Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wk 4 Publishing_Presentation Project

Growing up I was inspired watching Robin Williams telling students to tear up their books in Dead Poets Society, or Edward James Olmos teaching students to “Stand And Deliver”, or even slacker teacher Mark Harmon in Summer School. I wanted to have a positive impact on lives the way my teachers had a positive impact on me. I want to reach depths that transcended course material and struck to the core of humanity, our passions and our purpose, that special thing that Sir Ken Robinson refers to as “The Element”. I also desperately wanted to wear corduroy blazers with leather patches on the elbows. When I finally became a teacher I was struck by how wrong I was in my assumptions and how difficult my task would be. In the years past this might have been an accurate assumption, however, when I started teaching I became an online teacher. How could I achieve my goals in this virtual world? There are no desks to stand on, no corduroy blazers, and it’s a lot harder to motivate students to tear up their eBooks. One day as I was teaching an online session a student asked “Is this a real person?” In one cursory sentence, I questioned the effectiveness of online education and my own existence.

Exploring this tricky new online universe and motivating students in a purposeful and lasting way through this new technology has been the focus of my 12 month journey through the EMDT program. All too often we look to shoehorn old philosophies into new mediums. This powerful tool has the ability to connect students and instructors in ways never thought possible. This shift in paradigm also requires a shift in thinking. Through this project I have sought to develop a curriculum guided by Self Determination Theory that puts the student in the driver's seat of their academic destiny. While each course must consider the dynamic relationship of instructor and student as well as the material being presented, I believe all courses can benefit from some amount of choice on the student's end. This process necessarily reflects personality responsibility on the student's end and turns their motivations inward causing them to question core beliefs regarding their academic identity. It is a lofty goal and this presentation reflects my experience in giving choice a chance. I intend on submitting this presentation to the AACE in consideration for the E-Learn Conference in Montreal, Quebec.

PPP Think Out Loud Post #1: http://wholenewstudent.blogspot.com/2011/11/mac-wk2-ppp-thinking-out-loud.html
PPP Think Out Loud Post #2: http://wholenewstudent.blogspot.com/2011/11/mac-wk3-bp4-ppp-think-out-loud-2.html
Presentation Project: http://goo.gl/qi1qJ

MAC Wk4: Comment on Shawn McKeown's Blog

View Shawn's blog at: http://lightthestage.blogspot.com/


"Shawn,


I loved seeing your presentation live in the wimba session this week. All of the right elements are in place and it's shaping up to be something really impressive. Please keep us updated on your progress and best of luck in submitting to EduComm. This information certainly deserves a proper forum.


Mike Dunn"

MAC Wk4: Comment on Jennifer Williams' Blog

View Jennifer's blog at: http://digitaltoolsforeducators.blogspot.com/


"Jennifer,


Thanks for your openness and honesty here. It is a bit easier to relax into the comfort of an assignment free universe but to me you seem incredibly driven, I am sure you'll find something incredible to fill these new hours. It is nice to have that reward of achievement and the visual recognition of the cap and gown but I'm sure your true reward will show in the students you touch. Looking forward to meeting you at graduation!


Mike Dunn"

MAC Wk4: Telling the WE Story

In reflecting on this book by Zander I found myself contemplating an interesting dichotomy. Zander frequently speaks about finding your answers by looking inward but at the same time he talks about having an intense focus on sharing with others, igniting the spark, exhibiting a service orientation and so on. How can we be inward and outward at the same time?

The message is simple but powerful, that by taking responsibility for our choices and attitudes we can positively shape the lives of those around us. I am reminded of a simple technique I use when trying to impart some piece of advice. I find that when I start by admitting how I have failed or fell short in a situation I have a much better chance of reaching someone in their situation.

We have a commonality of experience and also a commonality of failure. When we break down the walls of ego and unrealistic expectation we can get to the core of what it is to share and be part of a community. This is a trait of the evolved human, of civilization and positive regard. When we are able to dissolve those boundaries we are capable of incredible things together.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

MAC Wk3 BP5: Wimba Reflection

This weeks wimba contained a good amount of discussion which I unfortunately could not participate in. However, that is the nature of wimba. I was still interested in the material this week and the reflection upon our reading by Zander. I agree with professor Bustillos reflections on leadership. I have had some leaders in the past who "wore the invisible crown" but I think the tides are changing a bit, at least in my small part of the world. I like the idea that we all have the opportunity to leadership in our circles of influence. This really gets to the core of Zanders work, that we all have an opportunity (and I would say a responsibility) to be aware of our influence, why wouldn't we choose to make that influence positive? His work has really stuck with me, I think it is a fantastic motivator. This wimba session provided a nice time to reflect on these concepts. I liked that the difference between simple "pollyanna" thinking and Zander's message was displayed. Sometimes positive philosophies can be quickly tossed aside as "new age mumbo jumbo". There is much more to it and I think the proof is really in the product. It can't hurt to try it.

On the logistical end it was nice to get a check up on the publishing and presentation project as well as where I should be with these blog posts. My peers had some excellent questions and reflections and I look forward to sharing my presentation as well.

MAC Wk3 BP4: PPP Think Out Loud #2

In exploring possible conferences for my presentation the Association for Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE.org) particularly stood out for me. They have a number of conferences coming up and I will be looking to submit to E-LEARN 2012 - World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare & Higher Education which takes place in October of next year. They are currently accepting submissions into May of next year. Since my CBR is based in the online world I think this will be a perfect platform to share my findings. It is also a chance for me to return to Montreal, a beautiful city where I proposed to my fiance. I would love to take her as well.

MAC Wk3 BP3: Comment on Michelle Biroulet's Blog

View Michelle's blog at: http://meeshcapeesh.blogspot.com/

Hello Meesh! The conference you found sounds wonderful. I have never been to the UK but it's always nice to combine a bit of travel with hard work. I'm sure you'll find an interesting perspective to share with the attendees. Good luck to you!

MAC Wk3 BP2: Comment on Jennifer Williams' Blog

View Jennifer's blog at: http://digitaltoolsforeducators.blogspot.com

Jennifer, I am interested in the AACE conference as well. It seems to fit well into my CBR focus and I like how they divided the subtopics. This process is all new to me so I'm sure it will be a learning experience either way. Best of luck to you!

MAC Wk3 BP1: The Art Of Possibility

I enjoyed reading through the work of Benjamin Zander this week and while a number of the concepts seemed commonsensical to me his passion shined through. I have always had a passion for leadership and have long held the belief that real leadership is not a function of position but of attitude and fortitude. When I reflect on the most powerful leaders I have had in my life I find that they had a focus on serving. Everyone has the opportunity to serve and in that sense everyone has an opportunity to lead.

I also reflected upon the idea of change in reading chapter eight. How often do we avoid change in the pursuit of comfort? I often question my own role in this argument. There is certainly place for comfort and relaxation in our lives but if we become too comfortable in the status quo we might avoid a "better way". Many of us have a natural urge to improve our surroundings but we can be stifled by fear.

This book has proved as a powerful motivator and an excellent selection for this point in the program. I am reflecting on the work I have accomplished and I am looking forward to exploring new possibilities in the coming year. Zander's work has primed me to enter this new phase with a renewed positive attitude.

Friday, November 4, 2011

MAC Wk2: Wimba Reflection

This Wimba session was incredibly informative. I think the poll format kept everyone on point. I have to say, above all, the "Fair Use & Creative Commons Resource List" has to be the most useful screenshot I have taken in the EMDT program. This wimba helped clear up some of the murky world of copyright. I feel that I have a stronger understanding of the principles behind copyright law but I think we still hear some interesting situations here and there where we simply have to err on the side of safety. Interesting stuff!

MAC Wk2: PPP Thinking Out Loud

I am excited to enter the final phase of my CBR and bring my research to the educational community. I was amazed and a bit intimidated to see the amount of conferences within the community. There will be some issues regarding submission availability but luckily many conferences are held at our huge convention center in Orlando so hopefully I will be able to find a good fit.

I am definitely leaning towards a presentation. I have thrived in front of a crowd as long as I can remember. My mother put my brother, sister and I in theater at a very young age and I think it gave us a bit of an edge regarding public speaking. I have begun to prepare my research as a Continuing Education event at Full Sail and bringing it to a convention should be a natural step from there.

I am looking forward to researching the possibilities for this presentation though I'm sure it will take a good deal of examination of these different organizations (and possibly some membership dues!)

MAC Wk2: Comment on Jennifer Williams' Blog

"Jennifer, that is amazing! I have an iPad as well. I was a bit confused about how iCloud would work but once I updated to the new iOS I was amazed how seamless it is. This is an excellent example of tech application in education. Glad you have a resilient 5th grader to help with the process!"


View Jennifer's Blog at: http://digitaltoolsforeducators.blogspot.com/

MAC Wk2: Comment On Marc Hunt's Blog

"Marc, I definitely related to the Michelangelo metaphor as well. I love the presentation about artistic identity. With so much standardization in school it's nice to see someone fostering that creative spark. So much of what gets kids into trouble can lie in esteem issues. Art of all kinds has an amazing way of instilling confidence in learners."

View Marc's Blog at: http://marchunt.blogspot.com/

Wk 2 Reading: Shiny Eyes


Wow! What an entertaining presenter Benjamin Zander is, certainly a multi talented individual with a unique and powerful view of the world. I'm impressed with the choice of text this month because it reaches a message or thesis that is deeper than education or media, a message that speaks to the essence of life and possibility. Through Zander's presentation I was reminded of the universality and unspoken language of music. Musician Bobby Ferrin makes a similar point in the video below:


Zander closes with a heartbreaking story about the power of words but what sticks with me now and possibly forever is the "shiny eyes". Zander comes to the relevation that a conductor is silent and that success lies in the shiny eyes of his or her players. This simple statement hit me like a sledgehammer. We are often selfishly unaware of our influence, as educators we have a powerful responsibility. I immediately related to Zander's example and I have seen those shiny eyes first hand when a subject simply "clicks" for one of my students.

In his book "The Art of Possibility" Zander goes on to speak about different ways we perceive the world and situations around us. Sometimes simply changing a point of view can open up new possibilities. A theme I have found throughout is that the answer often lies inward. How much can we change by simply adjusting our approach? While our answers can lie inward out influence is to those around us and our contributions to others. In this sense Zander offers a practical guide to being a conduit of good to those around you.

Here is a quote I will leave you with by French Novelist Marcel Proust:
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” - Marcel Proust (1871 - 1922)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

MAC BP_5: Comment On Shawn McKeown's Blog

Shawn, I had a similar experience when attending InfoComm earlier this year. The focus on education was certainly impressive and you can see that many companies view this as a lucrative vertical. It is wonderful to have an influx of intest in our field but atthe same time I'm always concerned about the ways money can influence educational policy. It is certainly better than the alternative but I think we have a responsibility to maintain those relationships with a measure of caution. Loved reading your post, thanks for sharing your experience.

View Shawn's blog at: http://lightthestage.blogspot.com

Thursday, October 27, 2011

MAC BP_04: Wimba Reflection

This week's Wimba session was crucial in identifying the goals and objectives of the course. I am most interested in the Publishing/Presentation Project. I think the world of E-books has opened up the world of publication. I am interested in a number of academic conferences hosted by the American Psychological Association, the National Communication Associate, and the Florida Communication Association. I am looking forward to putting together a solid package for presentation. I feel that my presentation skills have been well developed but this project will help me build my presence in the industry, something I am very excited about. This is a fantastic opportunity to take my research out into the world and show my results. The flow of the course feels natural and I love being able to revisit this blog. There is a lot of information to review here but I think the process will be incredibly rewarding.

