Most Recent Articles
June 9, 2010
It is not everyday that I recommend that you invest your precious time to go and read a vendor whitepaper, so I hope this time you will take my advice. Go to the Symtext home page and download their whitepaper “The New Learning: Digital and Post-secondary Education." Even if you have no interest in checking out Symtext, I think you will find this brief (6 pages) document thought provoking and informative.
June 8, 2010
One advantage of learning technology is it can help us close the gap between and idea and curriculum. When I first started teaching (in grad school in 1993) the task of finding teaching materials was extremely time consuming. I remember spending lots of time at the photocopy machine, transferring charts and graphs to plastic transparencies that I'd display in class with the overhead. Collecting VHS tapes to show video segments in class was a particular passion of mine - leading my (shared) grad student office that was cluttered with tapes.
June 7, 2010
I'm convinced that technology will provide the bridge between learning theory and teaching practice in higher ed. The gap between what we know and what we can actually accomplish is always large. For instance, we know that the best learning takes place in a seminar setting, with students and teachers sitting around a table and constructing knowledge through conversation, dialogue, and opportunities for active learning. The problem is that the resources do not exist to turn every class into a seminar, as the seminar method does not scale. Instead, we have lecture courses.
June 6, 2010
'"The idea of a "senior learning technologist" telling faculty that their syllabi should be made freely available is laughable." --Posted by DrRingDing on June 3, 2010 at 11:30am EDT in a comment to my blog.
June 3, 2010
The marvelous Barbara Fister writes in our discussion yesterday about my argument that Google should provide a syllabus platform:
June 2, 2010
Every syllabus should be published, indexed, and freely available online. Where possible, the online syllabus should have these 5 traits: 1. Published in Web format, in addition to a PDF or Word document (which is better for printing but not for quickly scanning). 2. Contain links to full-text openly available curricular documents and media. 3. Provide learning outcomes at the course and modular level. 4. Include links to the instructor's C.V. and any other online resources or places that can connect the learner with the instructor.
June 1, 2010
We make tons of screencasts for our FAQ pages. Voice-over screencasts are great ways to show people how to accomplish tasks in the LMS, on the Web, or in specialized applications. A movie is no substitute for good step-by-step directions, as many people would prefer to have the steps written out for them to follow. But as screencasting is much faster, and in these days of unlimited demands and limited time, having a screencast available is better than not having anything. (The gold standard is to have both a screencast and step-by-step instructions).
May 31, 2010
Every now and again a book comes out that deserves to be read and discussed by your entire campus (or organization). Nudge and The Wisdom of Crowds are two such books.
May 27, 2010
Dean Dad's "A Nerdy Academic's Tech Wish List" got me thinking about what tech behaviors and abilities that I wish every academic would adopt and posses. If I could wave my magic wand and set a floor, a baseline, for instructor use and adoption of technology in teaching then which behaviors and competencies would I wish into existence?
May 26, 2010
This recommendation is only for people who work in higher education. Civilians should stay away. I have 3 reasons why you should read The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal, by Ben Mezrich. (None of these reasons have anything to do with the book helping you figure out your Facebook privacy settings).