Saturday, January 11, 2003

Another post from Atlanta.

Earliler this week, while making my way from Calgary to Georgia, I happened across an article in the Circuits section of the New York Times.

Now Playing: Reality Without the Downside reports on the work being done on "virtual worlds" at
At, users can enter a virtual world as avatars, meeting to chat one on one or for group discussions around themes like movies.

Definition: Avatar: 3. A temporary manifestation or aspect of a continuing entity

Regular readers of this blog will know that I've been very interested in the collaborative and educational potential of "avatar-based" online interaction, from the first time I saw Adobe Atmosphere in action.

See the Tuesday March 19, 2002 post in the archive of this blog for more on my avatar-based experiences.

Today I had a chance to visit -- as an avatar -- with a colleague from an M.Ed. course (CTL 1799) at OISE/UT in the worlds of

Today's technical difficulties notwithstanding -- we got seperated (i.e., into different "worlds" and my colleague's computer crashed) I'm really intrigued by the opportunities this medium presents for learning.

I'm especially interested in the "social" aspects of this type of learning and how it complements other types of online collaborative communcation. As always, watch this space for details.

Friday, January 10, 2003

A post from Atlanta, GA.

I'm here after a delivering a SMART Master's session to faculty and staff of the Twiggs County Board of Education in Jeffersonville, GA. I had a great time with these educators as worked together to develop startegies to integrate SMART Board(TM) interactive whiteboards into the curriculum. As always, I learned a lot during our time together. Thanks to all!

On the way north on I-75 from Jeffersonville to Atlanta, I stopped in at the Tanger Outlet in Locust Grove, GA.

I manged to escape without buying anything -- except some food at the Denny's.

That said, there are tons of bargains to be had -- even if one takes the exchange (Canadian to US $) into account ;-)

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Two more gems from Down Under I happened across whilst looking for "holistic approaches" "technology literacy" at

Regulars readers of this blog will know that I'm most interested in "social systems" and how learners interact with technology. I remain very impressed with the work on education coming out of Australia.

Chapter Four of The New South Wales Principals' Council's Futures Project White Paper

Holistic co-operative and collegial approaches to learning, thinking and doing will occur in flexible learning environments. These approaches to learning will open up more flexible pathways, expand the range of learning tools and resources to match student needs and assessment requirements.

Recognition of learning by a variety of providers and sources will occur and this will articulate into local, national and international accreditation frameworks.

and the

South Australian Curriculum Standards and Accountability Framework
are both worth a look.

I'd previously read a course post by Dr. Karsten, my prof in CTL 1799, which read in part:

When this course was developed, the idea was to help holistic educators become more expert with computer technology. The focus has shifted now I see, as many of you are already adept technically and want to know more about holistic concepts.

Hence my search terms. I'm really interested in how technology and holistic education work in an online environment. I think the danger of technology for technology's sake in online education is a very real one. What is it you need to do, or what would you like to learn? Rather than what can technology do for me?

I believe strongly in the notion of the 'net as a tool for the constructivist learner and thank the good practioners and theorists of Australia for the implements.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Thanks to Dr. Selia Karsten for including -- 18. Eisenberg, Michael B. and Doug Johnson. "Learning and Teaching Information Technology Computer Skills in Context". Eric Digest. (September 2002): in the 1799readinglist 2003.

Michael B. Eisenberg and Doug Johnson have produced a fantastic paper. One I'd recommend as required reading for consumers, developers, educators, integrators, indeed all stakeholders of 'net-based learning.

The curriculum outlined on pages 2-3 of this ERIC Digest, "Technology Skills for Information Problem Solving," demonstrates how technology literacy skills can fit within an information literacy skills context (American Association of School Librarians, 1998). The baseline information literacy context is the Big6 process (see sidebar and Eisenberg & Berkowitz, 1988, 1992, 1999, 2000).

I'd say they deliver the goods. . . and then some.

A blueprint for individual and collective 'net-based knowledge building where all stakeholders address learning needs in a "self-serve"; "do-it-yourself"; "constructivist" fashion.

Happy Learning!

Monday, January 06, 2003

A post to recognize the bang-up job Martha Symington did this morning on A-Channel Calgary's Big Breakfast.

Her interview with Dave Kelly was the highlight of my morning. She looked great and did a marvelous job on the interview. She was well prepared and it showed. Nice to see a loved one do well.

She's been in the local news recently as the National Manager of Human Resources for Bennett Jones. A law firm with headquarters in Calgary and offices in Edmonton and Toronto.

The firm was recognized as one of The 50 best companies to work for - in Canada, by the Globe and Mail's Report on Business Magazine.

Sunday, January 05, 2003

This post marks the first anniversary of the Learning Diary.

Hard to believe it's been a year since I started this blog.

After a year I'm convinced of the value of blogging -- it is a great medium for those recording progress on any subject or activity.

I look forward to continuing this blog and am content to let it evolve "naturally."

As always, watch this space for details.