August 29, 2008

Cohort news: winners and blog post timing

Posted in Updates tagged , , at 10:05 am by maf

Two items today.

First, a shout-out congratulations to Earl Edmunds and Melissa Payne.  They each won GAIT scholarships this year.  This is a statewide competition, so we are proud.   Last year, we had a winner as well – Aimee Grigsby, now an alum.  Congratulations to Earl and Melissa!

Second, a mundane follow-up to an in-class request:  A couple of times, students have requested that I check the timing on when each blogpost arrives in your reader or in your email.  The problem seems to be that some hours elapse between my posting and its arrival.  Now, there’s little I say that is all that urgent.  But, I wanted to follow up to satisfy my own curiosity. Unfortunately, I can’t find an option anywhere that controls this.  In our case, the problem could be at WordPress, at Feedburner, or within your own reader options.  I simply can’t find which or where.

If anyone knows, and/or could point me in the right direction, that would be great.  In the meantime, I’m scratching my head about this.

August 28, 2008

Exhibits and Techno-Stress

Posted in Assignments, Updates tagged , , at 11:29 am by maf

I detect disturbance in the SLM force field.  If you are having techno-stress, read on – or, if you never have techno-stress yourself, use this post as a possible avenue for helping your teachers, who will likely suffer from techno-stress from time to time.

All of my classes are preparing online exhibits.  Yes, this is new.  I admit it – I was tired of doing it the old way. Once again, I see this as a way to explore a bit of new technology while satisfying some of our program objectives – and save some gas.

Focus on the content of your exhibit. The tech stuff is a side item. There is nothing on the rubric that gives you credit for having a gee-whiz-bang high-tech exhibit.  The technology will host the content; it has little value beyond its function.

I hear that the Comments requirement is causing some puzzlement.  In class, I said we would work around that if necessary.  OK, here’s a bit of a concession: I will provide a Comment forum in WebCT for all Exhibits that don’t have them naturally.  Perhaps this will help. Choose your technology for other reasons.

Once again, I emphasize: there are many simple tools out there that will do this job just fine.  Here are three simple possibilities:

  1. Google Document.  Yes, I really mean it. If you’ve never used them before, this is a great way to learn. You can meet all the requirements through this important 2.0 technology.  If you’ve used it before, you could use this as an opportunity to play around with some of its bells and whistles. (Check out the templates; play around with Forms.)
  2. Google Presentations. If you want a shareable Powerpoint-like tool, this is one.   (Slideshare is another.)
  3. Blogger.  If you haven’t tried blogging yet, it’s high time. Comments are built in.  I’m guessing here, but I’ve heard that Blogger is a tad easier than WordPress to set up.  (I chose WordPress because colleagues told me that it had more flexibility, and I haven’t been disappointed – but there have been some puzzles.) There are other nice blog tools out there, as well – Edublogs, for one.

Those are 3 basic tools that I hope all of you will graduate with a thorough understanding of, beyond this assignment.  More advanced or more willing to try something edgy?  Try YouTube … Glogster … a mini website with embedded features … Voicethread … any public wiki … Google Notebook … and there must be dozens more.

So I hear you thinking:

How will I ever learn all of these tools?  I can’t keep up!!

Here’s the answer:

You can’t. You won’t.

Here is a sane approach.  Granted, technology is non-negotiable – it is a part of life now, always has been (back to the first tool, whatever that was), and will continue to evolve throughout your career.  As a media specialist, you must devote a small amount of time on a regular basis to watching for new technologies, playing with them a bit, plugging them in as you see fit, and recommending appropriate ones to your learning community.   Most of all, you must be open-minded and watchful.  That’s really all that is required. Try to let go of your desire to control it or stay on top of it – surrender all of that.

Read a few blogs.  Listen to what your kids are doing with technology, and ask them to teach you. Go to a conference every year or so. Pursue the techy ideas that seem useful, and let the rest swirl on by.

End of sermon for today!  Please, consult your inner child and try to play with this.  You might enjoy yourself.

August 21, 2008

EDIT 6900: Cycle 1 elements complete

Posted in Updates tagged , , , at 7:20 am by maf

As you asked, I’m announcing today that all elements for Cycle 1 are complete.

Access the entire list from the planner.

Specifically, I added a written discussion about the topic “What is Research?” based on all the readings assigned.

Second, I commented verbally on the Gordon article.  This was fun – I had never used the Wimba voice tools before. On the downside, there is a five-minute limit per file.  On the plus side, that’s almost enough and it’s good to be succinct – but it was also very easy to do, and didn’t require outside software.

Everything starts at the Planner.  I will always try to provide the instructions for “how to” and “where is” there.

There are no deliverables or outputs for these new elements. Consider them the kind of thing we would have done in class, if we had time.

I now consider the Cycle 1 Planner to-do list complete; I won’t add any more without an extraordinary reason.

Let me know if something doesn’t work!

August 20, 2008

Internship: Demographic Survey Forms

Posted in Internship tagged at 11:55 am by maf

So I said that I’m trying to renounce paper.

Here’s something new. I made a dropbox in WebCT/7460 where you can both download and upload your demographic survey form.

I asked for permission to submit them electronically to the College – and I hope they will take them that way. If so, all paper will be eliminated from this task, along with the manipulation required for sorting, carrying, and storing hard copies.

The due date for this semester is October 4.

Who does this apply to?  Any active intern – meaning, if you are completing any intern hours at all this semester, then you must submit one for your primary site. For most of you, you’ll do one this semester and next semester for the same school.

You do not have to submit them for the other-site visits where you’re just spending a day each to observe.

What if you have two primary sites? (You know who you are!) Yes, you have to complete one for each site.

Confused? If we’ve had any interaction about your internship at all, look in the WebCT/7460 Gradebook under ‘demographic forms required.’  It will list there what you owe. If it’s blank, that means we haven’t gotten that far yet.

I will further clarify as necessary on Sep 13 (our Year 2 internship orientation).

August 18, 2008

Experiment: Sign up for Class Notes

Posted in Updates tagged , at 4:08 pm by maf

I’ve been playing with Google Forms – seems to be too easy to be real! Let’s try something.

The easiest way, I believe, to share class notes is to have a GoogleDoc shared among the people in the class. Instead of one poor person typing everyone’s email address into the “Invite” place, maybe we can automate this.

Go to this address to sign up for the 6900 Class Notes. This doesn’t obligate you yet to taking notes at a certain time, but it will (hopefully!) get you into the document, once I’ve had a chance to cut and paste the names in.

August 14, 2008

New Semester, New Course

Posted in Updates at 6:26 am by maf

Hello!  I’m back to work now and almost ready for Saturday.

With this post, the focus of this blog changes.  It will have 3 purposes for Fall 2008:

  • EDIT 6900 class blog, primarily
  • Internship news – pay attention if you plan to begin or conduct your Internship during the 2008-09 school year (most of Cohort 7 will do this)
  • Other general Cohort 7 news

So, I apologize in advance to Ed.S. students – there will be much traffic here that pertains only to EDIT 6900. You have your own blog.  Unfortunately, you will need to watch this one, too.

I will see you all on Saturday, Aug. 16, 9a, UGA/Gwinnett (Sever Rd.). We will meet for 2 hours. Dr. Clinton will work with EDIT 6400 11-1 (including lunch), and then EDIT 7340 fills out the remainder of the day.

WebCT is ready – check for your name there.  Course materials are ready from the 6900 Home Page, and WebCT links there as well.  Explore to find:

  • the syllabus
  • my contact info (on the WebCT 6900 home page)
  • exact dates and times for all meetings
  • assignment descriptions
  • jobs to sign up for
  • first day’s agenda
  • and lots more.

Bring your nametag.

I look forward to seeing you Saturday.