Nikoli and "one-buttock music"

I saw this first posted at Alvin's Educational Technology blog, and after watching it, I couldn't help but wonder if I make learning as fun as it can be.  Does the passion I feel for what I teach show through?  This presentation is by Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


So I'm going to be a daddy again!

3:32 AM 3 Comments

Just so everyone knows, my wife, Lori, is pregnant.  This baby, who I've deemed the bookend, will be joining our family in late June or early July.  The actual due date is June 29.

We're excited.  When I got back from AECT, Lori got out of bed when I came in the house (it was about 11:30 pm) and hugged me.  She said, "We missed you.  All five of us."  I said, "I missed you, too.  Wait--WHAT?"  The funny thing about that is a few years ago I got back from AECT and she asked me to go to the doctor with her the following Thursday.  I was like, "Why do I need to go to the doctor with you?"  Yep, that was Andrew.

Yeah, I know, I'm dense.

The kids' reactions were priceless.  We took Andrew with us to the doctor for the first visit and the ultrasound.  When they brought up the ultrasound, I asked Drew what it was.  "I don't know," he said.

"It's a baby, Andrew."

"I don't think so!"

"Where is the baby, Andrew?" I asked.

Andrew, looking at the ultrasound on the monitor, replied, "In the computer."

"No, Andrew, it's in Mom's belly."

Andrew looks at Lori and says, "I don't think so!"

Now he gets up every morning, hugs his mom, tells her good morning, crouches at her stomach and says in his sweet, three-year-old voice, "Good morning, baby!"  He also tells it good night and an occasional secret.

When we told John and Natalie, John just sat there with his jaw on the floor for like ten minutes.  I'm not sure what he was thinking, but he is very excited and is a WONDERFUL big brother.  He'll be great.

Natalie's response?  Now mind you Natalie is EXTREMELY sweet, but she has NO FILTERS.  She will be nine next month, and NEVER THINKS BEFORE SPEAKING.  She said, "OH! I hope it's a girl so we can have even numbers (of boys and girls in the family)."  And then she followed it up with, "I hope it doesn't die!"

Um, neither do we, Natalie, neither do we.  She's so sweet, and one day she'll be mad at me for even publishing that story.

At any rate, Lori and the baby are healthy, but morning sickness has been a beast this time.  I'll keep everyone posted!


What in the Wordle are my research interests?

10:48 AM , , 3 Comments

I was talking to one of our graduate students, Mark Jones, and he showed me a Wordle cloud he made using his dissertation literature review. I thought it was a cool idea, and I thought I'd show you the cloud I made using my dissertation, Can advance organizers reduce computer anxiety in preservice teachers?.

Dissertation Cloud


The power of viral video

9:12 AM 2 Comments

Three videos I came across today that cracked me up.  I just thought I'd share.  I guess only two would qualify as viral, but I thought it was a good title.

Star Wars: An a capella tribute to John Williams

Rhett and Link's Facebook Song:

Miami Univ. Facebook Song:


I love the smell of books . . .

One of the things that I love the most about Oklahoma State University is our own Edmond Low Library.

Some of the other schools that I've either attended or taught at had old libraries, but none of them was as cool as Edmond Low.  It SMELLS like old books.  As I was thinking about it today, I wondered: What books are you reading (or planning to read)? Here's what I've got going on right now (not counting my daily scripture reading):

Books I'm reading:

Books I'm soon to pick up:

So what about you? I know you must love books, too. What are you reading? What are you going to read? Any suggestions for me?

In the meantime, smell a book and enjoy!


The classroom is disappearing-or is it?

3:00 PM , 0 Comments

Notes taken while listening to Allison Rosset, San Diego State University.

This was the third and final keynote of the AECT conference.  As always, my notes are in italics. I have to warn you. This one is quite long.  See the notes after the jump:


Learner as the designer: An instructional design and learning model for Web 2.0

9:12 AM , 0 Comments

Notes and thoughts from listening to Jeremy Tutty, Boise State University

Man, don’t ever start your presentation saying that you’re not sure if what you are saying is correct or not.  YIKES!
What can we do to promote effective learning with Web 2.0 tools?

Reflect on our own practice. What do we do that works?

Key characteristics: dynamic, social, collaborative

Analyze learners, devise authentic tasks, provide necessary support and feedback, use self and peer evaluation

Where is this going? Oh, he said you become more a facilitator than an instructor.  Interesting. That’s what my master’s thesis said in 1996.

Great. He’s talking constructivism and social learning theory.  Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) theory and Connectivism. He’s talking about knowledge existing outside of us.  Isn’t that wrong as far as constructivism goes?

Conceptual framework: social/collaborative; learner as designer; knowledge management.

I’m sitting in the wrong spot. This guy is standing RIGHT IN MY WAY, and I can’t see everything on his slides.  Kind of funny actually.

I just wonder why people don’t just get to the point.  No need to go to New York City by way of San Francisco . . .

How do learners become their own designers?   How will they work to design meaningful instruction? As he goes through all this theory I don’t think anyone came to hear, I just wonder where this is going to go.

