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Teaching Effectively Online


Lesson Six: “The New Normal” –
                      How We Can Do More With Less.



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Required Submissions for Lesson 6:


1. Post as a reply in the Google groups discussion “Birds of a Feather Discussion”
a short note identifying your greatest interests, concerns and specific needs regarding this class with an eye toward identifying who else in this class might share your priorities as the basis for mutually beneficial collaboration – such as starting an online discussion, working together on a resources wiki, and/or partnering for innovative final projects.

Go to http://groups.google.com/group/teaching-effectively-online 

For example: some of us are totally interested in elementary Ipad apps, others in HS Math/science, others in homeschooling programs with a families emphasis, and others tech-training for teachers. Together we will determine if additional topical discussions and other collaborative content efforts are needed. 
(30 minutes)


2. Post to the class listserv your best professional personal learning network sites, feeds, and tips - to be archived for all future class participants.

(30 minutes)


3._____ Email your instructor all the details on your generosity gifting one of your classmates with three great new links matching their topical preferences as listed at the top of their own wiki page (see sidebar menu).   Details to include in your email to your instructor: the 3+ resource links, the link to specific classmate’s wiki page, and the name of the lucky giftee. (30 minutes)


4. Create a 3-5 minute Jing video capture demoing your pick of your own info-diet input or output “best practices” and post the link along with your name and a short description on the

“Best Tech Tips and Tricks Jings” wiki page at our class wiki. (one hour)

              Go to:   http://teachingonlinewiki.pbworks.com


5. Email your final project idea to your instructor
( OK to partner with others as long as individual time on task is documented)

            (30 minutes)


VIEW the 45 minute video of the FCC Chairman’s Announcement:


            (45 minutes)


            6. Read this lesson.

            (15 minutes)


Tightening Our Collective Belts to Prepare for The New Normal

Arne Duncan, director of the US Department of Education has coined the term, “The New Normal” where we are all now going to be forced to do more with less. The economies of scale for high quality distance learning are only beginning to be recognized. One new reality is that all projections on the future are off the table. No one can predict with any confidence what’s going to happen next year, never mind in 5, 10, or 20 years.


If “Less is More” and we are asked to “Do More with Less” how’s that gonna work exactly?

We have discussed that in the age of information overload, Less Is More. And with the New Normal, we are now tasked to Do More With Less. The answer begs the question of smarter ongoing evaluation of genuine best practices, and we are in the age of transparency, where crowd accelerated innovation has proven itself on the global stage. “What matters most” is increasingly related to the quality of best practices we are individually aware of, and how effectively we can learn to stay current, noting particularly that even the information tools we are using are undergoing constant changes and upgrades.


Everyone, and everything, is quickly becoming interconnected, and everything is becoming integrated. Egov services may soon be available only online, via virtual one-stop centers. And this means it has suddenly become extremely important for everyone to learn effective online skills necessary to access essential government services, particularly for vulnerable populations.


More with less means integrating units to cover more standards in less time.

Community Networking and elearning – have now merged as learning society.


Google and Microsoft already offer cloud-based Egov software systems for entire states. Wyoming’s 10,000 public employees now use Google’s Egov suite. In Boston, citizens can use a smartphone to photograph pot holes and instantly email them directly to the department of transportation. Necessity is the mother of invention, and we have entered an era of unprecedented necessary innovation.

One of many related resources: http://www.govtech.com


Relearning Smarter Consumerism

The video “Collaborative Consumption” summarizes innovations made possible by the Internet for getting by with less, by sharing what we have with others. The book is recommended as it presented dozens of examples from the $100 billion dollar global sharing economy – ways that people are making money by providing smarter ways for others to save money. The subtle point of the book is that our conspicuous consumption habits are learned, and have been specifically taught subversively by corporations who stand to profit from unnecessarily wasteful consumer habits.


The volume of success stories makes this an interesting consumerism version of our class textbook related to similar successes with smarter Elearning innovations. I.E.  Everyone both learner and teacher, both consumer and producer, all the time.


Essential Digital Consumer Skills

QR codes, square bar codes, are appearing on products, posters, in store windows, and literally everywhere. Last Christmas, 17% of shoppers used them for instant price comparisons using apps like shopsavvy. Simple consumerism best practices now require such a tool to assure best prices when shopping.


Online innovations like Groupon.com – allow collaborative consumerism where special deals become available online, only if enough people literally shop together.  How Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, and others have changed, and are aggressively continuing to change, literally everything about our economy – suggests we all pay attention to best practices that literally mean leaving money in our pockets every time we shop.


School budgets are increasingly supplemented by partnerships with local businesses, community foundations, Ebay fundraisers, and more.


America’s Global Competitiveness, and Your Role as Digital Educator

To stimulate America’s global competitiveness, the Federal Communications Bureau has launched Connect to Compete, to focus on use of school and library computer labs as the hub for establishing a local community “digital literacy corps.” 


At issue is who will champion keeping computer labs open after school, and decide on the most appropriate digital literacy training for diverse community members – with the goal of stimulating broadband-enabled entrepreneurship, ecommerce and telework jobs, and societal transformation to lifelong learning in a knowledge society?


VIEW the 45 minute video of the FCC Chairman’s Announcement:



Footnote: The CEO of One-Economy.com, Kelley Dunne, has been tapped to direct the Connect to Compete digital literacy initiative, and is seeking help articulating youth digital literacy initiatives and pilot projects for Alaskan Native and Native American communities. Kelley Dunne is the last speaker in the above video.


While there is no guarantee we will all be asked to contribute workable action plans, or receive funding, the question stands, money or not, “What’s the best we can do as educators, to engage our students with their community to competently address what “best practices” need to become common knowledge? - Such that we can “Do for Ourselves, Together?!  That in fact, no money at all may be available simply makes this survival challenge all the more important!


Innovating how best to deal with “The New Normal” is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone learning to leverage the exponential benefits of effective, smarter collaboration, may well prove to be the difference between those communities and villages who adapt and survive and those who disappear.


Fall, 2011, the FCC commissioner was the first to ever visit an Alaska Native village, hosted by senator Begich. At issue was seeing first hand the challenges and opportunities for faster broadband utilization. Consider whether the following could work in your community or village as a local action plan….


Proposing a Competition for the best, first, Alaskan Native Digital Village


Proposed is a digital storytelling competition for presenting the most convincing Alaskan digital village visions for the relevance of broadband via “Bottom-Up” video testimonies, examples of “What's working for others like you” using “show and tell” video capture tools, and other new forms of rich media expression.


Creating a friendly villages competition for who can present the most compelling examples for the benefits of broadband may include; extraordinary success stories for rural ecommerce, telework, and examples of culturally appropriate rich media content creation, effective collaborative outcomes, overcoming social isolation for vulnerable populations, and access to unlimited self-directed learning and entrepreneurial opportunities.


Rapid prototyping for broadband training best practices is a timely need. The viral potential for mass engagement via social media “as personal learning networks” has set the stage for the Top Down to partner meaningfully with the Bottom Up.  A challenge for effective online peer mentoring and Train-The-Trainer programs based on authentic measurable skills transfer outcomes would quickly produce a great deal of innovation and invaluable online instructional content.


Digital literacy is not a matter of large corporations putting more training online in a patronizing top down manner. Digital literacy is about people learning from each other what they can do for themselves creating effective collaborations for ongoing sharing of best practices. 


Pilot projects are proposed for showcasing what communities can “Do for themselves, together” both as individual communities in the short term, and as functional coordinated “communities of communities” sharing innovations, mentors, and mutual opportunities on an ongoing basis.


Local Action Plan Outcomes can include: 


Create a web directory of all local businesses with a web presence…Examples from Caithness, Scotland: Caithness.org   http://lone-eagles.com/dillon.htm


Host frequent local, web-raising events where all participants will create a sustainable free ecommerce website in less than one hour.

 Web Raisings: http://lone-eagles.com/web-raising.htm  30 second web raising videos at http://youtube.com/fodasz


Create a mentors roster online to help match those with skills with those eager to learn. Example from McGrath, AK: http://lone-eagles.com/mentorsurvey.htm


Post online videos of local entrepreneurs, ecommerce successes, Examples from Idaho, Alaska, Scotland, etc.: http://youtube.com/fodasz


The 21st Century imperative is quite literally:

Everyone both learner and teacher, both consumer and producer, all the time.


Stackable Credentials: The Coming Modularization of Learning

With college costs up 600% since 1980, our class text book “The Coming Transformation of Higher Education” and the daily TV news, both attest to fundamental changes in our options for getting marketable credentials for our acquired knowledge.


The Lumina Foundation, funded by the Gates Foundation (who also funded the Khan Academy) is promoting the goal of getting more adults involved in pursuing college degrees. Innovations are sought to motivate adults, and to identify and remove barriers to re-entry.  Stackable credentials are recommended, with the option for the flexibility of mentored online learning. Shorter timeframes for credentials, which can be stacked to culminate in a final degree, have been recommended.  A general trend in online learning is to create more modularity, and doing more with less – less time to produce greater measurable outcomes.


Fastcompany’s 30secondmba.com offers 30 second video insights from high level thought leaders as one example of an attempt to offer the greatest value in the least amount of time. Twitter is a similar model, though the value depends on how well those you follow know how to use the tool effectively.


Another trend is toward alternative certifications which are endorsed by a corporation instead of a university, such as Cisco or Microsoft certifications.


