Role of Teacher Education – We Need Your Help

Dean Shareski and I are presenting at Educon 2.2 in Philadelphia, and our topic is “(Re)Imagining Social Media & Technology in Teacher Education”. We are hoping to find individuals that will help us introduce the topic. More specifically, we are looking for insight in answering the following questions regarding the role of teacher education in developing new teachers. Roughly, these questions are:

  1. What are your general views on the status of teacher education in preparing teachers, especially in regards to innovative teaching? What positives, negatives, or general views can you share? Please do pull in your own experiences if applicable.
  2. What is the ideal role of teacher education in developing teachers who are media literate and technologically savvy?

Using the Alan Levine Approach™, we are looking for short videos or audio bites (1-2 minutes each) that we hope to remix into our introduction to the topic. We realize that this does not give much time to answer, so feel free to focus on one or two important points.

If you are a teacher, a teacher educator, an administrator, or work with new teachers, you will likely have important ideas to share. If you are interested, please submit your video via Youtube, or through a file drop service like You can add the link to the video in the comments here, or feel free to email me at

The presentation is on January 31/10, but we hope to have submissions by January 22/10 at the latest.

Thanks for any help you can give.

Call for Papers: Technology & Social Media in education

I will be the guest editor of an upcoming issue of in education journal. Please consider submitting an article or feel free to pass on this call to others.

Editorial Call for issue 15/2 of in education (formerly know as Policy and Practice in Education)

In late 2007 the editorial board of Policy & Practice in Education made the decision to move the journal into a digital format. The rationale being,

in publishing research the intent is to reach as wide an audience as possible, publication costs have become insupportable, and competition is growing. We considered using the management and distribution services of a commercial publishing house, … however the notion of making knowledge more easily and broadly accessible suggested we look at open access publishing (Lewis & McNinch, 2007, p. 5)

To that end, from our current pdf print-based format, we are continuing to evolve the journal and with this forthcoming issue we will move more broadly into and across the digital landscape. However, that does not mean we will disregard the previous work of the journal from the past 15 years, but rather build upon and transcend those discussions, ideas and iterations. As we stated in our initial move to the digital format, the journal will continue to address issues, research and practice in the education of teachers, however we intend to augment the latitude and significance of the notion of education. As a result, we are inviting articles and reviews of works that not only explore ideas in teacher education, but also a broader and more inclusive discussion in education. We envision a discussion that also utilizes the ubiquitous growth of the digital arts and sciences in the everyday practice of living and how that (in)forms both formal and informal education.

With this forthcoming issue we are fortunate to have Dr. Alec Couros as guest editor and background coordinator. Dr. Couros will be launching this latest iteration of the journal as we continue and grow the conversation in education. Watch for the journal’s digital space to be launched in November of 2009.

Special Issue: Technology & Social Media – in education
To mark this important transition of the journal, a special issue will focus on technology & social media in education. Submitted articles should focus upon current theories, practice, or emerging trends and understandings within the context of teaching & learning, learning environments, or informal learning.

Some suggested topics are listed below:

    – Social and participatory media (e.g., blogs, wikis, microblogging, video sharing) in teaching & learning.
    – Mobile technologies, txting, or microblogging in learning, or implications for social justice & politics.
    – Practical or philosophical discussions on open content or open educational resources.
    – Implications & trends regarding open publishing & academia.

    – Online communities as formal and/or informal learning environments.

    – Openness and/or networks in teaching & learning.

    – Case studies of successful technology integration into learning environments.
    – Discussions of distance, online, distributed, or flexible learning models in practice.

    – Changing views & frameworks of knowledge and implications for education.

    – Social networks, participatory media, and the implications for information & media literacy.

    – Personal learning networks (PLNs), personal learning environments (PLEs) or related frameworks.

    – Other topics related to social media, technology, and education.

Length: Manuscripts, including references, tables, charts, & media, should range between 10-20 pages (2500-5000 words). As the journal will be primarily web-based, we encourage articles that leverage digital forms of expression and dissemination.

Style: For writing and editorial style, follow the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2001, 5th ed.). References should also follow APA style.

Review Process: Authors are informed when manuscripts are received. Each manuscript is previewed prior to distribution to appropriate reviewers. Manuscripts are anonymously reviewed. Once all reviews are returned, a decision is made and the author is notified. Manuscripts should consist of original material, and not currently under consideration by other journals.

Copyright: Accepted material will be distributed under an appropriate Creative Commons license (non-commercial, attribution)

Cover Page (for review purposes): Include title of manuscript, date of submission, author’s name, title, mailing address, business and home phone number, and email address. Please provide a brief biographical sketch and acknowledge if the article was presented as a paper or if it reports a funded research project.

Abstract: Please include a 50-100 word abstract that describes the essence of your manuscript.

Software Format: Submit in Word (.doc), Rich Text (.rtf), or Open Document Format (.odf). Other media welcome through prior consultation

Deadlines: Abstracts should be submitted by July 31, 2009. Once reviewed, if your abstract is approved, you will be asked to submit a completed manuscript by October 1, 2009.

For all inquiries or submission information, please contact Dr. Alec Couros via email or by phone at (306) 585-4739.

Update: The call for this issue is now closed. Thank you to all of those who have contributed abstracts or who have passed this call on to others.

Keynote: Harnessing the Power of Social Networks

I gave a keynote presentation yesterday titled “Harnessing the Power of Social Networks in Teaching and Learning” at the University of Delaware. Below, you can find the archived video and my slide deck.

I want to thank all of the good people at the University of Delaware who invited me, greeted me with wonderful hospitality, and let me be part of their excellent summer faculty institute. It was a terrific experience!

Micro Lectures

Here is a format of teaching & learning that I will consider for my next online course (likely Fall 2009). Take a look at the micro-lecture format that is being used at San Juan College in New Mexico. It has been recently covered by the Chronicle of Higher Education and Open Education.

The designer of the format, David Penrose, insists that in online education “tiny bursts can teach just as well as traditional lectures when paired with assignments and discussions.” The microlecture format begins with a podcast that introduces a few key terms or a critical concept, then immediately turns the learning environment over to the students.

To be continued.

World Builder

This is wonderful, award-winning video.

World Builder from Bruce Branit on Vimeo.

A strange man builds a world using holographic tools for the woman he loves.

This award winning short was created by filmmaker Bruce Branit, widely known as the co-creator of ‘405’. World Builder was shot in a single day followed by about 2 years of post production. Branit is the owner of Branit VFX based in Kansas City.

Media Literacy Presentation

Tonight I presented “Popular Issues in (Digital) Media Literacy” to my EC&I 831 students. The presentation covered various topics such as: offensive content (bad taste, sexuality), viral videos & memes, misinformation (satire, hoaxes, scams, phishing), safety & cyberbullying, hate (racism & violence), social networks & privacy. It was very much a survey approach to the topic in hopes that my students will understand the broad scope of related issues.

The slide deck is available below:

The Elluminate recording is also available for viewing.

Connectivism & CCK08

It was our great pleasure to have had George Siemens as our guest in EC&I 831 on January 20, 2009. As requested, George gave us an overview of the changing views of knowledge in society, talked about Connectivism, and described the recent CCK08 experience.

The full Elluminate session was recorded and is available here. However, I have extracted George’s session (minus some of the course-specific conversation) into both a video file, and an audio only version. See below.

I want to take this opportunity to thank George for once again offering his time and expertise on these very challenging topics, and for engaging us in this presentation.



I just came across THEBLOG WEEMADE which is focused on”sharing the artwork and creativity of kids”.

Sample Art

Reasons I like the project:
– Simple interface, and quite easy to submit artwork.
– Moderated submissions (I know because I tried to submit).
– Keeps with my philosophy that student work and creativity should be shared and celebrated with/by others, and not held hostage in classrooms and on bulletin boards.
– A visual archive.
– The no-brainer, RSS.

What it is missing:
– I can’t seem to find any information on the project. Can anyone find an “about” page?
– Lack of visible, appropriate copyleft licenses (e.g., CC).

Neat project, and it wouldn’t take much to create your own version of this for the classroom.