Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Should everything be Open?

November 23, 2009 2 comments

I am lucky to be involved with the steering committee for ETUG - it’s a fantastic team of 15 diverse, dedicated, fun ed tech professionals who volunteer loads of time to do great work to advance, share and celebrate ed tech in BC and the people who do it.  We all work at different post-sec institutions across the province (i.e., that’s a key/intentional feature of the group, and it means we’re not on a common institutional system of any kind). So, we organize our stuff (lots of projects and plans and meetings and dates and stuff to keep track of) in a wiki.

Right now, we are deciding if our steering committee wiki should be open or closed.

Shouldnt some things stay closed?

Shouldn't some things stay closed?

  • If open, we are practicing what many of us preach enthusiastically (open = good), and maybe (?) someone in the broader community of ed tech folks  in BC (e.g., the people who attend our events, read our news, etc) would be interested in seeing all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes to plan and deliver the stuff we do. Maybe seeing how we work would make them want to get involved with ETUG. Or maybe just seeing how we use a wiki would be of interest or use to someone.
  • If closed,  we protect our privacy in ways that seem to matter (e.g., we write notes to each other like, “hey guys I am staying at X hotel during the upcoming conference, my cel number is ######, call me when you get into town and we can meet up at Y location at Z time to plan the bla bla”). Yes we could do this by email, but the point is to avoid that and do it all in the wiki: one stop shop. Another thing a colleague raised was the “reveal factor” – if it’s all open and we’ve planned this neato activity or experience for people at an event, we may diminish that by having it all out there (kind of like posting the punchline to a joke you’re going to tell later).

I guess if we go open, some questions are, do we leave it open but employ “security by obscurity”? Or do we PROMOTE it? and how/in what way? and will this change how we do things in a negative way? (there is a big part of me that can’t believe anyone cares to paw through our stuff, frankly)

I am all for open philosophically, but I guess I’m unsure there is value for it in this case. If it doesn’t matter, maybe keeping it closed makes more sense for the privacy reasons/to allow free sharing among our 15. But I feel like I’m betraying my commitment to openness somehow. And maybe missing an opportunity to explore this more, to experience unexpected benefits, and to walk the talk (lots of people thought MIT was mad, if you recall)

I find this question interesting because it’s not obvious to me that it’s good, and it hasn’t come up before. It’s not like the usual suspects of sharing completed things that someone might want to use (courses, code, texts, training materials, presentations, research, lesson plans, etc). It’s being open about planning and process.  Messy stuff.  I don’t have anything to hide (except my cel number), I just don’t know if there’s more value in sharing in this case than not.

We’ll see what the group decides.

What’s Up?

  • Check out the new Draft ETUG News page – a great new way to make it easy to contribute tidbits (thanks whoever(s) did such an awesome job setting this up!).
  • Our next SCETUG online/elluminate meeting is….Dec. 16th (3rd wed in Dec)
  • Hey Groups! If you’re meeting amongst yourselves…
    • please feel free (but not obligated) to invite Leva/Tracy – we’ll come if we can
    • remember you have access to the SCETUG elluminate room
Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

moving to

a friend decided it was time I had my own domain, and bought it for me as a present. cool!

But…. I have to move there. I’m no WP whizkid (or web whizkid of any kind – this is why 2.0 is so great!), but I’m motivated and keen to learn. And  hey, everybody’s doing it and raving about it. How hard can it be?  So far so good, actually, I exported all the stuff from here and imported it to the new home, and it worked like a charm – just a bunch of tinkering to do on the other side now.

anywho, this is where I am now:


Categories: Uncategorized

cck09 begins!