Context is King: Educators as Infobrokers.

The video “How Web Video Empowers Global Innovation” suggests it has become vitally important for everyone to not waste time on substandard learning units, when the best-of-the-best can be at everyone’s fingertips, updated daily.

This shifts the role of most educators from being authors of original curriculum, to enhancing their role as curricular assessors, and info-brokers, focusing more on setting the context VS authoring the content.


Defining Digital Literacy Best Practices

Digital literacy as a term sounds very last century. How we define digital literacy and teach it on an ongoing basis as it continues to evolve is important. We cannot presume that those in power are also the most knowledgeable or the best educators. The term broadband has created a lot of confusion, but the term connectedness – begs the question of - to whom, what, and why?


Scripting Your TED Talk Viral Video:

What each of us might contribute as a short Jing demo of our own best practices has the potential to be viewed by millions, even billions. Whether it is our personal tech tricks, or our vision for sharing across all members of our one human family, in the age of daily viral events…literally anything is possible, and we’re limited only by our imaginations.


I.E. How can you give people More value with Less… time, energy, cost, and prerequisite literacy?  Educators are now challenged to develop their excellence at creating and/or brokering the  best… best practices.


Innovation Diffusion in K12 is an inverted pyramid.

You might have noticed your students know more about information retrieval technologies than most parents and teachers, who in turn often know more about technology than their principals and superintendents, who often know more than our legislators, governors and senators. Those who make the decisions regarding educational technology innovation may too often be the least informed.


In review, formal K12 education is based on standards without ongoing assessments for use of rich media to create instructional content that is most motivating. Informal learning shared among students is likely to be video and/or app-based, noting social media and mobile devices are prohibited in many schools.


In an ideal world, we (teachers and students alike) would all be better informed via peer assessments revealing the most motivating curricular units, that in the least amount of time, offer the highest possible level of insight, utility, and measurable outcomes.


The Khan academy videos showed measurable tracking for student progress, student mentoring, and classroom methods to allow the teachers to mentor individual students in the classroom. The Hole in the Wall video showed how students can teach themselves, as is necessary when teachers are not available.


Mutual Support Networks;

Are evolving to keep us all up to the same instant of progress.

In the Smithsonian Museum of American history is a display on the evolution of communications technology.  A kiosk has a sermon running continuously, from 1867 announcing the first transatlantic telegraph cable connecting America and Europe. The message is that now humankind can all keep to the same instant of progress. Dot-dash-dot-dot, in 1867!


As we are half-way through through this class, some might fear being overwhelmed by too many information feeds. Even when relevant to use as educators, it is a fact that we can only handle so many E-newsletters, RSS blog feeds, listserv emails from our often prolific peers and *online instructors, and the growing number of other information flows and feeds. In addition, are our personal social networks, which seem destined to make it easier than ever for our friends and family to further overwhelm us. 


Consider the following themes:


No one knows as much as all of us.


If we all share what we know, we’ll all have access to all our knowledge.


The power of all of us. (Ebay’s trademark)


Less is MORE in our age of information overload:

Information condenses to knowledge which condenses to wisdom and VALUE is created in our age of information overload.


With the global boom of bottom-up innovations, fueled by the new opportunities for anyone, anywhere to learn daily from the best innovations of others, the evolving dynamics for instant dissemination of the very best “crowd accelerated innovations” holds great promise. We are modern hunter gatherers constantly seeking the best knowledge and innovations of others.


A Prologue to Sophisticated Simple Organizing Strategies for Social Media and for Teaching Online Effectively.

Ongoing feeds using multiple tools to minimize the time required to stay current with peers in your topic areas can be as fun as it can be useful.


What if each of us – could be collaboratively sharing our wiki links, jings, and best professional development and topical curriculum content sites on an ongoing basis!  That is literally the goal of many K12 resource sites – many experimenting with different combinations of social media tools, incentives to share, and more.  I.E. Learn from the working strategies deployed by others…like the Ning video tutorials shared in a recent lesson.


Let’s take a hard look at potential best practices for a moment:

Our class listserv has a searchable archive of all postings, so introductions, posted resource links, including jings, are available to newcomers to the class at any time. Posting Jings in google group messages still requires everyone to sort through those messages.  Perhaps creating a single wiki page for just the Jing assignment links is the way to go?   It is just this sort of decision making on best use of collaborative tools, optimal organization, etc., that teaching effectively online requires.


Think about all the great resources we have all posted to the listserv, wiki, ning, and google group.  Think about what might be the best way to create a lasting collection of exceptional resources as an outcome of this class - and/or any future classes for that matter. How best to sort all these by topic, to chose the right tool for initial and sustained organization, and the most effective motivations and/or required submissions to achieve the best possible group outcome, are all on the table for your recommendations.


