Archive for August, 2007

Dissertation Proposal and IRB Documents (DRAFT)

Friday, August 10th, 2007

I just realized that I sent Chapter Three off to my advisor almost a week ago and didn’t post it here to the blog. So, with no further ado, here is the monster. It’s 421 pages, but my advisor has already read chapters 1 and 2 and hasn’t cut very much. This draft already includes his chagnes. He’s got chapter 3, which is only about 60 pages, right now. We’ll see how much, though, gets past the rest of the committee… and into the final dissertation.

Massively Multi-Player Online Role Playing Games as Constructivist Learning Environments: A Delphi Study (Proposal) – 1.0 MB Word Doc

I’ve also finished a draft of my initial IRB documents: The consent form, the confidentiality agreement, the data collection documents, and the IRB application:

WagnerIRB.zip – 68 KB, four word docs

Now these documents, though just drafts, are “out there” for anyone else to benefit from in whatever way possible. Like everything else here they are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.

Also, if anyone can offer any feedback at this point, I always appreciate that. Thanks, as always, for reading – even if it’s just this post. ;)

Link: Reexamin Social Network Policy Says The NSBA

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

(Via 2 Cents Worth.) David Warlick writes about a pleasantly shocking report from the National School Board Association that schools should not let the nearly non-existant danger from stalkers and predators deter them from exploring the educational use of social networking sites. Click through to read Warlick’s take, or read the original NSBA Report (pdf).

iLife for Windows? Picasa, Audacity, and MovieMaker

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

I’m leading a workshop at the Orange County Department of Education this morning. The topic is Picasa, Audacity, and MovieMaker. I’ve taught each as a separate workshop in the past, and a few times as all one workshop (including at the CUE conference). In my mind, this combination is the closest you can come to iLife for Windows (especially for free). So, I’ve thrown together a wiki to connect the wikis I’ve created for each tool in the past. Enjoy:

http://ilife4windows.wikispaces.com

I’m considering consolidating all of these workshop wikis in one place. I’ll leave the old ones of course, but it might be nice to have everything under one roof, perhaps http://edtechlife.wikispaces.com – a site that is basically empty right now… the Google ads don’t even kick in. I might even pay to upgrade to a wikispaces Plus or higher plan – and get a custom url. Just thinking out loud… or on blog. If you have any suggestions or feedback, though, please let me know in the comments.

Another Attempt To Explain Twitter

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

At Walden University, once a Ph.D. student is working on their KAMs or their dissertation they are placed into an online “course” in eCollege with their mentor and with other students who share the same mentor. There is a minimal requirement for participating in online discussion, and with my proposal and IRB documents already taken care of, I finally jumped in to participate on Wednesday night. Our advisor, Dr. Joe Nolan had posted this prompt:

For those of you who attended NECC, tell us about one new product, strategy, or game that you found that really excited you. For those of you who did not attend, what is the next big thing that has you going (for me its I-movie).

In response, I decided to try again to explain my experience with twitter. Here is my post, slightly edited since I first posted it in “class”:

Since Ryan didn’t already bring this up, I thought I’d mention that the one web-based “tool” that most impacted my NECC experience – and has most impacted my daily routine since then – was Twitter: http://www.twitter.com

Twitter can be described in a number of ways, each of which only gets at a part of the experience (I apologize in advance for all the ed tech jargon). Twitter is…

  • … at it’s most basic, an opportunity for you to answer the question “What are you doing?” and share the answer with the world, or at least anyone who cares to follow you.
  • … like communal Instant Messaging. When you “tweet” (or post a message of 140 characters or less) anyone who is “following” you can see it – and respond to it if they like – and others will see their responses. It’s open and inclusive instead of closed and exclusive. Some people think of it as an evolution of the Instant Messaging “status message” – for example I set my status message to “Walden University” when working on my dissertation and then anyone who has me on their buddy list knows what I’m up to. The most important difference between twitter and traditional IM, though, is that no response is expected.
  • … like email, except again it is open and inclusive – and no response is expected. Each “tweet” is only 140 characters or less, so it is a rather efficient way to communicate and connect with each other without long messages (like this one).
  • … like a mini-blog, or rather, like a blog with mini posts. Also, there are no comments on individual posts (though they each have a “permalink” as they do on a blog), but others can respond by posting their own “tweets” back @ you. :)
  • … like reading RSS feeds in an aggregator (such as Bloglines.com, NetNewsWire for the Mac, or FeedReader for Windows), except again the posts are shorter, and you are probably following fewer people than feeds. For me, if someone posts a link to twitter, I am more likely to follow it than if they post the link deep in a blog post somewhere. In that way, it’s a better filter of information than my aggregator.

