom for faculty to see best practices exemplified, and observe how the various technologies can be integrated in teaching and learning. A truly model classroom can provide tangible evidence of the “inter-relationships of the various types of audio-visual materials” (Dale, 1946, p. 37). This multi-modal delivery system (synchronous and asynchronous audio video origination and receive), is ideally suited to the variety of learning styles and may increase both student engagement and academic achievement. Equipped with the range of equipment available in other classrooms, faculty are now able to teach in this space in the same manner as in another space – the physical arrangement of this room is not the primary driver of teaching – the use of the equipment in this room by an experienced faculty member transform this into the ideal learning space. Faculty development efforts and programs must focus on the integration of technology into teaching (Chism, 2004; Ehrmann, 1995). Instructional or educational technology should be “integral to teaching practice” (Chism, 2004, p. 43) and not viewed as an add-on to teaching (Bates, 1995; Bates and Poole, 2003; Grasha and Yangarber-Hicks, 2000).

Instructional technology can influence and improve learning (Gilbert, 1996; Kulik, Kulik and Cohen, 1980). These types of technologies can improve teaching and learning by increasing teacher and student efficiency and reaching different learning styles (Flecknoe, 2002). Through increased exposure to and competence with technology, faculty can select those technologies that improve “the quality of teaching and learning [and] student motivation” (Gilbert, 1996, p. 12). With the variety of instructional technologies available, a well-prepared instructor can move students from concrete examples of learning to more abstract examples of learning with a greater emphasis placed on the use and integration of technology within the teaching and learning environment (Dale, 1946).

Describe the ways technology might expand teaching and learning opportunities:

Teaching methods in most community colleges are more traditional, and do not normally include the integration of technology (Schuetz, 2002). For those faculty who do adopt instructional technology, the past experiences with technology have demonstrated some level of efficiency and thus render them appropriate for teaching (Gilbert, 1995; Gilbert, 1996). The presence of technology, the insistence of students to use technology, and the ever-evolving workplace environment are driving the inclusion of technology into teaching and learning. To respond to the external and internal stakeholder’s perceptions of the efficacy of technology demands that technology become commonplace in higher education (Nantz and Lundgren, 1998). To place this technology in a space that may not have been utilized to it’s capacity demonstrates the desire to use all spaces for teaching and learning. In a space of such magnitude and physical grandeur, technology is a natural extension and asset.

Imagine the possibilities of increasing the use of technology in teaching, and imagine the impact of teaching with technology on student engagement (Grasha and Yanbarger-Hicks, 2000). The pervasiveness of technology in the workplace demands that we provide technology in the classroom. While most faculty support and participate in professional development opportunities, most professional development does not include the integration of technology into teaching (Chism, 2004; Schuetz, 2002). The presence and availability of newer technologies for teaching and learning are integral in demonstrating the viability of programs and the desire to prepare graduates for success (Moquin and Travis, 1999). This technology has the potential to change the learning experience in a positive manner (Green, 1999), and demonstrate the commitment to educational innovations.

Critical thinking activities

Promoting critical thinking is the result of deliberate curriculum design. Critical thinking should be an integral part of instructional strategies. Students are presented with problems and must solve them, or arrive at a solution. They must discern accurate information and identify ways that the information provided will help them arrive at a solution. Students must “think logically … analyze and compare … question and evaluate” information presented within a course or unit or assignment (Carr, 1988, p. 69).

Critical thinking activities focus on the acquisition of skills that:

• Encourage students to identify relevant information (Mahaffy, 2006), and learn how to “detect and avoid fallacious reasoning and … analyze deductive and inductive arguments” (Kurfiss, 1988, p. iii);
• Encourage students to research effectively and efficiently (Mahaffy, 2006) by supporting arguments or conclusions with research (Kurfiss, 1988) and
• Encourage students to communicate effectively their conclusions (Mahaffy, 2006) by reading and writing (Kurfiss, 1988).

Critical thinking, as a curricular element, focuses on assignments, rather than content (Kurfiss, 1988). This is not a discipline specific pedagogical process, but an instructional methodology.

American Libraries Association. (2000). Information literacy competency standards for higher education. Chicago, IL: Association of College and Research Libraries. Retrieved April 9, 2007 from

Bates, A. (1995). Technology, open learning and distance education. London: Routledge.

Bates, A., & Poole, G. (2003). Effective teaching with technology in higher education: Foundations for success. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Carr. K. (1988). How can we teach critical thinking? Childhood Education, 65(2), 69-73.

Chism, N. (2004). Using a framework to engage faculty in instructional technologies. Educause Quarterly, 27(2), 39-45.

Dale, E. (1946). Audio visual methods in teaching. New York, NY: The Dryden Press, Inc.

Daley, E. (2003). Expanding the concept of literacy. Educause Review 38(2), 32-40. Retrieved April 3, 2007 from

Doyle, C. (1992). Outcome measures for information literacy within the national education goals of 1990: Final report to national forum on information literacy: Summary of findings. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No.: ED351033). Retrieved April 2, 2007 from

Doyle, C. (1994). Information literacy in an information society: A concept for the digital age. Syracuse, NY: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No.: ED372763). Retrieved April 2, 2007 from

Ehrmann, S. (1995). Asking the right questions: What does research tell us about technology and higher education? Change, 27(2), 20-27.

Flecknoe, M. (2002). How can ict help us to improve education? Innovations in Education and Teaching International 39(4), 271-279.

Gilbert, S. (1995). Technology & the changing academy. Change, 27(5), 58-61.

Gilbert, S. (1996). Making the most of a slow revolution. Change, 28(2), 10-23.

Grasha, A., & Yanbarger-Hicks, N. (2000). Integrating teaching styles and learning styles with instructional technology. College Teaching, 48(1), 2-10.

Green, K. (1999). When wishes come true. Change, 31(2), 11-15.

Kasowitz-Scheer, A., & Pasqualoni, M. (2002). Information literacy instruction in higher education: Trends and Issues. Syracuse, NY: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No.: ED465375). Retrieved April 9, 2007 from

Kurfiss, J. (1988). Critical thinking: Theory, research, practice, and possibilities. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. 2. Washington, DC: Association for the Study of Higher Education.

Kulik, C., Kulik, J., & Cohen, P. (1980). Instructional technology and college teaching. Teaching of Psychology, 7(4), 199-205.

Mahaffy, M. (2006). Encouraging critical thinking in student library research. College Teaching, 54(4), 324-327.

Moquin, B., & Travis, J. (1999). Community colleges on the highway: Major issues for technology planning. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 23(2), 147-159.

Nantz, K., & Lundgren, T. (1998). Lecturing with technology. College Teaching, 46(2), 53-56.

Schuetz, P. (2002). Instructional practices of part-time and full-time faculty. In C. L. Outcalt (Vol. Ed.), Community college faculty: Characteristics, practices, and challenges. New directions for community colleges. Number 118. (pp. 39-46). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Spitzer, K., Eisenberg, M., & Lowe, C. (1998). Information literacy: Essential skills for the information age. Syracuse, NY: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No.: ED427780). Retrieved April 2, 2007 from

U. S. Department of Labor (1991). What work requires of schools: A scans report for America 2000: The secretary’s commission on achieving necessary skills. Washington, DC: U. S. Department of Labor. Retrieved April 9, 2007 from

Watts, G., & Hammons, J. (2002). Professional development: Setting the context. In G. E. Watts (Vol. Ed.), Enhancing community colleges through professional development. New directions for community colleges. Number 120. (pp. 5-10). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Mind mapping or concept mapping. I've used Post-It notes, index cards, regular paper. All work, but it's difficult to email my Post-It note concept map. I tend to think and doodle on napkins - concept maps or mind maps work for me. I work with fluid topics, topics that are dynamic, topics that may shift. For me, concept maps let me focus on concepts - and determine relationships as the concepts develop.

A concept map and a word cloud are similar - the map may have relationships, the word cloud may not - a map has connector lines, a word cloud is just that, a cloud.

I've used wordle for creating word clouds (, mindomo for concept mapping ( and bubbl ( for mindmapping.