And think about what model can be extended for students to conduct similar knowledge gathering with the community.


An elegant combination of sequenced instructional Jings teaching the tools for ideal collaborative outcomes (wikis and Ning) might be considered. The confusion, as one example, resulting from threaded discussions being linked to each new topic, in our google group, represents the level of detail necessary to address.


One potential problem is with everyone working at their own pace, literally getting everyone on the same page can be a challenge.  Keeping it as simple as possible will likely prove necessary.


Planning Your 8 Hour Final Project:

Please start thinking about what you would like to do for your 8 hour final project, and email your idea to your instructor for possible suggestions. 


Consider creating your own wiki to share great links on a specific topic to share with peers and/or your local community. Rather specifically you can post links to your Jings showing cool content creation tools in 30 second bits - one 5 minute jing could show your top ten favorites as a compelling way for raising awareness for, say, your principal or superintendent or parents?


Note: Jing videos won't upload to youtube, etc., unless you purchase Jing Pro for $14/year - which allows saving as Mpg4 files - compatible with youtube, ning, wikis, blogs, and most everything else. However, you can post Jing links anywhere. When in doubt - experiment.


You might think about your opportunity to model the highest impact and/or utility possible via your final project, within the 8 hour window.  Think about showcasing Alaskan cultural expression best practices examples by tool type, perhaps in the context of "here are 5-10 of the best digital storytelling cool tools."  Or showcase the easiest new media tools and methods for creating instructional content.  Imagine two five minute video captures or twenty 30 second jings - each showing as briefly as possible, the best Alaskan examples of purposeful use for cultural expression and/or education.


Think about what might be of the highest value to Alaskans, right now, and how we might establish a simple collaborative means of engaging Alaskan citizens and educators in creating a national model for a grassroots showcase of what modern technologies have allowed Alaskans to innovatively create.


If you think about it, TV commercials are done in rapid fire 2-4 second cuts and what I'm talking about is rather just like that - for the ADHD in all of us, ideally accessible via smartphone.


In a sense, we talked around the edges of how we can both quickly communicate to non-techies the essence of what they don't know that they need to know. Creating a 2-5 minute "commercial style videos" would certainly be an interesting challenge for both you and your students.


If you think about the highest need for our immediate classmates – it might be some of us use 20+ cool tools, while most of us feel pretty much like beginners. If you, or ideally each of us, were to quick a fast-moving jing showing our info-diet tools and best practices in under 5 minutes – how amazing would it be for most of us to actually SEE what all the rest of us are doing?! What if everyone, everywhere, were regularly sharing in this fast and efficient way? It might create a Knowledge society, and as important, a whole new structure for a Knowledge Economy.


Politically as of November 2011, what education can prove most effective for broadband adoption and best practices utilization is very much a Hot Topic!

I.E. "What can broadband be used for?"  The timely need is to enlighten non-technical vulnerable populations including top leadership administrators, governors, senators, and legislators.


Consider this instructional format;

To be accessible as a learning app on mobile devices:

The What and the Why it is important:

Start with a 30 second visual show and tell on what tool you want to demonstrate: Example: Twitter is microblogging - a summative means of following thought leaders’ one line postings. And why it is important; “200 million tweets a day has become the preferred means many people use to literally follow those whose expertise they value.”


The How - Summary:

Then, have a link to a one minute “show and tell” video showing just the basics for how it works. 


The serious training on How – in short stacked modules

Once people know enough to make a decision as to whether they wish to learn a tool or skill, then link to successive short training bits on the how.


Here are Final Project Ideas.


Web-raisings - are 1 hour events where everyone attending, regardless of age, creates their own free ecommerce website, blog, and/or family photo album.  http://www.tripod.com  - In Metlakatla, I did this with teachers during a 5 hour inservice, and later for 7th graders, whose homework was to create an ecommerce site for a local artist or business person. Examples at http://lone-eagles.com/web-raising.htm  and several 30 second videos showing webraisings in action are at http://youtube.com/fodasz  - one with elders, and one with First Nations.


Elder's digital storytelling. Elementary students with Ipad2's would be matched with elders to record and upload videos of elders' oral stories, and/or histories.  Also, narrated photos posted online at sites like voicethread.com literally can "preserve elders' wisdom and stories for all future generations."  A demo of an Elder's flipalbum is http://www.youtube.com/fodasz#p/u/7/huWWzNz0ePM


VIEW this memorial blog,

Consider posting oral histories, fiddle music, testimonies of friends and family, and more.



Lesson Feedback: 


You're invited to privately email your instructor:


       1. What areas, if any, did you have trouble with during this lesson?


       2. What questions remain now that you've finished this lesson?


       3. Approximately how much time did you devote to this lesson?


              4. What improvements would you like to suggest?