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Monday, April 14, 2014 (1:50 pm)

Matt CrosslinMakerSpace Instructional Design

Posted by: Matt Crosslin In: Ed Tech|Open Learning

I know MakerSpaces are kind of a rising buzzterm, but I like the idea behind them. Today we met with a few people from around campus to discuss a MakerSpace for the entire campus. I was there because I would totally rather do instructional design this way. Meet together with faculty and students (why do we always leave students out of course design?) to brainstorm crazy ideas for course design. Just have instructors throw out what they want students to do in class and then let the creativity and weirdness flow.

Also image if we had online MakerSpaces for technology tools? In many ways, that is what Jim Groom (one of coolest guys to drive around and chat with) did with his Reclaim Your Domain Demo session at the Sloan-C Emerging Technologies conference. What if that demo space could go online full time and then just blow open the doors for all kinds of other sites and experimentation? What ever the new site social media site of the day is, create a dummy account on it and let people create like crazy. Whatever the open source tool is, let them install it from Installatron and experiment like crazy.

So, yeah, in many ways this would just be open learning design, occupy instructional design, or Massive Open Online Ed Tech, or however else you want to mangle the buzzword metaphor… but basically we need more brainstorming for the design process. Not a new idea by any stretch of the imagination, but something that needs to get more attention.

Oh, and you know Harriet and I would totally create and 3-D print the word ADDIE with a knife in it….

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Friday, April 11, 2014 (7:31 am)

Matt CrosslinThe LMSification of the Education Narrative

Posted by: Matt Crosslin In: Learning Management Systems

If you attended the Sloan-C Emerging Technologies Conference this week, you might have noticed an interesting debate emerge over the course of the first day. It all started during Jim Groom’s keynote speech on the Domain of Own’s Own project. The Twitter back channel started echoing the idea that “we could do all of this in a Learning Management System (LMS™) – why do we need this?” As I argued against forcing a constructivist idea into a behaviorist tool (go look at the research on the ontology behind the LMS™) – some one actually asked Jim that same question. You could see a good deal of annoyance in Jim’s face during his response, which basically boiled down to: why does everything have to revolve around the LMS™?

Additionally, just looking at the schedule of sessions, the LMS™ is every where: alternative LMS™s, new directions in the LMS™, join our new LMS™ boy band. Questions about the LMS™ came up in every session I attended and hundreds of times on Twitter. The entire education narrative has been LMSified. Every tool, idea, design, theory, etc now has to be filtered through the lens of the LMS™. Even when that idea does not require an LMS™ at all!

I try very hard to not totally vilify the LMS™. I realize that there is a very substantial need for many of the features that it offers. But I think that the LMS™ lovers out there don’t realize that those of us that push back against the LMS™ are just trying to bring balance to the Force. Maybe we go over board at times, but have you ever thought about how overboard it is in the other direction to do Domain of One’s Own in an LMS™?

But here is my biggest problem: we have turned the Learning Management System™ as we know it today into an imposter. Many, many, many people have pointed out that a computer program can not manage learning. There is a genuine learning management system in the education narrative that is quite often misused or even completely ignored. One that exists in every single learning occurrence ever.

Learners ARE their own learning management system

The individual learner IS the only system qualified to managed their own learning. The more that we force then to rely on the LMS™ to manage their learning beyond what the LMS™ does do well (store feedback privately, etc), the more we destroy their ability to manage their own learning. There is always a need for scaffolding and support from a system in some ways, but the LMS™ goes waaaaay beyond that into areas that become an unhealthy crutch.

We are outsourcing our student’s ability to manage their own learning to an imposter, and then scratching our heads when it doesn’t work.

Five years ago, Harriet Watkins and I presented at the Sloan-C conference in San Francisco about how it is time to dethrone the LMS™ (even though we snuck it in as a presentation on some emerging tech buzzwords). We don’t need to kill the LMS™, just dethrone it.

In one of my classes, we refer to the LMS™ as one of many “Technology-Based Learning Environments.” I think I like that terminology better. Systems are all encompassing to some people (no wonder the LMS™ rules the narrative). When you have a system, everything has to fit into. But an environment? We talk about the environment that we study in, how certain personalities change the environment, how we can create an inviting environment in the class room, etc. Environments can changed based on needs, context, desires, goals, etc. System just assimilate.

So, yes, maybe some of us are pushing back very aggressively against the LMS™. Our goal is not to kill, but to open up the conversation to other options. We want a paradigm that sees the LMS™ as one of many technology-based learning environments.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014 (3:09 pm)

Matt CrosslinWhen Hype Eats the Real Concept

Posted by: Matt Crosslin In: Current Events|Pedagogy

A co-worker emailed me the other day and asked if I had heard of “Online-Only Flipped Classrooms.” After discussing it with him, it seems like this is a real  thing. But it also seems that every reference I can find to “Online-Only Flipped Classrooms” really just describes what we used to just call “online learning”  less than 10 years ago.

Great.

You know that the hype around Flipped Classrooms and MOOCs has gained a life of its own when people start writing books about “new directions” for those concepts and don’t even realize they are just describing basic online learning. Think about it: you watch a video or read some text and then come together to discuss or work on a group project. That has been basic online learning for centuries. But now it is being called “Online-Only Flipped Classrooms.” Oh, and not to mention it is labeled as “student-centered learning.”

I guess that is another post – at what point did “making your students work together for the majority of the time” become synonymous with “student-centered learning”?

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Friday, March 28, 2014 (9:05 am)

Matt CrosslinStill Asking the Wrong Questions About Technology

Posted by: Matt Crosslin In: Theory

I read an interesting report today about “Taking Notes by Hand Benefits Recall, Researchers Find.” The basic point is that students that take lecture notes by hand do better on tests than students that took notes on a laptop.

I don’t doubt the findings of this report. Taking notes by hand usually does require you to think more. The bigger question that the researchers are not looking at is “what is the best way to use notes”? They are still looking primarily at empirical/behaviorist stimulus and response in this study. The instructor passes out a stimulus (lecture), and students have to prove in their response (test) that the correct information was received. When we have all of the information that we need online, and when even students that score well will forget most of what they learned in a few hours… why do we need to use information this way? I would be more interested in what they can do with those notes on a real world project, or even more so in a group project. If you let the students taking notes on the laptops socially construct something new based on those notes – I would bet it would blow those test results out of the water.

This just goes back to the bigger problem in education, where we drag technology and teaching down by constraining it to one paradigm of learning. I know that there are times for stimulus and response, but by the time learners get to college they need to know how to do something with the knowledge more than just spit it out on the test. I’m preaching to the choir here, I know.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014 (8:41 am)

Matt CrosslinBut The Algorithm Said I Passed!

Posted by: Matt Crosslin In: Current Events

Many people have noticed a growing focus on automation in learning, especially around the idea of computer-graded assignments. Not just telling students that they picked the right answer on a multiple choice test, but the actual grading of term papers based on complex algorithms. EdX among others are working on systems that will grade thousands of student submissions based on what it thinks the instructor would have given the students.

Some love this idea, some are creeped out.

Students seem to love the idea of removing instructor bias from the grading equation. Or do they just love the idea that they can learn to game the algorithms? We will see in the future, of course.

But at some point, how do we know that learners have actually mastered anything if there is no intelligence in the process that really understands what the student is trying to communicate. After all, if there is anything to all of this social constructivism or connectivism stuff… what happens when one part of the equation is not really intelligent or alive and therefore not social?

Well, you might say, some day the program will get complex enough that computers will have artificial intelligence. The problem with that is, in order to have true intelligence, you have to have a bias of some kind. If someone puts your life on the line versus another person that you don’t know, you will probably fight to live. That is a bias. Or maybe you will take the high road and put the other person’s life ahead of yours. That is another bias. If a machine can not make a choice between preserving itself or thinking of others first, it is following what it was programmed to do and is not truly intelligent. And even worse, it means that it had a certain bias programmed into it by its creator.

All of this might not phase a pure empiricist/behaviorist at all. But to those of us that subscribe to anything from pragmatism to constructivism to connectivism, there are huge problems even if programmers can in some way figure out the perfect algorithm. If one side of the equation is not really intelligent – how can learning really be occurring? Even if you are a cognitivist at heart… how do you know that the computer program with the grading algorithm is compatible with the human computer we call a brain? Or how do you know that the organic brain didn’t just find a way to game the digital one? Will we really be able to create programs that see past the elaborate smoke screen that many humans are known to create?

