Welcome to my ETEC 565A Course Blog!


This is my 5th course in the MET Program! On this page I will be following all the readings, assignments and discussions with colleagues with my own thoughts and resources as we move through the course. I am currently on a one year Education leave from my position in the Northwest Territories – so I am loving diving into the MET courses.

My interest when I started MET last fall was technology to preserve language and culture but my vision of integrating technology has become very large! The current rage over BYOD has really got me thinking of alternatives for our remote communities up north.  As usual two sides to the story. – some very positive experiences citing very strong and clear expectations and guidelines – good management, and on the other side visions of chaos and even more disengagement and recreational texting. Here is one site TeAchnology – with guidelines for technology evaluation. Great site.

Steps to Evaluate the Value of Educational Technology

 VS Ramachandran: The neurons that shaped civilization

Doing some reading on constructivist theory which is very central to so much of the pedagogical strategies used in design of learning environments, and in the classroom. Talking about the theories of Piaget and how his developmental theories basically limited language acquisition by age and neural development… but there is so much more going on and this connects to constructivist strategies like modeling, guiding and apprenticeship with ‘expert others’ to move students along through their ZPD, to support them to construct new cognitive structures. Children need to watch their parents talk, move.. everything…

As well, the importance of the social/cultural language community the learner is embedded in facilitates the development of the knowledge and skills particular to specific communities of practice… all of this based on some kind of modeling, imitation, a child will mimic others…. and learn more than language from this.

Ramachandran has taken the research on ‘mirror neurons’ as the basis of empathetic behaviour, imitation and mimicry and applies it to development of culture… I see this as directly applicable to development of educational practice:


I have been a bit confused about the actual distinctions between Learning Management Systems: LMS and CMS – Course Management Systems – and after reading several articles and looking at web sites I still am.

The definition seems to rest on the initial function of the system: so far it seems the primary distinction is that LMS are focused on admin tasks although they can also launch courses made on other platforms. CMS like Blackboard, WebCT and Moodle are clearly for designing courses and have great  facilities for managing schedules, course materials, discussion boards, communication tools including synchronous and asynchronous chat spaces – and are very easy an intuitive to learn. There seems to be a real overlap though since several LMS Evaluation Reports I read are looking at comparisons between Moodle and Blackboard Vista for instance: http://lmseval.uncc.edu/  and this project at MIT: http://web.mit.edu/fnl/volume/223/stellar.html

January 19, 2012: YESTERDAY Google withdrew services in order to protest upcoming legislation from the US they fear will interfere with internet autonomy and creativity, especially in open source platforms. Legislation ostensibly aimed at curbing on-line piracy and enforcing copyright protection seems to be going in the wrong direction… not a creative solution to our current dilemmas over authorship and copyright in the digital age! John Perry Barlow of course has something intelligent to say at the e-G8 Forum 2011-05-24 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JX4ciDBHfNU and at TED Conference:


Salman Kahn: A concept about ‘flipping’ the whole approach to education. The whole curriculum on Youtube… students watch this at home… at school students can make use of the teacher/instructor  to support application and transfer of knowledge – ie the homework!!. Students (his cousins) said they actually preferred the Youtube version of his tutoring!! Why not? Watch in own time and space, rewind to review….engagement – audiovisual…the application to students with learning difficulties. Is this the start of new open learning? learning outside the boundaries of the school building? Students have a self-paced ‘lecture’ at home…. students come to school and can interact with each other to solve problems. It allows student tracking of concept mastery! So teacher can intervene where needed. … at TED 2011 Long Beach California:

Let’s Use Video to Reinvent Education

Module 1

National Educational Technology Standards on the ISTE website provide excellent guidelines for using technology from the perspective of Teachers, Students and Administrators.  How do we facilitate student learning and creativity? Design and develop digital-age experiences and assessments? Model and promote digital-age work and citizenship? For me all the objectives on this site speak to promotion of excellent teaching and learning strategies. In our northern situation 99% of this occurs without technology. My aim in this course is to explore how we can integrate new technology into our teaching and learning using the minimal technology resources that we have. Considering these objectives:

Educational Technology Standards for Administrators from ISTE

As an Educational Leader it is my responsibility to become familiar with new technologies and from this perspective generate a vision of how we can implement and support technology based learning in the school – and Board! Primary issues at this point are expertise, professional development and a culture of expectations that can move our teachers into a smooth transition to technology supported learning and teaching.

International Society for Technology in Education 

These are my reflections on NETS for Teachers:

Sheila- Reflections on the NET Standards 4teachers 565

Faculty Development for the Net Generation  by Anne Moore, John Moore, and Shelli Fowler from Virginia Polytechnic and State University.

As this article mentions institutions need to make the financial investments and human resource development to make this a reality – just buying a whole slew of computers without planning or course development is a waste of resources. Given the incredible permeation of technology in students’ lives even in our remote communities, it is necessary to explore how we can open up education to the cyber world and all the resources for knowledge and communication available. Professional development, peer coaching and support, team teaching, TIME and collaboration for resources and course development using appropriate technology are required! Archiving courses for on-going development, using the local school server for courses, rather than depending on central government or Board resources seems to be a very realistic alternative approach. One of the great initiatives they use in their Faculty Development Institute is ongoing workshops where faculty can share with each other strategies and technologies they have tried and their successes, effects on student learning and engagement and a host of other important issues. Fabulous way to build a learning community.

UNIT 2 – Applying the Frameworks

Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education – Arthur Chickering and Zelda Gamson’s 1987 article presents a very comprehensive list that certainly is in sync with our continuing efforts to improve instructional strategies with ‘best practices’ to improve student engagement and performance. The principles were later applied to specific technology considerations and learning strategies by Chickering & Ehrmann (1996):  Implementing the Seven Principles 565 M1

Bates, A.W.,  and Poole, G. (2003) Chapter 4: A Framework for Selecting and Using Technology in Effective Teaching with Technology in Higher Education: Foundations for Success. This is a classic paper introducing the SECTIONS Framework  or Model for evaluating technology use from the perspective of institution and from the teaching and learning point of view. Widely used and cited in all the literature reviewing and evaluating LMS for institutions. It is also very useful as a framework for evaluating technology integration in designed learning environments.

I used the Bates and Poole Model to look at technology implementation in our Board in the NWT:

Applying The Frameworks 565

MODULE 2: Learning Management Systems & Course Management Systems

Articles: Addition by Subtraction, J. Panettierri (2007); Using a CMS to Improve Classroom Instruction M. Perkins & J, Pfaffman (2006). Case Study on Benoit…I find now that my limited knowledge of technology compared to many of my colleagues who are working actively in the field hampers my ability to analyze case studies or other questions thoroughly. The feedback from peers on Vista is very helpful to me because there are so many details and considerations that I miss due to my experience being in totally different areas.

For our assignment on LMS Evaluation I spent a great deal of time online looking at other system reviews done by places like MIT, Stanford and University of N. Carolina… all of which recently have undergone a major re-evaluation of their systems. Their process and rubrics are thorough and beyond our scope , but had excellent breakdowns for the ‘technical expectations’ within each of the Bates and Poole categories that was very helpful. Their evaluation processes also entailed extensive staff, student and administration consultations, as well as considering recommendations and experiences from other institutions. The MIT final report was particularly useful. MIT C-LMS-Final-Report2006

Our group was tasked with creating an evaluation rubric for Conseil Scholaire working in partnership with LearnNowBC to offer online high school courses:

LMSEvaluationRUBRIC Gr. 2 final

Given that NWT is quite behind BC, Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan too – I would like to go through the BC Standards to consider applying them to our situation:

BC digital_learning_standards

The SATURDAY Globe & Mail February 4, 2012 :

Always a great Crossword puzzle but often some good relevant articles. This week one on the coming digital revolution in Education, and the review of a book suggesting FACEBOOK needs a constitution!!

We’re ripe for a great disruption in higher education by Margaret Wente:



MODULE 3 – Interaction and Assessment Tools

UNIT 6 Interactions for Learning

Although our district has been heavily focused on objective assessments of reading and math skills primarily to generate data to support the successes of our Leadership for Literacy Initiative, we have also been doing some work on alternative assessment strategies, specifically working on collaborative group processes and project-based learning. In this regard we have been using rubrics initially to assist students to understand expectations and structures of tasks, and to evaluate the processes and products of those tasks. Some of the materials we have used are from BC SMART Learning activities and use scaffolded approaches to reading comprehension:

9 step smart tools link

Anderson, T. (2008). Towards a Theory of Online Learning.  In: Anderson, T. & Elloumi, F. Theory and Practice of Online Learning. Athabasca University. Retrieved from: http://www.aupress.ca/books/120146/ebook/02_Anderson_2008-Theory_and_Practice_of_Online_Learning.pdf

Unit 7 Synchronous/Asynchronous Communication

Before MET I had basically no experience with synchronous or asynchronous tools for collaboration or as a basis for assessment. … from the Module outline: “it is possible to imagine how the strategic integration of learning technologies can offer educators new ways of facilitating academic discourse and providing meaningful opportunities and feedback to support learners throughout the learning process.” (p.1) Yes, I have realized that assessment can be very strategic in focusing students on specific learning activities and outcomes.

The advantages of asynchronous communication: I like being able to do my course work when it fits into my schedule; for many people doing online learning, this is the primary benefit. Gives one time to read the background, consider the questions and formulate ideas before posting online and responding to others. It is a very democratic medium in many ways… don’t have the hyper aggressive dominant speaker and the shy, retiring, introverts on the other side distorting what could be a stimulating exchange between all members of a group.

I must confess however that several times in these courses the ability to Skype or chat on a Google docs made collaborating much easier, quicker and responsive. Although sometimes the time zones were tricky, not as flexible obviously – but there is nothing like being able to talk with a small group to exchange ideas and rapidly come to a consensus about approaches, ideas, solutions. Asynchronous communication can be very tedious!! too linear! too constrained by time factors of the system.

Between the two modes though students have a variety of ways of communicating – large, small group, individuals to individuals, groups or individuals with the instructor – with the materials…etc. It is not a teacher-centred, transmissive environment predominantly… so this is an evolution.


 ANDERSON, T. (2008) Teaching in an Online Learning Context – both articles offer excellent frameworks for designing online environments:

565M3U7Anderson_2008-teaching in an online learning context

The process of designing the Moodle course started out as content, content, content….as my first consideration, not surprising. As I go on, the concept of designing “interactions” and “learning opportunities” brings a gradual re-visioning of what the course can be. I find myself referring to Anderson’s concepts of the Interactions that support learning –

learner-centred: in the context of the course, instructor, institution and larger society. Diagnostic tools re preconceptions and cultural perspectives; collaborative, interactive, peer relationships.

knowledge-centred: need to consider activities in the context of the knowledge domain; cognitive dissonance in engaging concepts of the domain; – community of practice, provide scaffolding, resources, critical thinking.(Cognitive presence)

assessment-centred: formative evaluation, summative assessment to motivate, inform and provide feedback; aligned with content and assess cognitive and social processes.

community-centred: the critical social component of learning. Vygotsky’s social cognition, Lave & Wenger’s “Community of Practice”; synchronous and asynchronous interactions and discourse. (Social presence)

teacher-centred: the importance of the ‘moderator’ – “Cognitive apprenticeship” (Collins, Brown, Duguid, 1989); Vygotsky’s ‘scaffolding, guide on the side; motivation and engagement; challenging misconceptions, working through ‘dissonance’; design and implementation, encourage and guide discourse, contribute subject matter expertise, (Teaching presence)

…and then within all these domains – all the separate interrelationships that support learning. And all the Presences are distributed… the diagrams in the articles are much more useful for picturing the interactions.