Some examples: (these links will open a new window)

A wordle I created (

A concept map I created (

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Deep learning

Am I a deep learner? or do I just dance on the surface?

After thinking and reflecting on my personal learning styles, I think I am a deep learner. I am always seeking some connection between the present and past learning. Sometimes my connections are MY connections, and they don't make much or little sense to others. But, that's alright with me. Learning is personal. What I learn is as much affected by HOW I learn and WHY I choose to learn. As a deep learner, I am expanding my concept map - more connections, better meaning and understanding.

I am a constructivist in that I construct knowledge.

I learn from others, I learn in the company of others, I learn.

Deep learning is networked learning. Deep learning is learning in a social context. Deep learning is collaborative. Deep learning seeks to integrate all into one common experience.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Using Flip video cameras to extend the classroom

The FLIP video camera is interesting. Small, handheld video camera. A big change from the older VHS camcorder. And, that's where the possibilities begin. This camera could be used to extend the classroom. Video (or any multimedia) can engage a class, and enhance teaching and learning. These cameras could be used to record portfolio pieces, interviews, oral histories. They can be used to document and record learning and create an artifact of learning. Cross-platform (can be used with a Windows and Macintosh).

Can they extend the classroom? I believe they can extend learning and enhance learning opportunities. They have the potential to transform teaching and allow media rich assignments. Intuitive to use, they focus on teaching and learning. Technology is intuitive and easy to use.


Netbooks, NOT notebooks, NOT laptops. A small, portable and powerful machine. Easy to carry and lightweight. It seems like they are dropping in price EVERY time I look. They can run current versions of Windows XP and Vista, Office XP and 2007. Solid state hard drives. Web cameras. Long battery life.

The netbook is a powerful piece of technology. Having a portable computer in the hands of students can greatly impact teaching and learning. The 1:1 Laptop issues, one per child, should make us all reconsider the role of technology in the classroom. How would the landscape change if all students had access to technology? If that same technology were portable? If the technology were AS powerful as a desktop machine?

Technology is changing. Technology is changing teaching and learning. First we used desktops, then laptops, then notebooks ... changes in technology have now given us the netbook. Can the netbook work for everyone? for every subject? for every student? for every teacher? If the topics were laptops, or desktops, would the questions be the same? would the answers be the same?

What's the difference?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My blogging statement

I started this month with a list of 30 topics. Blog-worthy topics. Topics ranging from technology, to pedagogy, to teaching, to learning and professional development were on the list. I have written about 16 topics so far. And, my list has continued to grow. The list is now at 46 topics.

My blog is my reflective space ... thoughts and ideas ... it's where I talk about an idea. This is my professional journaling space. This blog is in it's third year. And, attempting to define or discuss effective teaching, quality instruction and professional development is truly a blog-worthy topic.

Blogging daily has presented a unique set of challenges. Several days were long, and travelling ... posting on that particular day was delayed, but still accomplished. Creating the list of topics gave me structure. Writing or blogging about the topics has let me communicate ideas. Blogging daily has provided me opportunities to think, to reflect, to communicate, to share and to continue to define effective teaching, quality instruction, professional development and technological perspectives for each.

Friday, October 16, 2009

My blog's wordle

Wordle: Blog Tag - Effective Teaching, Quality Instruction and Professional Development

Technology and quality

The more technology becomes interwoven into the fabric of teaching and learning, the more we begin to rely on it to help us teach and help students learn. We see how technology can provide access to a multitude of resources, in an instance. Technology becomes, for some, the means to enhancing education. It is the equalizer. It levels the field. Technology becomes available, pervasive, ubiquitous and transparent.

Does technology impact quality? Just because we have access to technology may not improve the educational experience equally. Some may be distracted by technology, some may become flustered.

Can technology improve quality? Perhaps. Does quality determine technological uses? Perhaps. We can use technology to improve education. It all depends on how we use technology.

My definition of Web 2.0 - a concept map

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Evernote as a digital organizer

Staying organized is becoming a necessity. Staying organized is a part of becoming digital. Adding notes, PDF files, and images to Evernote makes organization simple and intuitive. Notes can be tagged and sorted by tag. Evernote is a cross-platform, client and web-based application. Notes can be synched.

