Friday, December 31, 2010

Technology for the next year

Springpad. Link to Springpad. An impressive note taking application. Create individual notebooks. Tag notes. Attach tasks and due dates. Email the notes. On the iPhone, iPad, Google Chrome as client applications. This application can be used to update teaching materials, collect, tag and share teaching and learning materials.

Slideshare. Link to Slideshare. Great application to upload and share documents and slides. Tag documents, describe documents. Easy to virtually distribute to small or large groups. Works with both Microsoft documents, Adobe PDF files, and Keynote documents. This application is ideal for presentations where standard technology may not be available.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The year in review, or what technology has allowed me to do

It's hard to think about how technology has influenced this year. It has really made me think differently and use technology differently. For instance, I was the kind of person who would take notes on stickies or any other scrap of paper. I would try to write legibly, but to no avail. I would try and transfer my notes to a text editor, but that didn't happen that often.

I have started using the iPad to do more. I can take notes either with the Notes application or one of the many applications that uses a stylus. I am finding that the iPad is a really useful device.

I am finding that Google Chrome, with extensions and the new Chrome Store, is becoming one of my browsers of choice. But alas, no Google Chrome on my iPad. Mozilla Firefox with add ons and extensions is also a robust browser. Browsers that integrate with other web applications are important.

That's my thoughts, so far. Technology has changed the way we do things, and it will continue to evolve as we find greater uses for technology in our everyday lives.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Interacting and interactions

Understanding the changing dynamics of interaction. Moore (1989) mentioned three key types, (1) student to instructor, (2) student to content, and (3) student to student. There is now a fourth type of interaction, student to common digital device. The common digital device is more than a vehicle for content, it is more than a means to create content, it is the digital learning assistant – this device links students with content, students and the instructor simultaneously. Real-time conversations, desktop sharing and collaboration are now the commonplace instead of the exception. With the changes in interactions, teaching has to radically shift and change as well. Students are likely to interact with and through common digital devices – at all times. No longer can we presume that students will dutifully set in a classroom and take notes – students will be fact-checking course content, finding additional as well as alternative content. We need to engage students WHERE they are, not where WE want them to be.

Interacting with students allows time for feedback, focuses time on learning, and clearly communicates the expectations of the instructor AND for the student (Chickering and Gamson, 1987). Incorporating the common digital device, feedback can be instantaneous, as well as anytime and anyplace. The common digital device promotes and encourages learning EVERYWHERE. No longer is learning limited to a particular space, at a particular time. Learning occurs where the students ARE. The nature of interaction is changing. Learners are more ENGAGED with learning because of these common digital devices.

Interaction now includes (1) portable technology, (2) fluid teaching, and (3) a desire to use the new, common digital device to teach and learn anywhere, anyplace, and anytime.

Chickering, A. W., and Gamson, Z. F. (1987) “Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education.” American Association of Higher Education Bulletin, Volume 39, Number 7. [WWW document] URL (Visited December 21, 2010)

Moore, M. G. (1989) “Three types of interaction.” The American Journal of Distance Education, Volume 3, Number 2. [WWW document] URL (Visited December 21, 2010)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The common and uncommon

What would be considered common professional development? Is there such a thing as normal professional development? Trying to push the envelope is important and vital, I believe, for professional development. It is important to push the envelope, to challenge people to do things they would not normally do.

Uncommon professional development is pivotal. It addresses the unique needs of faculty. It may be small group, it may be one on one. It seeks to provide answers to questions. Uncommon should be the rule, rather than the exception. We should try to find the unique, the uncommon, the personalized approach to faculty development.

There are no universal approaches except to individualize opportunities for growth and enrichment. Professional development is personal, and we are each unique.

Be different. Be unique. Be uncommon.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Technology and assessment

Can technology, in and of itself, make a difference in educational reform? Or is it the use of technology that reforms education? Technology is like a textbook, like the chalkboard. By themselves, they are merely objects. But in the hands of teachers and students they are so much more.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, December 03, 2010

My recently completed readings

My recent readings are loosely associated. Technology WANTS us to communicate, but it doesn't help us CONNECT easily. However, technology can be LIBERATING when we use it for real educational reform. All three are good reading, and could each contribute to the improvement (or REFORMATION) of education.

Kelly, K. (2010). What technology wants. New York, NY: Viking.

Maxwell, J. (2010). Everyone communicates few connect: What the most effective people do differently. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

Moe, T., & Chubb, J. (2009). Liberating learning: Technology, politics, and the future of American education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
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