InforMedia Services (IMS)

Technology Instruction for St. Cloud State University

education reform

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on May 24, 2015

How to reform education

two articles in the New York Times, which are relevant to SCSU and LRS

What to Learn in College to Stay One Step Ahead of Computers

http://nyti.ms/1ekXOyu

  • Two strains of thought seem to dominate the effort to deal with this problem. The first is that we teachers should define and provide to our students a certain kind of general, flexible, insight-bearing human learning that, we hope, cannot be by computers. The second is that we need to make education more business replaced-oriented, teaching about the real world and enabling a creative entrepreneurial process that, presumably, computers cannot duplicate. These two ideas are not necessarily in conflict.
  • Richard J. Murnane and Frank Levy in their book “The New Division of Labor”
  • the study certainly suggests that a college education needs to be broad and general, and not defined primarily by the traditional structure of separate departments staffed by professors
  • The developing redefinition of higher education should provide benefits that will continue for decades into the future. We will have to adapt as information technology advances. At the same time, we must continually re-evaluate what is inherently different between human and computer learning, and what is practical and useful to students for the long haul. And we will have to face the reality that the “art of living in the world” requires at least some elements of a business education.

Why More Education Won’t Fix Economic Inequality

http://nyti.ms/1ywwOzI

  • strengthening education so that more Americans can benefit from the advances of the 21st-century economy. This is a solution that conservatives, centrists and liberals alike can comfortably get behind.
  • Brad Hershbein, Melissa Kearney and Lawrence Summers o
  • Hamilton Project, a centrist research group operating with Wall Street funding and seeking to find third-way-style solutions to America’s problems that can unite left and right.
  • “Increasing the educational attainment of men without a college degree will increase their average earnings and their likelihood of being employed,” the authors write.
  • In other words, it’s worth pursuing more and better education for working-class Americans on its own terms, because it will improve their lives and economic potential. Inequality, meanwhile, is a deeper problem, and its potential solutions remain ideologically divisive.

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polls and surveys tools for education

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on May 21, 2015

Polls and surveys tools for education

SCSU faculty asked for help with Kahoot.it  Great tool. Especially the reward system, which most likely might engage students in the learning process. However, Kahoot is very “synchronous.” It assumes that the faculty is in a synchronous environment (F2F or online). At least the free version.

In 2012, six SCSU faculty members worked together and recommended “heavy duty” survey/polling options also known as Classroom Response Systems (CRS):
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=clickers

Among the considered vendors were Turning Technologies, which have both hardware and completely online option and integrate with D2L (http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2013/09/10/crs-clickers-turning-technology-instructions/) and TopHatMonitor (http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2013/04/10/clickers-documentation/), which is completely online, no hardware solution.

Here are additional free resources, as recommended for use in education:

13 Great Free and Easy Survey / Polls Creation Tools for Teachers

http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/05/15-great-free-and-easy-survey-polls.html

1- Kwiqpoll (my note: seems out of business)
This is a simple poll making tool. It does not require any registration. Just visit the homepage and start creating  you poll right away. You have the choice to provide multiple choice answers. You will also be provided with a generated URL to use when sharing your polls.

2- Flisti

This is another great simple poll tool. It is very easy to use and resembles Kwiqpoll in that it does not call for any sign up. Just head over to its main page and start working on your poll. You can add as many answers as you want to your poll. Again , you can embed your polls in your blog, wiki or website

3- Urtak (my note: dead – server not found message)

This tool allows users to create polls using yes or no multiple questions.

4- Vorbeo (my note: seems out of business)
This is another free and simple to use poll tool. Teachers can use it to create their own polls and customize them the way they want by adding colours, adjusting width and many more before sharing them on their blogs or websites.

5- Polldaddy
This is another popular polling service that allows users to create free polls and surveys containing up to ten questions.

6- Micropoll
Micropoll allows users to instantly create a poll using a set of questions and answers then one email address. It also provides embed codes to share polls online.

8- Obsurvey

This is a great utility for creating instant surveys. It is dead simple, just visit its main page , type in your questions and answers using their text editor and there you go.

9- Kwik Surveys
This is another great polling service. It allows users to design their own surveys, form, polls and feedback forms. It is free but it does require a sign up.

