Friday, May 19, 2006

Prensky Revisited

e-Learning Summit day 2. Marc Prensky is the morning keynote speaker. I've blogged previously about how I've seen him several times during the past two years. He uses pictures of his son in his presentations so I feel like I've been watching him grow up. Here are a few of my favorite lines from his presentation:
  • "Email is for old people." - Student
  • "When will all this change END?!" Of course it won't, get over it.
  • 50% of the people in the world are under 25 years old. There was only one person in the audience who was under 25 (not quite 50%).
  • Learning feels like work to some people, but it feels like play when you are engaged or motivated.
  • "Whenever I go to school I have to 'power down'" - student
  • "You have to slow down when you're talking to teachers." - student
  • "The cookies on my daughter's computer know more about her interests than her teachers do." - Henry Kell, President, AFS
  • "Disrespecting each other (teachers and students) is the root of our problems." Prensky
  • "When you add an instructional designer, they suck the fun out!" - video game maker
Accoring to Prensky: Four reasons why educators are having problems
  1. the world is changing
  2. students are changing
  3. engagement is changing
  4. engagement is more important than content

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Warlick and Literacy

David Warlick was the opening keynote today at the Minnesota e-Learning Summit at Augsburg College. I've been a fan of his blog for the past six months and was very much looking forward to hearing him speak. I was curious about whether his presentation style was as compelling as his writing style. I was absolutely not disappointed (which I guess is my own convoluted way of saying he was terrific).

His first presentation was about our need to redefine literacy for the 21st century. In particular, he says that reading needs to be expanded into exposing the truth or exposing knowledge, and that arithmetic is expanding into employing information, and writing is expanding into expressing ideas compellingly.

His second session was all about Web 2.0. Warlick does a great job because he doesn't just talk to (or at) his audience, he demonstrates the applications and he involves the audience in ways that they will remember long after the session ends. I was hoping to be blogging during his session but there is no wireless available in the Augsburg Chapel (when are these churches going to enter the 21st century? sheesh!) I guess you could say I am blogging during the session since I am writing this in the Firefox extension called Performancing, but I have to wait until I get to the hotel to post it.

I spoke briefly with David after the second session. Since I like to make similar presentations about Web 2.0 I was comparing what he does with what I do (and believe me, he is better). It is particularly troubling to me that the most important tool of all is the hardest to make look easy and yet still show the power that it has. I'm speaking of RSS. I'm going to take my best shot at putting together some presentation materials that demonstrate RSS without scaring away the non-geeks.

I thought the first day of the Summit was terrific, and I'm the most critical person I know.

Tags: Warlick redefine literacy blogging session

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Learning Mandarin

Learning Mandarin - OR NOT!! Here's a two minute (plus) recording of a newbie (me) trying to speak Mandarin in preparation for my trip next week. I don't want to be one of those ugly Americans who knows nothing about their culture or their language, but so far I am not making very good progress. I'll certainly be listening to the Chinese language podcasts on the 16-hour flight. Click on the title link to play the mp3 file. BTW, I'm sure I'm not pronouncing everything correctly, but at least I'm trying.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Planning a Skypecast

I'm heading for China with a delegation from St. Cloud State from May 24 - June 4. As a Skype user, I plan to keep in touch with the family that way while I'm gone. I haven't yet tried their new Skypecasts, but I'm thinking that it could be a fun way of connecting with several friends and co-workers for a little update on how things are going on the trip (they say you can have a 100 online at the same time...but I only have three friends).

Although this is subject to change, right now I'm planning to give it a shot at about 9:30 AM central time on either Tuesday or Wednesday, May 30/31. If you're not a Skype user, create your own free account and get a PC microphone. You don't need to have a webcam for video, but I'll be using one from China (if all goes well). More details later.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

What Others are Saying

I'm too busy this week to post my own thoughts (or maybe I just don't have any), so I'll just point you to some of the most interesting things I've read in the past 24 hours. Later, gators. BD