I came across this Super Mario Brothers video on Youtube today. It’s a wonderfully produced, short animation written from the Goomba perspective. As I watched it, the former social studies teacher in me thought that this would be a great video to introduce topics like historical perspective, bias, and propaganda within the social studies, history, or even English curricula.
Sharing this tidbit is nothing huge, and I could have probably just let it go as this tweet. However, as I’ve become increasingly concerned about the ownership, longevity shareability, and development of my own thinking, I’m trying to be more conscious about where I’m sharing ideas. In other words, I’m hoping to get back into the habit of sharing more in this space – my space. We’ll see.
In the style of previous collaborations (here and here), we’ve collaboratively written a great list of writing prompts related to technology & media in teaching & learning. These were intended for the teacher candidates I teach, but I see tremendous value for anyone who is writing or thinking about the use of technology in education.
Thanks again everyone for showing me that this form of collaboration really does work and for contributing great ideas to the document. I now have a great, growing resource for my students when they tell me ‘I have nothing to write about’.
Jesse Newhart has put together a good, 8 minute overview of how he effectively follows a high number (15,000+) of people on Twitter using Tweetdeck. I use many of the same strategies for following a lesser number on Twitter (2000+), and if you do follow a significant number of people, these ‘tricks’ are useful if not essential.
And while I am writing this, I just noticed that Brian Crosby has asked “why would you want to follow 15,000 people?”. I think the video may itself help to answer this important question as Newhart does explain each strategy in context (e.g., looking for links, helping to answer people’s questions, noticing popular trends among followers). While I do not follow that many, I know that I do benefit from following more people than I can regularly engage.
Earlier today, I sent a tweet describing the contrast between teachers I have worked with who are afraid to use social media for fear of “Internet Predators” vs. many Iranian citizens who use social media with the realization that they may face direct punishment, imprisonment, or death sentence. Now, I just noticed a video from Rocketboom that supports this important idea and describes some of the perils faced by those that blog for freedom, social justice, and for an end to oppression.
Please help your students and colleagues understand how privileged they are to be able to express their thoughts and ideas, through social media or otherwise, freely and without fear of penalty.
Dean, Rob, Rick, and I had the privilege of speaking with Howard Rheingold for our latest podcast. In this podcast we discussed “twitter, community, and the challenges of creating inquiry-based learning”. It was a great conversation where I think we all learned and reflected quite a bit, and I hope you enjoy.
Twitter search and tagging is becoming increasingly relevant, especially in light of recent events in Iran. This timely video from Common Craft explains the basics of Twitter search, tagging, and trends. This may help people who are not currently on Twitter to understand it’s usefulness and relevance for capturing public thoughtstreams.
I was recently interviewed by Sheila Coles of the Morning Edition about Twitter. We talked about some of the implications of Twitter for teaching, learning, and privacy. The full interview is available here.
Also related, Rocketboom has done a recent segment on “The Twitter Global Mind” and it’s definitely worth watching. My favourite quote from the piece: “Twitter currently controls the most contemporary thought stream humanity has ever seen.”
My first post to this blog is dated March 11, 2004. So this post marks the fifth birthday of my blog! Happy Birthday Open Thinking!!!
This space has helped me to enjoy some of the greatest learning experiences of my career. It has connected me to many brilliant thinkers. It has enabled me to write and evaluate ideas in the open. It has become a storehouse for my thoughts, and an important component of my digital identity.
Had anyone told me how important to me this would be five years later, I would have never believed it.
Please join me in wishing Open Thinking a happy fifth birthday!
As many of you know, I am teaching two online courses this semester. These courses are ECMP 455 (undergraduate) and EC&I 831 (graduate), both which are focused on educational technology. My students are all blogging, and I’m starting to see some real improvement in their writing and reflecting on topics related to the course.
I have tagged my student blogs in Google Reader, and shared the public pages below:
I know that many people in my PLN have already begun engaging my students, and commenting on their blogs. Several of my students have commented on how inspiring and motivating this interaction has been for them.
For those interested, I would love if you could subscribe to the feeds above and follow my students through their journey. They could definitely benefit from your encouragement and insight. And, interactions like these are important for them to understand the benefits of a personal learning network.
Thanks if you are able, and always greatly appreciated.
I have posted about Net Neutrality in Canada before, but the issue has still not been resolved, and is currently in the hands of the CRTC. I received this message from the SaveOurNet Facebook group today with details of an upcoming decision.
In the coming days the federal communications regulator will issue a landmark ruling that has huge implications for Canadians’ access to the Internet. The CRTC decision will determine whether Bell and other big telecoms can continue to “throttle” Internet service.
Please take a few seconds to tell the CRTC to stop Internet throttling. Your voice could be the deciding factor!
Take Action here: http://saveournet.ca/content/take-action
The commissioners have already twice delayed releasing their ruling, suggesting that they are struggling to make a decision. We need to make it very clear to the CRTC which side the Canadian public is on. http://saveournet.ca/content/take-action
Until recently, Canada’s Internet was an open network – a level playing field for free speech and innovation. All that is now threatened by a handful of corporations that want to control a “gatekeeper network” in which they decide what content and services get the fastest access to our homes.
These companies have been caught:
• throttling or slowing Internet traffic to businesses and consumers;
• blocking access to websites that criticized them;
• crippling consumer devices and applications.
The upcoming CRTC decision will have major and long-lasting implications for our Internet. Our online level playing field of innovation and free speech hangs in the balance.
Please Take Action and invite your fellow Canadians to do the same!
Several people I know have recently confessed of their perceived addiction to the Internet. I do not think this diagnosis can be described as broad as “Internet addiction” without getting a better understanding of what exactly draws them to connect (e.g., socialization, information, gaming, combinations of these, etc.). In any case, I believe that addictions associated to existing and emerging technologies are real, and understanding these will be of increasing importance to educators, parents, and our youth.
Chinese doctors recently “released the country’s first diagnostic definition of Internet addiction” in the midst of increases to psychological disorders attributed to Internet overuse. The country will officially designate hospital psychiatric units to treat cases of Internet addiction.
So, do you fit the bill?
Symptoms of addiction included yearning to get back online, mental or physical distress, irritation and difficulty concentrating or sleeping. The definition, based on a study of more than 1,300 problematic computer users, classifies as addicts those who spend at least six hours online a day and have shown at least one symptom in the past three months.