Category Archives: Review

MyNotes: Owned #privacy #foss

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“What are we supposed to do to someone that holds, owns everyone?” asks Foggy in Marvel’s Daredevil. “You make them pay” is the response. It’s strangely appropriate that the question of property lies at the heart of Fairfield’s book. As I read the book, I found myself in agreement with many of the points shared.

Unfortunately, the solution didn’t seem as obvious as the problems. I’m looking forward to completing the book to find out what those solutions are. I invite you to join me.

In Joshua A.T. Fairfield‘s (@joshfairfield) book, Owned: Property, Privacy, and the New Digital Serfdom, he proposes 4 components as a way to escape device-based surveillance. Those components include:

  • People have the right to modify their own property
  • They can sell it to others, free and clear, when they are done with it
  • They can use it and enjoy it free from the interference of others
  • They can exclude others from using it without their consent
Here are some of my notes from Chapters 1-5. It’s not meant to be exhaustive, only points that were intriguing.
My Notes
  1. Intro and Chapter 1
  1. This book is an attempt to tap the emotion of property, and to then channel that emotion through careful analysis of the current legal state of affairs surround the Internet of Things.
  2. The failure of property online is a failure of the legal imagination. Courts have failed to imagine how we can own Bitcoins, magic swords, MP3s, smartphones, autonomous cars, or drones the same way that we own land, houses, or the money in our wallets. 
  • Chapter 2 – Death of Property
    1. Digital property suffers from a serious conflict with intellectual property
    2. …Apple can terminate access to your music collection, Amazon can delete books you purchased, and Google Play can make movies you bought vanish
    3. If we control our device, we control the stream of information flowing from them
    4. If we control digital houses, we can draw the digital curtains
    5. If we do not win this war–between the freedom model and the feudal mode–a few companies will own large tracts of digital assets and everyone else will be a digital peasant
    6. Consumers are dependent on a digital lord, who is dependent on a digital king
    7. Rightsholders don’t want you to be able to sell your used goods. They want each person who wants to buy a device, movie, music, book, and eventually car or house or mini-Segway footboard to have to come and buy a brand-new one from them. That is, they want to destroy our property interests in order to make more money in aftermarkets.
    8. The laws that have until now only governed music, movies, and software are coming to govern everyday life as sensors and software are seeded throughout our environment.
  • Chapter 3 – Surrounded
    1. Devices can record different parts of our life and algorithms meld the results together to get even more information than each data set would have alone.
    2. The linkage of devices serves as a unique identifier. The more devices we carry, the more it is likely that we are the only person in an area carrying that particular configuration, and the more data points about us the devices can independently corroborate.
    3. Big data algorithms then can combine information from both worn and encountered sensors to make broader deductions about me.
    4. Mobile devices follow us across all our contexts, to our club meetings, to rehab, to the doctor, to our parent-teacher conferences, to our homes, on our vacations, to our business meetings, and to the spa. Data drawn from this range of contexts are not just quantitatively greater, but qualitatively more exhaustive and intrusive than data from one context alone.
    5. The centralization of the license-server, intellectual property, cloud-based model of the Internet of Things compromises our ability to command data-enriched resources and control the devices we wear, carry, and encounter. We are degraded financially when we lose money, beaten at the economic game of poker by those who use our devices to see our cards. We are degraded emotionally as relationships of equality give way to centralized control. And we are degraded in terms of our ability to see ourselves as active agents, as people whose choices matter, when we are forced into specific uses (or abuses) of our own property by those who subvert it for their own profit. In short, we lose in every way.
  • Chapter 4 – So What?
    1. If we become digital tenants living at the mercy of digital landlords, we lose our ability to act on our own.
    2. We should be wary of a future in which our ability to express ourselves through control over and preservation of our environment is severely compromised due to the questionable economic claims of intellectual property rightsholders.
  • Chapter 5 – Private Property
    1. …Create a right of privacy that travels with our property when we leave our homes, when we entrust it to those who have promised to keep our secrets, and even when we leave our smartphones unlocked….
    In the first five chapters, Fairfield makes some fascinating points–well supported ones with footnotes that reference law and engaging examples. In fact, I am left wondering just what my Windows 10 laptop is sharing with the world. But then, I knew going in that if  I wasn’t using a GNU/Linux machine, I would be leaking private data to the world.  In essence, I have traded my privacy for convenience when using all the technologies I have at my disposal, from my smartphone to my Win10 laptop.
    Fairfield does a great job pointing out these troubles in Chapters 1-5. Be sure to stay tuned!


    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Book Review: The Punch Escrow

    Tal M Klein’s The Punch Escrow begins with this beguiling title. What the heck does it mean?

    Note: These are my take-aways from Klein’s book, The Punch Escrow, which I received for review purposes. I retain editorial control over content shown in this blog entry. No other remuneration was received for authoring the book except a digital copy of the book.

    In a short time, you are carried off on a wild chase as the story unfolds, the meaning of obscure scientific terms becomes clear. The title suffices to mask the real story until it can be unveiled, a bit at a time. At first, I wondered why the obscure title and scientific terms. Then, I realized that I was learning, along with the main character (Joel Byram), the truth of The Punch Escrow. Teleportation, in widespread use for people transport, is not as harmless as we’ve learned in Star Trek. Rather, it is more sinister.

