Where good ideas come from

This makes sense to me. I always called it intuition but hunches on the back burner or tucked away in the back of the mind is an interesting concept.

Collaboration, sharing hunches, moves a society forward. Our sharing communities, like social bookmarking, blogs, wikis and video sharing is great proof of creating good ideas.

Of course there are failures, but in failing we learn.

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Importance of teachers learning alongside students

I came across an article by Seymour Papert: Project-Based Learning on www.edutopia.org .

In this article, Papert mentions ‘the importance of teachers learning alongside students’

“What we need is kinds of activity in the classroom where the teacher is learning at the same time as the students and with the students. Unless you do that, you’ll never get out of the bind of what the teachers can do is limited by what they were taught to do when they went to school.” (Papert, 2001)

The times have changed. What/how we learned in school is not always applicable in today’s or tomorrows world.

Teachers have to be learning at the same time as the student. The only constant in life is change and therefore knowledge is does not stay stagnant . It moves forward and changes depending upon it’s context. Therefore, teachers have to be life long learners and keep learning.

Papert brings up the example of the well known robot wars that many engineering and science students participate in. Every robot is unique and therefore every situation/problem is unique. It’s never been there before. And that’s very different from the classroom situation where we teach static material. “We’ve been there before. The teacher is not learning anything because the teacher knows that already. And this is a very bad situation for learning.” (Papert, 2001)

“Again, one of my favorite little analogies: If I wanted to become a better carpenter, I’d go find a good carpenter, and I’ll work with this carpenter on doing carpentry or making things. And that’s how I’ll get to be a better carpenter. So if I want to be a better learner, I’ll go find somebody who’s a good learner and with this person do some learning.” (Papert, 2001)

Same would be true for graduate students. If the student wanted to be a better researcher then he/she would seek out a researcher.

As Sir Ken Robinson mentions in his TED talk, Changing education paradigms. “We are trying to meet the future by doing what we did  the past” We stayed in school because we were told that if you got educated you could get a job. The more education the higher the pay. This is not always a reality today and the students know it. “you are better having a degree but it is not a guarantee anymore”

My job, my passion did not exist when I was in school.  The path I took to get were I am today was unique and I did not have a map. This is the reality of many people and of our students. We don’t know what lies ahead. I believe we need to teach the students to be life-long learners, creative thinkers and problem-solvers or as Sir Ken Robinson calls it “Divergent Thinkers”. We must model that behavior and become learners ourselves excepting the fact that there is more than one correct answer and more than one way of doing things.

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Selecting an Educational Technology

I was just reading a blog post on How do you analyse and select an educational technology.

It got me thinking about how I approach it.

  1. 1st I hear about an Educational Technology through my social networks, twitter, LinkedIn groups, FaceBook ect.
  2. I’ll go to the site and explore
  3. I’ll watch any videos about the product on youtube or Lynda.com
  4. I’ll think about how it can be used in the classroom and if it is any better than what I am already using.
  5. I’ll try it.
  6. Again, I’ll think about how it can be used in the classroom and if it is any better than what I am already using.
  7. I’ll try to anticipate if it will be sticking around for a while. Some products just come and go and aren’t used anymore. It is important to look at the dates of things posted or comments. That way you know if something is still being supported. Students hate wasting their time learning a technology that is outdated… as do I.
  8. I’ll try it in the classroom but I’ll put it in as a possible product for the students to try. I usually give the students a list of web2.0 technologies that they can use. For example, we create concept maps and I’ll give them a list of online web2.0 tools they can use. MindMister, Gliffy,
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“It’s Not Information Overload. It’s Filter Failure.”

I saw this description for a course offered by U of T and thought is was a brilliant observation of what skills are needed today. http://www.plc.ischool.utoronto.ca/coursedescription.asp?courseid=260#

Are you tired of dealing with information overload in your work? Perhaps you’re looking at it from the wrong perspective. Clay Shirky, professor and author, says, “It’s Not Information Overload. It’s Filter Failure.”

The task now is to create your own information filters.

“In the period ahead of us, more important than advances in computer design will be the advances we can make in our understanding of human information processing – of thinking, problem solving, and decision making…”
Herbert Simon, Economics Nobel-prize winner (1968)

Personal Learning Networks are individual, disciplined process by which we make sense of information, observations and ideas. In the past it may have been keeping a journal, writing letters or having conversations. These are still valid, but with digital media we can add context by categorizing, commenting or even remixing it. We can also store digital media for easy retrieval.

The Web has given us more ways to connect with others in our learning but many people only see the information overload aspect of our digital society. Engaging others can actually make it easier to learn and not become overwhelmed. Effective networked learning is the difference between surfing the waves or being drowned by them. It also helps us to work smarter.

I use this blog as one of the tools to collect my personal learning “ah ha” moments and it doesn’t matter to me if people read my blog.It becomes a place where I come back to to rethink and revisit videos, quotes, and ideas that I think go together.

I found a blog post by Harold Jarche where he goes into his idea of Network Learning even deeper: http://www.jarche.com/key-posts/personal-knowledge-management/

When I say “I found it” what actually happened was Ihering Alcoforado bookmarked/shared the link on the Diigo group, e-learning2.0. Diggo emails me daily a list of links from the groups I subscribe to. I quickly skim the email and click on anything that sounds interesting to me. If I need to include it in my Personal Learning network, then I bookmark it or if I want to reflect then I post it to this blog.

Now that is, as Jarche puts it, using:

  • Seeking – using my network to find knowledge
  • Sensing – making sense/evaluating of the concepts
  • Sharing – posting it to my blog, twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
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Students love technology

Students Love Technology
Via: OnlineEducation.net

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Global Voices

Are we really listening or are we existing on the internet only in our comfort zone with our “own’

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learn how to do it

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Picass

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Elements coming together with 5 Tips for Success

Funny how elements  just all of a sudden come together. I first came across the video below about success through failure (thank-you twitter and youtube) and then TeachPaperless blog post this
5 Tips for Success – in school, business and in life
Put it together and you have a nice little introduction to computers class


  1. Be Curious – look at things and wonder why.
    • Wonder if something can do more.
    • Wonder if you can make something better or different.
    • Ask why? Ask how?
  2. Keep Learning – never stop learning.
    • Be a life-long learner.
    • Learn because you are curious.
    • Learn because you want to better yourself.
  3. Don’t Be Afraid to Fail – no one succeeds on the first try.
    • For every great success, there are hundreds of failures.
    • You learn from your failures and they help you succeed.
    • We should encourage students this way in school also.
  4. Be Passionate – be passionate and excited about what you do, no matter what.
    • Why do it if you aren’t passionate or don’t care.
    • This goes for everything you do, from cleaning your room to doing your work.
  5. Keep Good Company – be around people who share your values and beliefs.
    • Be with people who are passionate, curious, and keep learning.
      Surround yourself with people who will help you succeed, not lead you to failure or troubles.

Naveen Selvadurai, one of the founders of Foursquare

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Social Bookmarking for Higher Education

A workshop for 17th Annual ETC Conference: http://www.lambton.on.ca/advancing_learning/
As an added value, we will be using google docs and prezi. Don’t forget to tweet: #etc2011conf
I hope you enjoy.
Link to our google doc

The workshop presentation:

Link to our google doc

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Active learning

“In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

–Theodore Roosevelt,
26th president of the U.S

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