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Thursday, February 20, 2014 (8:55 am)

Matt CrosslinFeasibility of Personal Learning Environments

Posted by: Matt Crosslin In: Open Learning|Pedagogy

Usually when I try to convince people to look into PLEs, I get the same general questions/concerns. These are usually along the lines of “how will the separate systems ever communicate with each other?”, or “how will this scale?”, or “how would you do assessment in this model?” These are all very good questions, but potential also ones that are barking up the wrong tree so to say.

I get it that someone might wonder how one learner will use WordPress, another Drupal, another Twitter, another Instagram, etc – and somehow these will magically come together and no one will get lost. People had the same questions about setting up an LMS, a registration system, an email server, and a whole host of other separate programs at Universities in the 1990s. It didn’t seem like those systems would ever work together, but people figured out how and now people barely have to consider things like “how does this integrate with our student tracking system?” In other words, we created the system that we wanted, and the technology came to us as needed. There are many projects out there that are creating the integration needed to create PLEs, so we are part of the way there and getting all the way there fast.

And to be honest, if some websites don’t want to to be open – like, say Facebook continues down a path of containing your information rather than liberating it – then they just won’t get to play in the PLE sandbox of the future. That’s why you don’t see Wikimedia being installed on too many campuses – they didn’t want to play the “systems integration game,” so they were mostly left out.

Questions about scalability and assessment really dig more into course design than tool integration. These are still good topics to consider, because you do want the tools to be there. But, you have to answer these questions with a huge caveat. PLEs are not LMSs, and LMSs tend to push instruction towards certain epistemologies/ontologies that are very different from the basic epistemology/ontology behind PLEs. LMSs are really based on behaviorist/objectivist viewpoints: stimulus and response. You broadcast the correct content and reward the students for correctly spitting it back at you. Occasionally LMS tools can also dip into cognitivism, where learning is an internal process and you can tell learning is happening based on the papers that learners write to prove it.

PLEs are social constructivist/connectivist in nature. Learning is constructed by connecting with other learners and creating new shared knowledge. So when asking about scalability or assessment, you have to make sure that you are not trying to force PLEs into an LMSs mold. Sure, it is possible to create a PLE-based lesson that still ends with a multiple choice standardized test, but what you essentially did is re-arrange the elements of an LMS to look more like a PLE without really embracing the PLE mindset.

So, yes questions about assessment and scalability are important, but only if you are looking at them from a social constructivist/connectivist view point. Examining questions from a behviorist/objectivist or even cognitivist viewpoint will never give you satisfactory answers, because the entire idea does not really support the paradigm you are coming from. Asking “how will this scale when I have to teach 120 students” is objectivist in nature. Asking “how will I grade 120 papers?” is cognitivist in nature. Asking “how does this support connections between all of the groups that will be created when we bring 120 students together?” is a social constructivist question, and a good one to ask of any PLE system that you try to set up.

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Monday, February 17, 2014 (2:36 pm)

Matt CrosslinWebRTC and Personal Learning Environments

Posted by: Matt Crosslin In: LMS New Vision

If you haven’t heard of WebRTC, the low down is that it ”is an API definition being drafted by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to enable browser-to-browser applications for voice calling, video chat, and P2P file sharing without plugins.” But it not just an idea – Ted Curran points out many working uses of WebRTC that you can just plug into your website and set up all of the above in a snap.

Now imagine connecting these ideas to the Personal Learning Environment. The idea of of a PLE can now expand just beyond content and publishing tools. Someday you might not even need to care whether you decide to use Skype, Google Hangouts, or any other big company tool de jour. You would set-up your own F2F communication interface on your website and then start interacting with others in whatever tool they use (or their web site). Certainly this is not a new idea, just one that needs more awareness.

Between WebRTC, APIs, RSS, Domain of One’s Own, and host of other tools, we are getting closer to the idea of the browser being the LMS or Learning Environment of the future (although I may be the only one that calls it that – and I just do it to help admin types understand). This may seem like a moot point to some that are happy with Blackboard and other large companies, but for those that get theory, it will be a tectonic shift from being chained to focusing on what the tools can do (because the tools are so inflexible) to truly being able to focus on the learner and/or learning experience. Instructors – how much time do you spend explaining how to use technology tools vs the amount of time you spend focusing on what students are learning? If you are like most I work with, you spend most of your time explaining again and again how and where to upload assignments, mainly due to confusing systems. Imagine what it will be like when students create their own learning environment that interfaces with yours with ease and you can worry more about actual learning?