The Community of Inquiry Model (Garrison, Anderson and Archer, 2000)

All of these “presences” are  a function of the interactions between all the participants, tools, culture, the ‘domain knowledge’, practices of the knowledge community, the guidance and facilitation of the ‘teacher’ who ideally functions as ‘expert other’ giving regular, meaningful feedback, modeling and scaffolding to independence – if skillfully designed and implemented there is meaningful learning. This model makes intuitive sense to me… I am more visual, organic in my understanding of the complexity of relationships between all aspects of a system.


UNIT 8 Assessment Tools

The sum total of my computer-based assessment experience was with an ancient Successmaker program that was in our school when I arrived 8 years ago. This was a good example of a technology with potential that was very poorly designed – the interface was awkward and complicated, setting up groups was like programming a trip to the moon! Students did seem to appreciate the “drill and practice” component for math facts, and also liked receiving immediate feedback. Unfortunately, the very low ratings for ‘ease of use’ for teachers in particular, outweighed any of these other advantages. Again using the Bates & Poole framework, although the cost was minimal in dollars, the cost in staff time for maintenance, troubleshooting, and setting up classes was huge. So my experience presented very negative, preconceived ideas about this kind of assessment.

Considering the design of my quiz assessment for the Moodle course opened some new horizons. There is a place for ‘drill and practice’, factual recall, quick skills tests that give students feedback on many of the foundational ideas in a knowledge domain. On that foundation knowledge is constructed. The Gibbs and Simpson (2005) article was an excellent overview of assessment for learning.  Some of their results were not new to me- spreading assessment evenly over a course, concentrating on evaluating course work rather than one-time, recall type exams, and the value of the pretest. Some of their results were new to me: the absolute focus of students on assessed aspects of a course. Their research supported something that many teachers suspect in some way but,  like myself, have never really thought through the implications. I know we hear these things all the time and shake our heads – – “Do we have to know this?”, “Will this be on the exam?”, but as a general motivating factor in higher education I was surprised. We talk about assessment for learning all the time, but the connection of this concept with this research suggests that it is not only ‘for learning’ but ideally, it ‘is learning’. The other results I found compelling were the importance of regular feedback, specific, meaningful, on-going… that part is obvious since we always talk about regular assessment,  but I was surprised that even if this feedback is from peers, it fulfills this purpose.

Again, another door opens regarding the realities of the social construction of knowledge. Not having experienced peer collaboration and feedback very much during University, and having only started to explore this at our school in the last three or four years, I have very much undervalued  the importance and valuable support of peers,  “The extraordinarily large and consistent positive effects of feedback” (p. 9) on learning. Of course there are issues. But overall the Conditions they suggest to guide design of assessment, and the nature of feedback, have suggested some positive changes to our approaches.

In the Moodle course I am designing the challenges are to use both synchronous/asynchronous interactions to support authentic assessment and genuinely useful feedback as defined by Gibbs & Simpson (2005).

Opportunities/Challenges I see:

Project activities – much of the on-going and final assessment will be based on group projects. These will be supported by online works paces and discussion forums. The challenge here is to give meaningful feedback to the groups. I am thinking of a weekly synchronous check-in with each group (5-6 students) to look at their progress, answer questions.. because I am looking for analysis of issues, and these are very self-directed projects. It gets down to what technology is best suited to assessing what knowledge or skills, and I am still exploring this.

Gibbs, G. and Simpson, C. (2005).  “Conditions under which assessment supports students’ learning.” Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Retrieved from: http://www.open.ac.uk/fast/pdfs/Gibbs%20and%20Simpson%202004-05.pdf

Jenkins, M. (2004).  “Unfulfilled Promise: formative assessment using computer-aided assessment.” Learning and Teaching in Higher Education , i, 67-80. retrieved from: http://resources.glos.ac.uk/tli/lets/journals/lathe/issue1/index.cfm

The TLT Group. “Seven Principles” Collection of Ideas for Teaching and Learning with Technology.  Retrieved from: http://www.tltgroup.org/Seven/Library_TOC.htm.

