Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is the Internet changing the way we think?

One of the suggestions that turned up via PLENK2010 was looking at Edge: The World Question Center's discussion on How is the Internet Changing the Way You Think? at
http://www.edge.org/q2010/q10_index.html Wow! A lot of people are thinking about this! I see some really interesting people posted responses. I've got a bunch of reading to do!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Greg Lastowka Virtual Justice: The New Laws of Online Worlds

Greg Lastowka was on On the Media (September 24, 2010) discussing issues of justice in virtual worlds such as Second Life. More about Greg Lastowka at http://www.chaihana.com/pers.html. His most recent book is Virtual Justice: The New Laws of Online Worlds. (Yale, 2010). It does not appear that the book is available online. Where's the Kindle version?

(The site for On the Media notes that the RMT - real-money trade on virtual worlds could be as much as two billion dollars. See a 2007 entry on the Virtual Economy Research Network.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Friesen, Norm. Education and the social web.

From today's PLENK2010 Ellmuniate session:
Friesen, Norm. Education and the social web. Connective Learning and the Commercial Imperative. http://learningspaces.org/n/papers/Social_Web_in_Education.pdf
Friesen points out that "that commercial social networks are much less
about circulating knowledge than they are about connecting users (“eyeballs”) with advertisers; it is not the autonomous individual learner, but collective corporate interests that occupy the centre of these networks." I'm really interested in this paper. There's a tendency to see Web 2.0 tools as free from corporate taint. Perhaps that was true of Web 2.0 tools at their inception, but commercialization has crept in. On the other hand... what is still great about these tools is that you don't have to wait for some committee at your university to decide what software to buy and then wait for some campus IT person to provide access! Just do it!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Who owns student work? Does this change just because work's in an LMS or a PLE?

Reading Terry Anderson's discussion of the diff between an LMS and a PLE. He says this: "The old saying that possession is 9/10 of ownership doesn’t really mean much in the electronic era, but there is a sense that contributions on an institutional site are owned (or at least access is controlled to them) by the institution." (http://terrya.edublogs.org/2006/01/09/ples-versus-lms-are-ples-ready-for-prime-time/) I'm not convinced that holds true. I've reviewed a lot of university intellectual property policies and I can't think of a single one that doesn't cede copyright to the student. (There might be a provision to use student work for evaluation purposes - or in the case of dissertations/theses, some policy to allow the school to continue to make the student's work available. Students doing work for hire - that's a different case.) Are policies in Canada much different from that? It seems to me that it's easy enough to keep copies of the work submitted to an LMS. Of course if a student wants to make it available to the world, they'll probably have to find another place to put it up online.

Monday, September 20, 2010

PLENK2010 Second Life Wiki

Telmea Story (SL) along with some others have started a PLENK 2010 SL Wiki - and set up a meeting place in Second Life. See more at Conviviality Corners (http://ggatincritped.blogspot.com/) As a Second Life fan, I'm all for that!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Activities for the day: PLENK2010 , COL's OER discussions

I've signed up for the OER discussions which are being sponsored by the Commonwealth of Learning (See http://oerworkshop.weebly.com and registration for the discussions at http://oerworkshop.weebly.com/--online-discussion-forums.html )

PLENK2010: Online sessions via Elluminate are scheduled for Wednesdays and Fridays at noon EDT. I have a difficult time making myself show up at an appointed time - but I have in mind to attempt attending. In the meantime... I read through some of the discussions for Week 1:

Zaid Aslagoff put up a link to his free learning tools list
It's a long list! I would think that instructors ought to make some suggestions about which tools to use.

One participant suggested that PLE tools should be accessible via mobile devices. Some participants have mentioned Symbaloo - yet another social bookmarking site..
(Ok, does everyone doing PLENK2010 want their discussion contributions discussed outside of the PLENK2010 environment? I'm assuming "yes" given that we're asked to tweet and post, etc.)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

PLENK2010 - random comments

I'm going for incoherent and random comments on my wanderings around the PLENK2010 course site today:

I read through some of the discussions on all the abbreviations: PLE, PLN, VLE, LMS.

LMS... I don't exactly understand what seems to be resentment against the idea of an LMS. I started teaching online courses via email before there was any such thing as an LMS. These were for-credit courses and the university collected tuition. I needed to account for students work. Just the sheer amount of time managing student email addresses, making up distribution lists, saving student work, recording grades for their work... I don't particularly want to go back to doing all those chores when there's an LMS that can help!

LMS and standardization: Some standardization seems like a good idea to me! If students can find some basic documents like the syllabus, that's useful. I've worked with one LMS that has very few options - and faculty are still able to be creative enough to confuse their students! It is actually quite remarkable!

I recently monitored a course that used Angel. Inexplicably the syllabus was under a tab with a label other than "syllabus". This was not a problem intrinsic to the LMS. It is possible to change label names for tabs. This was a policy decision.

One complaint seems to be that students can't access a course installed in an LMS after the course is over. Isn't this just another policy decision?

Guest access to LMS courses: Hmmm.. you've got me there. Even though I know one school that has provided some easier ways to allow for guest access to courses should instructors choose to do that. However... there might be a limit to generousity. I know that the school is concerned about FIRPA requirements.

Sugata Mitra's "Hole in the Wall" experiments TED Talk
People learn if they are curious. I wonder if this is the opposite: If we have a mandated curriculum, we can't wait for students to get curious? Not necessarily according to Mitra's experience. Leave children alone to organize their own learning. In some experiements, he set the question. Why did the dinosaurs die out? In some cases he left tools available - an arithmetic game - with no instructions.

A friend mentioned she was going to keep an eye on Alec Couris' course on Social Media and Open Education, so I'm going to try to do that as well. http://eci831.wikispaces.com/NonCredit

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

PLENK2010 Personal Learning Environments, Networks, and Knowledge

PLENK2010 has started up. I've been on the fringes of other MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) run by Steven Downes and the others. I start out reading everything attentively for a couple of weeks and then drifting off to other activities... I'm going to see if I can impose some discipline on myself and stick with it this time.
Dave Feguson( http://www.daveswhiteboard.com/archives/3661 ) mentioned trying to find his way around Moodle. That mirrors my experience with the previous course on Critical Literacies. I felt that I had to log in too many times and kept getting bogged down trying to figure out if I wanted to go to the discussion forums (which seemed underutilized to me) or the wiki or..read the daily or head for the blog.. rss feeds? Archives? Live sessions? Recording of live sessions? Whew! One thing I do notice: PLENK2010 home page has a nice schedule of what's going to be covered week-by-week on the main screen. That's helpful!
Ok... PLE (Personal Learning Environments): I'm reading through the Educause 7 things you should know about Personal Learning Environments: http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7049.pdf Is PLE just another term for using Web 2.0 tools with students? Does the term PLE imply a coherent collection of Web 2.0 tools? "A PLE ... puts students in charge of their own learning resources..." but it seems like this particular article is discussing PLEs as "student created" but a component of a course in which a student will receive a grade. So a PLE is "personalized", but not private and is still up for judging. Will I get an A?