Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 3 - hump day

So it is day 3 of the program and I have to say it feels like it has been more than three days. I am finding myself in a comfortable routine of classes during the day, a workout, dinner and then online activities and readings. And as a treat I have been ending the day at the Black Lounge with my new peers for beers. In terms of looking ahead beyond the time here in Calgary, I am going to try to develop a similar structure to approach my studies in the fall when working and studying. I plan to spend 2-3 evenings online and/or researching and reading from say, 7-10 and then one day on the weekend. I am hoping that setting some parameters will ensure that I still have a bit of a life!

So I have to say I am somewhat amused by the conversations regarding what we should put in the blog and what we should put in the discussion. We are the leaders in the field so we should be able to figure this out or research best practices in each of the areas. Based on my understanding of discussion forums they are exactly that; a venue for dialogue and discussion. This implies a two-way interaction of someone posting an answer to a question and critiquing or adding in some way the response. I understand blogs to be more reflective in nature more along the lines of personal journals or ways to update peers on progress in certain areas as news arises. I think Dr. Jacobsen has wisely left it to us to figure out how we use the tools. There is certainly nothing wrong with posting the same content to both but it does seem somewhat redundant.

This leads me to my next reflection, which is about the topic of proprietary tools like Blackboard versus open source ones like Blogger, etc. I think as educators it is wise to use freeware where ever possible. The only problem is that we have no guarantee that many of the currently free apps will remain so in future, that they will not radically change, or that companies like Facebook will even exist in a year or two. For many institutions it is imperative they have some commerically procured software that offers a certain guarantee in terms of quality of service and security and regular upgrades to ensure an acceptable level of service to students. So a combination of the two is likely what will work for many insitutions.

Finally, and I did mention this in a discussion forum post, I find it amusing that many of us inEd Tech considered the Leadership stream and vice-versa. From what I learned this week so far, all of us new doctoral students are involved in leadership and educational technology decisions to some degree in our roles. So what's in a stream anyway?


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