Friday, December 11, 2009

Googlios: Next Generation E-Portfolios at the University of Notre Dame

This slidecast (PowerPoint + audio narration podcast) was a presentation to the Dean and the Advisors at the University of Notre Dame College of First Year of Studies by G. Alex Ambrose, Academic Advisor.

Let's continue the discussion asynchronously. If you would like to make a comment fill in the "post a comment" box at the bottom of this post. Or contact the author privately

Best way to view a slidecast: Hit the center play button to listen to the slide narration or use the side arrows to skip through slide by slide.  You can hit the full screen button on the right side or watch slidecast in one window and open up another resized window to explore the links while listening.

Below are the presentation notes and annotated bibliography of the links and resources listed in order in which they were mentioned:

Presenter Bio & Googlio

Main Website
Full of Resources

What Why & How to Creative Commons

Digital Natives & Immigrants

The Inter/National Coaliton for Electronic Portfolio Research (CEPR)

Right vs. Left Brain Hemispheres

Set up your free website in 5 minutes see "Google Sites: The Easiest Way to Start a Free Web Page"

GooglioGetting Started

Penn State E-Portfolio Program
Good intro videos

Connectivism Learning Theory

What is a PLE?

ND Biz Student Googlio Expl
Resume Organization
ND Eng Student Googlio Expl
Google Doc project paper

ND Female Eng Student Googlio Expl
Standards Organization for Table of Contents
University Minnesota E-Portfolio Program
Dr. Helen Barrett

University of Denver
Have featured public portfolios
Virgina Tech E-Portfolio Program
See galleries, have examples of eP for learning, assessment, and professional development

Florida State E-Portfolio Program
Career Focused

Univ of Illinois E-Portfolio Program

IUPUI E-Portfolio Program
Institutional E-Portfolio Expl

ND Student Googlio Expl
Sophmore Reflections & Courses Taken
Seton Hall First Year of Studies E-Portfolio Program
Da Bono 6 Thinking Hats

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Digital Natives & Immigrants

Below is a collection of resources and references about the Digital Natives & Immigrants debate.

Marc Prensky - Writing See Digital Natives Digital Immigrants (original 2001 article)

Understanding Digital Children - Ian Jukes (excellent video and eReport)

Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Googlios: Google Sites + ePortfolios = 21st Century Teaching and Learning

For the direct link on dotsub click here

This 20 minute video was produced for the 4th Annual Inter/National Virtual (Synchronous /Asynchronous) K-12 Online Conference.

For this year's schedule see:

As blogs, wikis, and podcasts have become more mainstream, it is important that educators step back to see how we, as professionals, are best using these tools to serve our student's learning needs. If these modern technologies are going to be sustained in contemporary pedagogy, it is time that we "kick it up a notch" and be able to tie these tools to a higher theme and to learning theories. In other words, rather than using technology for technology's sake, we need to be supported by a new 21st-century foundation of learning theory. Through a screencast, webcam, and Power Point video, this presentation will offer a model on how one educator has come to understand and organize these tools to support a 21st-century constructivist and connectivist approach to "bridge the divide" in educating our digital natives. Using Google Sites as a main hub, this presentation will show how students can mash together and showcase a variety of other free Google services to organize their own Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) and "build bridges" to form their Personal Learning Networks (PLNs). This presentation will shed light on a model that shows a relationship between emerging tools and learning theories, and between PLEs, PLNs, and ePortfolios.

3 Essential Questions:
1) What hasn't been working with our current approach to Web2.0 integration in education?
2) How could refocusing our education technology on student-centered assessment change our paradigm?
3) How are you using e-portfolios and Google Sites in your classrooms? Best practices, examples?

Let's continue the discussion asynchronously, you can: 
a) Make a comment by filling in the "post a comment" box at the bottom of this post.
b) Network and discuss on the K12 Ning Forum:
c) Contact the author privately

Best way to view this video:  You can hit the full screen button on the right side or watch the video in one window and open up another resized window to explore the links while listening.

Below are the presentation notes and annotated bibliography of the links and resources listed in order in which they were mentioned:

Presenter Bio & Googlio

Main Website: Full of Resources

What Why & How to Creative Commons

Digital Natives & Immigrants

The World is Flat - Book Summary & Resources

Right vs. Left Brain Hemispheres

Set up your free website in 5 minutes see "Google Sites: The Easiest Way to Start a Free Web Page"

Googlio Getting Started

Connectivism Learning Theory

What is a PLE?

University Minnesota E-Portfolio Program

Dr. Helen Barrett

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Dropbox is a gotta have service.  

Watch their demo here

I don't endorse services too often but if you do decide to use please sign up through this  Dropbox referral link

Monday, November 16, 2009

What is a PLE?


A Personal Learning Environment (PLE) is not a tool or single technology it is a place, learner-centric system of networks, personal portal (webdesk, dashboard, e-portfolio), where a learner organizea their tools, communities, contacts, resources, and services for the purpose of learning (content and process).


“…a collection of tools, brought together under the conceptual notion of openness, interoperability, and learner control. As such, they are comprised of two elements – the tools and the conceptual notions that drive how and why we select individual parts.” (George Siemens, “PLEs – I Acronym, Therefore I Exist,” 15 April 2007 blog entry)

“An ecosystem of connected educational resources facilitated by a (large) set of tools and fueled by collaboration opportunities facilitating the consumption of content that enables an increased understanding of specific knowledge domains.” (Lee Kraus, PLE: not personal and not learning, 14 June 2007 blog entry)

"A Personal Learning Environment (PLE) is a collection of free, distributed, web-based tools, usually centred around a blog, linked together and aggregating content using RSS feeds and simple HTML scripts."

