Vive la difference

Some people have a goal and they go on towards that goal. They do not go left or go right, they know where they are going and they are determined to be there in time.
These people are clear, they are people with only one self, the goal oriented self.

Some people are less straightforward. They go left or right, take some time to look around. They have an interesting journey. They do not care about identity, about their self being distributed, they go on living. Surprises and unexpected experiences are on their path.

In the end both reach their destiny, and I believe the wandering people did have more fun.




Presentation #potcert Networking for teachers.

My presentation

As WordPress does not allow Prezi to embed in a blog, here is the link to my prezi:

The text of the presentation is here:

Hallo I am Jaap,
welcome to this presentation on networking and learning in a professional network with social media. as an online teacher

Online teachers need to keep on learning about online learning. It is an ever changing field of knowledge technology and possibilities. Life long learning is necessary to be a Professional online teacher.

This network is your PLN, personal learning network. Social media is not just conversation, some people do share links to really interesting websites. Sites to use in online courses or improve your lessons and professional knowledge. Conversation is an important part of a PLN.

Social media is a way to keep the conversation going. Asking questions is a great way to connect. Do thank people for their contributions. Do publish links, do join conversations. In this presentation I will show you the way to social media, twitter.

I do use Prezi for this presentation and the voice over is made with Audacity. Read here a manual to add voice over to prezi

In my blog on you will find the text of this presentation and some links.

As a professional teacher we should go on learning about online teaching. As a teacher in a changing world we need life long learning. We need to know the changes in technology and knowledge. Web literacies is an example of the ever-changing world of education.
Online learning is a great way to learn about online learning. As an online student you will get to know new ways of online teaching. An online discussion can be very inspiring, because participants from other parts of the country and of all over the world are different have different experiences and they ask unexpected questions and they often found surprising solutions. One way to learn about online learning is subscribe as a student to online learning courses.

In other very good way to learn online is to subscribe to a MOOC. It is easy, it is cheap. And if you do not like the MOOC you subscribed to you just leave it and look for another one. The best part of a well formed MOOC is the connections to other participants. George Downes  has a list of MOOCs and a newsletter.

Some MOOCs are very interesting to online teachers, because teaching or online teaching is the subject of these MOOCs.
Most MOOCs do have an opportunity to discuss with other students. That is an opportunity to find connections to your professional network.
Digital storytelling 106 (DS106)  is a remarkable course, some of you will like it.

MIT did publish their courseware on iTunes and on the website And all universities and other institutions are preparing new MOOCs. Free online courses on every subject are available, just search and find. Keep in mind that a course, be it online or f2f is an opportunity to network. Make friends and connect to students. How to select connections for your professional network? Do not only select those who agree on your opinions. It is a learning network and disagreement and discussion makes you learn and think.

As an example. How to make a network with help of Twitter?
First you need to sign up. Think about the name you want to use. And think about a picture. You will find discussions about the best way to be known on the web on the web. 

How to start with a professional twitter network.
Do a search in twitter for the subject you are interested in. A subject could be a word with a hashtag (#) before it  or without. You could do a search on #mooc or #teaching. Select a person who send an interesting tweet and follow that person.
Adding @persons to your twitter is called following. Follow persons with interesting tweets (twitter messages are called tweets)
It is easy to follow and unfollow someone.
Do write messages and share some of your knowledge or your questions with your twitter followers.

The most important kernel of your new professional online network is the class you are participating now. Keep in touch with the students, keep blogging about your work, about MOOCs you try and write about your experiences as an online teacher.

Do publish a link to your new blogpost in twitter or on Facebook.
The secret of networking in a blog is to make a link to someones blog. Copy a bit of text from that blog and paste it into your own blog. Make a link of this new pasted piece of text to the source. Now your blog is connected to the other blog and the owner of that blog will receive a message about that.

You already know my blog, my twitter account is and my Facebook identity is You are invited to connect and be part of my network. I expect you will meet a lot of teachers and educators in my network.
Most teachers have separate blogs and social media accounts to communicate with classes and students. You only need a second email-account to make a new account on Facebook or twitter.
Take some time for networking. Every day some minutes for twitter or Facebook, or blogging.
Do a search on the web for networking and read about the subject. You will find your way into your network.

When a teacher publishes her lecture as a video, she should also publish the text she used for the lecture. Some students like reading more than viewing a talking head.
Thank you for listening.

week 22 sharing and open access

tuinSharing the moral imperative
Shareski needs 25 minutes to tell me sharing is necessary. Why?  Teaching is sharing. I do use Creative Commons for my blog. Do you know ofopeneducation? I do use free software, like Gimp, Libreoffice, Ubuntu, I do sometimes edit a topic in Wikipedia, etc.

