Friday, July 23, 2010


Today was an odd mix of the practical and impractical. Generally some very useful information:
From the workshop on MERLOT's "Content Builder," I got a good rerun of the techniques of doing that--clear, not too complicated, and in plain English. It wasn't so rushed that those of us who were no techies couldn't keep up. Useful, though the Achilles heel of MERLOT continues to be very little information out there on courses beyond the basic foundational ones: by the time I got to Gerry Hanley's workshop on affordable "learning solutions"--open source textbooks, if you will--the familiar refrain was, "well, why don't YOU start something, a 'bookshelf,' etc.?" His workshop was nonetheless exciting and for the teaching other than basic skills, I connected to several links and other folks' "open" syllabi to get inspiration/help from. I did download a few things from a history source as background to my areas; however, I found them to be much too general and definitely lacking in sophistication.

Facebook as a tool was an interesting workshop, though after the presenter talked about security considerations I would seriously caution schools from using it. I might be able to protect my privacy, but I am not convinced one could protect one's students'. I had briefly stopped by the JOLT (Journal of Online Teaching) workshop: heavy on pedagogy at the expense of content, I thought.

Stopped by a MOODLE-oriented workshop for techies--and there was the whole NMU crew--just to see "how the other half lives." I think our folks are pretty saavy to the system from the look of things. Would be nice, though, if we could get tabs, as one person suggested, for our different "topics/lessons/modules" rather than just that one L-O-N-G single Moodle page.

Great dinner at a Moroccan restaurant with the NMU crowd--nice for group solidarity and all; and the food was quite satisfying!


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