Google Jockeying

ELI7014.pdf (application/pdf Object)

The Educause Learning Initiative produces a series of short handouts that provide concise information on emerging learning practices and technologies like podcasting, wikis, and “little clickers.” Each brief focuses on a single practice or technology and describes what it is, how it works, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. The most recent entry is on Google Jockeying.

A Google jockey is a participant in a presentation or class who surfs the Internet for terms, ideas, Web sites, or resources mentioned by the presenter or related to the topic. The jockey’s searches are displayed simultaneously with the presentation, helping to clarify the main topic and extend learning opportunities.

Not sure that I see wide adoption of this one at W&M, but it’s an interesting thought in light of the fears of many faculty that students won’t use their notebooks at all for class related work.

OK, No More Professional Development

Link to: 2 Cents Worth » OK, No More Staff Development

David Warlick’s recent post suggests replacing the notion of a staff development plan for schools considering 1:1 computer or tablet initiatives with a more comprehensive concept of creating a staff development infrastructure. That infrastructure would include some key components of building ongoing communities of practice where teachers could support each other in managing their own learning:

  • Have the time to reflect and retool (at least three hours a day),
  • Have ready access to local and global ideas and resources that are logically and socially indexed,
  • Have the skills to research, evaluate, collaborate, remix, and implement new tools and techniques (contemporary literacy),
  • Are part of an ongoing professional conversation where the expressed purpose is to provoke change (adapt),
  • Leave the school from time to time to have their heads turned by new experiences,
  • Share what they and their students are doing with what they teach and learn — their information products and relics of learning become an explicit and irresistibly interwoven part of the school’s culture.

Back in the olden days I did lots of workshops on professional development for student affairs folks in higher education based on my dissertation research. One of the points that I made in those workshops was that professional development was more about the attitude of continually extracting and sharing meaning from the work they were doing than it was about participating in activities. David’s list is an excellent summary of how to operationalize that attitude using a set of tools that we weren’t even dreaming about back in 1991.

It would be interestsing to reframe this list to clearly articulate how we could use these tools in build that culture at William and Mary to support our 1:1 computing initiative.

The Highly Designed Dorm Room

The Highly Designed Dorm Room

One of the highlights of working with students in our fall startup program has been watching the interaction among students and parents in decorating their rooms. Can’t say that I’ve seen anything like this, though.

Patrick Baglino, a Dupont Circle designer, works with multimillion-dollar budgets. He’s decorated mansions in Spring Valley, New York lofts in SoHo, homes in Kalorama and Georgetown, waterfront condos in Florida. He also does dorm rooms.

A recent makeover for two friends at Georgetown University included Ralph Lauren bed linens, window treatments from Anthropologie and a $1,200 Angela Adams carpet. Total price: about $5,000, not including Baglino’s fees.

One interesting statisic was that the average entering freshman spends $1,200 on school items. (This must exclude computers, I would think.) Aggregate figures are pretty impressive:

The breakdown: $7.5 billion on electronics, $8.8 billion on textbooks, $3.2 billion on clothing and accessories, $2.6 billion on dorm or apartment furnishings, $2.1 billion on school supplies, and $1.5 billion on shoes.

IM Back Channels In Class

Future Present » Blog Archive » IM channels in class !?!

One of our ongoing concerns/interests as part of the myNotebook Project at William and Mary is how to integrate the student machines into medium and large classes so that they contribute to the learning–rather than distract from it.
Larry Johnson
, Chief Executive Officer of the New Media Consortium, discribes a pretty low tech way of enhancing communication with IM using three screens in lecture hall.

A few intrepid professors are doing just that — for example, at the University of Southern California, several classes are setting up active IM “backchannels” to encourage a running dialog during class. The IM threads are displayed on one of three screens at the front of the room. Another is controlled by a “Google jockey” who does real time searches on words and sites mentioned in either channel.

This was used as an example of the one of the major trends in the NMC’s 2005 Horizon Report (PDF) on Extended Learning.

Thinkpad 43 Review

IBM ThinkPad T43 First Thoughts Review (pics, specs)

The IBM ThinkPad continues to get excellent reviews. As noted here, the T43 is virtually the same as the T42.

Upon a quick glance the only thing that would differentiate the T42 from the T43 is the model number engraving on the lower right hand side of the screen.

This review continues to endorse the ruggedness of the features that we felt made IBM a good choice for our students–the keyboard, ruggedness of the screen–right down to the metal hinges.

Laptops Make Math More Stimulating

Laptops Make Math Stimulating

One of the drivers for the myNotebook initiative has been to help be sure that we’re ready to respond to a generation of students who will be entering William and Mary with much different experiences with computers than those of the past. One of the most interesting parts of the article was the amazingly blasé description of the fact that these computers where being used in the high school’s “robotics lab.”

One of those projects is now taking off in the school’s robotics lab, where Papert helped students create computer programs to create virtual “towns” and “villages,” along with student-built robotic trains.

I guess every high school has a robotics lab now. My google search for “high school robotics team” generated over 10,000 hits. (“High school rodeo team”, which was pretty big when I was in graduate school in Texas, only got about 1,200 links.) I”ve missed the whole high school robotics revolution!

Security Awareness Test at West Point

Fostering E-Mail Security Awareness: The West Point Carronade

Over the last several months, the logisitics committee for the myNotebook initiative has been involved in a spirited debate about the effectiveness of group training exercises in helping to build safe computing practices. An article in the spring Educause Quarterly describes an experiment in which a bogus email was sent to cadets who had completed a four hour mandatory training program on computer best practices. Eighty percent clicked on the email link embedded in mail with the subject line: Problem with your grade report.

The article concludes:

While imperfect at best, the West Point Carronade exercise proved that the traditional classroom instruction model is necessary but not sufficient when it comes to learning. Students have to touch, feel, and experience the content in order to learn. The goal of any security awareness exercise should be to make security an attitude within the organization, campus, or university. Periodic launching of these types of awareness exercises will help minimize network downtime and maximize network performance as students become more judicious about handling e-mails.

As a result of the experiment outlined in this study, administration at West Point proposed a set of additional emails to collect social security numbers, other personal data, and downloaded music. The purpose of each exercise was to give immediate feedback on the dangerous behavior. I wonder if an institution like William and Mary could get away with organizing such naturalistic teaching methods–perhaps as part of the DIL?