Thursday, June 30, 2011

I plan to join the eduMOOC 2011 live session 2pm Eastern so I've been trying to catch up on some Google Group discussion. Wayne Macintosh and others are talking about MOOCs in relation to the OER University which includes granting credit for learning... wherever. eduMOOC "“Online Learning Today...and Tomorrow" has no learning objectives/outcomes... It has a name, a list of topics, and a gaggle of means of tracking what others are up to. We're all inventing our own reasons for being there. (A couple of people have talking about their own learning objectives.) That means if we wanted credit, we would have to... write our own? So... if I decided I wanted to go get an education degree, how would I document the work that I might do as part of eduMOOC? Are there any ways to assist students in figuring out how to present the work done in eduMOOC? I guess I'm talking about learning to make an e-portfolio... ? #eduMOOC

P.S. I did get to the session and the portfolio question came up among the twitterers and it's going to be discussed.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Filter Bubble

I finished reading The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser. I think he's bringing up some important points. Google and Facebook may be protecting us from opposing views - or at least might not be providing us with opportunities to hear opposing views. We also may simple be missing some information because Google thinks it knows what we want THIS search based on prior searches. Interesting post on this from the James Sinclair on his Critical Thinker blog at where an attempt to alter results didn't yield much change which he then tries to explain. So should we conclude that personalization doesn't really make that much difference in search results? One example Sinclair searched was Florida's recent "voter suppression bill" (SB 2086/HB 1355) which of course is a very mildly titled "elections" bill. My searches for the bill numbers include a lot of results with provocative terminology. The bill disenfranchises, suppresses, assault on voters, etc. Did those items come up for me because I agree with the view that the new elections bill is awful? Or... is that a reflection of what people are saying about this bill? I did find some tea partiers who are in favor of the bill: People who don't have picture IDs shouldn't be able to vote. Early voting provides opportunity for fraud. It's too easy to register to vote. Only property owners (i.e. people on the tax rolls as property owners) should be allowed to vote. Hmm... I'm interested that there are actually people who hold those views, but you know... I'm not really expecting to be won over. Yep, I'm in a bubble - not likely to change my mind that there are provisions in new Florida election law that equal voter suppression. Is that Google's fault? I don't think so. Then... we get to Facebook and some other social media: Pariser points out that we giving away a lot of information about ourselves in ways that benefit advertisers while we're told how wonderful it is to be social.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Accessibility issues

I was going to listen in on an accessibility and universal design in teaching session.
My wireless mouse stopped responding on my desktop - turned everything off and on a few times - looks like the batteries are ok - pulled out the USB receiver - put it back - nothing. Little tiny wireless mouse I use sometimes on my laptop isn't working on the desktop either. I had this happen once before - and I can't remember if I actually DID something or it just decided to work again. My laptop with its wireless access does not seem to be enjoying the Blackboard Collaborate experience at all this afternoon... I think it's time to take a break.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Facebook for courses

Two things pulled up alongside each other yesterday. I watched All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace - the Adam Guest documentary The documentary pointed to Carmen Hermosillo's statement about us turning ourselves into commodities for the Internet. (See The same evening I was reading the information literacy discussion list (ILI-L) with a discussion about librarians using Facebook for courses - either as a complete replacement for a school's learning management system or as an enhancement. Librarians who questioned Facebook's privacy record were called nervous Nellies. Get with the program! Use the popular tools at our disposal! Students are there! I was trying to think of how to compose a response - but Colleen Harris beat me to it with a a nice post warning against blind use of popular technology without considering the implications of giving over all one's information to a corporation - especially a corporation with a checkered past when it comes to privacy. Yeah! That's what I was thinking! I'm also thinking that I'm getting pretty darn tired of ads, ads, ads! I know learning management systems cost money - and the money might be going to a corporation like Blackboard - but once I'm in the various LMS' that I advertising!