Month: October 2008

links for 2008-10-31


links for 2008-10-30

A New Tool

At the NACOL conference this week, there were a number of presentations that made reference to disruptive technologies. Indeed, most of the presenters would support the notion that online learning is disruptive and a challenge to the status quo.

Undoubtedly. if you’re anywhere close enough to an online program, that’s easy to see.

There were also references to the software behind the concept that are equally as disruptive. There are those that hang on to their devotion to commercial office productivity suites but even more who see the alternatives whether a package or online as an even better option in so many ways.

Even the learning management systems need to look over their shoulders. It wasn’t just one session that I attended where the presented indicated a change from a proprietory one to open source.

The content that I’d delivered comes from various sources as well. From well funded centrally written projects to the notion of open content through the web. It’s intriguing as well.

But, what of the technologies used to access the web based content?

As noted in this blog earlier, I blogged during the flight in on my iPod. Right now, it’s the flight back and the pilot indicated that we’re over Kansas with about two hours until wheels down in Detroit. I could go into the overhead baggage and get my laptop but it’s so much easier to tap this out on the iPod with my headphones on listening to music.

After a day of live blogging on Coveritlive yesterday, I’m convinced now that this little device has huge potential to be just as much or more disruptive. Unlike other attendees who had battery concerns (even to the point of rushing to get to a table around the perimeter and the complimentary electricity), I was able to focus on the best position to see and hear the speaker. Plus, I had more than a day’s worth of juice to power it.

Disruptive is an eye opener. I know that I’m changing my approach and hope that readers of this blog can give it a thought before lugging the laptop to your next meeting.

Detroit is still 75 minutes away so it’s back to listening to Terri Clark and doing some more document creation.

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links for 2008-10-28

Modern Conferencing

As noted earlier, I’m at the NACOL (North American Council for Online Learning) conference.  It’s a collection of 1,200 educators, administrators and vendors who share the desire to support and learn from each other issues about the deliverance of courses for students online as opposed to face to face in a classic classroom.

As with anything in technology and education, the conversations are full of unique jargon.  The one that I hear over and over in the presentations is “brick and mortar” classroom.  It’s a term that’s used, and not always positively, about traditional classrooms.

Above the jargon, it’s interesting to note the amount of technology that’s happening.  Unlike NECC where there as a lot of back channeling using things like Coveritlive or other forms of live blogging, the majority of people are engaged in chat or catching up on their email on the laptops that they brought to the conference.   I supposed it’s multi-tasking, but I’m not sure that the tasks are divided equally between the tasks and that’s a shame for the presenters.  Interestingly, there are highly sought after seats in the breakout rooms…near the electricity.

I’m in a location about 4-5 km from the convention centre and there’s no shuttle so it’s a nice little hike to get there and back.  There’s a huge difference between the 4 degrees I left and the 34-35 degrees that we’re enjoying here.  So, I’m not about to cart a laptop that distance.  That’s for consolidating my notes at night and doing report card support from a distance.

This time, though, I do have my iPod.  Fortunately, there’s quality wireless throughout and so I’m able to stay connected that way.  Now, after my experience with blogging on the airplane, I know that I don’t have a prayer to live blog on this thing, but…, most presenters have web sites or resources that they share during their presentation.  Portable Safari is perfect for that task — a few taps later and you’re there.  Throughout the presentations, little nuggets would be tossed out, and I was using Twitter to capture them.  It was cool to see folks jump in and comment on those random bits.

I think back to the good old days when you recorded everything on paper and returned home to hopefully remember to follow up on the desktop computer there.  It didn’t always happen.   Thankfully, current technology allows one to get ever more from the content…we’ve become so reliant on immediate information gratification.  It’s a skill to be acquired, to be sure, but one worth the learning.

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links for 2008-10-27