Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tracy Mitrano Closing Keynote

Who said:

- "email is for old people" - chronicle of higher ed about 3 months ago
- "for formal communication" - 22 year old undergrad
- "is lame" - 14 year old

Who among us...
- Has a page on facebook?
- uses some form of social networking technology for their work
- has forbidden their son or daughter to use one?


she explains what it is.... A great video of what it is can be found from Will Richardson's website -

she recc's Yochai Benkler's book the "wealth of networks" -
(too bad I missed his visit to MSU recently...)

Pew internet and american life project
- 55% of online teens have created a personal profile and 55% have used myspace, facebook, etc.
- 66% of teens who have created a profile say their profile is not visible to all internet users
- 48% of teens visit social networking websites daily or more, 26% once a day, 22% several times a day
- 17% report using social networking sites to flirt

What's all the fuss about?
It does happen... we need to communicate and we need to apply our physical habits/laws ___as applicable___

- criminals push the tech envelope
- pedophiles and myspace
- both private and government efforts to curb
- private - "security officers"
- govt. - legislation

tough thing is nobody wants to be known as the "guy who voted against stopping pedophilia! So when misinformed legislation is introduced, it's hard to stop it.

What is it about computers that lowers inhibitions?
- absence of physical and social cues that consciously or unconsciously keep behavior in check
- deeply personal relationship with computers, not unlike an analyst-analyuzand relationship allow for unimpeded expressions

We, as higher ed, need to be open about how these technologies are being used. We need to remember how we were at that age... but we need to make sure that people understand what's happening and what could happen.

Read "Thoughts on Facebook" -

With sites like facebook and myspace the companies will likely never promise that they can purge all of your information from their records, even if you don't want it there and discontinue the service, because the technology is so complex and complicated that there is no way to guarantee that all of your information will be eliminated.

As is always said, Education is the key... it's okay to prevent use in some situations, but perhaps the more important way of work

Taking the mystery out of SCORM

** I'm embarrassed to say it, but I'm not as up to date on SCORM as I should be, so I attended this session hoping to learn more**

Limitations to creating rich environments:
- LMS standardized tools
- lack of programming expertise
- lack of campus resources

Tools that have helped students to interact more deeply
Study mate by respondus
impatica for powerpoint
breeze presenter
-- but these tools often have their own set of limitations

SCORM - a standard maintained by ADL Consortium which can give you greater customization of content in an LMS. If it can be viewed on the web, it can be made a scorm object.

SCOrm - Sharable Content Object
SCO's are just about any bit of content created

scoRM - Reference Model
An agreed upon method that enables computers to share info between the SCO and tools (e.g. gradebook, etc.)

This creates a link between the SCO and the LMS database

Browser and LMS communication
--> the LMS needs to know it's a SCO (usually done in the upload process)
--> the LMS needs to know which SCO it is and what files are included (done through a manifest file)
--> more here...

Project grew out of the development of an online geology lab

What did faculty want?
- richer engagement with content
- student demo of knowledge apps
- breakup from the push learning model
- deliver more creative assessments
- more flexibility
- seamless integration
- make it EASY

They have created a "pick and click" wizard for building SCORM objects. The wizard was demonstrated (pretty cool!) and they talked us through building a module and uploading to an LMS

How students are transforming information and what it means for publishing

** This was an interesting session from someone who has been involved in the publishing field for a long time. There are some good ideas and some not-so-good ideas, but it's great that a group is thinking seriously about this issue**

Reader's changing habits:
- google is first choice for research
- the library has become a social space in addition to work
- social networking sites are becoming a new model/medium for publishing - students are creating very vibrant and creative spaces that are facilitating discussion among peers
- Multi-player gaming environments
- students are accessing content on various mobile and other devices

Issues for publishers:
- develop new ways to organize, store and deliver information
- tools and functionality are becoming just as important as content
- need to rethink publishing models
- can the current publishing organizations make this transition?

