Saturday, March 31, 2007

Mobile Learning: The Next Step in Technology-Mediated Learning

"Mobile Learning: The Next Step in Technology Mediated Learning" - - looks at both what learning is and how it might be changing as mobile devices become ever more common. The author of the article, Ellen Wagner, is the director of worldwide e-learning at Adobe Systems Inc. I recommend this brief but insightful article highly.

Courtesy of Stephen Downes - - I really like the quote he chose to highlight:
Learning is a deeply personal act, best facilitated by relevant, reliable and engaging experiences, yet many teaching approaches still rely on more impersonal 'command and control' models that include an instructor in charge, specific goals to be met and criteria to be mastered.

A comment that captures the complexity of education today.

For those who need a break from reading blogs - my Flickr account of being a tourist

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Web: Risks and Rescues

I believe that (most) technology is neutral; it's how people use it that makes it good or bad. It is curious that humans pay more attention to the relatively few predators than to the far larger problem of bullying, which is growing in our culture, not just online. Look at some of the most popular reality TV shows for examples.

Link courtesy of Stephen Downes -,
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Now let's look at a very different number deserving of parental attention: peer harassment, or cyberbullying. Compare the figure of 100 adult-to-minor predation cases in 2005 to 6.9 million "cases" of teen-to-teen cyberbullying. The latter number comes from a 2006 study by criminology Profs. J.W. Patchin and S. Hinduja which found that 33.4% of US teens have been victimized by cyberbullying (see "Bullies Move Beyond the Schoolyard"). According to Jupiter Research, there were 20.6 million US teens online by the end of last year. One third (33.4%) of 20.6 million suggests 6.9 million incidents of cyberbullying. These are the best figures we have on the noncriminal, peer-to-peer side of the social Web's risk spectrum, but are actually much better numbers (based on sound research methodology) than the 100 cases of sexual predation compiled from news media stories. The CACRC researchers tell me they're starting work on a study that will update and vastly improve on that 100-cases figure, but it won't be publicly available for over a year.

I find it interesting too, that I've never seen the positives of social networking highlighted before either:
[And consider one more notable number on the positive side of social networking: MySpace is the source of more than 100,000 visitors a year to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline's Web site. It's the hotline's single biggest source of referrals... .]

So the web is neither good nor evil; it is simply a communication channel for humans.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Teaching and Learning

George Seimens says:
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Innovation requires experimentation. When our schedules are too full for experimentation (a vital activity for helping teachers/educators understand the affordances of social software), we end up in a role of validating the existing structures of learning...rather than pushing boundaries of education for the benefit of learners.
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I believe teachers should be actively learning the new media, as part of keeping our own sense of how challenging and difficult learning can be. We need to model how to take on the challenge of learning for our students,

Clipmarks Again

The first time I tried to clip the demo, I just got the image; see below.

This time I got to the demo on YouTube and was able to clip it there.

If I was successful, you will see it here, however, I will have to edit this post to add the tags.
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Sharing Accelerated - Clipmarks

Here's an interesting service I'm playing around with. I download it and now I'm clipping the demo and sending to my blog. Found through Scoble's blog on Clipmarks.

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Watch the Clipmarks Demo
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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Learning on the Web

I find the web a wonderful place for learning. While learning on the web, I have discovered that I like to see and hear how to do things using the web, not just read about it. When I find a new application that I might be able to use, I look for the Tour or for a video and/or screencast. I start from seeing and hearing; I read howtos, tips and Help later, when I get stuck.

As a result, when I read, in my Bloglines, about Scoble's post about Ning having a new drag and drop set up for creating personal social networks, like Elgg, (my choice) MySpace or Facebook, I immediately watched the 12 minute video on Ning's new and easy functionality.

Now I have my own social network and travel site! And it took me about half an hour!

How do you best learn using the web?