You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘blogs’ category.

“Blackboard, Windows, Photoshop” – familiar names to specific markets who are being pressured to take action or decide on something…

“Open Source Software, GIMP, Linux, Blogs, Wikis” – Unfamiliar names to specific markets who are being pressured to decide or take action

Fear paralysis or more accurately, ambiguity aversion is an entirely natural and a well known feature of the human brain. Well known to marketeers and spin doctors that is.

I blogged about this some time ago. Now here’s a quick 2 min video describing the Ellsberg paradox. Thank you George.


What follows are notes and to-do lists for the Horticulture course developments here at Otago Polytechnic.

This course has 3 elements to its development

  1. Developers blog that documents content being developed, research in her subject area, and notes on her own professional development.
  2. Production of instructional media in the form of videos and slide presentations
  3. Wikieducator development in the form of a course page, resource lists for each topic, and learning activities for each topic.

Progress on the developers blog has developed into a personal and humorous account of Kim’s adventures in this project. Clearly Kim has become confident in publishing both video and hypertext to the web and takes pride in her abilities to do so. Kim has kept regular notes on meetings, and development work. Of note is the move from having a media expert in to record and edit instructional videos to her DIY and ‘on the fly’ videos. In my opinion the DIY is ultimately the most sustainable model of content development, involving media skills equivalent to other teacher skills sets such as photo copying and slide presentations.

To do:

KT: Focus on designing learning activities for each of the learning objectives in the course and post initial ideas to her blog. Seek out ideas from other teachers, and seek feedback to own ideas

LB: Continue to provide support in teh form of comments and ideas for activities, and instruction on how-to manage publishing of media.


Progress on media production

An extensive collection of video has been produced, ranging from DIY to expert, and covering many of the topics in the course including chainsaw maintenance, pruning fruit trees, weeds management, nomenclature and health and safety. Points of note:

Videos are currently available on as well as the Internet Archive with the Internet Archive automatically optimising the videos for dial up and broadband download and streaming.

As well as video, some slide presentations have been loaded to more to follow.

Photos and images continue to be loaded to Flickr with a view to the comment and note features of the Flickr site being used in activities.

To do:

LB: List all videos in the resource pages for each learning objective on the wiki

LB: Assist with optimising available presentations ready for loading to Slideshare.

KT: Use videos, slides and photos in learning activities. Keep talking with Leigh about ideas and capture ideas to developer blog


Progress on the Wikieducator

Progress on the Wiki has been on the whole slower than planned. Some concerns from other teachers in the department about how open the course content should be recently caused a sense of uncertainty, and learning activities used by other teachers has been difficult to obtain. This has effectively left one person to gather or create resources and devise learning activities causing progress to be slow. The structure of the course content on the wiki is reasonably complete.

To do:

LB: Continue working on the structure to simplify navigation and to place less emphasis on the formal aspects of the content such as the unit pages.

KT: Continue writing up learning activities for each of the objectives, drawing from the resources and add them to the developer blog and/or the wiki

LB: Monitor progress, offer suggestions and help write activities. When all learning objectives have 2 or more learning activities, incorporate them into the course page so as to help simplify navigation.


Konrad Glogowski (that’s him on the right) joined us for the 2nd in a series of 10 minute lectures relating to the facilitation of online learning communities. In this recording Konrad talks about developing a sense of community and individual presence before attempting formal learning. Konrad talks to his middle school teaching experiences but his research and insight is very applicable across many efforts to develop an online learning community.

James Farmer joined us for the first in a series of 10 minute lectures relating to the facilitation of online learning communities. James talks about identity and ownership in online learning. Specifically comparing typical learning management system environments to blogs.

Recording of the Elluminate session
MP3 audio recording of lecture only
MP3 audio recording of discussion afterwards

Google alerted me to a new connection the other day. This time it is US linguist and edu blogger Mike Caulfield. Mike’s post that sent a Google Alert to me was about his discovery of a ring of others criticising the Learning Management System. Apart from being interesting to see what Mike makes of his discovery of our little network of LMS nay saying, he links out to a very interesting perpective he has on why the LMS is no good:

So it’s no surprise that the modern LMS developed under what I would call a “container model”.  We “upload files to” it. We have discussions “in” it. And if the “outside world” needs to see something “in there”, we give them “access”.

And the students? Well, they’re “in there” too. At least the piece of the student that belongs to that class is. You know, the English major slice. The part of the student that is a science minor is in another box, and the part of a student that is looking for a job or hanging out with friends doesn’t have a box at all.

So here’s one of the paradoxes of HASA-based LMS systems:  they follow the grain of of our thought, and at the same time they profoundly fracture our experience. The unintentional message of the HASA LMS is what goes on in class stays in class — that it is seperated zoologically from the personal and the professional aspects of a students character.

Its great to have Mike in the loop now. I’m going to enjoy reading what else he discovers in our footprints, and enjoy more his linguistic takes on the LMS and other things!

Welcome Mike 🙂

From the relative safety of my blog – I’ve been asked to observe a rather revolting display of forum moderation over in poor old Edna. (remember to scroll to the bottom and read up up up, strange I know).

I was interested to go there and read a CMS vs Blog (is there really a difference?) or Web1 vs Web2 debate. But poor Leonard Low – representing Blogs and netlearning rather well I thought – is left to dangle by a negligent moderator when personal insults and what amounts to flat out bullying are spewed his way. A rather cowardly EdNA group remained silent as Leonard’s robust and clearly referenced arguments are degraded to pointless remarks from more than one person with a clear habit of EdNA forum bullying.

Eventually Leonard let his rigor down and enters the fight, only then to be moderated en-mass by a strange act of mothering. Such poor moderation is only one reason I don’t join in EdNA discussion any more, and is a clear indication as to why networked communications work better than forums. Forums are like a halfway point between mostly shallow instant messaging and verbal conversation and more fully formed dialogue through monologue (such as blogs). I hope Leonard ejects from such degrading experiences of Anglo Saxon grunt and concentrates on articulating his arguments and responses in his blog (which by the way, I think would be improved if he included his EdNA contributions on wider things than just mLearning). Alex Hayes – who is also the victim of unmoderated bullying in EdNA Forums has ejected already – I bet he’ll go back though, and is writing from the relative safety of his blog also.

That’s not to say this particular exchange is all together useless. On the contrary. There are some note worthy points made (mostly from Leonard) that are very useful contributions to the whole debate. Its just a shame that it is brought down by poor moderation and weak contributors who are at a bit of a loss on how to deal with a bully in their ranks.

Perfect timing for this positive local print article about Blogging, as I am hoping some managers will start keeping work related blogs in an effort to improve communication, networking and informal documentation of processes etc.


Creative Commons License
All original work licensed Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.