One of the things I’ve been looking into lately has been mobile content creation. With the rise of the tablet, I’m finding k12 and adult students are eager for opportunities to learn just-in-time with their device of choice. From an instructional design perspective, this means that to deliver to any & all devices, you’ve got to be looking towards HTML5.

My developer colleagues at the University of Akron’s Center for Literacy cringe every time we talk about HTML5 and designing apps for iOS and Android. To them, HTML5 is a giant step backwards in terms of the complexity and richness of web apps that could be developed with other tools (RIP Flash).

They feel that in the HTML5 arena, animations are stripped down and much less interactivity is available. They are mostly right here. HTML5 has limited the types of instructional interactions we can offer all ages of students in the online environment. As we begin to design web-based user experiences in HTML5, we are essentially creating a duel interface that can be run through a desktop or laptop browser AND a mobile browser. Until mobile devices have processors equal to their desktop/laptop brothers, we’ll never be able to offer as rich of a learning environment on any type of mobile device, yet we are still going to develop custom digital content for mobile…

So what can the average educator do? Read the rest of this entry…

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This election day, I’ll be presenting at G-Tech 2010, the annual Green Local School District Educational Technology conference. From the conference website:

The purpose of the day is to equip teachers with training in technical areas that will assist them in their classrooms as they prepare students to be 21st Century Learners. The conference will include presentations from Green Staff as well as from a wide range of vendors and other school districts.

My session description:

A New Way to Connect
Adobe Connect Professional is a cutting edge, web-based communication and collaboration solution that can be used to enhance face-to-face and online courses. With Adobe Connect, synchronous web classrooms are a reality. Learn how to use this great tool from the perspective of a participant, a presenter, or a host! Capabilities include chat, white board, document sharing, screen sharing as well as live audio and video. How can Green Local take next step in incorporating Adobe Connect into the district e-learning processes? Join us and find out!

Presentation Resources

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Michigan State University is now offering its doctoral program in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology online with a new hybrid option focused on the evolving role of technology in learning. The blended four- to five-year program, which combines online coursework with summer classes on campus, is designed to meet a growing demand from experienced education professionals who want to earn a Ph.D. while continuing in their current positions. This substantially online program is designed for the bright, established professionals currently serving in K-12 schools, universities, policy centers, and research institutions, who understand how new technologies, including online learning, continue to transform education.

This is an interesting and exciting opportunity! With the emergence of for-profit onlines like the University of Phoenix (http://www.phoenix.edu/), Walden University (http://www.waldenu.edu/), Capella University (http://www.capella.edu/) and others, the trend towards pursuing advanced degrees online seems to be really taking off. I’ll be interested to read more about the MSU program.

Posted via web from brueckj23’s posterous

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A few weeks back, I posted “Examining the Purpose of a Dissertation Literature Review,” in which I outlined the Doctoral Research Forum I am participating in. I think the concept that the University of Akron College of Education faculty are pursuing could lead to a valuable educational experience for doctoral candidates. Additionally, I commend my UA profs because this type of collaboration between course instructors is a largely unheard of at UA. However, I have been struggling throughout the forum assignments. This is largely due to the fact that each of the past four weeks we have been required to read a scholarly article, post a written response on the Springboard (UA’s LMS) discussion forum and then respond to at least one of our colleagues responses.

This week, the game changed a bit and student participants were asked to provide feedback. From the Discussion Forum posting:

This week’s discussion is about the Research FORUM in general.  The FORUM instructors greatly value your feedback.

1. What do you think about content and process of the FORUM is effective?
2. What suggestions do you have for improving the FORUM?
3. What other comment, observations, questions, etc. would you like to share?

The following is my response. I’m sure it will be well received by some, and not so popular with others. Because of this, I titled the SUBJECT of my forum topic “Disclaimer: Honest feedback. Personal opinion.

Read the rest of this entry…

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Cool audio waves

I’ve been working on authoring a Flash-based learning object using Articulate Engage for one of my grad classes over the past couple of days. During the development phase, I knew I wanted to include a couple of brief video segments to provide multi-modal opportunities to present the content. The one thing I wasn’t crazy about was using my voice for the narration. Sure I could, but the fact of the matter is I’m not really that crazy about listening to my voice over and over again during the editing process. As an alternative, I decided to experiment with using Text-to-Speech software.

For those who need a little background, Wikipedia provides this information about Text-to-Speech (TTS):

A text-to-speech (TTS) system converts normal language text into speech…An intelligible text-to-speech program allows people with visual impairments or reading disabilities to listen to written works on a home computer. Many computer operating systems have included speech synthesizers since the early 1980s.

Read the rest of this entry…

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[SWF]http://brueckei.org/jsb_content/currere_engage/pinar.swf, 440, 260[/SWF]

Full Screen Version of Learning Object

This semester I’m enrolled in an independent study with Dr. Lisa Lenhart and Dr. Jennifer Milam from the University of Akron. The course is Introduction to Curriculum Theory, one which isn’t currently offered as a part of the College of Education’s Curriculum and Instruction doctoral program. The main text we are using to guide our discussion of curriculum theory is William F. Pinar‘s 2004 work, “What is Curriculum Theory?” From the course syllabus:

Curriculum theory is, then, about discovering and articulating, for oneself and with others, the educational significance of the school subjects for self and society in the ever-changing historical moment. As a consequence, curriculum theory rejects the current “business-minded” school reform, with its emphasis on test scores on standardized examinations, academic analogues to “the bottom line” (i.e., “profit”). It rejects the miseducation of the American public” (Pinar, 2004, p. 16).

As I’ve been working my way through the text, one of the concepts I’m trying to understand more deeply is the significance of the re-conceptualization of curriculum studies. After reading the first few chapters, it’s quite clear that Pinar has some issues with the historical context of curriculum theory. In fact, he is very intent on voicing his opinion regarding the complexities and contradictions of curriculum theory and practice as most educators know it.

Read the rest of this entry…

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Last week as I was browsing my Twitter stream, a tweet from @InnovativeEdu caught my eye.

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I have been using Adobe Connect for the past 3 years for web conferencing, sharing desktops, documents and whiteboarding. When it comes to managing virtual teams or conducting eLearning, a product like Adobe Connect, Elluminate, WebEx or DimDim is essential for fostering synchronous communication and collaboration. I have to admit I’m a big fan of the Connect, so of course I had to chime in with my two cents. Before I could get my @reply typed out, another tweet came across on TweetDeck.

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Read the rest of this entry…

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Today’s students were born digital but those responsible for their education were not. Youngsters arrive at school in tune with the social context and experience the Web offers. Children thrive when teachers find ways to educate them in a more flexible, hypertext manner. This space focuses on development of and support for teachers in their use of technology as they cultivate 21st century content knowledge and skills in their students.