September 16, 2008

Logistics: Sharing IDs for limited GDoc distribution (Tech tip!)

Posted in Updates tagged , , at 7:47 am by maf

This is smooth, easy, useful technology – just the kind I like!

If you’d like to contribute any notes to the group class effort, click here.  So far, there’s nothing there – and I realize Saturday wasn’t much of a note-taking type of day.  But someone may have some to share.

More important: you will be able to “see” this document if you’re logged into Google with the same ID that’s indicated on that document.  If you signed up for Notes here several weeks back, I “harvested” your response and added you to the “share” list using that ID.  (This is a powerful, cool 2.0 technology – the ability to make forms without any complex knowledge whatsoever! Woohoo!)   So, if you can’t see the “notes” page, sign up there and I will add you in.

And – if you want to share your GoogleDoc with just the members of the class, this is the mechanism.  I hope this makes sense!  Thanks to Titus for this idea.


September 12, 2008

September 13

Posted in Internship, Updates tagged , at 1:51 pm by maf

I look forward to seeing EDIT 6900 at 9am tomorrow, in room 113, followed by interns at 11am.

EDIT 6900:


  • I’ve spent a lot of time over the past couple of weeks implementing some structural changes – all of which I’m ready to discuss tomorrow.  These are not substance changes, but documentation procedures, etc.
  • A word of warning about the internship: if you haven’t had time to study the syllabus and contracts, our discussion tomorrow may be overwhelming.  Due to your many different timelines in regards to the internship, I certainly understand if you haven’t read all of the documents.  If this is the case, I don’t want you to feel blind-sided, either!

Agendas are ready.  The internship agenda can be found here.

See you tomorrow!

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.

February 20, 2008

Exhibition and some rhetorical questions

Posted in Updates tagged , , , , , at 10:59 am by maf

These questions for thought have occurred to me since our last class:

  • Kids as early as 4th grade are required to write persuasive essays.  This is challenging.  I ask: forget writing; can they read persuasive text, recognizing it as such, and evaluating its proposals?
  • Many AUPs you will find out there contain the statement: “Internet access is a privilege, not a right.”  This is standard accepted practice, and I certainly won’t mark it wrong.  However, is this still a fair statement?  Is it fair to withhold digital access from any person nowadays, when so much has moved online?  I don’t mean this in the sense of filtering, but in the broader sense of ubiquitous connectivity and social online life.
  • This is about filtering: do filters provide a false sense of security to children and parents? What happens when they access the Internet on an unfiltered terminal – do they carry their assumption of protection with them?

I’m not going to answer those questions – they are just for thought and discussion.

Now for some Exhibition business. Here are a few FAQs:

  • Q: “I have found many examples of my instructional material format.  Just how many am I supposed to bring?”   A: Provide a sampling.  You need not feel obligated to bring huge amounts of stuff.
  • Q: “Who did you say we should send our online materials to?” A: Lisa,
  • Q: “Where is the link to all the Exhibition topics?” A: Here.  Hint:  I index most resources like this on the 6340 Home Page and at the top of the Agenda.  If you’re looking for something and can’t find it there, then ask me to add it.

January 24, 2008

Reminders for Jan 26

Posted in Intellectual Freedom, Selection, Updates tagged , , at 1:52 pm by maf

Plans are set for Saturday. It looks like the lunch plans are not the least of these!

Dr. Tallman will be there.  Beth will take the lead on the topic of censorship (have you done your private reflection yet?)   We will touch a number of selection tools, so don’t forget to bring your example for show and tell.

On the housekeeping front, summer course information is beginning to become available. I will start gathering preferences for my summer course meetings, as soon as I figure out the best way to do this.

And of course, I will answer all of your questions about the SP Draft and there will be group time.

The Exhibition list seems nearly complete. I am very happy with the balance and there is little chance that I will ask someone to shift.

My entire web site was down earlier today but seems to be working fine now.  It made me realize, for about 2 hours, how much I depend upon my own website as a representation of my brain!  Here’s hoping for no further technical difficulties.

Tomorrow I have the normal Friday round of meetings and will fall behind on email.  I look forward to seeing you on Saturday, 9a, A1880!

January 22, 2008

Feels like Monday

Posted in Intellectual Freedom, Updates tagged at 12:10 pm by maf

Doesn’t it? I hope you all had a nice holiday yesterday and enjoyed the wintry weather. In Macon, we had notone flake. 😦

I realize that many of you, due to your many obligations, probably don’t even think about this class during the week after, perhaps unless there is an assignment due. Sometimes, I’m the same way, I’m afraid!

But one person was busy working on her Exhibition and asked this question: “May the handout/take-home be front-and-back?” I answered: “yes.” My goal is to save a forest, and you may pack as much info onto a single piece of paper as you can. However, you may not need that much space – that’s ok too.

Plans are well underway for Saturday. Your private censorship reflection will be very important, because it will have given you a chance to think on your own before all of us weigh in on the topic. Once again, we will not require you to verbalize your specific opinions on issues, at any point. You may volunteer them, certainly. I hadn’t thought about this, but perhaps intellectual freedom also includes the right to keep our opinions to ourselves, something I value highly!

I’m sure I’ll have more comments as the week wears on, but I want to keep these posts brief.

BTW – if the weather starts playing tricks at any point during your classes with me, watch SLM-L for announcements. Waiting for UGA to close, given our geographical dispersion, is not always a reasonable plan! I will consider all of you, north and south, in my thinking.