Monday, November 15, 2010

Mobile Technology Course

Today, the Mobile Technology course opened. There's a small group but it should be a good one. Between Moodle, Twitter, Tweetdeck, this blog, my phones and pda, and additional techologies, great opportunities for interaction and exploration present themselves. I didn't do a good job of staying with the PLENK2010 class (#PLENK2010) but is certainly has opened my eyes to PLEs.

Open educational resources are going to be big in weeks and months to come.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Half an Hour: Collaboration and Cooperation

Half an Hour: Collaboration and Cooperation working on a presentation exploring collaboration and cooperation, came up with this handy examination of the topic. I'm running into your work frequently these days, Steven Downes.

Monday, September 20, 2010

More on PLEs and PLNs

The challenges I'm having in this PLENK2010 course remind me of the feelings I had taking graduate classes that I just didn't get at first. Some of them I subsequently "got." There are issues of scale and responsibility that I find curious.

Just what is the fuss over LMS? There are purposes for things. Arguing against the application of course/learning management systems in favor of PLNs or PLEs seems like preferring ice tea over sand bags. They are different things, they apply differently to people and at different levels.

I'm struggling, too, with the value of trying to learn anything with >1000 people in the room...just too much stuff happening. That some of it is happening in other languages is intriguing in part, but brings so much extra work that there is marginal value at this point in time for THIS learning path traveler.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Testing the water with a Massive Open Online Course

I'm half-ways busy testing the water with a MOOC being offered by George Siemens, TEKRI, Stephen Downes, NRC, Dave Cormier, UPEI, Rita Kop, NRC. It's called PLENK2010 and it's got a bunch of different purposes.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Attended a OER day at UI Springfield yesterday. Good stuff! Met Cable Green and talked with others from across Illinois toward the goal of increasing the use of open educational resources. The idea: high quality learning materials /circumstances that are very affordable. That's what I've been saying for years - we should be giving this stuff away.

Interestingly, the discussion raised several related, but separate issues:
  1. Open - is about explicitly sharing but not necessarily giving away ones intellectual property rights (see creative commons (
  2. Attitude - Willingness to share, and apply the leverage of shared materials is foundational to the success of this effort.
  3. Quality - sharing does not even overlap with the discussion of quality. It's not the same conversation. Quoting Green 'There are shared resources that are excellent, and there are proprietary resources that are crap'. Let's not let anyone fool us into believing otherwise.
  4. Appropriateness - just because it's free and available doesn't mean it's usable the way it arrives. MIT's Open Courseware project stands as an illustration of this for me.
  5. Diversity - Pt.4 leads to another good part: When I take that resource (not wanting to reinvent the wheel) and adjust it to serve my needs then share THAT, we've increased the body of sharable work, and increased the diversity of the pool as well.
  6. Profit? - when a resource is shared, have we just negated all opportunities for capitalistic incentive? No. We've changed some, and rearranged a few. The folks in the publishing world may still have the most to lose here, but maybe that's the way it should be for teaching and learning. There are Billions of dollars needlessly being spent, every year to feed a system that has evolved to capitalize on wasted spending. I want to check the view when the tide lifts all the ships. I suspect the opportunities will emerge.
If I am just plain wrong about a point I've made, feel free to comment. If you are a colleague in the effort, drop a comment of support. If you want to hear more, leave your question here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fall MVCR classes are open for registration

2 things: Fall MVCR classes are open for registration. The full complement of MOT core classes plus the next class that contributes to the COLA. See the ION site for more information

I just saw this in the Chronicle - great possibilities for the ION Mobile Tech class soon to come.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

We have moved!

For anyone who is interested, ION's new office is
Illinois Online Network
807 S. Wright St., Ste 370,
Champaign, IL 61820

phone is still 217.333.4393
email is still

Monday, June 14, 2010

What can ION do for your UI department?

ION hosts the Making the Virtual Classroom a Reality series at