Using Blogs and Vlogs
Section -99 Online / Cyberspace
“Blogging is the new poetry.”
“The heart of blogging is linking...linking and
commenting. Connecting and communicating - the purpose of the Internet.”
~~ George Siemens
530.268.3248 (no later than 9:00 PM, please; answering
(Typically, I respond to E-mail in the
early evening of each week day.)
Banks, Michael A. (2007). Blogging Heroes: Interviews
30 of the World’s Top
Warlick, David. (2007). Classroom Blogging.
Class texts are available at the IHCC Bookstore.
This class provides an overview and introduction
the use of blogs, vlogs, blogging, and vlogging in teaching and learning. Participants will
explore the technology, its
interactive and engaging qualities, and how to use it in instruction. By the end of the
course, students will
understand blogs and vlogs, how they can be used in education, how they are
developed, and how to integrate them into their classes.
hope you will enjoy our time together.
blog and vlog examples, features, characteristics, and their potential for use
in teaching and learning.
when the use of blogs and vlogs is appropriate and their benefits for
developing teaching strategies.
how to blog and vlog.
the creation, adaptation, modification, and deployment of blogs and vlogs in
As a result
of the course,
each student will…
scratch and have the skills to continue to develop
the blog when
of suitable topics and writing techniques relevant to educational blogging.
of some of the technical aspects of blogging, such as using images and video
within a blog and using feeds and search engines.
understand how educational blogging entails
restructuring of how knowledge is created, disseminated, shared, and validated.
does one begin to write about her or his teaching philosophy? I find it
difficult to articulate my teaching philosophy per se; however, there is a
consistency in “themes” or perspectives in each of the courses I teach. Let me
briefly outline these themes for you here.
Prime learning environment. Part of my job as an
instructor is to
continually seek new exercises and assignments that lead students
in critical thinking and meta-cognitive analyses on the class subject. In
order for this to occur, students need to be situated within a prime learning
environment. What are the features of a prime learning environment?
- Individualized instruction
- Multi-sensory stimulation
- Timely feedback and positive reinforcement
- Student control of the learning environment
I design all of these features into my online classes.
Web sites, and class discussions are based on whatever disciplines, knowledge
and experiences will best illuminate the subject we are studying. My goal is to
construct a “smorgasbord” of ideas —an intellectual buffet table— from which
students can select whatever best helps them to understand the issues and
subject material. So students travel through sociology, psychology, literature,
ecology, cultural geography, cultural history, anthropology, philosophy, music,
dance, art history, graphic arts, film studies, economics, marketing, Internet
culture and popular culture such as advertising.
thinking. A favorite word of mine is why.
I encourage and
nurture students to question, search for cause-effect and relationships, and
evaluate inferential reasoning. Students learn to present their ideas (in oral
and written form) and provide the rationale or evidence that underlies their
propositions. Students also use creative, imaginative discovery as well as the
scientific method, qualitative and quantitative. The social and individual
impact of thinking, ideas, and decisions is also emphasized.
Textual analysis for
social encoding. I suppose my training as an
intellectual / cultural historian comes into play here, since I stress the
importance of culture, class, gender, and ethnicity in textual analysis, both
explicitly and sub textually. This approach helps position students for the
multicultural, global thinking required in the twenty-first century. Perhaps
more importantly, this cultural approach prepares students for the complexity
in their social, cultural and political environments in twenty-first century America.
learning is modeled. Every class I teach
is an opportunity
to model lifelong learning, since I am learning all the time, despite my Ph.D.
Furthermore, I am always seeking new conceptual and practical ideas to apply to
class material. For this reason, there is always experimentation,
improvisation, creativity, and passion in the courses I teach, and my courses
change and evolve every time I teach or “facilitate” them. Doing so is risky,
of course, because I give up the polish and security of tested material and
instead venture into the unknown with students. Venturing into the unknown, and
having the intellectual confidence to tackle the unknown, is one life skill a
rigorous liberal arts education can provide. Indeed, a liberal arts education
is not so much having the “right answers” but assuming an intellectual,
critical posture in your life that will aid you, even provide succor, in all
literacy is developed. Computer / information
defined as “a new liberal art that extends from knowing how to use computers
and access information to critical reflection on the nature of information
itself, its technical infrastructure, and its social, cultural and even
philosophical context and impact” - Shapiro, Jeremy J. and Shelley K. Hughes.