10- Polleverywhere
This is a great polling tool.  It has different pricing plans and also has a free plan but very limited and allows for just 40 responses per poll.

12- Poll Junkie

This is a simple free service for creating instant polls. It lets users specify an expiry date for their polls and also opt for email notification to be notified each time there is an answer to the poll.

13- Yarp
This is another easy and simple poll creating tool. It basically allows users to create their own surveys or online invitations. It does not require any registration.

 

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why necessary to know how to code

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on May 20, 2015

Why People Are Obsessed With Teaching Kids How To Code

http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2014/12/05/why-people-are-obsessed-with-teaching-kids-how-to-code

Computers and the software they run are not magic. Nor should they be perceived as such.
Learning to code is not valuable because everyone needs to program computers, but because such an integral part of modern life needs to be understood at a basic, comprehensible level.

https://www.quora.com/Why-is-it-important-to-know-how-to-code

More on coding and education in this blog:

http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=coding

Posted in digital identity, Digital literacy, digital naitives, information technology, Millennials, Project Based Learning, technology literacy | Tagged: , , | No Comments »

student evaluations

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on May 19, 2015

twitter post stud evals

A defense of student evaluations: They’re biased, misleading, and extremely useful.

The answer requires us to think about power. If you look hard at the structure of academia, you will see a lot of teachers who, in one way or another, lack power: adjuncts and term hires (a large population, and growing); untenured faculty (especially in universities like mine); faculty, even tenured faculty, in schools where budget cuts loom; graduate students, always and everywhere. You might see evaluations as instruments by which students, or administrators, exercise power over those vulnerable employees. But if you are a student, and especially if you are a student who cares what grades you get or who needs recommendations, then teachers, for you—even adjuncts and graduate teaching assistants—hold power.

Chairmen and deans also need to know when classroom teaching fails: when a professor makes catastrophically wrong assumptions as to what students already know, for example, or when students find a professor incomprehensible thanks to her thick Scottish accent. My note: indeed, when chairmen and deans KNOW what they are doing and are NOT using evaluations for their own power.

Student Course Evaluations Get An ‘F’ : NPR Ed : NPR

Philip Stark is the chairman of the statistics department at the University of California, Berkeley. “I’ve been teaching at Berkeley since 1988, and the reliance on teaching evaluations has always bothered me,” he says.

Stark is the co-author of “An Evaluation of Course Evaluations,” a new paper that explains some of the reasons why.

Michele Pellizzari, an economics professor at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, has a more serious claim: that course evaluations may in fact measure, and thus motivate, the opposite of good teaching. Here’s what he found. The better the professors were, as measured by their students’ grades in later classes, the lower their ratings from students.

“Show me your stuff,” Stark says. “Syllabi, handouts, exams, video recordings of class, samples of students’ work. Let me know how your students do when they graduate. That seems like a much more holistic appraisal than simply asking students what they think.”

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social media in education

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on May 16, 2015

7 Ways Social Media Has a Role in Education

http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2015/03/7-ways-social-media-has-role-in.html

  1. The Stats – College, Career, and Citizenship Success
    Look who’s watching:
    • 1/4 of college admissions officers consider digital footprint
    • 3/4 of human resource managers
    • 1/3 of employers reject candidates based on something found in profiles
  1. Ensuring Students Are Well Googled
    Here are some ways to get started. My note: well LinkedIn
  2. Social Credibility is the New Credentialing
     Read more about how Armond developed social credibility here.
  3. Student Learning Networks
    In the age of social media, the teacher is no longer the center of learning. The student is. One of the most important things an educator can do is support students in developing a powerful learning network. It also requires an understanding of how to effectively use these tools to connect, collaborate, and grow learning. Want to know more? 15-year-old Alex Laubscher explains here.
  4. Work More Effectively
    Social media allows you to change the paradigm from “teacher” as expert to “group” as expert. This reduces emails and increases the access to good answers and connections.  My note: it is extremely important to understand that “teacher” in this case covers librarians
  5. Connect with Experts via Twitter
    You can find a world of experts on any topic if you have literacy in using Twitter also know as “Twitteracy.”  Just know the right hashtags and how to find experts and you have the world’s best knowledge at your fingertips. It is better than any rolodex allowing you to connect anytime, anywhere, with the interested parties who are available now.
  6. Release the Amazing Work of Students from the Classroom to the World
    We hear stories in passing about the great work happening in schools, but usually it’s locked in a school or classroom or trapped on a laptop. Social media puts an end to that.  Click here to find out what it was.

More on social media in education in this blog:

http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=social+media+education

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grading

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on May 16, 2015

Game-Changing Grading Changes

http://www.techlearning.com/blogentry/9149

Grade the Product AND the Process

With Revision History, I’ve seen students work just two hours on a paper the night before it’s due and others spend considerable time and effort on a paper. Whatever the case may be, I can identify and address what I see in Revision History with a student to help them grow. My note: use wiki or Google Apps to be able to track changes in revision

Use Kaizena for Effective Feedback – Many teachers have discovered the awesome benefits of filming themselves and their lessons, but what about recording feedback? My note: use audio recording for feedback. a more positive place to learn because my students could now hear the intonation and inflection in my voice when I delivered feedback, not have their hearts broken by red ink. They could hear the positivity with which I reviewed their work and provided feedback.

Rethinking How We Grade Group Work

I had students submit group contracts which clearly stated when and where they would meet and who was responsible for completing what, when. This contract was used in our post-project meetings. By having clearly defined tasks and roles, each student was held accountable. Make them be specific. Instead of Tina will do research by Friday get them as close  to Tina will find five usable sources for the project and get them to Tom on the shared planning Doc by 3pm Friday.

Remember Revision History? It’s great for group projects because a Revision History is created for every person the Doc is shared with. Revision History can help a teacher see who contributed to group work and when because on any shared item in Google Drive, each individual is assigned their own color and timestamp. We can now better see how much each group member has contributed to an assignment. We can take this into consideration when grading, or, better yet, be proactive and intervene when a group’s shared planning Doc looks like one person is doing all the work

1) After a project, I gave students a Google Form where they could provide anonymous feedback on their peers efforts during the project. The Form also allowed students to grade these efforts using a rubric. I would then average the grades for each individual student and share the anonymous feedback at the post-group meetings. I would give them an opportunity to reflect on the feedback as a group and speak to the fairness of their averaged grade. Through this process we would come to an agreement on an individual grade for the project and a list of takeaways the could use to improve for next time.

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LinkedIn groups

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on May 15, 2015

Are LinkedIn Groups Worth the Trouble? 17 Tips for Success

http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2015/05/linkedin-group-tips/

LinkedIn

Use LinkedIn Groups not only as a way to distribute content, but also as a way to listen to our audience.

Any LinkedIn user can create a group in a matter of minutes. But it is crucial to lay a solid foundation to help ensure the group’s success. Some things to consider:

  • Develop a mission statement that distinctly outlines why the group exists to give a clear vision to both potential members and your brand.
  • Use targeted keywords in its title and to identify its category so the group can be found in organic search rankings.

More on LinkedIn in this blog:
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=linkedin

 

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Badges

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on May 13, 2015

Case Study 6: Mozilla Open Badges

http://www.educause.edu/library/resources/case-study-6-mozilla-open-badges

Badges can play a crucial role in the connected learning ecology by acting as a bridge between contexts, making these alternative learning channels and types of learning more viable, portable, and impactful. Badges can be awarded for a potentially limitless set of individual skills—regardless of where each skill is developed—and a collection of badges can begin to serve as a virtual résumé of competencies and qualities for key stakeholders, including peers, schools, or potential employers. Specifically, badges support capturing and communicating learning paths, signaling achievement, motivating learning, and driving innovation and flexibility, as well as building identity, reputation, and kinship. Thus, badges can provide a way to translate all types of learning into a powerful tool for getting jobs, finding communities of practice, demonstrating skills, and seeking out further learning.

Peer badges were also built around the peer-to-peer interactions and were awarded directly from one peer to another. Finally, participation badges were based on stealth assessment and data-tracking logic built into the learning environment. While the sample size was small due to constraints of the course cycles, the pilot resulted in a solid proof-of-concept of the potential for badges and these approaches to assessment.

How Badges Really Work in Higher Education

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2013/06/20/how-badges-really-work-in-higher-education.aspx

The badges have several layers, Wisser says. While the top level signifies that you completed elements of the coursework, the badges have stripes for other accomplishments such as leading a discussion or teaching peers. “These badges are visible to other students, and if you are struggling in one area, you could turn to someone more accomplished–as shown by their badge–for help. Or if you were strong in a certain area and saw someone else was struggling, you could reach out to that person.”