Phases of Web 2.0 ID:
Collaboration and Personalization

I wish you could see this model he has on PowerPoint. It makes Dick and Carey look user friendly.  Seriously.  Talk about the fog getting in the way of the game.  I count 12 circles, three boxes, and three arrows. AMAZINGLY cluttered.  I’ll be honest with you here. I’m so put off by just how it looks visually, that I’m not paying much attention to what it is that he is trying to say. This guy seems like a really nice guy, he also seems nervous, and I appreciate the fact that they are working and trying to add to the body of knowledge in the field, but this just isn’t sitting well with me.

How will the learners know how to create an authentic task? How do they know what the best tool for them to use is?  Those seem to be big cognitive leaps for learners.

I’m not gonna lie. We’re ten minutes into this, and he’s lost me.  I’m not sure that I’m willing to follow him down this road.

Interesting. As he talks about what the students thought when they used it, the students thought it was A LOT OF WORK.  But yet, the students seemed to enjoy it.

One of the questions here the presenter is asking is whether or not we think this is a model.  One guy here in the audience just responded, “if you think it’s a model, then it’s a model.” Um, I don’t think so.

Overall impression: Needs work.


Technology Integration Showcase: Strategies and Tools Worthy of Discussion

9:07 AM , 1 Comments

Thoughts and notes listening to Drew Polly, UNC-Charlotte; Tonya Amankwatia, Lehigh; Clif Mims, Memphis; Lloyd Reiber, UGA

Lamb from GA Southern: making movie trailers in foreign language instruction.

Movie maker? That’s a web 2.0 tool? Cool examples, though.  She has these posted on her high school web page, but she hasn’t given us the URL . . .

Lloyd Reiber UGA: Google Forms, Zamzar

UGA requires a gmail account in their intro class and they use the Google Suite as their standard.

In Google Docs, go to create new form . . . ?

Holy Cow. I can’t wait to use this.  This is incredibly easy.  I can’t wait to use this!  Didn’t I already say that? I don’t know why I’m so surprised. Google’s stuff is so much better than most anything else.  I’ve got to show this to Jesse.  He’s going to flip.  This is so much easier than SharePoint.  Man, this thing even takes the data and throws it right into a spreadsheet! Lloyd also suggest SurveyMonkey, which I know that Jesse has used.

Clif Mims U Memphis: Diigo

Clif uses Diigo in his classes.  How could I do this and make it effective? I need to use the groups better.  I also need to annotate and use tags better.  That’s it. I’m a slacker once again.

Overall impression: YOU'LL NEVER KNOW ALL THE 2.0 TOOLS. I knew MovieMaker (which I don't consider web 2.0), Zamzar, and Diigo, but Google Forms is a revelation.  YIPEE!


Podcasting and iTunes U

8:59 AM , 0 Comments

Thoughts and notes from listening to Ann Barron and Luis Perez from teh University of South Florida.

As always, my thoughts are in italics.

How can we use podcasts to create authentic, engaged learning?

Why doesn’t OSU have something like this?  I know that there has to be enough faculty to merit this.

Can be authenticated through the CMS. Really? That’s cool.

WOW! These guys have ~7000 downloads a WEEK!

Here we go: How to do this:

University Level players:
Provost office (contract), Academic computing (setup), Public relations (design)


Issues: who is the target audience? What would they be interested in? what content do we have? What content can we produce? How will we manage the production and administration? What policies need to be established?

She keeps saying, “this isn’t to be entered into lightly.”  Finally, she followed up with something: “It’s much different to do this than having one faculty member recording podcasts for their class and posting them up.”

iTunes initiatives awards at USF. 27 iPods for writing up an abstract on how they would implement podcasting into instruction—much like the online course creation workshop at OSU.

Dr. Michael Berson—David Bucker might be interested in what this guy does.

Other issues: intellectual property, releases (permission to publish, etc.), how should the podcasts be divided? By department or topics?

I wonder if OSU should have some faculty podcasting group or something like that . . . I need to get from Mark Jones the name of that guy at OSU who is big on podcasting and start swapping information with him.

Right now they are going through a lot of the administrative side of iTunes U, which, you know, almost NO ONE in this room will ever do. So why show it?

Man, it’s HOT in this room. I’m nodding off . . .

Production: script, record, edit, export

If you are doing something to actually add value to the instruction, then you’ll have to take time planning ahead of time.

Longer podcasts need chapters.

Tools: iSquint (free for Mac! Yeah!), videora iPod converter (free for windows), Metadata Hootenanny

Does D2L have a podcasting module? Lee uses D2L, and it sounds like you just have to use raw .mp3 files. That’s horrible.

Look for the Techies podcast Luis does.

Overall impression: Interesting information, but they spent more time talking about the specifics of how to use iTunes rather than how to do the podcasts themselves.


The Future of Education and IT

1:40 AM , 0 Comments

Thoughts listening to Dr. George Strawn CIO of NSF

Oh, man, the guy is hyping Obama. Can we please just get to the presentation?

