Archive for October, 2007

Links for 2007-10-13

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

Create a Permeable Classroom – Part I: Google Docs Presentations (ITM Post)

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Create a Permeable Classroom – Part I: Google Docs Presentations (Via Infinite Thinking Machine.) I just finished a new post for the ITM. I adapted my earlier reflections on Google Docs, which were really meant for an audience of educational technologists, for the ITM and an audience of classroom teachers. I hope I’ve successfully captured the benefits and limits of the tool in a way that would benefit teachers on the front line. Of course I hope you’ll leave your own comments and tips as well. :)

Next week I’ll post Part II: Live Web TV. I plan to discuss ustream, and perhaps Operator11 or Mogulus.

Links for 2007-10-11

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

Massively Multiplayer Schools (NECC Submission)

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Finally, here is the fifth of five submissions I made for NECC 2008. This is also a presentation I’ve never done, though I’ve submitted it once already… it’s the second time I’ve submitted to present my dissertation, which I hope to complete by the time my baby is born in February. (I also submitted this for the 2008 CUE Conference, though it seems I didn’t post about it here.) This one for NECC will really mean something, though, if I get it. I submitted it as an academic paper and it will undergo double blind peer review. :)

I hope I’ll get to give the talk, and I hope some of you will get to join me. In the meantime, let me know what you think of this approach to sharing it.


Massively Multiplayer Schools: Do MMORPGs Have a Future in Education?


Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games are engaging and motivating. Can they also support context-embedded, inquiry-driven, and socially negotiated learning – while encouraging reflection and metacognition?


Formal K12 education remains much as it did a century ago, but in the era of the Internet, cell phones, and videogames, students have changed. Videogames and simulations show potential as engaging and motivating learning environments. MMORPGs in particular have social and cooperative elements that might be valuable for educational purposes. However, despite a breadth of research about videogames and learning in general, the potential uses of MMORPGs in formal education are poorly understood. Therefore, this study aims to inquire into potential applications for MMORPGs as constructivist learning environments in formal K12 education , and to understand related benefits and drawbacks. Two pillars of theory support this study: constructivist learning theory and digital game-based learning theory. The study will employ a grounded theory paradigm of qualitative research and the Delphi method of inquiry. The expert panel will consist of 12 to 24 adult experts drawn from the field of videogames and learning. Both industry professionals and academics will be represented in the population. The concensus of the panel’s predictions, and any outlying or dissenting perspectives, will be reported in the final paper.

There isn’t really an outline for this type of session, and I don’t want to post the entire length of the submission here, so please check out the complete archive of the submission if you are interested:

Massively Multiplayer Schools (NECC 2008 Submission)

As always, I’d be thrilled to receive any feedback on this. Please leave a comment.

Links for 2007-10-10

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Cahuilla CUE, Google Presentations, Ustream, and K12online All The Time

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

On Saturday I had the opportunity to drive out to Palm Springs for the Cahuilla CUE Tech Fair. Cahuilla CUE is a local affiliate of Computer Using Educators based in the Cochella Valley. Dr. Lee Grafton, the vice president of the affiliate helped organize the event and a series of CUEtoYOU professional development workshops to follow. She invited me to “keynote” the small event and then lead two 1 hour sessions immediately after my talk. Here’s the “handouts” page (meaning links to the wikis) for all three sessions:

Even though the event was small and the keynote was short, I was surprisingly nervous about this event… I was trying lots of new things:

  • First of all, though it was only 20 minutes, this was my first opportunity to roll out a version of my “Learning to Network & Networking to Learn” topic.
  • Second, for the presentation I created all new slides, avoiding bullets and text for the most part – and focusing on storytelling rather than information transmission. (I was a bit nervous about how fluid I would be and how well I would keep to the strict time constraints.)
  • Third, I used a Google Docs presentation and planned to invite the network in to participate via the chat.
  • Finally, I had also planned to webcast audio and video of the presentation via ustream at – but sadly, the “Go Live” interface wasn’t working on the CSUSB Palm Dessert campus guest wireless network.

Except for the ustream issue (which was something of a relief because I think I was most nervous about broadcasting my first go at the topic) everything went extremely well. In the keynote I think I shared some inspiring ideas without overwhelming people with details, and I hit 20 minutes right on the nose. :)

Also, I thought I’d get limited participation in the backchannel chat because of the early Saturday morning timeslot, but it turned out to be fantastic (short, but fantastic, especially as a proof of concept)… and the folks in the room were actually reading along on the big screen as I talked. I kept the window open and captured the chat using Jing afterwords. Here’s the presentation and archived chat:

Learning to Network & Networking to Learn @ Cahuilla CUE October 6, 2007
Archived Chat

The one-hour wiki session that followed went well, too, and some of “the network” actually followed me into the new presentation. Though this was a quick session and the online participation was minimal really, I think this is a shadow of what is to come at conferences like NECC this year. I expect there will be a lot of virtual session hopping among online (and face-to-face) attendees.

Wiki While You Work @ Cahuilla CUE October 6, 2007
Archived Chat (Warning: A bit of hockey conversation was captured when I archived this.)

Finally, I did a one-hour “Quick and Dirty” Podcasting session to finish the morning. We had lost the online participants by that point, but one of the participants in the session got himself into the Google preso and posted a link to Audacity for Windows users. It was only one person, but it was cool to see it happen despite the fact that I had no time to walk people through it… I just made it available.

Quick and Dirty Podcasting @ Cahuilla CUE October 6, 2007
Archived Chat (Note: still shot only)

For me, this was a successful experiment. At this point I’m planing to use a Google presentation (& chat) for all my presentations and I’ll at least invite folks from the outside to come in (in addition to inviting attendees). Whether anyone shows up and participates will of course be a variable somewhat beyond my control… but I can try to make each event as compelling as possible for both online and face-to-face attendees. Also, I’ll be trying ustream again at my next presentation and hope to make that a part of my routine. Will Richardson has really lead the way with Weblogg-ed TV when it comes to sharing his own presentations and experiences. (I popped into a presentation he made to assistant state superintendents of education yesterday morning… as I was watching David Warlick’s k12online pre-conference keynote, reading my feeds, and – of course – twittering.) It’s getting to the point were we might be able to experience something like the k12onlineconference any day we choose. :)

Links for 2007-10-09

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

Passion and Professional Development (NECC Submission)

Monday, October 8th, 2007

Here is the fourth of five submissions I made for NECC 2008. This session is the biggest departure from past presentations and workshops I’ve lead, but it’s not entirely new – it’s based on an article I wrote for OnCUE last year. (I blogged the article back in December.) Also, of course, I try to put these ideas into practice with each workshop I do. If this is accepted, it will be the first time I lead a session focused on sharing these ideas. Incidentally, unlike the previous submission, this is a return to a focus on professional development for me – rather than focusing directly on teaching. But, I think the content would be appropriate for use in a k-12 or higher-ed classroom as well as in professional development situations. Let me know what you think.


Passion and Professional Development: Four Philosophies For Lead Learners


A passionate student is a learning student. The same is true for teachers. Engage participants emotionally and unleash their passions, even in a technology workshop.


This session will begin with an interactive welcome activity. During this activity, participants will be asked to share what they like most about teaching… and about being a student. The presenter will facilitate a brief discussion around the participants’ passions related to teaching and learning. Then the presenter will introduce the four philosophies summarized above. Participants will then be asked to share an example of how they might put each philosophy into action in their next presentation or workshop. In the next segment of the workshop, participants will be introduced to two-way web technologies (such as blogs, various forms of online chat, social networking, social microblogging with twitter, and even Google Docs) can be used to support these four philosophies. Again, participants will be asked to share an example of how they might use a two-way web technology to support these four philosophies in their next presentation or workshop. Before concluding the session, the presenter will leave participants with a few final tips for how they can integrate these philosophies and technologies into their own presentations and workshops. Finally, an interactive reflection activity will close the session.

This session has the most face-to-face interaction built into it of any session I’ve ever submitted. Also, of course, I included the online interactivity of a Google preso, a wiki, and a potential webcast.

And again, in the interest of sharing – and in hopes of receiving feedback – I’ve made an archive of the complete submission available, too:

Passion and Professional Development (NECC 2008 Submission)

Please leave a comment below to leave any feedback you might have. :)

Two-Way Teaching (NECC Submission)

Friday, October 5th, 2007

Here is the third of five submissions I made for NECC 2008. My previous two submissions were really focused on helping teachers learn – rather than helping teachers to teach. This session, though, is my effort at a more teaching centered session. It combines elements of my three-hour Two-Way Teaching workshops from last year and the new 20 minute Blogs, Wikis, and Google Docs CUE Tips session I submitted last month for the 2008 CUE conference. I hope the combination works. Let me know what you think.


Two-way Teaching with the Two-Way Web: Blogs, Wikis, & Docs


Learn when to use blogs, wikis, or Google Docs with your students, parents, and community! Clear up your lingering confusion. Includes pedagogy, ethics, and safety.


An interactive welcome activity will begin this session. An overview of the two-way teaching concept (in which teachers are learners and learners are teachers) will follow. The presenter will then briefly introduce participants to the two-way web and it’s effect on education. The specific tools of blogs, wikis, and Google Docs will be briefly introduced, compared and contrasted. This segment will focus on the unique features and limitations of teach tool, and on the ways in which these tools may overlap in function or be redundant. (A comparison chart will be included.) This will be followed by an overview of best practices using blogs in education, including many examples. Next, best practices using wikis in education will be shared, again including several examples. Also, best practices and examples will be shared for the use of Google Docs. Following these illustrations, the presenter will then share several “rules of thumb” for when to use a blog, when to use a wiki, and when to use Google Docs. Before concluding the session, issues related to the ethical and safe use of these tools will also be addressed. Finally, an interactive reflection activity will bring closure to the session.

I also included the interactive elements of a Google presentation, a wiki, and a possible webcast in this submission. And once again, in the interest of sharing – and in hopes of receiving feedback – I’ve made an archive of the complete submission available, too:

Two-Way Teaching (NECC 2008 Submission)

I look forward to any feedback you might leave in the comments.

Links for 2007-10-05

Friday, October 5th, 2007