I don't know when Scott McLeod is going to post this, but I've copied and pasted the questions and answers I gave him into this blog post. I don't know if he is going to edit and share all of them, but I did want to save them for myself at least.
2. What's something that recently caught your attention from your personal learning network, RSS reader, Twitter feed, etc.?
The definition of intellectual property and copyright out of Ireland in a recent court ruling. The Internet belongs to all of us and yet there are jurisdictional interpretations of just about everything!
What's something exciting that you're working on right now?
OpenSim has me fascinated. My students in ninth grade are currently creating OAR (open archive records) files to share with the world and we are working through how this would look and how this can be done. I think that the future of virtual worlds is very much in the hands of harnessing students. With the creation of OAR files several months a go, we can literally unzip a virtual world use it, zip it up and then have another one there for another class. There is a lot of potential. Currently the students have 3 grids: one is the 7 ancient wonders of the world, another is a yellow-brick road Oz experience designed to help students make college decisions and navigate their path towards college and the third is the “Country Club” designed to help students understand different cultures. The students and I are learning a lot – I don't know how these islands will end up but the possibilities have me excited!
Then, as I struggled to fit in, Mom gave me “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie and told me to read it until it made sense. I read it every year until eventually the principles started to sink in. I have to read it again every year because if I don't, I forget it and start struggling again. But the message that it “isn't all about me” and that to achieve and thrive and succeed if I'll take a genuine interest in others and helping them reach their goals has never left me. I remember sitting in my bathtub reading the book and feeling like Carnegie was reaching across the years to help me and I told myself that if the good Lord would ever let me write that I would want to do that. I would want to reach across the chasm (little did I know about the web back then) to encourage others and help them. My life is a blessing and the people in my PLN are a huge part of it.
Balance is important. I used to be “always on” and my quality of life was going downhill. Now I get off-line more and “unplug” at certain times in the week – I'm running 6-8 miles a week and I can think again! Always on is not always good!
So, yes, there are things that would be great.
I think right now also I'm hugely disturbed by “bandwidth snobbery” I see in the USA. There was a competition at UC Berkley where the “hackathon-ers” were asked to invent websites that were of great social good. One group invented an SMS notification system that could be used for villagers in remote places to communicate with disaster experts around the world in the first critical hours– one of the judges dismissed the project because he said “they can just call 911 if there is a problem!) SMS and Cell phones are what many countries have. As Julie Lindsay and I work with flattening – we need to make flat, flatter – we need to incorporate options for cell phones, SMS, and low-bandwidth options.
That being said, I'm all for ubiquitous wireless broadband Internet access – but your question said “on us” which often just means that “US.”
10 years) How I'm more physically fit in my 50's than I was in my 40's. ;-)
I like to quote Mom “If everyone jumped off a bridge would you?” Textbook companies have their place but if they cannot wake up and smell the paper molding in the corner then they are not going to have much relevance in the next five or ten years.
Nothing replaces an excellent teacher. That being said, I use a textbook for my keyboarding class and would NEVER use a touch typing program until I'd covered all the keys the “old fashioned” way – it is isn't about using technology for the sake of technology! It is about using technology where it WORKS and forgetting it where it doesn't. Same with the textbook – use it where it works and where it doesn't use another tool.
Learn how to teach with laptops for goodness sakes. You are in charge of your classroom. If you cannot engage them and manage your classroom then stop pretending to teach or learn the skills that go along with having laptops. It is frustrating to learn new things and many places that have had problems have thrown laptops at students and thrown the teachers in the room without any training or guidance. That too is unfair.
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