MAC BP_03: hitRECord


Hello friends! For this post I would like to share an interesting website with you. hitRECord is a website/concept developed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Members of the hitRECord community credit "Records" or pieces of art both musical and visual. From there members are allowed to use and remix another members work eventually leading to a full project. The community democratically decides on projects and crowd-sources the skills of the community. Some of the final projects are pretty amazing but the process is really at the core. I am inspired by the openness of these users to share their work and allow it to be remixed so freely. This attitude seen in the Creative Commons community really shows the spirit of collaboration and artistic exploration.

Here is an example of a hitRECord piece: http://hitrecord.org/records/40939

MAC BP_02 - Peer Comment: Lara Large

"Hey Lara! I was excited to see Girl Talk in the documentary as well, great work out music! Copyright is definitely a tricky world and I'm looking forward to learning more about it. I often find myself in a "grey area" as well and I hope this class will clear up some of those concerns. Giving credit is certainly a good first step in protection."

View Lara's Blog at: http://laralarge.blogspot.com/

MAC BP_01 - Copyright Issues

While reviewing copyright issues for Media Asset Creation I was reminded of my first experience with copywriting. I have been a songwriter since my teens but I never thought of copyrighting my work until I started making money with music. After I released my first record I joined the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers. I started learning the bones of music copyright out of necessity. Copyrighting is certainly a large topic and introducing the myths of copyright can provide a solid base to what can and cannot be copyrighted.

Media industries have changed extensively in the past decade along with attitudes towards ownership. While we can all agree that media creators should be compensated fairly for their work many users have abused or ignored this concept with the availability of illegally acquired media. Publishers who have grown with the technology have found success. One significant example would be the subscription model used by Netflix and Spotify. The artist has to make the choice regarding how their work can be used, we have seen growth in this realm by the Creative Commons license.

In the Good Copy/Bad Copy I was immediately taken by the mention of Girl Talk. I have been a fan of Girl Talk for a couple years and I consider what he does to be artistic and original while he uses its and pieces of copyrighted works. As Sir Isaac Newton said we are "Standing on the shoulders of giants". Perhaps this is just a new way to take a creation to "the next level". I was also reminded of the work of Shepard Fairey and his famous HOPE creation for the Obama campaign. I still have much to learn about this minefield of legality called copyright law but these videos have certainly brought me closer to a workable understanding.

Monday, April 25, 2011

BP8_Links To Comments

Follow this link to view my comment on Shawn McKeown's Blog: Education Illumination

Follow this link to view my comment on Jennifer Williams' Blog: Digital Tools for Educators

Saturday, April 23, 2011

ETC_Final Project


Relevant & Innovative Learning Scenario
Instructing Educators To Integrate Twitter Into A Behavioral Science Class


Target Audience – For my learning scenario I will be instructing my colleagues, approximately ten college-educated adults.

Materials – In order to successfully complete my RILS I will need:

- A classroom or work environment
- A computer
- A projector or display
- An internet connection

Objectives – At the end of this instructional session my colleagues should be able to:

- Analyze the different types of Tweets one can send through Twitter, the effectiveness of micro-blogging, and the techniques that various organizations and personalities utilize through Twitter.
- Design their own micro-blogging presence, follow interesting and relevant organizations and personalities, and customize their online presence.
- Create their own Tweets, share links to relevant information, and effectively promote discussion through micro-blogging.

Procedure

1. Discuss the value of micro-blogging, promoting community, allowing for simple and effective feedback and alternative means of communication.
2. Create a Twitter account
3. Follow at least 10 educationally relevant organizations and personalities
4. Review the types of messages one can send and receive on Twitter
5. What to Tweet: Send 3 different types of Tweets: Original material, Retweet & Simple Response

Web 2.0 Tool – Twitter.com

Twitter is a simple micro-blogging tool that allows users to post information, share links and follow other users. Twitter users are limited to 140 characters in the transmission of their messages.

Link: Full Sail BSC Online Twitter Account

Social Participation/Social Learning – An integral part of the Twitter concept relies on Social Participation. It is an environment where the best, most entertaining or most interesting ideas rise to the top. My target audience will experience this type of participation first hand through the “Retweet & Simple Response” exercise where they will communicate with another Twitter user and respond to one of the other participates in the target audience.

Making Connections – Engaging our students on their level and promoting social interaction are always a focus in a forward thinking educational environment. This activity will serve to foster those interests, lend to student focused research and discussion and hopefully lead to more timely assignments through additional reinforcement.

Create/Produce – By the end of this learning scenario my target audience will have learned how to create a Twitter account, produce engaging messages and share relevant links.

Assessment – At this point in the assignment all of the Behavioral Science instructors should have a twitter account with a standardized format (i.e. @MDunn_BSCO) Since I will be able to follow my fellow colleagues micro-blogs I will be able to assess their comprehension of the lesson through the messages they have sent. If they were able to successfully send three messages they will have successfully passed the learning scenario.

Reflection – The reflection process will be observed through their micro-blogs as well.

- One day after the initial learning experience my target audience will be asked to make a quick post to their account to show the most important thing they learned through the RILS experience.
- I will reflect on my own RILS experience through personal interviews and observation of the micro-blogs in my target audience.


Friday, April 15, 2011

PE5_Twitter

Now that we have set up our official Twitter account for my Behavioral Science class it is time to make our first tweet! We will keep it simple and straightforward to start with then we will go over some of the different types of messages you can send on Twitter. Here is our inaugural message:


Next we will post a Retweet or RT of one of the Twitter users we will follow. This function can be used as a recommendation or an easy way to share a link with your followers. For our first RT we have chosen a Tweet posted by Daniel Pink, the inspiration for this blog. The excellent video on Motivation created by theRSA.org and narrated by Mr. Pink has been nominated for an award and through Twitter @DanielPink has shared a link to a site where readers can vote. We will do our part to support and Retweet Daniel's message by simply clicking on the Retweet button:


Finally we will recommend one of the Twitter users we follow in order to share more information with our followers. We will use the general Full Sail Twitter (@FullSailUpdate) which frequently shares information regarding special events at Full Sail.


Twitter can offer a number of benefits and conveniences to the world of Education. While Web 2.0 tools are constantly growing and changing it is the simplicity at the core of Twitter that leads to it's ease of use and popularity. All to often we might champion a new and powerful tool that proves to complicated for those less literate in technology. I am looking forward to implementing this tool in my classroom and sharing this tool with my fellow educators. While the particular uses of Twitter are virtually endless, as it has the ability to evolve as the community sees fit, some of the benefits I am looking to foster include:

  • Classroom Community: As students view similar responses to material on Twitter they will feel a connection to those with similar concerns and interested
  • Reader Response & Assessment Of Opinion: Concerns regarding class material can be easily voiced and address quickly and concisely
  • Collaboration: Students can work together to share links to pertinent information
  • Research: With a number of reputable journals and news sources on Twitter, users can easily search to gauge a more accurate worldview on a topic. This can include everything from Doctoral level research to simple personal opinion.
  • Facilitation Of Discussion: The ease of response promotes quick discussion
  • Facilitation Of Personal Learning Networks: With an open API, Twitter can be easily integrated into a student's Personal Learning Network (PLN)

Some examples found in Grosseck (2008).

References:

Grosseck, G. & Holotescu, C. (2008) Can we use Twitter for educational activities? The 4th International Scientific Conference eLSE "eLearning and Software for Education", Bucharest, April 17-18, 2009, http://adl.unap.ro/else

Thursday, April 14, 2011

PE4_Twitter



With it's massive popularity and exponential growth over the past couple years Twitter might seem like a simple Web 2.0 tool to explore. It's popularity and breadth of use is second only to Facebook and Google and it is consistently adding new members. What is intriguing about this tool that might be initially dismissed as a "pop fad" is it's inherent ability to connect users in times of crisis or need and the ability to share information quickly and coherently. The strength of Twitter may very well lie in it's self imposed limitation. A Twitter user only has 140 characters per message (or tweet) to disseminate their information. This forces the user to be concise, to evoke a message or response in as little words possible. I have been familiar with Twitter as a personal tool but I plan on using this experience to explore the educational possibilities of this tools and hopefully integrate this technology into the learning environment in my classroom.


To start my journey I will make a Twitter account specific to my class, Behavioral Science. Creating an account is a simple two step process. Once I have picked my user name (@FullSail_BSCO), set my password and agreed to the terms of service I am brought to a page where I can follow users based on my interests. My goal is to follow ten users related to the field of Educational Technology. The users I follow will serve as a teaching tool to my target audience. The following Twitter users will serve as an example of this powerful tool and the types of messages one can convey.


Since this account will act as a platform to update our Behavioral Science students I filled in some simple information in the profile section including a profile photo and short description.


Up next we will send our first tweet to tell the world what's happening in 140 characters or less!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

BP7_Slide Rocket Video

BP6_Shawn McKeown

Click here to view my comment on Shawn McKeown's Blog.

Shawn is a professional educator as well as a Show Production expert. This unique combination of the theoretical with real world hands on experience makes him a versatile instructor and an entertaining author as well. The title of his blog reflects this specific mixture perfectly, Education Illumination.

BP5_Rosetta Cash

Click here to view my comment on Rosetta Cash's Blog.

Rosetta offers a unique perspective in her blog focussing on Education Technology in relation to an African based program. She often uses Egyptian culture to show an interesting connection in material that may be unfamiliar to most Western viewers. An excellent writer and entertaining presenter, Rosetta is one to watch!

BP4_Slide Rocket


"Slide Rocket builds conversations not lectures"

Web 2.0 tool Slide Rocket is a dynamic presentation tool platform that allows for easy updating, consistency across presentations and sharing of information. The quote above condenses the message of Web 2.0 technology, that we no longer live on a static one way street of information technology and communication but rather an open environment where everyone can contribute and the best ideas rise to the top. Exploring the tool the features are very similar to Microsoft Powerpoint or Apple Keynote. The interface is elegant and easy to understand and there is a surprising amount of functionality here for a web-based tool. Fonts can be changed easily, colors are editable and there are a number of well designed presentation templates as well. The templates reflect the aesthetic of Web 2.0 design with use of gradients, strong sans-serif fonts, drop shadows, and embossed buttons.

I'm sure every veteran instruction has had at least one time where there slides didn't work due to a technical error. There is always a chance things won't go as planned but if one can connect to the internet they can access their slides. No need for flash drives or file errors. Overall, had Slide Rocket been a simple online presentation tool it would be of note, fortunately it is much more for that. By integrating online conversation tools, Slide Rocket truly turns your presentations into conversations and perhaps the biggest lesson we can learn from Web 2.0 technology is the natural human instinct to converse and the power therein.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

PE3_iMovie

Utilizing the skills I gained during my iMovie certification I created a video detailing the instructors for an assignment my students complete in their second week. I am hoping that the use of video can appeal to multiple intelligences, cognitive styles and the "Youtube Generation" in general. I used the format of a news broadcast. If this proves effective I would like to create an update at the beginning of each week of class informing my students what they will be working on during the week. The course has giving me a greater confidence in video composition and editing. I am looking forward to exploring this subject with more depth.

video

PE2_iMovie


During the course I particularly enjoyed learning about creating effects through lesson #6. The change in interface from previous versions made me feel like they left out some of the fun tools I learned in iMovie 06'. Fortunately there are more (and better) effects in iMovie 11 I just needed to learn for to find and utilize them. I remember fondly exploring the lightning bolt effect in previous versions. The effects in iMovie 11 are much more elegant and professional. I had been frustrated simply adding titles in previous assignments but this lesson showed me how to make my visuals pop with simple editing techniques. I plan on using this knowledge both in my personal and professional life. Having completed the class and earned my certification my next goal will be to put this knowledge to use and create an assignment trailer. My hope is that by creating a dynamic and entertaining video utilizing course concepts I can motivate my students to a higher level of performance and engagement.



