Past, Present, and Future

The following is in response to a task I received asking for two experiences I had with educational technology in the past, one in the present, and one possible future scenario:

Fourth Grade Presentation
Technology: Tape recorder, stock photo slides, and carousel slide projector
Topic: Africa
Method: Describe stock photo slides on tape using my script. Say, “please advance to the next slide” as opposed to using a tone for some reason I can’t explain.

This was an imitation of other presentation tools that were common at the time and I wanted to make one myself. I look back on it with a little embarrassment, not that it wasn’t that good or bad, but a (female) friend who I admired made fun of me about it and I associate that with this project.

I learned how to put together media to inform and likely learned things about Africa I didn’t know before.

High School Sophomore
Year: 1975
Technology: DEC Model 33 ASR Teletype Computer
Topic: Basic BASIC
Method: Free exploration with text and tutor.

I lived in a wealthy town outside of Boston. We had all the toys. DEC may have donated the machine. It was my first opportunity to play with a computer and I liked it. As I look back I think it was one of the few times in high school that I felt pretty smart about something. If my personal/family life at that point hadn’t been so chaotic I may well have explored this further and been more comfortable using computers in college. I remember there being a key marked “X” with an up arrow next to it. Somehow I impressed my teacher that I figured out what it did (created an exponent) and he told me so. Later, in 1986, I used the first computer that really interested me and became a self-taught user.

I learned to use a computer in a non-threatening constructive way. Perhaps that carried over into my educational future. As an aside, both of these stories, boiled to their essence, reiterate the importance of people being nice to each other in school. It makes a difference.

Graduate Student
Year: 2016
Technology: WordPress 4.6
Topic: Personal Professional Development
Method: Reflection of learning, curating of resources, sharing information, and promotion of self as technology educator.

Throughout 2016 I have been working on learning how to use WordPress well. I first used it solely as a place to hold some of my assignments and blog posts and then I started finding ways to use it more fully. In the past weeks I have brought together two separate WP sites and am hosting one on my own domain. It has been a remarkable experience for a few reasons. I now can create a website without using an HTML editor, but can still use some of my html and css skills and can easily recreate what I have done for someone else in a style of their own choosing. I’m also pleased with the inherent review of all the work I’ve done this year. Categorizing the work, uploading videos and graphics, and documenting my processes has acted as a personal summative assessment of the work I’ve done. The site that I created is quite representative and I feel good about sharing it to further my professional standing and keep track of my resources.

Father of Graduate Student
Year: 2028
Technology: VR v.6 & HaloClass v.2.1
Topic: Dairy Herd Management – Dairy Genetics and Economic Analysis
Method: Biweekly class meets online using wholly representative avatars in a simulated classroom environment.

My daughter is attending a graduate program in which she collaborates with all of her classmates, all from agricultural schools around the world chosen for their specific ability and interest. They meet on a regular basis, twice a week, in a simulated classroom. All of the tools needed are at hand virtually and are available in both old school VR v.6 and in holographic 3D using HaloClass v.2.2. The term blended classroom has become antiquated. My daughter occasionally asks questions of what it was like to go to a graduate school in which one traveled, met face to face, and used something, embarrassingly enough, called Moodle and then laughs.

Makerspace – Gender and “Ability”

Coincidentally, I was given two different assignments in two different classes and they merged:

Caleb was showing a friend’s makerspace and Will asked us to take on a theoretical instructional design project incorporating makerspace using the Dick and Carey model.

Jaymes Dec at the Marymount School for Girls in New York City:

This was the theoretical:

“For this case, small school (K-12 or higher ed – you decide). 25 teachers (1 of which is an Ed Tech Specialist), 8 admin, 250 students. Admin wants to use a tech grant to jump on adopting this VR technology into the school’s makerspace. The problem is, the makerspace has not been well defined and is lightly used. There is no real ownership. Additionally, admin wants to make sure this device is not just a novelty. They believe that if it was used properly, students would be able to effective use the device to improve their writing, math and science skills. Your charge is to develop an implementation plan for your school that captures your administration’s excitement about VR and its relevance in education.”

Adding to the coincidence is that I’ve been thinking about gender issues in the tech ed arena again, and wonder if we, as a group working on the case study, should have added anything to explicitly address issues related to inequality in tech. In the video above Caleb’s friend, Jaymes Dec, made a point about the students in one winning project saying, “They’re great kids, but academically…” which is also a type of bias that teachers in the tech ed need to stay aware of. It’s unclear what his thinking was completely, but essentially I believe his point is that makerspaces should be open and welcoming in every way possible.

Beyond creating a level playing for all genders in technology education and business is also the issue of neurodiversity and what people with talent and challenge bring to the digital and maker world and how to do that in equitable and encouraging fashion. There seems to be so much room for so many different types of people in this space and as an educator its becoming increasingly clear how important it is for me to explore these issues more deeply and not wonder whether I should be inclusive after the fact.

Educational Design Models

I have taken the liberty to ‘lift’ the definitions and one resource link of the educational design models that my classmates have provided in our recent assignment. It’s not a complete list of the work done as some disinterested me or were not clarified well.

Action Learning uses movement to improve learning, memory retention and retrieval.

Action learning is an extension of kinesthetic learning.

The idea is by engaging the whole body you can engage the whole brain.

Situated Learning

Learning is situated in the activity in which it takes place. Learning is doing.

An instructional approach developed by Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger in the early 1990s, and follows the works of Lev Vygotsky, John Dewey, and J. G. Greeno who claims that students are more inclined to learn by actively participating in the learning experience.

