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 . . .
I was asked to speak about OER in K12 at the VMI STEM conference a few days ago. The speaker before me gave an accurate definition of OER and listed the normal places you’d expect – OpenCourseWare, MERLOT, Curriki etc. For what it’s worth, I listed those sites as well but when the places where I found digital content to be more interesting tended to be other places. It seems like the bridge that is far enough (but not too far) in K12 may be something that provides a central pillar of approved, vetted, standardized and permanentThink textbook refresh permanence. but that provides a access to fairly ephemeral, topical media elements. The image in my mind is something like the vine image below. cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Randy Son Of Robert What becomes interesting is how you might do that. You could create a platform that allows those people with the time/interest in finding and sifting through things to populate content for those that don’t. It wouldn’t be hard using RSS. It seems like it’d be something like SuperPunch where someone who is passionate about a particular topic combs through different sites for things that are interesting. You could do state standard based aggregation but that’s likely to get messy and require an organization that […]
As a family, we have a tendency to wait until the last minute for most things. My oldest son, wanted Valentine’s Day cards with him hanging off a cliff. Somehow we didn’t get that done and it was suddenly tonight at about 7:00 PM. So, I had him hang off one of the stairs and shot it from above. No flash and crappy lighting but a decent enough shot for what we needed. Five minutes later and we had a cliff view thanks to Google. Another 10 minutes of Photoshop between the two of us and we were able to push the finished shot straight to Walmart for printing.I know but focus on the story. After I got everyone to bed, I was able to pick up 35 copies..09 cents a piece, not too bad and far better than the crap I’d buy in the store. I don’t want to make any sweeping generalizations, I just thought it was pretty impressive that we can do things like that in so little time, with so little effort.
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 […]