Friday, November 21, 2008

George Siemens Needs Help

This is an interesting way to pose research questions and to gather answers. In a blog post in elearnspace Siemens wrote, "I often hear educators talking about “education needs to change” and then he asked people to respond to some questions. I admire George's writing and had the privilege of hearing him speak at the ODCE 2007 . So, I decided to respond to his request and provide my answers to his questions.

1. Does education need to change?

Yes, education needs to change and improve.

2. Why or why not?

Education should not change for changes sake, but should take a look at its history, practice, and all of the educational research that is catalogued and make needed changes. Education is research based, but does not seem to reflect on and use information to improve its monolithic self.

3. If it should change, what should it become? How should education (k-12, higher, or corporate) look like in the future?

Improvement, rather than just change, would mean that education (all) would take on a serious look at practices, policies, and methods and begin the hard work of reinventing itself. Much of what we do in education is based on what has been done in the past and does not appear to be connected to the here and now or to looking at the future.

Are there other Toffler fans out there? In a recent Edutopia article he said, "Shut it down." The idea of starting over is frightening in terms of human capital and the amount of time and money it would take to rebuild,
but the fundamentals proposed in Toffler's School of Tomorrow do sound better suited to how we live today.

Here they are copy and paste from and Alvin.

Toffler's vision for education in the twenty-first century:

  • Open twenty-four hours a day
  • Customized educational experience
  • Kids arrive at different times
  • Students begin their formalized schooling at different ages
  • Curriculum is integrated across disciplines
  • Nonteachers work with teachers
  • Teachers alternate working in schools and in business world
  • Local businesses have offices in the schools
  • Increased number of charter schools

P.S. Edutopia posted a poll asking readers whether education would be better off in four years.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

YouTube Video on Innovation

Sharing a video that illustrates innovation and accretion at work.This is a lovely piece of work created by a student at Lewis Clark College on innovation. Information Heyadan provides is that he “specializes in animation, especially the type of explaining concepts quickly with pictures and animated graphics / graphs to convey points.” I'll say.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Innovation and Preparation

While completing a recent writing assignment for work I ran across a New York Times article by Janet Rae-Dupree (February 2008) titled, Eureka! It Really Takes Years of Hard Work. Durpree's article is a readable reminder that the work of innovation is not always that innovative. In the article, Durpree provided a Scott Berkun quote that sums up innovation. According to Berkun, “Everything results from accretion" and he goes on to say, "I didn’t invent the English language. I have to use a language that someone else created in order to talk to you. So the process by which something is created is always incremental. It always involves using stuff that other people have made.”

So learning from others and building on the "stuff" of others is the way we all innovate. Dupre also quoted Louis Pasteur who wrote, “Chance favors the prepared mind.” I am always hoping to have a Eureka! moment. I also love to read authors who use the word balderdash to open a sentence. Janet Rae-Dupree writes about science and emerging technology in Silicon Valley for the New York Times after reading this article on innovation I found many other of her articles. I'll be reading her column regularly now.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Clipboard and Leadership

This short old-timey looking video reminds me of how any technology can be used with the intent to make one's self look cooler and more savvy than others. I saw Dr. Darcy Hardy use this video in a keynote at the MIC08 and found it on YouTube this evening.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Collaboration Tools: Google Docs

I have not played around much with Google Docs, but am hearing more and more people talk about using them. Wanted to point to information presented by Tom Barrett (a noted Google Docs expert) presented on the Official Google Docs Blog: New and Notes from the Google Docs Team.
Barrett has a presentation titled, Eleven Interesting Ways to Use Google Docs in the Classroom, and is asking people to email him with their tips, tricks, techniques, and uses of Google Docs.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Do you Wordle?

It is fun to play around with Wordle. This wordle was created using a copy and paste of text from my blog. Feinberg described Wordle as a "toy" that can create word clouds. Wordle is simple use and the "randomize" feature provides Wordles of text in various fonts and colors.

It would be visually interesting to view political speeches as Wordle. What about a novel or a history book? Hmmm.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More on EdTech Talk and "Amplyfing Possibilities"

Special thanks to EdTechTalk for promoting the October 2008, K12 Online conference on “Amplifying Possibilities”. This conference begins with a pre-conference keynote the week of October 13, 2008 and by October 27-31, forty presentations will be posted online to download and view. This online conference will have “Fireside Chats” and “When Night Falls” events for people interested in the use of technology to improve teaching and learning at all levels of education throughout the world.

According to EdTechTalk, they are "a community of people interested in the use of technology to improve teaching and learning at all levels of education throughout the world. EdTech Talk has several live events each week and an information packed newsletter. As a Worldbridges community, it embraces the values of collaboration and inclusiveness.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Confessions of a Blogging Slacker

I have not blogged since the 2008 eLearning Summit in May. While I thought about this blog and had the desire to post, work and life got in the way. I admit to being a blogging slacker. To get back to my blog work, I googled “blogging slacker” and Google returned 412,000 results on this phrase. So it seems that slacking happens. The hiatus (slacking) from the blog is due to work and family priorities and not lack of things to blog about. My work and family commitments will allow a few quick posts over the next few days about work, work related conferences, keynotes, and presentations I attended since May.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Where Are the Women? An Action Research Project

The presentation Where Are The Women? An Action Research Project was created in Powerpoint and uploaded to VoiceThread as an experiment. In 2007 I made a post that listed a series of personal goals connected to this blog. Number 5 had three parts, connect blogging to at least 3 professional development activities over the course of the next 12 months to include:

a. Conference presentation

b. Submit a paper to a journal

c. Host a webinar

This conference presentation took place at the eLearning Summit on May 22, 2008. I am working on the journal article, and am wondering if this VoiceThread will count as the webinar? "A VoiceThread is an online media album that can hold essentially any type of media (images, documents and videos) and allows people to make comments in 5 different ways - using voice (with a microphone or telephone), text, audio file, or video (with a webcam) - and share them with anyone they wish. They can even be exported to an Archival Movie for offline use on a DVD or video-enabled MP3 player. A VoiceThread allows group conversations to be collected and shared in one place, from anywhere in the world".

VoiceThread has free and pro options and can be used commercially, in higher education, and in K-12. I am trying out the free option, but am considering the pro option. I am not quite sure how to use all of the options this tool provides. According to the print information, one can doodle or video doodle, comment in text, or record a comment to a VoiceThread.

According to VoiceThread, here are some of the limitations on my Free account:

* Archival Movie exports, $2.99
* the presence of advertising
* single file size limit of 25 MB
* no downloads
* send 50 invitations per day

* create 3 VoiceThreads
* 75 MB of storage
* 3 phone commenting minutes
* no uploading MP3 comments
* 30 min webcam commenting

Monday, May 12, 2008

Enhancing Visual Effects in PowerPoint Presentations

Another example of the good work located on Slideshare.

"How to" : Visual Effects in PowerPoint 2003

From: mjamesno, 1 year ago

Brief Guide to some viusal effects for Presentations using PowerPoint 2003

SlideShare Link

Death by Powerpoint (and how to fight it)

Good stuff can be found on Slideshare!

Death by PowerPoint

From: thecroaker, 9 months ago

Fighting death by PowerPoint... How to make a presentation and not to bore your audience to death.

SlideShare Link

Saturday, May 10, 2008

May, Spring, Rainy, Cold, and too much work

May is a cruel month this year. Spring is late and cold, it is a rainy fishing opener, and I have too much work to do. The only good thing about the cold and rainy weather is that it keeps me in the house and so I am getting work done. Being able to sit at home and search the Internet is great and although it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the information that is out there I am always astonished by the caliber of work people are sharing in the cyberworld.

Just joined a local social networking site(Mooseworks) created by Ken Graetz a Minnesota State Colleges and Universities colleague and just do not have time to socialize! I got a Mooseworks badge with my membership and will share it here. Once May winds down a bit I will come back here to learn more about what some of my favorite Minnesota eLeaders are up to.

Will need to catch up with the fast runners in Mooseworks, but in May I just plan to visit and read about what others are up to. I am working on a presentation about this blog for the eLearning Summit at Normandale "held every 2 years" this conference is an event we look forward to in Minnesota. I am looking forward to hearing Dr. Wesch as keynote.

View my page on MooseWorks

Powerpoint is everywhere and though people poke fun at its use and point out its misuse, I find that a visit to Slideshare every now and again allows me to look at some really fine examples of its use.

Two presentations that I admired this week included:

1. Death by Powerpoint (and how to avoid it)

2. Enhancing visual effects in Powerpoint presentations

Learned a new word this week, Ning.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day 2008, EdTechTalk, Women of Web 2.0

Got an email yesterday. I read it today and so just found out about a 24 hour long conversation on the health of our planet that EdTechTalk is hosting. It started at 12AM today, but there are still hours left in the day to attend. EdTechTalk is looking for people from around the world to join the discussion at Global times as they moderate the "students, teachers, local leaders, environmental advocates, scientists/engineers, politicians, grassroots leaders, etc., that participate. EdTechTalk encourages lurkers as well as participants.

They follow up this 24 hour long conversation with a Spring Community Assembly, and the "Women of Web 2.0 will be on the air immediately following the Community Assembly to provide a roundup of the Earthcast 2008 experience".

Have a look at EdTechTalk they have an easy to get around in website with lots of good stuff to read and listen to!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

How to use Second Life in Science Education &

Read about in a Lodestar Learning Web Journal article and then went to investigate and learn about another resource that lets people share videos. Snooped around the site and found an interesting video about Second Life from Colleen on how one might use different kinds of science resources available in Second Life in experiential learning environments.

The video was interesting because while things I find on Second Life are often fun to look at, they don't always provide practical resources and tips on how they might be used in education (this one does), but I digress.

So Back to, according to Digital Inspiration there are 10 Reasons Why is better than YouTube for Uploading and Sharing.

Here is a shortened version of the 10 reasons, but I encourage you to go to the detailed and easy to read article on Digital Inspiration for the comparison:

1. supports supports more video formats, including one called FLV files that uploads faster.
2. Blip does not have the time or file size limits of YouTube because of FLV.
3. People can watch videos in flash or original formats while YouTube offers only branded YouTube Player format.
4. Blip backups your videos to the Web Archives automatically.
5. allows custom thumbnails images to search that may increase the chance of your video being watched.
6. YouTube does not like it when people download their videos while makes downloading easy to do.
7. provides authors with more stats on how the video is being used rather than just the ratings, number of views, etc.
8. does not require registration for a visitor to leave a comment.
9. supports rich text formatting for video descriptions and YouTube does not.
10. Videos are not resized in

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Technorati-Wondering if Pinging and Charting are Working

English posts that contain International Edubloggers per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart
Get your own chart!

When I go to Technorati , I can find several pages of posts on International Edubloggers Directory, but the chart that tracks post does not reflect the buzz. Am also seeing conversation and questions to Technorati about pinging and having blog postings updated. Just wondering what is going on and will read and research a bit to see what is going on.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Growing Roster of Members on International Edubloggers Directory

Eureka! Supposedly, an exclamation used by Arichimedes as an interjection to celebrate a discovery. I am using the term to celebrate my discovery of a new bloggers directory. Although I did not realize it when I signed up, the International Edubloggers Directory is just the kind of resource I have been looking for to lead me other bloggers on education topics.

While sites such as Blogher, Technorati, and Blogs by Women were helpful, they did not have an education focus and I was not able to watch them develop in real time. Nor did they have they have the cool tools that make watching this directory site develop so much fun. The use of Scribd, Mofuse, Twitter, and other Web 2.0 tools to allow members to get introduced into the cyberworld and other bloggers is impressive. While not all of the members are women, there are enough of them (Gender Split Male - 58%Female - 42%) listed in this directory to have a look around. It seems I need to carve out some time to read author Patricia Donaghy, and to learn about the members who blog on education. The membership roster is growing all the time, but I look forward to the task.

