Category: Global Education

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Preliminary Personal Responses to the 2014 Higher Education Edition Horizon Report

Though I won’t have time until this summer to deeply explore the 2014 Horizon Report which I alluded to in an earlier post, I wanted to share some initial reactions here:

  1. I concur with the Report’s assertion of the growing ubiquity of social media. The challenge for me is to find the right balance between the kinds of deep thinking which I believe “more traditional teaching methods” correctly implemented can foster and an ability to capitalize on the enabling capabilities of social media for producing, communicating,creating, and collaborating.  I don’t find that my present institution has the appropriate classroom infra-structure for leveraging these social media tools within the physical classroom and traditional class-room meeting time.
  2. I agree with the Report’s suggestion that that it is inevitable that higher education must allow and facilitate an integration of online, hybrid, and collaborative learning.
  3. Though I have always been interested in “adaptive” learning and personalizing the learning  environment, I find the promises of “an emerging science of learning analytics” overblown, premature, and creepy in terms of degrees of invasion of privacy.
  4. I applaud and embrace the identified trend of students as creators rather than merely as consumers though I would urge that one not lose sight of the importance of quality control of their products.
  5. I concur that the time is ripe for university programs to support aggressively “agile, lean  startup models” that promote a culture of innovation in a more wide-spread, cost-effective way as long as there are built in assessment procedures which validly document the weaknesses and strengths of these (maybe) new approaches. Too often I have seen institutions chase after the latest educational fad and fail to benefit from organizational memory of prior, similar failed ventures.
  6. For me, online learning is a useful complement rather than a viable alternative to most forms of face-to-face learning. As I’ve written earlier, I regularly and increasingly use “nontraditional” learning tools to supplement my personal professional development and my digital literacy. I am still sorting out, however,  how to embed and assess that literacy among my students.  In what venues I should foster those kinds of skills and intrude them to top learning tools. I am increasing wary of a “digital divide” that ironically exists between K-12 and higher education instructors with the latter—and their students—being the more deficient!

What do you think? I’m also interested in readers’ suggestions about what I should write:

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My Top 10 Personal Learning Resources—Always in Flux

A common theme I’ve encountered in a number of meetings and informal conversations with faculty, staff, students, trustees, and alumni is a growing awareness of the rapidity of change in higher education—in how we teach, in how we learn, in from whom we learn, in where we learn, and even in in what times of the day and night we learn!  These concerns are addressed well by the new learning avenues explored by the shared online learning insights of Debbie Morrison on the distinction between the creation of personal learning experiences (PLE’s)  and personal learning networks (PLN’s) . I am also increasingly influenced by the  “the learning flow” concept advanced by Jane Hart.

Even as I proctor an exam while writing this blog post I am learning online—checking my Twitter account especially for posts by

  1. Julie Lindsay,
  2. Jane Hart,
  3. Michael Sheehan,
  4. Michelle Pacansky-Brock,
  5. “brian@ieducator,”
  6. Richard Byrne,
  7. edutopia,
  8. the GlobalChronicle,
  9. the NYTimesLearningNetwork,
  10. Silvia Tolisano.

Thank you, fellow educators across the world for all you share and how you teach and inspire me. Teaching and learning clearly are not constrained to the classroom.

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Thinking Horizontally

Just started reading the  NMC Horizon Report 2014 Higher Education Edition.

A pdf overview can be found here, though the report is well worth reading in its rich entirety.

Much to ponder here—and to compare with the 2013 K-12 report which guides the FlatConnections Project.

I am impressed by the expertise and global breadth of the 2024 Expert panel (and flattered that one of them chose to follow my Twittering). In my judgment one missing expert is Jane Hart.

To be continued…

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My World Continues to Expand as It Shrinks

A package from an educator friend, Inci Aslan,  in Turkey who is the principal investigator of an Etwinning project I closely follow
,an email from Luis Miguel Miñarro, an educator in Spain with an accompanying  link to an animoto  Carnival 2014 video, a Facebook chat message from Lithuanian educator Irma Milevičiūtė who befriended me on Epals a year ago and whetted my  interest in global communication, an informative hour-long  Fuzebox.com  conference with Julie Lindsay, an educator in Australia, about the Flat Connections Global Project —my world continues to expand as it shrinks. How does one keep up with “the learning revolution” or Classroom 2.0? How does one keep abreast of developments in International Education? I try to keep reasonably aware of international events through reading articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education and The Guardian. I occasionally shadow  Global Education Conferences  and follow several WordPress blogs dedicated to Global Education. And yet I am so globally illiterate. Here are some of my more recent musing about these questions