View my public Evernote notebook

I use Evernote to start ideas, to take those first notes for something longer. It travels with me. And, with the iPhone application, Evernote is truly a transparent, pervasive digital organizer.

SlideShare Presentation from CIT 2009 Presentation

Using different technology, or using technology differently

Well, after spending the past five days immersed in technology (The Conference on Information Technology, League for Innovation in the Community College), I have renewed my thoughts on technology.

Granted, it is important to use different technology. As the technological landscape continues to change and evolve, we as users must change also. What worked yesterday may not work today. Understanding the dynamic nature of technology is important. We must always seek ways to use technology, to use different technology, to improve teaching and learning.

We must seek ways to use technology differently. Students change, and our uses of technology must change also. Teaching and learning are not time or location specific - and out uses of technology must reflect this.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Web 2.0

Great opportunities to explore and examine a variety of Web 2.0 tools. Rather than engage in a long, protracted discussion, let me state that (1) Web 2.0 are web or browser based applications, that (2) let users create and share content, (3) with others in a group, community or some sort of social structure, that is (4) low cost and intuitive.

I've used Twitter, Twitpic, Twubs, Blogger,, Slideshare and Delicious this week.

I have communicated, collaborated and created ... all using technology. I've thought about using different technologies, and using technology differently.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Microlectures, microteaching

A microlecture. Sixty seconds in length. These are brief, focused lectures. Hard to call them lectures. Imagine that they are the essence of an hour-long lecture - the key, salient points. 20 second introduction, 20 second body (key terms, or content), and 20 second conclusion. This instructional strategy focuses on application of knowledge by answering questions. While these are thought of as audio files, as video files they could introduce images. Interesting concept to think about.

Do we need a full hour for a lecture? Do we need to lecture? Something to think about.

Conference on Information Technology, CIT 2009 Day 2 Reflection

Presented session "Don't Tell Me How to Teach, Turn on the Computer." Good group at 8:00 am. Counted 27 in attendance. Good discussion. Good feedback.

Attended session on FlipVideo cameras. Interesting use of FlipVideo cameras. Good, engaging presentation. Need to think about professional development sessions.

Attended session on student engagement and instructional technology. Reaffirming session. Provided confirmation of what's happening.

Attended really informative session on "Online Teaching Certification." Very well conducted and informative. Found good ideas to think about. Certification process is thorough.

Attended session on "Microlectures." Well attended. Will look at microlectures for professional development.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Conference on Information Technology, CIT 2009 Day 1 Reflection

Attended a session on methods to support faculty development. Using an online course to prepare faculty to teach online was an interesting approach. This was a fully online course designed to provide faculty an opportunity to learn as students. Interesting approach for faculty development.

Attended a session on new and emerging technologies. Good session that both demonstrated new technologies and provided instructional strategies for using the technologies in the classroom.

Attended a session on using Jing. Created a quick screencast, uploaded it and then embedded it into a blog. Jing software is intuitive to use and can quickly create a screencast. This may provide both faculty and students the ability to create content.


Collaboration and technology

More and more opportunities exist to use technology. We see the growth of technology in teaching and learning. Technology to use anywhere, anytime, and a multitude of uses. The uses are widely determined by the user, or learner, the context (classroom) and the desired outcomes. The typical uses of technology are constantly changing and will continue to change.

How will we use these new technologies to collaborate? The technologies allow all types of content to be created, distributed and shared anywhere. User created content uses this wide variety of formats, whether digital audio, digital video or other media formats.

Can the content be used to collaborate? Or does the technology become the means for collaboration? I've seen dynamic content, I've used a range of technologies. Granted, there are certain technologies that promote or enhance collaboration. These are synchronous, or perhaps asynchronous, collaborative technologies.

We can share documents, some real-time, with others. Collaborate or communicate. Collaborate or co-create content. Are there other methods to collaborate or co-create? Does technology expedite the process?

