Ed tech on speed. Ed tech at speed.

One of the more1 overlooked aspects of working with faculty around technology integration is speed- that is moving quickly from an idea/dream to working functional reality. Joy/playfulness is high on that list as well (and probably plays into speed) but I’ll focus on speed for the moment. It’s essential that working with a faculty development/ed tech group be the antithesis of the many monumentally lethargic interactions that characterize other institutional engagements. It ought to be agile. It has to be energizing. “If we have an idea, 10 minutes later we’re trying it out,” Mika says. “It’s like improv.” From a from an interesting WIRED article h/t to Enoch. I think that’s why WordPress has been so successful- it’s a flexible (but not overwhelming) platform that gets you 90% of the way to most destinations really quickly. It’s been interesting to see the possibilities around speed and flexibility keep moving. Talking to Tim Owens the other day about Sandstorm and the ability to spin up virtual just-about-everythings in the blink of an eye and maybe only for the moment. This is the opposite of the pattern of movement that has typically occurred in institutions. To that end, I’m playing with this NMC session description that focuses on the things we’ve been using to get things done quickly. A campy, meme-ified, high-speed […]

Gravity Forms: Exploring a Design Pattern

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-ND ) flickr photo shared by clement127 One of the things we use a lot is what I’ll call templated submissions using Gravity Forms. It’s a solid performer across a variety of activities, disciplines, and instructor technology comfort levels. Costs/Benefits The content is guided/scaffolded so you get consistently constructed products (core elements are there and presented in a consistent manner) in a way that never quite works out with free form entries.1 Want to make sure students apply four lenses of analysis to a website review and end up with consistent titles and formatting? This is the type of construction where forms really help. Often this pattern is used as a way to get the advantage of creating web content without having to give students their own usernames/blogs/etc.2 It does reduce that overhead and makes good sense in situations where a full blog or authoring rights to a common blog may be overkill. One of the main advantages of this type of pattern is ending up with a visible, interactive, and useful aggregation of content. Make that matter. When these assignments have a larger purpose and audience things get far more interesting. A Few Examples These are live classes so please don’t submit entries at these sites. PSY 323< - focused on student submission of video/presentations […]

Simple Debugging of Javascript

creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Dmitry Baranovskiy We have a few people messing about with JavaScript for the first time1 so I figured I’d sketch out how I use Chrome to help debug things. With Chrome it’s relatively pleasant. Chrome has developer tools which are very handy for all things made on the web. They’re even so kind as to provide really extensive advice on using these tools to troubleshoot JavaScript. I’d suggest going there if you’re serious but the pattern described below is far more efficient than my previous technique- which mainly consisted of mumbling curses while squinting very hard at the screen. My technique is essential this- Something is broken. With JavaScript this will often just result in a blank space. Typos will kill you. JavaScript is case sensitive. I right click/ctrl click and choose inspect element. Then I move over to the Console view. It will have bright red warnings about my failure to match things up. From there I can click on the far right and shift to my actual code (the Sources screen) at the place where the issue is occurring. In this case the problem is that it references a div that doesn’t exist. 1 I’m pretty much in that same cohort.