    OVERVIEW
    In short, teleportation does not involve transporting someone from one place to the next. Instead, copies of people are 3D printed at their location, while the “original” is destroyed. This equates to murder for some who oppose the company responsible for global transportation.

    REFLECTIONS
    Klein’s book had me laughing at some points at the cleverness of a character whose job it is to interact with smart rooms, vehicles and AIs. Joel Byram, the main character(s), struggles to overcome a fading relationship with his wife, embracing the opportunity of a vacation in a Latin American country. Unfortunately, things don’t quite go as planned, and his wife, who works for the teleportation company, does a few things she should not have.

    In all, this was a fun book to read that intrigued me scientifically, frightened me a bit about the power of “3D printing” in the future as a means of transport, and had me smiling throughout at certain parts. Still, I found myself left uneasy at the story’s end, and that may have been by design.

    RECOMMENDATION
    Would I recommend this book to others? Yes, absolutely, the story is definitely worth picking up! It will be released July 25, 2017 by Amazon (find it here). As an avid science fiction reader, the story will engage and make you think twice about 3D printing and technology’s applications in the future. In terms of human interest, you’ll probably have to muster a bit of sympathy for a man whose cleverness will be barely enough to keep him alive from one chase to another…and, still, you’ll wonder if all the work was worth his effort.


    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    MyNotes: Mobile Maker-Technology in Makerspaces

    This is the third of several blog entries in which I share my take-aways from ALA’s The Makerspace Librarian’s Sourcebook. I’ve skipped over Chapter 4, which covers Safety and Guidelines in the Library Makerspace. That chapter includes some suggestions worthy of consideration.

    About the Makerspace Technology

    Some of the major parts of the book, listed below, focus on a variety technologies that may find their way into makerspaces. Having read the chapters skipped, I must admit that these serve as a cursory introduction to the technologies. Certainly, anyone who undertakes Raspberry Pi and Arduino will need some more support. Your level of technical expertise will be tested and I’ve indicated which of the following activities should not be undertaken without district level technical support.

    Find out more

    Some technologies will require more extensive training. Given a tiered approach to makerspaces, you may want to stagger these so that learners will have a chance to move forward slowly through the various steps, allowing time for practice and reflection.

    • Chapter 5 (3D Printing)* 
    • Chapter 6 (Raspberry Pi)*
    • Chapter 7 (Arduino)*
    • Chapter 8 (LilyPad, Adafruit, Wearable Electronics)
    • Chapter 9 (Google Cardboard for Librarians)
    • Chapter 10 (Legos in the Library)
    • Chapter 11 (littleBits, Makey Makey, Chibitronics)
    • Chapter 12 (Computer Numerical Control in the Library with Cutting and Milling Machines)
    • Chapter 13 (Robotics in Libraries)
    • Chapter 14 (Drones in the Library)
    • Chapter 15 (Library Hackerspace Programs (includes Minecraft, )

    While I cannot claim to be an expert in any of these areas (and who would?), each of these technologies provide learners with opportunities to diverse experiences.  Again, each of these chapters serves as a primer and will require deeper study. These chapters would be helped by some curated list of resources online, however, Chapter 17 provides an extensive list of social media hashtags, Facebook pages, Twitter lists, blogs & websites, listservs and mailing lists.

    What we, as design thinkers, have is this creative confidence that, when given a difficult problem, we have a methodology that enables us to come up with a solution that nobody has before,” IDEO founder David Kelley as cited in Chapter 18.

    My Notes – Chapter 16

    1. This chapter focuses on mobile makerspaces and was authored by Kim Martin, Mary Compton, and Ryan Hunt.
    2. A mobile makerspace is a miniature makerspace that’s built into a vehicle, usually the back of a truck or a revamped bus.
    3. Some reasons to go mobile are mentioned:
    1. People are fascinated with mobility
    2. You have a small library
    3. Your library caters to a large population of a scattered area
  • Steps to go mobile:
    1. Gather a core team
    2. Engage your community
    3. Be financially prepared
  • Mobile Lab examples
    1. FryskLab
    2. SparkTruck
    3. MakerMobile
    4. The MakerBus
    5. Arts & Scraps

    Reflections on the Book

    Library makerspaces continue to thrive, drawing new patrons in and engaging them as never before. This hands-on sourcebook edited by technology expert Kroski includes everything libraries need to know about the major topics, tools, and technologies relevant to makerspaces today. Packed with cutting edge instruction and advice from the field’s most tech-savvy innovators, this collection

    • leads librarians through how to start their own makerspace from the ground up, covering strategic planning, funding sources, starter equipment lists, space design, and safety guidelines;
    • discusses the transformative teaching and learning opportunities that makerspaces offer, with tips on how to empower and encourage a diverse maker culture within the library;
    • delves into 11 of the most essential technologies and tools most commonly found in makerspaces, ranging from 3D printers, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and wearable electronics to CNC, Legos, drones, and circuitry kits; and
    • includes an assortment of project ideas that are ready to implement.

