If Trump Led Our Public Universities…

Red wall iconLet’s build a wall in education.

No-one can be admitted unless they meet our carefully crafted requirements.

The ones who don’t get through we will make pay for it.

That way we can only admit the people who are like us so that we can make more and more of us and trample out the masses.

…or let’s not.

Bridge icon

Instead, we will build bridges for the brilliant and beautiful public.

We will work toward setting them up for success so that they can learn from us and we from them.

Sure, it will be messy work and hard work, but it is our job as a public university. It is what we are payed to do by the public we serve. We will likely even have to actually pay for the bridge construction.

But which kind of learning organizations do you think will make a better world?

Ones with walls? Or ones with bridges?

These are the questions we face in our organizations.

Spartan helmetI am proud of being part of a public university reputedly building bridges. #SpartansWill

Truly and astonishingly, these are the questions we face in our world, today.

(I probably goes without saying, but anything I post on my blog having anything to do with politics or opinions in general are not and should not be considered a representation of any organization I work for, but are my own alone). 

Faculty Focus Link on Online Course Development Tips

Bulb License Free for commercial use (Include link to authors website)  Designer Webdesigner Depot - http://www.webdesignerdepot.comOne of my favorite go-to blogs that I enjoy tweeting about from time to time is Faculty Focus. There are consistently strong contributions from a variety of disciplines about pedagogy and research-based best practices that are practical for multiple learning environments. There was a post today from Rob Kelly who references Dionne Thorne on the topic of Nine Online Course Development Tips. Although I would contend with some of the points made for the 8th tip Thorne lists, there were solid recommendations in the concise post that may make it worth a mouse click.

LearnDash – Could WordPress be a viable LMS?

So, I have always wondered about who might build a learning management component onto the existing WordPress platform.

LearnDASH LogoAbout five years ago, I had some kind friends help me to see the benefits of using WordPress as a platform for blogging and web design. I continue to find the interface of WordPress to be intuitive compared to other content management systems. The powerful plugins are also robust with an active developer community.

So, I have always wondered about who might build a learning management component onto the existing WordPress platform. There are many faculty who use it in their courses as a way to provide content to their students outside of a learning management system. In doing so, they also sacrifice native tools geared for learning like quizzes, discussion forums, and gradebook functions. This is why I have been recently really interested to hear about what has been developing over at LearnDash.

Besides having a great name similar to another one that I know, the LearnDash plugin is soon to be launching an LMS solution within WordPress. I am really eager to explore the course creation process, quiz creation process, certificate completion options, course scheduling features, user management integration with existing LMSs, learning analytics package, and even media hosting options.

What about you? Would you be interested in using LearnDash with any of your courses? What interests you about LearnDash? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Optimize Your Information Technology and Opportunity

Levy (2010) does such a beautifully articulate job of describing an organizational shift from grasping for enabling technologies to now optimization of so many technologies that are at our fingertips.

network connection manager iconLevy (2010) does such a beautifully articulate job of describing an organizational shift from grasping for enabling technologies to now optimization of so many technologies that are at our fingertips.

This technological optimization can help us more intelligently manage our time and assist us with prioritizing what to pay attention to. It also can help us evaluate which opportunities will be most worth our time.

This is critical in an age where both information and opportunity flood our landscapes.

Ellen Levy – Tungle Manifesto – YouTube.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7zdotm0TRM&w=425&h=350]

Marketing in Higher Ed… Please consider the following:

headset, voicecall iconEssay criticizes the brand messages colleges and universities are using | Inside Higher Ed.

This article provided a good synopsis of my own frustrations with poorly thought-through and executed marketing strategies in higher-education. Please, let us draw our own conclusions!

MAET Summer 2012

This summer, I have had the privilege of helping teach in Michigan State University’s Masters Program in Educational Technology. The session I have been helping with includes CEP 800: Learning in school and other settings, CEP 815: Technology & Leadership, & CEP 822: Approaches to Ed Research.

This summer, I have had the privilege of helping teach in Michigan State University’s Masters Program in Educational Technology. The session I have been helping with includes CEP 800: Learning in school and other settings, CEP 815: Technology & Leadership, & CEP 822: Approaches to Ed Research.

The outstanding teachers who are a part of this course have been identifying researchable problems in education and developing a research proposal. Specifically, they have been using a backwards design format to articulate a dream they have for their educational context and to generate support for a plan going forward with it.

In the midst of this undertaking we have been learning about how learning itself involves active, socially-mediated construction of knowledge in school, home, community, and work settings. We have explored project management, planning and evaluation, ethical and social implications of integrating emerging technologies, as well as relationship building.

You can see a glimpse of the learning we have been doing together here:

Why use web conferencing with my students?

Adding a Synchronous Component to Online Courses | Faculty Focus-Annotations:

What does web conferencing bring to the classroom?

  • Interactive web conferencing increases accessibility.
  • Interactive web conferencing increases student-to-student and student-to-teacher interaction.
  • Interaction is also increased because there is a set time where the class comes together synchronously, which helps eliminate feelings of isolation or lack of interpersonal connections with classmates and the instructor that may occur in a fully asynchronous online course.
  • Interactive web conferencing promotes active learning.
  • Interactive web conferencing adds variety
  • Make sure the learning goals, and not the technology, drive the instruction.
  • Establish a protocol for how students should ask to speak or alert the instructor they are finished commenting so that passing the microphone is easier in larger groups.
  • Change initial settings so that everyone can chat with all attendees and students have ability to do everything (like annotate).
  • Add the technical support number to every invitation to a meeting.

What is some practical advice for web conferencing with a class?

  • Since we often have multiple peripheral devices connected to our computers remind your students to select the microphone and speaker source they intend to use.Remind participants to keep background noise and paper shuffling to a minimum and to mute their microphone when they do not need to speak.
  • Keep e-mail running in the background and have your phone handy in case students try and contact you when having technical difficulties.
  • Always check that students can hear you (and others) well and ask them to alert you if they are having trouble hearing.

On-The-Fly Podcasting Using Google Voice?

How to use google voice for extremely easy on-the-fly podcasting:

  1. Make sure you have a google voice account if you don’t already have one and sign into your inbox area.
  2. Call your google voice number and leave yourself a message.
  3. When the message populates in your inbox, select the “more” option and then select “Embed”:

4. Add a caption for your podcast (this is optional).

5. Copy the embed code into your computer’s clipboard (control + “c” on the P.C. & Command + “c” on the Mac)

6. Go to your course in Blackboard and select to create a new announcement.

7. Give the announcement a title and then select the “Toggle HTML Source Code” button in the rich text editor toolbar and paste in the embed code that is in your clipboard (control + “v” on the P.C. & Command + “v” on the Mac)

8. Hit the “Toggle HTML Source Code” button in the rich text editor toolbar.

9. Hit the “Toggle HTML Source Code” button in the rich text editor toolbar one more time.

10. Make sure that the “width: 100px” is changed to “width: 500px” in the embed code and then hit submit!

*This same process can be followed for a recorded phone call from google voice which can be done by using these instructions.

The end result will have a flash player embedded media player from Google Voice that the learner will see in the announcements page so that they can listen to your nifty podcast: