Posts tagged "education"

March 14, 2014

Considering the effects of emerging ecosystems on the “Connected Mind.”

“Today, after more than a century of electric technology, we have extended our central nervous system itself in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned. Rapidly, we approach the final phase of the extensions of man – the technological simulation of consciousness, when the creative process of knowing will be collectively and corporately extended to the whole of human society…”

Marshall McLuhan
Excerpt from Understanding Media, The Extensions of Man, Part I.

Originally published in 1964

 

Putting multivalent minds to the task of building the sort of “productive future” alluded to by Howard Gardner should be easy given that we live in an era where our technology radically connects (many of) us to one-another in ways that transcend our traditional constraints of space-time and gives rise to new paradigms of language and discourse that re-define our notions of class, culture and the self, to name but a few.

The inter-web of all things, as Marshall McLuhan presaged in the opening quotation almost half a century ago, has endowed us with one might consider as a shared intelligence that is transforming our paradigms of knowledge and value in ways that may not be entirely obvious to us at this point and, despite our best intentions and designs, these media will shape human discourse according to their own innate potentials and in ways that will bare unintended consequences both good and bad.

The inter-web is a highly complex ecosystem of technologies and protocols that form what we now call the “cloud”—an adjective that adequately expresses the conceptual fog that envelops most of us as we contemplate how we might negotiate its complexity and harness its power in meaningful, ethical and effective ways—ways that eschew sentimentality and longing for more certain and halcyon days in favour of addressing the very real and messy challenges that lie ahead of us.

We are exhorted by Gardener and his adherents to cultivate multi-faceted states of consciousness and to synthesize the data gleaned, gathered, weighed—the insights sparked and given wings and purpose—all against a technological backdrop that is characteristic of an ecosystem in Darwinian overdrive. This backdrop imparts a duality to the economy of transformation that can variously enhance and accelerate it or simply confound it.

The question that is front of mind for me is: “Is it possible to move from merely coping with the challenges that face us to thriving in the turbulence that abounds in their wake? Thriving will depend on whether we can wrestle this seemingly intractable and chimeric landscape and re-shape it on a human scale with human values, language and metaphors at its core. In this way we will be able to comprehend and share in the abundance of opportunities that abound in the hyper-connected globe. Let us then explore some of these challenges by sharing candid reflections on how the connected minds of ourselves and our students are being facilitated or obfuscated in this emerging landscape.

Questions to Consider:

1.         If we assume that, for the foresee-able future, technology will play an increasingly important role in education, what do potential (Good and Bad) do you envision for transforming the current learning ecosystem?

 

2.         What spaces, organizational structures or opportunities exist for the “connected mind” to synthesize and share insights and information from the other domains of the mind?

How are technologies enhancing or inhibiting this synthesis and sharing?

 

3.         How important are student faculty narratives to the process of synthesizing and sharing of information and insights gained from the various domains? Are you actively exploring modes of digital storytelling with the student as an active producer of content knowledge? If so, what form does your storytelling take?

 

4.         Are you exploring Digital Citizenship, Connecting, Collaborating and Building Personal Brand value through active participation in communities of practice? How are you accomplishing this?

 

5.         Are you directly engaging your students with complex, global social ecosystems as part of their learning experience? If so, what is it comprised of and what protocols/ use case scenarios do you find most effective?

 

6.         How do you curate the artefacts (numeric, textual, audio, video, image, reflections, impressions) of exploration from the different domains and how do you articulate/visualize the constituent parts and how they inter-relate with one another?

 

7.         Given students are potentially a Go0gle String from an answer, how do you see and convey the value proposition that you, the educator, represents? How do you position yourself as a conduit of know-how against a multitude of 24/7 ON DEMAND channels of know-how that feature Fast Forward and Rewind?

 

Recommended Texts:

Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man

By Marshall McLuhan

 

Smart World: Breakthrough Creativity And the New Science of Ideas

By Richard Ogle

 

The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art

By J. David Lewis-Williams

4:12 PM Permalink
July 24, 2013

Adobe EchoSign – Huge Potential to Save Time and Money!

