Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Not using LMS’s for online instruction

With today’s emerging social networks and 21st Century learning styles there has been a lot of debate, whether or not social network sites such as facebook, Blogger, NING, pbWorks, and many others should replace traditional learning management systems ( LMS) such as Blackboard and MOODLE for online content/instruction delivery.

Before we go and burn our LMS’s like many women did their bras we might want to make sure that we are not in violation of any federal laws. Online and hybrid course materials are required to be shared across systems according to the Department of Defense. Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) modules need to reusable throughout various systems.

For example, software such as softchalk, CourseLab, Adobe Captivate, and Camtasia can produce SCORM compliant media and are often used to create modules that can be directly tied into an existing LMS. These technologies do not only allow for interaction but they let the average instructor create rich internet ready content that does not require much if any programming knowledge. I know as an educational institution if we offer all online or web-based training of any kind it needs to be SCORM compliant. If you are not familiar with SCORM here is a Web site that will help understand why this is so important. http://www.scorm.com/scorm-explained/

I think we as educators need to be very careful that we follow these standards before we just ditch our LMS’s

Monday, May 10, 2010

Week in Review

In reviewing this week I did learn several things. The first would be how it is possible to create your own private online community network through a service called NING. This is pretty impressive none the less even though I do not see this being something that would take off at our college however, I do wonder if it would be something that maybe the new Digital Media club would consider using. One never knows.


The other thing I found to be interesting was reading everyone’s reactions and opinions in regards to the facebook teacher that who obvious poor judgment and lack of professionalism caused her to publicly badmouth her place of employment.  

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Foot In Mouth Syndrome

A teacher made a comment "I am teaching in the most ghetto school..." on Facebook that was meant for her friends but seen publicly (including by students).

  •   Should the teacher who posted the comment to her friends be disciplined for her remarks she thought were made in private?
  • How responsible are educators for their online content?
  • Should online privacy exist for students and educators?
  • Should we be able to separate our professional and personal profiles on social networks? Would it actually be feasible?

My thoughts....

The argument could be made that scientifically speaking the instructor could have had a chemical imbalance or genetic meltdown. This then clears the instructor from any liability or accountability for things said outside of the work place. The instructor’s distress obviously sparked a bad series of chemical imbalances that eventually lead to the brains inability to defend or stand up for the instructor’s morality. The instructor’s agitated stated must have caused an endorphin flair up that sparked adrenaline to flood extremities such as her hands and mouth first. As the fingertips were typing on Facebook the friction of the keys causes a misfire of synapses, which lead to overstimulation of neurons, resulting in the hand and mouth revolt against any form of sensibility.

Scholars often refer to this series of events as the classic “foot-in-mouth” syndrome. (HA!) In all seriousness, as with most of these types of situations, the answer lies in the theory of ethics. What people believe at that moment is what often decides the future. Consequentialists look at life with only two possible scenarios, right or wrong. Non-consequentialsits believe that depending on the circumstance things may or may not be deemed wrong (Holsinger, 2009). Is either side right or wrong? That is something that until, ethics and morality can be agreed upon will continue to be a circular debate. I truly believe that people make mistakes, use bad judgment, and often do things intentionally. I also believe in Humanitarian acts of kindness along with fairness. There are much bigger fish to fry. I say that a reprimand was in order but, also a chance for redemption. I feel that not only as educator but also as a professional there is a certain level of professionalism that should be displayed at all times. However, being that we are all human, emotions whether right or wrong have gotten the best of all of us and therefore should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Now should educators and students have a right to online privacy? Everyone has the right to online privacy and secure networks honor that right. However, “social media” sites such as Facebook even state in their privacy policy that information will be passed on or collected from others and it is the user’s responsibility to set their privacy settings correctly. Facebook has three levels of privacy that allows user information to be transferred through “friend” portals (Facebook, 2010). It would be impossible for these sites to keep information private due to the various settings, accessibility, and overall unsecure networks.


Facebook. (2010). A guide to privacy on Facebook. In facebook. Retrieved May 4,
2010, from http://www.facebook.com/privacy/explanation.php

Holsinger, K. (2009, November 27). Consequentialist vs. non-consequentialist
theories of ethics . In Lecture Notes. Retrieved from


Sunday, May 2, 2010


This is just a quick email thought I had.
Are our issues often caused by insecurities that have turned into some type of personal greed?


**I'm away from the office. Message sent from iPod**

To Wiki or not to Wiki?

Wikis allow for asynchronous collaboration among several or groups of people. While we are aware of all the wonderful things wikis have to offer instructors often end up with wikis that do not meet the intended technology or instructional requirements.

The biggest factor would be ensuring that enough research is put into the development and creation of a wiki. The realization that a wiki does not meet or live up to the users expectations is all too common. Therefore, clear and precise objectives should be stated and defined before any decisions are made. For example, will the wiki need different security levels? How many people will be using the wiki? Will the wiki require programming and Web design support? (West & West 2009, p. 10)

Design and layout issues can arise if there is not a consistency in the look and feel of a site and its wiki. These types of issues also require designers and developers to be on standby incase of technical issues.
Lack of wiki guidelines and processes will also keep users from adopting the idea and may even cause users to reject the technology. “A wiki project can provide tools and a collaborative work space that enables contextual teaching and learning” (West & West 2009, p. 22).

The instructor should be the one to put the framework of the wiki in place. Without that framework or foundation an instructor may find out that his/her classroom dynamics may not be the best suited for this type of learning environment. It will also be up to the instructor to intervene when “self-management fails” (West & West 2009, p. 45)

West, M. L., & West, J. A. (2009). Using Wikis for Online Collaboration: The Power of the Read-Write Web. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.