Showing posts from January, 2011

Cool tools: Network visualization

The other day I was reading a CCK11 blog on a way to visualize the connections on your LinkedIn network .  Since this week's topic is "the network" on CCK11, I thought it would be cool to see how my network looks. You always get a notification on your social networks indicating who a particular contact has in common with you, but you don't generally get the full picture. With a few hundred contacts on my LinkedIn network my diagram does look a bit chaotic (I don't even want to know what an Open Networker's diagrams looks like!), but zooming in makes things a bit more clear. The main thing that struck me is that LinkedIn didn't ascribe any specific values to the color-labels.  When I connected with people I usually indicated that I knew them from class, from work, that we did business together or there was some sort of consultation going on. To be honest I'm not really sure how this mapping tool color-coded my contacts.  The low-hanging fruit seemed t

CCK11 - week 2: This brings back memories!

This week's readings bring back memories; memories of computer science (creating algorithms in C to traverse a network) and memories of my MBA (organizational development).  Fun stuff! Krebs' reading was short, but quite interesting nevertheless.  What stood out for me was this Common wisdom in personal networks is "the more connections, the better." This is not always so. What really matters is where those connections lead to -- and how they connect the otherwise unconnected! I tend to see this common wisdom with "open networkers" on LinkedIn and other social networks (my apologies if you are an open networker).  I never really got into "open networking", connecting to anyone who wanted to connect with me, simply because there was no connection there to begin with. Now on occasion I do make a request to connect with someone whose work I've read and liked, but I guess one could argue that there is a weak connection there to begin with - I

Preparation: the key to academic success!

I wrote an article last week for the UMass Online blog on the merits of preparation. If you are a current student or if you're an instructor looking to point your students to another student's views on how to be successful in the classroom and get the most out of yoru educational experience then check out this post . Comments always welcome!

Connectivism: just doesn't hit the nail on the head for me

So here are some thoughts on CCK11 for this first week - I've broken it down to both format and theory. Format: I like the fact that this is a distributed blog MOOC. It gives me an opportunity to see what people are writing on their personal blogs, in addition to the CCK content that they post. It's also a nice way of filtering information for me since I don't have a waterfall of information coming down on me, as it would have been if we were using a forum. At the same time, I lament not having a forum because I'd like to know what I am putting on the back burner or just ignoring (i.e. having a choice), versus not knowing what you are leaving behind. Reading documents is actually quite easy for me, I do it mostly during my commutes. The media on the other hand is more challenging.  Flash is an issue on my iPhone, and the video interviews are something that I wish I had an audio-only version, this way I could just throw it onto my iPod and listed during my commute (

MOOCing about

OK, I stole (errrr....creatively borrowed) the title of this blog post, but I don't remember who posted it first (I'll rectify this in a blog post about CCK11 by Friday.  In any case, with school officially over for me, I got my MA in Applied Linguistics, just waiting for my diploma now, I thought I would mess around with the concept of a Massive Online Open Course (or MOOC). There are two MOOCs going on now: Learner and Learning Analytics 2011 (LAK11) and Connectivism and Connected Knowledge 2011 (CCK11). LAK11 is a 5 week course hosted on Moodle while CCK11 is a 12 week course (approximating something similar to a regular for-credit college online course as far as timing goes) that is completely distributed.  There are readings to do, and you respond not by posting to a forum, but rather by posting to your blog, and registering your blog with CCK11 so you can be on their RSS feed and/or daily email. I've opted to be on their email list (as opposed to putting the stu

Tech use in the classroom

Before the new year came in, one of my linguistics professors sent me (and other classmates) an email looking for some feedback.  The question was:  How would you react as a teacher if your students texted, surfed the internet, or did other stuff on their computers during your class? Given that my classmates all come from diverse backgrounds (some in Higher Education, some in K-12, others in Adult Education, and so on), the question is not that simple. I toyed with the idea of answering this before the new year, but seeing as I was on vacation I decided to make it a blog post for the new year :-) So here's my answer: It all depends on context and what I expect from the students.  First of all, I think that in a Higher Education context, it's really unreasonable to expect students to not bring any technology into the classroom and to have all devices off (not silent, but off).  There are a number of comments in this InsideHigherEd story about faculty being very draconian