Weaving Conversations

TLT Knowledge Log

Thinking about vocabulary OR How ’bout an order of slimehead?

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on August 27, 2006

Okay, so after I wrote the topic below I was reading through several blogs and this article appeared in several… So… How about an order of slimehead?
Today as I was reading any number of educational technology blogs I realized I wasn’t understanding the significance of many submissions as they were so full of acronyms and insider phrasing that it made me realize how intimidating the adoption process is to newbies… particularly students who are attempting to develop their own comfort with technology supported learning (minus a mentor or faculty member directing them).

Who would know what del.icio.us means and what a TAG is… no less why Stephen Downes doesn’t tag people?

Who would know what VOIP is in an educational context without some interpretation of the value of Skype and Skypecasting (and similar adventures)?
One blog was so full of new “words” that I got lost and thought about seeking a web site translator to help me to understand.

The solution? Reinterpret the tools so they are understandable. Until very recently (and I’m no means a tech newbie) I really didn’t understand the utility and effectiveness of a blog for myself. The reason? Blogger doesn’t have an automated tool for adding links. If you look at this site you see that not only do I have a ton of links (probably too many!) I also have finally figure out how to integrate bloglines.

But, I know that if I hadn’t had a good mentor in this (thanks Glen!) and a bit of confidence that I could figure things out (not to mention access to all of Stephen Downes… (who walks on water in my POV) … musings I probably wouldn’t have figured out a darned thing.

Now… I’m a student (doctoral) and a teacher (undergrad programming). I find myself looking at each tool and each approach and each theory through two different lenses… and I think the least explored is that of the student experience. Students do not need (a) permission nor (b) direction to use many of these tools… but finding the educational purposefulness might be a challenge.

I have given myself permission and am so glad that I found WordPress to make a blog more understandable to me and Stephen Downes’ shared bloglines feed to jumpstart my learning in that area.

Feel like a number of doors have just opened! Ah Hah!


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