OK, so I had a HUGE list of comments here, but of course, this is AECT which means GARBAGE for a wireless connection.  When this presentation was over and I went to save, it timed out on me.  Now, the whole presentation it had been saving drafts (or at least looking like it had been), but since I had lost my connection, no drafts saved.  What you see above is what I got.

The good news? You didn't miss anything.  He didn't say anything new or exciting. I'm not sure he knew who his audience really was. I was sitting next to Atsusi Hirumi (2c) and he leaned over to me about 3/4 of the way through and asked, "Has he said anything I don't know?" I responded, "I don't think so." This presentation was eerily similar to a presentation I've seen 2c give many times  when he's recruiting graduate students.

I would have liked to have had his suggested readings, though. I do remember a couple of titles: ROBOT, DISRUPTING CLASS, and PHANTOMS IN (OF?) THE BRAIN? I'm not sure on that last one. But he talked about the Disrupting Class one more than anything.

Was is worth my time? I guess. It was okay for a keynote, but nothing revelatory for me.


"Live from Orlando, it's AECT!" or "Why do I attend to conferences?"

3:33 AM , 2 Comments

So I'm sitting in the convention center lobby of the Buena Vista Palace in Orlando, Florida right now.  I've got Anne Leftwich on my left, and a German speaking couple in front of me.  I snagged this spot for the comfy chairs and the ability to kick my feet up on the big stone table and work.  I could sit in my room and work, but then that would be ridiculous.  Seriously, who wants to come to Orlando and sit in a hotel room?  Not me. So I'll sit in a lobby.  Like that's a big difference. I was supposed to be helping present a workshop right now,  but I'm not helping with it after all.  So I came a day earlier than I needed to.  I was also supposed to help with another workshop today, but it got accidentally cancelled, so still I came a day early.

So why do I come to these things? As anyone who's read much of what I've written will know, I'm a graduate of Utah State University. And USU is a big AECT school.  Now, for those of you who don't know what AECT is, it is the Association for Educational Communication and Technology, which is basically the academic organization for educational technology.  It has divisions for each domain in the field, and I primarily participate in the design and development and teacher education divisions.  I also have done things with distance learning, training and development, and multimedia production.  But Design and Development and Teacher Ed are my homes.  At any rate, I can remember being in graduate school and our department head, Don Smellie, telling us, "If you're not a member of the club (AECT), then it doesn't matter . . ." And so I became a member of AECT, and I guess I have been for around ten years now.

But why do I come? Well, first of all, I enjoy the relationships.  There are certain people that I look forward to seeing that I don't get to see anywhere else.  Some of them are Trey Martindale, David Wiley, Brad Hokanson, and Atsusi Hirumi.  I also get the chance to meet others.  I'm giving a presentation with Clif Mims on Thursday, and other than GChat, Twitter, and the like, we've never met. I can't wait to meet him in person.

I also come to learn something.  Now AECT isn't actually known for loads of brain-busting presentations, actually, it is a wonderful conference for graduate students to present at, but I genrally try to steer clear of a lot of those.  But I ALWAYS leave AECT with ideas, and that alone makes it worth the trip.

But I miss my family, and I'd much rather be at home with them.

So at any rate, what am I going to do to make this trip worthwhile? Well, I'm going to "live-blog" my presentations, that is, all but the one I'm actually presenting.  I'll just jot down my notes so others can see what I think. I know that I can do it with Twitter and the like, but I would rather do it this way.

What about you? What conferences do you attend? WHY do you attend them? What do you get from attending?

Talk amongst yourselves . . .


Web 2.0 for my preservice teachers

7:22 AM , 0 Comments

Well, I can't figure out what's going on with my links and embedded video in Desire2Learn, so I'm just going to recreate it here.  With that said, here's the message I couldn't get to display properly in Desire2Learn:

Hey guys!

This week we'll learn a little bit about Web 2.0 and Web 2.0 technologies.  Let's learn about some of the tools available to us as part of the Web 2.0 world by watching and listening to the following:

  1. Watch the video explanation of what a blog is:

  2. Next, watch a video on what RSS feeds are:

  3. Now watch a video on what Twitter is:

  4. But what about Podcasting? Here it is:

  5. Or Social Bookmarking?

  6. Wikis?

  7. Finally the last video? What is an example of a mashup?

  8. Now that you've seen those and have an idea what they are all about, go this week's podcast explaining this week's assignments.

Here are the links I've promised you in the podcast:

All in all, a pretty easy week. See you online! Dr. C


Goodbye, Firefox, Hello Chrome!

3:05 AM , 1 Comments

So by now I'm sure everyone's heard about Google releasing their own web browser, Chrome.

I've downloaded it, I've installed it, and I've used it.

I guess the only thing I have yet to figure out how it's going to work is all the Firefox extensions and add-ins that I use. But that notwithstanding, isn't enough of a concern. I LOVE CHROME.

I'm sold.

Hasta la vista, Firefox! I'm a Chrome man now.


Here's one way to work around the writer's strike!

7:48 AM , 0 Comments

If you haven't seen this yet, I highly recommend it. Joss Whedon is my favorite TV/movie writer, and this thing is absolutely brilliant!

It's only available for free until Sunday, July 20, 2008. So hurry up, and be prepared to laugh!

****UPDATED**** Dr. Horrible is now available via HULU. But go buy it at iTunes as well, I did! Support the cause!


Sorry, Barack, but teachers aren't the saviors you think they are . . .

4:49 AM , 21 Comments

Let me start off by saying I don't think anyone who reads this really cares or should care what my political leanings are. But to be fair, I'll state that I am a registered Republican who probably needs to re-register as a Libertarian. Yes, I am a conservative. My family has always had something to do with politics.  I was in student government at Utah State University. My father ran for local office a couple of times (never won), and he recently served as campaign manager for two or three different people in his neck of the woods (Pottsboro, TX--and they did win). My mother worked on the campaigns of Barry Goldwater, Howard Baker, and Ronald Reagan, and was Lamar Alexander's secretary when he first won the governorship of Tennessee. However, despite our family's party affiliation, my parents have always taught me to vote for the best candidate--REGARDLESS of party affiliation. As a matter of fact, the best congressman I've ever had was a Democrat, Bill Orton.

As far as this presidential election goes, let's just say I've been completely underwhelmed by them all.

But Barack Obama said something in a speech to the American Federation of Teachers that is too much to let go by. He said (and this is a DIRECT quote):
"Real change is finally giving our kids everything they need to have a fighting chance in today’s world. That begins with recognizing that the single most important factor in determining a child’s achievement is not the color of their skin or where they come from; it’s not who their parents are or how much money they have. It’s who their teacher is."

Sorry, Mr. Obama, but you couldn't be more wrong if you tried.

Teachers aren't going to be the ones to give our kids a fighting chance.  On the contrary, it has to come from home. It has to come from the parents.  Too many people in our country expect teachers to raise their children. And quite frankly, teachers have enough to do.  Teachers need to cover content. They need to teach math and science. They should teach our children how to write well. But it is NOT their job to raise our children.

Now I know that as teachers sometimes we have to become involved, but in my experience, those times are few and far between.  And when we do, it is to point the students to someone who is trained to help with whatever situation. These teachers aren't trained psychologists and sociologists. They aren't planned parenthood or drug counselors. They are content-area specialists (to a degree) who've had a few classes in teaching methodology.  Yes, they care about their students, but they are about as equipped to help them as the cashier at Wal-mart.

For the record, I purposely wrote that last comment to sound harsh. You see, you can't take a course in how to be a parent and give your kid a fighting chance in the world. The course doesn't exist.  But if it did, the syllabus would cover topics like "Quit worrying about what you want to do, and do what's best for your kid", "Get a job and stay employed", "Quit playing softball or golf so much yourself and start coaching your kid's team instead", "Stay married", "Hold your child responsible for their actions", or "Don't reward bad behavior." Being a good parent is about making your kids what is most important, teaching them right from wrong, and holding them and you accountable for your own actions.

So Mr. Obama, if you think the way to give kids a fighting chance is to get better teachers, you're wrong. It's to have strong families, and to keep those families together. Unlike what you said, the single most determining factor in our child's ability to achieve comes from within the walls of the home. In 1964, David O. Mckay said "No other success can compensate for failure in the home." The disintegration of the family unit is the problem, sir, and that has NOTHING to do with our teachers.

If you want to see more about what I think about families, go read the The Family: A Proclamation to the World. For the complete text of Senator Obama's speech, go here.


There's a difference between being right and being nice

11:45 AM , , 0 Comments

Here's a funny clip from the Simpsons.

I have to admit I love how our world is changing.


The information tide is turning

11:28 AM , 1 Comments


You know, I don't know where I stand on the whole EDUPUNK thing (See Stephen Downes's post to see much of the relevant conversation),  but this video is too, too good to not share.

It is, quite simply, AMAZING. It captures the mood of my students and many colleagues perfectly.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC

You know, the Mac/PC commercials crack me up. I think it's because I have had such a time with the Mac/PC thing in my own life.

When I went to buy my first computer, I was a senior at Brigham Young University majoring in English. I remember getting a student loan and heading off to Staples or some store like that. I can remember looking up and down the aisles not knowing what was the difference between all of them. I also remember trying to decide between a PC and a Mac. I chose a PC because it looked like there were more games for the PC than the Mac. Yeah, I know, really scientific. Of course, from there I spent the next few years as one of those haters who always teased the Mac users. Other than the price, all I knew that was different was that Macs were supposed to be better with graphics.


An unexpected honor

Last night, my wife, Lori, and I attended the Oklahoma State University Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Greek Awards, a dessert banquet put on by the Panhellenic and Interfraternity Councils. I had apple pie. She had carrot cake.

I was never a Greek. As a matter of fact, BYU (where I got my undergrad) doesn't have the Greek system, USU (where I did my graduate work) barely has it, UHCL didn't have the Greek system, and neither did BYU-Idaho. OSU is the first school I've been that had a big Greek community. As a matter of fact, the building where I teach and where my office is, Willard Hall, is right next to Theta Pond, and is across the street from the Greek neighborhoods. So I don't really know a lot about the Greeks.

Well, last night we went to the banquet because I was named the Outstanding Faculty Member for the College of Education for the 2007 calendar year.


There are six colleges at Oklahoma State University: Agriculture and Natural Resources (Honoree: Dr. Shannon L. Ferrell); Arts and Sciences (Honoree: Dr. Ricki R. Wingate); the William Spears School of Business (Honoree: Dr. Lanny G. Chasteen); Education (Honoree: ME!); Engineering, Architecture & Technology (Honoree: Dr. AJ Johannes); and Human and Environmental Sciences (Honoree: Dr. Mona Lane).

Here's how these are awarded: each house (whether it be a fraternity or sorority) makes one nomination per college. Then, when all nominations are tallied, he (or she) who was nominated by the most different houses wins. So apparently, this year I did. Me? I'm guessing I was the only one with two nominations . . .

But I really do feel honored. You know, it's one thing to get a pat on the back from the dean or your school head, or maybe you get some sort of research award, but this one comes straight from the students. And to me, that's what makes it so cool.

I've attached a picture of the plaque I got. See it after the jump.


Point/Counterpoint with an academic and a practitioner: On Cammy Bean, certification, and instructional design

I've had some people ask me to post some more of my thoughts on instructional design and certification. They were interested in the conversations Cammy Bean and I have had about those topics, and wondered where those conversations were going. Today Cammy e-mailed me, and she and I have been going back and forth, and she's graciously agreed to let me post the conversation here. See it here after the jump (with minor edits).


Links 3-08-08 to 3-25-08

Spring break and the later part of the semester have been absolutely KILLING me for time. And that doesn't even factor in the time I've been spending coaching my son John's 12 and under travel baseball team, the Perkins Patriots. So besides being woefully behind on grading, trying to pass third year reappointment, trying to get a couple of articles written, learn to make my own golf clubs (and then get to actually use them), and being completely distracted by Twitter, I haven't blogged much. BUT I'M RESOLUTE; I'm back in the game . . .

So here are the links from the last three weeks. I think I'm going to have to start just doing a daily links post (when necessary) like the Cool Cat Teacher does.

From my account:

You can see what I tagged in my Google Reader after the jump.


Teaching Preservice Teachers Online: Pitfalls and Practices

Today was my presentation for the AECT Teacher Education division's WAG (web-based brown bag). They had me present on our efforts to put the preservice teacher technology course online here at Oklahoma State University. Angel Kymes and I taught it the first time together (different sections of the same class), and she and I presented it at last year's AECT conference. So the Teacher Ed division had me do an overview of that presentation and update it so everyone could see what we are doing. It was well received, and the feedback makes me think we're really doing good work here.

Here's a link to the Teacher Education divison's blog, The Playground. You can see Dr. Peter Rich's comments on the presentation there.

You can see my Slideshare presentation (we actually did it using BYU's Adobe Breeze server) after the jump.


My top ten tools for learning: version 2008

So once again, Jane Hart is running her Top Ten Tools for Learning list. Last year I posted my list, but I was too late to have it listed on her overall list. I've looked over my list, and it has changed quite a bit. Here's a short recap of last year's list (without annotations):

See how this year's list differs after the jump.


Two weeks of links! 2-16-08 to 3-7-08

I've gotten behind on my links posting, but here they are for the last two weeks. I'm swamped, so no annotations this week. We'll start with the links from my Google Reader:

See my bookmarks after the jump.


Getting to know me a little better

10:00 AM , 1 Comments

As I've said, more and more people have been coming to this blog as of late. However, most of you don't know me, so I thought I'd pass on this meme that was sent to me from an old student of mine, Tyler Wardle. I'm not going to tag anyone else with this, but I thought it might give you a little more insight into who I am.

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Ice cream scooper
2. Custodian
3. Juvenile Corrections Officer
4. College Professor

Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. That Thing You Do!
2. The Shawshank Redemption
3. The Man From Snowy River
4. The Breakfast Club

Four places I have lived:
1. Oklahoma
2. Tennessee
3. Guatemala
4. Texas

Four TV Shows that I watch:
1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
2. Angel
3. Survivor
4. Lost

Four places I have been:
1. Live Oak, FL
2. Parker, ID
3. Okeene, OK
4. The bottom of Lake Tenkiller, OK

Four people who e-mail me (regularly):
1. Sue Reese (my mom, and surprisingly, she’s not the one that forwarded this to me!)
2. Kay Green (one of my six sisters, who knows better than to forward something like this to me)
3. Susan Stansberry (colleague at work)
4. Jamie Murray (colleague from church)

Four of my favorite foods
1. Chicken Fried Steak
2. Mashed Potatoes with white gravy
3. Green beans (the way Mom makes them with bacon, tomatoes, onions, etc.)
4. green kool-aid

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. golf course
2. fly fishing in Montana
3. Home - with my family
4. teaching my classes

Four things I am looking forward to.
1. Seabase (SCUBA diving in the FL Keys)
2. Meeting my grandfather I’m named after
3. Growing old with my wife, Lori
4. Seeing my children grow into adulthood and have children of their own

Four of your favorite pets
1. HR (my German Shepherd growing up)
2. Pedro, Paco, Pablo, and Pancho (my four pihrana I had in college)
3. Spark (our current Beagle mix)
4. Bear (our Chow growing up)

So there you have it, a little more about me . . .