PE1_iMovie


I have had some experience using iMovie for educational purposes but it was a pleasure to learn the proper way of editing and composing video through this powerful tool. I have often been frustrated by the interface and preferred iMovie '06 to the numerous updates since. The older versions used a linear style similar to Final Cut and the newer versions appeared to be tailor made for those with no experience in video editing whatsoever. Through this lesson I learned some of the advanced techniques that I was unaware of within the program.

Lynda.com is an amazing resource. One cannot underestimate the value of instructor immediacy but for a strong self-starter the lessons on Lynda can be great introductions to technical topics. I plan on growing my skill set through continuing the certification processes.

The duration of this program was a bit daunting but I found the author, Garrick Chow to be an excellent instructor and communicator. The organization was the class was laid out logically and I liked how I could see which components had been completed in the process. Overall, Lynda did a great job of presenting and organizing this course and I am looking forward to earning my certificate of completion.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

BP2_Edmodo



I was immediately intrigued by this new Web 2.0 tools due to the introduction video I watched (posted above). The mention of "Social Osmosis" particularly peaked my interests. It is true that we have information coming at us from all angles in this modern age in all shapes and forms. From micro-blogging such as Twitter, to long form blogging such as this. From sound bites on the nightly news to full length documentaries and everything in between. We have no lack of information but connecting simple information to true knowledge is the perennial task of all educators. Edmodo is a tool that imitates the Facebook platform but gears it's content towards use in and outside of the classroom. It was very simple to sign up for an account and once in the platform I was triggered to complete a few simple tasks in creating my virtual space within Edmodo.

This program seems geared towards K-12 education and it may be a great entry into the social space for younger students who looks up to their big brothers and sisters that are constantly using Facebook. It is a safe space and there was not any evidence of advertising innappropriate or otherwise. Once I created my classroom I was given a code to share with my students, when the student enters the code he or she is "enrolled" in my class. From there I can easily post an update like "Don't forget lecture is at 3:00PM tomorrow" or "Does anyone have any questions about today's assignment?" By using a platform that many students are already comfortable with we can engage them on their level. The comfortability factor may motivate some students who are normally shy to speak up and have their (virtual) voice heard. As an instructor in higher education I believe my students have the maturity to engage on adult geared platforms like Twitter and Facebook but this would be excellent for the younger student. While it may be some time before these elements are successfully integrated with online platforms in the meantime services like this can serve as powerful supplements. Any opportunity to share relative information with the speed, efficiency and richness that our students are used to in their personal lives will provide a deeper connection to the material we are offering. Presenting those traits through a platform that they are already familiar with is an easy choice.

Link: Edmodo.com
Recommended for: Instructors looking for an education-based alternative to facebook, introducing younger students to social platforms, sharing assignments/media/deadlines with students
Bonus: I really enjoyed this video featuring student responses to a year using Edmodo.



BP1_Welcome to my blog



Above you will find a video from author Daniel Pink. With his New York Times Best Selling "A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule The Future" he detailed with humor, science, and real world application how innovation and creative thinking will play larger roles in the future of our economy. As an educator I have long seen the value of these skills but there has been a significant gap in connecting our passions with our professions, our visions with our vocations. It is my goal to bridge that gap and to examine the different ways to motivate my students in an increasingly changing world. All too often we brush off a new technology as simply a "new toy". The reality is that the majority of our advances involve communications in one form or another. The ability to contribute and connect has defined the paradigm of the early 21st century.

This blog will serve as not only my way of sharing some specific techniques I have found effective with my students but also a platform for other educators to share their experience and expertise. We are no longer encumbered by the restraints and hierarchies of traditional media. Through the use of Web 2.0 tools we have the ability to connect, to share ideas and in a way the playing field has been level by the value of what we say and not the person saying it. These are exciting times and I look forward to walking this cutting edge with you all. Please take a moment to leave a comment below. I would love to launch this blog with a lively discussion.

How have you motivated your students through the use of technology?

Daniel Pink - "A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule The Future" link