Instructional Media or “What’s an Overhead?”

School Hierarchy vs Network Hierarchy

December 2, 2010 · No Comments

What gets communicated

This amazing little graphic that I ran across, published by PLearn on Flickr, really captures the two opposing environments. The question is, where do we fit in? What’s the learning environment that we create around us? How do we make the transition to the other? And how do we take others along with us?

Developing a Personal Learning Network is a revolutionary practice, but the next logical step, is to challenge one’s own colleagues to join in the transformation. And therein lies the biggest challenge.

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eReader Textbooks? A Paradigm in need of traction

October 25, 2010 · No Comments

I just had a flash occur. One of those “ah ha!” moments. Schools are struggling with budgets. Textbooks eat away huge amounts of money each year which could be spent on other things.
What is a new paradigm existed for textbooks? Maybe it already does.
Read, Write Web reports that Kindle books now outsell print bestsellers.
What if we changed how schools deliver textbook materials?
What if books were made available to students digitally? What if, for now, schools that purchased hard copies were able to “sell” digital copies to the public to recoop part of the cost? Or maybe, to extend the paradigm, that the resources used to print the paper copies were replaced with school issued digital licenses to each student?
It raises equity issues, sure. But maybe, just maybe, we can move this idea along faster if we embraced it.

Maybe we need to start thinking of the 22nd century now, as Will Richardson, educational blogger has recently pointed out in a Tweet, since educational change takes so long.

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Social Media at the Office?! Dilbert’s View

September 13, 2010 · No Comments

Click the comic strip to see in full view on the Dilbert site!

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A 21st Century Education: Film Series

August 23, 2010 · No Comments

The film below is a must see for educators. We live in the 21st century. We teach in the 20th. How can we make the transition? Here are some ways to challenge our thinking about the need to move more quickly to change what is learned, what is taught, how we teach it.
The introduction to the film series “21st Century Education” can be viewed in its entirety here.

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History as Art

July 12, 2010 · No Comments

The world’s history of nuclear explosions reduced to 10 minutes in the form of digital art.

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Pulling the finger out of the hole in the dam…just might lead to electricity

July 5, 2010 · 1 Comment

I have written a lot about Internet filtering here and hosted a live broadcast about it.

This Edutopia report suggests there are progressive technology leaders out there prepared to take the risk. Are you one of them? Or are you satisfied with the status quo? What will our children say in 10 years about us when the rest of the educational world has already opened the Internet in more progressive ways that support 21st century learning?

Are we prepared to tap into the new energy created when the floodgates open, or are we prepared just to sit by and watch what happens. Will we be making things happen, watching things happen or saying, “What just happened?!” Canadian schools, without the economic noose around their necks that exists in the form of CIPA, the US Children’s Internet Protection Act, should be leading the way with this. Sadly, this isn’t doesn’t appear to be true.

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Canadians and Social Media…eh!

July 5, 2010 · No Comments

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July 5, 2010 · No Comments

I have just started reading Daniel Pink’s “Drive.” If you haven’t heard about Pink, or his other books (A Whole New Mind is a must read), you may want to look at this, and then head to your nearest library or bookseller. Pink explodes the myths about what motivates us. Have a watch.

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The Assessment, The Evaluation, the The Rubric…do they matter?

June 26, 2010 · No Comments

This post is a discussion of the self-assessment I did for one of my many Wilkes Projects. I chose one from my first course, a Google Earth Virtual Field Trip for the course EDIM 508- Digital Media in the Classroom. I completed a rather unique and, I thought at the time, original, use of this kind of project. I chose to map out a Grade 7 novel, Remote Man, that I had used with my students. Author Elizabeth Honey had collaborated with me a number of times to create a live, online discussion with my students about the book. It seemed natural to explore this story using Google Earth. I blogged about this before in 2008. Later on, I polished the virtual field trip when I discovered a website,, that promoted the use of Google Earth as a way to teach literature. I was thrilled that my work was published. This kind of reward far outweighs the grade received from my Wilkes instructor or my own self-evaluation here!

The Rubric I chose was one of the samples provided and was a General Rubric for Multi-Use Projects, and includes a long list of criteria areas, as well as criteria unique to certain types of projects, including multi-media, Powerpoint and Google Earth field trips. Since it included the project type I chose to evaluate, it seemed a good fit.

I chose a limited number of criteria to self-evaluate my work:

  1. Multimedia Components
    1. Descriptive or narrative
      1. Shows evidence of pre-writing; well structured; does not ramble; length is appropriate and shows some editing. Mark: A
      2. Google Earth tour-Tour has 8 placemarks; connected with the GE path tool; displaying a photo ,a brief description, and a link or embedded material. Mark: A- due to GE path not used
  2. Required Elements
    1. Deep Reasoning & Understanding- The Rubric cited requires that teachers apply specific criteria that would be in their Assessment Plan for evidence of learning. My evidence is the fact that I elaborately connected material in the book Remote Man, information and insights of the author, my own personal experiences and insights, about the story, and its meaning, in a unique and creative way. My Mark: A
    2. Learning Targets-
      1. Factual Information-facts in the first 2 sections show a detailed and thorough understanding of concepts, processes, problems, benefits, or issues. Mark: A
      2. Mechanics of writing-Mark: A
      3. Ethical use of images and music;
        1. All images and music are from CC sources, used with written permission, or original. Mark: A
  3. Effectiveness and Impact
    1. Thoughtful, Persuasive, Creative, Original, Compelling, Emotional appeal
      1. 5 or 6 criteria are present in any or all of the parts of the presentation- Mark: A
  4. Injection of Personality
    1. The personality of the writer is evident through his/her use of humor, personal experiences, and development of a personal point of view. Mark: A

So this is the point where the Rubric ends. There needs to be some other criteria for this specific project, but the ones above, chosen from the example Rubric, certainly cover most of the product.

Here are some Google Earth skills and process criteria that would be useful for the evaluation, some of which were included in the original Course EDIM 508 Rubric for the project and should be included, in some form, in a student Rubric.

  1. Instructional design (clear instructions, logical flow between placemarks, etc.)
  2. Insertion of images
  3. Integration of content in placemarks
  4. Application- used the learning is a unique or original application
For further information about this project, the Reflection Paper document I submitted with it provides extra discussion and explanation.
Overall, I achieved an “A” and rightly so! My work was original, in that I applied my learning in a unique way and furthermore, had it published more widely as a result. Did all this matter? Yes! But the intrinsic rewards bestowed on me when I saw it published on the Internet were far greater!

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Mobiles in the Mountains Redux

June 25, 2010 · No Comments

In my recent post about how Australian teacher Jarrod Robinson used mobile phones on field trips, I referred to Robinson’s well crafted Blog that is really worth following. I am pleased to say that has written a follow up to my questions about his Grampian Mountain Project on his Blog, explaining some of the challenges and successes of the project.
Check it out!

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