  • http://david-in-carroll-land.com/2013/08/06/loosely-translated-a-lithuanian-a-turk-an-american-and-a-teacher-from-poland-enter-a-virtual-meeting-room/

  • http://david-in-carroll-land.com/2013/05/07/three-questions-raised-from-attempting-to-create-a-virtual-cultural-immersion-course/

  • http://david-in-carroll-land.com/2013/04/14/reflections-on-creating-a-virtual-cultural-immersion-course-lessons-learned-part-1/

  • http://david-in-carroll-land.com/2013/04/21/pioneering-a-virtual-european-cultural-immersion-course/

Here are my some of reflections on this topic a few years ago… The world is open. I’ve been thinking about how to make our campus and curriculum more global. Here are some incipient thoughts about how that might de done. I’d welcome your thoughts.

  • Increase awareness and use of media such as BBC NewsGoogle News, and Newsvine.
  • Incorporate Kiva into the classroom.
  • Explore global views of religion, spirituality, and being.
  • Tap into high quality online  or “portable” courses.
  • Explore other languages.
  • Capitalize on cultural universals such as musiccusine, sports, and literature.
  • Reading: Let’s encourage our faculty, staff, and students to read, discuss, and discover world literature. Though no substitute for reading, excellent recordings exist of introductions to world literature, world history, world religions, etc.What suggestions do you have that are simple and cost effective?

And here are even earlier reflections…..

I’m still reflecting on some interesting ideas that emerged in a “listening session” I attended today with two other faculty colleagues concerning a proposed change in our general education program for students at Carroll. I left quite confused, but that is not atypical for me. What is the appropriate foundation for general education in the 21rst century? Are we faculty appropriately educated for teaching in the 21rst century? What skill sets, traditions, and knowledge are as vital today as when this academic institution was founded? Can we change our general education program without intentionally changing our institutional mission? How do we avoid throwing out the baby with the bath water? Should part of a general education be mastery of another language? If so, how does one define mastery—knowing the right phrases to allow one to travel within another country? Or should one be fluent in another culture’s history, customs, idioms, national concerns, and language? Can this be achieved within the traditional four years of a college education and still allow students a traditional major? If we are interested in being more global, shouldn’t we append USA to all our institutional publications? Can internationalization be achieved through the 21rst century equivalence of international pen pals using Skype or VoiceThread?  Through changing the “three r’s” to mastery of 20th century learning tools?   Through BBC language acquisition in 12 weeks courses or by investing time in other such (free) online language learning resources? What does is mean to globalize or internationalize a campus? How can that best be achieved? Is the best way to do so to bring international students and faculty to campus? To send our students and faculty abroad? To create communication opportunities world-wide through Internet means? To expand faculty and students’ knowledge of history, cultures, international economics, and international relations? To conduct collaborative international research and learning projects? Should I join the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology?  Which organizations do I drop out of to allow time and money for these new ones?  What defines global citizenship? Global awareness? How can we continually reaffirm and rediscover our common sense of humanity?

Ayuda me. I’m going postal 🙂  global!

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“Best” Teachers

Abby

Several weeks ago I came to the realization that my concept of “best” teachers has changed dramatically. Perhaps that awareness came in part because it dawned on me that so many of my best teachers have died. But clearly my definition has broadened and become enriched rather than diminished as it has changed across the course of my lifetime.

Simpson family

Without doubt early in my life my best teachers were members of my immediate family—in fact they still are and I love and respect them dearly for how they have impacted my life. Also, I can easily identify significant high school, college, and graduate school master teachers and Carroll emeriti who nurtured my love of learning, introduced me to new ways of thinking, challenged and encouraged me, and served as role models of scholarship, intellectual curiosity, fairness, integrity, and decency.

Cole

Many of my “best” teachers, today, however, are much younger than I, or are of different species, or are scattered across the globe or, are virtual, rather than human.

I learn so much from playing with two (and almost two-year-olds) and four-year-olds in all their innocence.

*Training with Abby

Robin the Newf

Newf Teacher

Robin-the-Newf at 8 years of age continues to teach this Old Dog, if not new tricks, the value of being puppy-like.

My research assistants are always teaching me new things or by their behaviors reminding me that I am no longer nor ever will again be 21-years-of age! My new Internet International friends in Turkey and Lithuania and Spain remind me, through their teaching, of the universality of a belief in the importance of teaching and learning and of the importance of creating bridges of  learning activities across age, culture, language, and gender differences.  And, I find more and more resources available for computer-mediated professional development and self-directed learning.

Who (what) are your “best” teachers?


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How Can One Avoid Social Media Controlling One’s Day—or Life?

My work day begins at 5:30 a.m. I confess that I check my email and assorted social media accounts (especially Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin) upon arising, far too many times across the course of the work day, and again before bed-time.  Thursdays is my research day. There are so many technological learning enhancement tools that promise me increased efficiency and enhanced opportunity to  collaborate. I notice that Jane Hart have created a slide-share presentation of technology learning trends. I review them to make sure that I am familiar with their promise.  I visit Profhacker.  I try and make a substantive, constructive contribution to the creative work that some of my fellow educators across the globe are involved in. I have a wonderful 45 minute Skype session with an international colleague. Sometimes I get the most done by avoiding the Internet the whole day. I want to avoid the life described in the clever infographic below.

Razorsocial
Courtesy of: RazorSocial
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Sorting My Technology Learning Tool Box (Part 1)

Time to revisit Jane Hart’s Top Learning Tools list (7th edition) and her invaluable, newly updated Practical Guide—well worth purchasing, studying and using. I regularly consult it, especially the web-based version, when I am interested in trying to find a “right” tool for the particular type of learning experience I am seeking for me or for my students. In concert with Michelle Pacansky-Brock’s Best Practices for Teaching with Emergency Technologies, Susan Manning and Kevin E. Johnson’s The Technology Toolbelt for Teaching, Steve Johnson’s Digital Tools for Teaching, and Alec Couros’ Becoming a Networked Learner, these resources have demonstrably changed how I teach, how I learn, and how I “reach out” to others  via social media. Clearly, as Curtis J. Bonk has evangelized,  my world has been opened and expanded. The challenge is to find balance between tool use and the tools controlling me. For a horrific example of such a dystopia I recommend your reading Dave Eggers novel The Circle.

Though I have explored every year each of the 100 learning tools,  I have no “favorite” tool. Which tool I use most is very much a function of the learning/teaching task I am engaged in, the discretionary time I allow myself for being online, the audience I am working with, and the particular computer/operating system I am using. All these factors change very quickly.

This year I am using the #1 tool Twitter much less often than last year (when I was an active Carroll Technology Fellow) I could see my use of Twitter increasing suddenly if I decide upon  it as a tool of choice for communicating with my newly acquired and rapidly increasing global fellow-teachers. Since English for them is their strategic language of choice, limiting communication to 140 characters or less makes some sense.

Because of an increased need for collaborative work with on campus committees, cross-national collaborations, and with my student research group and because across the course of a day I move between a desktop PC, a desk top Mac, a laptop PC, a laptop Mac, and IPads, I am now using to a greater degree Tool # 2 Google Docs/Drive . Without Google Docs or a similar sharing capacity I would be plagued by not remembering upon which machine I  stored information needed to be shared.

Clearly my International colleagues (and my students) are more facile with the use of YouTube, Tool #3 and have much to teach me about its value (or lack of value) as a learning tool. Jane’s Practical Guide often includes YouTube links which I have found quite useful as an additional modality of learning how to use technology learning tools.

Tool # 4 Google search is my search engine of choice though I grossly under-use the sophisticated and nuanced search capabilities it provides.

I intentionally under use Tool # 5 PowerPoint (see the preceding link about the evils of PowerPoint!).  Tool # 6, Evernote, is one I keep intending to master and yet, the Kindle book version about it and Quick Guides about it remain neglected pixels on my screens. I even am using some Skype-recording apps which can export into Evernote—and I have found a number of occasions where I need to use Skitch to annotate a web page .  Maybe I need to read and heed this link.

I have the same usage problems with Tool # 7, Dropbox. I have it—it exists in the background of all my machines, but I have failed to devote the time to master it. So many tools; which ones deserve my time?

Tools # 8 (WordPress), # 9 Facebook, #12 (LinkedIn), and #13 (Skype) now  play an  integral role in my teaching, learning, promulgating, networking modus operandi. I’m still struggling with finding additional value from further investigating Tool # 10 Google+ and Hangouts (they just are too informal or duplicative in function with other tools) for my present perceived needs. I have ignored learning Tool # 11. Moodle since I find such LMS structures constraining

Help me out.  Help me learn. Which of these tools have you used? What am I missing in discovering their utility for teaching and learning?  Which would be most useful in advancing my interests in cross-national cross-generational teaching and learning?

Which develop skills that all global citizens should be familiar with?

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So much to learn….

One of the many joys of being a professor is being afforded many opportunities to learn and discovering new ways of learning and teaching.  My Thursdays this semester are especially devoted to research, learning, and reflection. Among today’s learning activities I engaged in were

  1. studying a successful Comenius  grant kindly shared with me by a fellow teacher from Turkey. Thank you, present and former fellow teachers Inci Aslan (Turkey) and Irma Milevičiūtė (Lithuania)!
  2. further exploration of the curating learning tool, scoop.it. Here is some background information I “scooped” today  to better know Turkey.
  3. having a simultaneous Skype sessions with three of my undergraduate students and a graduate student where we test the usefulness of two Skype recording applications Pamela and Callnote. Skype is becoming an increasingly useful teaching and tool for me.
  4. rediscovering an old neglected audio recording “app” Tapedeck and finding that it worked with the new Mavericks operating system OSX 10.9 and seamlessly interfaces with YouTube and Itunes
  5. providing feedback to a blog post of a teacher in Spain. I continue to learn so much from etwinning elementary and secondary school global colleagues who are far more adept than I in using learning technology

Last Tuesday I updated my MacBook Pro to MAC OSX 10.9 . Now I have the challenge of updating my far-too-many applications (I just received notice within the past five seconds of the need to update 8 of them!) . So much to learn…so little time. Yet what fun to have so many learning opportunities and new teachers of all ages and from all over the globe!

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In Search of Arrow: Additional Reflections about The Cellist of Sarajevo

At the end of his novel The Cellist of Sarajevo  Steven Galloway mentions briefly his search for the sniper Arrow whom he fictionalized. Here is an audiotape of the interview he refers to.

Here is a newspaper article about her.

Here is another newspaper about Arrow’s “transformation” from a longing for peace to a longing for the front lines.”

Here are some images.

And here are, some more images.

When will we ever learn…

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What Did You Do This Summer, Professor Simpson???

Flying Pig

Perhaps it is my age. Perhaps it’s my approaching retirement. However, I like to think it is because of my values. I no longer yield to the increasing Carroll peer and institutional pressure (and financial incentives) to be on campus teaching, writing grants, doing research, and mentoring students over the summer. Summer for me is a time to be away from campus and from campus emails— a time for reflection, for recharging, for redirection, for play and for rejuvenation. I never stop learning (amusingly my Mac DayOne App just eerily intruded to ask what I learned today!).

I’ve hardly been academically or intellectually stagnant since I left campus in May.  Among the books that I have enjoyed reading this summer are

  • Adam Johnson’s The Orphan Master’s Son
  • Steven Galloway’s The Cellist of Sarajevo
  • Ben Fontain’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
  • Khaled Hosseni’s The Kite Runner
  • Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life and her Behind the Scenes at the Museum
  • Connie Willis’s The Best of Connie Willis: Award-Winning Stories
  • Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman
  • Marisha Pessl’s Night Film (thank you, Susan Gusho, for the treasured autographed copy!)
  • Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus 
  • Robert Galbraith’s (aka J. K. Rowling) The Cuckoo’s Calling

What shall I read next?

I have written almost every day (blogging, developing international contacts, Twitter, Facebook, book reviews, manuscript reviews) though what I write and where  I write seems not to be highly valued by my institution’s reward system. C’est la vie.

I continue to develop expertise to bring into the classroom technology learning tool applications (e.g. Ning, WordPress, Paper.li, Scoopit,  and Animoto) based upon the path-breaking contributions of Jane Hart and others I have “met” virtually this past academic year and this summer. I have created a Sandbox for International Educators whom I have come to know and respect and experimented with BlogTalkRadio.

Here is an Animoto short video slideshow of some highlights from this summer: Final Copy of Summer Vacation 2013.