Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Adult Education Learning Community

Check out this blog, Adult Ed Matters, by an adult education administrator in Southern California, Martha Rankin. I just added her to my blog roll, and I encourage adult educators to see how she is using WordPress to create community, and focus on technology, among teachers in her program. It looks like the focus is on ESL, but it could be related to any program area.

I hope that her blog and her community thrive. I like that Snapshots feature of WordPress too. Does Blogger have that??

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

There is no shelf!

This is about how we find information vs. how we used to find it. We've had a hard time learning that we don't need to think of information as a thing located on a shelf or in a file. Tagging and RSS feeds changed all that. Video created by Prof. Michael Wesch and his students at Kansas State Univ.

One More View from Second Life

Just had to post one more example from Claudia Linden. This dragon is a sculpture, not an avatar, created by a teenage girl on teen Second Life. It's really complex and beautiful. Click on the image and look at it full size.

Discovery Webinar on SecondLife

Just got finished listening to and watching a webinar on SecondLife by Claudia Linden, aka Claudia L'Amoreaux who works with the teen grid in SL. Of course she is totally committed to 3Di as she called it, 3D Internet, as the mode of the future. She thinks we will be meeting, living and working in virtual environments in the future as many are starting to do now. Her motto - Learn from the teens!

One example was that some kids in one teen grid area, Global Kids, were giving a tour for some kids from Singapore who had never been in SL before, and someone said "We need a tour bus." So a kid went off, built a tour bus, and came back in about 5 minutes and everyone hopped on the bus. That's it in the screen capture above.

She mentioned that there are university courses that take place entirely in Second Life, and participants mentioned University of Maine and Harvard Law as places where this is happening. She believes that 3D worlds increase "emotional bandwidth," i.e. instead of emoticons :( or happy faces, now you can see the whole person virtually as you are talking to them, so it's possible to provide some body language. I guess, although of the avatars I've seen they aren't so expressive. Maybe it's a learned skill. People now have mixed reality, meaning you could be sitting in a presentation at a conference, with your laptop open and talking in Second Life with other people who are sitting in the presentation in both Real Life and Second Life. Could get kind of confusing, but sounds interesting.

She also took us on a tour of the new Linden Labs (creators of Second Life) offices, virtual offices of course! They have most of their meetings "in world" now, using the voice chat. So should OTAN be having staff meeting in Second Life? I'm thinking about it! I have to get a little more proficient myself, first.

But meanwhile, I recommend checking out the other Discovery Education Network Webinars.

Who Can Resist a Mythical Greek Beast?

I was just checking out a discussion of widgets for education on Classroom 2.0, and I found this widget that will add a random mythical Greek beast to my blog every day. I know, it doesn't have anything to do with technology, except that technology can do this. We are all connected to the collective unconscious, right? So you now you can get your random Greek beast fix along with the adult education technology news!

You can get this widget from Laura Gibbs at

Monday, October 08, 2007

Online Portfolios

On the NIFL Technology list today there was a post about online portfolios. This is something we have been talking about in California, but haven't really looked into or tried. Two sites were recommended, one commercial and one opensource. The commercial site is TaskStream. It has a nice interface, and the person using it (for a graduate program through the Univ of Phoenix) said that it's been easy to use so far. However, it costs $49/yr, less if you subscribe for more years.

She also found an opensource portfolio service, OSP, that looks very interesting. It would be great to have your resume, work samples, course work, articles, all collected in one place and available either publicly or to those you give access to. So which one will be around longest? That's the biggest issue to me. I wouldn't want to create a portfolio and have it disappear in a year. I guess there are no guarantees, but wondering of any of you have a strong opinion - opensource or commercial?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Web 2.0 for Administrators

My workshop for administrators was interesting. It reminded me that most people don't have time to surf around and look for cool new things. That's part of OTAN's role (my favorite part!), to review the possibilities and present a few that might be helpful for busy teachers and administrators. Links are all on my wiki.

So here's what they wanted to hear about:
1. Google Calendar, and how to share a calendar online
2. Wikis - what's a wiki and what to you use it for?
3. RSS Feeds - but I had to talk about blogging first, and the OTAN News, so they would have a concept of what feeds they might want to get.
4. Social bookmarking - I didn't have time to go into detail on this, but I think this might be one of the most useful things for them

Things we didn't get to:
1. Google Docs
2. Video sharing
3. Unitedstreaming
4. Moodle
5. Open source software

This could really be a 3 hr workshop instead of just a show and tell. Maybe I should propose this for COABE.