Monday, November 21, 2011

Great Post: "Learning a New Language 140 Characters at a Time"

What a fabulous way to engage language learners in a language class. The students were asked to find and follow a person on Twitter who writes in the language being studied.
The student is not only stretched to learn more language to understand the tweets, but has a personal, real-life context.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Inaugaral Desmond Tutu Peace Lecture

There have been two occasions for viewing media in the middle of the night. The first was during Desert Storm, when I hoped to catch a glimpse of my brother during the war coverage, and the other was early this am, to witness the meeting of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Reverend Archbishop Tutu, two Nobel Peace Prize awardees (Tutu in 1984, the Dalai in 1898).

What an opportunity to see how the digital world overcomes distance and circumstance to unite people. While the Dalai Lama was denied a visa to visit South Africa on the event of his friend Desmond Tutu's birtday, the two were able to dialogue across the world in Google Plus. My Tweet posts on this event are at the right side of this blog.

Like many, I felt so fortunate to "attend". LOL. Even though it meant getting up at 2 am.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wonderful Video on Multimedia and Brain Rules

Tricia Rand presented at Colorado Mountain College's Faculty Day on Sat. both as the keynote and a workshop provider.

Look at this wonderful video she made to illustrate use of media for effective learning:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pamela Call Recorder, Powergamo Choices for Skype Interviews

Had an interview scheduled today using Skype to phone. We hoped to save the files to .wav for editing in Audacity. I looked at ProGamo, though I had used a free version of Pamela before.

I downloaded the basic version of Powergamo and soon learned that it would not allow an export of Skype to phone on the free version. So I downloaded the Professional version to find out I now needed to register (purchase) it. I wasn't keen on paying $34 for a license I might use once, so I went over to Pamela.

Pamela cost about $20 for a version that allows exports that does not limit the recording time. (The free version does allow 15 minute recordings).

The screen information did say it was not available for Mac though (I was on my PC.) Skype automatically records to MP3, though you can set options to other file types, which we did (.wav). I did have to pay a few cents per minute to call from Skype to the phone.

So we proceeded. I called her phone to phone to review the script at no cost. We then went to Skype to phone and recorded.

Glad to know we have that part of the work in the bag--now it's in the editor's hands. What was so great about this interview was the expertise shared by the guest which will definitely add a practioner's viewpoint to the theory.

While you may be asking why we both weren't on Skype, this is just to say we were not, and I appreciated the guests time, however we might connect and benefit from this exchange.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cathy Davidson's video on "attention deficit" has been making the rounds. She states that in cases where people are asked to pay attention to certain things, they may miss other items in the same evironment. The extension to the digital age? Even with focus, we may miss things. Having the ability to focus is a needed skill. Additionally, having archived media lets us review events for what we may have missed.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Education as a Workforce Sector and Its Competitive Idea

This slideshare showed up in Twitter today, shared by Jane's colleague Jay Cross ( It's Jane Hart's presentation to an education conference in South Africa.

I am a big Jane Hart and Internet Time Alliance fan. Their work makes so much sense, and I'm using two of their books in a grad course I currently teach. I've also joined Jane's list of professionals in the field--which brings me to a point. When you sign up at her site, she asks that educators sign onto one list, and Learning and Development Professionals (non-educational practioners, the dark side, for profit, business...). I have puzzled over this some as I work on both sides, but the real reason for the puzzlement is that education (pre-service, higher-ed, P - 20) are all members of a broad workforce sector, one who also sends future employees into the world.

If our current time is the "Conceptual Age" (See Dan Pink's Work:,  and our competitive edge is the use of ideas to provide the best that can be had, then education's preparation of learners who go forth in the 21st Century is the Competitive Idea. For this reason,  I am glad to see that she presented to this venue.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Organizational Trust and Social Media for Work

The Criticality of Trust 
As we continue exploration of new work, collaboration, and the technologies that develop these practices, our course reading in the Working Smarter Fieldbook 2011 emphasizes the importance of trust relationships--"competence trust" and "compliance trust" (p. 278). The foundation for collaboration is trust, foundational to the use of the tools. These types of trust display themselves in how top leaders support and expect middle managers to allow the use of social media tools by work groups, and the empowerment of several levels of an organization to manage or create content in the social-media environments. A condition of social media investment in an organization should also be justified by the results produced. (This summary is drawn from pp. 277 - 282).

Tools the Authors Share for Various Collaborative Purposes. These are the exact titles of the rich categories most certainly worth exploring (pp. 284 - 291).

  • Brainstorming
  • Mind Mapping
  • Collaborative Authoring 
  • Collaborative Reviewing
  • Collaborative Reflection 
  • Collaborative Commenting
  • Collaborative Annotation
  • Group Project Management
  • Collaborative Course Design and Development
  • Collaborative Learning

About Blogs
Tasks for this week are to create a blog and a wiki. I had used Blogger, explored Typepad, and returned to Posterous, thinking is would be the easiest of all. After mucking around in Posterous, I returned to my oldest choice, Blogger to write remarks for the class.

