Educators, help out Alan Levine.
Archive for July, 2005
Online professional development for teachers. Great service.. check it out!
It’s amazing what is being done with Unreal Tournament over at Drexel University.
Critique of open source Course Management Systems. Check it out, Robert. ;)
This is why I’m in educational technology… because I hope our children will explore, not war.
Well, that’s enough procrastination for this hour. Thanks for reading.
I’m writing this afternoon, which should come as no surprise, and I’m still working on KAM II: Human Development, in which I focus on synthesizing a working theory of constructivist human development for application to the use of video games (particularly MMORPGs) in education. I started with the work of Piaget, then followed the theories of his student Seymour Papert, and finally picked up David H. Jonassen, a very blatantly constructivist – yet still very pragmatic – educational technologist.
In his 2002 Learning to Solve Problems with Technology: A Constructivist Perspective, Jonassen offered this compelling vision of MUDs in the classroom, a vision that applies as well or better to modern MMORGPs:
“Imagine, for instance, a MUD in which a student is placed on the main street in a small community in colonial America, with the option of entering stores, blacksmith shops, pubs, jails, homes, and other buildings of the period. Inside each building would be descriptions of the people and artifacts it contained. Students would make decisions and express their choices, to which the MUD’s characters and objects (and other students) would react. Imagine, too, that teachers and their classes could work together to develop new buildings. This option (which is often provided in MUDs) could be great incentive for research, collaboration, problem-solving, and other high-level activities.” (p. 104)
At any rate, I thought it might be worth sharing here. ;)
Thanks for reading.
This is where I am staying at IU, Bloomington, IN. I am on the third floor of the building to the right of the marker. You can see what a beautiful campus this is.
An article about the product I just FURLed.
Can this be used in education? I’m going to find out.
This morning, in the school of eduction colloquium, I participated in an Appreciative Inquiry process with several other educational technology students. The process focuses on the presumption that the questions we ask when facilitatig organizational change will, of course, affect the process and outcomes… and that the asking of positive questions has a powerful correlation with more positive results. In other words, we get the best results by asking what we are doing well and how we can build on that, rather than asking what we are doing wrong.
Now I am sitting in the IU Auditorium listening to Dr. Stan Amaladas, a 2004 graduate of Walden U., present his award winning dissertation on the effect of stories on organizational change. Specifically, he is concerned with how the stories people tell about their experiences in turn color their experiences. His focus was on stories that either facilitated or resisted organizational change, a topic particularly important to educational technologists. In short, it is better to tell positive stories about an organization if you want it to improve. His theory boils down to “we author our own reality” and the obvious corollary is that we ought to author a reallity that we will like.
These things are very much in keeping with my own organizational change and leadership philosophies (and experiences), not to mention my personal philosophies… especially with respect to finding and drawing out the best in people.
However, as I sat here reflecting on these ideas, I realized that I need to apply these ideas to the things that have been frustrating me lately… speifically my lack of time… see how negative that is?
Last year I found peace in Bloomington… and I had hoped to this year as well. I thnk there are some very concrete reasons why I haven’t – many of them related to this blackberry – but the point of this post is that I resolve to now focus on what I AM getting done each day… and to NOT feel busy anymore. I want to live up to my boss’ comment that I am a master of time management… and I want to be known for remaining calm and happy despite the demands of work, phd studies, … and relationships.
I include this last bit becuase at another session earlier today, in which 6 of this year’s phd graduates spoke about their experiences, the last person I heard speak ended her talk with the advice to “make sure you have loved ones left when you finish.”
Thanks for reading.
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld