Category: Personal Learning Tools

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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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Where does the time go? Oh!

Gert and DavidMonday…

A typical whirlwind day. Arrive at the office by 7:15, but no time to flirt with Gert (pictured above)  because I needed to establish work assignments for the student assistants before they came in. Maybe I should make  time to explore the new free for teachers accounts of Basecamp. Wednesday will be the 2nd Exam in PSY205.

I had a good but too brief Skype session with Inci Aslan for updates on her Rainbow Kids project in Turkey. Must make the time for a more leisurely follow up.

I’ve been using Skype A LOT lately now that I have mastered some software (Pamela and CallNote)  that lets me easily record the conversations for later study. Recently it has proven invaluable as I attempted to mentor an undergraduate at another institution seeking advice about a survey she was conducting in Argentina.

I brief follow-up regarding several students’ letters of recommendations. Two students delightfully inform me that they have been invited for interviews (at Marquette and Illinois State, respectively). Then it is (past) time to submit a PsyCRITIQUES revision of the most interesting, provocative book I have reviewed in the past seven years. Meanwhile, my Research seminar students experience first hand the purported advantages of brain training software. There are so many claims made on the Internet and in the media in general (Science News, NPR, ABC News) about such “programs like Lumosity and Positscience.  Finally, I join my research students for a brief review of SPSS.  Here is YOUR chance to see how much statistics and experimental design you recall from when YOU took my course:). Try me . Hee, hee.

I was generally pleased with the quality of the surveys they developed using our new Gold Survey Monkey account.

So much to teach. So much to learn. So much research which could/should be done.  So much to share. But the clock is winding down…

RSEARCH SEMINAR

Wednesday…

… And now it is two days later. Time to take stock while I proctor two consecutive exams for the next five hours. The book review revision was accepted for publication and forwarded to the American Psychological Association. I hope that my citation of Jane Hart’s seminal work will introduce her to a broad audience of psychology technological learning neophytes who might benefit from all she has taught me. Thank you again, inspirational Virtual Friend and Mentor.

The Gardner and Davis book  is now “required reading” for all my friends, parents of friends, and “followers.” Here is a good synopsis (not mine) for those who, alas, don’t have the time to read it:)

David Simpson Teaching 1

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Reducing Internet Distractions to Focus on the Writing Task at Hand

 In response to my soliciting suggestions for improving my Experimental Social Psychology class last semester, one of my students suggested that …”if the class were to have many online assignments, I believe it would be extremely beneficially to teach students how to install software that temporarily restrains them from surfing distracting websites while studying. There are several free programs which can be easily set up in order to increase focus and productivity while completing online homework.” This got me reflecting on how the Internet has challenged my own ability to focus as I sit down tonight to read a book in preparation for reviewing it.  Here’s where my distractions led me before setting down! Thanks for the suggestion AW!

  1. Freedom
  2. 99U
  3. Profhacker
  4. Illusion of Internet Freedom
  5. Mashable
  6. Slate: Freedom from Distractions
  7. Make Use of: End of the Internet
  8. NY Times Your Brain on Computers
  9. That’s all folks!

Time to reflect upon all this and to read Howard Gardner and Katie Davis

The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World.

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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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Sorting My Technology Learning Tool Box (Part 2)

Many thanks to student readers who have shared their thoughts about the technology learning tools from Jane Hart’s survey (identified as favorites by 500+ learning professionals from 48 countries worldwide). I found your responses thoughtful and helpful in informing my reflections about which tools to teach, which to further investigate, and which to use in my own personal learning plans. I found especially interesting your sharing which apps help you become a more effective learner. Keep those insights coming.

Continuing my ruminations from Part 1, I have mixed reactions about Tool #14, Wikipedia. I do use it as a starting point when I explore topics about which I know little. I am amazed at how current its articles often are.  Moreover, I am intrigued by the Association for Psychological Science’s Wikipedia Inititiative to improve it. However, I can’t convince myself of its credibility nor can I motivate myself to dedicate time to joining others in making it better.

I have played with Prezi (Tool #15) as an alternative to PowerPoint,  but find it too “jazzy” a presentation tool for my purposes. I can see how it might readily engage and entertain an audience younger than I ordinarily interact with.  I have found Tool # 16 (Slideshare) more useful as  a personal learning tool than as a teaching tool. I am fascinated with the potential of Tool # 99,  Learnist.

I can’t image NOT using Tool # 17 (Word). Though I presently prefer blogging tool WordPress (Tool # 8) over Tumblr (Tool # 65), and Blogger (Tool #18) and Typepad , that is more a personal preference that has evolved over time. Here is a recent comparison of some of the elements of several blogging tools. And here are some “scoops” about technology learning tools as my top tool preferences evolve.

Which of these tools allude to above serve your learning needs best? Why? What tools like this do you use most often?