But none of these things really captures the essence of twitter – the fact that it allows you to connect with a community from your computer (or phone) 24 hours a day. I’ve been following bloggers from all over the world for years, but now I have a better sense of the time zone differences between us and of the rhythm of their daily lives. I’ve even noticed my colleagues in Australia looking forward to Spring even as I look forward to Fall. From an educational perspective, this is my learning community… and it could be for students as well – and it could certainly help them develop a greater sense of global awareness in the process.

And this is to say nothing about what an amazing experience it was to be connected to the edublogger community while we were all in the same physical space at NECC!

A good deal has been written about the educational potential of something like Twitter (and there are competing services… Jaiku and Pownce for instance). I linked to some of the most illuminating posts soon after NECC here: http://edtechlife.com/?p=1803

I just searched my aggregator for blog posts about twitter and it came up with 134 matches. Some go back as far as March 16th (though most posts that old will have been removed from my aggregator by now). All but 19 of them, though, were written since NECC was well underway on Jun 25. I can’t possibly link to all the good ones, but I can encourage you to explore… and to try it.

In fact, I just started using a Google Custom Search engine to search all of the blogs and other sites I am subscribed to. You might search for twitter there and see what is being written about it in the edublogosphere (and the blogosphere at large): Search Wagner’s Feeds

At any rate, this is long enough, but if any of you try it, please let me know your ID, or just follow me (and I’ll receive a notification). I’m at http://www.twitter.com/markwagner/

If you’re using twitter (or trying it out) let me know what you think in the comments… or on twitter. ;)

Incidentally, though I haven’t been blogging so much lately, you can find what I’ve been up to on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/markwagner/

UPDATE: Here’s a particularly recent post about Twitter in the classroom, or as the author calls it, Promoting Twitteracy in the Classroom : Apace of Change (Via Dean Shareski.)

Link: NASA – STS-118 Education Resources

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

NASA – STS-118 Education Resources. Along with Bud Hunt, Brian Crosby, and a handful of other educators on Twitter, I just watched the Space Shuttle Endeavour launch (on NASA TV). (Eva watched with me here at home, too.) This is an historic mission because teacher Barbara Morgan, who was once an alternate for Christa McAuliffe, is among the crew. After twenty-one years, there is finally a teacher in space. And naturally, NASA has provided a page of online educator resources related to the mission. There’s still a few days left to sign up for the online training sessions (for teachers), so head on over there. :)

CUEtoYOU: AFI Screen Education Workshop at CSUMB

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

I just announced a special event over at the CUE website. I’m posting the short version here as well, because I’m hoping to get the word out quickly:

CUEtoYOU is proud to announce a special partnership with the American Film Institute (AFI) and Cal State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB). CUEtoYOU will host the AFI Screen Education workshop at the CSUMB Language Lab on Saturday September 22nd. In this hands-on workshop, teachers and administrators of all grade levels and subjects will learn how to use filmmaking as a tool to engage student learning. Through experiential lessons, participants will learn to shoot, plan, edit, and critique film and make connection to their curricula. The workshop is lead by Frank Guttler, Associate Director of the American Film Institute K-12 Screen Education Center and lead professional development trainer for the last 5 years.

The workshop runs from 9:00am to 5:00pm on September 22nd. Coffee and refreshments will be served at 8:30am and a working lunch will also be included in the workshop. The cost to CUE members is only $155. Non-members merely pay an additional $40 for a full year of CUE membership. (Bring your own digital video camera and tape if possible.)

Read more about the event…
Register Now

Please pass this on to anyone you know who might be interested or benefit from it!