Thursday, April 9, 2009

We've Moved

If you are looking for me


I'm not here.

But you CAN find me


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

February CHSS Hybrid/Online SIG Meeting

Welcome to the blog and live blog of the February CHSS Hybrid/Online SIG Meeting. Today's meeting will be taking place in Dickson Hall as well as using a pilot version of Wimba Classroom.

In addition to a presentation by Patricia Kahn, Director of the Technology Training and Integration division of the Office of Information Technology, I will also be demonstrating a product we have just started a pilot project for called CoveritLive, which is a live blogging tool. You have seen me use it here in the blog before and I will be using it for today's meeting as well.

Please feel free to join the conversation between 12pm and 2pm. You can join by simply entering your comments at the bottom of the CoveritLive insert below. Please know that comments, at least the first one, have to be moderated. So if there is a delay in your comment posting to the blog, give me a few moments to approve it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Considering Enterprise Version of CoveritLive

Recently the folks at CoveritLive (CiL) have announced an enterprise version of their product. Those who follow my blog know that I have used CiL in the past to blog events, such as presentations, etc... The enterprise version of CiL is free for education and so the CHSS is considering what options might be available to us in this regard and if this is an opportunity we want to consider.

This afternoon at 2:30pm EST I will be doing a run through of both the back end and front end of CiL with our CHSS Director of Technology Services, Milos Topic.

So come back to this blog at 2:30pm and just type a comment in the appropriate field below. You won't see it now, but around 2:30pm when I "open" the event, then you will see a field for visitors to comment in.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Need help with video

I have dipped my toe in the pool of video making. I have several faculty members who will be using Second Life this semester and a request was made to produce a few “how to” videos the instructors can assign their students the first week of school. This way, when we meet as a group the second week they will be well on their way.

The first video to make is obviously how to sign up for an account. I’ll follow that up with how to change your password, how to down load the application to a computer (or flash drive), and how to navigate the start of NMC’s Orientation Island.

I’ve never made a machinima or video like this before. I’ve toyed around with doing it, but never actually tried to make a real nice one. So today, I set down to make a video of how to sign up for your account.

Here is the result:

This is what I did to create this video.

First, I downloaded Snapz Pro, the 14 day free trial, and shot the sign up process. I then imported the resulting .mov file into iMovie. I created the introduction, added the titles, music, sound effects, and then saved it. Then I SHARED it as a QuickTime file and saved that to my desktop. That is what I uploaded to YouTube.

The first time I did it I used the WEB option, but that was SO small, and unreadable, so I then saved it as WEB STREAMING. You see the result. The only other option I saw was “ORIGINAL”, which would have made the file too big to upload to YouTube.

I don’t know why it is so fuzzy. Any help anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated. We really need it to not be fuzzy and I have more to do for classes to start next week.

It would be useful to the community to post your comments here; however, if you’d prefer, you are welcome to email them to me directly.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Social Constructivism - "you are here"

Like on a map, I'm looking around academically for the big red spot that tells me
"you are here"

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Frost, Robert. Mountain Interval. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1920;, 1999. 12 January 2009.

Recently I posted to my social networks a request for “who and what should I be reading about social constructivism”. I got the following responses:

* Dewey
* Gee
* Werstch
* Activity theory
* Vygotsky
* Jonassen
* An article by D. Robbie and L. Zeeng, published in the International Journal of Learning, called “Engaging Student Social Networks to Motivate Learning: Capturing, Analyzing, and Critiquing the Visual Image.”
* An article (or is it a series of articles, I can’t tell at first glance) I believe is titles “Philosophy of Technology Meets Social Constructivism” by Phillip Brey, from Twente University, in the Society for Philosophy and Technology. The link for that article is

Dewey, I’m guessing is John Dewey.
Gee probably has to be James Paul Gee
Wertsch must be James Wertsch

I’m seeing a trend here – I’ll take People With the First Initial J, Alex.

Lev Vygotsky is of course a must for this. I should probably read JeanPiaget also, although clearly Piaget is less about social constructivism, but still.
David Jonassen I’ve already run into, so he is definitely on my list
The two specific articles provided are definitely going to be looked into.
I’d also found Starr Roxanne Hiltz and Frances K. Stage _ I’ll be looking into them a bit more.

This is clearly a great start – but there has to be more. Is there a specific work you like that deals with constructivism, specifically social constructivism?

If the theoretical hair on the back of your neck stands up when you think about social constructivism (a lot of hooey, you think), then what should I be reading that you believes supports that viewpoint. Academic need to be critical thinkers – we need to be able to take a 360 degree look at something. I might not end up agreeing but at the very least I’ll have a better idea why I’m focusing on this.

Post your thoughts here – or reach out to me by email, through Facebook, or through Twitter.

Langauge, Race, and Power

Today I'll be covering the MSU Center of Pedagogy 2009 Advance. We're meeting in the 7th Floor Conference Center of University Hall on the campus of Montclair State University. See the LiveBlog below for details throughout the day AND you are invited to add your own comments, which will appear in the blog and, if you have questions, I'll be able to ask them on your behalf.

Friday, January 9, 2009

SLER makes the Highlights of 2008 list

Each week, on Tuesday night, from 5:30pm to 6:30pm Eastern time, I host the Second Life Education Roundtable, or SLER for short.

The meetings started last spring. I was looking for a place to meet other education professionals to talk about issues that were important. Nothing met at a time that was convenient for me so I decided to start my own meeting.

I determined that I wanted it to be a place where everyone would feel welcome, and anyone could chime in when the wanted. The best way to do that would be for everyone to sit around a round table - no head of the table, everyone can see everyone else, etc...

The idea took off and at one point we were hitting from 40-50 people each week.

This last Tuesday we held our first meeting of the year and had a blow out. The meeting featured Chris Collins, Sarah Robbins, Jonathon Richter, Jeremy Kemp, Anthony Fontana, and Daniel Livingston. It was our first "panel" discussion - where each of the panelist talked briefly about their view on the potential, possible, and probable future of higher education in virtual worlds.

We had 90 people at one point. I had to cap the sim at 90 (meaning I blocked any more than 90 from coming in). I wanted to make sure we did not crash out. Even then, close to a dozen people that I know of were IMing me and others to try and get in.

Certainly the response was mainly for the star power of the panel. If you don't know those people, Google them!

How nice to have as a follow up to our best and biggest meeting ever, to be featured in the Second Life Highlights in Education 2008 blog.

Montclair State University has made an exceptional commitment to Second Life. They trusted me nearly 2 years ago when people were still really joking about virtual environments. They have committed resources, time, and great support, for all the work that is going on - not just the Roundtable.

A small but dedicated faculty is engaged in what is going on. Congrats to everyone from MSU - the nod to the SLER is only one indication of the great work that is going on.