The World is Open

August 31, 2009

The World Is OpenOur local radio station has a program called “State of Affairs“.   Tomorrow’s topic will be all about distance education.  The guest will be Curtis Bonk, author of The World is Open.  You can listen to it online or stream it through iTunes.  Sounds really interesting because he’s focusing on a learning model called “We All Learn.”


Blackboard on iPhone

August 31, 2009

I just learned that you can get Bb announcements via iPhone. Here’s how:

1.  Log into your Blackboard account (online)
2.  On the left hand side in your tools list you will see BLACKBOARD SYNC
Click it
3.  Screen pops up that gives you the option of Facebook or iPhone – click iPhone
4.  This gives you a number WRITE IT DOWN (which you can have emailed to you if you click SEND)
5.  On your iPhone go to APPLICATIONS search for BLACKBOARD
6.  Click BLACKBOARD – it downloads app
7.  Click ACCEPT
9.  Enter the NUMBER given to you earlier by your online Blackboard account
10.  Click CONTINUE
You’re all set!

New Literacy

August 31, 2009

The OLDaily post that caught my eye was “Clive Thompson on the New Literacy” (  Here’s why:  “Young people today write far more than any generation before them. That’s because so much socializing takes place online, and it almost always involves text… It’s almost hard to remember how big a paradigm shift this is. Before the Internet came along, most Americans never wrote anything, ever, that wasn’t a school assignment.”  This started me thinking on a more elemental level about the act of writing.  Since according to Thompson the definition of literacy has changed — drilling down more — couldn’t that mean that the definition of writing has changed?  Think about that! It’s not hard to wrap your brain around the fact that people do write far more today than in the past (cell phone texting, social networking sites, blogs, etc.) but it’s the definition of writing that is intriguing.    In the original posting Downs is referring to, this new “writing” is pondered (

If you asked my grandmother what ‘writing’ is, she would tell you it’s a letter she received from me in the mail.  You ask my nephew, he’d tell you it is the latest note he sent me on Facebook with lots of acronyms and video.  Thus Thompsons’ definition of literacy could also translate to writing: “multi-modal, involving much more than just text.”  For example, yesterday, I was posting on a friends ‘wall’ in Facebook, telling her about a magazine called “NewScientist.”  I was getting ready to go out and find the link to the magazine but Facebook did it for me; grabbed the link and a picture of the cover of the mag and asked me if I wanted it as a part of the post.  So not only did I write about the subject of interest in the traditional definition of ‘writing’ I was also able to add a visual and a link for more information about the topic — which could be part of the new definition of writing.  Or perhaps in this multi-media ages there is more than one definition of writing.


August 31, 2009

Keeping up with everyone’s blogs is a bit overwhelming. I’m using GoogleReader which allows me to categorize and file my classmates blogs — and for some reason keeping them organized makes me feel less intimidated by all of the reading. Mind you I love to read, but when I go to bed at night having read all the blogs only to wake up the next morning where there are 60 postings, I cringe a little — sort of feel like a hamster on a wheel.

As I was reading the blogged definitions for Distance Ed, they all blended together — which made me feel better…that my definition wasn’t off in left field. No particular definition sticks out in my mind just that we’re all sort of in the same space — comforting.

Today on the “The Diane Rehm Show” the guest was Scott Rosenberg, writer, editor, website builder, cofounder of and author of “Dreaming in Code.” He also wrote “Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It’s Becoming, and Why It Matters.” It was a terrific conversation on how blogging began, who the founders were, and how it has continued to endure. He also talked a little bit about blog psychology that I thought was fascinating; the idea that if you’re blogging nasty words your commenters will also blog in nasty words; that the blogger sets the tone of the blog.

Here is the link to the program but it probably won’t be up to listen online until this afternoon or tomorrow.

Here is the link to Scott’s blog.


Science Friday on NPR

August 23, 2009

If you didn’t catch “Science Friday” yesterday, you might want to check it out.  It’s discussion was about bridging the gap between scientist and the general public, but it focused heavily on internet as a tool to educate.  Here’s the information the program discussed, who the guest expert was and the link to the pod cast:

Is the rift finally closing between scientists and the general public? Sheril Kirshenbaum, co-author of the book Unscientific America, discusses the challenges of communicating science and engineering, what scientists can do to help, and why it especially matters today. Teachers, find more information about using Science Friday as a classroom resource in the Kids’ Connection.


Sheril Kirshenbaum 
Co-Author,” Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future
Research Associate
Duke University Durham, NC

Tapped In

August 20, 2009

I have to say that the ‘support’ at TI is fantastic.  I was overwhelmed about the navigation of the site and BjB was extremely understanding & gave me a private ‘tips and tricks’ tour.  I learned tons of information:  basic navigation of the site, how to utilize the ‘doors/buildings’; add buddies; make rooms my favorite (I recommend checking out the NASA page inside of K-12); update my settings; even down to how to enlarge text when chatting.  I’m looking forward to exploring all of the buildings/rooms more and interested to see how we’ll utilize TI.