Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Getting pwned by 3rd party, peer-reviewed resources.

Someone passed along a link to an interesting article about the new approach to scholarly publishing. Reading the article turned out to be an interesting exercise in critical thinking about the veracity, validity and reliability of web based scholarly resources.

The article Research intelligence - Rip it up and start again was published in the Times Higher Education newsletter.

I was reading right along and nodding my head until the part about Elsevier publishing being an exemplar of the new approach. I recalled that last year Elsevier got caught publishing at least 6 fake journals, mostly in support of pharmaceutical companies and their fraudulent process.

Then I started trying to figure out who publishes the Times Higher Education so I looked at their ownership which is Charterhouse. I wanted to figure out if there was a connection between Charterhouse and Elsevier and sure enough.

So this article is actually marketing or at least an attempt to repair the tattered reputation of Elsevier.

The web makes it easy to manufacture and disseminate crap, but it also makes it easy for individuals to get down a few layers and check the veracity of stories themselves. Unfortunately, the money grubbing publishers realized that few people will go to this minimal amount of effort to check things out.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Are people Keeping Their Distance from a Creepy Treehouse? #PLENK

Suifaijohnmak Weblog asks the question "Why are people staying away from the forum?" This is the #PLENK Moodle forum that is being used to support a MOOC, a massively online open course. John details some possible reasons in his post and a number of commenters add excellent insights.

I find this quite interesting as well and it seems that somehow this particular MOOC has triggered the creepy treehouse effect.
Stein offers a number of definitions for this phenomena but this one seems apt.
n. Any institutionally-created, operated, or controlled environment in which participants are lured in either by mimicking pre-existing open or naturally formed environments, or by force, through a system of punishments or rewards.

Such institutional environments are often seen as more artificial in their construction and usage, and typically compete with pre-existing systems, environments, or applications. creepy treehouses also have an aspect of closed-ness, where activity within is hidden from the outside world, and may not be easily transferred from the environment by the participants.

Other courses of in this series had a spirit of co-learning with the course moderators. This time around it seems as though it is part of their day job and the whole process has become institutionalized. I get the sense that participants are regarded as subjects of an experiment rather than connected individuals.
It is not that the course originators were not straight forward with their intentions, they stated their intentions from the start and had everyone agree to the letter of consent. This is part of NRC research and a number of people, including myself have expressed their intention of conducting research into various aspects of the experience.

My specific research interest is to test a theory that I developed as part of my dissertation research.

The abstract is below.
This analysis began with inquiries into the substantive area of distance education using the classic grounded theory method. Analysis revealed a pattern of problem-solving behavior, from which the theory "Keeping Your Distance " emerged.

The theory is an integrated set of concepts referring to the conscious and unconscious strategies that people use to regulate distance , physical and representative, in their everyday lives. Strategies are used to control physical, emotional, and psychological realities and to conserve personal energy in interactions with individuals and/or institutions.

Keeping Your Distance is presented in terms of a conditions/consequences/covariance theoretical model adapted from Glaser's (1978) Theoretical Sensitivity . Conditions evoke a system of strategic response patterns which result in consequences. Responses and their consequences change conditions and result in additional adjustments, made on an ongoing basis. For all social interactions, people use a personalized algorithm of engagement that mitigates conditions and consequences and preserves optimal distance.

Keeping Your Distance provides a theoretical starting point for considerations of the changing notions of distance. In part, these changes have been brought about by developments in the fields of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and online social networking.

This emerging, multivariate, conceptual theory may be of interest to scholar-practitioners examining distance education, psycho-social processes, and critical pedagogy. Elements of this theory may be of use to higher education policymakers charged with instructional design, institutional advancement, and marketing.

Keywords: "Keeping your distance," Distance Education, Grounded Theory method, Critical Pedagogy

I find a bit of irony in the understanding that this is an institutionalized MOOC about Personal Learning Environments, something that struck me as contradiction in terms. It seems as though an effort is being made to deconstruct the personal in PLE and figure out a way to put it in a bottle for marketing purposes.

I understand that organizing a massive online course like this will require institutional supports and infrastructure but it will be valuable to determine the breaking point, the point where many experienced users of PLE's got the sense that this was no longer personal and they were not really participants but were having their bar presses counted.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Take Your avatar on Safari with #PLENK in SL: Exploring other Grids

The #PLENK in SL cohort met on Tuesday in Conviviality Corners for a brief meeting to discuss a variety of topics. We have ordinarily been meeting immediately after the Elluminate sessions but we wanted to try another time to see if that worked better.
The main topic of discussion was the importance of online virtual worlds for a personal learning environment. While no clear consensus was reached in the discussion most of the members agreed that virtual worlds held great potential as critical elements of a PLE.

We decided to explore some virtual environments other than Second Life. The owners of Second Life have recently sparked concerns within the education community by removing the substantial subsidies that were previously available for educational institutions. This has lead to an increased interest in other virtual worlds. James OReily calls it Hyper Grid Hopping.

Emerging as popular alternatives are Open Sim options like ReactionGrid and Joykadia Grid. While these newer grids do not have some of the attractive features of the new SL Viewer 2, they are much more reasonably priced and flexible with regard to ownership and transferability of property.

The PLENK in SL cohort agreed that it could be productive to explore the new grids as a group. It was decided that Thurs, Nov 4, 2:30 PM SLT, all interested would be welcome to join a safari to ReactionGrid. See world clock for your time zone.

To join the safari participants will need to download a third party viewer. It should be noted that a viewer is like a web browser in that it is an application that gives access to a virtual environment. Many web browsers exist like IE, Firefox, Chrome and Opera, to name a few. Similarly, a number of virtual world viewers exist such as Hippo Open Sim Viewer and Imprudence

With one of these viewers installed, participants can join other grids to set up accounts in a process very similar to Second Life. You should join the new grids if for no other reason than to stake your claim to your avatar name. Some entrepreneurial types have been registering popular SL names and then trying to sell them to SL immigrants to other grids.

Members of the PLENK in SL group will be available on Skype to provide logistical support for anyone wanting to join the adventure. The easiest way to join the PLENK in SL Skype conversation is to add ggatin as a contact on Skype and I will add your contact to the running conversation at PLENK in SL Skype Chat.

While this may seem complex, I encourage people to explore this very interesting activity. I suspect that in the not too distant future it will be common for everyone to have an avatar that they will use to navigate numerous online virtual worlds for commerce, for entertainment and for education. My avatar will be able to go shopping in the virtual Amazon bookstore, picking virtual volumes off the shelf and placing them in a virtual shopping cart,and paying at a virtual checkout. The same avatar will then proceed to Home Depot and shop for home renovation materials with the help of virtual hardware clerks. My purchases will be shipped to my real world address. My avatar my then join the ongoing discussion in the virtual coffeehouse or log into an online class. My online identity which now is pretty much my email address, becomes a 3D representation of me in the online world.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Replacing the CAGE: Do PLE's help overcome the Hidden Curriculum? #PLENK

Take off on one of my favorite Bruce Cockburn songs, Pacing the Cage. I think the song is pretty personal but I think of people who are confined in other types of cages. Bruce has championed First Nations issues in Canada for many years.

A major construct in critical pedagogy is the hidden curriculum
The idea is that different people experience the same education curriculum differently depending on their race, gender, socioeconomic status, their social strata, their CAGE. (class, age, gender, ethnicity) Julie McMullin (2009) Understanding Social Inequality is a good starting point to understand the situation in Canada although the themes are similar worldwide.

Most people, particularly those from the privileged groups have very little insight into this disparity. Lots of sociology projects seek to deconstruct colonialism and/or study whiteness. Lund and Carr, (2007) have an excellent set of exercises that I have put together for a seminar in Second Life.

The potential exists for web based learning to avoid some of the major abuses resulting from the hidden curriculum. As long as a new inequality isn't based on your access to high speed Internet. This week MTS released a report that it would cost 7 billion to restructure internet access to ensure that all Canadians have equal access. Can you detect the rent-seeking behavior here?
In economics, rent seeking occurs when an individual, organization or firm seeks to earn income by capturing economic rent through manipulation or exploitation of the economic or political environment, rather than by earning profits through economic transactions and the production of added wealth.

Guess who lives in many of the rural and remote communities in Canada, those that have been disadvantaged for ever. If First Nations people are going to prosper in the information age, they need access to the information flow. Make sure that the hidden curriculum doesn't include the unspoke direction to "fire up your high speed internet access" if it isn't universally available.

Lund, D. E., & Carr, P. (2007). The great white North? Exploring whiteness, privilege and identity in education. Sense Publishers.

McMullin, J. (2009). Understanding Social Inequality: Intersections of Class, Age, Gender, Ethnicity, and Race in Canada (p. 408). Oxford University Press, USA.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pedagogy of Propinquity Reprise #PLENK2010

I dug this out of my archives. Sorry about the large font. I use Embed Article which is great but I have to figure out how to adjust.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Putting Salt in the Oats #PLENK2010

I was reading the blog of a friend and fellow #PLENK2010 participant where she was discussing the concept of motivation and cleverly introduced the old wisdom about leading a horse to water.
While it is true that you can't make them drink, a number of old tricks are available to make them thirsty.

I often think about this when planning teaching activities. If you give learners every imaginable resource to make learning happen, they often still will not drink it up. I've even observed at times when teaching, that I get the attention, set the hook, watch people get engaged in the process and then they pull back. It is as if to say " I don't really want to get too enthusiastic about this, school is not cool" One of the strategies I usually try is to lay back and let the learners approach the material in their own ways while providing hints and clues that might whet the appetite.

I worked for a while consulting on a voc/tech project in Romania. The project involved trades apprenticeships and the apprenticeship culture was a bit different from Canada. There was a saying in Romania that you had to steal your job. That is, you could be an apprentice and work on the job but the supervising journeyman would not willingly teach you anything. The journeyman understood that if he taught an apprentice something their relative worth shifted and the boss might make unfavorable choices come layoff time. So they would give the apprentices just enough information so they could do the grunt work and they would actively hide their actions as they performed the more skilled parts of their performance. You never saw a more highly motivated group of apprentices, and their attention to the slightest clues was remarkable.

Maybe our concern with providing the best possible learning conditions is counter-intuitive, just like many other things in human nature. Better to incrementally increase the challenge in learning as game theories propose. Might be a problem for all the people who have been pail fed by the current educaitonal system.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Steam Aged Education #PLENK2010

The #PLENK2010 session today was about learning theories and employed a few allusions to the age of steam power. I like the analogies to the history of technology. Like the examples from the development of the printing press, examples of societal responses to steam technology can be instructive respecting the response to information and communication technology. Many institutional education activities are throwbacks or hold outs from an earlier era. Remnants of the industrial era that preceded this information era. Still people try to squeeze current experiences with learning into an older industrial model.

A while ago I read an article “Is IT Becoming Extinct” by Miguel Guhlin

The topic of In-house IT systems and the development of utility computing has been interesting. I like to chime in from my personal experience and reading of various sources, one being a book by Eric Larsen, in “Devil in the White City”. He describes a time when electrical service was new. There was a big debate about AC or DC electricity.

Many of the institutions in the early days of electricity had their own power generating plants. They employed many people who saw the switch to utility electricity as a great threat and passed around a lot of scare stories about how horrible it was and all the hazards.

Of course, the switch happened and not many institutions employ big groups of technical specialists to generate a private source of electricity. The naysayers lost all credibility and the whole specialization evolved.

Same thing with IT, utility computing is here. In spite of all the horror stories and manipulations of the tech elite, there is less and less reason to have a big group of specialists to operate expensive and clunky private networks.

As a teacher using a computer mediated approach over the last 10 years, I found myself “working around” IT a lot of the time. Many of the tech folks didn’t believe that computers should be used for the purpose of education even though they worked for educational institutions.

Nor did they think that teachers were capable of using technology and they reinforced that opinion by constantly undermining any effort teachers made to develop the necessary skills.

The cultural clashes between corporate IT and administration didn’t help either. Lots of energy was spent on those epic battles and teachers and students were a very minor consideration for all the espoused values of “Students are #1″ in every educational institutions mission and vision statement. The struggle for control and authority have resulted in most of the failures of education related technology innovation.

In-house, corporate IT is like the steam powered DC generating plants of 100 ago. Pretty much done. It is going to take a little while for the change but probably not as long as it took to switch to AC electricity. One of the benefits is that education is being transformed. Technology will accommodate education rather than the other way around.

I know lots of teachers who just gave up on computers and the web and felt that they would never be able to develop the necessary skills. It was just so draining always having to get IT to open a port or set up file system or authorize access to a resource. So they stuck to Outlook, MS Word, Internet Explorer, the “approved tools”.

Happy to say that web based tools and cloud computing has made it incredibly easy for teachers to support learning in the digital era. All the alarmist rhetoric about identity theft, cyber-bullying, online predators etc. is being recognized as the last gasps of a system in transition, a struggle for control and authority.

Lots of the discussion about theories of learning support of the older institutional models and theories or education and they serve to entrench the hegemony of the system. For example the theory of Minimally Invasive Education doesn't get a lot of play in education circles because it disrupts some pretty deeply entrenched notions of the necessity of teachers, curriculum, and education system structure generally.

It is important to be able to sort out the the theories that are truly useful for learning and separate them from the theories that are more useful for supporting the status quo of Steam age Education.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The LMS is like Temple Grandin's Machine #PLENK2010

Just watched Temple Grandin the fantastically inspirational story of a woman with autism who used her special sensitivities to promote humane treatment of cattle in abattoirs and stockyards.
She couldn't stand to be held or touched by humans. She said "New things scared me". She was really impressed when she first saw a cattle squeeze, a device with a head gate and a lever operated device that immobilizes cattle so you can treat them or work with them with out risk to cowpersons or cattle. When she asked what the gate did for the cattle she was told that it "gentles them". She was so impressed that she built her own squeeze that she could get into and squeeze herself to get gentle. She went on to have a great career and still teaches apparently at a University in Colorado.

Grandin, Temple. (1992) Calming Effects of Deep Touch Pressure in Patients with Autistic Disorder, College Students, and Animals JOURNAL OF CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
Volume 2, Number 1, 1992 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Publishers

When we were talking about LMS in the #PLENK session in SL after the Elliminate session today, it struck me that many people like the comforting self-imposed squeeze of the LMS. Maybe they feel it gentles them. No LMS for me, I much prefer the wild wooly west of the open range.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Reference Management Systems #PLENK2010 My fav, Zotero!!

Zotero is my all time favorite and it is the one reason I continue to use the Firefox browser, otherwise I now use Chrome for everything else.

Years ago, doing my MA, I used EndNote and got completely fed up with constant and expensive updates and a crappy user experience. I used Zotero exclusively for my doctoral program and subsequent writing.
I also now use the Zotero on line groups functions to coordinate resources for various classes that I teach. Each participant can add resources to a shared collection of references and synchronize the group resources in their own Zotero account. I use it for the MEd ICT classes I teach and for the various Grounded Theory Method study groups in which I participate. Check out and join this one if you like. Critical Pedagogy in a Digital World.

Academic social networking and sharing. I use to use Delicious for this but now I mostly use Zotero, I can add tags in Zotero but I can also use the 2 click function to create a citation in perfect APA format or many others. I can even use customized formats required by specific journals or publications.

I've explored Mendeley as well, mostly because I wanted something that wasn't browser specific. I am a little more nervous about the proprietariness of it. I get the feeling that someday there will be a large fee and that they will hold my data hostage.

So I received the news with great joy when Zotero announced yesterday that the extension of an Andrew W. Mellon grant had made possible the development of Zotero Everywhere, which means it is no longer exclusively a Firefox add on. It will have a standalone desktop version and a web version with an enhanced social networking function.

