Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Managing Passwords

Like several other members in our Emerging Instructional Technologies class, I am feeling overwhelmed with user names and passwords for all the sites. See posts by Regine and Patricia that express similar frustations with keeping all this information straight and secure.

Patricia had an interesting article from Apple on password generation and management, but that didn't provide the kind of support I'm looking for.

I spent some time researching various products available for our desktop and laptop (both running Windows XP) and found that there are many products on the web available -- and like all things some appear to be better than others. Keith Brown has an interesting article for Windows users as to why you shouldn't rely on the Internet Explorer's password manager at http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/04/07/SecurityBriefs/#S9

I still am looking for a way to make password management mobile. There must be some web-based business that offers a service that can provide portability, accessibility, and reliability without compromising security? If you find such, please leave a comment.

...still the digitial immigrant...Lois

Monday, November 5, 2007

E-book Examples, Collaborative Publishing

In our Emerging Instructional Technologies class last week, we discussed the idea of publishing our group projects as an e-book. Part of our challenge was to locate e-books that relate to our own interests with respect to applying emerging technologies.

In browsing the AECT website for information on the newest book that defines the field, I ran across an entry for an e-book that is published through Creative Commons by graduate students in Michael Orey's classes at the University of Georgia.

The book is entitled Emerging Perspectives on Teaching, Learning, and Technology. To read more about this e-book go to http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Main_Page

To learn more about Creative Commons, go to http://creativecommons.org/about/ With this example intellectual property rights are maintained whereas some sites are completely open for editing and additional contributions -- see this example from Wikibooks at http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Main_Page and one of the examples that I located is on Instructional Technology http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Instructional_Technology

I must admit that I am more comfortable with the first example than the second one -- perhaps that is a reflection of my status as a digital immigrant?

...still the digital immigrant....Lois

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Safety Concerns with using Web2.0 tools

This afternoon I finished editing the second podcast in my series on Emerging Instructional Technologies. I had an interesting conversation with Dr. Tawni Ferrarini, Associate Professor of Economics, Director of the Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship at Northern Michigan University and chair of the National Association of Economic Education's technology committee.

Tawni raised some important issues about some of the collaborative Web2.0 tools that make documents public and accessible to anyone on the web. It is important to temper the use of these emerging tools with a thoughtful analysis of unintended consequences with documents in the public domain. If you'd like to listen to my podcast with Tawni, you can access it at: http://lalindell.podbean.com/

This has been an interesting topic of discussion in our Emerging Instructional Technologies class and it is clear that some members of the class have fewer concerns about disclosing information about themselves than others. There is a lot that has been written on this topic and ISTE has partnered with e-schools to provided educator resources at http://www.iste.org/inhouse/safe/

Other examples include this posting regarding the concerns about Web2.0 tools in the classroom at http://http//wplinfostuff.blogspot.com/2006/07/web20-wikis-ultimate-tool-for-online.html, or see Derek's posting from earlier this semester about how much information to reveal. While these concerns are on the forefront of discussion in K-12 settings, I wonder how often adults think about unintended consequences with information disclosure? ...still the digital immigrant...Lois

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Conversation with a Digital Native

This afternoon I had an interesting conversation with my niece, age 11, sixth grader in a middle school and very much a digital native. She has lots of tech toys and is very much a multitasker as I observed text messaging on the cell, IMing with friends, online games, especially webkinzs, surfing the web as well as carrying on a face-to-face conversation with me.

I got her talking about what she likes to do when she's using the computer. She's had several computer projects that she has done in school and likes her tech class again this year. They're working on editing graphics in photoshop right now for a calendar project.

I told her that I was taking a class on emerging instructional technologies and that I been writing in a blog regularly, writing in a wiki, produced a podcast and had an avatar in Second Life. Her reaction was one of great surprise -- you know how to do that?! she remarked with this look of disbelief on her face. Yes - why are you so surprised I asked? Because you're old Aunt Lois!

I did find out that You Tube "rocks" and again she was surprised that I knew about it. The conversation this afternoon got me thinking about the article I read by Chris Dede from Educause on neoMillennials and their learning styles. My niece has grown up with tech toys in all varities, shapes, and sizes. She is easily bored by more traditional classroom activities -- ie sit and read a paper text or fill out a paper worksheet, but is excited about using multiple forms of technology and media.
To read more about Dede's work on the changing learning styles, see http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eqm0511.pdf So as I think about this conversation I wonder what those challenges will be when this neo-millennial group ends up in the college classroom -- which will be in another seven years!

