Many of you are completely unaware that Google Drive has, again, changed dramatically.
If you have been using Google Drive at all, and have been paying attention even a little bit, you probably noticed that little menu item at the top, but many have completely ignored the treasures that await beyond the tab marked, simply, “Add-Ons.”
Add-Ons act somewhat like extensions in your browser. They allow you to do things in Google Drive that you couldn’t do before–like accessing some awesome tools without leaving Drive. Why would these companies want to contribute time and effort to make a Google Drive Add On? . . . for the simple reason that it brings awareness of what they have to offer to an amazingly broad audience that may have never known their product existed, let alone understand why they need it.
I see them as small gifts. Tiny jewels hanging inside the cave of wonders known as Add-Ons . . . but that’s just me channelling my inner geek (or maybe not?).
One of those amazing gifts from Google’s new Add-Ons comes from an unlikely source: the e-mail distribution company Mail Chimp. Mail Chimp is a young company, hungry for market-share, and dedicated to service. They have their offices right here in Georgia, so I was already inclined to support them before I Continue reading →
WOW. I have never been to an International Society of Technology and Education (ISTE) conference before. In fact, I have never been a member of ISTE until now. You see, ISTE is mostly a K-12 organization, so there were very few of us University Ivory Tower members there mixing with the hoi polloi of teaching.
But, I was there. I was TOTALLY there.
Why? For the simple reason that K12 teachers are the change makers, the developers, the directors of the educational experiences our students have before entering college, and I wanted to see what they were up to, technologically. Also, frankly, I have somewhat lower expectations for what Higher Ed faculty are up to, technologically.
Innovation, Thy Name is K12.
I have come to the disturbing realization that most of the higher education establishment is dragging its heels on technology, and instead of being out in front of education (as we should be) and leading innovation, we spend our days hunched over the yellowed pages of bygone syllabi or lost in the netherworld of Learning Management Systems.
It is difficult to explain to “Dean Scowl” (a.k.a. almost any Dean I have ever met) how important it is that I have adequate WIFI in my classroom so my students can build a PLN in Twitter, when Dean Scowl has never used Twitter (and doesn’t want to), doesn’t know what a PLN is (and doesn’t want to know), and spends our valuable 15 minutes together lecturing me on the importance of student confidentiality and the danger of using the internet. Sigh.
It was liberating, to say the least, to know that there is such a thing as a “Technology Coach” in K12, that those Technology Coaches are making real change possible in our school systems, and that both faculty and students are demonstrating daily (not just lecturing) that learning is a life-long process of: [innovate-attempt | innovate-fail | innovate-succeed | Repeat]. I would love to know when Technology Coaches are going to become something in the PostSecondary (i.e. HigherEd) world. (I have the distinct impression that my skill-set is about five years ahead of the jobs–unfortunately!).
The Problem of Differentiation in Higher Education
There are two problems with differentiation in Higher Education: One is that Higher Ed frowns on anyone who is out of their “niche,” . . . and the other is that the niches are ill-defined.
Let me explain. First, I am always out of my niche (you guessed that, right?). I’m SUPPOSED to be an English Professor. That means, of course, I should concern myself with literature and writing . . . but there is the problem. Literature and writing have spilled out beyond the pages of books and onto screens. It Continue reading →
I will be using this blog to post a lot of “outside of D2L” stuff that you can access. Some of the students in the course were not able to access D2L, so I want to make sure they don’t fall behind. This is what we are doing this week:
Participate in Discussion=I’ll keep it open so you can do it later!
Write and turn-in Translation Paragraph: Write one well-formed, well-worded paragraph on the following: When you listened to the video while reading the play, there were times when the translation differed significantly. Identify one specific word or line that was different, and explain why you thought one translation was better than the other.
I hope this helps!!
Yesterday I spent a few hours on the phone with a similarly geeky friend, Fredrick, playing with NGram Viewer from Google. If you have never been on NGram Viewer, I have to warn you–make sure you have enough time!! We got sucked in quick, and we stayed a while.
NGram Viewer is a wonderful tool that allows you to enter one or more terms into a search box. Then, through the magic of Google (search, books, pictures, etc.), you receive a wonderful graph informing you of the popularity of whatever you have entered.
As we played with the tool, we were looking for ways to use it in the writing classroom to generate authentic research. For example, we put the word “ipod” into the Ngram viewer and got the following results:
Then, of course, we asked, “Why were people in 1800 and 1905 so crazy about ipods?” It’s easy to…
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But, my dear students, I am trying to learn.
TRYING is the operative word here. Maybe I won’t get good at it, but if I keep trying, I am bound to learn something.
Spend a few weeks on your winter break learning to code. It is something you will need for the rest of your life. Below you will find a video, and a list of FREE sources to learn to code and/or to learn to code even better. Get to it!!
Here’s a video to get your motivated:
Now go to any of these FREE sites to learn on your own!!
Codeacademy.org: Step by step, learn any language you want for free. Great sandbox areas to learn and even local meetups if you get stuck.
Code.org: Advocacy organization with resources to get computer science into your schools and community. They also have a directory for free”learn to code” events in your community.
Coderacer: Learn to code with this free and easy computer game.
CodePlayer: Learn how people made things by watching them do it. A great “learn by watching someone else” site. Then, join in and show others.
MIT Open Courseware: If you already know something and want to learn a lot more, this is a great site for motivated learners. You will find entire MIT courses here.
Udacity: Learn to code, or learn anything else you can think of. This is a free and open courseware system!
Mozilla Developer Network: Learn everything from the basics of coding to developing new software solutions.
Kahn Academy: You know Dr. K loves Kahn Academy–and this is a great way to learn to code. LOVE IT! (I think I’m doing this one, although the “CodeRacer” game looks like a blast too.
In order to prepare us for our first discussion of World Literature, I would like you to have some context of not only the history of the literature, but the way in which that information was collected.
You will find that context in this Time-Life Video: Mesopotamia: Lost Civilizations.
It is approximately 50 minutes long, and will represent your first homework assignment of the semester:
If you are one of Dr. K’s former students–don’t worry! I am still here for you!! Just make sure you email me at my gmail account.
If you are one of Dr. K’s new students, welcome! We have a lot of learning ahead of us!!
I made a new academic calendar for CAU for 2013-14.
Feel free to use it, but remember this is not an OFFICIAL Calendar. I have done my best to render it correctly, but if you use it, you use it at your own risk!
To use it with your own Google or iCal Calendar, click on the little plus sign on the bottom of the calendar I have posted here.
I know you are exhausted. You have poured everything in your brain out on some final’s paper or math test, and now you are ready to RE-LAX! Yes! You are going to hit the beach, work on the perfect recipe for sweet tea, enjoy a few moments to catch up with old friends, and sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep.
When you are done with that (it should take about a week or two), and you start thinking about next semester (because it is coming sooner than you think!), use some of your extra time to prepare yourself, digitally, for next year.
“WHAT? Dr. K, you SEEERIOUSLY can’t believe that I would spend my time getting ready for next fall? PLEEEEZE!”
Yes, I seriously think you will spend some time getting ready for next fall. I’m not suggesting some boring reading list–I am suggesting that you start preparing yourself by learning–really learning–some software that will put you ahead of your game for next year.
Here is Dr. K’s list of great things to do to get ready for next fall:
- Math Readiness: check out fastfig.com, and learn how to use it!! It is an amazing “word processor for math” that shows all the work and teaches you along the way. It’s free, of course!! (Would Dr. K suggest a program you have to pay for? Really?)
- Research Readiness: Get to know Zotero.org. It is the most powerful research tool you can ever have. When you are researching, you only have to add a resource to Zotero and you are ready to produce a bibliography or works cited in record time, in perfect style, alphabetical. It will also do citations–but you have to learn how! Learn now and save yourself endless hours of work next fall!!