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Saturday, February 1, 2014 (10:55 am)

Matt Crosslin2014: The Make or Break Year for MOOCs and Big Data?

Posted by: Matt Crosslin In: Open Learning|Pedagogy

So I know in the past that I have tried everything from serious predictions of the immediate future to crazy futurist predictions of the next decade to mocking the whole idea of predicting the future (how long can gaming be 1-2 years from emerging anyways?). I debated whether I should do anything for 2014, especially since there were several good predictions out there already.

Being a bit pf a pragmatist myself, I think the future of online learning is a bit less predictable than it has been in the past. Online learning is certainly on the radars of a lot more people than it was a few years ago, but many of those people are not happy at all with what they are seeing in MOOCs. I would point out that many of the problems that people are seeing with MOOCs deals more with administrative mismanagement of implementation and funding than with the actual idea. If you are really dropping $150,000-300,000 per class to develop a MOOC, then you missed the whole point of the idea in the first place.

For me, I am not really convinced that MOOCs are going to bounce back OR die completely. What I really think is that, as a field, Ed Tech is in uncharted waters here and we really don’t know where we are heading next. So it is hard to say what will happen. I think 2014-2015 will be make or break years for open learning (and big data for that matter). Will we emerge from the valley of disillusionment? I don’t think we really have any clue to know for sure or not. Will MOOCs fade off into the Google Wave sunset, with a promise that the good core ideas will survive… but then they really don’t? I don’t know if we know that for certain, either.

I do think we have a good break with all of this dissatisfaction to jump into the conversation and say “yes, this whole idea of business ideas and MOOCs is horrible, but here are the things about open learning that are good (and have been good since ancient times)”. But let’s face it, too many people sat on their rears trying to play nice with the new xMOOCs for the last few years, and if that happens again we’ll all continue to get lumped in the same category with capitalist ventures that are declared failures by their own creators.

For me, I am still going to be championing the less popular ideas that need more attention, like Heutagogy, Sociocultural theory, Learning and Teaching as Communicative Actions, taking control of your Digital Identity, and rethinking learning design to be truly online and not just digitized classrooms. My main prediction for 2014 is that these ideas will continue to be ignored while other fancier, shinier ideas get championed by the cool Ed Tech kids :)

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Saturday, January 11, 2014 (3:57 pm)

Matt CrosslinEvaluation of Sociocultural Heutagogical Learning in a Networked, Internet-Like Fashion

Posted by: Matt Crosslin In: Ed Tech

To continue with the theme of The Web of the Future, I want to think out loud about some fundamental changes to html itself that could assist with quoting, remixing, cross-site conversations, and even revolutionizing how instructors could evaluate student learning.  I’ll hit on the actual structural idea first and then touch on how it could change online assessment, so hang with me until I get to that. Or skip ahead and see if it is worth reading and then come back for the details. I won’t know either way :)

I love the idea of remixing web content, but to be honest it is a bit cumbersome and disjointed to do so now. You have to copy/paste, create hyperlinks, and give source credit manually. If you are just referencing a blog post in your remix, that’s usually not that hard. But what if you want to remix a particularly insightful comment on a blog post that has dozens of comments? Some platforms make that possible, others not so much. But then you could go through all the trouble to properly cite, link, etc in your remix, some sites may change structure and ruin your work.

I know that some say not to bother with linking and citing because its still too difficult to follow the trail of connections anyways, but I think those connections are important and I will explain why in a bit.

The biggest problem is that for all of the tags and code that goes into making modern web pages work, when you get to the actual content, there have been no major changes to that since html was invented (I know the exceptions, but you know what I mean). What if we could create a new set of tags that allows you to ID separate comments, ideas, and paragraphs in the code, and then utilize those tags to help you quote, remix, and follow conversations across various websites?

A New Tag For Pinpointing Content

So let’s take a look at a tag that could help here. Since I’m talking remix, let’s call this tag “remix”. When you create content, the <p> tags in the content itself might have a remix attribute id, such as <p remix_id=”1012″>. This could be an individual ID that is specific for that page.  Theoretically the author could designate certain ideas as one section or each paragraph separately. Content could start with “01–”, comments with “10–”, images with “20–”, metadata with “50–” or whatever it may be.  Each comment would get its own id, each paragraph it own, etc.