Still the digital immigrant...Lois

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Promoting Web2.0 tools in your email signature

Catching up on some of my blog reading. I am overwhelmed by the number of postings that are generated by the Mashable site and many I don't take time to read, but this one caught my eye -- adding Web2.0 tools to your email signature file as a means of promoting your Web2.0 activities. This is a gadget from Yahoo that you can add to all your outgoing email signatures to promote your blog.

Take a look at this posting from Mashable which has the information to add the tools to your email signature http://mashable.com/2007/10/27/mybloglog-giving-you-the-web-20-sigfile/

still the digital immigrant ... Lois

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

On-Line Learning Experience

Last week I participated in an on-line learning conference sponsored by Jossey Bass and the Learning Times Network. See http://www.learningtimes.net/ The conference was conducted using Adobe's newest conferencing software which worked beautifully!

There were numerous synchronous sessions complete with audio, presentations slides, and an active chat dialogue that allowed participants from around the world to interact with one another as well as the conference presenters. For three days there were sessions that ranged from "Making the Transition" to teaching and learning in an online environment, to "Skype for Educators" to an online happy hour. It was mind-numbing with the various interactions taking place. Our own Dr. Donaldson was one of the session presenters with her co-author, Rita Conrad. Their presentation dealt with the topic of their book -- "Engaging the On-line Learner."

For those sessions that I was unable to be present for, the recording of the session is available to registered participants (yes, there was a registration fee to participate) and now it is interesting to watch the conversations unfold in the discussion forums that will remain active for a period of time following the conference. See http://www.onlineteachingandlearning.com/ for an outline of the conference. While the audio was intentionally set for one-way transmission, it is possible to use two-way in the Adobe software.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of this type of conference was the diverse group of participants -- and I'm especially taken with the dedication show by some of my colleagues in New Zealand and Australia that were up in the middle of the night to participate in the synchronous parts of the conference.

It will be interesting to watch how this software capability will change the way in which professional development is delivered in the corporate training environment. See http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobatconnectpro/ for more information about the Adobe Connect product.
Still the digital immigrant....Lois
Note: Logo from Jossey Bass Online Learning Conference at http://www.onlineteachingandlearning.com/

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Interesting Use of Social Networking Technology at the Smithsonian

Catching up on my reading list that has been sitting patiently among my delicious tags.

In September it was announced that the Smithsonian Institution was launching an interactive website to build collections for its newest museum that won't open until 2015.

The museum is the National Museum of African American History and Culture and with the online content that people are contributing a virtual museum now exists. Here's the link for the virtual museum: http://nmaahc.si.edu/

The IBM corporation has donated hardware and software to allow for the use of social networking technologies to be employed on the interactive website so that people can add to the collections and direct the content of this new museum. "The museum thought, ‘Let's harness this. Let's build a social network that brings together people interested in the African American experience ... all those people that are your visitors but who have great stories to tell," said John Tolva, IBM's senior manager for cultural programs, in an article in the e-School News magazine (see http://www.eschoolnews.com//news/showStory.cfm?ArticleID=7388)

I'm not the first blogger to write about this topic -- see for example this blog entry from the Netherlands at http://scherlund.blogspot.com/2007/09/smithsonian-debuts-virtual-museum.html, and this entry from the Chronicle of Higher Education at http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/article/2429/virtual-museum-of-african-american-history-opens, and IBM's posting on this venture at http://greateribm.typepad.com/web_log/2007/week39/index.html

It will be interesting to watch how this type of application may spread to other endeavors. ...still the digital immigrant...Lois

Note: Logo from the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History at http://nmaahc.si.edu/

Monday, October 15, 2007

Responses to Ferdi's ISTE assignment

1. Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Students:
A. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
B. create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
C. use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
D. identify trends and forecast possibilities.

Have students create new products or services in an entrepreneurship/business class and then create podcasts or vodcasts that advertise the new product or service.

2. Communication and Collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:
A. interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
B. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
C. develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
D. contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

Create groups of students in a social studies class that use a wiki-space to write a group report on socio-economic characteristics of another country. Explore the development of podcast pals (instead of pen pals) with students in a school in another country.

3. Research and Information Fluency
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information. Students:
A. plan strategies to guide inquiry.
B. locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
C. evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.
D. process data and report results.

Have students in a social studies class gather socio-economic data on developing countries around the world via web-resources. Have students use spreadsheets and mapping software for reporting data. Have students explore similarities and differences between developing countries using a wiki-space.

4. Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving, and Decision-Making
Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources. Students:
A. identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
B. plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
C. collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
D. use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

Have students in an environmental science study recycling patterns in their school or home. Collect data for one month period and then analyze the data set. Students can make recommendations for improving recycling efforts in their school or home.

5. Digital Citizenship
Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior. Students:
A. advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.
B. exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.
C. demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.
D. exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.

Have students study intellectual property rights in an economics class and then examine issues related to inappropriate downloading of music and how the artists and the music industry are impacted by illegal download behaviors.

6. Technology Operations and Concepts
Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations. Students:
A. understand and use technology systems.
B. select and use applications effectively and productively.
C. troubleshoot systems and applications.
D. transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies.

Have students use the statistical tools in MS Excel to evaluate a data set and then recommend possible courses of action to meet quality control standards in production of a product.

iPod instructional uses

Last night's evening news on NBC had an interesting feature on a school in Union City New Jersey where iPods are being used in the an ESL classroom. The story featured ways in which music, audio books and spoken interviews with the iPods were being used to help students' learn about nouns, improve reading and speaking comprehension.

One student interviewed in the story was asked how they would feel if they were using a book to accomplish these things -- her response -- it would be boring! Spoken like a true digital native. The link to the NBC video piece is here: http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-US&brand=msnbc&vid=847ab432-7104-4889-8ac7-c9fd97f836d4

The Apple website has a section for educators with resources for getting started and some great examples of how ipods are being used in various school settings at http://www.apple.com/education/products/ipod/ ...still the digital immigrant...Lois

Monday, October 8, 2007

Tools for the TEKS

While at the national econ ed conference last week I asked several of my colleagues from around the country about web resources that they use to keep their fingers on the pulse of what's happening with technology integration. A number of web resources were sites our class has already reviewed, but here is a resource from one of my Texas colleagues that has a wide variety of topics covered. http://www.wtvi.com/teks/ is the URL for the Tools for the TEKS, designed for Integration Technology into the Classroom K-16 by Wes Fryer. Wes has a drop down menu for readers to select specific topics ranging from interactive podcasts to educational blogg and more. You can also subscribe to Wes Fryer's blog: Moving at the speed of creativity found at http://www.speedofcreativity.org/

...still the digital immigrant... Lois

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Technology Integration and Interactivity

I'm back from the national economic education conference in Denver, Colorado (though it should be called an international conference with the number of attendees from countries outside the US), and thought I would use this opportunity to explore the topics of technology integration and student interaction with technology.

While technology integration and student interaction with technology are not new concepts for scholars in instructional technology, they remain important and many times new topics for classroom teachers at both K-12 and post secondary institutions. One thing that stands out in my reflection on this past week is the lens with which I look at technology -- it has changed -- I've shifted from a content specialist/practitioner to an instructional technologist.

Several weeks ago, Dr. Zeitz's blog addressed the issue of technology integration (see http://drzreflects.blogspot.com/2007/09/technology-integration-what-is-it.html) by noting "Technology integration is not about using technology. Technology integration is about providing the materials and opportunities through technology that are necessary for student-based learning. The trick for making this a reality is to provide a common vocabulary to identify the levels of integration and application." I've also written on this topic and would highly recommend that you take a look at the technology integration matrix from the University of South Flordia that includes video clips with examples of technology integration in action at http://fcit.usf.edu/matrix/index.html

One of the things I've concluded about the process(es) of technology integration is that step one has to be for the classroom instructor (regardless of level) to be open to defining technology as a learning tool rather than viewing technology as simply as a substitute mode of presenting information. I've thought a lot about this idea of fostering a mindset about technology as a student learning tool and I come away from the conference after having served on the NAEE Technology Committee for ten years that we have a lot of work to do.

Some of the uses of technology in conference sessions were examples of using the technology as a substitute mode of presenting information -- IE PowerPoint presentations instead of an overhead transparency/overhead projector. PowerPoint slide handouts inside of a paper outline (or actual research paper).

Yet, other sessions were using technology as a learning tool, but were wrestling with the issue of how to define the level student interactivity. Is clicking on a web-link, listening to a podcast, viewing a digital video, or taking a quiz a sufficient level of interactivity for the digital natives in our classrooms? Do these activities meet the threshold to be classified as active learning? It appears to me that these examples remain passive and that we must strive to define student interaction with technology as a learning tool in different ways. Can digital immigrants do this successfully? I don't know, but I know more thought and discussion is required on these topics.