Educom Review. 3.2. Mar. /Apr. 1996.
Class work in D2L and the Internet will develop skills in this new liberal art.
learning for enrichment. By service learning, I mean experiential learning
that employs service or real life problem applications in some form to
government, community, private sector and nonprofit agencies. Service learning
enhances the traditional classroom by actively engaging students in their own
education through experiential learning in course-relevant contexts.
Furthermore, service learning fosters lifelong connections between students,
their communities, and the larger human community —the world outside the
Here is a list of benefits service learning provides:
· increases retention of course material;
· increases the relevancy of education to real world applications;
· enhances personalized education for students;
· empowers students as learners and democratic citizens;
· invites students to become active members of their own communities; and
· teaches job skills and prepares students for careers after college.
Now a little about me and where I am coming from, personally speaking.
received my BA degree from Macalester College in Saint
Paul, where I majored in humanities
and English. I
began my graduate work at Tulane University in New Orleans and then transferred
to the University of Minnesota to complete my Ph.D. in American/ cultural
studies, concentrating in American intellectual history. My first teaching job
was at the University of Saint Thomas in Saint
I started teaching for the University
of Minnesota in Distance
Education, and I have been involved with online education from this time
on. Since 2003, I have been teaching
online for Inver Hills
Community College, and I have been
teaching online for the University
of Phoenix online since
this profile of me so far might lead you to think I am just a geek or egg head, let
me add that I
also have a passion for numerous “nonacademic” activities: farming; equestrian
friendships with people and my “companion” animals (three dogs, one cat, one
blue and gold macaw, and one horse); community work for Grass Valley, CA, the
small community in Northern California where
I reside; and last, but not least, family life with a husband and two sons.
Some little-known facts about me:
reading E-mails and assignment submissions from students, I work at my desk at
home, drinking coffee and sitting with my companion animals: three dogs, a blue
and gold macaw and a black cat who thinks she runs the household.
day, I would like to have a small dairy goat herd and produce artisan cheese.
would some day like to adopt a burro and a Mustang from the United States
Department of the Interior.
house is often so dusty that, I run a spider motel. (I like spiders, though.)
always wished I was “good” at math.
passionate blogger and Web master, and I love computers.
where do you fit in with all of this?
for the term, I shall be your intellectual coach in blogging and vlogging. My job as a professional
is to nurture you
and push you to be the best that you can be in terms of the course goals. Although I take
my job seriously, this does
not mean I am a humorless slave driver. What is does mean, though, is that I
shall encourage active, engaged learners, and many students are uncomfortable
and hostile to this endeavor, which is understandable, given most students have
not been expected to assume the stance of active intellectuals/ thinkers
ON CLASS PROCEDURE
--Safe Space in This Online Classroom: There are things from which I think every classroom, on-site
online, ought to constitute safe space. Here is my list: (1) safety from sexual
assault, abuse, threat
or harassment; (2) safety from verbal assault, abuse, threat or
harassment; (3) safety from sexism,
gender-ism and homophobia; (4)
from class bias and chauvinism ; (5) safety from political and economic
persecution; (6) safety from retaliation or revenge for expressing one's
beliefs, feelings and ideas;
from the instructors' abuse of power;
(8) safety from bias and insensitivity to individuals
needs; and (9) safety from physical
assault, abuse or harassment.
I shall do
my utmost to assure these safety standards are met and maintained in the
class. If at any time you feel
"unsafe" for any reason, please let me know.
At the same time, it is important to point out that,
there is a major
difference between intellectual challenge with respect to ideas, and personal
attacks against the holders of ideas.
with Course News, Updates, and Assignments: It is vital for you to log-in to the course
regularly in order to keep up to date with news and assignments, which are
posted in three locations:
E-MAIL SYSTEM; the COURSE HOMEPAGE; and the Assignment Checklist in
CONTENT. The Assignment Checklist
maintains a log of all class assignments.
If you save your course E-mails, which you may want
to do, this will
also provide a log of course news and events.
The COURSE HOMEPAGE is updated and revised frequently,
with no permanent
—Cyber-Space Attendance: Although the class does not formally meet in
a regular classroom, we are still, nonetheless, a class, and you are expected
to "check-in" / log- in to the class frequently. Also, although you work independently
out-of-site from the instructor and other class members, ITI 1140-99 is not an
independent study course, where you fulfill assignments when you please. Some assignments,
such as Team assignments,
will have firm dates that you will need to abide to.
—Late papers: Late papers throw me and, most importantly,
you off schedule. Papers are due at the times specified, though I am willing to
allow exceptions when illness or other class assignments intrude. It is your responsibility, however, to
contact me to rearrange work deadlines.
Negotiating work deadlines is an important work /life
skill, so practice
it. In this class failure to do so will result in a grade reduction for the
paper (s). Once again, I do not like to begin the term
by issuing threats.
Not only do threats set a negative tone for
the class but they also counteract our relationship as
do not threaten each other
—or at least they shouldn’t. My rule here for papers is mainly to avoid
logistical nightmares (papers being turned in at all times) and also to
establish fair practice for all class members. All of us are busy; all of us are
juggling work, family responsibilities, school, and social obligations. Meeting
established deadlines is a professional expectation and courtesy; however, if
the deadlines can not be met, I respectfully request you renegotiate the
deadline with me.
—Word processing: All papers should be word processed, and
—Revision work: When submitting revision work, please attach
a copy of the “first draft,” too. More about this later.
—Plagiarism: Scholastic honesty is expected. I am obliged
to report academic misconduct to the Dean of Students. See the college handbook
for rules and regulations on this matter.
You are required to keep up with all the
reading in the course. I shall give ample notice of due dates. Since I do not
depend much on the lecture method, our class sessions greatly depend on your
reading the course material and logging-in to class and discussing it.
—Respect and Collegiality: Online classes at Inver Hills allow class
discussions, and class interactions that are difficult to manage in on-site,
large lecture settings.
I designed ITI
1140 so as to make the most of our small class setting. Accordingly,
throughout the course we all
shall share our ideas and perspectives about research writing and critical
thinking. In order for our class sessions to run smoothly, it is important to
"listen" to others with an attitude of respect, and
with others’ ideas is permissible but contrariness or snide commentary is not.
—Small group/ team work: Class time will consist of some reading, my
online lectures, which I keep to a minimum, class discussion, small group work,
and online conference sessions by way of E-mail. Working in small groups or
teams is a rich intellectual and social experience, which I want all students
to enjoy. Small group work is not the occasion, however, to discuss last week’s
party, or the latest sports’ scores. Although some social interaction is only
natural, the group is expected to concentrate on the assigned task. Each
student should take an active part in group activity and work toward advancing
the group’s assigned task. Active
engagement is the key phrase here and is the basis for
1/3 of your course
—Course Work Load: Be prepared for a heavy but reasonable
workload. Essentially, you hired me to be your intellectual “coach,” and I am
going to challenge you.
—Incompletes: This course is not set up for incompletes;
accordingly, only certified illness or emergency situations will be
accommodated. Students must initiate requests for either an incomplete grade or
withdrawal from a course by filing the appropriate form.
—Exams: There is no midterm exam or final exam
Needs: Students with special needs will be
accommodated. Accordingly, these
students should contact me or Disabled Student Services.
GRADES / EVALUATIONS
employ the A-F grading system, although no +s or –s. (See the college handbook
for the general guidelines and perimeters.)
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy:
Effective Summer 2007, all Inver Hills students must maintain a 67% completion
rate for all credits attempted. This is in addition to the existing requirement
that students earn a cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.0 or above. See
for the complete policy.
final course grade is based on the following % of 1000-point total for
individual / team projects.
at any time during the semester you feel unsure about your “grade,” request an
assessment from me.
always have the option of revising your work for a higher grade. With this
said, let me also add that revision work for a higher grade needs to be substantive not shallow. In other words,
if you do the work required, you will earn a higher grade. Sloppy, poor quality
revisions will not be rewarded.
evaluations: At the end of the term, the
college will ask you to complete a course evaluation. Another form of feedback
I would appreciate, however, is your comments/suggestions as the course
progresses. Dialogue between us is
crucial, as I use your ideas and concerns to tailor and fine-tune the course.
fleshed out in D2L CONTENT.
assignment is provided each Tuesday and the assignment is due the
following Monday. In other words, the
course week is from Tuesday to Monday.