My colleague Dr. Marc Spooner recently recorded a video call with renowned American author and lecturer, Alfie Kohn. In this video, Kohn speaks specifically against Saskatchewan’s proposed move to standardized testing. However, even if you are not from Saskatchewan, the information presented is relevant to anyone or any jurisdiction looking at moving toward or from standardized testing initiatives. Please watch the video, and pass it on. It will be a huge mistake for Saskatchewan to continue on this path, and our Government must begin to see the folly of such an ill-advised, costly, and damaging initiative.
I recently gave a keynote presentation to help start off Academic Integrity Awareness Week at the University of Saskatchewan. The presentation, titled Academic Integrity and the Culture of Sharing, covered traditional approaches to academic integrity, described an emerging culture of sharing among students, and discussed how this culture can inform our notions of academic integrity, honesty, cheating, and student collaboration.
Here’s a great article covering the event by Rory MacLean of The Sheaf.
If you want video, a recorded Ustream video of the event is available here. I start at about 19 minutes in.
Below is a link to the audio provided by Ginger K.
I sincerely want to thank everyone who attended, live or via Ustream. I love having supportive people in my life that enjoy listening to what I have to say. Thanks especially to Tereigh at the U of S, Dr. Jim Greer, Dr. Ernie Barber, and to my friend and hero, Dr. Richard Schwier.
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.
I have very high hopes for this course. Please wish us luck!
With our Riders going into the playoffs this Sunday, it’s great to see the extent of “Rider Pride” across the world.
Here are the words for anyone wanting to sing along:
Green is the Color
Football is the Game
We’re all together
and Winning is our aim
So Cheer us on through the sun and rain
Saskatchewan Roughriders is our name
Go Riders Go! Go Riders Go!
CUPE members at our two provinces’ Universities (University of Saskatchewan and University of Regina) have been on strike for five days now. The CUPE employees represent all support staff (e.g., caretakers, secretarial staff, food services, clerical, technicians, heating plant, etc.), positions that are essential to the mission of any University.
The Star Phoenix (Saskatoon’s Newspaper) put up an online article, “Sound off: How is the CUPE Strike … Affecting You?“. There are now dozens of emotional responses either supporting the workers, or not, and it is easy to see how much debate and emotion this issue has raised.
My reaction to all of this is simple, and I want to echo one particular comment. “To my friends and coworkers on the picket line: I have nothing but praise for your skill, knowledge, and dedication; You are very much appreciated and very much missed.”
I hope to see a quick and fair resolution to this sad situation.
In the keynote, Dean touts the importance of design in education, especially that related to the creation of multimedia. Key points covered include planning, imagery, simplicity, constraints and significance, and Dean borrows from Dan Pink’s “Whole New Mind”, one of my favorite new reads.
The content is great, but the most important piece here is how Dean pulled it off. He walks the talk. I see so many faculty members and teachers talking about one thing, but doing another (e.g., Direct teaching about how to create a constructivist classroom). Dean has developed a well designed, well-articulated, informative, humourous and personal presentation here. For my students in ECMP 355 or involved in the Digital Internship Project, be sure to pay attention.