See video on Archimedes from the Internet Archives:

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

International Edubloggers Directory

Thanks to this new blog directory I can see me now and perhaps others will too.

Just signed up for membership on the International Edubloggers Directory. The directory launched in January of 2008, will provide "an up to date directory of edubloggers from around the world", links to other edubloggers and to the topics they blog about. Members of this directory are posted on Twitter, Facebook, Mobile Versions, and Blog Widget. After I received a personal welcome as an Edublogger member in an email, I went back in to explore this sight and learned about Mofuse.

Mofuse creates mobile websites for bloggers and provides a fast and easy method to make blogs mobile compliant at no cost. The International Edubloggers Directory has a variety of tools and feeds to connect bloggers around the world. RSS feeds, a members calendar, and a chance to share the membership wiki and to connect with other education bloggers are appealing to me. I am pleased to be a member and look forward to reading the growing blog roll and seeing members information posted in real time.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A Potential SATO Without a Home

Rethinking Academic Technology Leadership in a Era of Change, an article in The IT Practitioner’s Journal (EQ) Educause Quarterly (Vol.31 -2008) does a grand job outlining the sweeping instructional technologies that are changing the face of higher education and a need for Senior Academic Technology Officers (SATO) in institutions across the nation. To support the need for SATOs in all institutions, Albright and Nworie (2008) point to the growth in use of technology in higher education and the low numbers of people in senior-level positions “dedicated exclusively to providing vision, leadership, direction, and accountability for technologies and services supporting teaching and learning” (p. 16).

Are you looking for definitions of instructional technology? Information on the scope of an Instructional Technologists work? You can find both in this article, but it is the case the authors make for SATO as technology leader, the outlined SATO roles and responsibilities, and the SATO qualifications that made the article noteworthy.

Some of the ideas detailed by Albright and Nworie (2008) article are provided in this list:

*SATOs were described as tactical and as, “visionary, leader, director, planner, facilitator, collaborator, catalyst, advocate, and evangelist” (p.19).

*SATOs had an impressive list of status and qualifications compiled from position announcements reviewed by the authors of the article since the early 1990s.

*SATOs and CIOs positions were compared, contrasted, and clearly delineated.

*SATOs importance as a full-time position and a caution that it should never be “part-time job” or an “assignment for marginal players with dubious credentials” (p.21).

*The assertion that SATOs “should never sit lower than one echelon below the CIO or two levels below the vice-president of academic affairs if the CIO is not at the VP level” (p.21).

*The failure in higher education, depicted by data, to connect and nurture these positions as senior leadership positions.

The authors asks to consider whether a university would allow the library’s operation without a library director or dean or a coach to report to someone other than an academic director. They then pose the question, why do so many institutions fail to provide senior level managers for academic technology in our institutions?

You will find a good read and compelling evidence connected to the importance of assigning appropriate status for SATOs in meeting institutional goals in this article. As many institutions move these positions further and further down the organizational chart to save a dollar, this article is a reminder that we will get exactly what we plan, post, and pay for.

P.S. Check out Educause Connect lots of blogging, podcasting, wiking (is that a word?) going on.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Journal for Women in Higher Education (WIHE)

Do you know about the Women in Higher Education (WIHE) Practitioner's News Journal? I love this small jewel of a journal by Mary Dee Weninger. Weninger started this news journal to “help smart women on campus get wise about how gender affects their being successful in the male-dominated world of higher education”. The WIH invites readers to submit articles on wide range of topics. February 2008 article titles included, What Brings Career Satisfaction to Women Administrators, Women Describe Becoming Resilient through Diversity, Faculty as Classroom Leaders, The Last Laugh: What if a Woman Won Election to President.

A one year online subscription to WIHE will cost you $66, but there is a try before you buy option and visitors are allowed to sample three (3) free issues. Stats on salary and gender gap are available here and provide some food for thought, but the waaay cool thing about this site is its Job Search. WIHE posts announcements “from schools actively seeking qualified WOMEN candidates for administrative and faculty positions”. You can search by title, region, Canada, or international and then lots of positions and information is served up to the job seeker.

WIHE has a great quotes page by and for women. All were good, but these resonated with me.

Let's stop apologizing for our competence. - Zerrie Campbell

Transformational leadership feels right to women because it's not asking anything that they haven't done. - Jacquelyn M.

If they don't select you, they may not have been prepared for you. And in that case, they don't deserve you. - Maria Perez

For all women seeking to be wise or to get some wisdom, this is a resource worth looking at.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Progressive Education Compare & Contrast

Yesterday 1940's

Today 2000's

Positive & Negative Sides of Work and Women Keynotes

On the positive side of my work life, sometimes my work involves travel and conference attendance and on Thursday, February 21, 2008, I listened to a keynote by, Julie K. Little, Ed.D., Interim Director, EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, presented at Council of College and Military Educators (CCME) in San Francisco on Web 2.0 and Net Gen learners. CCME sessions and conversations given by military and individuals from military friendly institutions are the similar to conversations and presentations at SLOAN, MERLOT, WCET, and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI). The CCME presentations explored benefits and challenges of technologies and their effect on teaching and learning, especially those presented in online learning and via distance education. I enjoyed the strong keynotes by women leaders on higher education, education technology, and the military.

According to CCME, “it is the only National Organization for professional military educators” and while the emphasis was military, the acceptance of distance learning, conversations about accreditation and quality in online learning made me feel right at home.The CCME is a conference to attend for those in higher education who are interested in serving military students online and a great place to see women leaders in action.

On the negative side of my work life, yikes! No postings or follow-up on my plans to report on what I learned over the course of my blogging. Numerous work projects during December, January and February kept me from thinking, reflecting, or writing on anything not connected to the projects. While the pace of work will remain fast, I should now be able to push the work rather than having it push me. So will need to follow through and finish personal goals related to this blog.

Will be meeting a few of the goals connected to my blogging activities by submitting a proposal to the 2008
MINNESOTA E-LEARNING SUMMIT scheduled for May 21-22, 2008 at Normandale Community College, in Bloomington, MN.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

What the heck is a Swiki?

First time to post twice on the same day, but found a site builds a widgets called swikis and am excited about sharing the information with others. There are several kinds of swikis to use, but I wanted to play with the Video Swiki. Instructions to create the widget were easy and straightforward and voila---my Proedportal blog has a video swiki with keywords and terms I pulled out from my postings. The videos are pulled up by key word search and when you mouse over the video an extensive list of videos related to the search term is pulled up. Am having fun looking at the results and hope to learn more about how to use this unique search tool.

Check out the Social Search tool called a swiki. According to the website that provided me with mine, "swickis learn from the search behavior of a community of enthusiasts and experts, making it easy for you to quickly find what you’re looking for within a particular topic. In addition, you can easily share a swicki with others and add a swicki buzzcloud to your site or profile (“grab” a swicki), which will dynamically display the hottest searches and give you quick access to that swicki and its community."

Girls Blog more than Boys: 93% of Teens are Online

Mills (2007) reported on differences between girls and boys use of Internet. Based on the Mill's article and Pew Internet Research on Teens and Social Media it appears that girls are blogging (write) more, but boys are posting more video content. A few highlights from the Pew research data in the Mills article included:
  • 35% online teen girls blog while only 20% of the boys blog.
  • 54% of girls post photos compared to 40% of boys, but more boys than girls put videos online.
  • 28% of online teenagers have blogs compared to 19% in Pew's 2004 data.
  • 27% of teenagers have their own web pages.
  • 66% of teens protect personal information online.
  • 70% of teens use cell phones daily and cells phones are primary communication sources for 63% of them.

Follow this link to the Pew Internet & American Life Project for more information and read the Pew Internet Teens & Social Media Report pdf for complete details.

Depending on their point of view, K-12 and Higher Education faculty may find the Pew report that 2/3 of online teen are content creators exciting or disturbing news. In any event, look out here they come!