I’m ridiculously excited about this. I’ve been sort of lusting after the ETL Certificate program for some time.  But, gah….I haven’t been able to reconcile questions such as:

  • Do I *want* to go back to school again? (um…er…well….not really)
  • Do I want to/can I justify the money? (um, i dunno…?)
  • Do I *need* the credential? (no).  I do a lot of pro-d and learning by just being in the field, having great colleagues, and frankly, Twitter.
  • but, but….I want to learn the stuff, see how they do it, spend some time as a learner (god knows I should – I spend my life subjecting others to learning environments I design!)

So because we live in interesting OPEN times, i have an opportunity to do a course in the program! How freekin’ cool is that?? so freekin’ cool!

and maybe, no….likely….it will help me become the blogger I aspire to be (instead of the fits-and-spurts inconsistent lamewad blogger I have been to date).  At least for a 12 week stretch. Rock on.

Categories: Uncategorized

Net Gen Students, eh?

I recently attended a session called, “Net Gen? Not so much” at the CeLC 2009 conference in Vancouver. This “Net Gen” issue is coming up a lot in my day to day work. It’s a classic extreme-position thing that gives people a lot to discuss and disagree about, and eventually land in a more informed middle position. so it’s good, I guess. In a nutshell:

  • Yes position: Net Gen learners are/think differently, they have different learning styles than “we” (their teachers, etc) – they are always wired, digital natives,  they need technology because it’s how they think/process info, it’s how they’ve been raised, etc. This idea seems to have been popularized by people like Mark Prensky . Educause put together an e-book on Educating the Net Generation Learner
  • No position: Net Gen is a broad and unhelpful concept that doesn’t describe everyone – or even most people – born 1982 or later. For an ongoing critique of the hype/research, the Net Gen Skeptic does a great job.
  • My position:  I’m with the No’s, ultimately. Net Gen is a construct that implies an argument for using technology to support teaching and learning for kids these days. I think this demographic may actually have a lot of cel phone users, which doesn’t translate to all technologies, and certainly not most of the tech used in “formal” teaching and learning. And i think we have better, stronger reasons for using technology in teaching than this (provides access to education, time/place independence, we can do high quality teaching/learning in tech supported environments, huge access to information, access to most current information , etc).  And, ultimately, it comes down to HOW you use the technology to effectively support learning… as it always does…as it always should…
Categories: ed tech, Uncategorized Tags: ,

hey everybody, let’s BLOG!

Group blogging and trying to get people on a team to commit to regular contributions to a shared blog came up TWICE yesterday in BOTH of my main working/professional groups. s’up with that?

This concept of group blogging makes some sense: if you want an organization/company/group blog to be part of your arsenal of public-facing materials, why not share the task of content creation, ensure a steady stream of new content, make it richer by including many voices, etc.

But…I do notice that none of the blogs i follow (granted: very few, I’m picky and time-poor) use this format – it’s all one author. And I also think that some people are “bloggers” (you know, good at it, do it with ease and skill), and others aren’t. same could be said of Tweeters. Or writing in whatever genre, I guess. we’ll see what happens. I don’t like creating stuff for creating stuff’s sake.

Categories: Uncategorized


Not my first attempt at a blog (LiveJournal, Blogger, probably others), but hopefully it will stick this time. Because WordPress is cool, and because I have a purpose?

Plan is to join my ed tech colleagues and heroes (see blogroll) and use a blog to attempt to make sense of my professional world.  May digress into gardening, coffee,  or other “personal”  rants from time to time.

So, context: I’m an instructional designer, I do a lot of Moodling, and I was lured away from my cozy office at beautiful Royal Roads University (for love, what else?), and I now work at a distance. I am lucky to still work for RRU, still with the amazing Centre for Teaching & Educational Technology (CTET) team there.  I just do it at a distance (I live in the sticks – at the north end of Okanagan Lake, about 20 min outside of Vernon).  This *is* living the dream, and it creates opportunities and challenges that I plan to explore.

IDWAD = Instructional Designer Working Atta Distance

So, this (above), and this (below) is where I’m coming from

view from my "office" (deck)

view from my "office" (deck)

Categories: Uncategorized

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