EC&I 831: Island Hopping Cruise Ship

I’m finally getting a chance to go through some of the data collected from the study of my EC&I 831 graduate course. I absolutely love this passage from former student, Cindy Seibel, who describes her learning experience in the course.

To me this course was a personal journey loosely coupled in a community. I liken it to an island-hopping cruise ship. When we were on the ship on Tuesdays and Wednesdays there was an array of activities for us to participate in. Then we would stop at an island, get off and go on a personal investigation. We could sit on the beach and reflect, or go off an investigate something that had been triggered for us on the last ship’s activity. Our reflections and learnings were captured in our blogs and we would seek out each other through those expressions. Others outside the course would also participate in the same way, joining us randomly on the island or the ship. Then we would get back on the ship on Tuesday for a new buffet. So could we have done that with a closed LMS? I don’t think so. The public blogs were absolutely key to this experience. The open wiki was important as it forced us to “put ourselves out there”. That was an important part of the experience. We learned that there is a network out there if we choose to participate. The tools are almost secondary. Connecting to the network was key.

I love the cruise ship analogy. As well, I want to pay close attention to Cindy’s description of a “personal journey loosely coupled in a community.” It is an important distinction.

History of Educational Technology (Dr. Richard Schwier)

We were very fortunate to have had Dr. Richard Schwier present to the students of EC & I 831 on the History of Educational Technology. Rick is a professor of educational technology and media at the University of Saskatchewan and he’s been one of the most influential individuals in my educational life. And as far as credibility goes, you need only to look at his long list of publications and awards to realize that the man knows what he is talking about.

The session was done in Elluminate and with Rick’s permission, I have provided several pieces below. The slides have been uploaded to I attempted to synchronize audio with the slides, but Slideshare just wouldn’t take the audio. I have also included a link to the Elluminate session. Finally, I have provided a video link hosted by

Slides at Slideshare: Version:

Elluminate session and wiki page.

Regarding the Version:
I wanted a rich copy of the presentation in something other than Elluminate. Brian Lamb suggest a while back and I have been hoping for a chance to try it out. I am sure there are many easier ways of doing the same thing on a Mac, but this was the process I used to complete the version.

    1) I ran the Elluminate version, and isolated the part of the screen I wanted recorded. For some reason I wasn’t able to record the audio and video together, so:
    2) I recorded the video using Quicktime Pro (not free) pointed at Camtwist (free).
    3) I recorded the audio using Wiretap Studio (not free), a GREAT audio tool for the Mac.
    4) I combined video and audio in iMovie ’08, and exported as a (default) .m4v file.
    5) I uploaded this raw file (217MB) to It took less than 1.5 minutes to upload, and no conversion was necessary. I am incredibly impressed by this service!

If anyone runs into problems with the huge version, let me know. I am in ideal conditions, as it is after 1am and I have the University network all to myself. I’d like to see how it performs for the rest of the world, I assume not very well.

EC&I 831: Upcoming Ed. Tech Grad Course

I am really excited about this coming semester. About a year ago, I received a Technology Enhanced Learning grant to begin creation of an online, Graduate-level, educational technology course. The result is EC&I 831, and here are just a few of the details.

    - I am developing the course with the help of Rob Wall who we’ve dubbed the “social capital philanthropist” for this educational experience.
    - We have an enrollment of 30 students, about twice what is usually expected in an online Graduate course, so Rob’s role will be especially important (no pressure, Rob).
    - We are trying our best to use as many free and/or open forms of technology as possible. Blackboard/WebCT were never options for the course. Exposure to and use of open, free, and social tools is a priority.
    - We have a tongue-in-cheek course trailer made up entirely of public domain video footage.
    - There are both synchronous and asynchronous components of the course. The synchronous components will take place Tuesdays (presentations/conversations) and Wednesdays (hands-on sessions).
    - And probably most exciting is our amazing lineup of presenters for the duration of this course. Presenters will include (couple yet to confirm, in order of appearance) Darren Kuropatwa, Richard Schwier, George Siemens, Sharon Peters, Dean Shareski, Clarence Fisher, Stephen Downes, D’Arcy Norman, Brian Lamb, and possibly others. There were many more I wanted to ask, but I know I am so lucky to have these individuals participate.
    - All sessions will be recorded and available. The course will be entirely transparent and open.

Throughout the course, we will be looking for ways to participate within the edublogsphere. If you have an edublog that would be of interest, please add it to the wiki.

To find out more details about the course, check out the course wiki (more info to come soon), subscribe to the course blog, or contact me.

I have very high hopes for this course. Please wish us luck!