The world needs you now, more than ever. This is why:
* Approximately 1 out of 10 adults are suffer from a depressive disorder
* 14.5% of students in grades 9-12 seriously considered suicide in the previous 12 months
* Everyone, will at some time in their life be affected by depression — their own or someone else’s
* 1 in 3 are currently experiencing some degree of loneliness or fear
* Every forty seconds another person commits suicide
It is thinking about statistics like this and the pain, hurt, loneliness and frustration that so many feel that prompted me to use some of my spare time to help create and promote this…
To give you a taste of what will be released, shared, discussed, and mobilized to touch over 10 million people in 10 days, starting November 16th – enjoy this sample of miniature versions of what my friend Gary Malkin calls “WisdomFilms”…
Would love it if you joined the experience! www.10Daysto10Million.com
* Receive and enjoy the 4 minute video on Nov 16th
* Share it with friends and family (you never know who may be hurting)
* Listen to the radio series with remarkable people
* Join the dream street team
* Share your dream in the virtual environment
It has been an incredible couple of days here in California (L.A. and San Francisco) — meeting with film makers, Hollywood media people (one man who has interviewed practically everyone famous you can imagine), an incredible speaking and meeting people at Berkeley and Stanford, and then to top it off with a visit to see the inside of George Lucas’ special effects studio — Industrial Light and Magic.
During the visit to this studio, my good friend (who recently won some awards for his work here), showed me some of the original props and special effects workings from movies as old as the original Star Wars, E.T., and Ghost Busters, to as new as Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Transformers II.
Other interesting notes and random thoughts…
“Who tells the stories of a culture really governs human behavior. It used to be the parent, the school, the church, the community. Now it’s a handful of global conglomerates that have nothing to tell, but a great deal to sell.” – George Gerbner
Plato said that if he had to choose between controlling the arts or the government, he would chose the arts. He said the government made the rules and enforce people to follow them — but that people willingly internalize and follow the arts.
George Lucas and Steven Spielberg — normal guys that met in or just after college. They did one thing extraordinarily well — learned how to tell compelling stories. They say George Lucas when a kid was what others might consider a nerd – nose in a book, addicted to science fiction.
World is changing, with technology that exists the barrier of entry is lower in having the power to tell stories and capture attention.
Which makes the following questions that much more urgent and essential:
– What impact have these movies had on your life, and on your culture?
– What stories do we want to tell, which frame our view of the world, of each other, and ultimately frame the future?
– In what ways does the new media influence the way that we can tell and receive stories?
The world is full of interesting people. In the last week I met a fascinating Zen Buddhist master, known world-wide for helping develop something called “The Big Mind”, and a retired university professor who was on the delegation to Iraq after the war, the only one in that delegation who could speak the Iraqi dialect of Arabic (and was loved for it), and helped set up a fourth of the countries municipal/city governments.
Not the least of cool people to come into my life is Jason McDonald.
I’ve known and been impressed by Jason for years — seeing him pass his PhD dissertation defense without any revisions (wow), always reading cool publications which were accepted because of the significant value they added, and I’ve just genuinely enjoyed conversations with him and his insights about life, learning, and the world.
We’ve talked about doing something together for a while, so in a recent mastermind group we talked about joint-blogging. I loved the idea of having him share some of his thoughts/questions here on this blog — and he graciously agreed to do it.
So I want to briefly introduce Jason to you, please give him a warm welcome. 🙂
Introducing Jason McDonald:
1) Jason taught the first ever course at a university (that I know of) on “Using Media for Culture Change” — he’ll be teaching it again this fall.
2) He currently works as an executive producer, which is really just a big name for getting to spend all day thinking up cool ideas for how to use powerful elements of “story” to increase the impact of media and media campaigns.
3) Two embarrassing moments of his included:
(a). “There was a time my work passed around a thank you card for someone who had just bought the office a bunch of stuff. I was just supposed to sign it, but I thought the card was for actually me.” 🙂
(b). “Or there was the time I slipped and fell into a construction ditch full of water by the side of the road. I split my pants once at work and stapled them back together until the end of the day. I guess there’s actually lots of embarrassing stories, aren’t there?” 🙂
4) Some of the questions he is most interested in exploring with his research and work are:
– How can people best discover and express the passion, joy, and wonder they feel about the world?
– How can people remain focused on the essential goals and characteristics of the endeavors they undertake?
– What is the role of narrative, conversation, and ritual in human learning?
– How can people develop organizations, practices, or lifestyles that reflect their most important values?
Do you have any questions for Jason?
If, so feel free to post them here.
If not, please make a special effort to interact with him on the posts that he will share here.
In London earlier today I caught a moment with Prof Tim Unwin prior to a speech he was giving at a reception to celebrate 50 years of Commonwealth Scholarships at Marlborough House in London attended by Ministers, High Commissioners and the Commonwealth Secretary General.
He will be speaking with our class (and any guests who would like to join) on Wednesday, April 29th 14:00-16:00 (London time).
Watch this clip for how he would like us to prepare:
Earlier in our conversation Prof Unwin said his personal mission – even what he wants to dedicate the rest of his life – is to “create spaces where the highest quality research can be conducted which makes a positive impact in the lives of the poorest and most marginalized people.”
This is a great chance to ask him anything.
He already knows that our goal as a team of colleagues is to answer some of the questions in ICT4D better than anyone has yet.
What are some questions you would like to ask him? (feel free to post here)
I’m attending an event (the Ultimate Business Mastery Summit) which has really stretched my mind and made me think bigger. So much more engaging than the all too frequent boring academic presentations tied to dim lights and PowerPoint – which I’m sure I have been guilty of giving in the past too. 🙂
I have met with so many people here who are doing incredible things to make this world a better place, and have helped me see specific resources and resourcefulness in and around me which is so much greater than I was aware of before.
I guess as humans we usually only wake up ready to do things we think are possible. I now am seeing more clearly that so much more is possible than I ever previously imagined. Not because it wasn’t there before – simply because I did not see it or know how to utilize it.
For those in the ICT4D class, please leave a comment in reply to this blog entry indicating a time you might be free over the next couple weeks to meet with me online for a half hour so I can get to know you a little better.
[After that time, these times on Tuesdays and Thursdays will also likely be the hours I choose as my “Office Hours” – when I will be responding to your emails, taking care of class business, or when you can get a hold of me to discuss anything that is on your mind.]
After selecting the time (Helsinki time) that works best for you, please make sure no one else has already requested it in a comment below. (If none of these times work for you, please suggest two alternative times and I will pick the one which works best.)
Tuesday, April 7th
Thursday, April 9th
19:30 Ashes Timsina
21:00 Thai Bui
Tuesday, April 14th
16:00 Aiguokhian Efosa
19:30 Rajarshi Sahai
Thursday, April 16th
The Masters and Ph.D. students taking this course will be from and located in different places around the world (Africa, Asia, Europe, …) and I will be teaching it while traveling myself (from Europe to North America, down to South America, back to Europe and on to Africa – Ethiopia, Mozambique, Uganda and Senegal).
We will be meeting through online conferencing software (e.g. Skype), deliver and receive content through YouTube videos, online articles, and good-old-fashioned books, – discussing concepts through webinars, asynchronous discussion groups and blog conversations.
The combination of our various locations and activities should give us a very hands-on, practical view of the state of ICT4D (current opportunities and challenges) – including where we can collectively take it from here.
Note 1! Course will start 16.3. 2009.
Note 2! Register by emailing to Clint Rogers (clint.rogers2008(et)gmail.com)
Note 3! The course is advanced/graduate level course (5 ECTS) – really looking for excellent students to participate
The aim of this course is to familiarize students with topics related to Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D). The course concentrates on the challenges and opportunities of ICTs for developing countries. Themes of the course include the basics of ICT4D, current discussion regarding the role of ICT in different contextual environments, the social impacts on ICT development and use, writing up ICT4D case studies, and evaluation of ICT4D projects.
After the course the students should have a general understanding of context related issues of ICT4D, be able to identify the basic needs of ICT in different environments, and be more aware if the local challenges of ICT in development.
Students will be expected to participate in online seminars (with some guest presenters), lead online discussions, study online materials and required readings, ask powerful questions, contribute to collaboratively finding innovative solutions, complete activating writing and/or programming development assignments, and contribute content (videos, stories, case studies, code, articles, etc) to a digital learning environment.
Starting seminar 16 March at 14:00-16:00 (UTC/GMT+2) through Skype.
Ending seminar approximately 22 May at 10:00-12:00 (UTC/GMT+2).
Pre-register by emailing instructor (address below).
In addition to utilizing online resources, you will be required to purchase two books for this course:
I have written (or am in the process of writing) several chapters on web analytics in education. The following is a list of some of these readings about Web Analytics. Feel free to comment and share other helpful sources.
Web Analytics References
Ballardvale Research (2007). Market Trends – Web Analytics: History and Future. Online document. Retrieved 8/24/2007 from http://www.ballardvale.com/free/WAHistory.htm
Burby, J., & Atchison, S. (2007). Actionable Web Analytics: Using data to make smart business decisions. Web Publishing, Inc. Indianapolis: Indiana.
Cadez, I., Heckerman, D., Meek, C., Smyth, P., & White, S. (2003). Model-based clustering and visualization of navigation patterns on a Web site. Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, 7, 399-424.
Comunale, C. L., Sexton, T. R., & Voss, D. J. P. (2001-2002). The effectiveness of course Web sites in higher education: An exploratory study. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 30(2), 171-190.
Gao, T., & Lehman, J. D. (2003). The effects of different levels of interaction on the achievement and motivational perceptions of college students in a Web-based learning environment. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 14(4), 367-386.
Hellwege, J., Gleadow, A., & McNaught, C. (1996). Paperless lectures on the Web: An evaluation of the educational outcomes of teaching Geology using the Web. Proceedings of the Thirteenth Annual Conference of the Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary education (ASCILITE ’96), Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 289-299.
Horváth, A., & Jókai, E. (2007). Evaluation of University E-learning Courses Based on Data Mining Methods. Presented at the 6th European Distance Education Network (EDEN) Conference. Stockholm, Sweden.
Hwang, W.-Y., & Li, C.-C. (2002). What the user log shows based on learning time distribution. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 18, 232-236.
McIsaac, M. S., Blolcher, J. M., Mahes, V., & Vrasidas, C. (1999). Student and teacher perceptions of interaction in online computer-mediated communication. Educational Media International, 36(2), 121-131.
Nachmias, R., & Segev, L. (2003). Students’ use of content in Web-supported academic courses. The Internet and Higher Education, 6, 145-157.
Peled, A., & Rashty, D. (1999). Logging for success: Advancing the use of WWW logs to improve computer mediated distance learning. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 21(4), 413-431.
Rafaeli, S., & Ravid, G. (1997). Online, Web-based learning environment for an information systems course: Access logs, linearity and performance. Proceedings of the Information Systems Education conference (ISECON ’97), Orlando, Florida, USA, 92-99.
Rieger, R. H., & Sturgill, A. (1999). Evaluating Online Environments: Tools for observing users and gathering feedback. New Direction for Evaluation, Number 84, 45-58.
Rogers, P.C., Flores, D., Matthews, K. (2007, Sept). The Learner/Teacher, Online Platforms, and Web Analytics in Learning Design. Presented at the Open Education 2007: Localizing and Learning, Utah State, Logan, Utah.
SenGupta, S., Hopson, R., & Thompson-Robinson, M. (2004). Cultural competence in evaluation: An overview. New Direction for Evaluation, Number 102, 5-19.
Sheard, J. I. (2007). An Investigation of Student Behaviour in Web-based Learning Environments. A dissertation accepted by the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University, Australia.
Watt, J. H. (1999). Internet Systems for Evaluation Research. New Direction for Evaluation, Number 84, 23-43.
Zaiane O., Han J. (2001) Mining for E-Learning Gold. Retrieved from http://wildcat.iat.sfu.ca/theme3/Zaiane1.html
Several months ago, before I knew I was going to be directing the Edulink project, I proposed an idea to Andy Gibbons, the chair of the Instructional Psychology and Technology department at BYU, to offer a course on the use and application of web analytics for designing and improving online learning environments, and he loved the idea.
What are my expectations from the course? That everyone in the seminar:
(1) has hands on experience with the application of it with a real case,
(2) has an opportunity to contribute to an academic publication on the topic, and
(3) that our experience together produces knowledge and insights that are greater than any one of us could have come up with on our own.
My experience so far indicates that using web analytics to make and test recommendations for a simple online shopping experience (with metrics like CPC and ROI, measured in $) is a little more straight forward than deciding what set of data to monitor in order to improve online learning environments. But lets face it, with most e-learning there is a lot of room for improvement! -It is pretty easy to see how there must be some beneficial ways that web analytics can help to monitor activity and create insights for recommending and testing data-driven improvements. The initial question of importance is to determine the right KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
A combination of a summary of the class’s ideas along with my own thoughts over the last couple years of thinking about it will be forthcoming…
Questions for now:
For anyone who might be reading this blog entry – – If you were designing and/or teaching online classes, for example, (as opposed to teaching one face-to-face and being able to see student’s reaction and adjust the experience in the moment) – what kind of things do you think would want to look at to help you make adjustments for the needs and experience of those you were teaching? – Ideally what kind of things do you think you would want to be able to measure and monitor in order to give you insights into what is going well and/or what could be improved – (and for whom)?
In this entry, I wanted to report on how that strategy paid off, and what I would do differently next time.
In the class we:
covered some of the basics in eBusiness, SEO, online marketing, and the role and value of web analytics in it all,
dissected web analytics implementation methods and discussed the strengths and weaknesses in each,
participated in hands-on consulting experiences and data analysis using Site Catalyst (through the Omniture Web Analytics Competition) and Google Analytics (through required personal blogs, and in our case study),
received exposure and personalized feedback to the experts who are on the cutting-edge of the field (through reading and commenting on expert blogs, guest speakers, participation in the Omniture Summit, and participation in the OWAC competition).
My two goals for the class were:
create a sharing atmosphere where each person considered themselves a learner and a teacher (through in and out of class hands-on, immediately applicable projects and assignments),
get students thinking like experts through as much association with as many as possible.
As a result of this class:
many in the class have received job offers (several with Omniture, and several others with companies they have worked with during the semester as a result of their new skills)
several in the class who have their own e-businesses have seen an increase in their profitability (some with really cool stories I could tell you)
overall relationship with some of the major experts in the field has been strengthened
during the OWAC competition 4 of my students placed in the top 3 teams, wining over $6,000
several students said it was one of their favorite classes at BYU
on the last day of class, the students gave a standing ovation (of course they were already standing because they were leaving, and maybe just clapping because they were glad it was over! 😉
Here are some examples of constructive comments that the students in my class last semester made on the anonymous university class evaluation form (they liked the course and the teaching style, but wished for a bit more structure):
Clint is a great professor. He is engaging, inspiring, and just overall, a nice guy. He did a great job of bringing experts in the field into the classroom. He was extremely respectful! Thanks Clint!
Clint is a great teacher. I like his teaching style. We’ve already talked about this, but I think the class needs a little more structure.
This is was one of my favorite classes taken at BYU and the teacher was one of my top 3 favorite teachers I’ve had in my 6 years at BYU.
First Clint was the best prof. that I have ever had in any collage class to date and Clint has left a high standard for any teacher to follow. He made himself very available out of class and maintained great communication out of class via email, and in class. He bent over backwards to get industry leaders in the field to come in and speak with us. WOW Clint is a fantastic teacher and is very open to feedback, almost more welcoming to negative feedback than positive. This great teacher was also aided by the fact that this is a great course which BYU is lucky to have. It will soon be a class at all university’s with any business school of any reputation. I am an electrical engineering major and was happy to come to jump the fence to come to this class. I would love to take Web analytics part 2. I took this class for the subject not because it at all helps me toward by ee degree or strategy minor. That is how important it was to me. I don’t regret it one bit. Two thumbs way up, for the instructor and the class.
This is the best class I have ever taken at BYU. It really helped prepare me for my career. I loved the Web Analytics competition. The professor did a great job making class interesting and keeping everyone involved. I learned a ton.
Maybe it’s the nature of the class but it seems like there was no way to see if a students schedule would be conducive to this class. I understand that during the competition we were busy but then it seemed like after we were done the class was scatter brained. Not the teacher just the class. It seems like assignments were assigned when the teacher felt like they came up, in the sense that as we were talking about different things suddenly he would say, oh great, an assignment! Then we were required to do it. It would have been nice to have a little more structure.
I did love the class though. I felt like I learned a lot and I loved having the guest lecturers. Thanks.
Good class . . . could have used a bit more structure to it, but excellent instructor!
I really like the professor, but I think the class was a little too loosely structured. I enjoyed the fact that I didn’t have to worry about my grade and I could focus on learning. However, there wasn’t much of a syllabus/course schedule that helped me know what was going on. He did send emails, which helped, but they were only for the next class period or two.
They are much better comments than the first time I got student ratings (about 3 years ago) – so it is nice to see some improvement 🙂 ). As you can see, however, the loose structure of the Web 2.0 approach still left students feeling a little lost. So, in consideration of ways to improve –
I think there can be a little more structure and guidance, without encroaching on the overall teaching approach (e.g. give a little more details of upcoming events and assignments, request specific things to be blogged about instead of leaving it so much up to students, require in the first couple weeks for students to post a comment or question on an expert blog, etc).
The other thing that I think would help is to start the consulting experience we do in the class before the OWAC competition, allowing data to be collected during that time, and then analyzing it and giving data-driven recommendations after they have their experience in the competition. This might also give the class a feel of a little more consistency throughout the semester.
It was very fun to teach ISys 590R this semester. I thought it was both personally and professionally rewarding. I hope those students keep in touch – if they keep learning at the same pace it will not be very long before they are the recognized experts in the field.
I also have some more exciting ideas for how to improve even more the tie with experts through the Web 2.0 tools – but perhaps you will have to wait until next semester to find out what those are… 🙂
Hope you don’t mind if I share some good news with you. I was very pleasantly surprised by it!
I recently got the reviews back from a paper submission we had made to an academic conference. The paper is a synthesis of some of my work in Finland (titled “Experiencing an International Virtual Team”) and the program planner for the International Division said that ours was: “perhaps the best proposal submitted to our division. Thanks for the submission. Virtual international collaboration is not only a must technological reach but a global responsibility.”
I thought that was a great compliment, and it was fun to share with the great Ph.D. students who worked with me on it. Three out of the five reviewers gave it 100%!
One reviewer said: “STRENGTHS of the Proposal: 1. Good references to appropriate literature. 2. A wonderful paper! 3. Very well-written. 4. A strong contribution to the research and theory on international communication; this will be a trend in research for the present and future!”
OK – enough of that for now. With the negative feedback that often comes from different papers or projects, it is especially nice to hear and share good news, celebrating the moment of its arrival.
Since I heard Seth Godin (a “guru” in online marketing) speak yesterday morning, I have not been able to stop thinking about some of his key messages. I’ll explain why I keep thinking about them at the end of this entry. I’m also very interested in your comments – what do you think are the best ways to get a message to spread?
The Old Way to Spread a Message: The old model of marketing was to try and interrupt as many people as you can with impersonal messages (through TV advertisements, magazine ads, billboards, etc) – and if you spent $1 getting your word out by interrupting people and made $1.10 in return, then you could spend it interrupting more people. Most CEOs and marketing people think that this same approach applies on the Internet and with online communication. Although this same (and frequently annoying) approach might still meet some degree of success online (in buying sponsored key-words, sending emails, putting up banner-ads) – ultimately the old model will fail in this new medium when head-to-head with what actually works.
The reality is that there are so many channels of information sources now that people can often ignore a company, even when it is spending billions of dollars in trying to interrupt you. Unless it is directly relevant or at least mildly entertaining, then they do not have time and they do not care. You can keep polishing your message, but it is simply a little pin in a wicked-huge haystack!
The main point:
Create something worth talking about. If you do not have that step, the next step will not mean much at all. (You can not buy attention, not effectively, not widespread.)
Ideas that spread, win.
In the middle (the majority) people strive to be average (only we live in a world where everything is usually good enough and we don’t have much time so we usually just pick what is either cheaper or closer), but on the edges people wait in line.
Definition of remarkable = worth making a remark about. If people remark about it, then the idea spreads.
Be remarkable (if you do not do this, do not go to step 2) – tell a story to your “sneezers” (the early adopters and innovators) – they spread the word (do what used to be your job) – get permission (the privilege of delivering anticipated, personal, and relevant messages – the kind that if they don’t come then people complain about not getting them).
There are two ways to get married: 1. Go to a singles bar, and the first girl you meet ask her right away to marry you. If she says no, then go to the next girl and ask her. If she says no, then go to the next one until you can find one who says yes (i.e. impersonal widespread invitations). 2. Find a girl, date her and get to know her, when you see there is a match then ask her to marry you (i.e. building a meaningful, welcome relationship). Most of marketing takes the first approach. The better thing to do is to create products, services, messages that people actually care about, and want to talk about and have more of. And of course, web analytics is one tool (of many) that can help people determine who is on the site, what do they care about, and how to customize the experience more on a one-to-one basis.
Personal Application: I started to think about an idea that my sister and I have been working on for a couple months now. Originally we were just thinking about it in terms of a really cool children’s book (which I think could be a bit hit). After Seth’s talk, I started to think of other ways to use the technology available to customize, enhance, and easily spread it in a way that would make it something worth talking about. Does anyone who has programming skills want to find out more and see if you want to help me develop the idea?
Questions: Do you agree with Seth that the Internet has changed our lives in the ways mentioned? What do you think are the best ways to get a message to spread?
Six years ago there was 6 clients (or rather potential clients) in attendance at the “Omniture Summit” this year there will be nearly 2,000 in Salt Lake (3,000 worldwide), from over 750 companies (more than 1,000 globaly – Sydney, Paris, Copenhagen, London, Munich, Tokyo) and those in one room representing more than 30% of the online marketing spend in the world. For example, this morning alone I have already talked to people from CNN, the NFL, Gateway, Microsoft, Convergys, HP, and on and on.
The reason web analytics is doing so much to change business (online and off-line) is simple. Because of the way in which everything can be tracked online – making ideas more measurable than ever before – this helps instill a data-driven mindset into an organization. Instead of “shooting from the hip” and arguing simply based on opinion, you can channel all that creativity into testing situations and consequently have data-driven results and recommendations for any decision you make.
The Omniture Summit will continue over the next couple days, and students in my ISys 590R Web Analytics class will be blogging about what they learn from:
the keynote speakers (including people like Peter Kim – Forrester Research, Seth Godin – Marketing Guru, and Lance Armstrong – famous Athlete and speaker),
consulting best practice presentations (in industry verticals like eCommerce, Media, High Tech, Financial Services, etc..),
new tools and improvements on existing tools (e.g SiteCatalyst v.14, Discover, SearchCenter, Behavioral Targeting, tracking Video, Flash, Ajax, etc.),
and success case studies (e.g. Ford, MTV, National Geographic, Blockbuster, Dex Media, BackCountry.com, etc…).
I feel lucky to be teaching one of the only web analytics classes offered at any business school in any university (yet one more reason why BYU is great). To read more about the incredibly valuable things my very cool students are learning and blogging about, see our online class space: http://ebiz2.byu.edu/analytics/
I believe that public school systems and universities are going to change significantly in the next 20-30 years. My thinking on these issues has been influenced by people like Lave and Wenger (Communities of Practice), Lev Vygotsky (Zone of Proximal Development), and George Siemens (Connectivism) – to name a few. As one of many changes, technology and the “new media” provides opportunities for students to tie into hands-on working and learning experiences through networks with experts in their field of study (and in some cases, even quickly become one of the experts in the field). Because there is so much to learn, and much that changes so rapidly, one of the most important skills we can teach our students (and learn ourselves) is how to navigate through the immensity of available connections and resources. I am currently experimenting with as many ways as I can think to do this with the Web Analytics class I am teaching this semester.
In response to a post he made today regarding the practical application of his theory, I described what I am doing in my class to apply many of the things that he mentioned. I am copying an adapted version of my post here for any who are interested:
The class I am currently teaching this semester is on Web Analytics. As it is a somewhat new and evolving field, I believe that the student’s I teach can even have an impact in leading and shaping it in the future. So I am doing everything I can think of to get them invested into learning from and contributing to the leading experts and networks.
1. I require them to blog – something that gives me a good feel for what they are learning (or not learning) in and out of class – believing it is something that taps into the idea that you are learning the most when you have to teach others. Sometimes it helps me get a feel for the personal side of student’s too, which helps in building rapport and trust in the class. And it is something that they will take with them after the class is over. [Incidentally it also gives them a chance to analyze the analytics from the visitors to their own personal blog throughout the semester]
3. We also aggregate the blog feeds from other experts in the field onto the same class space.
4. Many of the class activities deal with contributing to the class space – for example, the class was split into groups to study and create presentations on certain aspects of online marketing – to teach the class and post their lessons online (e.g. through BrainHoney). When it came time to present, we had three experts come to our class and act like a panel – giving feedback and additional suggestions to the topics they presented on. We called it “American Idol of Online Marketing” and it was a huge success. All the experts asked for copies of the presentations, so we could direct them to the class wiki to continue to join the conversation.
5. In addition to having a lot of guest speakers, live or virtual, and reading the thoughts of cutting edge experts through blogs and forums, I am putting together an assignment to create a wiki page called “The Who’s Who of Web Analytics” – where class members will have a chance to approach experts, interview them with several short questions, and build at least some kind of a “warm” contact while simultaneously contributing to the class knowledge of who the experts are, what got them there, and what their current thinking is like.
6. We have a hands-on competition available where student’s analyze web analytics data from a fairly large website and make recommendations to the site owner based on the web analytics data how to improve it. They first give their presentations to actual web analytics consultants who pick the top four to present to the actual owners. This is good for class, for the company, and for the consulting organization – who has ended up making offers on the spot to hire some of my class members in the previous semester that I have taught it.
7. I have just negotiated with one of the biggest and best hands-on conferences in webanalytics to allow all of my class members to attend for at least one day. (side note: although I do not know what it has to do with Web Analytics, I personally am excited that Lance Armstrong is one of the keynote presenters.)
In previous semesters I just aggregated student blogs, but this semester I wanted to make a bigger push to get them tied to the actual community of practice. So those are some of the examples I have found helpful in doing that. Some of it has been a little more time consuming to get rolling, but I think now it is starting to be a self-feeding mechanism in a way. I also found one of the most important things I did this semester was to re-set the student expectations on the very first day of class away from what they might typically expect in a class and towards a new type of learning environment.
Of course, I am just learning in all of this myself – muddling through, making mistakes and hopefully learning from them as I go. But I also think it has been a lot of fun so far.
Thanks for your contributions to my thought process as I have tried these new ideas.
Any further suggestions or thoughts about my particular approach?
To begin with, click here to subscribe to the EdTech Google calender that Ilkka has kindly created:
University of Joensuu EdTech Ph.D. Seminar Program for 21.11.2007
**The tentative schedule will look something like this.
10:00am – We will car pool from the Science Park at to the Kitee Folk High School
12:00 – We will have a short lunch
1:00-3:00pm – Presentations (I am not yet sure if we will be able to broadcast this one to all EdTech students or not.)
So far we have:
1. Michael de Raadt(visiting from University of Southern Queensland, Australia) – will present and raise some questions about Peer Assessment:
Is peer assessment a valid form of assessment?
Can peer assessment save instructors time?
Should students be rewarded for participating in peer assessment?
Can students give accurate subjective reviews of a peer's work?
He will also discuss the approach to distance education (and education in general) from an Australian perspective less formally, if people are interested.
2. AnttiRainio (from the Kittee Folk High School) – will present about TEDIT ? (Towards Equality and Democracy Through IT-education):
TEDIT is a planned project for years 2008-2011 in Lusaka, Zambia. Project is about giving skills to 24 Zambian people to teach computers and to understand democracy and good administration as well as project coordination. Aim is that these people can spread this knowledge and offer basic computer skills education to 200 orphans during the project. In larger scale the project is about enhancing democracy and equality in the Zambian society.
3. EevaTurtiainen (one of our students and also working at Kitee Folk High School)– will present about her “not-so-ready” research plan 🙂
Title “Educational games in mathematics”.
4. Clint Rogers (visiting researcher at Joensuus Yliopisto) – will present about his evaluation of and recommendations for the IMPDET program.
Evaluation of the IMPDET program
3:00-5:00pm – We will have small group discussions and brainstorming sessions.
5:00-8:00pm – We will continue discussions over a nice dinner and time in the sauna, steam room, and pool (Unfortunately for sure we will not be able to broadcast this part). Clint will also be bringing materials for everyone to learn how to make a type of Smores. Yum!
8:00pm – Some will travel back to Joensuu
For those of us who are staying the night, we will watch a movie that one critic said “This film will impact the course of your life forever.” After we will discuss the learning/teaching approaches in it and potential implications for educational technology
As people continue to submit ideas for presentation at this seminar, I will post them here accordingly.
This was at 10:00am (GMT +3) in the EdTech Lab – but as we will be including any of our students or faculty around the world who want to participate, you can go to the World Clock Meeting Planner to see what time it will be for you where you live.
(9:45-10:00) People at a distance should click on the link, and we will work out any bugs before the meeting begins. 10:00-10:10 Welcome and Introductions by Erkki – (and distribution of Halloween Candy by Clint) 10:10-10:30 Presentation by Marjo (from California): about her research and experiences in San Diego 10:30-10:45 Presentation by Temtim (from Ethiopia): Introduction of himself to the research group
10:45-11:00 Short break
11:00-11:30 Demonstration (and discussion) by Illka and Javier of North-South Gateway (e.g. progress on Tug-of-War)
11:30-11:45 Informal discussion on some spontaneous topic of interest
I presented yesterday at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University E-Learning Lab, and was impressed by what they are doing. Although it is not the only thing they do, I quite simply have not seen anyone as advanced in mobile learning functionality – and I think it is because they have a nice combination of (#1) idea generation (hosting conferences and visiting with other scholars), (#2) technical expertise in developing the ideas (with the base of dozens of computer science students working right there), and (#3) the resources to make it all happen (including funding from Intel, China Telecom, BT, etc…).
Prof Shen showed me how students can view a live class room experience from their cell phone, toggling back between views of the teacher, the presentation material (if any), the live class, and at the same time send an SMS to the teacher in real time. I toured one of the “Smart Natural Classrooms” that make this possible. Immediately after each class session, they are archived and available for retrieval at any time, with students even being able to make calls to a call center for additional support as needed. The messages sent by email or SMS are first scanned with a natural language processor that extracts the meaning of the question and sends an automated response based on similar answers to previous questions. If that answer is not adequate, then the student can contact the teacher. The main idea behind it all is to have the class-room experience that people are already familiar with, but simply to extend the audience through mobile learning functionality.
The main current limitations seem to be that only one type of phone is currently compatible with the system (at least it is a Nokia :), but they are already working on extending the options of phones that will work. On the other hand, these lectures are a part of is a premium degree-granting program, so students are willing to pay more to be a part of the university, etc. The desire in China to have a degree from a top university probably can not be overstated. Also, my personal (admittedly somewhat biased) opinion is that they should be using technology not simply to mimic and extend existing class-room experiences, but also leverage the opportunity for student’s to engage in more web 2.0 kinds of learning and teaching experiences. Not just consuming content, but also creating, synthesizing, sharing…
My presentation to the lab today was in two parts: (1) Web 2.0 Paradigms & Platforms for Harnessing Collective Intelligence (with case: Agillix BrainHoney), and (2) Web Analytics and Decision Automation in E-Commerce and E-Learning Contexts (with case: Omniture/ Touch Clarity).
Afterwards – Dr. Minjuan Wang and I toured a part of old town Shanghai – enjoying ice cream bars – the treat in the center being sweet green peas (although Minjuan’s was sugar free, of course).
I followed the example of Rich Hoeg in using Google Co-Op to create a Search Engine that indexes current and archived business management and strategy podcasts from top academic business schools (MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, Wharton, and Insead – with campuses in France and Singapore). I also used RSS Include to embed custom RSS Feed readers for the most recent podcasts from a couple of the above mentioned schools.
If you are reading this post from an RSS Feed, you will have to link directly to my blog to see the search engine and automatic feeds.
This blog entry contains: (1) key insights/quotes from the book, that I follow up with (2) key questions of my own and (3) a request for participation in an upcoming research initiative.
“Due to deep changes in technology, demographics, business, the economy, and the world, we are entering a new age where people participate in the economy like never before. This new participation has reached a tipping point where new forms of mass collaboration are changing how goods and services are invented, produced, marketed, and distributed on a global basis. This change represents far-reaching opportunities for every company and for every person who gets connected.” (p. 10)
“In an age where mass collaboration can reshape an industry overnight, the old hierarchical ways of organizing work and innovations do not afford the level of agility, creativity, and connectivity that companies require to remain competitive in today’s environment.” (p. 31)
Tapscott & Williams articulated four defining principles that they feel define how 21st century companies will compete, which are (in some instances) drastically different from old models. These four principles are: (1) openness, (2) peering, (3) sharing, and (4) acting globally.
Regarding the last principle, “acting globally” —
“Thomas Friedman’s book The World is Flat brought the significance of the new globalization to many. But the quickening pace and deep consequences of globalization for innovation and wealth creation are not yet fully understood.” (p. 28)
“The new globalization is both causing and caused by changes in collaboration and the way firms orchestrate capability to innovate and produce things. Staying globally competitive means monitoring business developments internationally and tapping a much larger global talent pool. Global alliances, human capital marketplaces, and peer production communities will provide access to new markets, ideas, and technologies. People and intellectual assets will need to be managed across cultures, disciplines, and organizational boundaries.” (p. 28-29)
“Winning companies will need to know the world, including its markets, technologies, and peoples. Those that don’t will find themselves handicapped, unable to compete in a business world that is unrecognizable by today’s standards.” (p. 29)
When orchestrating people and intellectual assets “across cultures, disciplines, and organizational boundaries” — what difficulties will arise?
I assume mis-communication, ethnocentrism, and a lack of trust will be just as alive and frustrating as they frequently have been throughout time. Even with a relative absence of malicious motivations, cultural differences alone often make effective communication, trust, and understanding difficult — and generally do so in ways that are initially invisible to ourselves (because of how easy it is to assume that others either are or should think/work/feel/see/be like us).
The truth is that these technological infrastructures will connect people who are coming from very different world-views and expectations regarding relationships and rules around things as simple as when to communicate, to whom to communicate with, what to communicate about, and how long to continue the communications.
Lauzon (1999) made the argument “that one of the main challenges as we enter the new millennium will be ‘learning to live with difference’ (p. 274)” (quoted in Wang and Reeves, 2007, p. 14). Wang and Reeves (2007) further argue that, “both history and the current state of the world affairs indicate that living with difference is easier said than done” (p. 14).
So how can new collaborative technologies and ideologies be framed in a way that mitigates the negatives and maximizes the positives?
How can people from different cultures and disciplines come together in a way that they (1) trust, (2) understand, and (3) collaboratively create with each other?
I will be in Finland at the University of Joensuu this September coordinating a cross-cultural multidisciplinary research project that aims to help get more answers to these and related questions. I will be coordinating a team of PhD students (from China, Africa, Europe, etc…) on an educational technology initiative, where we will study: (a) the dynamics of the multinational multidisciplinary team itself, and (b) cross-cultural implementation issues and implications.
If you either know of a PhD student – or are one yourself – who is interested in participating (either for credit or simply for the experience), please read the attached description of the research and send me the required information.