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bookmarks for July 13th, 2010 through July 14th, 2010

  • Consumer Report iPhone4 study flawed | Viewpoints by Bob Egan – The iPhone antenna brouhaha is proving to be a good opportunity for teaching a lot about antennas, testing, and scientific methodology. After the battle is over, it will be good to return to the flak to do a rhetorical study. – (iphone teaching scientific_method )
  • Nixty Launches With Ambitions to Build Something Huge in eLearning – Two points here: Nixty social couse management software that leverages profs, and "the fact is that most people who can afford to go to college in the US want the experience of actually going to college. Those of us who would love to go back to college but don’t have the time to take off from careers or raising families, could use Nixty, but the problem is what I call the “Rosetta Stone dilemma.” I love Rosetta Stone’s software, and I think the approach to learning languages works – but the bottom line is there’s no short cut to the hours you need to put in to really learn a language fluently and I just don’t have those hours." – (de cms socialsoftware twwt )
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bookmarks for March 7th, 2010

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bookmarks for November 6th, 2009 through November 12th, 2009

  • The Millennial Muddle: How Stereotyping Students Became an Industry – Student Affairs – The Chronicle of Higher Education – A close and thorough look at three or four ways of analyzing and grouping students. Opens up a general critique of the method and those who base their assumptions and actions on the results. Valuable for FYC.

    ""There's this expectation that your No. 1 job is to pander to this exotic alien consumer," says Mr. Vaidhyanathan, an associate professor of media studies at the University of Virginia. "At that point, you cease being a teacher and you are simply selling yourself to an audience that might not be interested in buying.""

    says Mr. Vaidhyanathan. "Generational thinking is just a benign form of bigotry, in which you flatten out diversity. This is debilitating to the job of trying to work with young people."

    "Some folks are using this as a template and a cookbook," Mr. Bonner says of Millennials descriptions. "It makes it very difficult to see and understand variations because people who don't fit the recipe may be viewed as outliers. That anesthetizes nuances." – (fyc socialpractices social_learning teaching students_as_customers )

  • An absolutely riveting online course: Nine principles for excellence in web-based teaching – V good overview article, mainly because it mentions, if not develops, implications and human requirements for each of the principles. Beneath it all: Excellent DE courses depend on excellent teachers.

    This article explores excellence in web-based teaching. Drawing on the views of experts in the field and the perspective of their own years of experience, the authors compiled a list of 9 principles to provide direction in the search for online excellence. The principles include: the online world is a medium unto itself; sense of community and social presence are essential to online excellence; in the online world, content is a verb; great online courses are defined by teaching, not technology. The list is not intended to be an exclusive set of principles or a comprehensive guide to online teaching. Rather it is a collection of important ideas and suggestions for teaching excellence in the online world. – (DE ple vle onlinelearning OU OpenUniversity )

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bookmarks for August 14th, 2009

  • Here we are…there we are going « Connectivism – A fast but insightful critique of the current thinking on open content. Learning consists of weaving together coherent (personal) narratives of fragmented information. The narrative can be now created through social sensemaking systems (such as blogs and social networks), instead of centrally organized courses. Courses can be global, with many educators and participants (i.e. CCK08). – (teaching readme )
  • This Is Me: This Is Me Introduction – University of Reading. "In an environment where there are many ways to publish material quickly and easily, such as social networking sites … and all manner of other ways of expressing yourself on the web, people can find that they have their 'web presence' spread across multiple sites. What's more, other people might post something about you without you knowing about it – and it might be done quite innocently.

    We are developing a number of short exercises and learning materials to help people think about what sorts of issues there are about DI." – (twitter blogging identity teaching socialpractices )

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bookmarks for August 5th, 2009 through August 6th, 2009

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bookmarks for July 19th, 2009 through July 22nd, 2009

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bookmarks for July 19th, 2009

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bookmarks for July 18th, 2009

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bookmarks for June 8th

notes on collecting with Brightkite

I’m down for the count today – something upper respiratory – so I’m working from home. But in keeping with my project while staying within the bounds of dry mouth and fatigue caused by the [unnamed maker of cetirizine HCI here], I’m doing something simple, and even simpleminded: reviewing my use of Brightkite as a way into using it for composing and teaching composing.