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Seems as though screencasting is taking prominence. Having used Jing and Screenr I'm always curious to see how people are using technology. In one sense, screencasting is used to demonstrate (with audio comments) technological processes. Screencasting can also be used to narrate PowerPoint presentations. With all of the technological advances, can it be possible to use screencasting to teach? and to learn?

PowerPoint presentations with video images may personalize the presentation. Instead of viewing slides, or listening to slides with audio narration, adding video may provide the connection between presenter and audience.

Is this media effective for teaching ALL subjects? all learners? I believe that video has the potential to improve teaching for SOME students, but is screencasting the ideal media?

Friday, October 09, 2009

Best practices for technology in the classroom

Classroom technology, instructional technology or educational technology. The real goal is to determine the best practices FOR technology use. How the technology is used - the instructional strategies, the best practices - is as much a function of the learner than others. Some learners EXPECT technology to be used. There are some learners who may learn better when technology is used. But, technology should not be overused. Technology for the sake of technology may obscure learning.
  • Use technology to clarify.
  • Use technology to explain.
  • Use technology to demonstrate.
  • Use technology to personalize instruction
Find what technology works for you, use technology - learn how technology enhances teaching and learning.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Using Slideshare for presentations

I've been using Slideshare for a while now. Visit my slideshare at ( Being able to upload:
  • Presentations: PowerPoint - ppt, pps, pot, pptx, potx, ppsx; OpenOffice - odp, pdf; Apple Keynote - key, zip or pdf.
  • Documents & Spreadsheets: Microsoft Office - doc, docx, rtf, xls; OpenOffice - odt, ods, pdf; iWork Pages.
I'm a MAC, so being able to upload Keynote files just makes things easier. One difference that makes Slideshare a bit more appealing is the ability of others to "FAVORITE" some of my presentations. The updated version of Slideshare gives me as the document owner, the ability to control HOW my presentations are viewed. Can they be downloaded? If I set that permission, they can. I can add my own tags to the presentations I upload. They can be commented on by viewers. I have an option to, once uploaded, post a TWEET to TWITTER - letting my PLN know that something new has been posted.

And, I can embed the Slideshare presentation on my blog, or any other media.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Why Google Documents?

Google Documents is fast becoming a web application of choice for me. Google Documents is a spreadsheet, word processor, presentation software - and an online form generator. Individuals can collaborate - documents have owners, and are shared. Real time collaboration. With the word processor, simple formatting is available - in an interface that is intuitive. See for more information. I can embed Google Documents in websites and reduce concerns over document versions. Google Docs tracks versions and lets the document roll back to a previous version.

Documents created with Microsoft Office can be uploaded to Google Documents. Granted, there are size limitations, but this web based application is an alternative to flash drives or other storage devices. My delicious urls for Google Docs
The ability to track changes in the word processor, collaborate with individuals, control access save, print and export documents makes Google Docs an ideal tool for collaboration.

The presentation software is similar to Microsoft PowerPoint. Presentations can be viewed online, by multiple individuals from multiple sites. To see an example of a presentation, visit

A Google account and a computer - that's all you need. No need for a printer! Collaborate, share and store in the Google Documents environment. There's probably more, and I'll continue to use Google Documents and explore.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

So, why use social media?

So, how would you answer? Because the students are ... because it lets me use my new [fill in the name of your favorite technology].

What if our answer was ... because I can connect with ... to grow professionally ... to find out what's going on [out there] ... because technology is changing ... to respond to the students ... to teach deeper ... to learn more.

Why do I use social media? No matter where I am [ok, depending on the strength of the nearest or most accessible cell tower] I can connect. In the world where technology continues to change and evolve I can stay up WITH technology, or be left behind. I can quickly [relatively speaking] find the recent trend in teaching and learning, in professional development or educational technology.

Why do I use social media? It brings the world into a smaller community, where time and distance are NOT obstacles or impediments.

How do I use social media? It depends ... really ... and continues to evolve.

So, why do or don't YOU use social media?

