Archive for June, 2006

Article About Games in the Muslim World

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

Article About Games in the Muslim World (Via Dave McDivitt.) Dave McDivitt’s second go at using Making History in the classroom may be over, but he’s still contributing to the blogosphere good posts about serious games.

The Learning Circuits Blog: Big Skill: Applying and Maintaining the Right Governing and Economic Structure

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

The Learning Circuits Blog: Big Skill: Applying and Maintaining the Right Governing and Economic Structure Clark Aldrich has started a series at the Learning Circuits blog on “Big Skills” that will be worth following.

Big skills share a lot of interesting properties. One is that they are simultaneously relevant for individuals, work groups, organizations, even industries, states, and countries.

The Benefits and Concerns of the Read/Write Web in Education: Blogs, Wikis, RSS, and Social Networks, including MySpace.com

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

I just realized I haven’t shared this here yet… it’s an overview of this topic I put together for the Orange County Department of Education. It’s a 1 page pdf that is meant to be shared with others. The OCDE is distributing it freely, so use it as you will.

The Benefits and Concerns of the Read/Write Web in Education: Blogs, Wikis, RSS, and Social Networks, including MySpace.com

Announcing SupportBlogging.com

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

Announcing SupportBlogging.com (Via Steve Hargadon.) Here’s Steve Hargadon with another brave idea. I just contributed something. Join in and spread the word, folks.

Today I set up SupportBlogging! (www.SupportBlogging.com) to provide an opportunity for students, teachers, administrators, parents, and others to help promote an understanding of the benefits of educational blogging.

To iPod or Not to iPod? (And what about handhelds? And phones?)

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

To iPod or Not to iPod? (Via edTech Classroom.) Here is another iPod in Education post (and Brian’s been posting some good content over at edTech Classroom lately, so the link is worth it). There is a comparison chart between iPods and “handhelds” that neatly summarizes my thoughts on the topic. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately as I consider what equipment I’ll need post-OCDE. I wound up getting an iPod (I’ve been spoiled), but, sadly, it is no replacement for a handheld. I may combine my handheld and phone with something like a Treo 700p, but this is expensive, espcially with the data service, and especially if I don’t switch carriers. (I’d have to buy an unlocked GSM version for T-Mobile for hundreds of dollars more.) Alternatively, I’ll keep my simple phone and get something like a Tungsten TX, but I would really miss the web and email after using the blackberry for so long now. I haven’t sorted this one out yet… and I’m open to suggestions.

School Change and Professional Learning Communities

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

One more thing to share… I am departing a bit from my focus on constructivist learning theory and video games in education for my final Knowledge Area Module (KAM) building up to my dissertation, which will of course return to these topics. For this final KAM (on principles of social systems) I will focus on school change (and systems theory in particular) and then on Professional Development Communities in more depth. Here is the email I sent my advisor last night. I’ll also post my objectives and Learning Agreement (LA) when I complete those this weekend. Then I’ll be doing A LOT of reading. I may have to begin while I await feedback. Dr. Schorger’s daughter is getting married in 8 days. :D

Jock,

I found my search of educational technology change theorists to be fruitless. It seems that educational technologists write about change theorists and apply change theory to educational technology, but they do not seem to generate new theory.

So, I am moving DuFour & DuFour into the Depth portion of my KAM to accomodate Michael Fullan in the Breadth portion. Then, in the Depth portion I can focus in on facilitating school change through Professional Learning Communities. The DuFours will provide the most content here, and I will include several other authors (or teams of authors) who have also contributed to the field. Unfortunately, there are not a small number of leaders, so I will include a larger number of theorists who have each made a contribution to the field.

The theorists for my KAM will thus look something like this:

Educational Change Theory in Breadth
Peter M. Senge
Robert Evans
Michael Fullan

Professional Learning Communities in Depth
Richard DuFour & Rebecca DuFour (The bulk of this section)
Sylvia M. Roberts & Eunice Z. Pruit (one book title)
Huffman Jane Bumpers (one book title)
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (one book title)
Randi Stone & Prudence H. Cuper (one book title)
Penelope Jo Wald & Michael S. Castleberry (one book title)
Shelley Waltonen-Moore, et al (one article title)

As for my original contributions… in both portions I will focus on the application of these theories in the implementation of educational technologies, particularly new emerging technologies such as video games and simulations. I will also reflect on the use of educational technologies, including video games, to better implement these theories.

I made a lot of purchases at Amazon tonight, because I am passionate about all of these topics and I am fairly confident I can write a workable LA for these theorists. So, I’ll anxiously await your feedback on this. If you get a chance to respond before the wedding, great. If not, no worries. I will move forward with writing my objectives and introductions, and getting the reference lists together for the LA, which I will send along to you when it is ready.

Thanks for taking the time to look this over, whenever you get to it.

-Mark

I’m rediscovering my passion for change theories, and I think this is good work to be delving into as I enter the world of educational technology consulting.

Articles of Incorporation

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

Before I crash out tonight, I also want to share that it was a big day for the Educational Technology and Life Corporation. I sent articles of incorporation to the secretary of state. I prepared a draft of our bylaws and of the minutes for the first meeting of the board of directors and a few other documents we’ll need when the articles are returned. Needless to say I’m learning a lot about business (and consulting) right now. It feels a lot like when I first got interested in educational technology, or in teaching… or in music or hockey before all of this.

I know the name is a mouthful, but after dozens of ideas (and name searches) this still captures what I want to be doing better than anything else I could come up with. I went through the same thing a while back when trying to name this blog. I am definitely open to suggestions for shortening it or capturing it in a shorter name, even a made-up word. :)

In the meantime, I may do business as EdTechLife, like the URL. I also have to make some sense of our logo. I’m thinking something like ETL (or ET&L), where the T is a stylized tree. Again, I’m very open to suggestions…

It’s funny, because I won’t have much work yet in July, I will have much more time for my Ph.D., and for the “and Life” stuff, which is part of the reason I’m doing making the change… but this month I’ve actually added to my load – I’ve got my work at the OCDE (end of the year trainings and writing a manual for my successor), my Ph.D. work for Walden University, and now my work setting up the new business.

I miss blogging more regularly, and look forward to having the flexibility to get back to it.

Still, this feels good, and I’m making sure to keep a balance – and to spend time with Eva. That being said, I’m heading back to bed. Well, maybe I’ll skim my RSS feeds for 10 minutes…

Thanks for reading.

iPod has new role as educational tool – Engadget

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

iPod has new role as educational tool – Engadget (Via The Distant Librarian.) Here’s one for Robert and Ted, though I’m sure they beat me to it. I’m glad to see it, though, because I need to feel justified in having purchased a new U2 iPod with my MacBook order this evening – and then logging it as a business expense. With the the educational discounts ($100 of the MacBook and $30 off the iPod) and the promotion they are running ($179 off the iPod), the iPod was basically free!