Friday, May 28, 2010

RWLD #4 - Due June 2 - New Tools and New Skills

You have had the opportunity to use new tools and develop new skills.  I am most excited about how most of you have been taking to blogging:
  • Some of you have posted as many as 8 times already. 
  • Some of you have been commenting on each of your classmates' postings (and yes, it DOES make a difference even if you feel that your comments might be insignificant.)   
  • Did you notice that the list of blogs in the right column are arranged by which one has the most recent posting?  There is some motivation for you to post well and post often.
Wiki Knowledge - Recently, you posted resources that supported the Distributed Learning Community characteristics. I asked you to do this because I wanted you to see that I (the teacher) don't need to be the only source for important resources to review in this class. The $64 question is:   
How many of you actually looked at the resources that you didn't post?
If you don't review those resources, how will we know which ones are the ones that should be reviewed?
This week you need to review the resources and then indicate 2 resources in each category that you believe your class members should review. Here's the process:
  2. Review the four characteristics from the Dede articles to remind yourself what they mean.
  3. Select one of the characteristics on our wiki page and review each of the resources.
  4. Place your initials after each of the 2 resources that you believe best represent needed information in the characteristics.     i.e.,    (LZ)
  5. Move to the next characteristic on our wiki page and repeat the process.
  6. Continue until you have completed all of the characteristics.
  7. NOW review the 2 top selected resources in each of the characteristics.
You have been following 4 of the recommended blogsters and at least 2 other blogs from your area of interest.  This week it is time for you to comment on what you have been finding there:
  • You may have found a common theme between a couple of these blogs.  Write about it.  Make commentary about what they are saying.  
  • If you can, link it to what one of your classmates has been saying in her/his blog.  
  • If you can, link it to what you have been reading in the Christiansen or Solomon/Schrum books. (If you cite them, you can just reference them at the end of the posting OR you can link directly to the book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or University Book and Supply or ??)
EVERYTIME you mention one of the blogs, include a link to the posting (NOT just the blog) that you are quoting.  This is the beginning of becoming a member of the Blogosphere and this is how you will become an active member in your educational community whether you are interested in corporate training, elementary, secondary, or post secondary education.

Jump on Board, the Ride is Wonderful!!!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

RWLD #3 - Due May 25 - Innovating Change

Innovating change is a difficult thing to do in status quo institutions today. Whether that institution is education, business, or government, creating change can be difficult and sometimes perilous.

Why do we need change? Not for the sake of change, but for the sake of advancement. In 1968, Robert F. Kennedy quoted George Bernard Shaw as saying:

Some men see things as they are and ask "Why?"  
I dream things that never were and ask "Why Not?"

That is what we as educators and custodians of our schools' futures must repeat daily. We must find ways that we can look ahead and "teach to our students' futures, not our pasts." (Pink, 2009)

VoiceThread - Ever look for a way that you can have learners virtually gather around a video or document and then discuss it?  VoiceThread will allow you to be able to do this. 

Your assignment (should you decide to accept it) is to:
1) Go to VoiceThread and sign up for an account.
2) Go to the VoiceThread discussion site that is linked right here. 
3) Click on my photo on the left so that you can hear the instructions.
4) Watch the video, Learning to Change-Changing to Learn.
5) Comment on the video using the prompts below.  You can comment through audio, video, text.  Whatever you want.
    a)  Your comment should include your ideas about what is said in the video about education.  
    b) Integrate what you have read so far in our class.
    c) React to what at least one of your classmates has commented so far. If you are the first commentor, you can make a general statement that addresses the World's perspective on this topic.

Learn more about VoiceThread through watching this video and this blog posting on MPB Reflections

Blogging is the tool that has done a great deal to democratize information and communication. No longer do we need to have our own printing press to share our ideas with others. It is as easy as 1-2-3 (see Blogger) to hang out your publishing shingle and get into the business of writing for the public.

Let's see what a blog is and what it can be:
Before you can blog, you need to know what composes a blog. You need to have background in reading blogs in your area of interest. You need to see how postings are usually more interesting if they have been well researched and provide a variety of links that will help the reader explore further into the topic.

Working with blogs during this course will involve Reading, Commenting, and Writing/Creating.


1. Read ALL of your classmates' blogs ALL of the time.  It is important to keep up on what they are saying. It will also give them a reason to write. Blogging has little meaning if no one is reading it. Besides, it will mean that someone will be reading yours as well.
You will find links to your classmates' blogs in the right-hand column of this RWLD.  See them over there?

