OpenPD: What & Why

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Yes, son. I guess you have to learn cursive.

My eight-year-old sits, painfully crafting every letter of every word. Cursive. Three pages of it.

He looks up, I smile.

"Now you know why I always type. My handwriting is terrible," I tell him, trying not to laugh at his plight.

"I would type it, Dad, but we don't have cursive on our computer."

He continues, "Why do I have to learn cursive anyway, Dad?"

"Why, back in my day," I explain in my best Grandpa imitation, "we practiced cursive until our fingers were bleedin'. And we liked it!"

I laughed.

He didn't.

And now I don't blame him. Because it's four hours later, and I still can't figure out why he will ever need cursive. Ugh.

I'm no longer laughing.

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Ustream: Just Another Thing To Worry About?

I crafted yet another (hopefully) persuasive email.

Enter Mr. Jones.

Jethro Jones is a teacher in the Jordan School District that is doing absolutely amazing things with his students. Wikis and blogs and Teacher of the Month. If only all teachers were so eager to Pay Attention. If they were, then they to would likely reap the rewards of engaging their students - and parents alike. How many teachers do you know that get feedback like this?

I am very impressed and grateful to you for your efforts on our child's behalf and on our behalf as parents. My husband popped in for lunch just as I had sit down to watch Cam do his presentation, so we got to watch it together, while still being able to be here and complete our jobs and be productive right after he was done. Watching our sons presentation like we were right there without having lost any time traveling etc., was fantastic!
You see, Jethro has taken his teaching to the next level. He's thinking out of the box. He's discovered many new technologies and the resulting opportunities afforded through integrating social software into his curriculum - and he has yet to look back.

Enter Ustream book reports - and a few concerned administrators.

In a fascinating attempt to take book reports to the next level, Jethro has decided to use Ustream to broadcast student reports so that parents can participate - not only in the viewing of the reports, but also in the grading. Brilliant. The explanation he gives to his students' parents is great:
Students will be presenting their book projects and I will be doing a live webcast that you, the parents, can go to. It will be on a password protected website that will be given to those who will be watching their students. I have attached a permission slip that needs to be returned by February 15th. Earlier is of course better. Only parents of my students will be able to watch the videos. You will need a highspeed internet connection to view it. The videos will not be recorded, they will only be broadcast live.

As you are watching the videos, I would like you to grade your student. There will be a rubric that I will post online and email to you later.
Great! But scary, I guess. Or so thought one of our district's administrators.

My phone rings.

"Hi Darren. What can you tell me about Ustream?"

I answer that we use it for Professional Development. It's great for streaming content from your webcam out to an audience on the Internet. Among other things, I also explain that it can be password-protected.

"But if I send that password to five people and each one of them sends it on to another five people... Hmmmm. We really can't control who watches the stream, can we."

"Not really, no. Anyone with the password can watch the broadcast," I answer.

"Hmmmm. We'll need to discuss this further," I'm told - not meaning "we" as in "you and me, Drape" but rather "we" as in "those that make the decisions".

I then asked if he would like me to send him additional information about Ustream. He said "yes, very much so" so I said "Great!".

And so I did. Below is what I sent.


Additional information about Ustream:
  • The Ustream website can be found at
  • A sample Ustream channel can be found at
  • Ustream makes it possible (and very easy) to stream any video content from your computer to an audience via the Internet.
  • You may password protect your Ustream content - requiring users to enter a password before viewing.
  • In a teacher professional development setting, we have used Ustream to connect teachers from all around the world in a classroom setting. See our page here to view past classes.
In my professional opinion:
  • Content published by a teacher via Ustream falls under the same guidelines specified in our District's acceptable network use policies as any other online activity - namely policies DP371, AA445, and chiefly policy number D212, II, D (regarding safety):
D. Safety and Privacy of Students, Teachers, and Staff

1. Personal contact information about students, teachers, and staff members must not be published on school or District Web sites. This includes addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, or any other personal information that could be used by unauthorized persons to identify or make personal contact with students, teachers, or staff members.