Dan Cohen is one of the principal developers of Zotero and blogs at Digital Humanities.
Great blog and the development of Zotero is a great story of the success of an socially responsible application that supports digital humans! My buddy and partner on a few projects, Susan Stillman, is also a big Zotero enthusiast for a couple of reasons. Her son Dan Stillman works on the Zotero project and we sometimes get the inside scoop on things and we have a go-to guy for any questions or concerns.

The Zotero story is inspirational. When Dan announced the new Zotero on Ustream yesterday and I watched it on the wall in Second Life. I think I noticed a little tear of joy in Telmea Story's eye.

My ICT Mindmeister for #PLENK2010

I like mindmaps, I make a new one for each class I teach or for an article or book that I want to analyze. I used CMAPTools for a while but now I like MindMeister.

Invited guests can collaboratively edit the map in real time. I often do so in conjunction with a Skype conference conversation.

Click and drag the map around, click the + signs to open the nodes. Click the arrow icons on the nodes to go to a web page. Click on the full screen button to get the full effect. Just get in there and click!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Chance Favors the Connected Mind" #PLENK2010 in Sl Week Two

Check out this TED talk from Steven Johnson author of one of my favorite books, Everything Bad is Good for You. The talk is called Where Do Good Ideas Come FromHe starts of with a picture of a 19th Century Coffeehouse where he said that many ideas fundamental to our intellectual history arose. He says that a coffee house is where "ideas go to have sex." He says we should connect ideas rather than protect them. Under the right circumstances two people with half an idea each, get together and the whole is greater than the sum. "Chance favors the connected mind"

We connected again today for PLENK2010. 

So broadcasting Elluminate with Ustream didn't work out so well for the session. Multiple issues were apparent and I obviously need much more practice with the Ustream application.

So here is what I was trying. I was broadcasting my desktop on my Ustream channel. I had the #PLENK2010 Elluminate session open on my desktop. I had the url for my Ustream broadcast loaded as a texture on the media board in SL. I wasn't able to figure out how to display the UStream as a full screen so everyone in SL saw the whole web page, chrome, ads and all. Tonito consulted with someone who suggested that we alter the repeats per face menu in the texture tab for the display board prim. It worked to change the size of the display but didn't help to make the Ustream text chat any clearer. Plus no Elluminate audio was available. So pretty much a wash. Plus after a while the lag seemed to build up tremendously. Learning, learning, learning....

Looking for a new plan for displaying the Elluminate. Or looking for other ideas, generally. One suggestion was to invite one or more of the moderators to present in SL and invite others to attend. I thought it was a good idea and it might work at some point. Stephen, George, are you up for a visit to SL?

After the PLENK session proper we had a great discussion in SL of some of the days topics from Martin Weller's Elluminate presentation and the ensuing discussion. ( Although I was so busy piddling around with the tech I didn't focus on Martin much. I went back through the recording) We made a few more plans for PLENK2010 in SL. In the picture you see Tonito, 2B Writer, Sean, Sutah, and Telmea. I'd forgotten I had this Mystitools, DynaTable and chairs in my inventory. As each avatar sits, a new chair is created for the next avatar. According to the specs you can add 250 Avatars!!

Topics that we reviewed included the notion that George Siemen' mention, ie) Public intellectuals and the responsibility of publicly educated people to make their views known and to model critical public discourse. Blogging is the new salon where people meet to discuss and debate important intellectual issues. That is a bit of a problem when people rely on the forums in the Moodle. No matter how accessible the Moodle is, eventually it belongs to someone else and your ideas are going to get locked away. If you post in a Moodle forum you should also provide a link to your own blog, wiki or podcast where you can develop your ideas more firmly and have them available for posterity or at least for future learning experiences.

The other idea we discussed was a thread from the Elluminate chat. Some one said that nobody wants a 1/4 hp electric drill with a 3/8 keyless chuck. They want a hole. The professors at the University of Drills are the only ones who are interested in the History of Drills or the Critical Theory of Orifices. An argument for learning and education to be anchored firmly in authentic experience.

I talked to Fleep Tuque of Chilbo where the PLENK2010 in SL group is meeting. Fleep as usual is so supportive and thinks it is a good idea to add materials from PLENK to the Connectivism Reading Room. I'll see if I can figure what is required.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

#PLENK2010 in SL and UStream

More complicated fun!
Things are coming together for the cohort of people who use Second Life as an important part of their personal learning environments.
Sean Fitzgerald has started a new wiki to coordinate things a bit.

We met for a while tonight in Conviviality Corners and tried imagining a few things. One proposal was to incorporate a in-world RSS feed aggregator for the feeds of the PLENK SL cohort or anyone blogging about virtual environments in a PLE ( as a PLE). We could post Stephen's master list of feeds if he is okay with that and if we can find the proper code.

I was playing around with an idea that avatars could gather to participate in the PLENK Elluminate sessions. Kind of like getting together in the bar to watch a football game.

I'm pretty sure it can be done with UStream and the in-world shared media. I tried it out tonight. After downloading the Desktop Producer version of UStream I started a UStream broadcast. I think grabbed the url for the UStream feed and put it on a shared media panel in Second Life. I then opened an Elluminate demo session on my desktop and switched UStream to screen capture mode. I was able to view the Elluminate session on the wall in Conviviality Corners. I will have to play around a little more to see if people can participate in the Elluminate chat from within SL and whether the audio will work properly but it looks promising.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

#PLENK2010 in SL

Just getting set up to participate in this MOOC (Massively Orasimatastical Online Course) with 800+ other folks from around the world. The course is about personal learning environments and networks and knowledge.
An increasingly important part of my ple is the virtual world of Second Life. I have offered to help organize a cohort of people who want to use SL in various ways to participate in this course.

I have already had a few meetings with other PLENK attendees in SL and we have established an SL group to support the inworld cohort. Search for it by name PLENK2010 in SL

A similar course to this CCK 08 also used SL and a wonderful Connectivism Reading room remains in world with an archive of documents, podcasts and Elluminate recordings.

I hope we will be able to do the same for this course. Things have also changed in SL since 2008, media sharing is available and the VOIP system works very well so it will be interesting to compare and contrast the experience this time with 08.

I intend to use this blog as a main organization point for my PLENK activities. It is one that I have used for many other courses, seminars etc and as a general reflection and thinking out loud spot. Love to respond to comments.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Machinima, film-making in virtual worlds

I've been spending a little more time in Second Life and attending more functions. There are so many interesting things going on. Today I attended a seminar on machinima, at the Caledon Oxbridge Lecture hall

Machinima is defined as "animated filmmaking within a real-time virtual 3-D environment".
Machinima is recorded in real-time, and real people can act and control the camera. Essentially you use a screen capture tool such as FRAPS or Jing (Camtasia) to record and edit the real time activities in a virtual environment such as SL or an online game. You then use the tools to edit sound and video. With careful planning, artistry, and some reasonable easily acquired skills the end product is very good. This lovely piece by Bryn Oh is an excellent example. World Expo Shanghai-No Love
Make sure you watch it in the full screen player.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Not Perishing...

Much as I love blogging it is time for me to work toward a book. Just such an endeavor is underway. I've developed a proposal to send to Jossey Bass. I hope they like it because I like them since they included me in the JB Online learning conference last year. It was a great experience. They also seem to have some pretty good author supports and information.
The book idea emerged from a syllabus I am writing for a Fielding course which may be offered starting Jan 2011. It would be great if I just happened to have a book ready to go about that time. We will see. Fortunately, I have bits and pieces already written in various blog posts so it is partly a question of collecting and polishing for a at least a couple of chapters.
Sue is also keen and will be able to contribute to a couple of the chapters directly and to the whole project overall.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tappers and Listeners Great sensitizing concept