So: Some Observational Notes

Bemidji State UniversityBrightkite
A few weeks ago I made a mental observation: Keeping up in Brightkite is work. It isn’t really as simple as checking in – and even that takes a few moments. Using Brightkite – and so Twitter or any of the microblogging stuff – means stopping what I’m doing for a few moments to do something else. I can talk and walk, but I can’t easily walk and post to Brightkite.

Stopping to post is probably less an issue when at a desktop or laptop than it is when mobile. What it means is that asking someone to post means giving them time and space to make the post. A tweet or Brightkite post may be short but that doesn’t mean it’s quickly composed, or composed while multitasking.

[I’d guess that a lot of mobile posts are made on the train or bus, or while waiting for a train or bus or something else to happen. To fill time. In public.] That’s often how I use it: as a waiting game. It’s as much a habit as anything because I could simply snap a pic to my phone and work with it later. Instead, I use Brightkite. Perhaps there’s something in the communicative possibility. But this use of Brightkite isn’t really extensive. Others are.

Occasions of use: purpose driven

  • to capture a low-res pic of something interesting and fleeting
  • to capture ditto something I’m figuring others might find curious
  • to signal to others where I’m located
  • to take a visual note I’ll want to use later

Much of this use is also driven by collateral posting of the images to flickr. I don’t simply send to Brightkite for others to see; I also send the image to my own collections to use later. Again, I don’t have to use Brightkite for image collection; I have other apps that upload to flickr. Again, it’s habit more than intentional selection of the right app. Brightkite – and the communicative drive it includes – has been my pencil of choice lately.

I don’t seem to use Brightkite to take or send textual notes. I lean towards the image with Brightkite, but I don’t have to restrict myself to this.

Target Stores: Store InformationCollecting
Part of working with mobile apps is sending local data to the cloud so the sender and others can use it. Images taken with a phone are far more useful, and easier to work with, when they are moved off the phone. On the phone, they can be viewed by the owner and others physically near the owner. Off the phone, they can be manipulated, edited, reused, distributed.

Collecting doesn’t need to be purpose-driven. It can be loosely driven from behind: Just gathering up stuff that might come in handy later. But it helps if collecting is spurred on, driven extrinsically. Grades or fulfilling assignments are the usual way, but not very good for really getting interesting stuff. So, try another way.

Purposes, and Leveraging the Communicative for Collecting
Posting images and notes to a common space (flickr, a wiki, Evernote) serves (as least) two immediate purposes. The post signals that something has happened: it’s a check in, a communicative gesture of bird here or task done. The post also places the image or text in play for other uses. (This is what I’m doing when I post to Brightkite.) The communicative gesture can be a pretty strong motivator; it’s immediate, anyway – especially if the context is set up to allow others in a group (nearby or following) to respond. That is, seeing what others are up to may spur more collection.

What’s next
Try collecting stuff using alternatives to Brightkite. One of the tasks I’m skirting around is the nature of the collecting: immediate or mediated. I’ve been going straight to immediate:

  • immediate: posting directly to flickr, Brightkite
  • mediated: saving to the phone, then vetting and uploading later

Debategraph homeGathering
After that, look gathering the stuff collected. Examples:

  • gathering stuff in a notebook with annotations, decorations, commentary. Get out the moleskines, the PoGo and the ink pens. Individual. A variation this would be creating a place note book or using Diffusion Generator to frame the gathering.
  • gathering stuff in a set (flickr) or group (flickr), on a map (flickr), and by tagging (flickr). Collective. As a set of favorites.
  • how to handle notebook-like gathering on computer or online (Curio is my current fave. Can be posted to web.)
  • and draw distinctions between varieties of gathering: like a scrapbook, like a map, like a categorized list, by tagging or key content word, by time, like a mashup, like a wiki or concept map.

And then, after that, start looking at other apps and materials for mashup gathering in multiple media: concept maps, Wordle, and delicious tag clouds.