Can't we all just get along? Or the need for instructional design certification

To say the last couple of weeks here at effectivedesign have been interesting is an understatement. First of all, I had been reading the posts at Cammy Bean's Learning Visions blog, and had been linking to them on my weekly post of links. On my Links for 1-26-08 to 2-01-08 post, Cammy commented to me (on my birthday, no less) and said, "Hey there! I’m delighted to see that you’re getting so much out of my non-educated musings on instructional design. I’ll look forward to reading your musings on ID from the other side of the fence. Cammy" I'll be honest, I thought it was just cool that Cammy had actually come and seen my blog. So I ponied up and wrote my This one’s for you, Cammy Bean! Or, is the role of the instructional designer changing? I began thinking about Cammy and others in her situation who are instructional design practitioners and how what their jobs are and what they really do and what we teach in academia. So I wrote about that disconnect in my post Instructional design in academia–where theory and practice RARELY meet. And that post really started things going. Stephen Downes mentioned our conversation on OL~Daily, and then all sorts of people started chiming in. COOL! So I continued the conversation with Cammy by writing how to get an Instructional Design education without paying tuition and an immediately accessible instructional design education. Later, I posted Have we “Reclaimed” Instructional Design? to try and further suss out just what I've been thinking about instructional design as well as teaching and practicing it.

Read what I find interesting about all this and my thoughts about instructional design certification after the jump.


Links for 2-17-08 to 2-24-08

This is my eighth week posting my links. It's been a good exercise for me, not only because I'm keeping track of what I'm doing, but because I've also started blogging a lot more, and I like that. As I look over this week's links, I realize that these posts are more the cool tools that I'm looking at, but that's just fine.  See this week after the jump.


Have we "Reclaimed" Instructional Design?

In 1996, David Merrill and the ID2 Research Group published Reclaiming Instructional Design, a paper that "attempts to make clear [their] belief that instruction is a science and that instructional design is a technology founded in this science," and they wanted "to identify some of the assumptions underlying the science-based technology of instructional
design, and to clarify its role in the larger context of education and social change."

In short, as they titled the paper, it was time to "reclaim instructional design" from "a lot of people associated with instructional technology who don’t seem to know where they are going. Neophytes who are pursing instructional technology are lured this way and that by the varied philosophical voices crying lo here."

So, twelve years later, where are we? Have we "reclaimed" instructional design?


Links for 2-10-08 to 2-16-08

It's been a busy week on the blog, so without further adieu, here's the links for the week.

From my account:

And see those from my Google Reader after the jump:


An immediately accessible instructional design education

Cammy at Learning Visions asked me to whittle my list down more. As a former English teacher, I relish the thought of making my writing "tighter." So while the purpose of my initial post on how to get an instructional design education without paying tuition was meant as a "here's what you need to know," I still missed the mark.

Let me explain.

All of these posts back and forth with Cammy have dealt with instructional design in a non-academic context. We have been talking about how to do the job WITHOUT a graduate degree. So what did I do? I gave her a graduate reading list. How's that for good design?

So I decided I was going to trim the list to only FOUR things, and they couldn't be theory-laden. Rather, they had to be something a brand new designer-by-assignment could pick up and learn something that would be immediately applicable.

See the list after the jump.


How to get an Instructional Design education without paying tuition

Well, yesterday Cammy has responded to my post on the disconnect between academic instructional design and practical instructional design. Subsequently, the last five hours or so has been interesting. First of all, I see that Stephen Downes has mentioned our conversation on OLD~Daily, and that has led to a number of comments on my blog as well as others posting about them on their blogs.

I've got to admit, I'm enjoying thinking about these questions.

Wendy Wickham from In the Middle of the Curve has joined the conversation. Wendy has an MA in Instructional Technology from Towson University (I don't think I know anyone on that faculty). Wendy makes a good point saying:

How I use theory - selling my instructional design ideas.

People respond to jargon. And, interestingly, people love learning other people's jargon. I had never seen such an excited group of people as the day I introduced ADDIE to the Project Management group and related that process to how they do business.

Do I use ADDIE? Not always - but it does seem to be a nice way to keep track of the status of my ID projects.

Citing academic theory makes it sound like you are putting more effort into it than "I dunno - this just made sense. Whadya think?"

Do I need my MS in Instructional Technology to practice? No. The theoretical ammunition I received in that program helps.

Great point. I had the same experience working with some military officials earlier this year. But later Cammy responds:

I completely agree that this stuff impresses clients. I use it all the time.

But one can learn the jargon without going to grad school. And one can cite the academic theory by reading and staying informed.

Perhaps the (somewhat cynical) question to ask is -- what's the right amount of jargon needed to get by? Do I need to know all of the things on John's list?

Personally, I don't think so. I've gotten by well enough without most of those theories, it seems.

This comes back to my quest from last year of getting an informal masters in ID.

