Educational Technology Decision Making
“She walked up to the StarBoard with a banana and just started writing. She said, ‘Let’s say you were doing a health unit. Bring out a banana. Let’s say you were doing a unit on pumpkins. Bring out a pumpkin. You can write on this interactive whiteboard with anything.’ I thought: Kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, I mean even 8th graders would think that was cool.”
Yep. Writing with fruit and gourds. That’s solid pedagogy and clearly 8th graders find writing with bananas to be really “cool.” I’m sure I can find some research to back that up . . .
flickr photo shared by AndrewDallos under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-ND ) license I’ve been thinking a bit about how hashtags function on Twitter when used in course in particular. These thoughts are shaped mainly by seeing how #vizpoem, #curiouscolab, and #thoughtvectors have played out vs some of the other hashtags we’ve used like #vcualtlab or #vcuglobalhealth. There’s not a right way or wrong way to do this but there are certain things that seem to happen when the structure of the hashtag is less tied to an institution. The VCU prefix pretty much means that only people within the VCU structure will use that hashtag. It is less likely it’ll become part of a larger structure for other people to use when thinking about/organizing the topic. #thoughtvectors is an example of a hashtag that has spread beyond the course in both time and people. While I believe Gardner coined?/hashed? the hashtag based on Doug Engelbart’s quote, its first use on Twitter was by Jon Becker (at least according to this site and this site). Since that time it was used extensively during the course (nearly 4000 times) but it’s still being used today long after the course officially ended. More and more it’s used by people who have no obvious relationship to the course and probably no knowledge of […]
One of the moreMany? 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 […]
I had two future teachers in my class last night complaining about a syllabus that it wasn’t scary enough for 9th graders, that they needed to have more fear put into them. The whole “don’t smile until Christmas” thing came up as well. It’s a popular mindset among teachers. I tried the tough guy route for a while. I could do it. It was effective. It also made me miserable and very, very tired. I ended up going the opposite way in the end. It made me feel better and I really got much more out of the students in the end. I tried to have as much fun as possible at all times, even with discipline. Here are two fairly amusing (at least to me) examples from when I was an ITRT. 1. Problem: Students weren’t allowed to install software on their computers, especially not p2p stuff like Limewire. Naturally some people did it anyway. Solution: I had a copy of ARD and would occasionally send out automated searches for stuff like that. When it was found I’d follow this process from my secrete lair. Copy the offending program icon. Erase the program. Make a custom warning sheet (see below). Making it say the student’s name is key. Those little touches mean so much. Replace PDF icon with icon […]