Monday, October 05, 2009

Twitter as a collaborative tool

How do you work with others? with others who are physical near? with others who are geographically dispersed? There's really no need to claim "it CAN'T be done" with the real time applications that are available. Twitter is my application of choice. I use Twitter on a PC, a MAC and my iPhone. Granted, the application is TWITTER, but there are a myriad of others. Whether TweetDeck, Twhirl, or something else - all applications function in the same CONTEXT.

As of NOW, I am following 823 people, and have 857 following me. Some come and go, and the numbers ebb and flow. But THEY are my collaboratory ... my group of experts ... my sounding board. From Australia to Indonesia to Long Island and the United Kingdom (and other points in between) they are the ones I can ask a question of, and get multiple answers. They help ME as much as I help THEM.

We collaborate on the exchange of ideas, of thoughts ... needing clarification, explanation and sometimes refinement. Though we are separated by time (time zones) and distance, our collaboratory is the without boundaries, without walls - it is here and now. (Collaboratory - see Wikipedia)

Follow me on Twitter at

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Using Google Reader to gather and sort information

How do you sort through all of the information? How do you find a way to digest all the available information on the web? Google Reader is the web application that takes my rss feeds, and organizes them. I can add "subscriptions" to Google Reader and "tag" individual feed items. I can sort and quickly locate rss feed items.

One feature that lets me integrate Google Reader with other applications is "SEND TO." If I find an interesting article, I can share the article with Twitter, FriendFeed (and other applications) simply. Google Reader collects feeds, and can push or share them with other applications. Readtwit ( will pull the URL's from my twitter account and collect them as a separate feed in Google Reader.

The more I find, the more I have to read - but there isn't more time. Google Reader helps me organize my feeds, and Readtwit feeds URLs from Twitter to Google Reader. My rss feeds are organized. Order and organization through technology.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Delicious as a digital resource aggregator

Browsing the web. Adding bookmarks to this browser. Over time, I've built a long list of browser bookmarks. And, that's where the problem begins. Enter an application to make browsing the web and saving bookmarks easier.

Delicious is a social bookmarking application. Find a web page and "tag" the page. Tagging is the strength of delicious. Tagging allows me to search my bookmarks, group them by a particular tag. I can "bundle" different tags together and collect or aggregate them together. And, with the pages having multiple tags, it's possible to aggregate them differently, based on different criteria.

Sharing tags or bookmarks is easy. By adding individuals to my "network" their bookmarks are available. I can use and integrate their tags into my folksonomy or add my own tags. With the Firefox plug-in for delicious, adding bookmarks is easy. The web based application for delicious lets me access my bookmarks from any browser.

Never again do I have to search through a long scrolling list of bookmarks. Delicious lets me collect my digital web based resources.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Social learning or learning socially with social media

Social media has grown (and continues to grow) in use. We find ourselves "connected" and "connecting" to our groups. The real questions is, "How do we use social media in teaching and learning?"

Social media provides me access, instant access, to a community of experts. I ask a question, and almost instantaneously, I have an answer. Then another, and another, and someone repeats or restates my question. The circle of discussion cycles, and recycles. Social media provides me a venue, a mechanism to learn socially (with my community).

Social media provides me opportunities to learn, to engage, to connect with a larger group. Outside of those I come in contact with daily, or with some degree of regularity - how do I connect with a larger group? Social media connects me with the larger body of learners, and through interactions with the members, I engage in social learning (in the company of others).

How do I use social media? To learn. To teach. To connect - and more.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Using digital assets in teaching and learning

The availability of digital assets has changed the landscape of teaching and learning. With digital films or movies, audio files, podcasts, vodcasts, streaming audio and streaming video online learning is enriched. No longer a text-based course, a digitally enhanced course has the variety needed for all types of learners.

The same digital assets have the ability to extend, enhance and enrich teaching. Assets to explain and exemplify the most complex instructional concept are available. Digital assets are contemporary. They can be updated almost instantaneously. As teaching changes, the curricular material used in teaching should change also - from printed assets to digital assets.

Digital assets also support anywhere, anytime, anyplace learning AND teaching. Learning and teaching can occur without a physical space. Imagine accessing MORE assets - as they are needed.

Digital assets should be used more - teaching and learning today and tomorrow demand it and depend on it for success.
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