And, other sessions were employing more "low tech" approaches with either lecture/discussion methods or hands-on activities/demonstration methods being modeled.

In all of the sessions that I attended I found examples of instructional strategies at either end of the passive/active learning continuum and several in between regardless of whether the technology tools were "high tech" or "low tech" in nature. I find myself though continuing to wonder about where we are at with our use of technology as a student learning tool and just how far along the passive/active learning continuum we need to move to be truly interactive.

If you have comments about my random thoughts, please feel free to share them so that we can keep a dialogue going...

...still the digital immigrant. Lois
Note: Colorado Convention Center Photo from http://www.naee.net/

Monday, October 1, 2007

Putting things into perspective

Last week there was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal that caught my attention. It was a brief write-up about Dr. Randy Pausch moving last lecture given at Carniege Mellon University. Dr. Pausch has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and this moving last lecture was packed with lots of inspiration. It is a nice reminder of the really important things in life. The video of this lecture entitled "How to Live Your Childhood Dreams" is at mms://wms.andrew.cmu.edu/001/pausch.wmv -- while nearly 2 hours in length it is worth the time -- especially given Dr. Pausch's distinguished career in virtual reality. Lois

Professional Development Best Practices

Tonight I listened to one of the EdTechTalk podcasts on professional development -- one that focused on best practices for helping teachers learn to integrate technology into their classroom. While to focus of this podcast was on technology, the best practices highlighted could easily be transferred to other disciplines such as economics. You can listen to the podcast at http://www.edtechtalk.com/21st_Century_Learning_25

Here are three highlights that I came away with: (1) the importance of chunking professional development into small managable pieces from which the teacher can easily implement into their classroom soon after the training event' (2) the importance of providing differentiated instruction in working with groups of teachers so that each teacher is able to come away from the training with addtional KSAs (knowledge, skills, and abilities); and (3) understanding the culture of professional development within each school. The digital immigrant...Lois

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Technologies and Late Adopters

One of the blogs that I regularly read is the Freakonomics Blog written by the authors of the book by the same title.

A couple of weeks ago, Steven Levitt asked for advice from his readers from someone who is a "chronically late adopter" of technologies. His orginal blog post along with all the comments is at http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/09/11/advice-for-a-chronic-late-adopter/

Today, Levitt's blog post highlighted those suggestions that he felt were the best. You can find this post at http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/09/25/salvation-for-a-chronically-late-adopter/ It is an interesting read and I wondered what members of our class would recommend if asked about the those emerging technologies that merit adoption? ....still the digital immigrant....Lois

Monday, September 24, 2007

Better Blogging

As part of our Emerging Instructional Technology class each of us is responsible for posting regularly to our individual blogs as well as finding blogs in our own areas of interest to follow. For example, Patricia noted in her blog that she had finally found a math blog to follow, Sarah D has found a blog to follow that relates to corporate training, and Steve is following a rapid e-learning blog. So what makes for effective blogging? Obviously reading other blogs is one way.

Recently I ran across this posting from Sue Waters , who details a project called 31 days to better blogging which can be found at http://aquaculturepda.edublogs.org/31-day-blog-project/ which has a daily task aimed at taking the newbie blogger to an accomplished blogger.

The leader of this project, Darren Rowse is the force behind the problogger website and also has a video blog that he posts to weekly. Take a look at his suggestions for ways of improving the blog experience at http://www.problogger.net/archives/category/video/

Thought everyone would enjoy reading more about these tasks and challenges....still the digital immigrant...Lois

Value of Social Networking and Web2.0 tools

Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace have become an important tool of the "Millennials" quest for social connectios and community. As educators wrestle with how to tap into where this digital generation is coming from, questions arise about whether these tools have any true educational value. I would argue there is another question that we digital immigrants need to be asking -- how these tools have changed the way in which the digital natives think, learn, and interact with one another. I've come across a number of blog posts looking at Web2.0 tools and the endless list of gadgets that have been developed to promote this connectivity.

Sue Waters from Australia writes about Twitter as a micro-blogging tool and provides more evidence about the importance of these tools in connecting people in a community as well as pushing the edge of the envelope about blogging. See this post from her blog at :

For a number of semesters I've been thinking about the importance of interactivity in instructional technology applications that foster a learning community. Perhaps Twitter and other micro-blogging tools are the first step in building an interactive learning community.
Let me know what you think....still the digital immigrant...Lois
Notes: Logos from Facebook at http://www.facebook.com, MySpace at http://www.myspace.com, and Twitter at http://twitter.com

Saturday, September 22, 2007

More on micro-blogging

I've spent some more time exploring this micro-blogging activity and in particular some of the gadgets that you can use with Twitter on your mobile phone and with web applications such as blogger, facebook, and igoogle just to name a few.