    As useful for those just entering the “what if” stage as it is for those with makerspaces already up and running, this book will help libraries engage the community in their makerspaces. (Source)

    What I like best about this book is Chapter 2, which addresses the pedagogy and instructional approaches that best fit with makerspaces. The chapters focused on various technologies are worth reading as primers, but what is missing is paper approaches. For example, consider these technologies mentioned that merit further review:
    • Cardboard
    • Textiles
    • Beading
    • Repurposing existing materials
    The question is, Would you buy an $85 book on setting up makerspaces in libraries? That depends, really, on whether you know anything about the topics raised above. Throughout the book, I kept hoping for projects or project recipe cards.
    Still, you may find this text of help.
    Some additional resources I’ve been curating:

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    MyNotes: Transdisciplinary Makerspace

    This is the second of several blog entries in which I share my take-aways from ALA’s The Makerspace Librarian’s Sourcebook.

    Find out more

    My Notes – Chapter 3

    1. Transdisciplinarity is the concept that problem-solving tools exist in every discipline.
    2. Makerspace users, as teams or individually, can learn from other experts in a variety of fields and adopt problem-solving techniques to solve their unique lessons.
    3. Robust problem-solvers who can think on their feet, take risks and troubleshoot issues are sought out.
    4. Makerspaces are defined not by specific equipment but by a guiding purpose to provide people with a place to experiment, create, and learn.
    5. Setup tiered levels of engagement…
    1. users can situate themselves on a ladder of expertise.
    2. By setting up levels in an informal learning environment, users can scale up their own skills as much or as little as they prefer, depending on the nature of their projects.
    3. The higher students progress up the tiered structure, the greater their expertise will become.
    4. An example of a tiered structure:
    1. Level 1 – Introduction to technologies and small projects
    2. Level 2 – Learn to work on their own and work towards ownership of the tools and services.
    3. Level 3 – Learners identify as makers and recognize their skillsets. Engages users in self-evaluation of technical skills.
    4. Level 4 – They troubleshoot technologies with the community regularly and become known as experts in specific technologies, and they add value to the maker community.
    5. Level 5 – Become a leader in the core community, a volunteer, employee, peer trainer or ambassador. They engage in prototyping and troubleshooting, reflect critically on their projects.
    6. Level 6 – Take on responsibilities as an employee or regular volunteer. They offer workshops about what they have learned, and may turn their ideas into businesses. Users at the most advanced level will have significant expertise in one or more areas and offer workshops to others about the details of their projects. They troubleshoot efficiently.
  • Makerspaces are places that challenge the status quo, safe places to ask questions, places to acknowledge and honor differences, places to talk about solving societal issues, places to embrace design thinking strategies, and places where users feel safe enough to tackle the questions that matter the most.
  • Disclaimer: This is the first of several blog entries featuring this book. ALA approached me with a copy of the book, asking me to review it. I received no payment for this review. I retain full editorial rights over my content and any quoted content is indicated. 



    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    The Doer Who Learns: The Makerspace Librarians’ Handbook

    “For the things we have to learn before we can do, we learn by doing,” said Aristotle. Or, more simply, the doer who learns. As a writer in the education field, and I trace my lineage back to those first book reports in third grade, I have been learning by writing for many years. So I must admit to some concern when I saw arts (did I mention I flunked art in kinder?) and crafts see a resurgence in schools, a contra-decima to the establishment of the Common Core as Chris Aviles suggests in his article which I explored earlier.

    Find out more

    As I have written more about makerspaces, experienced it firsthand, I realize that we are moving quickly to the digitization of arts and craft experiences. Making things from junk, then digitizing the creation, resulting in a 3D printing that is functional, well, that moves the experience of creating down the road. Makers appear an innovation on what humans have been doing for years–hunting, gathering, and making stuff.

    Disclaimer: This is the first of several blog entries featuring this book. ALA approached me with a copy of the book, asking me to review it. I received no payment for this review. I retain full editorial rights over my content and any quoted content is indicated. And, I wrote this blog entry, and will offer the book as a resource at the next makerspace I attend facilitated by my colleague, Peggy Reimers (@preimers)

    The Source

    In a new book published by the American Library Association (ALA), #the makerspace_librarian’s sourcebook, edited by Ellyssa Kroski, I find myself overawed again by the scope of possibility. When you consider what teachers teach, students learn, and the yawning chasm between that incomplete experience and what life offers, what the marketplace demands, this sourcebook sends a powerful message:

    This hands-on sourcebook…includes everything libraries need to know about the major topics, tools, and technologies relevant to makerspaces today. [It]…delves into 11 of the most essential technologies and tools…found in makerspaces, ranging from 3D printers, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and wearable electronics to CNC, Legos, drones and circuitry kits and includes an assortment of project ideas that are ready to implement.

    For the sake of variety, I decided to do a quick skim of the book to see what useful nuggets might reveal themselves, half submerged in the rapid flow of text and quotes, 400 pages long. Here are some of my take-aways of this must-have textbook for schools, teachers, librarians and administrators eager to fundamentally understanding the maker movement and implement it in their schools.

    [I’ve tried to put my own remarks in square brackets to distinguish from straight quotes or excerpts from the book.]

    My Notes

    1. The book is divided into multiple sections, including:
    1. Creating the Library Makerspace
    2. Makerspace Materials, Tools and Technologies
    3. Looking Ahead
  • Creating the Library Makerspace
    1. Chapter 1 – Makers create things, ideas, and concepts (Cherie Bronkar)
    1. A typical academic makerspace would include 3D printers, programmable electronics, digital microscopes, video equipment, large format printers, and other items that add to the institution’s curriculum.
    2. A space like this gives students endless possibilities to put their education into practice.
    3. How to get started without funding:
    1. Paper crafts like origami, book art (using withdrawn books), creating apps
    2. The makerspace movement need not rely on high-priced tech.
    3. Making can be as simple as featuring a building contest with Legos or hosting something more technical like a hackathon. 
    4. Students can make and display dioramas, science projects, crafts, and jewelry along the line of friendship bracelets.
    5. Use computers and host training to help students create videos on their phones and upload them to free video editing apps, run a contest for the best Vine [or Snapchat or Instagram Story], create a school YouTube site, create funny video spoofs of a book the class has read
  • The cost of makerspaces is explored, and include equipment lists. You’ll have to read the book to see the components, but here’s an approximate cost:
    1. Tech-focused makerspace starter kit: $3,300
    2. Bigger Budget Tech-Focused Makerspace Starter Kit: $21,000
    3. Media – Video Focused Makerspace Starter Kit – $7200
    4. Media – Sound-Focused Makerspace Starter Kit – $7500
    5. Low Budget Elem School Focused Kit – $500-$1000
    6. Dream budget-Milling/Power Equipment List – $30K-$50K
  • [You know, as I look these lists over, there is a lot of cost-savings possible if we disregard proprietary software titles (e.g. Final Cut Pro) and use free open source tools (e.g. Shotcut).]
  • An effective way to learn is to create training materials for users while you’re learning. [Great tip!]
  • Usage policies and planning your makerspace are also covered
  • Chapter 2 – Pedagogy and Prototyping in Library Makespaces
    1. This chapter was authored by Laura Costello, Meredith Powers and Dana Haugh
    2. [Some fascinating approaches and quotes included for each!]:
    1. Active Learning: 
    1. “Learning is an active process. We learn by doing. Only knowledge that is used sticks in your mind.” – Dale Carnegie
    2. Active learning is the process in which students participate in activities to facilitate understanding and retention.
  • Collaborative Learning: 
    1. “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” -Andrew Carnegie
    2. Any exploration of an idea with two or more minds involved. Individuals working in groups generally retain more information and understand a concept more fully than those working alone.
  • Inquiry-based Learning: 
    1. “Sometimes questions are more important than answers.” -Nancy Willard
    2. Inquiry-based learning is the proces of learning by posing questions, problems, or scenarios. It provides a scaffold for student learning but allows students to explore and develop a better understanding of concepts instead of simply presenting the facts or providing a linear path to established ideas.
  • Project-based Learning:
    1. Projects are complex, multilayered learning experiences that require students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
    2. Suggestions for PBL:
    1. Present a compelling, challenging real world problem for students.
    2. Encourage students to explore topic through extensive inquiry, research,  information application and reflection.
    3. Organize time for critiques, revisions that scaffolds peer collaboration.
    4. Empower students to share their results with each other and others.
  • Constructionism:
    1. “For the things we have to learn before we can do, we learn by doing.” – Aristotle
    2. Inspired by constructivist theory
    3. People learn better when they are actively making things.
    4. Students are encouraged to build or create tangible objects to understand the world around them.
    5. Instead of teaching at a person, constructionism supports the idea of assisting learning through trial and error.
    6. Students test their ideas without fear of failure.
  • Makerspaces are safe spaces where learners are encouraged to fail to test boundaries and explore creative limits in pursuit of intellectual growth and understanding.
  • “Good novels, if we are ready for them, transform us. Good curricula should have the same effect.” -N.V. Overly & E. Spalding
  • The ability to tinker, build, break, and create something you envisioned is an incredibly powerful lesson. To work alongside makers of all levels reinforces the idea that we are all learners and need help to succeed.
  • Instructional approaches
    1. ADDIE framework
    2. Rapid Prototyping
    3. Backward Design
    4. Eight Learning Events: an instructional design model that describes content and context-independent, observable, specific learner activities
    1. imitate
    2. receive information
    3. exercise
    4. explore
    5. experiment
    6. create
    7. self-reflect
    8. debate
    Wow, Chapter 2 does not disappoint in terms of awesome ideas and rounding up instructional approaches! I have to admit that it’s my favorite chapter so far. 


    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    MyNotes: Digital Media in Today’s Classrooms Chapter 6 #edtech

    Note: Friends Dr. Dawn Wilson and Dr. Katie Alaniz were kind enough to share a book they authored in collaboration with Joshua Sikora, Digital Media in Today’s Classrooms: The Potential for Meaningful Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.

    Listen to Dr. Katie Alaniz, one of the authors, share about the book

    In the space below, I’ve included some of my take-aways from the book, stuff that struck my fancy in Chapter 6, and included my reflections/comments in square brackets [really? that’s unbelievable!]. Feel free to swipe the images highlighting key points and repost them everywhere! Read blog entries relevant to this book. Note that my notes imperfectly capture some of the main ideas in the book. I heartily recommend reading the text!!

    MyNotes on Chapter 6: Setting Meaningful Learning: Supporting Students with Content Acquisition

    1. Savvy educators identify ways to leverage the boundless potential of multimedia applications to set the stage for learning within their classrooms.
    2. Effective teachers seek to engage their learners in vital content.
    3. Impactful educators prepare, encourage, and inspire their students to wrestle with various aspects of content until they establish meaning for themselves.
    4. Active construction of their own learning can be achieved in…
    1. a variety of ways
    2. using an assortment of tools
    3. in order to create products that are:
    1. intentional
    2. authentic
  • The modern ability to record and replay actual footage of key historical events from around the world is revolutionary.
  • Teachers utilizing digital media to connect students to a specific place elsewhere on the globe or to a historical event must work to help students envision the reality of these scenes. Otherwise, learners may easily process such images just as they would the illusory world of Avatar or the exaggerated devastation of a metropolis depicted in a superhero film. [excellent point! how?]
  • Keep it real by:
    1. encouraging students to judiciously document their own experiences with a video camera. The process of producing their own documentaries can serve to encourage learners in re-associating media experiences with reality.
    2. Students must engage their imagination just as actively while watching a film as they would when reading a book, but instead of creating the missing visual content, a film viewer is prompted to envision thoughts, motivation, and emotions.
    3. Use listening and viewing guides that facilitate analysis:
    1. Movie Sheets is an online worksheet database with ready-made, editable worksheets.
    2. NewseumED offers a collection of educational resources for incorporating primary source materials from news sources into classroom learning.
    3. TED-Ed
    4. Khan Academy
  • By engaging in interactive content, students receive feedback on their input, offering them a two-way interface. Interaction may also be peer-assisted, such as when students seek support of other students via online tutoring sessions.
  • Elementary Resources that students can interact with engaging, meaningful, educational multimedia content:
    1. Interactives Sites for Education
    2. PBS Kids SMART Board Games
    3. Seussville
  • Middle School Resources: The text includes multiple other resources for MS/HS
  • Discussion of Webquests…[wow, trip down Memory Lane!]
  • [I would also respectfully include video annotation and hyperlinking tools mentioned in this blog entry]
  • Impactful, memorable educational encounters engage learners in significant content.

  • Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    MyNotes: Digital Media in Today’s Classrooms Chapters 5

    Note: Friends Dr. Dawn Wilson and Dr. Katie Alaniz were kind enough to share a book they authored in collaboration with Joshua Sikora, Digital Media in Today’s Classrooms: The Potential for Meaningful Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.

    Listen to Dr. Katie Alaniz, one of the authors, share about the book



    In the space below, I’ve included some of my take-aways from the book, stuff that struck my fancy in Chapters 1 and 2, and included my reflections/comments in square brackets [really? that’s unbelievable!]. Feel free to swipe the images highlighting key points and repost them everywhere! Read blog entries relevant to this book. Note that my notes imperfectly capture some of the main ideas in the book. I heartily recommend reading the text!!




    My Notes from Chapters 5:

    1. Chapter 5 – Using Digital Media to READY Students for Learning: Preparing Learners to Acquire Key Knowledge and Skills
    1. Teachers need to reflect on the following questions:
    1. Begin with the end in mind. What do students know and be able to do by the end of instructional cycle?
    2. How can multiple modalities most effectively be incorporated into instruction?
    3. How can students move through Bloom’s higher levels, analyzing, evaluating and creating?
    4. What instructional strategies most effectively direct students toward reaching the goal of independently demonstrating their learning?
    5. What resources will be used?
    6. What assessment strategies/tools will be employed?
    7. Will rubrics be used?
    8. How do you activate engagement, motivation and interest?
  • By charging students with tasks that require creativity, analysis, and applications, teachers move the focus away from themselves to an emphasis upon their learners.
  • Student-centered products enable learners to showcase their new knowledge and skills in relation to a particular topic in an infinite variety of ways. Examples [love these examples!!] include:
    1. Building a website that demonstrates their content knowledge.
    2. Constructing a multimedia presentation to teach learned content to others.
    3. Creating a newsletter or flyer that highlights key findings on a given topic.
    4. Producing a stop-motion video that displays a process or procedure.
    5. Designing a cartoon strip that highlights important findings in a unique way.
    6. Creating a digital story to describe reflections on a particular topic.
    7. Producing a Sketchcast demonstrating mater of a topic or concept through narration, text, sketches.
  • Research about how students learn is shared, including Piaget, Curran and Bruner.
    1. Bruner’s theoretical framework describes learning as an active process in which learners construct their newfound knowledge using concepts derived from previous experience.
    2. The learner selects and transforms information, creates hypotheses, and arrives at decisions based on a cognitive structure (mental model or schema), which adds meaning and organization to the experience and enables him or her to perform the information given.
    3. “If students are not paying attention, they are not engaged; and, hence, they are not learning” (Wolfe, 2001).
    4. When stimuli are ignored, the brain begins to shut down inputs from that particular source. However, if the brain is primed for additional incoming information, the learner is more likely to perceive this input.
    5. Selective attention of the brain depends on suppression of irrelevant data and amplification of meaningful data (Jenson, 1998).
    6. When emotional or personal stimuli are present, attention is more powerfully gasped.
    7. Varying the routing and methods of presenting material increases students’ attention in classroom settings.
    8. Two types of interest…teachers can influence and/or create situational interest and anticipatory sets seem an ideal vehicle through which to do so (Ormond, 2004).
    1. Situational interest – short-lived, revolves around an activity or topic
    2. Personal interest – more enduring, includes pursuits in visual and performing arts, sports, speech, etc.
  • Both attention and interest are related to motivation.
  • Students motivation to learn encompasses their ability to derive intended benefits from meaningful, worthwhile activities.
  • TEASe – Technology Enhanced Anticipatory Set:
    1. utilizes a media presentation to introduce a unit or lesson.
    2. Effective TEASes seamlessly coalesce media, images, music, and text within a three- to seven-minute multimedia piece, ultimately heightening learners’ interest and motivation.
    3. A TEASe’s storyline is composed of visual and audio pieces to activiate prior knowledge, very broadly stitched together with short lines of text to guide viewing.
    4. TEASes that include elements of pop culture and music relevant to students’ lives most powerfully engage learners.
    5. Should not be used to deliver content to learners, rather, TEASes help students focus their attention and interest at the beginning of a unit, even before the content is delivered.
    6. Narrative messages wield tremendous influence in changing the attitudes and beliefs of audiences. They allow for a specific reading or viewing experience. They transport recipients into the narrative world, personally involving them cognitively and emotionally.
    7. TEASes provide a unique opportunity by which to ready students for learning.
    Quick Reflections:
    Wow, loved this chapter! Leaving behind the copyright concerns of Chapter 4, it strikes at the jugular of creating engaging content! I loved the examples provided, research regarding engagement (which is so often discarded as “Tough, life isn’t always fun and engaging. kids should pay attention if they want to get good jobs!”), and the TEASe activity. 

    This last item reminds me of problem narrative or problem engagement activities in PBL/PrBL.


    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    MyNotes: Digital Media in Today’s Classroom Chaps 3-4

    Note: Friends Dr. Dawn Wilson and Dr. Katie Alaniz were kind enough to share a book they authored in collaboration with Joshua Sikora, Digital Media in Today’s Classrooms: The Potential for Meaningful Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.

    Listen to Dr. Katie Alaniz, one of the authors, share about the book

    In the space below, I’ve included some of my take-aways from the book, stuff that struck my fancy in Chapters 3 and 4, and included my reflections/comments in square brackets [really? that’s unbelievable!]. Feel free to swipe the images highlighting key points and repost them everywhere! Read all blog entries relevant to this book.


    My Notes from Chapters 3 and 4:

    1. Chapter 3 – Essential Considerations in Using Digital Media
    1. Media literacy–applying skills to media and technology messages, learning to skillfully interpret, analyze, and create messages–empowers people to be both critical thinkers and creative producers of messages using image, language, and sound (NAMLE, Ellis, 2005).
    2. Media education seeks to mae school more student centered.
    3. “We were educated to read actively, yet we’re conditioned to view visual images passively,” observes Steve Apkon.
    4. Now is the time to change “English” classes into “Communication” classes in which students study the grammatical rules of graphic arts, film, and music, in addition to learning the rules of English grammar.”
    5. Ubiquitous access to tech suggests the focus must now shift to identifying and applying the most fitting tools and resources for meeting students’ needs and reaching learning goals.
    6. [This chapter focuses on several key ideas, such as COPPA, copyright, terms of use, keeping track of acceptable use policies/responsible use agreements. I heartily disagree with the portion that suggests schools track the paperwork. This is an antiquated perspective. Now, most districts take advantage of opt-out clauses in their Student Handbooks. If you want to opt-out, then you have to do so. Otherwise, this grants teachers the right to use third-party systems with students, acting in loco parentis].
  • Chapter 4 – Planning for Digital Media: Settings, Groupings, and Platforms
    1. Key questions:
    1. Under what circumstances should teacher consider integrating digital media within classroom settings?
    2. How should digital media be integrated within classrooms settings?
    3. Who should be utilizing the media–teachers, students, or both?
    4. For what purposes should digital media be used within classroom settings?
  • Curriculum Design models:
    1. The Understanding by Design Framework
    1. Effective curriculum planning involves a process of “backward design”
    2. Educators must also initially determine a set of learning goals for their students. They should identify certain enduring understandings.
    3. Specific strategies for measuring students’ learning need to be reflected upon.
    4. Teachers should begin with the end in mind, designing a road map.
  • The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Model
    1. Offers students various modes of content representation.
    2. Encourages teachers to provide students with multiple means of expression, including both physical and communicative action.
    3. Promotes numerous methods of engagement.
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy
  • Classroom Instruction That Works: Identifies nine categories of instructional strategies that hold tremendous potential for enhancing student achievement for all learners:
    1. Summarizing and Note taking
    2. Identifying similarities and differences
    3. Reinforcing effort and providing recognition
    4. Homework and practice
    5. Cooperative learning
    6. Nonlinguistic representations
    7. Setting objectives and providing feedback
    8. Generating and testing hypotheses
    9. Questions, cues, and advance organizers
  • Digital media enables teachers to vary their methods of representing content through a diversity of media, including print, video, audio, hands-on modeling, interactive applications, and much more.
  • Digital media to practice and receive feedback on their own content knowledge with online flashcards, games, and simulations. Examples include:
    1. Online quizzes and educational games provide students with the opportunity to test their remembering and understanding skills using interactive media such as Quizlet. 
    2. Students can enhance their content knowledge through playing online games associated with the concepts taught in class.
    3. Digital media simulations allow students to apply, analyze, and evaluate the ways in which content elements interact.
    1. Math and Science simulations (PhET)
    2. Social Studies simulations
    3. Interactive multimedia games warehouse provides teachers with a multitude of games and simulations to support students.
  • Authoring tools:
    1. Audacity
    2. Voicethread
    3. Kidblog
    4. Digital storytelling via Little Bird Tales (littlebirdtales.com) and Storybird (storybird.com)
    5. Draw.io and Bubbl.us
  • A teacher should 
    1. focus on the content that should be delivered and the learning goals that are being sought. This allows them to harness digital media as a tool to serve educational objectives.
    2. consider the type or types of devices with which students will learn. 
    3. think about the online tools, resources, and software options students will have access.
  • Ready, Set, Learn! Model
    1. Ready: This involves preparing students, from lesson’s start, to meet and act on content. 
    1. Teacher-centered: Should I create my own digital media or use an already-created resource to grasp students’ attention and ready them for learning?
    2. Student Use: How can I ensure that content is delivered in a variety of ways for diverse levels and varying learning modalities?
  • Set: Establishing the content in the students’ mind. 
    1. Teacher-centered: Should I create my own tool for the students to use in developing content knowledge, or should I identify an already-created tool?
    2. Student Use: How can I be certain to provide students with opportunities to interact with content, check for understanding, and receive formative feedback in a variety of methods using an array of online tools and targeting a mixture of learning modalities?
  • Learn:  Students demonstrate their learning with independence. Students are challenged to create an original product that demonstrates their learning through the use of multimedia tools. 
    1. Teacher-centered: Should I create a resource to assess student learning or use an already-created assessment?
    2. Student Use: How can I provide students with meaningful and applicable opportunities to demonstrate their learning by independently creating a digital media product? Should I assign specific tools to students or leave assessment choices more open-ended?
  • In curriculum design, content is king.
  • Effectual planning begins with the end in mind, and teachers ask, “What do I want my students to be able to accomplish?”
  • a counter-question…too much control  in teacher’s hands limit students’ freedom to take ownership of their learning and creations.


    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    MyNotes: Digital Media in Today’s Classrooms 1 & 2

    Note: Friends Dr. Dawn Wilson and Dr. Katie Alaniz were kind enough to share a book they authored in collaboration with Joshua Sikora, Digital Media in Today’s Classrooms: The Potential for Meaningful Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.

    Listen to Dr. Katie Alaniz, one of the authors, share about the book

    In the space below, I’ve included some of my take-aways from the book, stuff that struck my fancy in Chapters 1 and 2, and included my reflections/comments in square brackets [really? that’s unbelievable!]. Feel free to swipe the images highlighting key points and repost them everywhere! Read blog entries relevant to this book.


    My Notes from Chapters 1 and 2:

    1. Chapter 1 – Digital Media – What Is It and Why Does It Matter?
    1. Children aged eight to eighteen spend an estimated seven hours per day, on average, glaring into screens (American Academy of Pediatrics).
    2. Teenagers compose an average of 3,417 text messages per month.
    3. The bedrooms of an estimated 97% of adolescents contain at least one electronic device (Aspen Education Group, 2011). [I believe these stats just based on what I’ve seen of my own teenagers…in fact, one device in the bedroom is understated!!]
    4. No solid evidence exists that technology is deteriorating the cognitive capacity of today’s students (Taylor, 2012).
    5. Obsession with social media [or games!] may amplify or contribute certain psychological issues.
    6. Using media to simply transmit information in the clasroom has not proven effective (Grabe & Grabe,2004).
    7. Research demonstrates that multimedia might be used to support learners in accessing prior knowledge, evoking emotion, stirring interest, heightening curiosity, and appealing to multiple intelligences [so, is that worth the $$$ spent on edtech each year?]
    8. Gains in achievement result when students are granted the opportunity to create original products using some form of multimedia (Goodlin, 2012).
    9. Potential applications include:
    1. Have students study fairy tales from different locales, analyze them, then create their own. Story analysis and media construction are the acquired skills.
    2. Students collaborate to create an online clearinghouse of student-created media to serve as a resource for supporting one another in preparing for exams [or, let’s think even bigger! a real life project/problem! and use Minecraft?]
    3. Create stop-motion videos for sharing/commenting on lab experiements/results
    4. Study media coverage and resources to develop different forms of persuasive media techniques to protest an issue they feel strongly about.
  • Incorporation of multimedia in the classroom provides students with exposure to both pictures and verbal information (“dual coding”) which yields two memory codes instead of one.
    1. Dual coding theory asserted that individuals process perpetual information by encoding images for organizing, storing, and retrieving knowledge through a nonverbal system.
    2. They process text and words using a verbal system, which deals mostly with linguistic information.
    3. Dual coding suggests learning is generally more meaningful when new information is encoded and processed through both channels (verbal and nonverbal) than through either alone.
  • Decisions teacher must make when considering how to incorporate tech into teaching practices:
    1. Who will use the digital media?
    2. When in the lesson will it be used?
    3. How will it be used?
    4. Which tool(s) will be used?
    5. How will student products be assessed?
  • Chapter 2 – Research Findings and the Implications on Learning
  • Image Source | More
    1. Adidas or “New Way of Learning” suggests a learning archetype:

    1. 70:20:10 Framework
    1. Seventy percent of learning occurs experentially on the job
    2. Twenty percent of learning happens through social interactions with others
    3. Ten percent of learning results through formal coursework
  • The brain forgets 50% of learning that takes place in a classroom environment within a mere hour’s time [oh oh, that means participants in my 1 hour sessions will only remember half of what they learn…whew!]
  • Forty-three percent of teachers have incorporated online games in classrooms
    1. Students allowed to use gaming software scored 91.5% on a standardized assessment versus an average score of 79.1% for those students who did not use digital games
  • Use of digital resources allows teachers (76%) to simplify the process of adapting teaching methods to diverse learning styles
  • Teachers (77%) report edtech boosts student motivation
  • Teacher (76%) commented edtech enhances content being taught
  • Research on the impact of technology on student outcomes suggests that students who use digital resources in their learning experience a slight positive gain over those whose instructional experience does not include technology.
  • The pivotal achievement factor is not the type of tech, but rather the actual use of the tools.
  • Academic achievement increases when the technology is integrated in a student-centered environment.
  • Most beneficial environments involve students in:
    1. creating hypermedia presentations
    2. solving problems
    3. conducting research
    4. developing computer simulations representing models of their own understandings.
  • Tech integration enhances learning when students engage in solving complex, authentic problems that cross multidisciplinary boundaries instead of focusing on knowledge acquisition.
  • Student created digital media, when combined with rigorous content standards, has demonstrated a positive effect on student achievement and performance on high-stakes testing.
  • An educator’s ability to provide powerful links from the curriculum to real world experiences appears to encourage students to respond to the material in a highly positive manner.
  • Digital resources are most strongly correlated with enhanced student learning when the instructor’s role is that of a facilitator of knowledge creation rather than a disseminator of knowledge.
  • Cognitive load: when learners are required to split their attention between two or more streams of information simultaneously, cognitive load increases. This means the ability to process new knowledge decreases.
  • Academic achievement increases when students are provided the opportunity to progress through 5 different levels of active processing, namely selecting words, selecting images, organizing words, organizing images, and integrating words and images.
  • Selecting words and images involves both the visual and verbal working memory while simultaneously making internal connections to images, words, and their meanings.
  • Research indicates that image data is collected simultaneously while text is processed in a sequential fashion. This simultaneous processing allows learners to make sense of visuals sixty thousand times faster than text.
  • Visual literacy truly has become the new currency of learning.
  • A student’s prior knowledge can influence which images are remembered and the ways they are recalled.
  • Videos are even better tools than still images, as videos send multiple streams of information to learners through movement, music, words and pictures. This supports student learning regardless of their learning style or intelligence.
  • In classroom settings, images and video clips hold the potential to increase students’ understanding of a subject while also prompting them to develop emotional connections with the material being presented. 
  • Learning experiences must be designed to strengthen the process of visual attention and connection in order to deflect the pressure of over-sensory stimulation.
  • Dual coding and imagery are powerful tools that allow the learner to activate prior knowledge in addition to encoding details more rapidly so that they remain for longer periods of time.
  • Wow, a great review of research and some powerful points about multimedia in the classroom! In a future blog post, we’ll take a quick look at some of my notes from the next couple of chapters.


    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Book Review: Damned Children of Naor

    Looking for a chill tale to get your fear flowing on a winter night? Then Justyna Plitcha-Jendzio’s ebook, Damned Children of Naor, may be one to pick up! On January 31st, Justyna sent me an email inviting me to crack open a copy of “High/Dark Fantasy book”.

    My name is Justyna Plichta-Jendzio and I’m Polish writer of High/Dark Fantasy books. One of my books “Damned Children of Naor” has been recently published by a Canadian Publisher and is avaliable on Amazon Kindle. It is ananthology of three short high/dark fantasy stories, telling about people who had unpleasantness to meet demons in their life and had to fight for their souls.

    Justyna was kind enough to share a copy of the book, which was enthralling from the get-go. As I began reading the ebook, I realized quickly that the author had done a tremendous job eliciting images in my mind. For example, consider this passage:

    Sainal turned back toward the chapel. When she came to the small building, she saw the priest sitting on a deer skin, covered with a thick woolen coat. The shadows cast by the flames danced on the walls and on the statue of Ulse, the supreme god of the world of Naor…”Forgive me, Holy Father, but I need to see the remains of the wretched woman,” Sainal said as she jumped to the ground.
    The priest was surprised by her request. “Death is not a trifle for the delight of the crowd.”

    Of the 3 stories that appear in the volume–the first of which deals with a young woman who can wield lightning and must battle demons, the second which resonates as a vampire tale–the third is the most engaging for me. It features a female noble, forced into mercenary work returning from a contract through a small town, which has been plagued by mysterious deaths by a fire demon. The villagers believe it’s the young woman but Sainal thinks differently…even as deaths continue to occur after she has spirited the girl away to a hiding place.

    Justyna, the author, has done a great job in building stories that slowly grip your heart, tales of horror and supernatural battles that are definitely worth reading. Be aware of Justyna’s caution, however:

    To be fair I have to inform you that “Damned children of Naor” contains scenes of sex and violence, so if you are not comfotable with that, I’ll understand if you decide not to read the book. 

    Still, this isn’t any worse than what you might find in a typical tale of dark fiction. I’d read worse at age 13, and the scenes of sex and violence definitely moved the story forward. Definitely give the book a read!

    Disclaimer and Note to Those Seeking Reviews: If I hadn’t enjoyed the book, I wouldn’t recommend it, no matter how many free copies I received. For others who would like me to review their books, ePub (non-DRM) is preferred over PDF or locked down books (I just delete those). Sci-fi/fantasy are invited.


    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure