Saturday, August 05, 2006

Podcasting a favorite!

I just wanted to note that I thought the Blogging and Podcasting workshop was one of the most interesting that I saw all week. It really helped to roll up our sleeves and actually gain a hands on feel for what this technology is, how to use it, as well as some of the applications that it can be used for. I personally felt that starting out the conference with this subject, only helped to see how it can be incorporated into other aspects of what I learned the rest of the time in Madison. Thanks!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Breaking through the ideological crust

Steven Weiland's Thursday's a.m. session, "Interactivity without student-to-student communication: Hypertext and online learning" was phenomenal. Weiland's enthusiasm for teaching and his dynamic presentation style made you want to think about the reason you are teaching in the first place. The deceptively simple way he lays out his classes makes him a sort of Socrates of the 21st century .... and can cause students to fall in love with learning. He uses a structured outline for his topic broken into weekly units. Then, via hypertext links, he leads the students through a series of definitions and applications and reference material related to the main topic. What's different is the emphasis on self-pace and the choice of interaction or non-interaction. Something to think about.

Thursday's Forums 1 & 2

Today I attended two great forums at the DL Conference in Madison, WI. The first forum was lead by panelists, David Metcalf, Jake Blanchard, Bob Regan and Thomas Smith. The theme of the forum was "New directions in delivering and designing distance education using mobile communication devices." Since many students have time management constraints there is a need for mobile learning technologies that remove barriers such as "time and space." As an instructor I want to make it easier for my students to learn content, and therefore I would like to learn more about mobile tools that will be effective in assisting students' learning. Also, I am concerned about the "digital divide" and I think mobile learning tools can decrease the digital divide. Currently, the learning effects of mobile learning tools being used in Africa is being conducted. As I said yesterday during the workshop, we need to conduct empirical research in order to determine the learning outcomes associated with the use of any technological tool.
Well, there was a plethora of information shared with participants about mLearning (modern mobile devices, theoretical frameworks, design, mobile games, and standards) during the forum. The link associated with this entry on Forum 1 &2 is to the "mLearn" conference being held in Banff, Alberta, Canada in October, 2006.

One of the panelist was David Metcalf, author of the book "mLearning" and the keynote speaker on Thursday afternoon. Actually, some of the content in his keynote speech was a part of his case study presented during the forum. A great presentation!

Thursday, Forum 2

This was a very important forum because the panelists discussed the different types of research that is applicable to DE and mobile technologies. The panelists were Traci Sitzmann, Robert Threlkeld and Roger Hiemstra. All of these individuals are very experienced distance educators and evaluators of the effects of DE in higher education and the US military. These panelists were very creative and sent out a survey to all of the DL conference participants prior to the forum. The results of the survey were reviewed during the forum and we broke up into groups and looked for "themes" embedded in the open-ended question at the end of the survey. That open-ended question asked the DL conference participant to share their research ideas in regards to distance education.

It was a great day! I learned so much during these forums and the networking was fabulous! I am having a great time at the conference and it is great to see so many of you throughout the day!

Thank you for attending our hands-on workshop yesterday! And, please feel free to contact me per email if you have any questions about podcasting! Keep on "blogging" the conference!

Conference Summaries

So far this year's conference has been just as good as 2005. There have been some improvements, mostly aesthetic (attention to small details) that have improved the look and feel for this year. I suppose it is a gradual change to get better each year.

I attended two half-day sessions yesterday. The morning session, AM10, about Blogging, RSS and Podcasting was more informative; the fact that we (as a group) participated interactively was what made the difference. The afternoon session, PM2, was Designing online courses using a systematic approach to ID, involved case studies: Higher Ed, Military, K12 and Corporate. The three hours devoted to analysis and design of the case study was not nearly enough time. We did the best we could given time and experience constraints.

Today, the first information session (9), was covering materials, content and resources already in place at our home institution and thus lacked any new information from my perspective. The second session (14), about integrating MMORPGs (Massively Multi-player Online Role-Playing Games) certainly has made inroads to using a "pop culture phenomemnom" to attract the wired and millenial generations and can be used as a vast appeal marketing tool. This session was by far the best this year.

Check back again tomorrow for another daily blog.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Let's post about some sessions tomorrow!


Let's try posting some summaries of sessions that you attend tomorrow and Thursday! It will be great to see the reviews. Margaret knows the organizers and many of the UWEX staff members of the conference, so she can invite them to view your postings! It could be fun :-)

So far, as of this afternoon, there are a dozen of us on the Madison-dlc2006 Blogging Team!

from the Blogosphere (AKA by Margaret as Blogsville),


MP3 Files Posted!


I am sorry to say that a couple of the .wav files did not seem to have anything in them. But, we have posted the following MP3 files from the desktops at the Pyle Center lab (ones you can now use as podcasts): podcast.mp3 file.mp3 Objects.mp3 pearl.mp3

An Example of the Use of a Conference Blog

Here is an example of the use of a conference blog that was created by educators at the NI2006 conference in Seoul, Korea (2006)

Password Protect Your Blog

Here is a link that describes how to password protect your blog.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


Welcome to an active-learning workshop on the use of Web 2.0 applications in educational environments. We will explore the uses of blogs, podcasts and perhaps even vodcasts during the course of the half-day workshop.

I look forward to meeting all of you on Wednesday morning in Madison, Wisconsin. And, I want to share with you the "fun" of using these technologies for educating all learners in today's information-centric society.

Safe travels!

Best wishes,

Margaret Maag EdD, RN
Assistant Professor
School of Nursing
University of San Francisco

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Blogging, RSS, and podcasting: Interactive online teaching, learning, and virtual conference tools

Welcome to our pre-conference workshop at the:
22nd Annual Distance Teaching and Learning Conference!

This workshop is about interactive cutting-edge technological tools that facilitate different forms of online communication, learning, and collaboration among educators, students, and colleagues across international and national borders. Participants will create their own Weblogs (blogs) and explore photo blog and audio blog possibilities, along with Rich Site Syndication (RSS) opportunities.

Margaret Maag, University of San Francisco
Raymond Schroeder, University of Illinois Springfield