2. Student names, student photographs, personally identifiable student work, class participation, activities, projects, etc., may be published on school or District Web sites with a signed release from the student's parent or legal guardian. Without a signed release, no personal information about specific students can be used on school or District Web sites. This policy does not apply to student information systems where information about student's attendance, grades, and assignments is accessible using login and password information.
  • Thus, it seems to me that if a teacher obtains prior written parental consent, then Ustream use is no different than any other online use.
  • To fall within the guidelines of Policy AA445 II B 2 d then the teacher must ensure that student names are not mentioned during the broadcast. Doing such, in my opinion, would eliminate any inherent safety risks.
II B 2 d. Students may not reveal personal information such as names, addresses, telephone numbers, passwords, credit card numbers or social security numbers. Releasing personal information of others or that of organizations associated with the district is prohibited.
  • Our current policies are actually quite solid. As long as teachers and students comply with established policies, the students will be safe and the District will be covered.
  • Finally, requiring password protection for Ustream (and similar broadcasts involving students) will ensure added security - and should be considered in future policy revisions.
Please let me know how else I might be of assistance, Darren


No good?
  • Do you think our district's policies are adequate in ensuring safety?
  • How about you and your situation?
  • What issues have you seen arise in your schools?
  • What have you done to ensure a safe (and still engaging) online environment for your students?
Image Source - Flickr user eschipul

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How Can We Improve OpenPD?

Round Two of Open Professional Development ended on a very high note, representative of the entire Round Two experience. In preparation of future OpenPD efforts, I hope to open discussion in what we could do to improve the experience for all parties involved. Remember, the whole purpose in providing an open professional development environment is to encourage participation from educators around the world.

Please consider the following talking points as that: No-holds-barred, let's-make-it-better, feel-free-to-speak-your-mind, talking points.
  • What has worked well?
  • What hasn't worked well?
  • What can we do to encourage other participant sites?
  • How can we best address time zone differences?
  • Should we work toward asynchronous activities that could be used to ensure participation between various PD classes, regardless of time zone?
  • What about curriculum? Robin, Kelly, and I have decided on most of the curriculum - but the whole idea of "open" screams of the requirement to be more open. How can we best involve others in curriculum decisions?
Your participation in this discussion would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to participate in this discussion through posts to your own blog, please tag any related posts as ''.

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Online Social Networking and Teacher Professional Development

In this admittedly limited literature review I explore online social networking and how it might relate to teacher professional development.

  • I would very much welcome any feedback you have concerning what I have written.
  • I would equally appreciate additional references to related scholarly writing.
Furthermore, I welcome a review of the literature as it might appear from "non-scholarly" sources (i.e. blogs, wikis, etc.) and feel that in this subject area, the online writers will likely do a better job than the peer-reviewed Academics.


Online Social Networking and Teacher Professional Development

Interesting shifts have been taking place recently in relation to the use of computer-assisted professional development, specifically in the form of online social networking in education. MySpace and Facebook are two popular examples of social networking websites, but unfortunately their early reputation – and ofttimes negative publicity – have created a stigma around social networking that the technology itself doesn't deserve (see Hargadon, 2008). The understandable concerns created by these and similar networks have concealed amazing changes that are taking place in educational environments as the tools provided through social networking are being used by teachers and students alike. Nevertheless, as one reviews the academic literature associated with these new technologies and possibilities afforded through online social networks, a dearth of quality research is discovered – suggesting the need for further research in this open field. For as Pohjonen (1997) suggests: “Networking is an important feature of the new learning environments” (p. 372).

Social Networking In General

To begin with, the literature is replete with discussions centered on social networking in general. Mark Newman (2003), for example, discusses the different types of networks, elaborates on the structures of networks in the real world, and even analyzes the history and makeup of social networks (pp. 174-176). Ronald Breiger (2004), Linton Freeman (2004), and John Scott (2000) have all done significant work related to social network analysis. Moreover, Thomas Valente (1995) has furthered the work of Everett Rogers (2003) in treating diffusion tendencies throughout various network models. Thus, social networking on the whole has received generous treatment in the literature and throughout academia.

Newman’s definition of social networks summarizes the direction of most research related to social networking. Take particular note of the lack of references to any online networking.
A social network is a set of people or groups of people with some pattern of contacts or interactions between them. The patterns of friendships between individuals, business relationships between companies, and intermarriages between families are all examples of networks that have been studied in the past. (2003, p. 174)
In spite of the many angles at which researchers have approached social networking, however, very few have studied online networks until recent years – as online social networks have only recently sprung into existence.