Distributed Learning is the application of a multimedia approach to instruction.  In a Distributed learning environment, students are exposed to distance-learning, web-based instruction, flipped classroom experiences, videoconferencing in addition to direct instruction.

Microworlds are learning spaces that enable students to explore a concept or an idea. Ideally a microworld will be easy to understand or manipulate and this simplicity will allow growth and reinforce the concepts that are being taught by giving the students freedom explore the given concept within the boundaries of the microworld or simulation.

Problem Based Learning

Students learn by the experience of solving a problem. Other skills can be developed along with solving the initial problem. Also, there is often no predefined solution.

Problem-based learning promotes learning through the process of inquiry.

Inquiry Based Learning is a constructivist approach to learning facilitated by a leader. It is natural for people to ask questions about the world around them to make meaning and IBL takes advantage by actively involving the student in their own learning. Through exploration and reflection new knowledge is gained and that knowledge, discovered or rediscovered, is retained and holds greater value.

Discovery Learning is a method of inquiry-based instruction. It is a constructivist based approach to education that is supported by the work of learning theorists and psychologists Jean Piaget, Jerome Bruner, and Seymour Papert.

Collaborative Learning


Instructional Video

Created with Adobe Premiere:


The sun came out today and I’m glad. It really does make everything here look so much better.

This is all pretty rough – I need titles and better ‘cutting’ and a little more material – I want to do at least one more onion shoot – I was on my way when the card got full and I lost my sun.

I don’t like most of the music I hear with many instructional videos, but I think that it needs some. My son wrote the piece a long time ago. Please comment on music and all else. Don’t be afraid to ‘cut deep.’ Thanks…

Side by side – without sun and with:

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-7-45-07-pm   screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-7-48-12-pm

No Sun:



I save all the PDFs I get from school in my computer – I rarely print any out, finding that reading them on the computer is just fine. In anticipation of Gagne, Wager, Golas, and Keller, with Sink as well, I thought it best to print and bind, really not knowing how deep I was going to have to go. I knew that much of the remaining time of the course would be on design and I really hoped over hope that I would like the articles and find them interesting enough to continue enjoying the course. I was relieved.

It’s pretty geeky material, but I found it to be interesting and maybe even a little fun(?) to consider. My only complaint, and it’s a steady one for me now, is that I don’t have enough authentic opportunity to play in this arena. I’m still very much locked into the theory. I wish I had some (any) places to practice this.

I like all reiterative notions of design and Gagne et al. honor that throughout each step with normative assessment. Luckily, I’m looking forward to the next weeks of class where I can put Instructional Systems Design in practice.

DofI and SAMR were both new to me and I found their notions intriguing – and certainly worth following as I move forward into service. Again, I’m looking forward to tying this together in the next weeks in class.


Delayed Shoot

The sun almost came out – twice:







Everything was ready – the lights:

img_5855       img_5860

The stage:
img_5863  img_1146

But no sun –
so I decided to wait.

Below is a test shot – it’s actually OK, but having natural light could help the color and soften the shadows from behind. Tomorrow’s weather report is favorable…

The sound isn’t good because I left the fridge running – I’m going to use the Roland MP3 recorder next time as well.

I’m going to have to change my video script too – everything takes just a little bit longer than I imagined.

Where Ideas Come From: Johnson, Drexler, McGonigal / Connectivism (10/24 – 10/30)

I tried. I watched the videos. I read the articles. I was going to do the assignment – seek signals, put them together. I became indifferent and wandered away. I didn’t dislike McGonigal, she just disinterested me. Nothing there to grab ahold of. Toffler, Gibson, Godin, and now McGonigal. It’s not you Jane, it’s me and my poor history with futurists, but it’s time for me to move on.

On the other hand, the PLN assignment grabbed me. I put a lot of time and thought and effort into it. I don’t use the Google suite that much. Never really had much cause to meaningfully yet. Getting the chance to use Sites was good for me alone, but all the better that I was pushed into a box of showing my PLN. I’ve never dropped a feed anywhere either. Never had a need, but I like it. I could do that again on my own server when I have the time – and offer a like space to students interested in doing it themselves. It also affirmed my choices in a good way. I think I’m doing ok there – in the connected arena.

The assignment made me think of how important PLNs must be to so many people in so many ways, and how most probably don’t give much thought about it. Healthy humans strive for connectivity, for like minded people, things, ideas. The most popular sites in the ‘net reiterate that notion – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit are connectors – the experiment still continues with these – good or bad. I am thinking much more about my network and how I can add and take effectively.

What I did do in honor of my new acquaintanceship with connectivism is read How the Internet Is Complicating the Art of Teaching in the Atlantic about connecting teachers with OERs and the opportunities and tribulations with sharing coursework. Textbooks are/should be done. They separate themselves from connectivism in a very apparent way. The criticism of the textbook market is well placed and worn and I won’t add to it here – the article did make me think about how this data warehouse could be come meaningful and, as the article asks well, how to make it personal. Teaching is an art and science and my bet is always placed on the teacher who can take the personal and make it meaningful for others. To live in a time where someone can create and teach what interests them most, to the point where they are willing to give a piece of that in service of other’s learning, with the the hope that there are more than a few who are interested too, is exciting and a connected world that I find a future in.


Two Website Access Log Visualizations: Normal Load v. DDoS

Yesterday’s DDoS attack brought me the opportunity to see two different web access log visualizations – one under DDoS attack (VideoLAN 4/23/16) and one running normally. They are, obviously, stunningly different. The visualization of a server running smoothly is quite compelling and beautiful in its way – the attacked server is compelling in its own way, but unsettling in appearance. Normal load is presented first: