Monthly Archives: January 2010

Open Thinking {W4:Jan25-31}

No new lecture this week but that does not mean no learning from this week.

First thing is a meaningful session presented at the University of Regina on Monday, January 25th:

No Child Left Thinking: Democracy at Risk in Canadian Schools

Recently, in the Sociology of Education field, Dr. Joel Westheimer was delivered an interesting presentation with some serious thoughs regarding to Canadian education system. You could find his lecture video in Dr. Alec Couros’s blog.

This lecture is one of the session from a series named taking about schoold and soceity looks at democracy in Canadian schools. The whole lecture is mainly around a question:Is democracy at risk in Canadian schools? As an open lecture, the entire public is invited to share thoughts and idea together. As a presenter, Dr. Joel Westheimer created a relax atmosphere with humor, truly engaging audiences into the issues which are all about the future education for next Canadian generations.

2009 Halloween Lesson

Second thing is about a humor video showing a math teacher using technology deliver a  fun class in Halloween. I found this is a creative way to present education. Students might take this as a joke but if you think about it, this is actually an effective way to attract attention. Same as the other technologies we are using to present knowledge, including power-point, video conferencing, smart-board, etc. Lectures were never this colour in the past. Technologies turn education into a more direct, effective, and efficient way to teach knowledge; meantime, students are changed from passive position into an active attitude to obtain knowledge.

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Struggle with Microsoft Office Live Meeting {W3:Jan18-24}

Lately, the BC government introduced Microsoft Office Live meeting into employees’ daily business. This is such a powerful tool to collaborate employees and contractors who are located in different places, which I totally agree. In the past, we used to travel a LOT to communicate with local contractors in BC. That was a task not only for time but also for money. Employees tend to get tired easily and could not just focus on works, especially when you have to attend several meetings in various locations within multiple days in a row.

And then due to economic downturn and financial difficulty, we start to have more con call meetings to replace travels which intended to reduce budget. This helped for a while because it did cut an extremely amount of travel cost to get things done; however, it came with its own costs, which is lack of communication between parties in different locations. Apparently, when people are unable to see each other including eye contact, tones, and body languages, it is kinda hard to deliver the right meaning or get an agreement effectively.

And now, introducing Microsoft Office Live Meeting….

We installed this Live Meeting to solve all the problems, well at least I hope so. We have been using this new technology for about 2-month now. Everyone seems to be supper excited at the beginning because it is such a great upgrade that you could actually see your co-workers who works in different regions in a formal way. Having eye contacts, being able to see the laughs, and exchanging body languages is just the most beautiful thing you have even seen. That being said, you probably have a question mark in your mind and want to ask me, if this is a such a great tool, then why you are struggling with it? well, every new thing has its challenge side. This new technology brings possibility to the work and also jokes. Last week we had a live meeting with all the employees in the branch, including  total 120 people and covering 5-region.  In the meeting, whoever is talking the camera will automatically locate your face and central it on the screen so that every attendant could see you when you are talking, which makes totally sense. but the Polucom and Camera are so sensitive that when someone is coughing, pork eyes/nose, eating and drinking, moving chars or even writing, it will follow the sounds and capture you right away. This has been embarrassed lots of people and everyone is just pay extra attention on the screen to see who is doing what instead of thinking about the business itself.

Maybe I make this a big deal or maybe this is just common pheromone of new tech that it will go away once people get used to it, I don’t know. But while technology developing, more and more equipments are available for communication and learning, potential users at the same time also need to be educated. Tools are only the vehicle and people is always the one who driving the society to the future.

ps: I get a question for anyone who knows live meeting better than I do:

so far, we get the living meeting connected with outlook. Once an organizer send out a live meeting invitation, whoever get invited could be in that live meeting, no question there. but is that true that only the organizer could be able to share its desktop in the meeting? we tried to let one attendant share its desktop to do demo but failed. If there is a way, please let me know.

Thanks in advance.

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Thinking about online learning development {W2:Jan11-17}

Reading among the ed-tech bloggers’ postings and our EDCI339’s lectures, I just start to think about how fast online learning has developed and how much it has changed compared to 10 years ago.

I found a comment that George Siemens had on Stephen Downes’s paper – The Future of Learning: Ten Years On. Just for curiosity, I glanced at the contents of the paper and realized that we don’t normally see the changes as we are the part of it. If any of you have interests, please go check.

The paper kinda included all the changes we have been through around online learning. 10 years ago, we don’t even have enough computer for each student in a class, try to learn how to use computer to type and read, and worried about bandwidth usage; look at now, it not only reading materials are able to access online, but also the whole lectures are available online. Even if you are living at cities on the other side of the earth, you can still take EDCI339 and view Valerie’s lectures and talk to peers via skype. 10 years ago, video conference was only a concept in science fiction movie;but look at now, not only polucom is wild used, but also multi-access learning becomes unstoppable force. As an university student, using learning management systems, such as moodle and blackboard, is a basic requirement for obtain daily information…

As various software being available in education, I think it is still important to focus on the essence of education, which is the teaching and learning part.  Interaction and communication is simple to say but hard to do. and I guess that is how new technologies are important to implement in online education to smooth the changing process and make people feel like education in the way they have always had. It must be interesting to have the other kind of courses in online learning format, such as math, economics, and science; but I guess this could be in the future. I am looking forward to see our online education in 10 years later. What will it be like…

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Hello, EDCI 339! {W1:Jan4-10}

This is the very first time using WordPress, while actually, this is the very first time to hear this site. I have to say, it is impressive. WordPress is clear on categories directions. This will be so much fun to play and learn with all of you who get involved in EDCI 339. As Valerie said, we have such a wild range of students in this class. I look forward to learn and share awesome technologies with you.

Cheers

Shuai

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Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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