Archive for June, 2007

Friday Funny – David Tennant Teaches English

For all you Dr. Who fans. Every teacher has had a smart ass in their class at one point and time.  Catherine Tate is wonderful as the student.

Sorry bout that the BBC took that copy down.

Try this one:

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxB1gB6K-2A]

Platform Animation Festival – Cartoon Windows

A building with cartoons playing in the windows. I thought I died and went to heaven! Portland’s Pearl District was just swathed in electronic and animated goodness.

Check out the short interview with Rose Bond the animator who created one of the installation featured at the Festival:

[Youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=qEJ_S5ng06k]

Remember Name of the Rose (the film)?

Spoiler warning… I am going to talk about the end of the movie here. Not at that it matters since it’s been out for years. Also, I’m going to wax polemic here as an after thought to the post this morning on restricting internet radio/and sharing via the net. So I’m giving you fair warning to avoid this post if you don’t want to hear my fuming.

Sean Connery plays the monk, Brother William of Baskerville. He’s tasked to solve the mystery of certain murders at a monastary. He discovers that the murderer was motivated to commit his crimes because he wanted to supress a certain work by Aristotle on comedy. His logic: it is not godly to laugh because in laughing one day you might laugh at God.

This type of black and white logic that powers dogmatism really gets my goat. But you know we can’t seem to escape it as human beings as long as there are people out there who fear change and as long as there are dominant powers that insist upon their views being the primary ones. In corporate speak this means that the most dominant companies rule over the free-market economy (but at this point it really isn’t free any more is it?).

darkages.jpg

I can’t help but think the image of the decrepit and evil old devil from the film spewing vile poison from his mouth when I think of corporations, lobbyists, politicians who seek to hinder any form of sharing and communication on the net (either purposely or inadvertently). I know the proponents of regulation would most likely wail about copyrights and intellectual property laws being breached by the sharing and distribution of things via the net. However, there must be some way to achieve the balance between protecting intellectual property and fostering the public domain of knowledge and content so that everyone can learn, grow and develop from it.

Let’s think about who has the most to gain from restriction of information via the net: corporations and mega-media suppliers which shell out warehouse after warehouse of crappy, unimaginative, and market driven content and products. Think about it. Who has the most to loose from the restriction of information on the internet: You.

Stuff:

Is this TRUE?!!? Are they shutting down Internet Radio?

I’ve been hearing rumblings about this and part of me has pushed it to the back of my mind because I couldn’t bring myself to believe it…. Are they really closing down internet radio?  Are podcasters next?

What do we do? Writing to our senators and congressmen may be too late at this point.  I still have to gather what this completely means to us, the lovers of the free net and free culture, but my gut tells me, it can’t be good. And my gut has rarely been wrong.

I’ll keep you posted on the buzz on this when I can.

Gritty brilliance

tekkon-1.jpg

Last night we went to see an American early release of Tekkonkinkreet.

It was a truly amazing experience, the colors and textures. I came out of the film feeling as if my eyes and spirit were exhausted from the stimuli. If you can get past the good old good/evil theme running through the plot, the story was not that bad as well. Still, somehow I cannot wait to see this film again.

tekkon-2.jpg

Good Overview on Learning 2.0

Are we at 3.0 yet?
Does it really matter what number we’re on as long as we’re learning something?

 

The following article (linked) provides a good definition of the happenings in education via the web.

Per the article headers here’s a preview of the content:

  • Examples of e-learning 2.0 apps and websites
  • Google, Microsoft, Apple, IBM – active in e-learning 2.0
  • Traditional Learning Management System (LMS)

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/e-learning_20_all_you_need_to_know.php#more

They are digging a huge ditch along the front of my house

The city has decided to dig up the gravel road in front of our house to install a new sewer line.  I know it sounds really four-year-old, but I am so fascinated with those huge digging machines. Maybe it’s the simple mechanism enlarged to dino-size that enchants me.  Now there’s an 8-9 foot deep x 4 foot wide ditch in front of our house.  I’d take a picture, but we currently cannot find the charger for the digital camera. The workmen were really friendly and nice enough to let me pull out my car and park it elsewhere so I wouldn’t be stranded here all day. It’s just nice to interact with people who are pleasant and not upset so early in the morning.