More in this IMS blog on badges:

http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=badges

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Fusking

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on May 13, 2015

Fusking = using a program to extract files names from a website that would seem obvious. Like 1.jpg, 2.jpg, etc. http://fusking.urbanup.com/3995415#.VVNxIdIMi54.

How hackers built software to steal naked photos from hundreds of women automatically

The Dark Art Of “Fusking”

http://www.buzzfeed.com/katienotopoulos/the-dark-art-of-fusking

Fusking: Photobucket Fights Back Against Peeping Toms, Sends Takedown Notice To Reddit Pages

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/16/fusking-photobucket-takedown-notice-reddit_n_1792472.html

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Instructional Design

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on May 13, 2015

7 Things You Should Know About Developments in Instructional Design

http://www.educause.edu/library/resources/7-things-you-should-know-about-developments-instructional-design

Please read the entire EducCause article here: eli7120

discussion of IMS with faculty:

  • pedagogical theories
  • learning outcome
  • design activities
  • students’ multimedia assignments, which lead to online resources
  • collaboration with other departments for the students projects
  • moving the class to online environment (even if kept hybrid)

What is it?

the complexity of the learning environment is turning instructional design into a more dynamic activity, responding to changing educational models and expectations. Flipped classrooms, makerspaces, and competency-based learning are changing how instructors work with students, how students work with course content, and how mastery is verified. Mobile computing, cloud computing, and data-rich repositories have altered ideas about where and how learning takes place.

How does it work?

One consequence of these changes is that designers can find themselves filling a variety of roles. Today’s instructional designer might work with subject-matter experts, coders, graphic designers, and others. Moreover, the work of an instructional designer increasingly continues throughout the duration of a course rather than taking place upfront.

Who’s doing it?

The responsibility for designing instruction traditionally fell to the instructor of a course, and in many cases it continues to do so. Given the expanding role and landscape of technology—as well as the growing body of knowledge about learning and about educational activities and assessments— dedicated instructional designers are increasingly common and often take a stronger role.

Why is it significant?

The focus on student-centered learning, for example, has spurred the creation of complex integrated learning environments that comprise multiple instructional modules. Competency-based learning allows students to progress at their own pace and finish assignments, courses, and degree plans as time and skills permit. Data provided by analytics systems can help instructional designers predict which pedagogical approaches might be most effective and tailor learning experiences accordingly. The use of mobile learning continues to grow, enabling new kinds of learning experiences.

What are the downsides?

Given the range of competencies needed for the position, finding and hiring instructional designers who fit well into particular institutional cultures can be challenging to the extent that instructors hand over greater amounts of the design process to instructional designers, some of those instructors will feel that they are giving up control, which, in some cases, might appear to be simply the latest threat to faculty authority and autonomy. My note: and this is why SCSU Academic Technology is lead by faculty not IT staff. 

Where is it going?

In some contexts, instructional designers might work more directly with students, teaching them lifelong learning skills. Students might begin coursework by choosing from a menu of options, creating their own path through content, making choices about learning options, being more hands-on, and selecting best approaches for demonstrating mastery. Educational models that feature adaptive and personalized learning will increasingly be a focus of instructional design. My note: SCSU CETL does not understand instructional design tendencies AT ALL. Instead of grooming faculty to assume the the leadership role and fill out the demand for instructional design, it isolates and downgrades (keeping traditional and old-fashioned) instructional design to basic tasks of technicalities done by IT staff.

What are the implications for teaching and learning?

By helping align educational activities with a growing understanding of the conditions,
tools, and techniques that enable better learning, instructional designers can help higher education take full advantage of new and emerging models of education. Instructional
designers bring a cross-disciplinary approach to their work, showing faculty how learning activities used in particular subject areas might be effective in others. In this way, instructional
designers can cultivate a measure of consistency across courses and disciplines in how educational strategies and techniques are incorporated. Designers can also facilitate the
creation of inclusive learning environments that offer choices to students with varying strengths and preferences.

More on instructional design in this IMS blog:

http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2014/10/13/instructional-design/

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