Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Week 15: Networks of Personalized Learning (e.g., language learning, tutoring, etc.)

Week 15:

We have gotten a bit ahead in our course since we kept having online class during Spring Break Week. This week was really a time for catch up on assignments and posting final projects under the Week 15 Cool Resource Forum.

I hope to have my Final project up very soon. Many of my peers are quite creative and have submitted interesting You Tubes for their final projects.

Included in our assignments are a reflective paper regarding our Educational Blog experience this semester and our Top Ten 'Tidbits' from extra readings through out the semester.

While this has been a crazy busy semester for me personally, I feel I have refined my elearning knowledge and am even more passionate about integrating technology into my face to face classes as well as my online courses.

Dr. Bonk has the ability to push all of us to the next level in learning. I really appreciate his enthusiasm and knowledge.

As far as what I would recommend for faculty in nursing education.... do not be afraid to try anything to make a course more interesting and engaging. Include the students and let them do most of the work... they will learn more and thank you later. Also, take advantage of free courseware that is available. Why re-create the wheel if it is already done for you?

The World is Open for Nursing Education and ALL levels of learning. As Dr. Bonk States: WE - ALL - LEARN!


Friday, April 16, 2010

Week 14: Podcasting, Webcasting, and Course casting

Week 14: April 12, 2010

Our focus this week was on podcasting. I have listened to podcasts and have nursing colleagues that have made podcasts which were added to online courses. However, I have not made a podcast yet. It is not that I don’t know how or am fearful, I basically have not taken the time to make one.

One of the articles that I read this week that I liked was: Deal, Ashley (2007, June). Podcasting. A Teaching With Technology White Paper. Educause. Retrieved July 5, 2007, from

The article states: "Only 20% of students in the UW study listened to more than 75% of recorded lectures. In addition to picking and choosing which lectures to review, many students also scan the lectures, fast-forwarding to specific points or sections, and listening to particular portions multiple times (Lane, 2006)."

This is a whitepaper that provide some good info on podcasting. Below are several suggested uses for podcasts:

Reviews for lectures. The article goes on to say: “the true value of podcasting is its “potential not necessarily to educate better, but to educate further” (p. 390) by creating “new opportunities to teach, sans credits and degrees, those for whom attendance, enrollment, or education itself might not otherwise be possible” (p. 393).

For Supplemental Course Related Material. Instructors at many institutions are also experimenting with the delivery of supplemental materials, often designed and produced specifically as podcasts.

For Podcast Assignments. Have students create podcasts as assignments, rather than the instructor creating the content for the assignment.

There were many of us in the discussion forum this week that felt podcasting was beneficial while driving the car or doing some other kind of activity while listening to an ipod. We also seem to feel the same that is unlikely that we would go back and listen to a podcast lecture if we had been in the lecture and taken notes. Finally, we also agreed that an Adobe Connect of a lecture would be more beneficial than a podcast.

Justin (our moderator this week) went on to say in the forum: “ I think there are some inherently different ways of learning based on what technology is being used and if we can reach more people and get them more educated, great. I think the bottom line is we need to understand advantages and disadvantages to different types of technology and we need to try to provide a framework that can be used for learning with different types of technology.”

Cool Resources: free ebook from Tony Vincent on creating a podcast from Justin… a talk about Openness in Education tutorial about making a podcast using audacity

Cool Podcasts: and blogging and podcasts on current news and issues called This American Life New addition to Dr. Thiagi’s site on creativity and gaming in learning

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Week 13: Educational Blogging

Week 13: April 5, 2010

Blogging is new for me. I had heard of blogging but had not been a ‘blogger’ before this course. I like the way that Steve (from my class) summed blogging as a means to link one's learning, to pull it all together. I totally agree with Steve. I think the blogging assignment for this course has allow me to ‘pull it all together’ and reflect as a weekly diary.

The Adobe Connect gathering this week was with Steve Downes. I was unable to attend live but did enjoy listening to the archived presentation. He is the KING of Blogging. Downes stated this during the adobe session: "About blogging, he noted that it induces new ideas and creativity, you learn better by blogging than by merely listening because you are actively engaged. He said it is similar to taking notes during a presentation.....the notes can be tossed when it's over because the act of taking notes engaged you in the presentation and their 'quality' is of no accord."

Dr. Bonk explains in the forum this week: “The comparison between the traditional weblog – blog and the use of Twitter as a blogging tool is traditional blogging includes diary type entries, short essays, whereas microblogging is instant quick exchanges of ideas and thoughts. Microblogging is also considered part of the social networking genre and mobile connectivity that has exploded over the past few years.”

Twitter is also highly valuable. It interacts with people instantaneously. Information can be communicated via twitter for schedule changes, changes in conference agendas, notification of social events,etc.. I am not a twitter gal either but enjoy reading twitter pages of famous people. I have become a huge fan of Adam Lambert from last years American Idol (he was the runner up). I like his music and have followed his twitter page because I am a nosey old woman.