I've been reading an interesting book on stickyness of information. (bought the ebook on my iTouch)
The book is Make to Stick: Why some ideas Survive and others die by Chip and Dan Heath. Early in the book they reference Elizabeth Newtons 1990, PhD dissertation, Overconfidence in communication of intent, heard and unheard melodies. In an experimental situation subjects were asked to tap out a simple and familiar song for others to guess. They were asked to estimate how many of the songs that the others would guess and they estimated 50%. The actual rate of correct guessing was 1 in 40. The tappers could not believe that the listeners did so poorly, they thought they did a great job. The book goes on to describe the implications of this for leadership communication skills especially when linked with the "Curse of Knowledge" phenomenon, the notion that the more you know about something the less likely you are to be able to make your messages clear about the topic.

So the take away is this. We think we are communicating way better than we actually are.

Lots of interesting social psychology on the concept of overconfidence much of it nicely summarized in an article by Dunning, Heath and Suls (2004).They have an excellent section on the implications of overconfidence for the field of education. One of the issues for education they describe is that we have a system of bulk upload mass education that exacerbates this problem. The system is good at transmitting a message but is not so good for long term retention of information or transfer to application.

All very interesting and it sparks lots of interesting ideas for me.

As I have been trying to put all this together for myself, a side issue has appeared Where is Elizabeth Newton? I want to read her actual dissertation for myself but I can't find it anywhere. Doesn't seem to have been published elsewhere. Is she still being held hostage by her PhD committee? I see that the Heath's of Made to Stick are faculty in Newtons school and I am very pleased that they have given her a citation in their book but it seems a little odd that she has such a low profile. I'll have to keep digging although I'm unlikely to be willing to pay the Stanford fee to read the dissertation if is even available. None of the databases I use has access to the Stanford collection or am I doing it wrong.

Dunning, D., Heath, C., & Suls, J. M. (2004). Flawed Self-Assessment. Society, 5(3), 69-106.

Heath, C., & Heath, D. (2007). Made to stick:Why some ideas survive and others die. New York: Random House.

Newton, L., 1990. Overconfidence in the communication of intent: Heard and unheard melodies. unpublished doctoral dissertation, Stanford University, Stanford, CA


Long time no see.
Activity report since last post.
Applied for various positions and worked toward developing a consulting agency. I guess I am a white collar farmer or a Wifi Homesteader as Clark Aldrich describes:
More and more people are trying to untangle themselves from toxic institutions, from box stores to, in some cases, schools, and taking control of their own lives.
I've picked up some work teaching for Northcentral University as a mentor for their online masters and doctoral programs. Most of my work for them has been mentoring for a series of research methodology classes for doctoral candidates who are preparing to begin the dissertation process. It has been an excellent experience as I have had to re-familiarize myself with many of research fundamental. I was recently approved by NCU to mentor classes relating to eLearning in their Masters of Arts in Education program.

I was approached to instruct a class for Assiniboine Community College through their Continuing Studies program. The course was a trades qualification program for a group of Hutterian Brethren who wanted to challenge the Inter-provincial journey-person exams. The biggest attraction for me was that the course was taught using the Hutterian Broadband Network. Thirty Hutterite colonies in Manitoba are linked with their own broadband network which includes a comprehensive videoconferencing system. I mostly taught from the studio at Green Acres Colony near Wawanesa, MB but the class participants were members of 12 different colonies located all across southern Manitoba. It was a great bunch of people and the experience was very rewarding. I will be writing an article with an analysis of their system and the possibility it presents for rural economic development.

The ICT class that I teach for Brandon University MEd program was offered this spring and I had 9 excellent participants. These are all teachers and administrators located across rural Mb and we conducted the class entirely using web-based tools. I have yet to meet any of the participants face to face. I will be writing this experience up in a separate article for publication.

Most recently I was contracted to deliver an ICT class for the Brandon University Northern Teacher Education Program (BUNTEP). This was essentially the same ICT class that I teach to the masters group but with some of the critical analysis elements trimmed out (i.e.) No APA format final paper.

Now I will get a chance to do some writing and put together some things for another MA in Ed program that I hope will start up this fall.

Always something to do on the homestead.