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Showing posts from November, 2009

Happy Turkey Day (for those in the US)

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I was going to wrap up the month (now that I generally post on a Tuesday-Thursday schedule) with some thoughts on Steve Kaufman's semi recent rant on Theorists muddling language education. However, since it is a holiday in the US and I am inclined to post something more light hearted and humorous, here's a recent xkcd comic on the differences between academia and "the real world". I think that some of my friends out there will get a good laugh! Be safe, don't eat too much (those of you who are celebrating thanksgiving), and do spend some time on homework - the end (of the semester) is near!

Cloud Computing in Plain English

I like common craft videos and I was a little disappointed that I had not seen a new one for a while. Well, the good folks over at common craft have created a video for cloud computing. I think that I sense a change in direction here for these videos - previous videos seemed to be more for the layperson-enduser, however this particular video seems to be targeted toward the layperson-manager. Interesting, but not as entertaining as the other ones :-)

Command Structure

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Happy-almost-weekend! I just loved this PhD strip from a week or so ago :-) Everything is predicated on doing the least amount of work, which is work that doesn't waste time hahaha :-)

Busy month!

Wow, this semester is really (REALLY) moving along quite fast. This month is just flying by, and December is going to be quite literally two class sessions. Lots of stuff is due, lots of papers, final projects, critical essays....wow... So what's on my plate? - Observation Analysis + Lesson plan for my ESL methods/materials class - Complete Thematic Unit Lesson Plan for my Foreign Language methods class (yes they are different) - Critical Analysis Essay for my Foreign Language methods class (plus an evaluation of a classmate's Essay) - Evaluation Plan for an eLearning class (see Kirkpatrick for details) - Put the finishing touches on the Academic Integrity Training that I am creating - Finish off the rough draft of my capstone. I guess I don't really have to do my capstone stuff given that I am actually supposed to do it next semester, but I am really into it, so it's hard to put something down when you've got a lot of inspiration for it. On top of all

Multilingualism, please!

I guess that by this point you've guessed that I am a language geek (among other types of geek). A week or so ago I was reading this opinion piece, titled Only English Spoken , on Inside Higher Ed. The author goes through a synopsis of historical liberal arts education, and the role that foreign languages played in it. The general view of the opinion piece (which you should read, by the way) is that if you are only monolingual you are denied access to a lot of inside knowledge. While a lot of information may be available in your native language (English for example in most cases in the US), and a lot of information is available in English (science and technology related information in my case), there is a corpus of knowledge both written and spoken that is not available in English and that knowledge is inaccessible if you don't know that language. I happen to agree with this point of view and I do agree that as college graduates from US universities we should be at least b

Getting that warm fuzzy feeling of "I've been there! Done That!"

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I guess this is one of those self-congratulatory blog posts ;-) I'll try not to be too cocky about it :-) Anyway. Recently a colleague of mine sent me this blog post from the .eduGuru blog . The blog post is interesting to read so you should go ahead and do that. The quick highlights though are these: 1. College wants to do something exclusive for new students 2. College creates online exclusive community 3. College uses Ning to do it. There have been many instances where I've had ideas for things that would make student's lives easier, but this is one idea that I actually grabbed and ran with it - and the result if the UMass ID community on Ning . Of course my goals weren't just to welcome new students. My goal was to create a community of practice made up of current students, newly accepted students to the program and of alumni. People can come and be welcomed by a community of practitioners, they can find information about the program (what they need to do t

Intro to Instructional Design - what should it be? (part 2)

OK, so in the last post I covered the model to be used in an introduction to instructional design class. Now the model should not be the focus of the course. The model should be an overarching theme that can be used to tie other elements together, and to be used in producing a final project in the course. In an intro class I could expect the following: Introduction to some learning theories : Theories like behaviorism, constructivism and so on. Just give people a 30,000 foot view of the theoretical knowledge in the field. Semester Project : This would be a project that would make students think about all the steps required to design instruction. The topic could be something as mundane as making a spanish omelet or a monte-cristo sandwich. The point here is that students will need to think about everything that needs to go into instruction and create the instruction. This would be a group project (no more than 3 members) Mini Research Papers : Nothing crazy, just 2 papers in a s

Intro to Instructional Design - what should it be? (part 1)

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In the past couple of months I've had some interesting discussions with colleagues and classmates about the introduction to instructional design class that we've taken in our instructional design program. It's interesting that people generally tend to fall into one of two camps: the anti-Dick & Carey camp, and the for-Dick & Carey camp. Before I go on, let me just say that our program uses the Dick & Carey model for approaching instructional design. The camp that loves the Dick & Carey model likes it for breaking down the process into discreet steps. They don't like models like ADDIE or ASSURE because they view them as sloppy. On the other camp, the Dick & Carey haters, I've heard arguments that the intro to ID course should not be a course on Dick & Carey; even though Dick & Carey might be a great model to use in real life do you really have time for all those steps? I think that the truth lies somewhere between both camps. I thi

New media is dumb is like txting - waaaaaah!

I really wish I could do an Adam Sessler like video podcast on this (complete with sessler-like sarcasm ;-) ) - Oh well, I think I will keep it to text. I was reading an article on Inside Higher Ed a couple of weeks ago and I was waiting to see what comments this story would bring up. Alas, only about 13 comments. In any case, the blog post here is essentially about collaborative learning using technologies like blogs and wikis in the classroom, and making the knowledge available to the world and having it be accessible after the course ends - something that is currently not done in Blackboard. I've written about this topic before so it's nice to see others picking it up. The story here isn't really the blog post itself, but rather the comments that were left on the story by various members of IHE. What I find AMAZING are comments like these: I spend too much of my time trying to get students to punctuate, capitalize, and, more generally, to not write as if they'