Sunday, October 26, 2008

think globally, act locally

What can I do--that incorporates technology--to move my organization in the right direction? Risk plays a significant role when incorporating technology into any organization. The irony is that the most risk may occur at a personal, informal level with colleagues who exchange ideas about how to improve learning with our students. Oftentimes, I think of the phrase, "work smarter and not harder." As educational leaders, I believe technology allows us to work smarter in both informal and formal ways.

If the four elements that make up a learning environment are climate, content, context, and culture, then it is important for educational leaders, parents, policymakers, and students to consider how technology influences each of those areas. The content of our environment is moving at a quicker pace then what the climate and culture can keep up with.

The Learning Web shares with us the Keys to unlock the future Revolution

  1. It’s personal
  2. It’s interaction
  3. It’s global
  4. It’s instant
  5. It’s mainly free
  6. It’s easily shared
  7. It’s co-creative

Since we continue to live in an environment that grows exponentially every day via the internet and other technologies developed by companies, what can I do locally to make a difference in the here and now? the day to day? If I had to choose from the Learning Web's list, I would select #1 and #2. As an educational leader I can continue to recognize the importance and value of personal and interactive encounters with students, colleagues, policymakers, and other interested constituent groups.As our real and virtual worlds continue to become more and more global, instant, free, shared, and co-creative, the PERSONAL and INTERACTIVE aspects of human relationships may become magnified as an integral component of our society.

Saturday, October 18, 2008



If we, as educational leaders, allow "pits" to influence our attitude and professional relationships, our personal value set will, in turn, be better received and embraced by those we lead. If we are emotional beings in a social setting, then "pits" is integral to advance educational policy, accomplish organizational goals, and foster a healthy & supportive work environment for our respective educational institutions. We live in a world compounded by infinite computerized and electronic technologies. A shared sentiment of colleagues and educational organization constituent groups is the demand for instantaneous, timely, and accurate information that positively effects progress towards the needed changes in K-20 education. Do we want to make the time to implement the leadership philosophy that "pits" portrays? Do we make time to personalize and/or interpersonalize the work environment? Is [inter]personalization valued within an educational organization? It is certainly not rewarded. What IS rewarded is the tangible outcomes of student scores/grades, graduation rates, and cutting edge published research. My hypothesis is that the intangible intrinsic personal and interpersonal relationships cultivated and developed within educational organizations positively effect student academic outcomes. But as budget cuts continue, [inter]personal types of support programs for educational leaders will diminish. As salaries continue to not fall into alignment with the time, energy, and work educational leaders put into their professions, their extrinsic motivation decreases. Intrinsic motivation only lasts for so long...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

act: access, citizenship, technology

the participatory culture (PC) article talks about diverse communities, social skills, and increased peer-to-peer learning environments. I can't help but to think about all K-20 educational institutions that may have limited resources (e.g. low faculty:student ratios, less computer technologies) and how many of the facets of PC may be limited within these select environments. does PC come with the assumption that schools have the resources to create, maintain, and thrive in a PC educational institution?

if students come from underrepresented or underserved cultural communities, how is PC affected? How can one of these students be a "media creator" when she/he may not have access to the new media culture needed to create it? If learning outcomes and educational literacy become defined by new media culture and computer technologies, as educational leaders and citizens, do we automatically exclude those students who do not have access to such technologies? Although various computer technologies have become more accessible to more people, some students still do not have access to such resources. The social class hierarchy created by a society rooted in capitalism, perpetuates within the classroom. Not all schools/universities are "good." Some rise to the top, some fall to the bottom. Some get by on what that have, and others excel with all of the resources they desire. Who benefits or suffers? Our students. Our future. Our world.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

oN tHE hORIZON....

I never knew the Horizon Reports exited for Higher Education. The reports result from a collaborative effort between the New Media Consortium and Educause Learning Initiative have released Horizon Reports every year. If you're like me, you may have never heard of the NMC. Not until this past year did Educause stumble across my personal radar.

The NMC has a website at It is an international 501(c)3 not-for-profit consortium of nearly 300 learning-focused organizations dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies. UCSB is not a member (but some other UC's are), however my two other alma maters are..University of Virginia and Pennsylvania State University. The organization has an interesting history about it's original origin and initial development.

I see the Horizon Reports as a proactive way at looking at the role and influence technology has in higher education. At the same time, the reports serve as a means of influencing the importance and perpetuating the significance of technology within higher education. After all, we're all trying to make a living and earn a dollar... I see the NMC as an advocate and supporter of higher education, yet it serves as a marketing mechanism for it's founding constituent members (e.g. Apply, Sony, Adobe, etc..).

Sunday, October 5, 2008

dangersLY irreleVANT

Our intelligence tends to produce technological and social change at a rate faster than our institutions and emotions can cope with. . . . We therefore find ourselves continually trying to accommodate new realities within inappropriate existing institutions, and trying to think about those new realities in traditional but sometimes dangerously irrelevant terms. (War: The Lethal Custom, p. 441)

i like this quote.

I just wrote a long response to this but my web browser did something and i lost the entire thing. i guess this is demonstrative of the "new realities" of technology, information, learning, and knowledge sharing. although my original post is gone, it's content is still within me. was the intention of my post for me to digest and synthesize my own thoughts about the aforementioned quote for the sake of knowing and gaining a better understanding? or was it for others to read? it was the former.

the only constant is change. and the REALITY, is that technology, the internet, students, and in turn, educational institutions are constantly changing. how do we keep up?

as educational leaders, academic advisors, administrators, counselors, maintenance workers, do we speak the same 21st language as our students? how do we ascertain the complexities of their multilinguistic techie terminologies and slang? 20th century educational leaders "teaching" 21st century students in 20th century languages and dialects may not warrant the educational outcomes we expect or think our teaching pedagogies & methodologies deserve.

..from sage on stage, to guide on the side....

a.k.a. project based learning

PBL allows students to establish "connections to life outside the classroom, addressing real world concerns, and developing real world skills" ( Isn't this what education should be about? What is the purpose of education? Essentially, the JDP is a project based learning model for K-20+ educational practitioners. I question if the JDP maximizes PBL due to the virtual classroom environment. I am inclined to believe that optimal learning and engagement is a result of the high frequency of face-to-face student/teacher interactions. Also, the smaller the group, the more individual engagement a student will have.

The purpose of education is to prepare, guide, and facilitate people, thoughts, intellect, and ideas (of all ages) with the hopes that their knowledge, skills, interests, and passions make the world a better place. I believe a large component of education is the expectation that educators assist in the development of responsible, caring citizens of the world. Is it our (i.e. educators', common folks') civic and humane responsibility to contribute to solutions and the overall betterment of humankind?

It seems like a principle component of PBL is for the "teacher" or other person in a formal educational authoritarian role to be willing to be flexible and adapt to the learning styles, paces, and unique ideas, opinions, and perspectives of all voices in the classroom. PBL places more responsibility on the students--they are active participants in shaping the "curriculum and educational learning outcomes" of a course.

COMPONENTS OF PBL: curricular content, multimedia, student direction, collaboration, real world connection, extended time frame, assessment (

After reviewing the literature about PBL, I am left contemplating the similiarities and differences of SERVICE LEARNING and PBL. Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities ( Should the outcomes of all educational settings benefit society at large? Or should we simply "teach" for the sake of teaching and saying we are "educated"?

Enculturation lies at the heart of learning. It also lies at the heart of knowing. (