Before the trash bin in the sky

Are you a fan of cleaning out? I love throwing stuff away. Not in a wasteful way; I just believe that a clear space equals a clear mind, which is all the better to think with. And this process brings me to today’s post:

There have been several drafts pending in my WordPress site. These bug me. They stem from a well-intentioned methodology: sometimes I have a post idea, but cannot blog-it-out at that very moment. So I draft the post, include a title, and insert a link and some comments to finish at another moment. Most are finished. But a few are not and the post loses its timeliness. However, I cannot bring myself to delete these draft ideas without sharing the cliff notes first:

  • 2010/11/12 To-have-been-titled “Foster asynchronus discussion using Twitter” For those professors who are interested in engaging students with technology, Julie Melonioffers advice in The Chronicle on that very subject. Be sure to pay attention to Mr. Stolley’s quote in the article; I value his perspective. Meloni goes on to steer faculty in the direction of online discussion threads, social networking sites, blogs, and course management systems. I do not endorse Meloni’s suggestion to utilize e-mail lists, however. I feel they do not facilitate discussion as well as the previously mentioned tools. For instance, a course Twitter feed would foster asynchronous discussion between students and teachers, while allowing for the integration of outside sources. Additionally – the tweets would always be there, rather than scattered in someone’s Inbox.
  • 2010/11/30 To-have-been-titled “Collaboration with Physics Department” Meloni’s advice inferred my thinking going into a meeting with the WFU Physics faculty about collaboration opportunities. I got the meeting by proposing some ideas to Rick Matthews after learning about JOVE. I even made a Prezi to stay on track. I ended up not using it due to room set up; however, having made it helped me explain my thoughts in an organized manner. It also prepared me for the ensuing faculty discussion.
  • 2010/12/21 To-have-been-titled “Virtual Symposium: Visual Cities/Digital Histories” A few of us watched the recorded session Visual Cities/Digital Histories today. We chose to view Chris Speed of the Edinburgh College of Arttalk about his projects Walking Through Time andTale of Things. The point of his projects are to bring “ghosts” to life-ghosts as in stories, monuments, and streets lost through time. He discussed that cities have ghosts, but when we walk through metropolitan areas, we tend to bypass the ghosts. His projects make these ghosts a focal point again.
  • 2010/12/21 To-have-been-titled “Coming of age as the Internet did” This post reflects on my life through the lens of actually coming of age in tandem with the Internet. I aim to eventually finish this, and include some relevant research to make sure my assumptions are accurate.
  • 2011/2/18 To-have-been-titled “College president on Twitter, YouTube” Check outJohn Maeda,president of the Rhode Island School of Design, onThe Chronicle. John has over141,000 followers on Twitter, a significant presence onYouTube, and has given a number of TED talks. His ability to cultivate a presence on the web to share his message has impressed me. What if more university presidents utilized these mediums to foster relationships, share insight, and reach out to students? It would make them more available to, and perhaps even improve their standing with, their constituents. A video blog just twice a month answering student questions would provide an easy-to-access channel of communication. It doesn’t have to be on the wild west of Facebook, but could be accessed via student media or the university website.

These items made a blip on my radar. Now it’s time to empty the trash bin, and make sure I’ll never have to do one of these postings again.

Emerging Technologies Talk: Location-Based Applications

“Have you been hearing the buzz about location-based applications such as Gowalla, Facebook Places, or Foursquare, but unsure of how to best utilize them? Learn about the services location-based applications provide and how to take advantage of them in the university setting. We will engage in trying out some of the applications, as well as seeing how they can foster connectedness within the campus community. After the presentation we will have time to experiment with the different applications.”

This morning I gave an Emerging Technologies Talk on Location-Based Applications. Around 25 people attended, the audience participated, and I received positive feedback afterward. Attendees commented it was “very informative,” and others held back to ask additional questions! Best of all, most seemed likely to try out an application after leaving.

View the TechTalk visual aid:

Sources and links addressed during the presentation:

Watch the self-critique:

If you would like more information on Location-Based Applications, consultation on how to best use them in your classroom, workplace, or general environment, don’t hesitate to contact me. I would enjoy helping you develop and implement your idea.

On the Quad: Collaboration

Monday afternoon I took to the quad to see what our very own Wake Forest students think about collaboration. (Recorded with my very own Cisco Flip Video camcorder, I might add.)

Here’s what they had to say:

Emerging TechTalk

This morning, Lauren Pressley and I gave an Emerging TechTalk on using video in the classroom. We met in one of the Starbucks study rooms, and 4 people attended. It was an interesting talk, and the smaller group afforded us the luxury of opening up the presentation for more discussion. My main talking points covered ways other universities are utilizing video, and applications of video here at Wake. I created this Prezi as an outline:

Seen in the Prezi above, this article on NYU’s move to post some of its introductory courses online offers some unique ideas. Anyone can access the free video versions, while only NYU students will be able to access certain versions for their courses, which have added content and supplemental exercises. This commentary in The Chronicle calls for higher education to not only recognize, but to utilize to the fullest, the Internet’s potential. Duke’s CIT Blog notes how video captures more personal feelings and thoughts that perhaps do not come across in more traditional scholarly endeavors.

Lauren discussed specific clients for collaborating with chat and video, such as Google Chat, Skype, and Cisco’s WebEx. Check out Lauren’s delicious list of these pages–and more–for additional information. It is worthwhile to explore integrating them into the classroom. We demonstrated some of WebEx’s features, such as the benefits of meetings, video and voice chat, sharing your desktop, and editing a document. Lauren particularly likes the whiteboard feature; I find desktop sharing pretty cool.