If one were to construct an informal, self-paced, DIY instructional design curriculum, what content would you include?

So Cammy, only because I'm a big fan of yours, I present How to get an Instructional Design education without paying tuition.


Instructional design in academia--where theory and practice RARELY meet

I've had Cammy Bean's posts running through my head all weekend. I've been mulling over the differences between what I teach my students that instructional design and design theory are and how we actually do it. Anyone involved with the field at all knows that there is a huge gap between the two.

I remember having this conversation with a graduate school friend of mine, Platte Clark, a few years ago. Platte and I worked on our master's degrees in English at the same time, and we shared an office for about a year. Actually, Platte and another guy, Rulon Wood, are responsible for steering me to Instructional Technology, as they were both working on double master's degrees in both English and IT. At any rate, Platte left school with work still to do on both degrees. He had been offered a big job with Novell Education (I believe), and it was too good to turn down. He later went to work for Franklin Covey, but suffice it to say that Platte is HIGHLY intelligent, and a gifted designer. Again, he just *gets it.* Eventually he finished his MS in English, but not his MS in Instructional Technology. I remember talking with him about his frustrations about the academic field.


Links for 2-02-08 to 2-09-08

I'm behind on posting last week's links, so I'll get to them first thing this morning. From my Google Reader:

And those from my account:


This one's for you, Cammy Bean! Or, is the role of the instructional designer changing?

I've never shied away from my adoration of Cammy Bean and her Learning Visions blog. If you don't know who she is, she describes herself by saying:

I'm Cammy Bean, the author of Learning Visions. My business card currently says "Manager of Instructional Design", but I do a bit of everything. If you're interested, read my current job description.

Learning Visions is my place to explore topics related to e-Learning, including things like web 2.0 technologies, Second Life, wikis, Facebook, and other new tools that can be used for training and development. I attempt to share my experiences with current e-Learning projects and challenges I might be facing. I ask a lot of questions. Like most bloggers, I also tend to write about blogging.

I've been working in the corporate training field since the early- to mid-90's. Most of that time, I've been working for the e-Learning vendors: companies that design and develop e-Learning programs for a wide variety of projects. I've served as instructional designer and project manager on programs for banks, airlines, department stores, consulting firms, construction companies, training companies, and more. These days I work at InVision Learning in Westborough, Massachusetts (USA).

I started blogging in earnest in February 2006. A lot of really smart people were talking about some really interesting things and I wanted in! Every day I learn something new from the blogs I read and from the comments people leave here.

Please join in the conversation and leave a comment on my blog if you've got something to say. Don't be shy!

I think the thing that I love most about Cammy's blog is that she does what I do, and yet, I went to school and earned a Ph.D. that says I'm an instructional designer, and she didn't. I don't know why that to me is so fascinating, but it is. I've often thought that in academia we act too much like we're curing cancer when, in fact, we're not. I think instructional design is something that is a talent. Some can do it without the training. I could. I knew what effective instruction was before I ever took a class. At the same time, however, I also think it is a skill that can be developed. I've told my students for years, "I can teach anyone to hit a golf ball, but Tiger Woods was born to be who he is." I can teach anyone the clinical side to instructional design, and they'll be able to write good behavioral objectives, align it to a proper assessment, etc., but if they don't just *get it*, I can't teach them to.


Wanna see some INCREDIBLE artwork?

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Check out Brandon Dorman's blog. He was a student worker of ours at BYU-Idaho when I was there. Now he's a professional illustrator with a book on the NY Times Bestseller list. He's amazing. For more, check out his website.

Below is his illustration of my favorite baseball player of all time, Ted Williams.


Which blog are you?

Vicki Davis at the Cool Cat Teacher Blog posted a presentation by Rohit Bargava and Jesse Thomas of the 25 basic styles of blogging.

Me? I'm a sometimes life blogger, most of the time link blogger.

Which one are you?

SlideShare | View | Upload your own


Are we really *THIS* desperate?

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So I love movie trailers, and I ran across the trailer for Never Back Down. And I have a serious question--so I found a copy of it on YouTube. Watch the clip, and after the jump, answer my question.


Meeting famous people online

Now that I have your attention, I'll tell you how of an experience I've had over the last couple of weeks.

I'm constantly amazed at how Thomas Friedman has it right that the world is flattening. With the advent of all the new web 2.0 technologies, we are truly coming to a point where the majority of the people have the same opportunity for voice. Granted, there may be technological issues keeping some from being able to share their voice or opinion, but given the opportunity, we are coming together.

So, if you actually read this blog, you know that I really enjoy the web 2.0 technologies. And my world has been flattened!


Links for 1-26-08 to 2-01-08

This week has been trying to the point that I don't even think blogging about it will be cathartic enough. So let's just say:

UGH. Update: I just had a book chapter proposal, "Podcasting in education: Practices and precautions", accepted for publication. That'll pick things up a bit!

I'm glad that's out of my system. See this week's links after the jump.


Is anyone out there?

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UPDATE: I understand there has been issues with the comments. I'm trying to fix it, so if you have tried and had an error, please try again! Now back to the original post:

I got to wondering today . . .

Is anyone out there? Does anyone actually look at what I write here? Google reader tells me that there are four(4) people subscribed to my feed. I at first thought that it must be my sisters, but none of them are tech-savvy enough to have a feed reader.

So, I'm just curious who actually reads this blog? So, if you would, post a comment here for me and answer the following questions:

  • Um, who are you and how did you find me?

  • What do you like most about my blog?

  • What do you think I could do to increase my blog readership?

I've just installed reCAPTCHA to help with SPAM comments on my blog (thanks to Ed at EdTech for the idea), so we'll see how that works.

So if you're willing to help out, thanks! If you're not willing to stroke my ego and let me know who actually cares (to at least a marginal degree) what I write, to you I say, "COME ON!" Seriously, though. I'm interested, and I'd appreciate it.


Links for 1-19-08 to 1-25-08

I'm late this week, but I feel guilty for not having gone back and annotated last week's links and for not having posted this week's yet. So without further ado . . .


Gordon B. Hinckley, 1910-2008

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Many people today glanced over headlines like, "Mormon President dead at 97," or "LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley Passes Away." Then they never thought about it again. Let me tell you something, he'll be missed. And the majority of the world doesn't even know who he is.

See who he was after the jump.


Links for 1-13-08 to 1-18-08

OK, so I'm going to have to do something about this. It would seem that even though I've been trying to limit what I am marking weekly, I keep marking more. I've started limiting what I star or share on my Google Reader to items that I want to respond to in a separate post, but I still have TWENTY-NINE links for today--nineteen from my reader, and ten from my account. I might have to start doing this more than once a week.

See the links after the jump.


Here are two links for Marci Scott

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I specifically saved two links for one of my former teaching assistants, Marci Scott (she was Judd to me). Marci is the type of gal I pray my Natalie grows up to be. She's beautiful, sweet, spiritual, and is one of the most genuinely caring people I've ever met. She keeps a great blog where she brightens the world with her cheery outlook. One of her favorite things is finding a new great recipe, and when I found these, I decided Marci got her own post.

So Marci, I know you read this blog, so I want an update on whether or not these are worth the time!

So here's to you, Marci. I hope you enjoy these!


Links for 1-6-08 to 1-12-08

Here are my links for this week. I have to warn you, there are more than a few. I wonder if I should post them all or be more selective? At any rate, here's what I found interesting this week:

And my links from my account:


Look at me go! My first Vodcast . . .

So I decided to try something new--not radical, but new for me--with my online 3123 class this semester. I just thought it would be a nice change from either a text introduction or the audio introduction I did with a simple podcast last semester. Now it's nothing fancy, but I've already heard back from students who have told me how refreshing they felt it was.

I guess it's just the illusion of normalcy. At any rate, I've uploaded it to my YouTube account, and you can see the whole thing (it's only 14 minutes, including buffer music) where I introduce myself and my philosophy of the undergrad preservice teacher course. You can also see different movie clips I use in the course on that YouTube page.

See the vodcast after the jump. Nope. It's too long for YouTube. Here's the link.


Links for 01-01-08 to 01-05-08

Here's what I found interesting this week:

And from my bookmarks:

  • BAIDU. A Chinese search engine where you can search for and find .mp3 files? How is this legal? Is it?


Today's Inspirational Video

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"Come Thou, Fount of Every Blessing", one of my favorite hymns, by one of my favorite groups, Jericho Road.


Welcome to 2008!

Here are some random thoughts that have been going through my head:

  • Biggest memory from Christmas? High School Musical. My daughter, Natalie, had a HSM and Hanna Montana Christmas, and we've listened to the soundtrack over and over again. Not only that, Andrew, the two-year old, has learned to change the CD to track 8 of HSM2, so he can listen to Troy sing "Bet on it" and dance around the room like him. Hil-ar-i-ous!

  • Best football game? OSU defeats Indiana in the Insight Bowl. I teach a lot of the football players, and I was proud of how they played. I'll miss seeing Dantrell and AD. You guys were great, and good luck in the NFL! Don't forget Tommy, Mo, and Jeremy. I hope we see Bobby and Brandon back, though I would understand if we didn't. Also, farewell to two great Cowboys both on and off the field, Donovan Woods and Martel Van Zant.

  • Worst football game? Dallas at Washington. Why even show up?

  • I'm going to work on this blog more. I've been killer-posting to my account, and I've added the widget (seen on the right). I've also been starring and sharing a lot of things from my Google reader account, but I want to make more regular posts. So I've started tagging items by week, so I can make a weekly post of what I found interesting.

  • I'm going to Phoenix tomorrow to see my brother, David, get married. I don't really want to go, but I love my brother, so I'm going to support him. He's getting married in the Mesa, Arizona temple. I'll be back on Sunday.

  • School starts Monday. I'm needing to update the EDTC 3123 wiki with all the teaching resources for our undergraduate preservice technology course. I'm behind on it.

  • I'm still worried about 3rd year review. I can't even write about it . . .

That's enough for today. I'm outta here . . . The video below is for Andrew.

"Bet on it, bet on it, bet on it, bet on it . . ."