"a Personal Learning Environment is a facility for an individual to access, aggregate, configure and manipulate digital artefacts of their ongoing learning experiences."

"Essentially, they are a collection of tools, brought together under the conceptual notion of openness, interoperability, and learner control."

"PLE are very personal both in the sense of being independent of the university or employer and in the sense of being hand-crafted — although a bit necessarily too hand-crafted today. Even with a more ideal integrative application, PLE will still be highly customized to the needs and preferences of the learner. Portions of even the software application PLE will be kept behind our personal firewall. Learning is deeply personal, AND social."

"A group of people who can guide your learning, point you to learning opportunities, answer your questions, and give you the benefit of their own knoweldge and expereience” –Daniel Tobin, Ph.D.

PLE pedagogy= it offers a portal to the world, through which learners can explore and create, according to their own intersts and directions, interacting at all times with their friends and community. the student creates not the instuctor!

Related Keywords:

personal learning environments, PLE, personal knowledge management, PKM, personal information management, PIM, personal learning toolkit, PLT, online learning environment, Personal Work and Learning Environment (PWLE), OLE, social software, self-directed learning, life-long learning, informal learning, learning ecosystems, learning networks, personal knowledge management, e-portfolio, virtual learning environment, VLE, digital lifestyle aggregator, DLA, continuing professional development, CPD

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Video: The Networked Student

Watch this 5 min video about the 21st Century Networked Student and Personal Learning Networks (PLN) at:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Visual Thinking, Learning, and Tools Collection

Right vs. Left Brain Hemispheres

Outlining with MS Word

One great hidden feature of MS Word is the Outline View.
(Click on "View" on menu, select "outline")

The collapse and expand features are really nice for switching from big picture to smaller sub views.

Watch this screencast to learn how.

Concept Mapping with PowerPoint

The 2007 PowerPoint edition has a nice feature called SmartArt. This new capiblity turns PowerPoint into a powerful Concept Mapping Tool.

Read about concept mapping in Wikipedia


Read and watch the demo:
Spice up your text with SmartArt graphics at

View each PowerPoint slide as a canvas. Don't forget that you can break through the templates and just use the drawing tools to create your own modesl and diagrams. 

See these two video to show you how to build a concept map from scratch rather than using the smart art auto templates:

PowerPoint can also be used as a basic photo editor as well. Once you make your concept map don't forget you can then take a screen shot and upload your image into another document or up on the web.

Friday, October 30, 2009

How Do I Know If A School Is Accredited?

Since I worked in a Charter School and I now attend a Distance Education program.  I get the "how do I know if a school is accredited?" question a lot.

Here are few quick tips:
*Approximately 1/5 of degree-granting institutions operating legally in the US are not are accredited.
*Currently there are no authoritative lists of institutions/providers.
*There are two types of accreditation: institutional or programmatic
*The 6 regional commissions and associations:
*Although there is no national official government agency for accreditation the Council for Higher Education Accreditation is sponsored by the U S Department of Education as the primary national voice for voluntary accreditation and quality assurance.  The United States Distance Learning Association is another organization that gives approval to programs.
*Google your school's name and the keyword accreditation.  If one of these accreditation organizations don't pop up, I would be wary.
*Another litmus test would be, when researching a distance education program, ask them do they offer financial aid.  The US government will not offer financial aid for an unaccredited school. 

UPDATE: The Council for Higher Education Accreditation has a database that you can look up any school with to see their accreditation status (make sure it matches one of the 6 mentioned above) 

See also: The Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs

Monday, September 21, 2009

Video: Google Forms

Watch this short 2 min video

Google Docs has a Forms feature where you can easily create and publish a web-based/email survey or form, then as participants fill in the form, the responses get aggregated live into one web-based spreadsheet. The implications of this technology are endless for work (surveys, applications, etc.) and education (quizzes, see this digital scantron template one educator created).

Friday, September 18, 2009

Distance Education in the News

I have been noticing a more positive recent shift  of Distance Education perceptions in the mainstream news. See

Washington Post:  
Virtual Revolution Is Brewing for Colleges

New York Times: 
Study Finds That Online Education Beats the Classroom

Video: Did You Know 4.0

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Video: Social Media Revolution

Click here for a list of all the stats and sources in the video

Friday, July 10, 2009

How to Search, Collect, and Cite Images on the Web

How to Search for Images
EdVibes has started Project CC. Here you will find a list of some of the best directories, search engines, and links for finding safe to use creative commons content (image and audio). One of my new favorite image search engines is Yahoo's Advanced Image Search. Yahoo just knocked off Google Image Search because of their nice "search only creative commons licesend content" feature.  See screenshot below.

Click on image for larger view

Tools to Collect and Organize the Images you find on the web: (a Delicious for pictures, still a little slow)
Flickr (careful the free limit fills up fast)

How to Responsibly Cite Images you use:

Click on images for larger view

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Teacher Training Videos created by Russell Stannard

Teacher Training Videos created by Russell Stannard: "These videos were created for teachers to help them to incorporate technology into their teaching. Just click and a video will open and take you through how to use that technology"

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Getting Started with Flickr

Getting Started
Newbie's Guide to FlickrHow To Create Flickr Slideshows

Basic Flickr Jargon
-A set is an array of images of your own, collected together on whatever basis you like. 
-collection is an array of sets. 
-group is like a set, but contains images from a number of different flickr members.
-tag is a non-hierarchical keyword or labled assigned to a picture, note unlike organizing folders you can apply more than one tag to a picture. See also What Why & How to Tag

The Great Flickr Tools Collection