Visit The EDM310 Alumni Blog Amazing! An Alumni Blog! Thanks to Jackie Gorski and all of her co-authors!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Project 16 - Final Project

Mountain Top - Final project
Start Time - NOW
Due Date - December 5

Project instructions have been added to the Project Instructions.

Blog Assignments Completed

EDM310 Blog
I have completed the Blog Assignments through the end of the semester. The assignments are now available in the Instruction Manual - Blog Assignments Section.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Project 15

Project 15
The START Date for Project 15 is today 10/25. It is DUE 11/21.

You will also BEGIN your FINAL PROJECT on 11/1 and it is due 12/5 with a progress report due 11/14. You also have other projects and assignments to work on. So you will be working on several projects at once.You cannot wait until the last minute to do things!

I have described project 15 in detail in the latest revision of the Instruction Manual - Projects. It takes up too much space to describe what you must do here. So:
1) IMMEDIATELY consult Project 15 in the Instruction Manual - Projects which I just REVISED. If you do not get the October 25 Version 1.5, REFRESH the URL.
2) Start thinking - NOW - about what you will do.
3) Complete the description of your project when you receive a Form on Wednesday October 27.
Problems Again
Google, and even my Mac account both rebelled when I tried to email the form and/or the link to the form about project #15. I guess this is a real crackdown on spam. I like that, but it sure does cause me difficulties. Hopefully you have gotten an email with a direct link to the form. You may have gotten more than one email. Choose the one with a link to the FORM. If you did not, email me! Thanks.


Congratulations. Way to Go!
We had 130 students (out of 158 still registered) complete Blog Post #9 on time. Much better! Thank you!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Additional Assignment #3

Sir ken Robinson Presentation on Changing Educational Paradigms

Due midnight Sunday October 31

Watch this video:
Sir Ken Robinson: Changing Educational Paradigms
(An RSAnimate production. You might want to get the RSAnimate iPhone App.)
What do you think is the most important thing Sir Ken Robinson says in this presentation?

Is there anything you disagree with in this presentation?

How congruent are Sir Ken Robinson's positions with those which you are being taught in the College of Education. In other words, where is there agreement? Where is there disagreement?

What can you do to address the issues Sir Robinson raises?

What do you think of the presentation? If you had to do a presentation with others like this, what role on your team would you like most to play?
Idea Generator?
Sound Effects?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Skype Interview Example and Instructions

Anthony and Stephen Demonstrate How to Skype and Record the Skype Session

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Think About This!

Graph showing Apple sales 2005-2010
Change - It is Vital - In Business and Education

Think about this:
60% of Apple's sales are from products that did not exist three years ago!
Source: Asymco

Think about this:
Do you still believe that schools and the roles of educators can remain the same?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pictures on Blogs

Must Reads
From the Instruction Manual (Projects p. 6)
"Must add images to all your blog posts starting with the Wordle post (Wordles are images)"
Must learn to add ALT and Title tag modifiers to IMG tags. See instructions for Wordle -
Project #2) and use this technique for all images placed on your blog throughout the course.
Additional information can be found in part 4 of the Instructions for Activity #5
Must learn a little HTML code to be able to use in your blog posts and in Comments. See part
2 of the Instructions for Activity#5.

SMART Board Software

Smart Board SoftwareAll SMART Board software is now web based.
Here are three links to get you started:
SMART Education Page
SMART Classroom Software Suite
SMART Exchange (Lesson Plans)

Midterm Reflection (Examination) Emailed

string on finger reminder
I have sent the Midterm Reflection (Examination) to your Gmail address. If you do not receive it, let me know immediately.

The survey must be completed no later than MIDNIGHT SUNDAY 10/24. This is considered to be your MIDTERM EXAMINATION. Do not "forget" to do it ON TIME!

New Approach

Now I have tried a different approach. I sent the email to no more than 30 people at a time AND I sent the link only, not the form. My tests indicate that this works. If you still do not get the link to the form, CALL me.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Week 8 Blog Post - How Did We Do? And Special C4K?