An astoundingly high number of studies centered on the topic of online social networking involve youth and their affinity for such online behavior. Equally surprisingly is the relatively high frequency of related research employing qualitative methods. Using a survey methodology, Lenhart and Madden (2007), for example, report that “more than half (55%) of all of online American youths ages 12-17 use an online social networking sites” (p. 1). To continue, Rex Heer (2007) utilized qualitative methods to examine the use of a virtual community environment ( to assist first year college students’ social and academic transitions to a large university. And similarly, Heer’s 2005 ethnography of the Friendster service followed a 9-month participant-observation and included interviews, qualitative surveys and focus groups with over 200 Friendster early adopters. Each of these studies has added much to our knowledge of online social networking practices while also bringing unique perspective.

Professional Development In General

The topic of professional development, similarly, is an equally oft-studied subject throughout academia. Among oceans of similar literature are studies done by Robert Fortenberry (1985) and Gary Griffin (1983). Fortenberry, for example, identifies components of effective staff development:
An effective staff development program must attend to substantial issues of teaching and learning, adult development, and organizational processes. Primary is a bi-focused commitment to the principle of individual fulfillment, emphasizing self-realization and professional enrichment on the one hand and an improved pedagogy that promotes student actualization on the other. (p. 432)
While in this explanation Fortenberry does not focus on computer-assisted professional development methods – it was hardly developed in 1985 – the components listed can be easily applied to online settings.

Social Networking In Professional Development

As was stated in the beginning, there have been precious few studies conducted that relate to both teacher professional development and online social networking. Nevertheless, there have been many researchers with efforts leading to such a discussion. The work of Lave and Wenger (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1999), for example, provides a good base for studies related to networked learning in their exploration of what they have termed “communities of practice”. The concept of a community of practice refers to the process of social learning that occurs when people who have a common interest in some subject or problem collaborate over an extended period to share ideas, find solutions, and build innovations. It refers as well to the stable group that is formed from such regular interactions. Lave and Wenger conclude that a “community of practice is an intrinsic condition for the existence of knowledge, not least because it provides the interpretive support necessary for making sense of its heritage” (1991, p. 98). Thus, in order for successful professional development to take place, an effective community of practice must be established, whether that be through online or face to face interaction.

In 2005, Steven Downes elaborated further on the idea of communities of practice and how they had translated into online learning communities.
In the world of e-learning, the closest thing to a social network is a community of practice, articulated and promoted by people such as Etienne Wenger in the 1990s… For the most part, though, what constituted "community" in online learning were artificial and often contrived "discussions" supported by learning management systems. These communities were typically limited to a given group of learners, such as a university class, had a fixed start and end-point, and while substantially better than nothing, rarely approached Wenger's theory. (p. 4)
Downes goes on to admit, however, that as students and teachers continue to use wikis, blogs, and other interactive online tools “a network of interactions forms – much like a social network, and much like Wenger's community of practice” (p. 4, see also Sims & Salter, 2006).

To continue, many current researchers have agreed with Downes’ descriptions of both present and future environments of learning. One particular case in point is that of Bernard Cornu (2004). In his discussion of networking among teachers and learners, Cornu suggests that “collective intelligence” should first be developed for teachers and that “the classroom is the first place where collective intelligence should be addressed, developed and improved” (p. 4). Pettenati and Cigognini (2007) likewise continue on Downes’ work stating that learning trends favor the informal approach afforded by online social networking.
The emerging domain of study of informal e-learning is receiving greater attention because of the widespread of social networking practices and technologies… Social networking is emerging as a highly natural practice because it is deeply rooted in our daily behavior; spontaneous relations, interactions and conversations support informal learning practices, contributing to the creation and transmission of knowledge. In informal learning practices the social behavior and the support of technologies converge toward the “network”; a network made by people and resources, a social network, unified by personal needs or common goals, interaction policies, protocol and rules and telematic systems all together favoring the growth of a sense of belonging to the “net” community. (p. 17)
Hence, because of its natural, informal nature, online social networking has tremendous potential for utilization among teachers worldwide in staff development and other efforts.

In conclusion, as further research is centered on the potential possibilities and pitfalls of incorporating online social networks in learning, we will hopefully gain a better understanding of how such technologies can be utilized to enhance pedagogy. Furthermore, such efforts should provide insight and additional answers to a research question that has gained in importance as educational technologies have evolved: How are online social networks best utilized to enhance teacher professional development?


Breiger, R. (2004). The analysis of social networks. In M. Hardy & A. Bryman (Eds.), Handbook of data analysis (pp. 505-526). London: Sage Publications.

Cornu, B. (2004). Networking and collective intelligence for teachers and learners. In A. Brown & N. Davis (Eds.), Digital technology, communities and education (pp. 40-45). London: Routledge Falmer.

Downes, S. (2005). E-learning 2.0. eLearn magazine (2005, 10), 1-8.

Fortenberry, R. (1985). Successful staff development for effective schools. The journal of negro education (54, 3), 431-437.

Freeman, L. (2004). The development of social network analysis. Vancouver: Empirical Press.

Griffin, G. (1983). Implications of research for staff development programs. The elementary school journal (83, 4), 414-425.

Heer, R. (2007). My space in college: Students use of virtual communities to define their fit in higher education. In C. Crawford et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of society for information technology and teacher education international conference 2007 (pp. 2357-2363). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Lave, J. & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated Learning. Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press.

Lenhart, A. & Madden, M. (2007). Social networking websites and teens: An overview. Retrieved February 9, 2008, from Pew internet and American life project:

Newman, M. (2003). The structure and function of complex networks. SIAM Review (56), 167-256.

Pettenati and Cigognini (2007). Social networking theories and tools to support connectivist learning activities. Journal of web based learning and teaching technologies, 17.

Pohjonen, J. (1997). New learning environments as a strategic choice. European journal of education (32, 4), 369-377.

Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York: Free Press.

Scott, John. (2000). Social network analysis: A handbook, 2nd Ed. Newberry Park, CA: Sage.

Sims, R. & Salter, D. (2006). Blogging for learning: Integrating social networks for staff development., 775-778.

Wenger, E. (1999). Communities of Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Valente, Thomas. (1995). Network models of the diffusion of innovation. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

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Introducing: Drape's Papes

You spoke. I listened.


As I am deliberating over whether or not you really want to see a 15-page paper transformed into a blog post, I thought this video might wet your whistle as to something akin to what I might have in store for you. Either way, it's a pretty good laugh and an accurate reflection of my high school writing career.

I think I'll hit you first with a literature review I recently wrote. Stay tuned...

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I Love Fishing But Hate Phishing

I love fishing.

But hate phishing. Below is one I wanted to fall for but, because of the suspicious link, didn't.

Dad gum, rassle-frassin', $#@#! phishers.

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Draft Lessig

It would sure be nice to have a member of Congress that actually gets it.

The mastermind behind the Creative Commons and a number of other related efforts, Professor Lessig would provide a refreshing counter-balance to the surprisingly Naive that have contributed to congressional efforts of late.

draft lessig

Unfortunately for us, however, Laurence Lessig is probably too smart for a future in politics. Sadly, it seems that our nation's government has, in recent memory, been very much an environment where only the ignorant - or corrupt - or both - can thrive.

To learn more about Professor Lessig and some of the ways that America can and should change for the better, please read his blog, peruse his books (you can download them for free), or watch his videos. I can promise that you'll learn something new and walk away from the experience with a greater appreciation of what it means to share.

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Interact With Your Video:

I am extremely impressed with the potential educational uses of video when integrated with the newly released service called allows you to take any online video - posted to any of the more popular video-sharing websites - and superimpose text, images, hyperlinks, and other content onto the video.

Below is a simplified sample. The link to Halo has been added to the video. As you're watching the video (be patient, they're still in beta), imagine if the video was actually educational: a Ken Burns video, Donald Duck in Math Land, or even Pay Attention combined with links to other outside educational content.

In spite of some early opinions of apathy, I'm here to tell you that this kind of technology marks the beginning of an era in how users participate with entertainment. While the founders of have touted their service as yet another way to earn a buck (through product placement), I think this service - and similar future services - have tremendous implications for curriculum and instruction. As an example, imagine giving your social studies students this assignment:
Alright class, welcome to the computer lab this morning. As we've been studying various significant events of the 20th Century, it's important to remember that because of our past, we now have our present. And therein lies the background for today's assignment.

Your assignment - should you choose to accept it - is to first watch this video, taking note of which people and events are referenced. After watching the video, you are then to identify five current events that are directly related to people and/or events referenced in the video. You will then use to insert links, text, or images of the current events on top of the video of the related past events in the video.

Any questions? Go to work.
Now obviously you would have to give the students basic instruction on how to use - and you'd need to find a suitable video to use from one of the supported video sharing sites - but imagine the possibilities!
  • Teachers can now link from video to other components within their curriculum.
  • Students can now interact, participate, and engage with the video. Sure, they could take notes in the past - but now they can explore aspects presented within a video at a whole new level.
Think about it. If I would have had this kind of technology at my disposal when I first created Pay Attention, I could have added links to the references used in the presentation. That way, when a person finds an intriguing quote within the presentation (while they're watching it on YouTube or wherever), they simply click the link in the video - taking them to an online version of the paper from which the quote was taken.


I guess I've just stumbled upon your next assignment. Any questions? Go to work.

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Chalk It Up To Learning

The two-and-a-half-hour nightmare commute after OpenPD last night was, for me, an educational time of reflection. With the thousands of other folks that apparently could find no better place to enjoy a good snowstorm, I sat in my car wondering what we had learned during last night’s class.

Here’s a quick summary of what I learned:

  • A group activity creating Google Presentations can be a definite challenge if members of your groups are spread over the globe.
  • In such an activity, establishing communication is a very important first step.
  • It would be very nice if the entire Google Docs suite would incorporate the same collaborative chat feature that is employed in the Spreadsheets sub-application. Sheesh, we can chat while working on a spreadsheet – why can’t we chat while working on a presentation or word processing document?
  • Given that chat isn’t integrated into Google Presentations, we should have set up a separate chat-room ahead of time for each group. That way we wouldn’t have needed to do the communications shuffle for 15 minutes before participants were able to dive into the project.
Speaking of chat…
  • The Meebo chat-room we had embedded on our class Get Connected page worked great – until a troll or two joined in on our party. Last night’s attempts to keep unwanted rif-raf out of our class discussions were frustrating, to say the least. In the end, I learned that public Meebo rooms may not be the answer I had originally thought.
  • After switching from the Meebo chat-room to the Ustream equivalent, we thought we had out-smarted the pranksters – until yet another troll joined us in the Ustream chat. It wasn’t until too late that I learned how to assign moderators for the Ustream chat. I also learned that moderators must be participating in the Ustream chat on the Ustream channel itself (moderating won’t work if you’re using an embedded chat-room).
While open-ness should be embraced, it is still very important to maintain order. I’m afraid that a password-protected environment may be the only solution.

On a positive note, check out the presentations (below) that our three groups created. Not bad for teachers with little Google Docs experience and little time.

  • I learned that Jen Wagner has a great sense of humor. After our initial experiences with the Meebo chat-room, we were all a little frustrated with famegirl, the persistent troll that we just couldn't get to quit. It was after we had switched to Ustream that Jen decided to pull a fast one: she briefly switched her nickname to famegirl, causing quite a roar!
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Surveys Via Google Spreadsheets

Google snuck another very cool feature into their Spreadsheets application: Surveys. Thanks, Jeremy Brown, for the tip!

I thought I would play around with it today.

Here's what I've learned:

1. It's pretty easy to build a simple survey. Create a new spreadsheet in Google Docs, click the Share tab, invite people to fill out a form.

2. You're then taken to a new window that wherein you will create your survey questions.

3. Once you've entered in your questions, you can then proceed to a page that shows both a preview of your survey and a way to invite others to participate in your survey.

4. As surveys come in, the answers are added in real time to your spreadsheet.

All in all, pretty cool stuff. Except for a few little bugs.

  • Don't plan on adding questions after you've begun a survey. Google doesn't know how to add your new questions very well.
  • The same goes for re-ordering your questions. Once you begin the survey, leave it all alone.
  • We also noticed a frustrating bug with the chat feature (while viewing the spreadsheet). Once the text reaches the bottom, it drops out the input window. Ugh. Closing the spreadsheet and opening it again fixes the problem.
If you're interested in the survey itself:
  • You may click here to take it.
  • You may click here to view the results in real time.
  • I also figured out how to make the spreadsheet embeddable. In the Publish tab, there's an link for "More Publishing Options". One of file format options is "HTML to embed in a webpage". I used that code to embed the spreadsheet below. Imagine the possibilities.

