Sunday, January 31, 2016

Bookmarks of Note (weekly)

    • Device of Change #1: Innovation is Done by Innovative People.
    • Device of Change #2: Never Accept Wasted Time.
    • Device of Change #3: Empowered People Have the Power to Make Change Happen.
    • Device of Change #4: Invest in technology and people.
    • Device of Change #5: Invest in Relationships
    • Device of Change #6: Invest in Yourself
    • Device of Change #7: Decide to Be the Device
    • So, according to Greene, an  interview is an opportunity to imagine the realities and experiences of another person
    • An interview is therefore above all about listening very carefully, and responding to three things – what’s said, what’s not said and the silences.
    • It takes practice.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Be Afraid Be Very Afraid EDUC 8845 Module 3

Clay Shirky (2005) claims two hundred years of chaos followed the invention of the printing press. During this time people were trying to figure out how this new technology would affect the ability to collaborate among groups. Rheingold (2005) begins his presentation with the new story of collaboration among humans in order to get things done.  Shirky (2005) himself got his mermaid parade slideshow done through the collaborative platform of flickr.  I think it is evident that both men believe humans are driven to interact and work in groups.

Rheingold (2005) states, “from literate populations new forms of collective action emerge in spheres of knowledge, religion, and politics.” Driscoll (2005) says constructivism describes people acting to make sense of their surroundings. (p.387) Rheingold reminds us that since mastodons roamed the earth, people have formed groups to make sense of their surroundings and to get things done (like sharing a butchered mastodon).
New forms of wealth and new forms of collective action are enabled by new technologies. The printing press precipitated book publishing houses, book distributers, book stores, and authors. Many people have gotten wealthy from being literate in the written work, printing, spreading it, and selling it. One wonders what new form of wealth will be enabled by the new technologies we now have.  
In the atmosphere of open content and the effects of the long tail, Shirky (2005) makes it clear that wealth will not accumulate in institutions. In the Learning to Change-Changing to Learn video it is made clear that the new wealth will be the ability to use the new technologies to achieve the higher levels of the new Blooms Taxonomy. This fits with the constructivist theories we have explored but it also fits with the connectivism theory we have yet to explore.
Shirky used the collaborative platform flickr to make his mermaid slides. I decided I would too. Although I have never been to NECC, I created the Animoto you see with this post with a little help from my friends, on flickr.
Driscoll, M. P. (2005). Psychology of learning for instruction (3rd ed.). Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.
Rheingold, H.  (2005, February). TEDTalks [Video Podcast]. Howard Rheingold on collaboration. Retrieved from
Shirky, C. (2005 July). TEDTalks [Video Podcast]. Clay Shirky on institutions vs. collaboration. Retrieved from

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This a reposting from a Learning Theory course I took at Walden.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

We are all Different - EDUC8845 Module 1

Four learning styles correspond with four ways to take in information. These learning styles are visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic. Visual learners prefer reading and writing in order to learn, while auditory learners prefer to hear information, tactile learners prefer hands-on activities and kinesthetic learners learn best through movement. In college, I learned that most teachers are visual learners although striving to teach to all styles is best for students. What I didn’t learn was whether preferred learning styles can change with age. I have noticed that although I will never learn well kinesthetically, I am starting to prefer an auditory learning style. I have found a text-to-speech translator to convert any text to spoken words [ ] and find myself attentively listening to words I once would have preferred to read.
Closely related to learning styles are multiple intelligences listed by Howard Gardner in 1983. He originally listed seven intelligences in his learning theory and since a few more have been suggested. Gardner’s MI Theory describes ways people learn. Schools focus on linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences, while Gardner’s theory includes so many other ways of knowing.
The original seven intelligences listed by Gardner were:

1. Linguistic intelligence
2. Logical-mathematical intelligence
3. Spatial intelligence
4. Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence
5. Musical intelligence
6. Interpersonal intelligence
7. Intrapersonal intelligence

I like to begin every year by announcing to the students that no matter what anyone has ever told them, they ARE intelligent, it is my job to find out how they are intelligent. Then we create pictures of our intelligence at Is there one best way of learning? I would have to say no, there are many ways to learn and all these ways have value. While I might not personally prefer a bodily-kinesthetic way of knowing, others may not find any value in musical intelligence.
The purpose of aligning with a learning theory for the educational technologist has to do with building on a sure foundation. Whether one aligns with behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism, or connectivism, one is joining with major thinkers who have peer-reviewed works published on these theories. One aligns with a school of thought by adopting a learning theory that explains how learning occurs and what influences that learning. The learning theory to which one subscribes will influence how the educational technologist will use the technology and what sites will be recommended.
A behaviorist for example would be more likely to use a site that is at the knowledge level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. A constructionist would be more likely to use a site that is at the creation level of the taxonomy (Bloom’s Revised). In the words of Chris Lehmann, which I first heard him say at Educon, “Technology must serve pedagogy, not the other way around.”
Photo courtesy of ntr23 covered under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license and available at
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This is a reposting on graduate work from 2010. I have noticed my learning styles have shifted during this latest degree. I do wonder what the research on learning styles and aging would indicate?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Bookmarks of Note (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Student Technology Conference

The second annual Student Technology Conference is a week from tomorrow!  This is a free one-day online event bringing together students, educators and innovators from around the world, will be held Saturday, January 30, 2016 from 9 Am to 9 Pm EST. Anyone can attend.

Deadline to Submit Presentations: the deadline to submit presentation proposals is end-of-day Monday, January 25th. There's still time to get a proposal in and to present!

Presenters with Accepted Proposals: It is important that you join the presenters group HERE and that you have scheduled your presentation time. Information on scheduling your presentation time was sent to you by email. If you cannot find that email, please contact Lucy Gray HERE. You must also watch the recording of or participate in a training session so that you know how the conference platform works, how to upload your slides, and make sure your computer, microphone, and webcam (optional) work in the system. Information on the training is HERE.

Presenters with Proposals Not Accepted Yet: You should also make sure you have joined the presenters group and that you have prepared by taking or attending a training. Any proposals not yet accepted have had notes added to them indicating what you would need to change or improve in order to have your proposal accepted, and those changes need to be made by Monday, the 25th as well, to be re-considered. We hope you will update them and be prepared to present!

Volunteering: One of the best parts of this conference is the incredible volunteer effort to help new (and sometimes seasoned!) presenters. Volunteers gather throughout the whole conference in a special virtual lounge and work to make sure that presenters and attendees are given help whenever they need it. Our volunteers are an elite group of global helpers--come find out why they say being a volunteer moderator is the most fun you can have at the conference. More HERE.

Everyone Else (Those Not Presenting or Volunteering): Get ready for a GREAT conference. Keynote speakers are being announced this weekend, and mid-next week we'll post and email the full schedule of speakers. Be sure to join the conference network at, follow the Tweets at #stutech2016, and let everyone you can know about this free event organized by students.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

MAD about Mattering: A Global Collaboration Among Students To Build Apps that Matter To Our World

ATLANTA, GA — MAD-learn by Crescerance, Choose2Matter, and award-winning global collaborative teaching and learning pioneer Vicki Davis announce the new “MAD about Mattering” global collaborative app development project. This new project will take the best of compassion driven innovation, mobile app development, and global collaboration to create a new model of collaborative engineering between students of all ages.

Students will be asked to consider their heartbreak to create an app that makes a difference to the world.
Following your heartbreak is the single most effective way to help individual and organizations to discover their purpose and find an innovative way to act on it,” says Angela Maiers, author of the best-selling book The Passion Driven Classroom and founder of the Choose2Matter movement.
“Innovation is not an event; it is an invitation to use your genius to better the world.  We are not only inviting students; we are imploring them to create something that could make the world a better place” says Maiers.
This project will happen this semester as teachers develop and share best practices for collaborative app development. A toolkit for teachers will be made available at the end of the 2015-2016 school year as an OER (open education resources), allowing other teachers across the world to follow this method of quad engineering.
“So far, many students have collaboratively written, researched, created video, and even built virtual worlds, but now it is time to engineer together,” says Vicki Davis, author of the award winning Cool Cat Teacher Blog and an original founder of the Flat Classroom Project, winner of the ISTE 2006 Online Learning Award. 

She has founded more than 20 global collaborative projects spanning the globe with thousands of students of all ages participating. “This is truly the next generation of global collaboration and we’re recruiting top classrooms to help perfect this method and share it with the world,” says Davis.
Vicki Davis was one of the earliest adopters to implement the MAD-learnprogram in her classroom, and quickly realized that it was an ideal tool for global collaboration.“We’ve seen students around the country do amazing things in their classrooms when they are given the ability and access to create technology in a simple fashion”, says Crescerance co-founder, Alefiya Bhatia. 