I find many of the issues around assessment parallel issues around research design and validity. Like assessment research needs to address the actual content and variables of the situation at hand – is your design actually measuring what you intend? Assessment is similar – content and construct validity is necessary. There continue to be so many of these objective assessments sent from the top by governments and organizations that do not measure the desired learning outcomes and skills that have been recommended by the NSTA: http://www.nsta.org/publications/nses.aspx – just for one example, or are being taught in a curriculum that is increasingly constructivist in nature.


Social Software:  I looked at four different social software sites: Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Delicious. Most of the sites have individual retention on your content for world wide IP rights; ie. content is shared by members. Google and Yahoo monitor and remove offensive content but take no responsibility for it. Google, FB and Yahoo retain world wide rights to any content on the site, but claim no ownership. There are ads on all the sites.

I am not sure I would use these sites for students, as there is access to third party sites over which no controls are in place, they take no responsibility for offensive content. Using a private Google doc or wiki would work much better because it is closed to these connections – otherwise there are too many privacy issues. For older students Delicious is a very useful site and could be a good addition to a course if there were guidelines in place. It is an excellent site for them to learn to organize and archive information, share it with their group or the world, they can generate a set of links as a group for a project.

Social Media

I find my interest being peaked by the topics in this module. Being primarily philosophical – in a post-epistemological way – I am very interested in the forces at work changing the nature of learning and education. The whole open source, open content model, the Web. 2.0 capacities and the incredible creativity and generosity shown by the web based community in generating so much content and knowledge that can be accessed. Really the school building is starting to look like an archeological artifact from the middle ages. As a principal I have been reflecting in the last few years on my increasing dissatisfaction with my school, the Board, how we educate our students, and the seeming irrelevance of everything that we do with our students. Everyone talks about lack of focus, poor skills, lack of engagement as if it is all the kids fault. Maybe some is, but much of it is in reaction to a format and structures and methods that no longer make much sense. I have done lots of work with experiential education, out on the land, Science Fairs… and though not ideal, the level of engagement and learning in these situations is so different that I have really been wondering over the past few years about what kinds of alternatives are out there, or can be created??? Students in these situations are very high energy, happy, focused, engaged, learning easily in a social-cultural situation without any artificial constructs or constraints. In the act of working on projects that will be seen by members of the public, their families, the government, other schools – the level of commitment skyrockets, and simultaneously clearly the level of expectations are just naturally higher without question on the part of teachers and administrators – and the students themselves.


MODULE 4 UNIT 9 Social Media and Learning

Alexander, B. (2006). Web 2.0: A new wave of innovation for teaching and learning? EDUCAUSE Review, 41(2), 34-44.  Retrieved from: http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ERM0621.pdf

Wesch, M. (2007). A Vision of Students Today (& What Teachers Must Do). retrieved from: http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2008/10/a-vision-of-students-today-what-teachers-must-do/

Wesch, M. (2007). Web 2.0. The Machine is Us/ing Us: Web 2.0 in just under 5 minutes.  retrieved from:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLlGopyXT_g

Mabrito, M., Medley, R.  (2008). Why Professor Johnny Can’t Read: Understanding the Net Generation’s Texts.  Innovate.  4(6),  August/September.  Retrieved from: hhttp://www.innovateonline.info/pdf/vol4_issue6/Why_Professor_Johnny_Can’t_Read-__Understanding_the_Net_Generation’s_Texts.pdf


Clearly  Web 2.0 and all these technologies have great potential… but there is more than just online community… need to explored all aspects of inter-relationship as sites of learning.. I was quite blown away by this video – ‘Hip Hop  or Shakespeare’ as a model not only of educational creativity, but as a clear example of the self-organizing capabilities of the population to generate meaning and meaningful learning and knowledge outside of conventional structures of ‘education.’ It is not that students/youth lack any interest or motivation or skill, it seems that there is plenty of that but it flowers and emerges in another contexts, another plane of relating… that I think has left many of our schools behind.

TED Hip-Hop & Shakespeare?

Hip Hop or Shakespeare?

Akala – Comedy Tragedy History

The questions raised here are the questions that need to be asked, researched and used to generate policy, and change the whole approach to education or the industrial model, copyright law and other structures of political paranoia are going to wiggle their way even farther into the school system; and the students are going to become progressively more alienated from this whole process that is ‘school learning’. I hear rumours that many “educational services” – whatever those are – are being contracted out to for-profit companies in the states now – to get ‘results’….ensure efficiency….get maximum returns for investment…..

The questions Akala asks are critical: “what is the purpose of education? what are we educating students for – in a time when the success of a society is primarily based on the knowledge and skills in the MIND… and finally “who is the custodian of knowledge – who is allowed to generate and own knowledge??” The answers to these questions have such large socio-cultural-political implications – it is scary.

The other very interesting quality of this video is its ‘metaphorical’ structure.. a great deal of new insight is generated by combining two radically different domains and seeing how they cross – fertilize each other.. the need to acknowledge the “wisdom of the crowd” – Wikipedia, You tube, blogs, political movements on blogs and twitter….huge social development and community mapping projects all done outside the business, commercial, wage economic structures….

Technology in Education…. here’s how it looks right now.. from Discovery magazine RSS feed….

Educational Technology wordle





Clay Shirky “Ontology is overrated: Categories, Links and Tags:


Brilliant! I loved this exploration of the biases inherent in categorization of any kind… and this is general comment on the structure of knowledge as well.. how disciplines are defined, how categories are ‘evaluated’.. this exploration of potential of spontaneous, non-directed, free association as a mechanism for sorting will be interesting to follow… of course there is the media and the social cultural context…..user generated content, organization, filtering, distribution.. a whole new system outside the conventional information distribution systems…





The Ecstasy of Influence:  A plagiarism
By Jonathan Lethem  February 2007

All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated. . . .

—John Donne


on the historical realities of the sharing of ideas, the endless mash-up, creative re-use; creative borrowing and re-imagining, multiple authorship – it’s all about the metaphorical process  – putting the disparate together – and getting something new. in history, literature, art, science, math. culture, languages…ideas belong to everyone….copyright as it is currently legally conceived seems naive, is so outdated….everything in his article has been begged, borrowed or stolen???

MODULE 4  Unit 10: Personal Publishing and Social Networks

Downes, S. (2004).  Educational Blogging.  Educause Review.  September/October 2004

Fisch, K. (2007). “Blogging: In Their Own Words,”The Fischbowl. Retrieved from: http://thefischbowl.blogspot.com/2007/06/blogging-in-their-own-words.html

Fisch Video on Classroom blogging:

Blogging in their own Words

At this point I am thinking that blogging has great potential in K-12 education. I was blown away by the Fisch video where students were genuinely engaged in discussing ideas, and loved the possibilities of extending the learning outside the classroom time and space, and appreciated generating meaning with peers. A great example of scaffolding the skills needed to engage in the wider social media world but starting the learning experience in a private space.

Even in the artificial school environment students get this guided practice – and hopefully get a small taste of the experience of “meaningfully engaging in a learning community” – as Downes talks about – actually reading with intent, interest, question, even pleasure – and eventually some will click into their interests and off they go – into the wider cyberspace, some will get an authentic experience of engaging with other peoples ideas. So what if blogging isn’t for everyone…at least everyone has an introduction, a taste…

WISDOM of the CROWD: I now appreciate the incredible creative power of ‘the crowd’ in all the social media like Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, Delicious, Wikispaces and on and on – there seems to be an indication of a different social order emerging that is entirely outside the economic determinants of the capitalist system – so much content generated just on the basis of interest, generosity, curiosity, passion and commitment – with no monetary return in many cases. I ended up supporting Wikipedia this winter because I value what they do… I never actually knew they had to fund-raise to keep going.

Alexander, B. (2006) Web 2.0: A new wave of innovation for teaching and learning? EDUCAUSE Review, 41(2), 34-44.  Retrieved from: http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ERM0621.pdf

Wesch, M. (2007) A Vision of Students Today (& What Teachers Must Do). Retrieved from: http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2008/10/a-vision-of-students-today-what-teachers-must-do/

Web 2.0. The Machine is Us/ing Us: Web 2.0 in just under 5 minutes.  Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLlGopyXT_g

I love the quote from Michael Wesch that the classrooms are “now enveloped by a cloud of ubiquitous digital information where knowledge is made, not found, and authority is continually negotiated through discussion and participation.” It is almost like the school system is blind, not seeing the reality right on front of it, in it, around it…this needs to change in some way that makes sense and gives some structure to the knowledge that needs to be communicated regarding the culture… but open to critical re-negotiation.

A very comprehensive list of web 2.0 apps….:   http://www.go2web20.net/

Lamb, B. (2007). Dr. Mashup; or, Why Educators Should Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the Remix. EDUCAUSE Review, 42(4), 12–25.  http://www.educause.edu/ER/EDUCAUSEReviewMagazineVolume42/DrMashuporWhyEducatorsShouldLe/161747

Henry Jenkins.  “Spoilers, Bloggers, Modders and Thieves: Empowered Consumption in an Age of Media Convergence.”  New Media Consortium Conference, 2004.  UBC.  

Why the government and education need to get together and make some coherent policies!

UNIT 11: Rip Remix Feed – Creative Mashups

50 ways to tell a story – It was great having the opportunity to explore all the different programs on the Web. I would have liked to have more time for this assignment of creating a digital story. I did a lot of exploring online and I was very interested in learning animation after checking out some of the incredible stories. My focus is on First Nations Education at this time, and I really wanted to animate one of the many legends. I thought the Raven Tales to be a really great example of technology being able to bring the traditional language and culture, beliefs and visions to life using animations. so much potential there. I know Isuma has a well developed program and present their animated cartoons using the traditional language primarily – not English – and they are amazing. The NFB has also done some really charming animations of old Inuit tales:

The OWL and the RAVEN

Raven Tales: Bald Eagle


Lamb, B. (2007). Dr. Mashup; or, Why Educators Should Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the Remix. EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 42, no. 4 (July/August 2007): 12–25.  Retrieved from:  http://www.educause.edu/ER/EDUCAUSEReviewMagazineVolume42/DrMashuporWhyEducatorsShouldLe/161747



 Digital Learning Objects in the Classroom.

Despite the lack of research in the integration of technology into learning  environments, Janson & Janson (2009) explore the positives and negatives of the use of Digital Learning Objects. They define a DLO as “any digital resource that can be used to assist learning” (Wiley (2000) cited p.1)

There are clear advantages: simulations allow for students to manipulate many variables in controlled and less costly situations than the real situation would entail; the DLO can aid students to visualize complex processes in science and math in particular; students can experiment and work through learning tasks with immediate feedback; and finally DLO’s can represent concepts and relations in a variety of ways in order to assist a variety of learning styles.  These objects can support scientific questioning, experimenting and analysis through supporting ‘authentic’ skills of the domain.

From ICT in Science DLO site: “Many of the learning objects also provide meaningful models, simulations and demonstrations of scientific concepts and practices. These provide teachers and students with experiences that are not universally available because, for example, they require expensive equipment or occur over extended periods of time.” Being a math and science teacher, I have started a Delicious stack on DLOs, that I hope will be useful for future course design.


Several excellent repositories are:



3D Macromolecular structural models:


Sciencecourseware.com: http://www.sciencecourseware.com/

Le@rning Federation: http://econtent.thelearningfederation.edu.au/ec/p/home


As Janson & Janson reported in their study, the use of DLO’s in the classroom helped science teachers in particular who struggled with the lack of proper laboratory equipment. The other side of this however, is that many smaller, poorly equipped schools have bandwidth issues, and as Boyes, Dowie and Rumzan (2005) point out many  of these complex animated and Flash objects require good bandwidth for reasonable download times. Mmm – the double edged sword again!

One thing is clear – that technology integration works best as a grassroots initiative, depends on peer mentorship and information sharing – on going PD is needed to support teachers not only with their skills, but also with strategies – how best does this technology support this specific learning task or objective?