EchoSign Testimonial

Early in the year I received an unsolicited email from a customer that works for a large Texas independent school district touting the benefits of their EchoSign purchase.

 “Today I did a MegaSign of about 1,000 Letters of Reasonable Assurance to our at-will, non-contract employees who don’t work during the summer (we send about 3,000 total).  A process that used to take a team of people months to complete (printing letters, stuffing envelopes, mailing, tracking, receiving, logging, scanning….), with EchoSign, I was able to do this myself.  I had about 40% back before I left work (with an average processing time of 21 minutes).  Incredible!”

Mike
CCISD

Mike went on to explain that receiving signed Letters of Reasonable Assurance is extremely important in that it protects schools from paying unemployment during the summer break.  Without the letter, districts would “pay enormous sums in unemployment.”

 So…what is EchoSign?

Adobe EchoSign provides an extremely easy-to-use electronic signature solution.

EchoSign can work with all kinds of documents.  The most common documents formats used with EchoSign are:

  • PDFs
  • Word Documents
  • PowerPoint
  • Excel
  • Common image formats

 

With EchoSign there is no need for your customers (or students, faculty, and parents) to download or signup for anything. They can use their mouse, stylus, or finger to sign the document (heck, they can even type their name into a field and have EchoSign create a signature for them), and you don’t have to worry about what device or browser is supported.  EchoSign works on all browsers, across all devices.

As a parent, I would love for my child’s school to offer me a digital signature option.  For example, say my daughter’s teacher is charged with collecting fieldtrip permission slips from the entire 7th grade.  She could use EchoSign to complete this task. The teacher would simply upload the form into EchoSign, adds a signature field (drag and drop simple), and send the digital permission slip to the parents via email.

I would receive the email on my mobile phone, open the email, click a link and sign my daughter’s permission slip with my finger (touch devices are amazing)!   For those parents that do not have a touch device they can use their mouse or a stylus.  I submit the permission slip and receive a signed copy within seconds.  The teacher also receives a signed copy (everyone is happy).

For those that don’t immediately sign, the teacher can setup reminder emails that reoccur on a set schedule.  The teacher no longer has to deal with last minute phone calls with parents scrambling to find and return important school documents.

“But how do I know that it truly was the parent that signed the permission slip?”

That is a great question!  If you think about it, e-signatures provide more security than the paper-based permission slips that the students are returning. The teacher has no idea that the paper-based document truly reflects the parent’s signature or a forgery.  However, with an e-signed document, the parent must log into their email account (presumably using a password) to view the document. An email-based delivery mechanism provides a layer of security that the student’s backpack does not.

More on EchoSign security…

I’ve also viewed more than a few documents that require complex signature routing.  For example, a change of course document may require a signature from the student, professor, student advisor, and the dean of the college.  If each person takes a day it can easily take a document almost a week to process.  EchoSign can handle that kind of complex routing as well, and greatly reduce the time it take to process multi-signature documents.

Below are examples of common documents that require a signature.

  • Contracts
  • HR Documents
  • Permission Slips
  • Parent/Teacher/Administrator documents
  • Progress Reports
  • University change-of-course forms
  • Student Parking Forms
  • Student Housing Forms

…and the list goes on!

Fantastic!  How can I get it?

There are a few ways to purchase EchoSign.

  • Signup Online by going to www.echosign.adobe.com (great for individuals or small teams)
  • Speak to your Adobe Account manager (best for larger departmental and institutional purchases).  I highly recommend speaking to your Adobe account manager, as they can make recommendations based on your organization’s needs and also provide you with the best pricing options.  

When you think of your organization’s document workflow think of the headaches you experience when trying to get paperwork signed and returned on a TIMELY basis.

Bottom-line… EchoSign has huge potential to save your institution time and money (while saving you from a huge document-induced migraine)!

 

Scott Trudeau
Senior Solutions Consultant, Adobe Inc.
Education

For more Adobe Tips, Tricks, and Information Follow me on Twitter @scott_trudeau 

www.scotttrudeau.com

6:14 PM Permalink
April 26, 2013

Review of Photoshop World 2013, Orlando FL

A rare opportunity to shoot with Moose Peterson.

A rare opportunity to shoot with Moose Peterson.

I was privileged enough to be able to attend Photoshop World in Orlando Florida on April 16th – 19th 2013. It is worth some time to reflect on my experience to provide insight to others who may be trying to decide about the conference. I am approaching the review trying to be as neutral as possible. I am a beginning level photographer but a very avid user of Photoshop for Graphics design. I attended the conference to be able to learn about photography from individuals who understand photographs on a professional level.

Summary Photoshop World 7 of out 10
It was a good conference for a teacher but probably not a repeat because it is highly focused on individuals who already understand photography. As a teacher new to photography I was a little out of my element and didn’t know too many people. The information was relevant and will be used but in the end it just wasn’t quite right for a teacher. If you are a photographer by trade however it is a must go and it happens twice a year. The conference was well organized and easy to navigate once I found the right concourse at the convention center. I could not be happier with the staff and trainers they were pros in every aspect!

April 16th – Pre-conference Photo Safari with Moose Peterson: 8 out of 10
I chose this pre-conference initially because it was some time in the actual field taking pictures. Moose was the right person for this situation. He had many connections to Fantasy of Flight which was great! All the planes were pulled out of the hangar for us and setup on the grass. The sky was cloudy, the temperature was great, and he even had re-enactors come in to pose. There was help available from his two son’s who were very knowledgeable. Also Frank Doorhof came with us and provided some additional knowledge. The group of photographers was small and very friendly. The expertise was very high, all were helpful and the weather was great. I felt like it may have been a little long as we were there from 1:30-6:30 maybe about 1 hour less would have been perfect. We were all pretty wiped out by the heat which contributed to our anxiety to return. Make sure you have water and a couple snacks. In the end I would rate this as a 8 out of 10. Make it just a bit shorter, add some onsite shade/water (Or come prepared) and just a little more time in a classroom talking about the camera.

We could not have asked for better weather!

We could not have asked for better weather!

Opening Session April 17th: 6 out of 10
I’ve attended many opening sessions in my life, this one was not a bad session but it was not riveting. It started with a video they made at the NAPP headquarters and the used the Top Gun Theme. It was a good way to introduce the teachers of the sessions and see their personalities. Adobe’s Julianna Kost shared some sneak peaks into Photoshop and they gave out some awards to some very deserving people. The major down fall of the session is that it didn’t get me feeling super excited about the days ahead. For this the session earned a 6 out of 10.

Work Shops April 17th-19 7 out of 10
The workshops I went to were good for the most part. I attended one with Terry White about his Lightroom workflow and I was completely stunned at how amazing it was. By far the best session I have ever attended at any conference. Without fail I learned at every session I attended without putting forth very much effort. The speakers were the pros and it was obvious from the beginning of the session. I bought a speed pass which turned out to be the best purchase I made fro the conference. It allowed for seating in the first two rows that had tables not only chairs. I was able to put my laptop on the desk and follow along but there was no power so charge up! I was pretty disappointed that there were no computer labs to do training in. The tracks the offered were good: Lightroom, Graphic Design, Business, General Photoshop, Lighting, Photoshop for Photographers, and Photography Technique. I also liked that they had a workbook that had notes and instruction from most of the presenters. The work book is about 500 pages in length and a little heavy. Many people carried them around for the conference but Mine stayed in the hotel. All in all the conference workshops were good workshops, they were focused on a specific topic and didn’t deviate too far from it, you were given what you were told.

Photoshop After Hours Party BB King’s April 17th 6 out of 10
I give this one a six instead of my original five only because Scott Kelby has some mad skills on the piano and Guitar. The after hours party tickets were $70 and provided a very prominent exclusive area in Orlando as well as a nice buffet. They had a band playing comprised mainly of Scott Kelby’s family which was extremely talented. I think had it not been my first time and I felt a little more comfortable it could have scored a 7.

Expo April 17-19 5 out of 10
I was expecting a little larger Expo having attended Adobe MAX, ISTE, and TCEA. The key players were there; Adobe, Manfroto, Cannon, Epson…. I was kind of surprised that the conference didn’t have workshops going on during the Expo hours. I’m sure that was an effort to make sure the attendees went to the Expo. There were all kinds of trainings in the Expo but it was just a different setting from the workshops. I was expecting to see some pretty cheap pricing but short of the Cannon 60D being sold for $650 ($700 online) I didn’t see too much that kept my interest. I spent 3 hours of the first day in the hall and that was about it.

Midnight Madness Thursday 18th 7 out of 10
Midnight Madness was fun because everyone was just having fun. The hosts were relaxed and there was no expectations for the time we were spending together. There were games and my favorite part “Things to do in Photoshop to people you don’t like” There was some cool stuff shared and then there were doughnuts for everyone. They had an on the spot photo challenge where teams had only 5 min to get a perfect shot. I ranked this one a 7 because it was fun and a chance to relax.

As a final recap I’m glad I went. I had a chance to have some actual face time with the pro’s and it was good. I learned how my camera works and I think I can get a pretty good shot now.

5:50 PM Permalink
April 24, 2011

CodeBass Radio: Runtime Expectations Interview with Joseph Labrecque

Adrian Pomilio interviews Joseph Labrecque at 360|Flex in Denver, CO – April 2011.

I was interviewed for the Runtime Expectations internet radio show while at 360|Flex in Denver. It was great chatting with Adrian and we touched upon many subjects over the course of the interview. Quite a bit of the discussion focuses on education and the challenges that come with teaching technical subjects and the complications that come with teaching online classes. Jump to around 19:50 in the recording to listen to that portion, specifically.

Also discussed during the interview: music composition, book and tutorial authoring, the AEL and ACP programs with Adobe, mobile development, and the sad state of tech journalism.

I encourage anyone interested to  check out the other interviews from 360|Flex including John Wilker, the Nielsen Company, and Mollie Rusher of On3!

What is Runtime Expectations?
Join Ben Farrell, Adrian Pomilio, and Bucky Schwarz as they broadcast live from Cuban Revolution in downtown Durham, NC with a beer in one hand and a mic in the other.  They’ll be covering all the aspects of software development that compel them to put a beer in that first hand. Shows feature both live guests and call-ins.


Follow Joseph on Twitter: http://twitter.com/josephlabrecque

Follow Adrian on Twitter: http://twitter.com/adrianpomilio

5:58 PM Permalink
February 24, 2011

Digital Publishing Suite for Education

Digital Publishing Suite for Education

 

I had a snow day from school today and I listened to the webinar, CQ/CRX —  Adobe Day Software Solutions. I realized as a new AEL that I have lots to learn. Daniela described it as trying to drink from a fire hydrant. I felt like the guy who walked in to a movie half way through and can’t find a spot to sit! Then I realized that I was not asked to be here to find a place to sit, but to make a place to sit. So I am making a place for myself to sit, maybe I am way off on this post or maybe I am right on. Either way I am putting my chair down and getting to work so let me know how I did for my first time.

 

History:

 

I Watched a podcast from Terry White, Adobe Evangelist, a while ago and it was all about this great publishing tool Adobe Labs was working on. The idea was that you take an InDesign File and you can use this suite to bundle it and publish for the ipad. I was intrigued instantly and spent a lot of hours understanding it starting in about October. So I figured it out and got a document to work, it was so cool to see content I created on my ipad. The next thing I did then is obvious to anyone in education. I showed my students! We made fake magazines for Mega Mountain Resort (That’s a fictional place) It was the spring catalog and we integrated Multiple state objects, animation, hyperlinks and all. We used it to look at the new features of InDesign CS5. That all happened in early January. I had a student who enjoyed it so much that she offered to do an independent study to create a student handbook to be put into an app made to host materials from our school on itunes.

 

I am really not a programmer  so the app thing scared me a lot. I was able to get in on the prerelease for The new Digital Publishing Suite and found that the documentation was easy stuff! They laid out every tool I would need to take my file from InDesign to the ipad, including a piece of software to make the app! But as it makes sense there is also a cost to using such great tools.

 

Current situation:

 

I have my student building the handbook and I am doing the research about the app when I find out that Apple is charging $99 a year to be a developer, they have a solution for free for universities offering degrees but not high schools. The new suite from Adobe has some pretty competitive pricing for the publishing tools, however if you are an educator, commercial business pricing is too much because you have no revenue stream to fund the endeavor. If you are making a magazine every month and selling thousands of issues then yes I think that the pricing is right on. However if you are only publishing say 5-10 issues a year with a subscription base of public education well the money isn’t very good, you do it cause it is what is best for kids and education.

 

I have a tendency to want to do things other people don’t think of. A lot of you have probably experienced that. I see the Digital Publishing Suite as an opportunity to teach students to create for mobile devices. For example our school newspaper only gets printed like every 2 months because it is expensive to print. But what if we could take that same newspaper already developed in InDesign and send the new issue out to an app that was installed on the kids mobile devices? What if they could access the student handbook and their teachers could post updates to classes all from the app. This could all be accomplished through the Digital Publishing Suite.

 

There is a lot of possibility there, however for now I only am worried about getting an opportunity to use the Digital Publishing Suite in my classroom. With the current price structure I see a major difficulty to offer this to my students. We are already planning to export to SWF and Interactive PDF for the school but an app that could be had in the Mobile World, that is what my kids are craving to learn. They want to carry their design with them and share it with their friends. They want to show of and let everyone know how cool this is. They’ll go home and pressure mom and dad to buy the software. Big props to Adobe for coming up with such a great tool.

 

Proposed solution:

 

I think the current pricing model has been thought out very well and is practically a bargain for big business especially if you only need one issue, in that case Adobe will build the app for you. But even if you need multiple issues they will provide the software to allow you to do so. Who knows maybe in the future we call it Appweaver! Just saying that would be very cool! For educators however the pricing model needs to be adjusted very slightly. I understand that business costs money and that your own app for your high school should not be free. so my suggestion is this. Instead of a monthly fee perhaps it gets changed to a yearly fee so that the educator can process one purchase order instead of 12. Perhaps that yearly fee is around $100-$300, myself I would pay $500 from my own class budget for the publishing and then it makes sense to pay for software as well. I think the rest of it all makes sense. At .30 cents an issue it seems fair.

 

So to wrap up I am totally excited about the new Digital Publishing Suite and I think it is going to fill a major need in the publishing world. The look on my students faces when they saw their magazines rotate with the ipad was priceless. Any thoughts about bringing the Digital Publishing Suite to Education would be greatly appreciated. I am doing a workshop for about 60 people or more at the Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference and I could use any input that can be provided about Digital Publishing.

 

Dan Armstrong

Director of T-Wolf Productions

Lake City High School

Coeur d’alene ID

Adobe Education Leader

 

10:16 PM Permalink
February 11, 2011

Rich Media Tools for Educators Equals Increased Retention of Scientific and Technological Concepts

Today we take for granted ways of communication that were considered technically advanced just 20 years ago.  An understanding of word processed documents, spread sheets and basic presentation software  is considered baseline knowledge for a productive workforce and is currently utilized by K-12 educators. The current challenge is communicating effectively and  in a way that encourages retention.

Increasingly complex computational science and engineering concepts need to be communicated to those we are educating in a  rich multi sensory manner in an effort to  engage and inspire  further learning activities in these disciplines. The challenge today is that teaching materials have not kept up with current cultural approaches to gaining attention that are evident in the commercial and entertainment world.

Getting attention in today’s incredibly information rich world is akin to a competitive event. Educators need to develop media rich ways of presenting information in an effort to stimulate further interest in the areas of science and technology.

I am working on a summer seminar for K-12 educators to teach them new rich media ways to reach their students. We will focus on InDesign, Photoshop and Acrobat. We will create documents that contain  audio, video, images and forms as a way to leverage current technology to connect with their students. I look forward to sharing my results with all the AEL’s – perhaps in San Jose? : )

4:26 AM Permalink
May 9, 2010

AIR- Tight! The Photographer’s Ephemeris

Continue reading…

4:47 PM Permalink