Now, that may seem kind of pointless until you combine it with a browser plugin that recognizes those tags. Then you can click on a paragraph or quote and choose to remix it by sending it to your blog editor, Twitter, etc. If Twitter, Facebook, and other sites would use this tag, you could also remix posts on social media sites, or images on Flickr, or videos on Vimeo, or whatever the case may be. So quoting and remixing could be made easy. But how to give credit and link backs?

Obviously, there are probably enough numbers in the universe to give every single paragraph, comment, tweet, you name it a unique number of its own. But going that route would not necessarily allow for connections to be made with individual author’s content across websites.  So we would probably need some more tags and a centralized tagging service.

For example, in the remix ID for a comment, if there was an author ID that connects to a central service to identify that author ID, the browser plugin could automatically identify the author or remixed bit of content. So the tag surrounding the comment could expand to <p remix_id=”1012″ remix_author=”3949930923″>. Just think about how much control you could have over your digital identity if you could track every comment, forum discussion, etc you have ever made?

On blogs and news sites that might have new pages every day, you’ll still run out of numbers (or they will get too large to manage) if you don’t have a remix page ID for each page. This could be pretty easy – in the page header just stick a tag like <remix page_ID=”201401011234″ />. Obviously, mot sites could just use the date and time stamp for this, but you could also ID static informational pages with numbers that start with “1″.

Once you have a specific ID for a page as well as each bit of information on that page, you would finally need a site ID. Right above the page_ID tag could be one for site ID: <remix site_ID=”03489432o3u5″ />.  That ID could be registered at the same site that manages user IDs. Why would you want to use this instead of just the URL? Because URLs can change as blogs change names, companies get re-branded, school change owners, etc. If you do any kind of database work, it is kind of akin to assigning a random number to user accounts for searching a table instead of just using the user ID – the public-facing user ID can change.

So, in theory, the comment that we have been talking about all along would have a random string of numbers attached to it: 03489432o3u5:201401011234:1012 [this works out to site ID:page ID:remix ID]. No matter how much the website changes, if the site owners keeps their site_ID updated in the remix database, a service that uses this number could easily find that content no matter where it moves. So a bit.ly kind of permalink service could be created that crunches those numbers based on the remix database in order to keep each permalink always correctly working.

In quote and remixing different bits of information, you wouldn’t even necessarily need to paste the original quote in the text – a system that is designed well enough could find and pull the content for you. Other attributes could be added to snip the beginning, end or middle off of a quote to just focus on the parts you want. A long quote could be cut down to a tag that just looks like this: <remix quote=”03489432o3u5:201401011234:1012″ snip_beg=”26″ snip_end=”57″ snip_mid=”78,90″ bold=”27,56″ />.  For one quote this much code might be a draw, but in true remixing where you are pulling in large numbers of quotes, this could become as easy coding short cut.

Controlling Your Online Content and Portfolio Storage

So what is the big point in doing all of this? So far I probably just sound like an anal-retentive organizer that needs therapy because I want to tag and organize the whole Internet. So let’s ponder a second want all of this could mean for individual students and educators.

If everything you are writing online is tagged with your ID (or IDs if you wish to have separation or privacy), you could theoretically also have a portfolio on your website that collects everything you create. It doesn’t necessarily have to publish it automatically, but you could easy create a dashboard that tracks all of your activity.  You could them be in control of what you publish to your portfolio, of course. But the general idea is that you can take ownership of all of your work.

In addition, it would be easy to track your conversations across several sites, as well as how people respond to your thoughts across the net . When a conversation starts as a tweet that gets a few responses, and then is turned into a couple of blog posts, all of which get comments and shares on Facebook, and those shares get comments that lead into more blog posts and so on…. well, you see how hard it is to fully follow conversations across the web. But a system that can follow the tags and connect these diverging conversations together, kind of like a tree of some kind, could be very useful. Visually, I am thinking of something like a resembles a Prezi presentation. I know some people hate those as presentation tools. But as a visualization of a branching conversation with several levels of depth? Could be fascinating. Add in the ability to add to the conversation on the appropriate platform at the appropriate level as you are digging through the branches – even more intriguing and powerful.

You could even theoretically see a row of symbols at the bottom of tweets, pics, posts, discussion forums, etc that somehow indicate what direction the conversation took after the part you are reading, and even where it came from. I know several services will show you how many times a blog post has been shared on Facebook or Twitter or other sites, but what if you could actually follow those conversation forks to those sites rather than just a useless number?

