Class Today 3/2/2010

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So it looks like we'll be turning over much of the class to Team 1 today to lead us through a discussion of the readings and our overall reactions to them. It should be interesting and we expect you to speak up -- both in the face to face space and online. Scott and I will take a cut at the first half of class, take a break, and then turn it over to Team 1. Here are some of the things we will want to talk about:

Schreyer Meeting

  • Our thoughts related to their reaction to our course design ... we looked like radicals.
  • How should we be thinking about assessment as it relates to distributed contributions and the nature of participation?
  • What does it mean to do instructional design at a big place like Penn State and how do instructional decisions get made?

ANGEL and our Collective Thoughts on Design


  • Let's take some time and look at how we try to make good decisions at the University as it relates to some of our (potentially) most important tools.
  • Could we roll our own LMS? Ever heard of Small Pieces Loosely Joined?
  • The rise of Google Sites ...


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Let me just think out loud for a minute here, but when you mention good decisions at the University level and the notion of Google sites in the same post, it reinforces something I have been thinking about recently.

The power of social media technology for education lies in the notion that learning is social and that, to use Wenger's terms, it occurs in communities of practice.

That said, we need a way to connect all our online activities: comments on blogs at PSU, tweets, Buzz posts, blog posts, FB contributions, etc. together so that we can easily share and trace our contributions to the ongoing digital dialogue in its various guises. The constellation of Google sites might be moving in this direction, but even across our Penn State lives, we should be able to have a unified profile that includes all we want it to include, allows us to share what we want and offers us content relevant to our specific academic needs and interests.

I have been thinking about this from the standpoint of a single College, but perhaps it needs to be a University initiative. The PSU Portal is a dim shadow of the sort of dynamic, interactive integration I am thinking about - its main limitation is that it is not social at all.

Maybe I am not thinking broadly enough, but what I envision when reading your post is a friendfeedesque service that exists for academic/professional purposes.

People can define streams of information they produce either at PSU outside PSU that get aggregated together at their profile, add in friends/followers, maybe the ability to comment and star. Buzz, twitter, facebook, and others all do some form of this. The PSU blog system does not. It missing functionality. How would a system for academic use differ from twitter/facebook/buzz? Does PSU need its own specific system for this?

Brad, this is part of our ongoing web presence or identity question. Your suggestion about a friendfeedesque service is getting at it, but I want more. I want a single profile that I can use for all the social media spaces on the web. It should be customizable so I can show different sides of myself to different communities.

I don't think that is something PSU can do, but if it existed, my web interactions with PSU should be integrated with this single profile. The PSU sites should recognize me and feed me information related to who I am.

Also, this profile would be where I could go to see in one place all my various posts, comments, tweets, videos, etc. I could make those things public or not to various communities depending on what I wanted to reveal to whom.

I guess I am talking about a fully customizable, universally integrated web profile.

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