Reverse Discovery


I found a real gem for a resource recently just by tracking backwards.  From the Infographics category in my Zite reader, I enjoyed the infographic “Where In the World Is the Internet?“.

I thought I knew.  It’s in one room, reaches over here via wireless, and my phone connects “up there” wherever that is.  Obviously, it was going to be more than that, smart aleck, so I clicked the link expecting to see internet usage from around the world.

where

I wasn’t disappointed.

I spent a great deal of time exploring the infographic.  It really put things into perspective in that the usage by country is giving in terms of percentage of use rather than just sheer numbers.  That’s two completely different stories!

Given recent world events, it would be a great classroom discussion about how the rest of the world gets immediate stories, sees live video, watches recorded video, share images and pictures, etc.  There were some surprising figures to me.  But, I love this stuff.

Now, this is all a preamble to what I really want to talk about.

A good infographic will quote its sources so that you can judge the credibility and accuracy of the data depicted.  That’s crucial for the analysis of any information that you’re accessing on the internet.  In this case, the infographic quoted the website Internet World Stats.  This is interesting – really interesting.

stats

If you like statistics, make sure that you bookmark this resource.

This is a source for those real world type of problems that lend instant answers to the question “Where does anyone use this?”.

Whether you’re doing data analysis, math discussions, drawing charts, or even creating your own infographics, there literally is a world of data here just waiting to be accessed.

Go for it.

 

A Convergence of Thought


A couple of things entered my reading today.  The first was an infographic asking “What Does An Educational Technologist Do?”  It’s an interesting graphic and worth the time to follow the link and take a look.

Technologist

The second reading was a blog entry from George Couros titled “What should a networked educational leader tweet about?”  Just as the infographic is worth the time to study, so is Mr. Couros’ blog entry.  In particular, the summary at the bottom of the article about what or what not should be tweeted.

In both cases, I would suggest that these are significant descriptors.  For those of you who have access to the services of an educational technologist, I would think both are good standards for the position and worthwhile discussion with them.

But, I would take it even further.  Not only should these be considered, there is another aspect.

How often does this communication happen?  Is it sufficient when the educational technologist is in attendance at a conference or a presentation and parrotting points made by a speaker?  I would say no.  Doing so is like saying “I’m here and you’re not”.

The message that an educational technologist often gives is one of you needing to be a lifelong learner and get with the program. But what about her/him?

If you believe in lifelong learner for others, how about yourself?  If you believe in visible learning, how about yourself?

Is it not desirable, heck, even a requirement that you show how it’s done?  If it’s important to learn, I would suggest that it’s at least as important to illustrate that.  Only then, do you lead and learn by example.  Are you not learning something new every day as you would expect others to do?

Take another look at the two resources.  They really show a great convergence of ideas and should be part of a roadmap for success.  Otherwise, it’s pretty difficult to answer the question “Just what is it that you do?”

 

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


I was actually quite surprised that I couldn’t find blog entries from the usual suspects about the technology conference that happened in Ontario this past week.  Strange.

But, there was some great reading otherwise.  Read on…

Getting Started ~ Library Research Information Guide for Graduate Students

I really like the concept of a library maintaining a blog and informing anyone who drops by about what’s happening.  Even if you’re stuck for a current idea, there are always hundreds of ideas on the shelves to engage students and their parents.  The Education library at UWO is just full of ideas for students.  Denise Horoky is just full of information and ideas, posting quite frequently to the blog.  This particular link takes the graduate student to a resource for ideas about research as they prepare for research.  Libraries everywhere could take a lesson from the content here.


10 Reasons to Educate Elementary Students about Social Media

Only 10? Deborah McCallum added some more excellent reasons to the discussion.  While I’ve read numerous blog posts on this topic, she has some interesting takes on the issues that she’s identified.  It’s a good post and well worth the read and certainly worthwhile sharing with your colleagues.  It makes me wonder – with the ideas that she’s identified and from others who have posted similar content, why is it a discussion that we continue to have.  You can’t ignore it; it’s time to attack the topic seriously.


What Happens Now?

Many minds landed in the same place at the same time and that place was EdCamp Hamilton.  Aviva Dunsiger was one of the organizers and shared some of her thoughts about the day at this blog post.

It’s typical though – the organizers often don’t get a chance to get fully immersed with the happenings.  Aviva is a good enough social media user to know that she would be able to follow the discussion online.  It’s ironic to having to do so with the participants just footsteps away but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.

After the event, she captured the “next steps” in a Storify document and shares it here.  It’s an interesting read to see the different in realities from those who live in cities versus those who don’t.  I can certainly understand.  I got into a discussion recently about the need for television access in the era of the internet.  Those who live in the big centres sometimes don’t realize how the other half lives.  I could never imagine ever streaming a television show.  On a good day, I can watch a YouTube video…


Can we please talk about Infographics?

I thought everyone liked infographics!  But, I guess not.  Read this post for some compelling arguments against the concept of infographics.  It’s difficult to disagree IF you take the infographic as the end product with nothing further.

I still like infographics and good designers will leave their references in the document somewhere so that I can dig deeper if I need to or I want to.  Secondly, where I think infographics really excel happens when students create them as a research activity.  Here, they have to do the research, filter the data, manipulate the information, decide what is important enough for inclusion, and then decide how to tell their story via the presentation.  Of course, knowing how to use the appropriate technology to present the final results is important as well.


An Interview with Cyndie Jacobs

“It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.”  Or, let me tell you about a blog post of my own!  #ecoo13 co-chair Cyndie Jacobs was the latest of my interviews.  Take a read – you just might find out something new about this incredible woman.


Great reads and my compliments to those that pulled their thoughts together.  Please enjoy the full posts and support these Ontario Edubloggers with a visit to their blogs.  Support is so important.

To read all of the Ontario Edubloggers, follow this link to a Livebinder with the bigger collection.

If you’re an Ontario Edublogger and you’re not listed, please take the moment to complete the form and I’ll get you added as soon as I can.

Literacy Visually


There are times that I really worry about my sense of literacy.  I read so much on line and there’s no guarantee that any of it is going to be properly written or constructed.  Liberties seem to be taken with the language regularly and there are some that just don’t appear to care.  It irks me to see signs outside of stores or on the street with “there” where “their” should be.  Or, gasp! the inappropriate use of the apostrophe.  I’ve even been known to go to into a store to help the cause of literacy and report mistakes.  It’s always to the embarrassment of my wife “You’re such a teacher”.

Of course, there’s spelling, but grammar also figures high on the scale as well.  Even as a computer science teacher, I required my students to submit a written description of their projects.  After all, not every computer science graduate will end up being a coder.  Someone has to write the documentation or work the support desk and communication is key to the best of supports.

Visual.ly had a fabulous blog post recently.  Titled “11 Infographics That Will Help You Improve Your Grammar and Spelling“.  I thoroughly enjoyed the post and found myself nodding at many of the tips and reminders in the infographics.

Now, I had been chastised once for supporting great efforts like this.  “So and so says that you’re supporting the company that created them.”  To that end, my response was a question as to what “so and so” has done recently except complain.  To me, anyone that supports the literacy cause in an LOL world can’t be all bad!

As I was taking a look at the infographics in the article, I was checking the source.  One of the sources caught my eye.

It was to the web resource Grammar.net.

Wow!

Talk about hitting the literacy infographic jackpot.

It’s infographic after infographic about all kinds of use of the English language like this little snippet from the graphic about adjectives and adverbs.

Adverbs

You name a literacy lesson and I’ll bet there’s an infographic at the site to support it!

Each of the infographic comes with code to embed it into your class wiki or you could just send your students to the graphic being discussed during today’s lesson.

Language teachers, and we all should be one, should immediately check out the wealth of resources here.  Your going to love it.

(I can’t believe I just did that.)

Mirror Me


I acknowledge that I’m easily sidetracked when something catches my eye.  Sunday afternoon, I’m sitting here in my purple and white Vikings jersey watching the Vikes take it to the Cardinals.  I’ve got a Twitter search for #Vikings and #Cardinals running along side my regular Twitter feed.  Twitter provides great fan reaction from both sides of the game as it happens.

In the midst of this, I look over to my stream and I see a tweet from @NoelineL asking “what do you see in the mirror”.  Next commercial, I followed her link and it took me to a word cloud devoted to Margaret Atwood.  Very interesting.  As I looked at it, I could see that this was very interesting.  I like any type of visualization.  The title says that she “cares about” and then displays the word cloud.  I like what I see and so the next step is to lie down on the couch and have it analyse me.

Done, and done.  The results generate the cloud along with embed code to put into a blog, wiki, website, etc.  My cloud appears below.

Go to Doug Peterson's Mirror.Me Reflection

What do you think, blog reader?  Is this me?  Is this what I care about?

As I’m pondering that, I think about a comment that @tk1ng had laid on me once about the division of the online personality versus the real personality.  It’s worth another look through that lens.

I’m also trying to think of a use for it beyond the curiosity factor.  You know you’re going to want to create one for yourself but is there another use?

Since the message implies that the word cloud shows what I care about, I’m thinking about the tweeting classroom.  If the students are tweeting their learning, expressing their concerns, their interests, wouldn’t that make for a great word cloud to put on the class website or wiki?  I would think it would be a very nice visual for parents and students.

You log in via your Twitter account and you can claim your own personal URL.  Just remember that you’ve given the site access to your Twitter account.  You’ll probably want to revote it after you’re done just to keep your account secure.