…as I design and teach “Intro to Online Teaching”


my course code changed and so i have moved this blog http://etap687.edublogs.org/ to http://etap640.edublogs.org where i will continue to “share what i know”  : )

Posted by on August 8, 2011 at 10:50 am and tagged  | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Ask yourself, “Will it help you achieve your learning objective “better, faster, safer, easier, or cheaper?”

I have had the opportunity to with thousands of online faculty and to observe hundreds of thousands of online students in the SUNY Learning Network (SLN). From that vantage point I can sense/feel the increased interest in and usage of audio and video-enhanced online instruction/communications/interaction. And at work I feel it too. Skype and elluminate meetings, workgroups, and collaborations are a regular thing now. I see a definite trend away from purely text-based interaction in the world of online teaching and learning from both faculty and students. And though that certainly does not mean that text-based communications will disappear, there is something about audio and video communications in instruction that significantly enhances the experience for faculty and students in terms of creating more engaging content presentation, and enhancing interaction, collaboration, and feedback. (My friend Phil Ice has done some research on this. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi= In my efforts to explore what it really means to be learner-centered as an online educator in my own online instruction, I have come to the conclusion to really do that, I have to let go and let students be engaged and express that in ways that are meaningful to them and their lives. This is not as easy …or comfortable as it sounds. I would probably be characterized as one of the most learner-centered online instructor by friends and colleagues …and yet I struggle – so I know how hard it is.

I also feel that an LMS that locks down and controls access and ownership of student content is problematic and contributes to my frustration and struggle. I mean if we are asking them to generate content, then why does their access to their content go away at the end of the term? How can you call a tool a blog if they don’t own it, can’t personalize it, it is NOT public AND it (and their content) gets taken away at the end of the term – and so on… This tension I feel between the LMS and student-created content is one of the main reasons I teach mostly “outside the box” and have been presenting everywhere I can about teaching and learning in the cloud: http://prezi.com/yyzcr9_btox6/teaching-learning-in-the-cloud/

I always tell the faculty I work with NOT to get attached to “tools” as they change, get bought and killed, or just disappear… I tell them to be fearless and that there are tons of tools, so that if one goes away there are others to take its place http://www.appappeal.com/web-2-0-application-world-mosaic/ I tell them that you need to start with a learning objective, NOT the tool, and you just need criteria to evaluate tools – Does it help you achieve your learning objective “better, faster, safer, easier, or cheaper?”

Posted by on April 13, 2011 at 10:29 am and tagged , , ,  | Comments & Trackbacks (4) | Permalink

better, faster, safer, easier, or cheaper: my criteria for evaluating technology for instructional purposes

When evaluating technology for instructional purposes I see 3 main areas that have the potential to be enhanced in some way via the use of some technology.

Those areas are (1) content presentation,(2) interaction/collaboration, and (3) feedback.

I also always always always start from pedagogy, not the technology, or the technology solution. It is not about using technology for technology sake. It is technology in the service of pedagogy, not the other way around.

So, you have to start with a specific learning objective.

Then, consider: Does a tool or approach assist me to…? :

  1. Present content in a more effective or engaging manner.
  2. Facilitate collaboration or interaction with/between students in a more effective or engaging manner
  3. Provide feedback, or to assess students in a more effective or engaging manner.

Then, I apply my criteria: will this technical solution assist me to achieve my targeted learning objective “better, faster safer, easier, or cheaper” in one of those 3 areas listed above.
If so, then there is solid rationale to explore the use of the  tool or approach or solution for instructional purposes.

It is about enhancing learning for the student- making it more engaging and/or effective, and it is about making me, the instructor, more effective and/or engaging – this can include making me more efficient, so that I have time to spend more time interacting with students, diagnosing misperceptions, providing feedback, modeling behaviors…etc.

Posted by on March 2, 2011 at 11:31 am | Comments & Trackbacks (4) | Permalink

top 10 cooltools for 2011

Here is my “Top 10″ list for 2011:

  1. jumpscan – qrcode generator creates a smartphone scan-able code to quickly and easily share contact info., social media, website, and email address.
  2. quora – Social Q&A. you can follow not only people, but topics and questions.
  3. ipad – The iPad is the first tablet computer developed by Apple Inc. Announced on January 27, 2010, it is part of a device category between a smartphone and a laptop computer.
  4. amplify – Amplify gives an easy way to clip, share and spark conversation around articles, blog posts or anything else you read on the web.
  5. audioboo – a mobile & web platform that  allows you to record and upload audio.
  6. voki – create personalized speaking avatars and use them on your blog, profile, and in email messages.
  7. diigo – social bookmarking tool.
  8. ning – a social network platform that i used to create : http://slnfacultyonline.ning.com/ – JOIN!
  9. youtube – watch and share originally-created videos & .vyou – broadcast video structured as conversations.
  10. glogster – multimedia online posters.

did not quite make the  list, but still very cool:

  1. wiffiti
  2. http://issuu.com/
  3. http://www.wallwisher.com

Cool tools 2010

Cool tools 2009

Cool tools 2008

Posted by on January 22, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

my qr code

my QR code

my QR code

Created with Jumpscan

HOW I Created a Custom QR Code for my Digital Life

Posted by on January 3, 2011 at 8:16 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

the death of seesmic.tv

I just learned yesterday that my favorite asynchronous video conversation/discussion tool http://seesmic.tv is being shut down on December 1. (tomorrow) i am devastated by this news.

