Adventures in Blogging

I have been toying with the idea of creating a blog for quite a while.  In fact, I have started and stopped building this blog at least half a dozen times over the last 11 years.  Eventually I realized that wanting to start a blog wasn’t sufficient reason for starting a blog.  I believe, however, that now it’s time.  I have things I would like to share and, more important, I am hoping others will share back.

The originally conceived the idea of building a blog when I was working on my dissertation back in May of 2006.  I started working on the nuts and bolts of themes and plugins and such while I was attending a week long workshop on network science. During the evenings I was attempting to create my first WordPress blog. I hadn’t quite mastered WordPress and was receiving valuable guidance from the more computer savvy workshop participants.

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Buzzwords Kill

Those of us that work with educational technology are constantly awash in a sea of buzzwords.    These buzzwords can, at times, be useful; particularly when everyone is on the same page and have a common understanding of what a particular buzzword means. Admittedly, it’s much easier to toss off a term like ‘gamification’ or ‘learning analytics’ than it is to explain what those terms represent.

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Sound Advice

A couple of years ago I invested in a pair of hearing aids. It was not an easy decision. I thought of hearing aids as a sign of weakness and I imagined myself being horribly self-conscious. Besides, my wife had gotten used to having to repeat herself and listening to the television at an uncomfortably high volume. I had gotten used to her exasperated expression and having closed-captions displayed prominently across the screen.

Then, I realized that it wasn’t really about me. I was having trouble hearing students in the classroom. A classroom is unlike a social situation in which I might nod politely at something someone said. Even if I hadn’t really heard the potentially witty bon mot tossed my way at a social gathering, there were other cues; such as facial expression or tone of voice that would telegraph what type of appropriate non-response I would need to muster.

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