Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Changing Past

When I started teaching at WOU in 2000, we would write and hand out to students very specific steps as to what to do on the computer.  Today I had the students set up blogs in blogger, I was not certain what they would find or if they would find the same thing based on their previous experiences with Google or Blogger.  So we did the best we could which not only got us to our objective, but we could be creative along the way.

Then we discussed some of the tools that evolved out of Web2.0 and recognized how much they have changed over the years.  I had become very comfortable with RSS feeds and Wikis.  Now major companies like Google and Apple don't include RSS and there are better and more fun alternatives to wikis.  Even college aged digital natives don't know what wikis are even though they use Wikipedia regularly.

Teaching technology has therefore become a process of understanding discovery and exploration and not following recipes and step-by-step instructions.  Fortunately digital natives are more secure in experimentation than us older cautious learners.

The Internet is a storehouse of information, much of it good, some of it not so good and some of it rather bad.  We need to be lifetime learners and understand how to differentiate between the good, not so good and bad.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Blogging in ED270 - Spring 2013 version

This will be different.  It's different every time I start a class.  The students have different names, faces and personalities.  I hope my approach is different in that I have improved the process.  But as much as anything this will be different because as a class in technology the technology has changed.  For example, has new and improved features but it has also removed older comfortable features.

One purpose of the blogs for each students is that the blog is a collection point, like a journal, of all the activities throughout the term.  Of course, it also exposes them to the use of blogs both technically and theoretically.  So here we go this another term, another set of blogs and the possibilities that something new may replace blogging.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

In our history classes and many other situations time is explained as a line with dates on it identifying significant events.  I learned years ago that in some culture time is seen as a circle that cycles around every year or month.  School life is more cyclic as we repeat at the beginning of each term a similar routine.  "Please, introduce yourself,"," My name is blah-blah-blah and I'm majoring in Blah-blah."

Just call me Denvy. I'll answer and you don't have to be concerned about another "Denvy" answering in lieu of me.  Google Denvy.  There aren't many out there.  I've lived in eight different decades and was born about the time the word computer was applied to devices that did computing and started working with them about the time universities and the government were starting to use them, so I will have a couple stories to share with you.  I'm an Alaskan born in North Dakota.  One of my greatest passions is working with college students so they will earn an "A."  Plan to be one of those students.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Every sunrise has its own day, every day has adventures waiting for us, and every adventure is filled with potential for great things, or not such great things. Adventures are fun and filled with people, action and new discoveries. For several hours each week for a half score of weeks, one of the adventures is spent with me.

A couple things happen on opening day. We get to know each other and a bit about what we can and can't do now, in our past and in our future. We turned on the Mac's when our hands were accustomed to PC's, we wrote on a SmartBoard which was more magic then smart, and we tried to drag the page up and down on that board as if it were an iPad as we presented what we discovered at

We are ready to reach to our expectations when we serve as teachers now and in the future. Hopefully everyone has had a chance to check out and review at least two applications, and then included your review in your blog.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Starting with ED270 in 2012

This class is a crazy mix of about anything you may run into with computers and electronics, even cell phones and social networking. Most of us already have used Word and Powerpoint enough so that we need to waste class time with those programs.

And we all know how to email and use the Internet. But do we know how to find whatever we want on the Internet and do we know the proper rules for using those materials? What would you like to find online?

Do you want to make a movie? About what?

How about Photoshopping a picture so that you can stand beside President Obama? Or writing an application for the iPod or iPhone?

Some say that computers should not be used in schools? Agree? How about using Facebook with classes, like teachers and students being "friends?"

Click on "Comments" below and tell me what you think!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Beyond Facebook

Facebook is synonymous is social networking, interactively communicating with others over the Internet using either computers or cell phones. It is not alone in the SNS world as we have discovered these first couple weeks. We're blogging which suggests more words, more thought, less spontaneity, and more effort to find and read. But we are communicating and we don't need to be friends. and are also a part of our lives, at least for the moment as a part of this class. We're displaying ourselves through images and videos, and commenting on each others' work. If it became a habit to use these websites for ourselves and our friends, we could communicate here also. Of course, Facebook does images and videos also.

Most recently there's GoogleEarth and although we didn't adventure into saving our information on GoogleEarth to retrieve from anywhere at any time, it can be done and we can "communicate" again with others this time focusing on maps and locations on the earth, push-pins and balloons with our personal notes.

Where will this end? Or will it?

Sunday, October 2, 2011


The line between using Facebook professionally as a teacher and personally seems rather clear in our class discussions. Issues included privacy and the proper relationship with a student, particularly a young student. Appropriate postings and pictures were also discussed and particularly when one doesn't have control over what others post about you, even if innocently. The idea of establishing a group with only individuals relevant to that discussion or coursework would be included in the group. Perhaps establishing two accounts, a personal one for socializing and a professional one for relating to students, was another solution, at least in part.

However, the use among young people was clearly recognized and its incorporation into learning seemed a natural next step despite the banning of Facebook from many, perhaps most, schools. The expanding functions of Facebook along with its popularity indicates that educators will be visiting this issue in the future. For now it's an experiment.