What is even more interesting to me is the Twitter wiki that has a community of contributers adding to "Twitter Etiquette" http://twitter.pbwiki.com/Twitter+Etiquette, similar to how email and net etiquette developed a decade or so ago....

Also I ran across an interesting paper presented at a conference last month by a group of scholars from the University of Maryland on "Why we Twitter" (see http://ebiquity.umbc.edu/_file_directory_/papers/369.pdf ) . Some of these communication patterns are interesting and would make for an interesting addition and discussion to our Communication Theory course in the Instructional Technology program.
Thoughts and comments are welcomed.... Still the digital immigrant...Lois
Note: Twitter logo from http://twitter.com

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

:-) Turns 25!

I can't resist sharing this headline from CNN today: :-) Turns 25! You can read the article at http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/09/18/emoticon.anniversary.ap/index.html Can it really be 25 years since the emoticon language has been around? Okay -- maybe I'm not as much of an immigrant as I think I am.... Lois

Technology in Higher Education

One of the blogs that I've decided to follow is one that looks at technology issues in the context of higher education -- which is the arena in which I work. For a number of years, one of the hot topic issues has been Information Literacy -- getting college students to evaluate the quality of the information they use from all the medium sources. You might find some of the newest search engine modifications of interest in this blog posting http://tlt-swg.blogspot.com/2007/09/info-lit-pre-college-via-local.html which also raises questions about how much K-12 students should be learning about being good consumers of information! ...still the digital immigrant...Lois

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

1:1 and Technology Integration

WOW - in reflecting on the two podcasts and the web resources on 1:1 initatives -- I clearly feel overwhelmed and very much an digital immigrant! I was interested in following up on the notion of levels of technology integration in the Maine program.

I was surprised how much I found and in particular liked the materials from Flordia which can be found at http://fcit.usf.edu/matrix/index.html, and New Hampshires at http://technology.sau16.k12.nh.us/techplan/contents/AppDInteg.htm and then this article by Moersch and what has become known as LoTi at http://www.learning-quest.com/software/GET_Admin_Inst/LoTiFrameworkNov95.pdf

I'll come back and expand on this topic ...

Monday, 9/18/07:
Part Two: I've a chance to digest the materials identified above and think about the implications this approach has with respect to the 1:1 initiative. For purposes of discussion I'm using Moersch's LoTi (levels of technology implementation) as an outline. The Maine program discussed the importance of building higher order thinking skills with respect to the infusion of computers in the 1:1 initiative in the schools. Going back to Bloom's taxonomy higher order thinking skills are at the top of the pyramid and include analysis, synthesis and evaluation as illustrated in this picture:

So how does the LoTi framework mesh with this? The top 3 levels of the LoTi framework are integration, expansion and refinement. Moersch defines refinement -- the highest level in the framework this way: "Technology is perceived as a process, product, and tool to help students solve authentic problems related to an identified real-world problem or issue. Technology in this context , provides a seamless medium for information queries, problem solving, and/or product development. Students have ready access to and a complete understanding of a vast array of technology-based tools." I would encourage you to read the Moersch's article and think about the this top level in the framework as a goal for evaluating emerging instructional technologies....let me know what you think....Lois

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Social Annotation

Here's another interesting application that I have heard about before, but had not had the proper name -- another interface that lets you highlight, clip, or sticky-note on a webpage just like the immigrants have done with paper and then you can share your notes etc with others. THe interface is called diigo and can be found at http://www.diigo.com/ ...so will this make reading e-text materials on-line as easy as I find curling up with a book and highlighter, post-it notes, or paper & pen. The digital immigrant....Lois

Saturday, September 8, 2007


Well just when I thought I had begun to wrap my mind around this new world of blogging, I find information on one of the latest blogging developments -- microblogging!

So what makes this type of blogging different? Well basically the difference is the postings are very short entries and there are several tools that have developed to aid the micro-blogger. Refer to http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/10_micro-blogging_tools_compared.php for more information. Still the digital immigrant...Lois

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Social Networking Survey Results

The National School Board Association has released findings from an online survey involving 9-17 year old students and their social networking habits. The survey concludes with NSBA recommending to school board members to find ways to harness the learning power of social networking with this generation of students. Read the entire survey findings at http://www.nsba.org/site/docs/41400/41340.pdf Lois

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Search engines & Facebook

An interesting news item from the UK's Telegraph newspaper on major search engines being able to search Facebook. So what will the impact of this be now that major search engines like Google and Yahoo can search for names of people on Facebook?

This summer several of the human resource specialists that spoke to one of the teacher workshops that I faclitate indicated that they do check out Facebook or MySpace sites to see what a prospective employee might have posted while in school (college or high school) and some indicated that judgement calls would have to be made if issues arose from the stuff that had been posted to these sites. Will the ability to search Facebook like any other phone book search change the way in which members of the social networking sites post information?



Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Emerging Technology Thoughts

There are several thoughts that I have about emerging technologies and our readings from the last couple of weeks. I find I’m in agreement with many of the things that are in the two Prensky articles (Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants and Emerging Technologies for Learning, Vol 2) and Vicki's podcast from NECC on using a wiki space in a high school classroom (wow that was a great presentation and I'm jealous of what her high school students were doing -- I'd like to be able to replicate that in the college classroom.

This weekend I spent some time exploring the use of the wiki space for collaborative work, the use of social bookmarking via Delicious, and the igoogle space. One common theme that ties these three emerging technologies together is their simplicity of use, especially by a digital immigrant and the increased efficiency that each of these interfaces (? Not sure if this is the correct term) offers a learning community.

We used the social bookmarking tool Delicious last fall in Dr. Z’s database class and I found myself using the site to bookmark materials from the web for my principles of macroeconomics class for use this fall. It will be interesting to see how my students respond to the use of delicious for their economics news journal assignment that will be introduced later this month. I’ve moved away from a “news clipping” journal that was submitted on paper to using the classroom management tools in WebCT for reading and discussing news articles. I’m hoping that switching formats to an online environment will make the assignment more interesting and engaging. That is moving from a legacy approach to future approach using Penksy's language. Making that leap is something I'm going to struggle with, but feel that it is essential to add more of these emerging technologies into the university classroom as more and more of our students have no memory of a world without the internet and digital tech tools in their lives.

I was very enthused after listening to Vicki's podcast from NECC on how she uses wikis in the classroom as a collaborative learning tool. I went to the education wiki space that Adam referred to toward the end of the podcast, but did not find the links with examples of how teachers around the world are using wikis in their classrooms. This is something that I want to explore more as I think wikis offer a simple tool for collaboration that should be incorporated into instructional best practices. This is not a topic that has been addressed in my econ ed network and the wikis offer a better tool for collaboration than what we've been doing with pdfs posted to a website or email attachments or the use of meeting software like go to meeting that has a subscription fee for users.

Wow -- what choices for customizing your igoogle homepage -- I spent too many hours looking at all the gadget tools that I could put on the page. In particular I was struck by how many news services are available to put on the page eliminating the need to click through my bookmarks on my computer when I want to get news information. So now I have a news table on my igoogle page and some fun things with features that offer daily photos, quotes, words, etc. This is clearly much more efficient with a one-stop shop fixed on a computer at home or in my office. so for now the immigrant with an acent...lois

Monday, September 3, 2007

emerging technology conference at MIT

MIT is hosting its 7th annual conference on emerging technologies later this month. The conference will feature a special section devoted to women and emerging technologies --addressing the issue of why women are under-represented in ets. I found links to broadcasts from the 2006 conference (audio and video) if you're interested in seeing what was identified for topics in last year's conference at http://www.technologyreview.com/events/tretc/media.aspx -- many examples of emerging technology applications -- Lois

Municipal WiFI

One of the ventures that I've been watching with great interest is the municipal wi-fi initiatives to bring wireless internet access to communities around the globe. I see this as important step in bridging the digital access gap that exists between haves and have nots.

Late last week there was a brief story on the AP wire service regarding the problems at Earthlink, one of the companies that has taken on the municipal wi-fi ventures in larger metropolitan areas in the US. That article has generated a wide range of comments asking whether the municipal wi-fi initiatives are feasible. See for example the short article from Wireless Week at
http://www.wirelessweek.com/Article-Emerging-Tech-August30-2007.aspx This will be an interesting topic to watch in the coming months. Lois

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


This is the blog that I've created for our Emerging Instructional Technologies class. Check back regularly as I'll be adding posts weekly. Lois