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Favorite Tweeters? Just A Thought

Dear Twitter,

As members of the globalized information age, we are constantly bombarded by an incessant deluge of information. Thus, any adjustments in design that successfully serve to simplify the acquisition and processing of new information are continually welcomed.

With that in mind, I kindly request that a feature be added to the basic Twitter interface: Following Favorites.

Similar to but simpler than Twitter groups, this feature could function much like favoriting a tweet - through stars or what have you - but applied to those particular people that you wish to separate from the rest of the pack. That way, when one of your favorite Tweeters tweets a tweet, you'll be made more aware - regardless of the number of Twits you follow. Third-party applications could take that improvement one step further by color-coding the tweets of your favorite Tweeters - much like Twitterific currently does for @replies and direct-messages.

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Open Professional Development - A Definition

Open Source

  • A set of principles and practices on how to write software.
  • The source code is openly available.
  • According to the Open Source Definition currently maintained by the Open Source Initiative, one should not only get the source code but also have the right to use it.
  • The term open source has been used previously (here and here, as early as 1987) with a much wider definition and is still used in that wider meaning by many people who do not necessarily accept the Open Source Initiative's more limited definition of the term.
  • While often distributed free of charge, such an implication is not inherent. Rather, see FLOSS.
Open Content
  • Describes any kind of creative work published in a format that explicitly allows the copying and the modifying of the information by anyone, not exclusively by a closed organization, firm or individual.
  • The largest open content project is Wikipedia.
  • Royalty free.
  • Share alike.
  • May or may not allow commercial redistribution.
  • Content can be either in the public domain or under an open license (Creative Commons licenses, for example).
Open Education
  • An emerging movement.
  • Combines the established tradition of sharing good ideas with fellow educators and the collaborative, interactive culture of the Internet.
  • Built on the belief that everyone should have the freedom to use, customize, improve and redistribute educational resources without constraint.
  • Educators, learners and others who share this belief are gathering together as part of a worldwide effort to make education both more accessible and more effective (see the Cape Town Open Education Declaration).
With the above in mind, here's my take on the properties of Open Professional Development.

Open Professional Development
  • Open Enrollment - All that desire are welcome to participate.
  • Free of charge.
  • Combines the established tradition of sharing good ideas with fellow educators and the collaborative, interactive culture of the Internet.
  • Built on the belief that everyone should have the freedom to use, customize, improve and redistribute educational resources without constraint.
  • Not limited to the course we've named OpenPD. Thus more of a movement - like Open Education - than a particular class.
  • At times can be on-demand - but not limited to such. Sessions should be recorded and archived as a general rule.
Your thoughts? What am I missing? How do you see professional development evolving?

Image Source - Open Source Initiative

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The Desire/Support Continuum

Update: Even Babe Ruth struck out every now and then. Hence, in discussing this further I've concluded that only some of what I've said in this post is actually true. The more I think about this, the more I'm convinced that a learner's desire to learn is simply not a function of the support they receive. But they are related. Can you accurately tell me how?


In thinking more about the unrelenting third, I've been attempting to wrap my head around how much a person's desire to learn affects their ability to learn. It seems to me that if a person really wants to learn something, then they can. And will. As long as adequate support is in place for such learning to transpire.

Because that's really what a teacher provides: Learning support. Some call it scaffolding. Others call it nurturing. Nevertheless, it all boils down to the same thing: A teacher is successful when they make the learning process easier for their students.

In general: As a learner's desire increases, the amount of support they need decreases - whether that be in the form of technical support, individualized instruction, or any other type of scaffolding. Conceivably, there could be situations that require a tremendous amount of support in order for learning to occur, regardless of the learner's level of desire. Nevertheless, I've seen the above model to be generally accurate in all but the most random cases.

Feel free to pick this idea apart.

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So That's Where You've Been

As you may or may not know, I am currently taking two doctoral classes (Qualitative Research Methods and Educational Leadership) amid other efforts of balancing work, family life, and other personal endeavors. As a result, the time I'd normally spend blogging has been spent in other writing. During the last week or so, for example, I've been completing a brief (definitely non-comprehensive) literature review in an attempt to further study how online social networks can be utilized to enhance teacher professional development.

If you're interested in seeing what I've been up to academically, use the new poll that I've recently published on this blog's sidebar.

You've got one week to decide (or one week to fudge with the results, depending on how you look at it).

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