2. Follow at least 4 of these professional blogs over the rest of the semester.

3. Read at least 2 blogs in a personal area of interest.  Use the Google Blog Search ( to find someone who writes about what you enjoy. This search will provide you with postings, but usually the blogs that hold the postings are in your area of interest.

Commenting is important if you are going to be an involved part of the Blogosphere. Your comments give a blogger an indication that someone is reading her/his work. That gives a sense of mission. Interestingly enough, bloggers will often respond to your comments either directly or in an future posting.

Writing is the key to it all. This is where you can share your ideas with with world. It is where you have to confront your thoughts. I once had a professor (Dr. David Moursund) who told me that he didn't know how he felt about a topic until he had written about it. Writing makes you organize your ideas so that you can express them in a clear and cogent manner.
1. First thing you must do is create a blog. We use Google's Blogger as the standard because it is quick and easy, but you can use whichever blog you would like. Just remember that it needs to be accessible to the world.

2. Now that you have the easel, it is time for you to share your ideas.  Here are a few suggestions for this week:
  • Comment on your experience with using Adobe Connect last Monday.
  • Comment on using VoiceThread and how you see that it can affect learning.
  • Integrate your ideas about our readings and specifics about what changes you want to see.
Here are some hints for making effective postings:
  • Begin with an active title.  Something that is interesting.
  • Include an image or photo of some sort.  You can find a wealth of photos you can use (as long as you cite them as I have done below) at Flickr/CreativeCommons  (
  • Always include at least 2 links to something relevant on the web. Your postings must have depth and that is more than can be captured on the single page.  Writing is post can be a small research project that will provide readers a deeper understanding of the topic.
  • End your postings with questions to elicit responses from your readers.
So how do you see yourself using blogs in your future teaching/training careers?



Friday, May 14, 2010

RWLD #2 - Due May 18 - Distributed Learning Community

You are entering a distributed learning community. Distributed learning environments emphasize building a community of learners where individuals can be experts and are acknowledged as such.

A learning community is a group of learners who agree on 4 characteristics:
  1. diversity of expertise; 
  2. shared objective of advancing the collective knowledge;
  3. learning how to learn; and 
  4. mechanisms for sharing what is learned.
Read the Web 2.0 book: pgs. 1-44.
Collaborative Wiki:
This week, we will ask you (the students) to find the information that we will need to review. I have created some wiki pages that correspond with the learning community characteristics. Your job is to find resources (text, image, video, audio, etc) and post them to the appropriate wiki resource page. This is not a graded activity but merely another experience in building a collaborative learning experience.



Emerging Instructional Technology Twittering:
Another thing that we will be doing this week is signing up for Twitter.   This will be a way that we can follow each other as well as follow any comments that apply specifically to our Emerging Instructional Technologies (EIT - I will use the EIT to refer to our class.)

Twitter in Plain English video

Before you sign up for Twitter, I would like to give some User Name advice.  You should identify a username that you will use for ALL of your places on the social media network.  This should be a professional name that will easily identify you.  
DON'T use one with long numbers or cute saying: jbrown714 or funnyguy3933
DO use something with your name if possible  zeitz, leighzeitz, leigh.zeitz, vvrotny
1.  Join Twitter.  (

2.  Once you are signed in, go to   Click on the Follow button so that you can follow my tweets. I will automatically follow you back, so you will know that you have at least one follower.

3.  Download TweetDeck from This is a program that you can run from your computer to check your twitter account. I suggest this because it makes it easy to organize the tweets from your friends.

4.  Go to our NamePage where you will post your twitter name.

We will use a few different ways to follow each other:
  • Hashtags (#UNI_EIT)
  • Lists
  • TweetDeck columns
I will provide more information on how to use these soon.

Review (don't have to read) these 6 Sources for Using Twitter in Education 

Twitter Spoofs for a little fun.

Have fun,



Monday, May 3, 2010

RWLD #1 - Due May 11 - The Basics

Begin by completing the ILS questionnaire below and then entering your personal information into the following surveys.

Surveys to Complete:
Watch these videos. They will hopefully provide some interesting perspectives on emerging technology throughout the ages.
  • Introducing Le Book - depicts the process that a support person might have used when books were first introduced.
  • Web 2.0 . . . The Machine is Us/ing Us - How has/is life changing in the digital age. Prof. Wesch explains this in this video. Learn what Prof. Wesch is learning about the digital age at Kansas State University.
  • The Sixth Sense - Dr. Pattie Maes shares her research into creating a wearable device that "enables new interactions between the real world and the world of data." This video is on the TED website. These are short presentations by some of the greatest minds in the world. You will enjoy exploring the TED Talks website. It will definitely replace the time you spend watching TV.
Remember to read pages 1 - 44 in the Disrupting Class book.