Report Card
About the same:

111 complete and on time
7 partially complete
41 not done by Tue 10/19 8:25 am.

And what about the special C4K assignment to comment on Shawshaw24's blog post?
103 EDM310 students have left a comment for Shawshaw24 as of 8:43 AM Tuesday October 19, 2010. That is 65% of the students still enrolled in the class.

Several questions: 1) As a teacher, how will you respond if 1/3 of your class does not do an assignment of great importance?

Mr. Chamberlain left this comment on Shawshaw24's latest post:

2) "What do we do for the children that don't have the same benefits you have had?" This is a question all of us should consider. Where do our responsibilities start and stop?

Randy Pausch said that he was glad his coach continued to push him harder and harder and that if you stop getting pushed to do better the coach has given up on you. When do we give up? When should we give up? How many resources do we have for those who did not have the benefits that Shawshaw24 has had? When resources are not sufficient, how do we make choices?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Midterm Questionnaire Due Date Changed

17 to 24

The questionnaire will be available Wednesday October 20 and due Sunday October 24.

This is a change from the Instruction Manual and Checklist. We need to complete week 8 before the Questionnaire. I must have counted wrong.

21st Century Literacies

Over two years ago the National Council of Teachers of English issued this list of 21st Century Literacies:
Twenty-first century readers and writers need to

•Develop proficiency with the tools of technology
•Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally
•Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes
•Manage, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information
•Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multi-media texts
•Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments
You can find an explanation of these literacies on the National Council of Teachers of English blog post The Definition of 21st Century Literacies.
Take a good look at these literacies. Especially if you intend to teach English or if you desire your children to be literate. And answer these questions:

Are you prepared to assist your students in becoming literate as specified by the National Council of Teachers of English ?
Are your children who are now in school (or soon will be) attending schools where these literacies are being taught and developed?
Are the teachers in the schools your children (or grandchildren) attend literate as defined by the National Council of Teachers of English ?
What are you prepared to do about it?

Take a look at Will Richardson's article in the Huffington Post yesterday: My Kids are Illiterate. Most Likely Yours Are Too.

Think hard about these questions Mr. Richardson raises:
So here are some questions that keep me up at night: How are we to make our students literate if we ourselves are not? If we cling to age old definitions and ignore the wisdom of one of the oldest professional education organizations we have in this country, how do we provide my kids with the experiences they need to fully understand what it means to be a self-directed, participatory learner in this century? How do we make sure that every child and every teacher has access to these tools and connections? And what do we do when the reform conversations are being led by a majority of folks who have no context for the changes that are happening every day in these connected spaces, folks that by NCTE's definition, may have some literacy issues themselves?
So now I have a question for you, EDM310 students and aspiring teachers: What are YOU going to do?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Learning From The Machine Is Changing Us - It Takes Some Time and Effort

Dr. Wesch speaking to the Personal Democracy Forum
This post is to address several issues that arose from the assignment to watch The Machine Is Changing Us.
Sometimes learning is not instantaneous. It takes work. Many of you reported that when you saw that The Machine is Changing Us was almost 35 minutes long you knew you "would be bored." I often commented in response that I wondered how you would handle an hour long video assigned for Week 8. Learning often takes time. You have 9 hours a week set aside for EDM310. Use it!
Look for clues about the speaker and the forum (or the teacher, the author, the assignment). All of these can help you understand more clearly. The speaker: Michael Wesch, a cultural anthropologist who teaches at Kansas State University and who explores "the effects of new media and culture." A simple Google search was all that was needed to give you a great deal of information about the speaker. The context: A speech before The Personal Democracy Forum. One Google click takes us to the Personal Democracy Forum site which immediately reveals to the visitor that this is an organization that is attempting to personalize democratic politics by increasing participation through the use of technology. This took no more than 10 minutes of a 9 hour week. But if 35 minutes bores you, 45 minutes must indeed be scary.
What do we have? A specialist in the impact that media is having on society talking to people who want to use the new media and new technologies to affect the political system. We can expect the speaker to cast his expert knowledge into a form that will be interesting and useful to this particular audience. How does Professor Wesch do that?
First he summarizes two books that are certainly known to his audience: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and 1984 by George Orwell. Sparingly he compares the books in a way that is useful to the central thesis of his speech. Having captured the audience's attention he draws on two other authors who made important contributions to the study of the way media shapes our life: Marshall McLuhan and Neil Postman. Again, two quick Google searches and 10 minutes on each person would help you understand these very important contributors to our understandings of how media impacts our culture. Postman is especially important to Professor Wesch's speech. Dr. Wesch gives a 60 second summary of Postman's book Amusing Ourselves to Death. One student remarked that watching the video was difficult because he had to constantly stop, rewind, play it again. So did I. And often that is the case. Again the lesson: learning sometimes takes time. Now we are up to an hour. Oh my!
Professor Wesch takes Postman's thesis that media turned the public away from an interest in important things, i.e. political questions of great importance to mankind, and emphasized only amusements. Dr. Wesch elaborates on this by recounting a history of "whatever" starring in part The Simpsons and by reporting on the research he and his students have been doing on YouTube with special emphasis on "Charlie". All of this is done to entertain as well as to inform. Remember he is getting paid not only to deliver a speech but also, ironically, to entertain.
Side Point: Dr. Wesch mentions that the YouTube research is a project he does with his classes. Project based education. Not entertaining lectures, but actual research involving collaborative thinking!
Throughout Dr. Wesch has been offering support for the argument that the media is causing political mayhem by diverting the populace from real issues to trivial entertainments. And yet his audience is trying to use the new media to re-involve the population in political action by taking advantage of the new media. Does Dr. Wesch want to leave them with the feeling that their mission is hopeless? Of course not. So he uses the Hugs You Tube series and the "Palm Messages" of unity and love to raise the possibility that YouTube can bring people together, can encourage activity, that there is a positive spin that can be put on the gloomy commentaries about media and political action. I would add that there is even more evidence to support this argument after the last presidential election.
Concluding Thoughts
There are several versions of this video that have been made. One is about 5 minutes long. Because I feared the short attention span of EDM310 students (are they really going to be teachers?), I have used that version in the past. The optimism Dr. Wesch offered in this version is severely muted in the shorter versions. I was in an optimistic mood when I chose this version for the Fall term. I thought EDM310 students could handle a 35 minute video plus 20-30 minutes of additional research and rewinding of the tape. Was I correct or not? And has this commentary helped you understand the message Dr. Wesch was delivering?
A Note of ImportanceBlog posts are ephemeral. They can be altered, or even disappear. Historians, librarians and scholars of all types feel uncomfortable with the replacement of records. So I am notifying them, and you, that I modified this post approximately 24 hours after I wrote it by adding the reference to Huxley and Orwell and by including the Dr. Wesch's use of the "Palm Messages" in support of his argument. It is appropriate to note changes of this type if you make similar changes on your blog posts.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Was the Server Down?

traffic jam

It might be that an hour long video and 3 assignments due overwhelmed a lot of EDM310 students. Or maybe the hoard of students trying to access the server late on Sunday overwhelmed the server and crashed it. I have been getting LOTS of reports that students could not access the Instructions Sunday night. Whatever the reason, 44 EDM310 students did not show up for work. That's 28% who did not do the Randy Pausch video report by last night. Sometimes the tunnel is blocked and traffic on I-10 is at a standstill. If you had left a little bit earlier you might have missed the traffic jam. But I understand because I live on the Eastern Shore. So don't worry. I think the tunnel is clear now. Those who did get through the tunnel will tell you that the Pausch video is a video you cannot afford to miss! So get your post up as soon as possible and don't worry about it. If you are still having trouble accessing the server, let me know. I will need to do some additional troubleshooting.

The picture? Didn't you know I-10 is now an eight lane road? My how Mobile has grown!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Good News!

Dean Hayes has approved the purchase of 3 new iMacs like the one now in the lab and 3 equivalent high end PCs for video editing, and screen capture activities. They should arrive very soon. I hope that will be before the next video assignment.

He has also approved the purchase of 5 additional flip cameras, a microphone and several headsets with built in mics.

If you see him, tell him Thanks!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Additional Assignment #2

Sugata Mitra's TED Talk How Kids Teach Themselves

From time to time I find some important material that I want to include in the class. As I have explained before, I call these Additional Assignments. It also helps me understand who is reading the blog on a regular basis.

Your Additional Assignment #2 is to watch How Kids Teach Themselves. Your post responding to this assignment is due Wednesday October 13 at midnight

Answer these questions in your post. Identify any other issues that you think are important or useful to discuss.
1. What do you think? If learners are motivated, can they teach themselves?
2. If those motivated learners are kids, can they teach themselves?
3. What conditions are necessary for kids to teach themselves? For anyone to teach him or herself?
4. What role do computers and internet access play in the process?
5. What role does motivation, a desire to learn?
6. What roles do a problem, a question or multiple problems or questions play in the process?
7. How do you motivate someone to learn?
8. How are you motivated to learn?
9. Can anyone who is not motivated to learn learn?
10. Do you teach yourself? When? Why?
11. What role does a teacher (either answer generally or use a specific example) play in your learning?
12. What is the most important idea, question or emotional response you take away with you as a result of watching this video?
13. What other questions or issues are raised by this video that should be considered and discussed by aspiring teachers?

C4K - Are You Getting Them Done? On time?

taking temperature
How are you doing on leaving comments for your classmates? You have one to do each week. As of midnight last Friday you should have left a comment for at least 5 of your classmates. There are 162 students still enrolled in EDM310. Take a look at these numbers:
14 students have completed None or 1 C4C
8 students have completed only 2 C4C
8 students have completed only 3 C4C
11 students have completed 4 C4C
Everyone else has completed 5 or more C4C. The high is 17 (3 students, sometimes leaving multiple comments or engaged in a dialogue on their own blog)

Where are you on this list? I will be asking you to reflect on this soon. I have the data so my asking is not for my benefit. It is part of my effort to get you to continually honestly engage in self reflection about how you are doing in EDM310. I want YOU to know.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

All Surveys Released for Distribution

census form

In order to clear the Survey Forms backlog, you are free to send yours.

Make a decision as to whether you think you think your form is ready to go. You will send it to the Group you are in as listed in the Survey Groups Docs that you now have. Instructions on how to send the survey are at the top of Column C in the Survey Groups Doc.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid:
1. Separate First Name and Last Name. If you just ask for Name you will not be able to alphabetize by last name.
2. Avoid Text responses unless absolutely necessary. Text answers must be processed by you by hand for analysis. For example, instead of asking What car do you own with a TEXT question, make a list (Multiple Choice which is really pick ONE). Add Other at end (with blank).
3. Be sure you have a complete set of answers. For example How old (in years) is your cat? with these possible answers is incomplete:
Under 5
5 to 10
11 to 15
You must add Over 15 years to have a complete set
4. If you use the conditional response features, be sure you know where you go if you answer a question in a particular way.
5. Use consistent response sets. For example if you ask? What is your favorite toy? And provide these possible responses your set is not a single set.
A red one
One with wheels
One that makes a noise
It is possible for a single toy to have all of these attributes. The first answer involves color. The second motion. The third sounds. You are combining three sets. Make sure it is only one set and that it is complete. You can always make sure it is complete by adding Other. For example if you ask Where do you live? and offer these possibilities
Detached House
Duplex or Town House

you would miss
House Boat
Under a bridge
I have no permanent place of residence

Other would cover all of these but it would still be better to list them if you think of them. Still you should all Other. They may live in a Cave or a Tree House.

If you would like your survey personally reviewed, consult with someone in the Lab IN PERSON.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Late - Worst Week Yet

Late rabbit running with a watch
Despite my post of last Monday, this week we had even more students not post their Blog Assignment on time. Here are the number of people who did not have their work in on time for the last 4 weeks:

17 9/12
20 9/19
30 9/26
36 10/3