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Monthly Archives: April 2009

Analysis of emerging trends affecting the use of technology in education

Becta has published a new report Analysis of emerging trends affecting the use of technology in education. The report does not contain anything significantly new, but provides a good overview of current trends in information technology (in particular, multimedia habits, mobile technologies, parental encouragement of educational use of tools, and growth of TV on demand). [...]

Community information hubs

Finding relevant information about a local community is challenging in a sea of global information. I subscribe to several local blogs, news sites, and related information. In networks, local information teeters on the brink of generating global conversation. All it takes is one unique conversation, violation of rights, a novel happening and suddenly global attention [...]

How social media is changing college admission

Media and advertising are obviously intertwined. Attention draws marketing schemes. There is value in watching how the PR industry has moved from centralized controlled messages in mainstream media to decentralized messages on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media. College and university admissions are also taking note. At University of Manitoba, for example, our PR [...]

Visualization and search

Searching and finding useful information really shouldn’t be as difficult as it is today. When Google first appeared, it introduced new expectations of search. Instead of categorical Yahoo search or only marginally effective Lycos search results, users now expected fast and relevant responses to queries. And so things have stayed. I’m sure Google has been [...]

Technology as philosophy

Technology is not neutral. We don’t apply it to our teaching in a “plug in and use” approach. Technology is philosophy. Tools embed views and influence action. Google permits access to information (when not blocked). Blogs and wikis permit openness and information sharing. It’s not much of a surprise then that we see the creators [...]


Jay Cross hosted a 24-hour learn-a-thon this week. Any experimentation with teaching and learning that challenges assumptions of courses and conferences is intriguing. Jay reflects on the event: “Our goal was honest dialog among as many members as possible. No commercials. No presentations. Few or no slides. Often, we threw three or four great people [...]

Pay Attention!

How do you handle students/colleagues who are actively handling email, twittering, facebooking, and whatever-else-ing while you are conducting a class or attending a meeting? Some educators adopt a “it’s the student’s choice” attitude, while others require learners to be present. Howard Rheingold posits attention as a form of literacy: I want my students to learn [...]

Rough week for higher education

General Motors is now the new standard insult to organizations that need to innovate, but don’t. Established institutions like higher education are increasingly targeted as bloated, inefficient, and “thoroughly corrupt”. Harsh. Ivory Tower: Crumbling from Within quotes a presentation by Jeff Sandefer (who is highly biased as the founder of an business school to counter [...]

Empire State College

I had the pleasure of presenting to faculty (though they call them tutors and mentors) at Empire State College yesterday (presentation here). ESC is at the early stages of an evolution that will likely impact other higher education institutions over the next several decades (this article in IRRODL offers an overview of the college). Their [...]

Social Learning and Emerging Technology

I’ve been exploring different technologies for presentations. I’ve tried PersonalBrain – I like the tool for brainstorming and personal information management. I haven’t found it as useful for presentations. More recently, I’ve been looking at Prezi. It’s an interesting tool that does away with the slide focus of PowerPoint. And adds zooming eye candy. Here’s [...]