Aspects I like about Blogger: I can post to it from email, can quite easily embed video and photos in it, and easily push a post out to Twitter. I also like that the admin can add up to 100 authorized contributers. This makes it easy to share the voices that can contribute posts.

One of the drawbacks I have experienced when we moved Blogger onto a server at work was that we could only import the old templates, and not the new ones which allow the user to add a lot of widgets.
Perhaps this has changed.

An interesting blog article that showed up in Twitter this week was "Secrets of Bloggerhood" The post mentions a key component of popularity: exclusion. What does this negative word choice have to do with attracting readers to a blog? Good blog practices can capitalize on a synonym: selectivity of audience and selectivity of content for that audience.

About Wikis:
As for group work, the author for this section offers these insights: "...collaboration is the secret sauce of innovation....Conceptual work is inherently collaborative"(p. 314)

The description of wiki as a "group-editable website" and Google docs as "page-at-a-time wiki"(p. 315) are very helpful.

I am familiar with PBwiki, wikispaces, and wikimedia. Personally, I found PBwiki easiest to use a collaborative tool to support a face-to-face professional development event for adult educators:

The Wiki Matrix site helps you compare various features of wiki products and services:

The Data Elephant on the Table

I've been working on two evaluation reports for the past two weeks. These involve examining evidence that supports goals set by the grants awarded for educational innovation. The agency does say that whether the innovation succeeds or does not succeed, that partners should capture the data because it can save others steps if they implement something similar at a future time.

What has come to my attention is the unease at questions raised as participants look at their data. The questions raised by examining their data are valuable ones and offer the opportunity for improvement of their project in process.

In thinking about the reaction, it seems to come from the usual experience of being required to submit data for compliance, for agencies who provide funding, with the concern that anything the falls short of the named goal will result in some sort of penalty.

Many Ways to Learn: 3 New Roles for Learning Professionals Driven by Web 2.0 #LCBQ

I've added this blog to my subcriptions in Google Reader. This particular post names three category of activity for Learning and Development Professionals: Personal Knowledge Manager, Content Curator, and Community Manager. The last two categories are particularly pertinent as we explore blogs and wikis in the context of social learning for the 21st Century Training Technologies Class.

Many Ways to Learn: 3 New Roles for Learning Professionals Driven by Web 2.0 #LCBQ

Monday, June 6, 2011

social media policies - Twitter Search

Having a social-media policy is a recommended practice according to Jane Hart in the Social Learning Handbook. Click here to view the multitude of posts from a Twitter search on that very subject social media policies - Twitter Search. Yes some are retweets, but click through and you'll see there is a range of posts.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Free Music for Videos: Remember How it Started? by Dano

Saw this tweet today about Dan-O Royalty Free Music. There is a wide selection to draw from.

View it here:
Free Music for Videos: Remember How it Started? by Dano

Here's how to credit use of his files:

Thanks, Dan O'Connor.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Request for L and D Learning Professionals as Guest Discussants

I am planning a grad level course to be offered this summer for Learning and Development professionals, titled 21st Century Training Technologies. The course emphases are the use of social media and social learning as complements to formal training and performance support. If you are a L and D person in the field helping companies move to such practices and would be willing to be an online or real-time discussant during the week of August 8th, would you please contact me?

There is no budget for guest discussants--thought I should share that up front. I do know there are many generous people out there...

Thanks so much,

Alice Bedard-Voorhees, PhD
The Constant Learning Organization
Twitter: ConstantLearn

Monday, March 7, 2011

The History of Jazz - a Media-Rich App on a Timeline

I've been wanting to know more about jazz and found some enthusiastic posts about the History of Jazz app on Ipad. Here it is. I bought it and as an informal learner, I'm loving it. If you were teaching a course in the history of jazz, how would you use it?

On the more analytical side, I hope these companies consider other ways to offer such wonderful resources. We are back to digital divide issues, if they don't, and that is a potential learning barrier.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

TED ED Invites You to the Revolution

At a workplace in the nineties, I used to have a tagline that said "Here for the revolution." Somewhere I drifted over to the thought that change in education would be evolutionary, that people had to move along a continuum to really change the model. Well, it just has not been happening at the pace we need.

And beyond the political news, there is once again talk of the revolution with TED's creation of an educational community. So, I'm back. Watch the video and consider the opportunity to contribute to the TED ED BrainTrust:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2011 Horizon-Report Video

NMC and Educause's Horizon Report is out. This 3:26 minute video presents the major tech trends for Higher Ed within a 1 - 5 year adoption timeline:

0-1: Mobile Devices and E-Books
2-3: Game Based Learning and Augmented Reality
4-5: Gesture-Based Computing and Learning Analytics

You can also download the pdf version here:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Why and How-To of Twitter Lists

I'm trying to become more familiar with the capacities of various tools.

Here's a good post on why use Twitter lists. This post not only provides some good reasons for creating lists, but adds detail for use once the list is established (like how to add additional Twitter Users after you've established the list:

Here's a four minute video tutorial as well:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011