Evaluation of Sociocultural Heutagogical Learning in a Networked, Internet-Like Fashion

So how does all of this revolutionize how we evaluate student learning? Think of how we typically do so now. Students turn in one artifact – a paper, a group project, a discussion response, etc – and they are “graded” on how well they performed on this uni-dimensional task. They may get lucky, or they may really demonstrate that they learned something. But what if students could turn in a conversation that demonstrates progressive, non-linear, real-life application of knowledge? What if we left the knowledge acquisition up to the students, who would demonstrate understanding or mastery by turning in a tree of conversation across formal and informal website activities to demonstrate that acquisition?

Basically, instructors would stop being knowledge vending machines and would become the true “guide by the side” as some call it, evaluating student understanding based on real world applications. They would assign a particular skill or knowledge demonstration or whatever it may be, provide input and assistance along the way, maybe even participate in the conversation, but ultimately review the conversation itself that students turn in. They could respond by saying “you did well here and here, but I think you are still missing ____ and need to go to ____ site and ____ to really dig into this concept.”

Obviously, this is a different paradigm of assignment and assessment than most or used to, so it would take adjustment. And none of these ideas are necessarily new or original. But in many ways it could transform online learning and assessment into a new paradigm that more closely matches the networked interconnectedness of the Internet itself. This method would take advantage of true sociocultural learning and well as heutagogical principles to determine if students are learning or not. The entire Internet becomes a canvas to craft learning based on formal and informal social interactions with those of a shared culture (the topic being learning).

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Monday, December 16, 2013 (9:47 am)

Matt CrosslinThe Web of The Future

Posted by: Matt Crosslin In: LMS New Vision|Open Learning

Sometimes I miss the early days of the Web 2.0 craze. In a lot of ways, it was what spawned this website in the first place, where we used to have several contributors that would dig into the latest website looking to make it big on the Web 2.0 craze. It was always fun to see what new, weird mixes of ideas were coming along to challenge MySpace (remember them?).

I also remember all of the speculation about Web 3.0… which seems silly to even say a term like that now. But when I hear people talking about the future of the Learning Management System, or a what a true MOOC platform would look like, or our need to create an actual Personal Learning Environment tool, part of me likes to go back to those days of dreaming big and seeing what trickles out.

What of the future of the LMS/MOOC/PLE platform world isn’t one specific software design, but the next evolution of the Internet?

Before there was a “Web 2.0,” people were kind of just happy consuming content online. When they were made aware of the fact they could contribute content easily, people jumped on that opportunity left and right. But to be honest, even though the ability to do that existed for a long time before the Web 2.0 “revolution” happened, the execution was often clunky or odd. The true Web 2.0 “revolution” was about making it easier for the masses to join in. And, of course, certain other factors like the rise of high-speed internet and faster processing power helped immensely. But few people sat around wishing it would happen – it just seemed to appear overnight, fueled by a few skilled visionaries.

What if the next “revolution” in the Internet gives people the ability to remix the web itself? For example, if you wanted a site that had certain features of Facebook, a few Twitter options, the ability to interface with email, and the look of Tumblr, you would just click a few boxes and – Presto! – instant custom web platform for your specific purposes.

In a way, you can do a lot of this already if you know some serious coding. Or you want to tear apart WordPress or Drupal or some other open-source program. But what if someday we get the “Web 2.0-moment” where all of a sudden we can remix the Internet at will?

What this could mean is that we would have no one specific platform to rule over all LMS/MOOC/PLE needs. When you really think about it, the push to figure out what a MOOC platform “should” look like has a bit of a One Ring feel to it.

What if every instructor could remix tools to create whatever platform they needed for their class? What if students could remix tools to create whatever platform they wanted to learn through? Take the friend request function from Facebook, rename it “learn request”, mix it with the Twitter feed and hashtags, mix in some Tumblr magic for easy re-sharing, plug-in Digg’s ability to tag and comment on things, add Disqus ability to port comments across sites, and whip it together with Google’s search algorithms to help you find certain things in the mass stream and BOOM – there is your PLE that you plop onto your own domain. Or this remix is your “course” /community that you deliver your class through.

People are talking about remixing content – which is great idea. But I want to be able to remix the Web itself. And I want a quick, easy interface to be able to do so on the fly. And then change it next semester if I need to.

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