Archive for July, 2008

Edublogger Meetups and Edubloggercon WEST

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

I just posted this to the edubloggercon group:

Hey, all. I just started a new page at the edubloggercon wiki for a meetup at the Innovative Learning Conference put on by CUE and FETC in San Jose this October 14 through 16. I’m planning the meetup on Wednesday the 15th at 7 pm.

The Conference:

The Edublogger Meetup Page:

If you’re planning to be there – or to be in the area, please sign up. I look forward to hanging out with and learning with any of you who can make it.

And then, I thought I’d take advantage of my momentum and go ahead and create a similar page for the technology conference in Monterey this December:

Hello again. I went ahead and created a page for a similar edublogger meetup in Monterey, Ca on December 5th during the Learning to Network, Networking to Lean conference put on by CUE and CLMS/CLHS/NHSA.

The Conference:

The Edublogger Meetup Page:

Again, if you’ll be at the conference or in the area, I hope you’ll sign up to hang out and learn with us. :)


Finally, I continued right on with this:

I decided to ride my momentum… I jumped in and created a place holder for the Edubloggercon-WEST at the CUE conference. But, I haven’t talked to Mike Lawrence or Steve Hargadon about this, so it may evolve a bit in the coming months. In the meantime, feel free to jump in and help create the organizing pages on the wiki:

The Conference:

The Edubloggercon:

Hopefully I’ll see each of you at one or more of these events – at least if you live in California. :)

Literacy and Learning in the 21st Century

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

I’m here in Indian Wells with secondary educators learning about literacy. I’m asking three new questions (participants’ responses are in italics):

1. What is literacy?

Reading, Writing, Thinking, Listening. Making connections. Speaking. Using symbols to communicate.

2. How is literacy changing?

Moving from hardcopy to eletronic media. Texting and other non-traditional spelling. More of a focus on retrieving information than memorizing it. There’s new ways to access information.

3. What does this change mean for you and your students?

We need to incorporate these changes into our teaching – to relate to kids – so they can related. We have to educate ourselves as teachers in order to help our students become functioning members of society. We need to empower veteran teachers. There’s a greater disconnect with our prior knowledge of literacy. We’re learning the new symbols from our students. It’s increasingly difficult to address the access issue. We have to adjust.

UPDATE: This post was a live demo at my opening session at the CLMS/CLHS Summer Literacy and Learning Institute in Indian Wells. Visit for descriptions of my daily sessions and links to each workshop wiki.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions or feedback regarding these session.

Google’s Knol (and Links for 2008-07-24)

Thursday, July 24th, 2008
  • Share Your Expertise in Google’s Knol
    From the unofficial Google Operating System blog: “Knol is a new Google service created for sharing knowledge. The service has been announced in December 2007 and it’s now publicly available.”
    (tags: knol googleined google)
  • Knol: a unit of knowledge
    Here’s a link to the actual knol service. It’ll be interesting to see if content meaningful to K12 will emerge. Perhaps students can even contribute!
    (tags: knol googleined google)
  • Human-powered Search
    This is particularly interesting with Knol becoming public: “Mahalo is a human-powered search engine that creates organized, comprehensive, and spam free search results.” Students can contribute via the Green House.
    (tags: mahalo search)
  • Official Google Blog: Knol is open to everyone
    And here’s the official announcement from Google
    (tags: knol google googleined)
  • Blogger Buzz: Introducing Knol
    The official Blogger Buzz blog compares Blogging to writing a knol. “Blogs are great for quickly and easily getting your latest writing out to your readers, while knols are better for when you want to write an authoritative article on a single topic.”
    (tags: knol blogger google googleined)
  • edtechlife – Classroom 2.0
    I debated starting my own Ning or Google Group for workshop attendees, but figure it will be better for them to join an established network, so I’ve created a group in Classroom 2.0.
    (tags: socialnetworks)
    This isn’t breaking news, but I haven’t linked to it here yet… and I can’t believe there’s only 100 members on a global scale. This service from James Farmer seems to one-up teachertube. Upload and share educational videos online!
    (tags: videos)
  • edtechlife | Google Groups
    For what it’s worth, I’ve also created a Google Group for edtechlife. I’m not sure how or when I’ll use this or the Classroom 2.0 group, but perhaps this one can serve as a list-serv. Comments or thoughts on this are welcome.
    (tags: edtechlife googlegroups)
  • 100 Web Tools for Learning with a Disability – College
    This caught my eye among my new blog search feeds: “those with disabilities of all kinds can check out these resources to help them improve their learning potential while surfing the Web.” Assistive tech is often useful for second language learners as wel
    (tags: assistivetechnology)

A Google Group for Walden Ed Tech

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

I’ve created an online community for students, faculty, and alumni of Walden University’s educational technology programs.

I took a crack at this using Yahoo groups back in 2005. Fifty-eight folks at the Bloomington residency joined… but it fizzled quickly. It seems to me there would still be some value in something like this, though. For example, I recently wanted to ping Walden folks about potential speaking gigs and realized there was no place I could do that. And when I think of all the amazing people I met over the years at Walden (the students and the faculty), I can’t believe they’re not all connected somewhere. So, I’m giving it another shot.

If you are affiliated with Walden’s educational technology programs in anyway, I hope you will join. I also hope you will pass it on. Naturally, I hope you point me in the direction of any existing groups as well.

I chose a Google Group instead of a Ning for two reasons, which may seem somewhat contradictory. First, I wanted to keep it simple. Second, I wanted to be able to take advantage of new features that are rumored to be in store for Google Groups.

At this point, the group is up and running and anyone can request membership by visiting:

If any Walden Educational Technology faculty would be interested, I’d love to add you as managers. Just let me know when you send your request. ;)

If you know anyone involved with Walden’s Educational Technology programs, please pass this on to them.

Links for 2008-07-19

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

What’s next for edtechlife?

Friday, July 18th, 2008

The question in the title of this post won’t be answered here… it’s actually a question for you, the readers. Now that I’ve finally finished my doctoral program, I’m kicking around all kinds of ideas related to growing this business. So far, I’m doing exciting and fulfilling work, but I own a job, not a business – and I’d like very much to move beyond that. I’d also like to be able to make more of an impact on teachers and students than I am able to as an individual consultant. Ideally, I’d love to find a way to tap into the amazing community of enthusiastic educators and educational technologists I learn from online so that more of us might be able to pursue profitable work that effects change on a greater scale.

What I do is very much wrapped up in what I learn from all of you online, so I thought it might be appropriate to put this question to you. If you are so inclined, please take this brief poll – and feel free to share your own ideas in the “other” selection or to leave other thoughts in the comments.

I very much look forward to your feedback. And keep in mind this is just a first crack at these ideas – and at this way of collecting feedback… be kind. There are also many more ideas to come. Some just didn’t fit here.

I know this post isn’t about student learning – and that might put some folks off, but this post might model a new way of learning – and of gathering data for decision making in the era of the social web. Of course, I’d wager that some of you might even have some better ideas about how I might tap into the community to help grow this business. If so, please share. :)

Then again, some of you might be put off by me asking for free business advice and ideas… but I still feel like we’re all part of a large learning community that is working towards a greater good and that is the spirit in which I ask for your feedback. Can you tell I’m a bit nervous about this?

Oh, incidentally, I’ll obviously be looking for folks to work with me in the future, regardless of the directions I decide to explore. So if you’re interested – or if you have any hair brained ideas for working together – please let me know. ;)

UPDATE: I’m thrilled to be getting responses to the poll and in the comments. Here is a chart of the results:

Links for 2008-07-11

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Links for 2008-07-10

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Google Docs Forms versus Survey Monkey

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

I received this question by email this morning:

Just wondering…I’ve used Survey Monkey for a long time. It gives you lots of information…what are the advantages of the Google one that we do in Excel? I know about the instant graphing, but is there something else? Thanks!

And since I took the time to send a response, I thought I’d share it here, too:

This is a good question – that I’ve been meaning to answer in writing for a while. Here are a few thoughts off of the top of my head:

Advantages of Google Docs forms over Survey Monkey:

  • No limits (like a free surveymonkey account)
  • No costs (like a $200/year surveymonkey account)
  • No need to export data
  • it’s already in your spreadsheet, where you can graph or manipulate it in many ways.

Disadvantages of Google Docs forms compared to Survey Monkey

  • Duplicating a spreadsheet doesn’t duplicate the form! This is a big deal if, like me, you create many evaluations from a single template. It was a PAIN the one time I tried to do several versions of a form in Google Docs.
  • No pre-set visualization like the simple bar graphs in Survey Monkey – you have to set it all up yourself.
  • You can’t customize the template (colors and logo etc) the way you can in Survey Monkey.

Collaborators are also handled differently. It’s very easy to “publish” the results using either system, but Google Docs allows you to have true collaborators who can also manipulate your data. On the other hand, Survey Monkey makes it easier to determine how much of the results you share and what people can do with them.

At this point I’m glad I still have SurveyMonkey for evaluations, but we’ll see what I decide next time my renewal comes up, especially if Google gets the duplication issue squared away.

If you are using both and know of other differences I’ve overlooked, please let us know in the comments.

Links for 2008-07-09

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008
  • Free Web 2.0 Books
    Terry Freedman has put together another book available for free download. This one contains nearly 60 projects using Web 2.0 tools, organised by age group.
    (tags: Web2.0)