I know I am being hypocritical lamenting the loss of this tool…I always tell the faculty I work with NOT to get attached to “tools” as they change, get bought and killed, or just disappear… I tell them to be fearless and that there are tons of tools, so that if one goes away, there are others to take its place http://www.appappeal.com/web-2-0-application-world-mosaic/ I tell them that you need to start with a learning objective, NOT the tool, and you just need criteria to evaluate tools – Does it help you achieve your learning objective “better, faster, safer, easier, or cheaper?”

So, I made the mistake of getting attached to this tool… I LOVE http://seesmic.tv/alexandrapickett for many reasons and am very sad that it is going away. It is the only tool I know of of its kind and would really appreciate any suggestions for alternatives.

I love it

  • Because it is NOT youtube.
  • Because it facilitates online asynchronous VIDEO threaded discussion.
  • Because it is simple and beautifully designed  - a simple idea and simple to use.
  • Because the embed widget is beautiful and functional.
  • Because it enhanced my connections to and conversations with students and colleagues all over the world.
  • Because it facilitated conversations with those I consider “rock stars” in my field. People I do not know in RL that I never would have met or had opportunity to talk to otherwise.
  • Because it allowed me to teach “outside” the box of my course management system and blur the boundaries of my online classroom walls.
  • Because it allowed me the opportunity to invite the world into my online classroom to converse with my students. –  and they came!  See: http://seesmic.tv/threads/2s7FBTpoND & http://seesmic.tv/threads/zoJ4Uxx9JO 7 http://seesmic.tv/videos/whfffNRvSL – The people in these conversations are my ROCK STARS!
  • Because it allowed my students to have access to and to interact and converse with experts.
  • Because it allowed me to express and enhance my social and teaching presence in my online course and allowed my students to do the same.

I <heart> seesmic and am not ready to let it go. This tool has so much potential for online teaching and learning.

I wish there was a way for small tools like this to be saved from extinction for use in education.

Posted by on November 30, 2010 at 7:35 am and tagged , ,  | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

teaching in the “cloud”

Alexandra M. Pickett

Associate Director . SUNY Learning Network . State University Plaza . Albany, NY 12246 . T: 1.518.320.1393 F: 1.518.320.1554

[email protected] . http://sln.suny.edu . http://slnfacultyonline.ning.com/ . http://slneducation.edublogs.org/

teaching in the “cloud”

http://slideshare.net/alexandrapickett . http://prezi.com/yyzcr9_btox6/ . http://voicethread.com/share/524903/

Examples from my online course

Join my networks!

JOIN !! – http://slnfacultyonline.ning.com/?xgi=2Gz3g5qukBqMim

1. http://www.twitter.com/alexpickett

2. http://www.slideshare.net/alexandrapickett/slideshows

3. http://www.youtube.com/user/alexandrapickett

4. http://video.seesmic.com/alexandrapickett

5. http://www.diigo.com/profile/alexandrapickett & http://del.icio.us/alexandrapickett/

6. http://www.screencast.com/users/alexandrapickett

7. http://twitter.com/slnsolsummit & http://slnsolsummit2009.edublogs.org/

8. http://flickr.com/photos/alexandrapickett

9. http://friendfeed.com/alexandrapickett & http://facebook.com/alexandrapickett

10. http://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandrapickett

11. Alejandra Subagja in Second Life: http://slurl.com/secondlife/SUNY%20Learning%20Network/128/128/0

12. Skype: alexandrapickett




1. http://etap687.edublogs.org – my personal blog/course blog.

2. http://slneducation.edublogs.org/ – my work blog.

Posted by on October 7, 2010 at 7:03 pm and tagged , ,  | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

bringing the outside into my online course

To contribute to this conversation:

  1. create a seesmic account. https://seesmic.tv/signup
  2. post a reply to my post. http://seesmic.tv/videos/2s7FBTpoND

learning activities feedback

Hi there!

Here you will find the feedback on the module 3 learning activities assignment. I recommend that listen to each others feedback.

Below you will find a playlist of podcasted feedback for your Module 3 learning activities assignment. Scroll the playlist to find your name, select it, and it will auto launch the podcast for you to listen to your feedback.

You can also access your feedback via a playlist found here:


Posted by on July 12, 2010 at 11:16 am and tagged , , , ,  | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

i am highly polychronic!

I just took this really cool quiz in FB to determine how polychronic  http://apps.facebook.com/how-adaptable-bedcic/?start=1&target=home

apparently, i am highly polychronic!

You multi-dimensionally approach work projects with flexible, adjustable plans and shared responsibilities. You tend to believe the success of business transactions is ultimately determined by the individuals involved and their cohesiveness as a team. Work is founded upon quality interpersonal interaction and long-term investment in community, which takes precedence over all forms of activity. Communication tends to be spontaneous and high context. Decision making is based on extensive group involvement, discussion, and consensus. The essence of leadership is the subtle balance of group consensus and personal vision.highlypolychronic

Posted by on July 12, 2010 at 11:02 am and tagged , ,  | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink