Thursday, November 6, 2008

Future Issues in Education and Information Technology - Part I

Keynote speaker on Wednesday afternoon, Dr. George Strawn, Chief Information Office for the Naitonal Science Foundation (formerly Iowa State University faculty) focused on issues related to education and information technology .

Recommended Books suggested by Strawn that have shaped his presentation today:
The Singularity is Near
Disrupting Class
Second Nature
Phantoms in the Brian

Core concept for his talk today is taken from Disrupting Class by Christansen who also authored Innovator's Dilemma

Notes that technology has had more change in the last 200 years than in comparison to the last 5000 years. 1800 - agricultural age -- horse, water/wind critical technology resources for farming, community life was very localized and communication with the rest of the world took place via postal service mail. 1900 - industrial age -- train, steamships, shift from horses to tractors, community life extended beyond a localized area -- regional/national, telegraph and telephone were main communication technologies at the beginning of the 1900s. 2000-post-industrial age, cars and planes provide transportation, live in a global village, communication media include tv, cell phones, computers and internet. Moreover, think how much things have changed since the microcomputers and internet come into the late 20th century !

Instructional Design Competition sponsored by Pacificorp

Three graduate student finalist teams made their pitch for an instructional design plan to meet the needs of Odin Trucking as part of the competition. This is the fifth annual competition sponsored by Pacificorp, AECT & the Design & Development Division.

Click here to read more about this year's problem that the teams tackled. The three finalist teams included (1) Purdue/Middle East Technical University (Turkey), (2) Florida State, and (3) Indiana State.

Dr. Ana Donaldson (UNI) was a mentor for the Flordia State team members Izzy and Jennifer. All teams had a creative approach for designing instruction to meet the needs of the Odin Trucking Corporation. Stay tuned... I'll post an update after the winning team is announced later at the conference!

Institute for Simulation and Training

Wednesday morning featured a tour of the Institute for Simulation and Training (IST) based at the University of Central Florida here in Orlando. This facility dates back to 1982, IST is considered one of the leading centers for simulation, training modeling, virtual, augmented and mixed reality research for defense and commerical interests.

Examples of some their projects include endoscopic surgery simulator and human patient simulator for medical training, robtics with defense applications and more. To see a list of highlighted projects visit their research project list

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Be an active Web 2.0 -er

Our web2.0 workshop is off and running today at the Association for Educational Communications and Technology Annual Conference. This morning we have introduced Web2.0 collaborative tools using Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Presenter, and Forms. Robin Galloway joined in from Waterloo, IA using iChat

Monday, November 3, 2008

Social Networking

Conferences are a great opportunity to engage in face-to-face networking with new and old friends that share interests. I'm excited about being able to continue to network with colleagues using Web 2.0 tools -- that is what they're designed for!

Tonight Leigh Zeitz and I had dinner with a new friend, Clif Mims (U of Memphis ). Cliff is also a Web2.0 guru and teaches Educational Media for pre-service teachers. Clif is hoping to do some live blogging during sessions here is a link to access Clif's blogsite

It's a small world after all applies to our dinner conversation. Not only to do we have similar interests in technology applications we also had a interesting conversation about St. Jude's in Memphis. I told Clif about my experience visiting St. Jude's when my young cousin Liam was receiving treatment for a rare blood cancer. Clif indicated that his congregation serves meals at Target house on a regular basis and then asked what color hair my young cousin's Mom had? I replied that Gina has brown hair. Clif knows Liam and Gina!! who would have thought!!!

Follow AECT on Twitter by going to
to follow the convention postings.

Never at a loss for words or fun, Leigh attempts to wrestle with a Florida gator at the Outback resturant in the hotel complex!