Sunday, January 27, 2013

Personal Learning Neighbourhood

A few days ago, Ben Wilkoff posted From Network to Neighbourhood, a reflection on the cul-de-sacs of his personal/professional learning network. This morning I was walking when I received a message from Jabiz Raisdana who teaches on the other side of the planet.  His note prompted me to take a minute to reflect on some of the more distant members of my PLN.

There are many, many other educators with whom I engage in public (and private) conversations on a regular basis.  My neighbourhood/network was founded in late 2007 via Twitter, but has expanded many times since that time through a range of tools, experiences and events.    If you're still trying to make sense of Twitter and the role it may play in your own PLN, Keri-Lee Beasley and Jabiz Raisdana have just published Twitter - A Cultural Guidebook.  The book is based on Seven Degrees of Connectedness, and is available as a free download.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Visualizing Connections

The relationships we build with other online learners will vary depending on the frequency of our connections and the nature of our sharing and collaboration.  In this diagram,  I've drawn on my personal experiences in specific learning environments, in an attempt to highlight the intellectual and emotional connections I've made with colleagues.   

Although we don't often think about our professional relationships as being 'intimate' or 'emotional', over time I've come to value my online relationships far beyond the intellectual connection that first drew me to this online world.  

Is it possible to highlight such rich and evolving relationships in a personal/professional learning network (PLN) diagram?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

7 Degrees of MOOC

In one of the opening sessions for #ETMOOC, Alec Couros hinted at the ubiquity of network connections when he shared the link to The Oracle of Bacon.  That site, based on the Six Degrees of Separation, highlights the interconnectedness of the acting community.

I prefer to consider the range of connections within what many educators now refer to as the 'PLN' or personal learning network.  In recent months, I've done a fair bit of thinking about how educators in the online world experience at least Seven Degrees of Connectedness.

The 7 Degrees Infographic was collaboratively developed in an attempt to qualify the wide range of relationships we experience online.  My original blog post later led to this K-12 Online Conference presentation that goes into more detail about the tools and connections many are now familiar with.

Knowing that ETMOOC participants are engaging in many and varied experiences with co-learners, I'd be interested to know whether or not these stages resonate with participants.  For those new to blogging, tweeting and sharing online, it might be even more enlightening to revisit this infographic at the end of the course.

HOT OFF THE PRESSES: My colleagues on the eastern side of the planet have just released Twitter: A Cultural Guidebook which is based on the 7 Degrees of Connectedness.  What's more, it's a free download.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Wheels Within Wheels

"Wheels within wheels in a spiral array, 
A pattern so grand and complex, 
Time after time we lose sight of the way, 
Our causes can't see their effects."


#ETMOOC is Overwhelming. So, Let's Make Some Meaning
by Ben Wilkoff 

Like Spokes on a Wheel
by Rodd Lucier

Week One Graph through Social Media Research Foundation
via Marc Smith

Friday, January 18, 2013

Like Spokes on a Wheel

As the ETMOOC gets underway in earnest, many of the participants will be blogging about their learning, some for the very first time.  As participants draw connections between their ideas, these blog posts will rub up against one another, and like spokes centred on a common central idea, we'll all be able to move forward together.  This, in spite of the fact that reading habits, (and consequently writing habits) are changing.  These ideas led me to the two minute reflection below...

Related Posts:
We are Called to be Open Spokes in a Fidgital World by Ben Wilkoff
Imagining a Classroom without Blogs by Clarence Fisher

Photo credit: Spokes by kozzmen

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Projecting Anatomy

Many of my colleagues are making use of mobile apps as teaching tools, and it seems to me that more might give it a shot if they knew what it entailed.  Here I profile a few anatomy apps that are 'free' for a limited time along with the dongles that make projection possible.  If you coach or train as an athlete, or if you teach anatomy/health/fitness/biology, you might want to download these particular apps before the offer ends.


and don't forget to tell your friends about AppsGoneFree.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Making Connections as a Fidgital Native

Today, I connected the ideas of three distinct authors writing words 10 years apart from one another, on different platforms. Below, I use my voice, to highlight the connection I made between two invented terms: 'screenager' and 'fidgital'.

Consideration of that connection, led me to a new term: 'Fidgital Native'. I wonder if that phantom vibration in a student's pocket will be used as diagnosis?


 So, what did I connect?
  Everything Bad is Good for You: How Today's Pop Culture is Actually Making us Smarter by Steven Johnson
Welcome to Generation "Fidgital" by Katie Mcdonough
Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants by Marc Prensky

Does this lead you to consider any related connections you'd like to share?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Wheelchair Dreams

My colleague Jim Pedrech may not realize it, but his sharing of a recent TED Talk has reminded me that the technology at our fingertips needs to be leveraged for tasks yet unimagined.  Just as Sue Austin has experienced something extraordinary thanks to a blend of assistive technologies, we need to encourage our students to use modern tools to invent, rather than to re-create.

After viewing my take, be sure to to take a few minutes to reward yourself by dreaming with:
Sue Austin: Deep Sea Diving... in a Wheelchair

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Secret to Finding 'Good' Free Apps

Have you ever wondered how folks know when good apps suddenly become 'free'?  My secrets are revealed in this short video.

Resources mentioned in this brief podcast include Free App Alert and AppsGoneFree. It's also worth visiting if you want to see which apps folks recommend, whether paid or free.

What's your source for finding apps that fit needs you never knew you had?

Microphone Extension

There are more than a few benefits to having an extended range microphone connected to your recording device. Items mentioned in this video include:

3.5mm MICROPHONE ADAPTER FOR iPad iPod iPhone;