Cool Resources that were my Favorites: (great site to explore for creativity with blogging) (another great site to possible use for online learning with nursing students) (incorporates videos with blogging) (10 Ways Twitter will change blog design in 2009) “10 Effective Ways to Get More Blog Subscribers” This is called ‘Sixth Sense’ in which technology will someday know our thoughts and anticipate thinking… intriguing

deb :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Week 12: Mobile, Wireless, and Ubiquitous Learning

Week 12: March 29, 2010

I was once again the moderator and cool resource leader this week. While there were many cool resources to find and share, the articles were limited. Due to technology changing so quickly, it is difficult for research and current writings to keep up the pace.

As a review, Dr. Bonk shared the following for all:
Web 1.0: individual, browsing, reading, evaluative, reading, etc,

Web 2.0: social, reacting, commenting, writing to the Web,.

On article that was interesting but somewhat dated was: Traxlar, John (2007, June). Defining, discussing and evaluating mobile learning: The moving finger writes and having writ…. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. 8(1). Retrieved July 2,2007, from

The paper explores and articulates these issues and the connections between them specifically in the context of the wider and sustained development of mobile learning. **Remember that this article was written in 2007 so it is a bit behind regarding technology.

The article defines mobile learning as a 'relatively immature field'. The article also states that there has not been much exploration of the actual technologies or pedagogies in any detail to define questions for discussion and to provide answers for what might in fact be premature or inappropriate questions. It states it is too early to describe or analyze the specifics of mobile learning for distance learning since the field, as a whole, is new and accounts are relatively sparse. The synergy between mobile learning and distance learning, however, holds enormous potential. **Again, I find this very interesting that an article just 3 years old is quite outdated.

Another article that was particularly interesting pertaining to teens was: Lenhart, Amanda, Madden, Mary, & Hitlin, Paul (2005). Teens and technology: Youth are leading the transition to a fully wired and mobile nation. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Report. Retrieved on November 3rd, 2006 from
This article is 5 years old and while it provides great statistics, I am sure they are not accurate. It would be great to have access to current data to compare.

At the time this article was written, it was cited that 57% of online teens create content for the internet. That amounts to half of all teens ages 12-17, or about 12 million youth. These 'Content Creators' report having done one or more of the following activities: create a blog; create or work on a personal webpage; create or work on a webpage for school, a friend, or an organization; share original content such as artwork, photos, stories, or videos online; or remix content found online into a new creation. Other noted creative mobile credits in the article include:

1. The most popular Content Creating activities are sharing self-authored content and working on web pages for others.
2. 33% of online teens share their own creations online, such as artwork, photos, stories, or videos.
3. 32% say that they have created or worked on web pages or blogs for others, including those for groups they belong to, friends or school assignments.
4. 22% report keeping their own personal webpage.
5. 19% have created their own online journal or blog.
6. About one in five internet-using teens (19%) says they remix content they find online into their own artistic creations.

Interesting links: new skype application with Verizon views on wireless and broadband developments as of early 2010 -DA Mobile learning & content delivery via any cellphone or smartphone. Imagining the Future of Learning (past and future) Very interesting Digital Individualized Educational Plan....

Finally, this week, the iPad was released. Lisa’s mom got one and Lisa shared the following info in our forum:

10 Reasons the iPad is Magic (Here are her top 10 reasons she is in love with it)

1. Able to learn tools in seconds instead of months like other programs I’ve used
2. You can paint pictures right on the screen
3. You can prop it on a pillow on your lap without it getting hot
4. It’s easy to carry around
5. It has thousands of apps
6. Just one app, Sketchbook Pro, has enough brushes to paint a masterpiece
7. I can keep it until I die and never use all the apps
8. You can order your book instantly and read it now
9. Apple tools are waayy easier than Microsoft ones to use and understand
10. Steve Jobs is right, “It’s magic!”

I don’t think I will be getting an iPad anytime soon but it sure is exciting how much is going on in the world of technology. I am a visionary and dreaming of how nursing education can best utilize all these technological opportunities for learning.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Week 11: Alternate Reality Learning: Massive Gaming, Virtual Reality, and Simulations

Week 11: March 22, 2010

This week was my week to moderate. I chose this week because of the simulation / virtual reality concepts. Simulation has become a key component to learning in nursing education. While the simulations are more so in a lab face to face, I am intrigued with Second Life and how simulation could be used online for nursing education.

One of the articles I read was Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown (2009, January). Why Virtual Worlds Matter. International Journal of Media and Learning, Vol. 1(1).

This article describes massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) as a sense of “being with others” and being able to share space, communicate and act in the shared space of a virtual world sense of “being there” with others. These types of games motivate players to think about life (situations) online in the form of an avatar (that the student / player creates) which provides an opportunity to truly engage in the “play of imagination”. The virtual online community that the article discusses is Second Life.

Virtual worlds require thinking about knowing, rather than knowledge (“knowledge in action”). Because the world in which the game happens is constantly in a state of flux, players are forced to continually adapt to changes. The goal is to think beyond the game and look to the ways in which virtual worlds combine the power of play (and situated learning) and the depth of experience that results from the game’s connection to everyday life.

The article discusses a concept called “learning inversion” in which a phase of learning about virtual worlds provide the opportunity for participants to be both/and: both inside and outside, both player and avatar, both character and person.

The article concludes that the kinds of engagement that players have with the game and with the social life around the game, suggest that the relationship players may have with new learning environments may be much deeper and much richer than current learning theories. The goal is to move beyond situated learning toward an understanding of these game spaces which focuses on the ways in which players construct not only a shared discourse and culture, but actually engage in the a feeling of what the article calls a “networked imagination.”

Another article that was interesting was: Teresa Coffman, Mary Beth Klinger (2007). Utilizing Virtual Worlds in Education: The Implications for Practice, International Journal of Social Sciences, Volume 2 Number 1. Retrieved August 18, 2008, from

This article specifically discusses Second Life ( ) which is a 3-D Multi User Virtual Environment (MUVE) that has grown to more than a million residents since its inception in 2003. Second Life is a world created solely by its residents. Within the virtual world are advertisers marketing to residents to buy products and services in the real-world. There are colleges and universities creating environments within the virtual world, such as Dartmouth College who created a 3D virtual island in Second Life to train community emergency response teams to handle real life emergencies by experiencing emergencies in a 3D environment.

In an educational context, the article discusses Second Life as having potential to provide rich and engaging learning experiences for students with peers as well as with other students and educators across the world. The Second Life learning environments allows students to immerse themselves in content that can potentially provide lessons learned within the virtual environment back into their real-lives, thereby creating meaning with the content to connect with concepts being taught in a classroom. This could be the ultimate critical thinking experience for students.

A virtual Second Life Demo specifically for nursing via You Tube is:

Other interesting Virtual Reality / Simulation links:

Virtual Reality Surgery Simulator Hones Surgeons' Skills, Improves Patient Safety:

Nursing / Healthcare Simulation Manikins by Laerdal; watch 2 video clips on this page (Sim Man 3 G):

Virtual Autopsy Table:

I am a Simulation Scholar for IU School of Nursing but certainly have much more to learn about moving simulation to the online environment.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Week 10: Interactive and Collaborative Learning

Week 10: March 15, 2010

The moderator this week was Mag. She provided the following definitions in order to make sure all were on the same page for discussions:
Synchronous (sync): same time/same place and same time/different place
Asynchronous (async): different time/same place and different time/different place

I personally like a blended use of both sync and asyn. Through my own personal online experiences as a student and as a teacher, I have used skype and adobe connect (aka Breeze).
The voice and video in adobe connect are sometimes not connected and there is sometimes a delay in the visuals on screen in which one is talking. I had trouble with this during a course I taught in the fall, 2009.

Skype is great for chatting with small groups or between several people. My daughter is getting ready to study in London for a month and we plan to use Skype to connect with her while she is abroad (we both have webcams for the visual too).

Leesa made this statement and I actually agree with her: She states that she is quite surprised that oncourse doesn't have something like illuminate or skype built into it. Would be a pretty neat feature! We need to talk with the IU IT department… it there are wikis and live chats, then there has to be an option to skype .

Pros and Cons of Sync:
PROs: quick, immediate, interactive, sense of community, responsive to student questions, visual for instructor and students, can archive and replay back, can invite others in.

CONs: time zone issues, bandwidth / conductivity may vary, other technical problems (microphones, webcams, overwhelming system, complex features)

Pros and Cons of Async:
PROs - delayed, more time to respond, more reflective with responses

CONs - feedback is slow or never comes at all, lacks visuals, lacks real-world or real classroom feel, might get deleted by mistake, too much to read and keep up with.

One of the articles that Mag summarized was: Sync Learning experiences: Distance & residential learners’ perspectives in blended grad course (2007):
Students are satisfied with their experiences in synchronous critique discussion and indicate that live communication is beneficial for them to exchange prompt feedback and suggestions. Regular meaningful interactions scheduled across the semester enhance social presence and a sense of connectivity among learners, playing an important role in their willingness and satisfaction. Instructors need to have solid knowledge and skill in various delivery mediums as well as an awareness of appropriate pedagogies, challenges and new roles for various types of sync and async environments.

I would be in favor of a blended sync and async use of technologies being thoughtful as to the appropriate use of the blend depending on the course. The advantages of synchronized connections certainly outweigh the cons. The sense of community and belonging to the group are very important for engagement and learning with distance education. Interactive technologies such as discussion forums, chats and adobe connect interactions provide effective collaborative learning for students. As a faculty, this is a challenge but in a good way. It keeps an online course fresh and current for students.

Interesting tidbit / link for the week: 7 things you should know about Ning. I had not heard of Ning before but now know it is an educational social networking site.

Interactive sites:
Adobe Connect Pro (formerly Breeze) – see our class url:
Yahoo! Groups:
Windows Live Groups:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Week 9: YouTube, TeacherTube, and the Future of Shared Online Video

Week 9: March 8, 2010

This was probably one of my favorite weeks. Diane, my critical partner for blogging, was the moderator and provided many excellent resources under the ‘Cool Resource’ forum.
From the Wayne State Video Professor examples (which were really fun to watch) to the how to make a You Tube and change backgrounds and other You Tube helpful links… great stuff to use for future reference.

I also loved the info for the blind to scan books for audio accessibility. Very interesting info for the hearing and visually impaired.

A question posed this week was: How can (or have) you use tools like YouTube (or how could you make better use of social networks (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. using tools like YouTube) Give some examples of how you would implement these tools into your classroom.
Teaching online is challenging.

At this point, I am just trying to support readings with other online sites, ebooks, and articles. However, I am a believer in You Tube. I use them whenever I can. I became less inhibited about using You Tubes after Dr. Bonk’s course on creativity and learning. You Tubes can be very educational, humorous, and extreme to stress important points. Other You Tubes can cause thought provoking discussions such as the Hugs Campaign: and the You Tube to support Breast Cancer Research:

However, I have not incorporated any of the social networks into class yet such as Facebook and Twitter. I certainly have plans to rethink this in the near future though.

Another question asked this week was: Do you find yourself watching less TV because you now watch YouTube videos, TV shows, news and check your email on your smart phone or netbook?

I personally do not have much time to watch TV but my college age daughter is a huge fan of Hulu and watches (and rewatches) many shows such as The Office and Dexter. She has actually taught me a few things about catching up on favorite shows that I have missed…mmm.

My Favorite article this week was: Bonk, C. J. (2008, March). YouTube anchors and enders: The use of shared online video content as a macrocontext for learning. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2008 Annual Meeting, New York, NY.

Dr. Bonk does a great job of highlighting the pros and cons of online videos and You Tubes. One statement he makes is: online videos such as You Tube videos can illuminate and augment weekly assigned readings. These videos can anchor instruction at the beginning of class as well as help to end the class. I certainly have used You Tubes as ice breakers as well end of class statements as Dr. Bonk suggests. This is a very nice article!

Finally, another favorite You Tube thanks to Dr. Bonk: This one is called: Where the Hell is Matt?

Love it and enjoy,

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Week 8: Wikis, Wikipedia, Wikibooks, and Collaborative Writing

Week 8: March 1, 2010

Wikis are a tool for social construction of knowledge (Dr. Curt Bonk). I have heard of wikis, wikipedia and wikibooks but have not ever used any personally nor with students. I am an inexperienced wikian. So I learned a lot from the articles and interactions this week.

Several articles for the week describe the use of wikis in education:

Sajjapanroj, Bonk, Lee, and Lin in the article, “ The Window on Wikibookians: Surveying their Statuses, Successes, Satisfactions and Sociocultural Experiences ” (2005) state -

“For instance, one participant argued for, ‘A way for people to communicate with each other, a way to track the contributions of each person, a way to make the information accessible to newcomers, a simple interface that an average person can learn very quickly or even use intuitively.’ Another participant emphasized the importance of a voting system; ‘I think for revisions, a voting system might be instituted. This eliminates power struggles over points of view, etc.’ Clearly, there remain many wikibook components and tools that require additional refinements and enhancements to facilitate online collaboration and coordination among Wikibookians” (p. 50).

Interesting 'stats' that the article points out include:
• Wikibokian Demographics - majority less than 35 years old, male, 50% less than bachelors education, about 75% employeed in education and business, 77% had experience working/learning in a collaborative onnline environment outside of Wikibook.
• Wikibook processes - 78% felt that contributing to a learning/sharing of knowledge effort was most important reason to participate, personal growth and enrichment was rated second highest (58%), 94% found tools and resources fun to use, 75% found wikibook projects challenging, 70% indicated they did not personally own the project suggesting a strong community spirit of ownership (not unlike tribal social relationships, I think), even though book completion was slow, 90% felt their most recent project was personally rewarding
• Wikibook environments and tools - tool features were satisfactory (88%- tools, 68% discussion tools, 64% user-friendly website - % indicating OK)
• Wikibooks and Sociocultural - 82% considered indepenent learning was encouraged, 100% believed wikibooks promoted online collaboration.

Another article called: “Uses and Potentials of Wikis in the Classroom” by Ferris and Wilder points out:

Ownership or self-control of learning is an important principle. Educators "must allow students complete control of the content in order for a wiki to work effectively as a teaching and learning tool." It is suggested that educations should be less concerned about editing untrustworthy information out but helping students know how to "make their own judgments regarding the accuracy of information."

Uses for wikis in this research learning environment included:
• collaborative activities - collaborative writing, problem-solving, creating and sharing of information sources, i.e would our R685 forum fit this activity?
• information sources,
• submission of student assignments
• project spaces.

A final article by O’Shea, Baker, Allen, Curry-Corcoran, & Allen, (2007, Winter), New Levels of Student Participatory Learning: A WikiText for the Introductory Course in Education, Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 6(3), states:

“students find the Wikitext process credible and value the experience and the next step is to determine if professionals validate the student perceptions of credibility. This WikiText experiment is a major effort to integrate content, pedagogy, and technology. Each of these three course dimensions interact and support the others in learning online.”

Interesting links / tidbits for the week: compares side by side different wikis (advantages and disadvantages) A conference video as a quick overview of how a class might collaborate to write their own textbook. a ‘how to’ wiki page seven things you should know about Wikipedia from Educause, (2007, June)

I will try to be brave and attempt the use of wikis in teaching my future online nursing courses.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Week 7: Connectivism, Social Knowledge, and Participatory Learning

Week 7: February 22, 2010

I will start with several fascinating reading for the topic this week:

In Nicholas Carr (2008, July/August). Is Google Making Us Stupid? Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved August 18, 2008, from , I thought it was fascinating how Carr discusses how technology has affected writing (and reading) since the invention of the typewriter up to today with computers and cell phone texting. He refers to this as 'intellectual technologies' (coined by Daniel Bell) and explains that our minds begin to take on those of the technologies. He acknowledges that Google's mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful and seeks to develop the perfect search engine", he feels that our minds today have become filled with artificial intelligence dependant on search engines like Google.

I would have to agree with Carr a little about out dependence on search engines like Google. I know I have said to my own students as well as my 16 year old son, 'Go Google It', knowing that they will mostly likely will find it somewhere on the web. My goal was to have them seek out the info rather than I just providing an answer. I hope this does not lead to 'artificial intelligence' as Carr describes.

The next article I read was: Catherine McLoughlin & Mark Lee (2008, June/July). Future learning landscapes: Transforming pedagogy through social software. Innovate. 4(5).

I really loved this article! This article discusses social software (web communities such as facebook, flickr, twitter, blogs, etc..) use with Web 2.0 to transform education into something called Pedagogy 2.0. The article goes deeper to describe how Connectivism can enhance Pedagogy 2.0 through course content, curriculum, resources, communication, scaffolding, processes and learning tasks.

On a personal note, I teach an online Professional Nursing Communication course and have added multiple connectivism methods to the course such as You Tubes, e-books, student teams to develop content projects and discussion forums. A student recently emailed me and stated she really loved the course because of the visuals I used in the content portion which made the topics more meaningful to learn. I considered this quite a complement. I would say I have been inspired by all the courses I have taken from Dr. Bonk. It is a challenge to continue to find fresh and new web enhanced sites for the course. (thanks Dr. Bonk :)

One last article I read was Henry Jenkins, Katie Clinton, Ravi Purushotma, Alice J. Robison and Margaret Weigel. (2008). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century Chicago: The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Retrieved August 17, 2008, from

This is done as a white paper that focuses on the topic of Participatory Culture and how the MacArthur Foundation has contributed 50 million dollars to make a difference in providing multi-media to the US. The paper defines participatory culture as (pg. 7):

1.With relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement
2.With strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations with others
3.With some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is
passed along to novices
4.Where members believe that their contributions matter
5.Where members feel some degree of social connection with one another (at the least they
care what other people think about what they have created).

The paper points out challenges, potential problems and solutions to provide web access to households across America.

To me, making digital learning accessible to everyone sounds wonderful but I am sure there are multiple issues including funds for equipment and technology education for all to take advantage of this option for education. The white paper does address most of this but I believe it will take a few years before every household has internet access and computer technology as if it were a TV or phone. Many rural areas are basically without high speed access to the web. Maybe I will be surprised and it will happen sooner than I think.

Interesting links / tidbits for this week: from Mag a live demo of a really cool tool on the VoiceThread site called the Doodler that allows you to draw on top of media (see white freehand circle above) as you record your comment (using mic, webcam, or keyboard), control playback of a video while Doodling and commenting on specific video segments. The Doodles are synced to your comment, showing viewers your thoughts in action.

Sample Web 2.0 tools and companies (from Dr. Bonk)

VoiceThread: add audio to pics
SnapGenie: tell stories behind pics
Scrapblog: create a scrapbook of pics
Dotsub: create subtitling text in online videos and films
YackPack: email an audio file site with 7 things you should know about Web 2.0 technologies

Connectively Yours :),

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Week 6: Open Educational Resources (OER) and OpenCourseWare (OCW)

Week 6: February 15, 2010

Another week of unchartered waters for me or so I thought. Again, I was not fully aware of the depth and breadth of free / open course ware available. I am afraid I have been a taker and not a giver and very much have taken for granted all the great stuff in cyberland.