“Just imagine the potential of connecting these bright minds that exist in every country and enabling them to work TOGETHER to solve their heartbreaks!”
The MAD about Mattering project will kick off on February 1 and culminate with an online MAD-shark tank competition the first week of May as students pitch their apps to potential investors and vie to launch their apps to the world.
“We’re eager to create a network where students can not only create amazing apps that help our world, but also get access to mentors, industry experts, and investment to help take their ideas to the next level. We hear about phenomenal entrepreneurs all the time who have received investment from angel investors or VCs, why not a 15 year old?”, asks Alefiya Bhatia, co-founder of Crescerance and creator of the MAD-learn program being used in the project.
To learn more about this project please visit or contact You can also follow the movement on social media with the hashtag #appsthatmatter.
Media Contact:                                                                                             Kathryn Brannen                                                                                             404-913-2737                                          

Connecting Ourselves EDUC8845 Module 4

My Tweetwheel circa 2008
Some of my networks

            Chris Lehman, principal of Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, wrote about a post about the strength of a school system. I commented,
The strength of a school lies in the networks that are created by its students. Facilitating network formation for students is in an educators' job description.  Traditionally, a student's network consisted of teachers. The newer paradigm redefines students' networks to include those who are not present in the same time and space.  (Durff, 2008)
This is a shift in the educational space-time continuum.  Connecting, communicating, and collaborating within a global community is an essential skill for today's learners. The ability to reflect, to think, and to compose essays (pictorial, oral, or written) creatively is a skill with which I feel I must equip learners who pass through my classrooms. This view changes the way in which I learn, the way in which I lead others into learning, the tools I choose to assist me in learning or leading learning, and it changes the questions I ask as well as how I seek out additional information to answer questions.
            My networks have changed the way I learn by enabling me to know much more than before I was digitally connected. The hive mind is the belief that all of us are smarter than one of us. Digital tools enable this sort of collective intelligence.  Rather than having access to the information I can hold in my mind (which is not much), I have access through my digital networks to the information everyone else who is connected knows in their minds, or the information they have catalogued using a digital tool. For example, I can do a search on a tool like delicious for uses of VoiceThread in the classroom using a catalogue of educator reviewed examples and websites, which are catalogued by tags into a library of useful information. I do not need to hold that information within my mind but can access this library without even asking anyone a question.
            But if I want to ask people a question about VoiceThread uses in the classroom, I could go to my Twitter network of around 1000 educators worldwide and post a query. I actually did this the other day, and received numerous responses from educators around the globe. I was teaching at the time and could not write these responses down, it was good to know the software kept all these responses for me where I could access them later to evaluate them for use in my professional development workshop. Not only am I accessing the wisdom of my Twitter crowd, but the tools are enabling me to work smarter, so I can learn when it is convenient to me, not at a prearranged lecture time.
The digital tools that best facilitate learning for me include Twitter, my RSS, my Nings, delicious and diigo, and live streaming events like those at EdTechTalk, in Eliminate, or in Second Life.  These tools enable me to take advantage of what everyone else knows and the “nearly now” learning space which gives me time to connect the dots before I respond. Many tools also make my life easier including ToodleDo, Dial2Do, Flickr, Evernote, and my Google Calendars which can notify me of events on my cell phone.
When I have a question, I simply start with posting it on Twitter.  My Twitter network will point me to the answer with opinions, links, and references.  For example, earlier this month I asked for recommendations on avatar creation sites to use with kids. I received a list of recommendations that were peer reviewed by fellow educators. While Twitter was collecting this information for me, I was teaching and unable to search this for myself.  By saving time and utilizing my friends, I was using digital tools to work smarter; I was exploiting the wisdom of the digital crowd.
An educator’s job entails facilitating network creation for learners. Middle school students are shocked in August when they first arrive in my classroom and are informed that while I am the tally keeper, I am not their teacher. The traditional educational paradigm, alive and going strong at my school, is that the teacher is always right and the student’s job is to regurgitate as much information gleaned from the teacher as possible. In contrast, the connectivist theory of learning advocates utilizing knowledge found in the connections. Digital networks contain vast amounts of knowledge that no one individual, at least not this individual, could possibly hold within her brain yet all this information is searchable and catalogued neatly through the use of tagging.

Durff, L. (2008, April 30). Practical Theory - Comments on What matters. Post retrieved from & comments retrieved from[entry_id]=954&serendipity[type]=comments  

Siemens, G. (2006). Knowing knowledge.  Published online at Available at

Surowiecki, J. (2004). The wisdom of crowds: why the many are smarter than the few and how collective wisdom shapes business, economies, societies and nations. New York:  NY. Anchor Books.

This is a reposting of a some coursework done early in my doctoral journey.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Cooperation or Collaboration

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Collaboration is the result of the people and machines working in tandem to create a product, which would not be possible had they worked separately or in cooperation.  Shepard (2012) refers to collaborative learning as social interaction during which learners make connections with their learning networks.  She references the social cognitivism of Vygotsky and the connectivism of Siemens to undergird her words.  In order to move from cooperation to collaboration, we must move away from putting ourselves first towards a position of mutual respect.  It is not “all about us” in collaboration.  In order to collaborate, one must trust other people, not suspect them and consider others as more important than ourselves.
Sankar is describing a new paradigm of collaboration between computers and humans.

Dr. Shepard’s chapter in a recent book is available at Springer for purchase.
Shepard, M (2012). Creating a culture of digital collaboration in online learning. In L. Moller &   J. B. Huett (Eds.), The next generation of distance education: Unconstrained learning (pp.127-138). New York, NY: Springer.

This is a reposting from early in my doctoral journey at Walden. I now find myself at the other end of the journey still contemplating the implications of social change in the work that I do.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Bookmarks of Note (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Next Generation of Distance Education -- EDUC 8842 Module One

To be viable, all education platforms must evolve to meet the needs of the times.  This is no less true of distance education.
Distance education will meet the needs of tomorrow's learners, some of whom are pictured to the left (Thank you Ms. Glenn).

Moller, Foshay, Huett, Coleman, and Simonson would all agree that distance education will experience explosive growth in the future.  Moller, Huett, Foshay, and Coleman (2008) briefly describe that explosive growth in the three arenas of business training, higher education, and K12 education.  

They lament the lack of training for tertiary educators in delivering distance education and they identify three specific areas with which institutions must grapple as distance learning evolves.  Moller et al. (2008) acknowledge there is more work involved in developing an online courses; they acknowledge that online courses are considered easier; and they acknowledge that faculty members do not want to jeopardize consideration of their tenure by teaching online courses. 

At the k-12 level, Moller et al. (2008) also identify the need to train teachers in delivering distance education. They recognize the need to reorganize k-12 education systems to incorporate distance learning into curriculum, state standards, and national initiatives.
Dr. Simonson in the videos predicts that distance learning is at the point in the S-shaped curve (Rogers, 1995) when the platform is about to escalate dramatically.  He further expects that distance education will become ubiquitous, although he cautions that there is a need to design courses that fulfill the same objectives for all learners, whether online or offline.

While the authors speak about the differences between face-to-face education and distance education, it must be pointed out that all education is founded upon learning theory.  If educators are familiar with the theories upon which their curriculum is founded, then these theories will guide the learning activities they choose to include. For example, constructivism does not have an online theory of education and an offline theory of education, it is all constructivism.  The same is true for behaviorism, connectivism, or cognitivism.

Huett, J., Moller, L., Foshay, W. R., & Coleman, C. (2008). The Evolution of Distance Education: Implications forInstructional Design on the Potential of the Web. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning, 52(5), 63-67. doi:10.1007/s11528-008-0199-9 
Laureate Education, Inc. (2008). Principles of Distance Education. Baltimore: Author.

Moller, L., Forshay, W. R., & Huett, J. (2008). The Evolution of Distance Education: Implications for InstructionalDesign on the Potential of the Web. Techtrends: Linking Research &Practice To Improve Learning, 52(3), 70-75. doi:10.1007/s11528-008-0158-5

Moller, L., Foshay, W. R., & Huett, J. (2008). The Evolution of Distance Education: Implications for InstructionalDesign on the Potential of the Web. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning, 52(4), 66-70. doi:10.1007/s11528-008-0179-0

Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York, NY: Free Press.

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This is a reposting from early in my doctoral journey at Walden. I now find myself at the other end of the journey still contemplating the implications of social change in the work that I do.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Engaging Learners - EDUC 8842 Module 4

How do online educators maximize the educational experience occurring at the intersection of the social presence, the cognitive presence, and their teaching presence?  How do online educators engage and engross students in course material?  How do educators do what educators do?
There are multiple metaphors for educators.  Simpson, Jackson, and Aycock (2005) claim Dewey used several metaphors, among them, wise mother, navigator, gardener, pioneer, servant, social engineer, composer, physician, builder, and leader.  In addition, there are references by others to teachers as chefs, conductors, concierges, and artists.
Curtis Bonk has written about the online teacher as power concierge when he reflects, “hotels have got it right--they have someone helping their guest find what they need online when the person needs it.”
In addition, Clarken (1997) described teachers as prophets, physicians, oysters, and parents while Çoklar and Bağcı (2011) conducted research on the different metaphors educators use to describe their roles in education. 
"We derive our competence from forming connections” writes George Siemens's.  Teachers make connections for learners, and as John Dewey wrote, "learning is something that the pupil has to do himself...the teacher is a guide and director; he steers the boat but the energy that propels it must come from those who are learning" (Dewey, 1925-1953, Volume 8 page 140).
The metaphors for educators imply connection-making activities.  Concierges show possibilities, master artists introduce different points of view, composers bring notes together, and so forth.  Durrington, Berryhill, and Swafford (2006) said providing opportunities for interactions between students and the instructor builds positive attitudes and raised achievement. 
Meaning-making and forming connections between specialized communities are important activities.  Excellent educators connect students with students, students with instructor(s), and students with content.  They use the tools pictured in the mindmap to make these connections.  When the tools are used to connect students in these areas, a community of inquiry is formed.
John Dewey wrote, "learning is something that the pupil has to do himself...the teacher is a guide and director; he steers the boat but the energy that propels it must come from those who are learning" (Dewey, 1925-1953, Volume 8 page 140)

Bonk, C. (2007, October 5). USA Today Leads to Tomorrow: Teachers as online concierges and can Facebook pioneer save face? [Web log comment]. Retrieved from
Clarken, R. H. (1997). Five Metaphors for Educators.
Çoklar, A., & Bağcı, H. (2011). What are the roles of prospective teachers on the educational technology use: a metaphor study. World Journal on Educational Technology, 2(3), 186-195.
Durrington, V. A., Berryhill, A., & Swafford, J. (2006). Strategies for enhancing student interactivity in an online environment. College Teaching, 54(1), 190-193.
Simpson, D. J., Jackson, M. J. B., & Aycock, J. C. (2005). John Dewey and the art of teaching: Toward reflective and imaginative practice. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications

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 This is a reposting of something I wrote during my doctoral journey at Walden....


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Bookmarks of Note (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Social Change

Bernie and Rita Turner founded Walden in order to provide a graduate education to people not economically able to seek doctoral degrees at traditional brick and mortar institutions requiring a year of residency, is an example of positive social change. By enabling people from other developing and developed nations to obtain doctoral educations the Turners widened the network of scholar- practitioners engaging in critical discourse at a graduate level. Such discourse involves dialogue about epistemological, experiential, communicative, and/or political questions, which as Brookfield (1995) suggests, are questions that frame how we view the world. By becoming critical Brookfield (1995) further suggests, we are able to put names to what we do, break through the walls of isolation and substitute for colleagues who are not in face-to-face dialogue with us. By thinking more critically we are pushed beyond our comfort zones and forced to consider the big picture or the social context of our local dilemmas.

Deliberately creating a change, whether negative or positive, in one small aspect of society produces change across that society. By affecting social change through creation of Walden, the Turners have affected global doctoral education. This action took into account innovative delivery of doctoral education but not necessarily innovative teaching methods. To sustain success into the future, Walden could strive towards more innovative teaching methods, similar to the Siemens and Downes course in 2008. Learning was spread across networks, including Diigo, a wiki, a blog, Second Life, and Twitter. Content was gathered using aggregators and tags, much like a library gathers similar content using the Dewey Decimal system.

Lack of access to education for all by excluding working class people from obtaining a doctoral education limits the numbers of people using critical thinking to affect social change in their slice of the world. By working to change that, the founders of Walden are affecting social change around the world. I have affected social change by contributing to the work of CURE International at their hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan to provide pre-natal and post-natal care as well as delivery to mothers in that locale. Without support, mothers would not have access to pre- or post- natal care or access to safe deliveries. Mortality rates are affected by such social change and make clear that a positive change is taking place in that locale.

Brookfield, S. D. (1995). Storming the citadel: Reading theory critically. In Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher (pp. 185–206). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

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This is a reposting from early in my doctoral journey at Walden. I now find myself at the other end of the journey still contemplating the implications of social change in the work that I do.