Research Group Meeting – Tech Smackdown

The Meme Research Group met, and since no one needed formative feedback or had findings to share, instead we shared what technologies we’ve been playing with. Everyone was invited to take the floor for 5-10 minutes and share. We didn’t get to everyone, but that’s OK — we’ve got some presentations on deck for next time!

Technologies:

Quizlet – Fabrizio took us on a tour of the tool that he uses with his language learning students and in particular shared the “quizlet live” feature. You need a minimum of 6 participants. We played a game in teams — nice way to have a collaborative review of learning content.

Twine – Lukas shared Twine, a tool for creating interactive, non-linear stories. It’s open source.

Lifesaver – Lukas shared this interactive film / learning adventure. Can you help save a life?

Playposit – Fabrizio shared this tool for interactive video lessons and showed how he has his language students watch target language cartoons and answer questions about them.

Research:

Taehyeong shared two articles about Math and Music. They’re both posted in our Blackboard site. The basic gist is kids using musical activities to learn fractions in math and engage students who might not otherwise be heavily interested in math (but who like music). The best part? Taehyeong did beat box for us! He is good! Here is one of his songs.

Open Science Framework – Vanessa shared the OSF site and briefly discussed how you can register a study idea and then use the site to document your project throughout its lifecycle — initial concept through publication.

News at Home:

Amit shared with us FSU’s projected timeline for getting up and running on Canvas.

AECT 2016 Presentations

Some links to slides from my AECT presentations this year …

AECT reflections

This is a post about AECT, and yet also not a post about AECT.

Recently (is 2 weeks ago recent?) I attended the AECT annual convention in Las Vegas. AECT was the second academic conference I attended, and over the last 20 years I’ve attended more often than not. When I was a graduate student, I was excited to meet faculty at other institutions and see presentations by the people whose work I was reading. I also developed my confidence as a presenter, and made several friends. And then, over the years, my participation and attendance faded. I was still there, and still presenting, but during the last 5-7 years I’ve done what I call “drive-by” attendance. I show up briefly, give a few presentations and support my students, attend a session or two if time allows, and then head out. I’ve stayed for one or two nights, and missed most of the events.

This year was no exception. I arrived in Vegas Wednesday morning, and flew back out Thursday morning. While there, I (c0)presented 3 papers, met up with a collaborator who lives abroad, and had dinner with a dear friend and a few others. Along the way, I checked in with my grad students and exchanged greetings with old friends.

It’s not that I don’t like AECT. I do! But as a mid-career academic with a lot of stuff going on and a mom of a young child, I’ve found it difficult to travel much and I’m often just plain exhausted. And that’s where I’ve been for the last few years.

But this year as I flew home from AECT, I found myself wishing I was staying another few days. For all sorts of practical reasons I couldn’t, but I really wanted to just attend, just hang out, just socialize with people in my field. I’d like to find a way to get more involved again, although I’m not sure what path to take with that at the moment (and admittedly my plate is on the full-to-overflowing side).

I’m going to keep this in mind as I plan my calendar for 2017. AECT will be held close to home (Jacksonville). It would be easy to just jump in and out — but this time I’m going to plan to attend. Really attend.

I’m also thinking about what keeps me so busy and overwhelmed all of the time, and how I can adjust my commitments so I’m not rushing around from activity to obligation all the time and instead can find some time to actually take in the moments.

Dusting off this space

Cough, cough … is this thing on? Ah, yes, it seems to be.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written in this space, and there are many factors at play. To list a few:

  • I’ve spent my time doing other things. (Obvious, no? I was going to say that I’ve been really busy, but isn’t that a trite thing to say? Aren’t we all busy? Don’t we all simply make choices — even when we find ourselves in times when we feel we have little choice — about what to do?)
  • I focused my energy on tasks that would lead to promotion (and blogging wasn’t one of them).
  • I was struggling to find my voice in this venue and determine (a) why I would post; (b) for whom I would post; (c) what I would post; and (d) how frequently I would post.

Some of the things I’ve been doing during the last few years include a lot of reviewing and editing, not quite enough writing, and plenty of teaching and mentoring. Along the way I’ve jotted down hundreds (maybe thousands?) of words on notepads, representing ideas that I’ve had. I’m starting to revisit those notes, and exploring where I want my career to go next. Why? Well, I earned that promotion to full professor (point #2 above) and the result (after a happy celebration) has been a period of exploration. I have more than 20 years left before retirement (supposing I retire “on time”), and I want to do something worthwhile during that time. My mentors suggested that now is the time to figure out how I want to make a difference in the world. I’m definitely seeking that path right now, although it’s not yet sufficiently well-formed to post a road sign on it.

I’m not entirely sure I have all of the answers for what I’m doing right now, or even what I’m doing on this here blog (see point #3 above), but I know now that I’m posting for me, and for anyone else who wants to join in and read or have a conversation. I’ll probably collect some of my thoughts-in-progress, observations, experiences, questions, artifacts, etc. and share them here. They won’t all be well formed, but that’s part of the point of a blog, right?

SMOOC is about to begin! We’re so excited!

Join us! The MOOC starts 3/24 and lasts for 4 weeks. You can join for all or just part if you prefer.

Module 1 (Week 1): Curation
Module 2 (Week 2): Social Media Lessons
Module 3 (Week 3): Personal Learning Networks
Module 4 (Week 4): Privacy and Ethics

Guess Who’s Taking My MOOC?

The Social Media for Active Learning MOOC starts in less than a week. I’m so excited! People are hearing about it (we only started marketing last week) and signing up.

I was surprised when I found out who one of the participants was — and that she really wants to participate. Want to learn more? Watch the video.

 

(I’ve started making a few little videos, each about a minute long, about different elements of the MOOC. If you would like me to make one of these videos on any particular topic, feel free to leave a request in the comments.)

Eek! A MOOC! (The why and how of it)

So, I’m about to embark on a MOOC adventure on the instructor side of the fence. It’s not unexpected. I’ve been thinking about doing a MOOC for a while, and I have a really important reason why: my students.

(An aside — to find out more about the MOOC, click here. Or to enroll in the MOOC, which is on Social Media for Active Learning and which will be active from March 24 – April 20, click here.)

My graduate students in Instructional Systems at FSU kept asking why no one from FSU was doing a MOOC. They indicated an interest in being involved in the design and development of a MOOC. They were interested, plain and simple. And while I couldn’t answer for the university or other faculty regarding other MOOC initiatives, I could decide to offer a MOOC … with their assistance.🙂

Thus the idea for the Social Media for Active Learning MOOC — which we’ve been affectionately calling SMOOC — was born. I offered a seminar during the Spring 2014 term on Open Learning and MOOCs. I determined the topic for my MOOC (gee, it conveniently aligns with my own scholarly interests and expertise). I began to design the MOOC. And then, as the Spring 2014 term began, the students began to work with me on developing the MOOC. When it begins in two weeks, they’ll be the instructional support team.

The process of developing a MOOC as a course project has been an interesting one, and I’m sure to write more on that later. In the meantime, I’m busy with finishing touches on the MOOC itself and opening it up to enrollments. Everyone keeps asking if it will really get massive. I honestly have no idea — either how we might define “massive” or whether it will reach that level of enrollment. I’m not sure that it matters. It’s been a great experience for us so far, and I’m confident it will be for our MOOC participants as well.

So, if you’re reading this post feel free to join us, and feel free to spread the word:
Social Media for Active Learning (web site — or enroll here)
Course Dates: March 24 – April 20, 2014
Brief Description: A 4-week professional development course designed to help instructors, trainers, and instructional designers learn how to better use social media to support learning, whether in an informal networking sense or by embedding social media into more formal learning contexts. Designed in a modular format for maximum flexibility — each week a new topic.