Scholarly publishing's past
- controlled content discovery and delivery, as well as creation
- This is causing them to focus on protecting the content for "proper use"
- so they tend to avoid partnerships with commercial enterprises
- and disapprove of students' use of their academic technology as entertainment

Scholarly publishing's future
- digital publications that allow exploration of web resources with selection and quality guidance
- storage and delivery for remote access on multiple devices
- Interoperability with online networking and gaming communities

How to move forward
- partnerships with others in the information industry
- user community needs to be brought into the process as guidance
- they need to understand these other environments that are being used

New models
- Networked space for learning (MySpace model for discussions and collaborative work)
- Publisher portals (search results built with editorial expertise and peer review)
- Educational gaming (next generation textbooks involving interactive and collaborative work)

Social networking model (MySpace)
- Myspace/Facebook type of environment for academic work
- which contains dialogue/discussion about class readings
- and collaborate on multimedia projects
- with the support of faculty and librarians
(note: think about this in relation to the talk by Carrie Windham on net gen students)

Publisher portal model
- publishers that have specific editorial strengths will build portals
- they will use their traditional skills for content selection, development, peer review and design
- seacrch engines will partner, adding value to their services
- and publishers will benefit through exposure on the search engine
(note: this seems to be a very conservative model, keeping with old ideas... but maybe that's what needs to be done)

Online Gaming Model
- move textbooks into a new format
- Publishers develop multi player environments that host areas for leadership, team building and problem-solving in lieu of texbooks
- learning objectives will be upheld
- benefit is that students work in an interactive, multimedia mode, collaborating with others remotely
(note: again, think about this in relation to net gen students... is this something that's going to appeal or no?

Benefits of the new models
- it's useful to see a blurring of lines between scholarly and commercial worlds
- it offers the ability for publishers to capitalize on skills of people in other areas
- and it provides and opportunity to collaborate rather than compete with commercial technology organizations

Issues of mutual dependence come up:
- search engines need publisher content
- libraries need use of their collections
- scholars need effective access to info
- students need tools and systems to determine quality of content

Credibility of content
- students are experienced with finding information, but not with evaluating its quality
- what is the role of teachers, librarians and publishers in providing guidance?

Quality assessment models
- Traditional - publishers are experts, they evaluate quality and pass it down
- New - peer to peer assessment is now developing, where groups now determine the value of information
(note: what are the implications of this? perhaps a hybridized model is best?)

changes in credibility models
- traditional model leaves out end user
- peer to peer places assessment in hands of community
- does learning become a process of being admitted to a community rather than receiving experts knowledge?
- if so, how do we ensure quality?

Possible approaches to credibility issue
- Educational resources that combine teachers materials, digital library holdings, the open web, and a collaborative community space

Need for IT partnerships with publishers
- content producers do not have the skills required to create these models alone
- important work is taking place in IT that is relevant for publishing
- collaboration with higher ed IT divisions will be needed
- what are the models for this kind of partnership within higher ed?

Incentives for change
- fact: younger users are creating new models for communication and information creation and use
- question: what role will scholarly publishers carve out for themselves in this new world
- requirement: clear vision of the future, new kinds of organizations, and new roles

New roles for players:
authors - write books, create new kinds of resources
libraries - provide info services - design new tools for finding info

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Learning Studios at Estrella Mtn. CC

These guys are doing fantastic stuff with learning spaces and, perhaps more importantly, are doing great work with assessing the spaces

Scroll down and view the ELI07 powerpoint

Scientifically informed web-based instruction - the Carnegie Mellon OLI

"improvement in post-secondary education will require converting teaching from a solo sport to a community based research activity" - Herbert Simon

What is a community based research activity in teaching?
- theory based
- employs feedback loops
- diversity of perspective, roles and contexts

OLI project goals:
create theory based examples of courses
open access
create a feedback community

They use electronic "tutors" that are basically mini modules that give automated feedback. a cool thing about it is that the tutor will know if the student needed a lot of scaffolding and will prompt them to try again and try to get in without the scaffolding.

Theory based
Build on students prior/informal knowledge
provide immediate feedback in the problem solving context
Promote coherence -- continually promote them tying the individual skills into the big picture
Multiple representations with explicit connections
Promote authenticity, flexibility and applicability

Feedback Loops
feedback with faculty, designers, students
Evaluations - pre/mid/post tests

anticipated benefits -

core community - faculty content experts, learning scientists, human computer interaction, software engineers, evaluation/assessment specialists, Learners, and community of scholars

The challenge of scale
Learning theories are like toothbrushes, everyone has one and nobody wants to use anyone elses
In feedback, the nature of feedback is contextual (i.e. helping people understand how to give valuable and effective feedback)
ecology of use and reuse - mix and mashup of content in isolation (i.e. what is a sustainable ecology for use and reuse?)

Net generation learners - Carrie Windham

** This was a great session with a lot of insight from an actual "net genner" rather than hearing about the net-gen from people who are outsiders looking in**

Net generation learners

1 meet the net gen
2 from characteristics to campus
3 secrets
4 bridging the divide

her Big three - computer, cell phone, and mp3 player

The usual suspects:

The overachiever - academically driven,

creators and explorers - toss out instructio

what are some of the characteristics?

Overbooked - students are
- organizational features of cms are good
- access campus events in a portal
- portable content would be great
- have "toys" available for use on campus
- consider alternative formats for coursework
- don't put limits on imagination
Service Minded
- show connections between class and the world
- imagine a field trip to belfast to examine problems/issues
- doing an ad compaign for a start-up company
- volunteering for credit
- don't be a talking head
- present in multiple formats
- actually show a pig decompose, don't just talk about it
- play anti war music, don't just talk about the movement
- show an adaptation of the painted veil
Tech Users
- remember, we communicate with technology, consider it
- Open your mind to the technologies we want to use
- look into how students receive info (text messages?)
Social creatures
- give us a chance to collaborate online -- don't neccessarily assign collaboration, but facilitate it
- create places where we can collaborate (and not a place you need to reserve 2 months in advance
- encourage discussion in class -- don't just say "what do you think of this..." Post questions before class, or have students create questions for discussions... assign roles for discussion board use
- participate in discussion boards
- make class seating reflect group thinking
Increasingly Mobile
- let us take learning on the go
- think about a guided tour on our cell phone
- let me download a llecture
- create...


#1 we're not expecting to wriet a blog while liestening to podcasts, after we meet you in second life
- we think we're ahead of the curve
- expectionats are actually quite low, yet desires are high
#2 we're not sure we want to see you on Facebook
- students use tech to socialize and comminicate. May not want it in the classroom
- think less about the technology, more about intended use (identify needs --> apply technology)
- make sure technology connects to learning goals, we don't want busy work!
#3 We're not the tech geeks you think we are
(we have an ocean of tech products, but the knowledge is an inch deep)
- tech are important to our interests
- might not understand older technologies
#4 We can navigate the web but we can't really analyze it
- we know how to use, but rarely think about that use
- often confused about how to look for resources or who to trust
- might not think about or understand copyright
- a bit ignorant about how our information is used or viewed
- need instruction in info literacy (ex. every student bring 3 links, then during lecture the faculty went through each site and the class discussed whether they were credible or not)
#5 Tech is distracting, but so is doodling
- tech has nothing to do with our attention spans
- use tech to engage the class (i.e. point students in the right place)
- who said you had to be behind the podium?
- make expectations clear

Bridging the divide
How do you talk to students?
- don't rely on end of course feedback - I care more about what's going to happen in the beginning of the semester, at the end I could care less about the plight of next semester's students
- don't give a survey at the end of class
- "free food" and "free perks" always work
- odds are low if you circulate an email without an incentive
- low pressure group conversations work better than one-on-one

Why Study Users? An Environmental Scan of Use and Users in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

**These are notes from the session, I'm trying to get in touch with her to get a link to her powerpoint which is much more informative (and easier to read)**

They didn't think about value of resources, they focused on what, how, difficulties, why not use?

Digital collections vary in type, purpose and perceived value
Variation in faculty enthusiasm and involvement
different disciplines/institutions, different needs
Wide range of...

What do people use:

Images (75%)
News media sources
Online reference
digital file/video 62
maps 53
online or digitized docs 50
audio materials (46)

How used:

presented during lectures 71
assigned for review/studey 59
assigned for research projects

What were motivations?

Integrate primary source material into course
it improves my students learning
to provide students with...

barriers and frustrations
they cannot substituted for the teaching approaches I use 75
I dont' have time
I don't have reliable access to physical resources in my classroom
they distract from the core goals of teaching

among the top reasons for non-use were rooms

what would be your take-home message?

1- rapid evolution of types of technologies is making it very hard for faculty to keep up... how do you maintain consistency over time given the rapid evolution
2 - there is a tendency to target the lowest common denominator... how do we understand the variety of needs (i.e. reg. history prof versus art historian in use of images)