We’ve talked a lot about the boundaries between personal and professional use of social media, so I thought you would find this article interesting:

Those who use their Twitter accounts for both personal and professional purposes often find themselves wondering whether they are damaging their credibility with funny anecdotes or social tweets. According to a study published in the March issue of Learning, Media and Technology, however, the answer to that question is a resounding “no.”

Turns out that humanizing your Twitter presence makes you more credible.

Read the rest…

A while back, I learned about the California Community College Chancellor’s Office’s Technology Focus Award:

The Technology Focus Awards recognize excellence that evolves out of a comprehensive planning process closely linked to the institution’s mission and vision for the future. The award commends strategic and integrated, uses of technology that empower faculty and/or students through sources within reach of all campus constituents, and often the wider community.

With significant help from Jennifer, I nominated the FLC Online Educators, and we won!  I’ll be attending an awards ceremony in April, and I’ll bring back something – a plaque? a trophy? – so that we can build a shrine in the Innovation Center.

Details here – https://misweb.cccco.edu/techawards/docs/TechAwardProgramBrochure.pdf

Becky Mendell (via Lorilie Roundtree) found/forwarded this, about an embedded librarian:

What if a reference librarian was assigned to a college course, to be on hand to suggest books, online links, or other resources based on class discussion? A media-studies course at Baylor University tried the idea last semester, with an “embedded librarian” following the class discussion via Twitter.

Read the rest…

Anybody want to give this a shot?

is a free program that allows you to grab video from DVDs and save it as a file on your computer, saving you time in the classroom.  In other words, instead of skipping around inside a DVD to find the relevant section, you can simply save the relevant portion as a file that can be played immediately.  The program is available for Mac, Win and Linux, and the user manual is here.  It’s pretty straightforward – put in the DVD, run HandBrake, choose specific chapters (or the whole DVD), and click Start.  The end result is a digital video file saved to your computer.

Even though this kind of use is likely a Fair Use, it was formerly a violation of the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions.  This changed in the latest exemption language, which states:

(1) Motion pictures on DVDs that are lawfully made and acquired and that are protected by the Content Scrambling System when circumvention is accomplished solely in order to accomplish the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into new works for the purpose of criticism or comment, and where the person engaging in circumvention believes and has reasonable grounds for believing that circumvention is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the use in the following instances:

(i)  Educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students;
(ii) Documentary filmmaking;
(iii) Noncommercial videos.

You can read the whole text here.

Note – I am not a lawyer, and whether or not something qualifies as a Fair Use is a decision made by judges in courts.  That being said, fill out a Fair Use Checklist and keep it in a drawer somewhere, and you’ve probably done your due diligence.  YMMV.

Further reading:

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research in Communication

Creative Commons

ALA – Copyright

Here it is.

New options for comment, discussion, critique, etc.  Continuing on some of the themes from last year’s report, particularly with regard to mobile, key trends are:

  1. The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators in sense-making, coaching, and credentialing.
  2. People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want.
  3. The world of work is increasingly collaborative, giving rise to reflection about the way student projects are structured.
  4. The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of IT support are decentralized.

Discuss. :)

A new report from the Center for American Progress deals with online education and its potential disruptive impact on systems of higher ed.  While I’m still digesting the report, my initial reaction is this:  the most disheartening conclusions of this, and most other reports of the “what’s wrong with higher ed?” variety that seem to be proliferating these days is that they seem to be based on a one-dimensional, inhuman philosophy of education.  While it might seem a naive stance in these troubled financial times, I became an educator because I believe that the value of learning can’t simply be measured, as the report suggests, by some formula “composed of the 90-day hire rate plus change in salary over some amount of time divided by total revenue per conferral plus retrospective student satisfaction plus the cohort repayment rate indexed to credit scores.”  This is why I find the recent “limiting by way of financial starvation” of the mission of the California Community Colleges so disturbing, not to mention intellectually dishonest.  In other words, there’s more to education, to learning, than its ability to make a person a better wage earner.  Maybe I’m old-fashioned – I suppose educators don’t read Paulo Freire anymore?

Disrupting College – How Disruptive Innovation Can Deliver Quality and Affordability to Postsecondary Education

Here’s the “convert Word documents (properly structured) to D2L question format for import” tool:


Other things:

  • Skype allows up to 10 simultaneous video chat participants, although they recommend no more than 5 for performance reasons.  Anyone want to help Kent test this out?
  • EdTech approved proposals for Google Apps, a WordPress pilot, an opt-in to text messaging program for students, and a top-to-bottom review of institutional readiness as it relates to mobile.

This from Nicole Wooley and Jory Hadsell at SCC…

Welcome back! Hopefully you all had a restful break and a smooth first week of school. I’m emailing today as a follow up to Jory’s message before the semester began. The one in which he promised an exciting activity…with the ability to earn flex credit…to a special group of people.

Well, here it is. We’re starting a book group for SCC online educators. I’ll tell you about the book we’ve chosen in a moment. We’ll have three face-to-face meetings this semester, once a month in February, March and May. We’ll read four chapters of the book to discuss at each meeting. I’ll also create a D2L page we can use for online discussions, and where I will preview the month’s tasty treat. Side note: I’m taking baking classes this semester and I’ll need feedback so you get to be judges – just like “Cup Cake Wars.”

Our face-to-face meetings will be held:

Thursday, February 17, from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 17, from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 5, from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Location will be determined.

For participating in this group, you’ll earn 4.5 hours of flex credit.

Our book for this semester is The World is Open by Curtis J. Bonk. I will have a few copies to loan, the SCC Library is ordering one copy, the Sacramento Pubic Library owns two copies and it’s for sale on Amazon for $19.49.

Book description: Web-based technology has opened up education around the world to the point where anyone can learn anything from anyone else at any time. To help educators and others understand what’s possible, Curt Bonk employs his groundbreaking “WE-ALL-LEARN” model to outline ten key technology and learning trends, demonstrating how technology has transformed educational opportunities for learners of every age in every corner of the globe. The book is filled with inspiring stories of ordinary learners as well as interviews with technology and education leaders that reveal the power of this new way of learning.