Assignment 24: Digital Diploma Mills PT 1

November 17, 2004

Ok, first let me say that I lost my first post on digital diplomas which was long to the blogger monster. I will try to summarize that post below. Also, I am very tired & yucky feeling, so please pardon, any typos.

Basically, this article divides higher ed into two camps:

faculty & students vs. administrators & legislators (for those of us in public institutions)

In other words, learning vs. making money

The author sees the push to digitize learning as just a way to get more people through the door, e.g., the diploma mill. He also discusses the kinds of online programs, and what prestige is attached to various ones.

I thought this was an interesting article, because I have now been a student at UGA through two different administrations. Although, it would seem that fundraising has gained importance, I haven’t noticed an incredible shift towards digital learning. In fact, it seems that some of the nontraditional student learning (ALP, Evening Program, etc. have just faded away)


November 17, 2004

Ok, I just finished a big part of my chunk of the webquest assignment (I think). I still need to review the web resources and help out with the evaluation stuff, but the part that is the most important to me is done. I say the most important to me, because it is really the only area of the webquest I feel any competence in. I do not know any high school students. I do not teach and the only classes I have taught have been college freshmen or con’t ed kinds of things. I have no clue what appeals to a senior in highschool. In the real world, I would hope to have a little more time to actually ID students to work with and evaluate the content. For the purposes of this assignment, the evaluation of the content is going to be minimal.


Assignment 22: Reading: Six challenges for educational technology

November 10, 2004

I think all of these questions are very relative but some are more critical over the long run. Certainly funding up front for computers is needed, and adequate future funding to maintain those computers. However, in the long term support for computers and the technology must come from the community (#4). If parents, legislators, the school board, governing board, etc. can not SEE (understand) the relationships of technology and learning, they will be less likely to support those programs financially.

The second question that I see as very critical over the long run is analysis of student achievement utilizing technology. As technology can provide so many variables, having standards is crucial, especially, in documenting achievement for the purposes of obtaining funding.

Chris Dede (George Mason Univ) sees six challenges for educational technology:

  • How can schools afford to purchase enough multimedia-capable, Internet computers so that a classroom machine is always available for every 2-3 students?
  • How can schools afford enough computers and telecommunications to sustain new models of teaching and learning?
  • How can many educators disinterested or phobic about computers and communications be induced to adopt new technology-based models of teaching and learning?
  • How do we prove to communities that new, technology-based model of teaching and learning are better than current instructional approaches?
  • How can educational technology increase equity rather than widen current gaps between “haves” and “have-nots”?
  • If we use technology well, what should we expect as “typical” student performance?

Assignment 23: Reading: Storm Clouds on the Digital Education Horizon

November 10, 2004


Storm Clouds on the Digital Education Horizon

1. Does this shift change the traditional aims of education in our society?

2. What skills will be necessary for success in the Knowledge Age?

3. What have we learned about learning that might help us gain these skills?

4. What does Knowledge Age learning really look like in practice?

5. How do we get there from here- which reform strategy will be effective?

6. How can we best apply learning technologies to support this alternative?

I find the Knowledge Age concept very interesting and I often wonder whether this is a true cultural and societal shift or whether it is just a ripple. Is the Knowledge Age a unique time in history, such as the Industrial Age? or is what is being called the Knowledge Age the beginning of something bigger which we can not articulate at this point? Are we only touching the elephant’s left leg?

Assignment 21: Reading: No cliche left behind

November 6, 2004


This is a transcript of a speech entitled No cliche left behind: Why Education Policy is NOT like the movies.

In the beginning of the speech, the speaker seems against no child left behind, but then in the end, he seems to have softened his view. The speaker calls the policy, the action hero method of decision making. 🙂 I may have to “borrow” that analogy the next time I am on a committee where people do not want to take the time to come up with a plan.

He points out the challenges that teachers face trying to deal with competing priorities.

He also refers to standardized testing as the “Wizard of Oz” approach to education. Students must

achieve against impossible odds (lack of resources) in order to gain the reward (a passing grade funding for particular things, etc.)

I think this speech does reflect what most people feel about the “no child left behind” –it is a good idea, but poorly implemented and without planning and guidelines, is a terrible.

It’s like a lot of things… It’s not enough to have a good idea… there must also be a good plan, implementation, and followthrough.

Assignment 20: Reading: Diffusions of Innovations

November 4, 2004

Within the framework of this project, the group attempts to address the following:

What are the elements of Roger’s Diffusion of Innovations Theory?

What stages do adopters pass through from knowledge of an innovation to adoption?

What are some characteristics of adopters of innovations?

What are some attributes of innovations which impact rate of diffusion?

How does Diffusion of Innovations Theory apply to adoption of innovations within household systems?

I found this website very interesting because it really packed in alot of info regarding how innovation happens . As a creative person, I am very interested interested in innovation. When acrylic paint first arrived on the scene (at least to the mass market) it was very much plastic like and very pop art colors. Now acrylic paints mimic oil paint and there are even now hybrid paints.

I won’t go into the whole depth of the website but just a few of the basics…

Components (Elements of the theory):

Definition of innovation

According to Roger, innovation is “an idea, practice or object this is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption. (Rogers, 1995)”

Description of how innov ations are communicated among individuals

Innovations can depend upon perception (i.e., the newness of it)

Communication occurs through interpersonal or mass media channels

  • Mass media is quickest while interpersonal is most effective

Description of the role of time in the diffusion process

Time is important to innovation

  • ” in the innovation-decision process (stages) where the individual passes from “perception as new” to adoption.
  • in the categorization of individuals as innovators (early adopters vs. late adopters)
  • in the measure of rate of adoption of an innovation which is measured in terms of the number of members in a system which adopt an innovation in a certain time frame”

Definition of a social system

  • is ” a set of interrelated units that are engaged in joint problem solving to accomplish a common goal(Rogers, 1995)”
  • act as boundaries for innovation
  • Attributes include: Norms, Change, Agents, Opinion Leaders, Innovation-Decisions, Consequences of Diffusion

Group 3 Assignment WebQuest planning

November 2, 2004

My group is doing a WebQuest on butterflies, esp. building a butterfly garden.