ComETS 2010 - Academic blogging communities, extreme presentation makeovers, and 21st century learning in universities
Iowa State University held its second annual ComETS symposium a couple of weeks ago. Faculty, professional staff, and a few outside folks gathered together to talk about technology integration and implementation in higher education.
Building a community of practice through blogging\n
Below is my 10minute 'lightning strike' presentation, Building a Community of Practice Through Blogging. I didn't have my 'A game' that day and wasn't as energetic a presenter as I usually am. I also spent too much time on the 'creating a listening station' portion and not enough time on the 'participating in the conversation' portion. That ratio was supposed to be 5050, not 7525. Despite all that, I think that the presentation came out pretty well and is a solid introduction to RSS and blogging communities for academics. Here's a quote from my talk:\n
Most academics have yet to realize the power of social media. . . .\n
The reason we go to academic conferences is for the conversations. It's not for the research presentations because you know how good those are. And it's not to access the papers because we can get those in other channels. It's to be around other people and have those conversations in the hall and after the sessions and at dinner and so on that solidify our relationships with people. Well, now we can have those conversations year-round. All we have to do is choose to be part of the conversation.
Extreme presentation makeover\n
My faculty colleague, John Nash, also gave a lightning strike presentation titled Extreme Presentation Makeover. He took some slides from our rejected UCEA presentation proposal and went to town. [Note to self: always present before John, not after, because he's a hard act to follow!]. He also has a blog post about his presentation. Here's a quote from his talk:\n
The other thing that we generally fail to think about when we give presentations is a call to action. What is it that you want someone to do after you're done?\n\n
Charting our course: Exploring 21st century learning\n
"Improvement in postsecondary education will require converting teaching from a 'solo sport' to a community-based research activity." - Herbert Simon\n
Technology predictions v. course charting\n
The pace and scale of Internet change is unprecedented, so it's very hard to wrap our heads around it.\n
Every second 1,157 videos are uploaded to YouTube.\n
2.2 million e-mails sent every second\n
iTunes has many academic lectures / lessons\n
So does Academic Earth\n
I love this line from the Kaplan University video: "?"\n
Funny thing about paradigm shifts: If we knew what the next paradigm was, we'd already be there.\n
Where is the student in all of this?\n
The opportunity is in increased student engagement [Do most profs at research universities really care about increased student engagement? If so, they haven't really showed it to date.]\n
How we learn, National Academies Press\n
Discussed the impact of the printing press\n
The 3 Cs of mobile computing\n
- Content - delivery, anywhere anytime, ebooks, etextbooks, etc.\n
- Collaboration - language learning, formative assessment, first-hand data collection, etc.\n
- Community - student authors, leveraging messaging, enhanced polling, etc.\n
Angela Maiers: We haven't invited our students to be creators or co-creators of content.\n
Malcolm just cited quick penetration of clickers as examples of higher ed moving more quickly on the tech front\n
Expanding from those that already are technology-inclined to those that need to be\n
I think that all colleges and universities should have technology communities like ComETS at ISU and at University of Wisconsin-Madison. I said to Jim Twetten, who's heading the ComETS efforts here:\n
I like ComETS because it's an opportunity to learn from other ISU educators, both faculty and professional staff, across campus who are doing interesting things with digital technologies. The annual ComETS symposium gives us an opportunity to intersect face-to-face in a variety of different ways. The ongoing ComETS listserv connects us and allows us to share and discuss in between symposia. We're off to a good start. Now the challenge becomes: how do we expand from those that already are technology-inclined to those that need to be? The latter group is much larger than the former...
You can see some backchannel conversations from the symposium by searching for the Twitter hashtag: #comets. Happy reading!\n
Research in plant neurobiology shows that plants have senses, intelligence and emotions.
- The field of plant neurobiology studies the complex behavior of plants.
- Plants were found to have 15-20 senses, including many like humans.
- Some argue that plants may have awareness and intelligence, while detractors persist.
Most people think human extinction would be bad. These people aren't philosophers.
- A new opinion piece in The New York Times argues that humanity is so horrible to other forms of life that our extinction wouldn't be all that bad, morally speaking.
- The author, Dr. Todd May, is a philosopher who is known for advising the writers of The Good Place.
- The idea of human extinction is a big one, with lots of disagreement on its moral value.
Since the idea of locality is dead, space itself may not be an aloof vacuum: Something welds things together, even at great distances.
- Realists believe that there is an exactly understandable way the world is — one that describes processes independent of our intervention. Anti-realists, however, believe realism is too ambitious — too hard. They believe we pragmatically describe our interactions with nature — not truths that are independent of us.
- In nature, properties of Particle B may depend on what we choose to measure or manipulate with Particle A, even at great distances.
- In quantum mechanics, there is no explanation for this. "It just comes out that way," says Smolin. Realists struggle with this because it would imply certain things can travel faster than light, which still seems improbable.