Survival of the Fittest Learner

Learner centered or learner driven models of education engage the learner. However, it’s fair to say that not all learners are the same, and the learner-driven model may not work well for others. Some learners will self-initiate learning and others will not. Some learn fairly well in a crisply structured and linear learning environment, some do not. Some learners need a combination of both structure and lack of structure to learn effectively. Still, it seems that any organization that espouses a culture of self-education and exploration is an advantage over those that do not care about growing their people.

I’ve been a sporadic reader of Jay Cross’s blog Informal Learning as I feel very strongly about the possibilities of fostering a true learning/networked culture in any organization. Cross posted a recent presentation on his blog. Though I wish I had been present to hear the speech and commentary that accompanied these slides, as always he presents visuals that are both rich in imagery and are thought-provoking. I guess I could open Internet Explorer and view it (see the post on the Informal Learning Blog), but lately using IE makes me itch.

I am especially drawn to this slide (Slide 14) of the presentation, which basically communicates: If you cannot learn to adapt, you die (or become obsolete).

http://www.slideshare.net/jaycross/free-range-learning-infinite-chickenhouse/14

Given any new situation of change (change of demographics, changes in technology, environmental change, market shift, etc.), unless you learn to adapt you become unable to function in the newly changed environment.

Any leader of any body of more than several individuals whether this be a group, school, community, company, town, or country, should have the foresight to understand which changes will really impact his or her people. * Good leaders know the value of having well-educated and informed self-learners beneath them.

*Good leaders have their ear open to their people and know how to spot those who can inform them properly.

Nice examples of learning formats online

Build and learn from what others have done.Many of these examples are geared for K-12 learning but some of the concepts and examples can be applied to adult learning.

KWL activity example: http://teach.fcps.net/talk/lesson_display.asp?lessonID=76

This is a nice example of a set up of the What I Know/ What I Want to Learn/ What I Learned activity. It allows the learner to prompt themselves about what they already know about the subject, what they want to learn. Then instructs them to review content (via links on the page) on the subject then has them reflect on and record what they learned that was new.

Class website guidelines for Fayette County: http://staff.fcps.net/guidelines.htm

Fayette County Public Schools set up a very nice set of rules for teachers to insure that the web dev done by their students and reviewed by adults before it went live; therefore insuring the protection of both the students and school. It allow encouraged the teachers to learn the copyright laws. Also, some of the rules teach teachers and students basic web design usability (three click rule, font usage, etc.). Although it seems like these rules were generally meant for teachers some of them can be taught and related to the students.


What is constructivism?: http://www.indiana.edu/~p540alex/P540Fall02/unit6.html

On what appears to be a online learning unit, this page provided a good description of constructivism:

As a set of instructional practices, constructivism favors processes over end products; guided discovery over expository learning; authentic, embedded learning situations over abstracted, artificial ones; portfolio assessments over multiple-choice exams, etc..

What I liked about this activity was that it had teachers consider or develop a constructivist activity and then made them to consider whether and how their constructivist learning activities could be evaluated or measured for student learning success. This page also offered some great examples of “Web-based ‘constructivist’ learning environments”:

The Webquest Page (http://webquest.sdsu.edu/webquest.html)

TAPPED-IN (http://www.tappedin.org/)

The Global Schoolhouse (http://www.globalschoolnet.org/gsh/)
Check out their Virtual Field Trips (http://www.globalschoolhouse.org/project/fieldtrips/)

Learning to Teach with Technology Studio (http://ltts.org)

Constructivist Learning Activities Matrix: http://www.bcit.ca/files/ltc/pdf/constructivistactivities.pdf

From the BCIT Learning and Teaching Centre, this is sort of like the matrix/decoder ring I presented in my previous post. What I like about how this material is presented is that it translates the learning activity from “Low Tech” to “High Tech” solutions. Though you might have to substitute some of the hire tech items with more familiar tools like Breeze/Connect, Elluminate, etc. I believe this matrix was developed in 2002. However, it still provides a good framework for understanding the possibilities for online learning activities especially when you’re on a budget.

Innovation happens via Connections

  • Connections between people/their products and ideas can result in innovation
  • Knowledge Management if properly “fostered” can result in more connections
  • Infrastructure and rules if not managed judiciously can result in stagnant bureaucracy

James Burke’s Connections – Episode 10 Part I

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RSpgxK8h5U]


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