Cindi was our moderator / leader this week and did a great job of summarizing very lengthy articles this week. The one that stuck with me is titled:

Giving Knowledge for Free: The Emergence of Open Educational Resources (OER)

The article discusses the current trend of offering learning resources openly on the Internet has taken many by surprise. This intellectual ‘property’ (course materials) was, at one time, what set one institution apart from another. Now it is being provided to all who want to take part in life- long learning. The OER movement “accelerates the blurring of formal and informal learning, and of educational and broader cultural activities”. It opens the doors for the non-traditional learner. The content may be delivered in a variety of ways but primarily it is provided as PDF files or learning objects which may involve websites, simulations, images, audio, or video. In addition educational institutions should support OER as a way to leverage taxpayer dollars “by allowing free sharing and reuse of resources”.

Sustainability is a challenge. When OER is provided free of charge side effects may occur somewhere in the process. To ensure survival over the long haul OER projects must have clear goals set. The project leaders must include the anticipated size of the group and how it will be structured. They need a picture of the types of resources necessary to share and the user to be shared with. They also need to decide on a funding model that will adequately fund the project.

Quality of OER has become even more important as others are entering this arena. Are the users able to get the resources needed? Are the items of interest being offered to the user? Are the needs of the disable student being met? These and many other questions are considered when working toward improved and useful OER.

Lisa, a peer in my class, mentions that there needs to be some serious consideration given to what really are the core subjects that students need to be educated in during the next few decades. Much discussion surrounded what the emphasis should be put on topics like leadership, global communications, internet skills, creativity and other topics rather than earth science, physics, algebra, etc. The general consensus in the forum was that required classes needed to be more flexible in high school and that students had more choices to take more electives.

When it comes to ‘giving back’ for using OER and OCW, I thought that since I didn’t know how to program, I couldn't help which is becoming very clear that this is not the case. As others have pointed out submitting feedback or donating money are quick and easy ways to give back. True, I agree that people should not have to give back, but ethically and morally this should be an understood type of obligation. For folks that use and support OCW and OERs, I would recommend contributions of resources to support these endeavors whether it be through time, feedback or money.

Interesting tidbits from this week: a place to view and share educational material made of small knowledge chunks called modules that can be organized as courses, books, reports, etc. Anyone may view or contribute. MIT Open Course Ware (OCW) Project lots of open course ware that is FREE


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Week 5: The Movement Toward Free and Open Source Software

Week 5: February 8, 2010

This week was a bit of a challenge as I really had not ever heard of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Little did I know that had been using FOSS and did not even realize it. Dr. Bonk had an Adobe Connect interaction (optional) this week in which he assigned ‘roles’ for each of us to play. I was assigned Robert Stephenson, the author of one of our required articles this week: Open Source/Open Course Learning: Lessons for Educators from Free and Open Source Software.

Here is my scripted information I shared in the interaction online as Dr. Robert Stephenson:

I, Rob Stephenson, am an educator, eLearning architect and consultant living in San Francisco. I am currently Assoc. Prof. of Biological Sciences at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI, where he has taught an online physiology class for the last seven years. My previous faculty assignments include Purdue University and the Faculté des Sciences of the Université Mohammed V in Rabat, Morocco.

I am a pioneer of the "open course" movement: applying the principles of openness and collaborative development to the creation and use of interactive learning materials. He founded the first open course project, the Harvey Project (, an international collaboration to build free learning objects for physiology. He is the organizer of OpenCourse.Org, an NSF-funded platform to support open course projects.
I am a Curator of the Tech Virtual Museum Workshop at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA, USA.

Since Dec. 2008, the Program for the Future Global Design Challenge has been seeking new tools to improve collaboration and collective intelligence. It is a challenge to "develop a practical method, tool or technology that connects people so that they collectively act more intelligently. We are looking for new ideas – even simple ideas – that help people work better and smarter together in some important area." So far there have been 35 entries and the first year's Challenge is closing next Monday, Feb. 8, 2010”.

I hold an A.B. in physics from Princeton, an MS in physics and a Ph.D. in neurophysiology, both from MIT. Rob also holds Java programming certification from Sun Microsystems, and is co-leader of the Global Education & Learning Commmunity (GELC) at, a foundry for open source Java applications.

In the article, Open Source / Open Course Learning: Lessons for Educators from Free and Open Source Software... I make the following observations:
• FOSS demonstrates that network effects occur at the edge of the network: in most cases bottom-up is more powerful than top-down.
• FOSS's lesson is that an active community of practice is the key to success. An open course collaboration is a knowledge ecosystem with an economy based primarily on exchange and reputation.
• When such a community involves all stakeholders, it not only provides the most value to its members but also grows the fastest.
• Including students in this community of practice strengthens their education.
• An open course community needs the ability to modify its resources since this is the only way they can be improved or adapted for new contexts.
• Community resources will evolve only if they include assessment as an integral component and the results of this assessment are used to drive improvement.
• Stakeholders need lots of simple, easy ways to make helpful contributions to the community so that it becomes a social norm. Ways to promote this include incentives, a reputation system, and a license that requires contribution. Technology is needed to make these contributions as frictionless as possible.

In Dr. Bonk’s book, The World is Open, chapter 4 is titled: It's a Free Software World After All.
This chapter is all about free and open software and the benefits they provide. "For one, there is innovation, creativity, and some sense of voice or control outside of commercial vendors" (p. 151). They also provide a learning and collaborative experience for those that wish to create these pieces of software - people working together towards a particular goal or common good. Free and open source software is key in the WE-ALL-LEARN model, providing a growing capital for education.

As I look at open source learning sites such as Merlot, Moodle, and Wikibooks, it makes me wonder about the 'rules' for using open source in comparison to the 'rules' for commercially available software products. A peer in my course, Mag, noted an issue with open source learning in the following entry: “Academic Earth's Terms of Use include a major section entitled DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES, LIMITATION OF LIABILITY AND INDEMNITY: WHILE WE DO OUR BEST TO ENSURE THE OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE OF THE AE SERVICES, YOU AGREE THAT USE OF THE AE SERVICES IS AT YOUR OWN RISK.....etc, etc. (Sorry for the capital letters, but it is written in caps on their site.) They also have a section titled: NOTICE AND PROCEDURE FOR CLAIMS OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT. Seems to be lot of red tape for an "open source' organization who's mission is "giving everyone on earth access to a world-class education."”

Another peer in class, Leesa, identified another issue concerning hidden costs in "free" such as costs of set-up, training, maintenance, upgrading, the patches and the system integration and so on. Dr. Bonk stated: ‘Humm...perhaps it is not free after all’.

Several interesting and helpful websites I learned about:

The 8 Most Successful Open Source Products Ever ( ) suggested by Michael K. in my class. another FOSS that I had not heard of before a totally free version of Office I also really like the website alternatives to common programs like office, adobe and users can vote on the ones they like the best. Very cool site (suggested by Justin in my class) great site for health, medicine and sciences

Very much a week of learning for me,

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Week 4: The Continued Expansion of Blended and Fully Online Learning

Week 4: February 1, 2010

This was a tough week for me. My father passed away and I find it tough to concentrate. I was to assist a peer (Lisa Yoder) with moderating our weekly article /cool resources interactions. I did not contribute one single thing. I would like to personally thank Lisa for her sensitive support and wonderful contributions to the forums this week. Dr. Bonk was also very understanding of my life situation.

Moving on… I truly am a fan of online and blended (hybrid) learning options. I have been a nursing faculty in higher education academia since 1998. I remember designing a Heart Failure certificate course completely online in 2000. The 6 week course was so popular that multiple courses had to be scheduled. Students all over the US and a few world-wide (Saudi Arabia) took advantage of the offering. The program consisted of 6 modules, assignments, multiple visual links from the web and sometimes discussions. The engagement factor was minimal. My how times have changed in 10 years.

One of the articles that Lisa summarized was Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2006). Making the grade: Online education in the United States. The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C). Retrieved July 4, 2007, from

One key finding from the Sloan report that I noted was that many faculty have not accepted the value of online education. I too feel this is also still the case with potential students as well as those in academia. At my campus of IUPUC, nursing is the only department with an entire degree program online. Many of the general education courses that the nursing students need in the online program cannot find those course online and have to drive to campus to obtain those credits so it defeats the ‘online’ advertisement. The faculty teaching the gen ed courses (liberal arts and sciences) are tough to convince because they cannot envision the in-depth learning without the buildings, lectures, face-to-face (FTF) discussions. Many faculty feel that their highest levels of critical thinking were due to verbal exchanges with professors and/or fellow classmates that cannot be duplicated online.

Another comment that Lisa makes is in regards to Dr. Bonk’s book, The World is Open. She notes that in Opener #2 (in his book): this attitude (as noted above) has changed since 2005 and will continue to change as more and more students learn online. The mega-number of online students in Asian universities was mind-boggling. I was blown away by the enrollment growth statistics he provided for the large American online universities:
• University of Phoenix: 330,000 students!
• Capella University: from 10,000 in 2004 to over 20,000 students in 2007
• Walden University: from 2000 in 2001 to 28,000 in 2007

The Opener in Dr. Bonk’s book also states that today online learning represents 10% of the enrollments in higher education in the US, which is an increase of nearly 10% from over a decade ago. It faces many challenges, but one thing is clear – online learning is here to stay and will only improve as it grows. Very interesting….

Additional ‘tidbits’ mentioned in week three that hit home with me include the following: You Tube on the vision for K-12 learners today… digitally and socially speaking. blended learning advantages enjoyed the video from Walden. Makes one want to teach or volunteer in Nepal. Jones International School quiz to determine if you have what it takes to be an online learner.


This is an internet ECG presentation / tutorial that supports and reviews content I taught for a cardiac nursing course. I support my in class face to face content with this online supplement to design it like a ‘hybrid’ type of course. The online content does not last that long and I encouraged the students to take the time to view it. There are also imbedded quiz questions within the online supplement (free ware) that should assist with learning.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Week 3: The Sudden Explosion of E-books and E-bookreaders

Week 3: January 25, 2010:

This week, I read an article on an ebook initiative that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has for the state of California. In order to reduce a large deficit, the governor is working on launching an eBook project that moves from traditional math and science textbooks to eBooks. (Office of the Governor (2009, May 6). Gov. Schwarzenegger Launches First-in-Nation Initiative to Develop Free Digital Textbooks for High School Students. Press Release, Sacramento, California. Retrieved November 29, 2009, from

The Pros of the Proposal:

• An eBook is good forever; it doesn't need to be replaced, if damaged. Traditional books can get wet, torn, lost, etc.
• It saves the school money from reprinting the book every few years; many textbooks are reprinted with new editions for very minor edits. Publishers make thousands of dollars off of these new editions when very little, if any, content was modified.

The Cons of the Proposal:
• With all of the up-front costs for technology, servers, and training, savings will not be seen for a few years so it's more of a long-term savings than a short-term savings to address the deficit in California.

• How are they going to accomplish this in California? What about the kids that cannot afford even a school lunch... how will they obtain an e-reader?
This will be interesting to see how it plays out. Maybe this will set a precident for schools and ereaders. Here is a You Tube that speaks to this proposal:

On another note, a peer in my class shared the following research article about how undergraduates in Economics, Literatures, and Nursing students use e-books when they study.
Since I teach nursing, I have found that most of my students are fine with ebooks if the book is something that they will only use for a semester or two. However, if it is a large comprehensive Medical-Surgical text, the students seem to prefer the actual text.

I have also found that some of the courses really do not require text books but rather current relevant articles from professional magazines. Some aspects of medical treatments and particularly medications change so fast that texts can become outdated quickly and article are more accurate and current.

Many nursing programs also require students to have PDAs of some kind to download pharmacology texts, diagnostic references, and other resources to take to the clinical setting. It is less bulky to take a small PDA for referencing rather than a huge book bag full of textbooks.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Week 2: January 18, 2010

Week 2: Digital Literarcy Skills

In the document: "Are they really ready for work?" by Cassner-Lotto and Wright (, I reflected it from a different viewpoint: "Are they really ready for college and nursing school?"
It seems that many of nursing students either directly out of high school or with a pre-existing associate degree in nursing (from a junior college such as Ivy Tech).... all seeking to obtain their BSN (bachelor of nursing) are just not prepared to write professional or communicate professionally.

A required course that all undergraduate nursing students take is a Professional Communication course in which many aspects of communication are covered. Sometimes the students think it is an English class at times. Of course it is not but some of the verbal and written (email / forum discussions) language is hideous and embarrassing. One assignment that has turned to be fun but has heightened the awareness of poor verbal communication is a Grammar Forum in which students are to observe others in their workplaces or classrooms during the week and she any type of 'bad grammar' via the forum. They do have great stories to share.

I also am concerned with issues about texting language. I also had a student in the fall send me multiple emails with texting slang and expected me to take her seriously. I tried to talk with her about how unacceptable this was especially when requesting something from her professor but she really never got it. Needless to say she was not as successful in the course as she could have been if she had just adjusted her language.

The library and searching for appropriate research / scholarly work is an issue for me too. Because there is so much out there on the web and of course one can google or 'bing' anything, educating college students about what is acceptable and appropriate sources for writing at a higher level.

I found a few great sites that I am using with my beginning nursing students about writing and appropriate sources:

Please feel free to explore these... maybe they can be helpful.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Week 1: January 11th

Welcome to my first blog. While I am doing this for an assignment in R685: The World is Open with Web Technology, my personal focus with be how all of this fits with nursing education. I am a Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing for Indiana University School of Nursing. I am always seeking ways to improve the quality and delivery of nursing education.

The focus for the first week of the course is Neo Millennial and Web 2.0 Learners. One of the articles we read this week is called:
Oblinger, D. G. (2008). Growing up with Google: What it means to education. Becta: Emerging technologies for learning, 3, 10-29. Retrieved April 10, 2008, from

Cool Resources that I liked for the Week 1 include: Which is a trailer for a PBS documentary for Digital Nation and discusses how technology may bring people and families together. This is a new version of 'Did You Know 4.0'. I did share this one with my online students this week in a Professional Nursing Communication course.