Of course I agree on about people not sharing) sharing and I know open is not common for all.

Blogging is a way to publish my thoughts. Blogging is a way to find words to think. Blogging is a way to think aloud. Blogging is a way to keep a  library of questions and answers a journal and a log.

Your future as an online teacher
Ko & Rosen write about taking online courses as a student to learn more about online teaching. They do not mention MOOCs (The book seems to be reprinted in 2010 without much re-writing on that subject) and MOOCs are cheap, you do not need to travel and you could just stop and take another MOOC if the MOOC at hand does not please you.
Ko & Rosen do not use much words for social media as a source of learning for teachers. Twitter and Facebook and blogs ( are sources of knowledge. Choose your connections with care and you will read more interesting messages about teaching and new ideas and opportunities.

In my presentation about networking and life long learning as a teacher and social media as networking instruments.


week 21 potcert Open learning


About MOOCs (George Siemens) Open learning is in the O of Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Open has a lot of connotations, free, gratis, take what you like, for everybody, etc. Open is a quality, a course could be very open or almost closed, and open is some aspects and closed in other aspects. Chris Chrissman’s introductory video says this too. Open has a political meaning, in the declararion of Human Rights.
In I did ask questions on Open in Open Learning. The educational argument is in the description of connectivism: Connectivism: Knowledge is out there, it is not in my head. Learning is connecting to knowledge and to people related to my learning. We learn by connecting your communication and mine about the subject. So Open Learning could enhance my learning and your learning. Open learning is part of the open knowledge movement.

Synchronous learning is difficult, because Australia and New Zealand do sleep when the Americas are in daylight, and Europe and Africa are in between. It is almost impossible to make a real world wide course synchronous.

I did some of the MOOCs of George Siemens and his compadres. The 10% completion of MOOCs is subject of discussion. 10% completion of students in a course with 20.000 students is still a huge number.  In is a discussion of problems in this field. We should not compare a college or university course with a MOOC  or other distance education because of differences in student demographics, etc.

It might be interesting to have one or two methods of interaction within your online course, but to encourage students to branch out and discover other ways of sharing ideas. I’d have to think about how to implement this. (Robert Bond in In the MOOC pages you will find a lot of materials to use for encourage students to use these methods,

Peruse Michael Wesch’s course page.
The course page is in need of a teacher to show me the way. I could not find a map, nor tags. It is a huge library, but the perspective is not clear to the visitor. I did find some nice pages and sources in it.

In distance learning connections are important:  (  Wiley deliberately encouraged learner-learner
interactions between both face- to- face and distance learners. He also
personally engaged with learners at a distance. Students in the course reported
benefiting from these interactions ( Fini et al., 2008).  Efforts to make connections among students are very valuable  The present study indicates that these benefits are more likely to be received when effort is made by the teacher to connect the on campus and distance students.





Week 20: Introduction to Educational Technology and Instructional Design (Mar 23-29)

Rincewind, wizzard in  Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett.

Rincewind, wizzard in Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett.

Week 20 of the course.

My question: what is the difference between a lecture and a lesson?
Is a lecture a teacher talking to a group of students?
I do expect most teachers do not talk all the time and students listen? I expect students most of the time do learn by doing and active participation, but is this true for USA schools?

How do we use the technologies of computation, statistics and networking to shed light — without killing the magic of the human teacher?
“The deeper concern, for me, is the philosophy conveyed by a technological design. Some of the top digital designs of the moment, both in school and in the rest of life, embed the underlying message that we understand the brain and its workings.
Jaron Lanier (author of the article above in New York Times wants teachers to be aware of the ghost in the digital machine, Thinking is not imitating a computer. Computers do not think, and humans have to train their brains without knowing how the brain works. I like to call this the magical powers of teaching.

In Ko & Rosen the central question of chapter 13 for me is: “Why should most students bother to come to class?”
The answer is that most students will come to class if they can buy something in class that is not easily found online.

Educational Technology is not only the tools and materials but also the process of applying these to education. In the the Wikipedia article about edtech the focus is on tools and some materials and the process of applying is hardly mentioned.
Edtech sometimes is throwing tools and content to students and a test. Better Edtech is to use tools to help students to get educated with help of human interaction and communication. Most humans need motivation, encouragement, the eye of the teacher. To learn students need challenges on a personal level.
Some of my students did not want to take the risk to learn because of the uncertainty and risk they experience. They needed a human to provide support.

I like the words in this quote of “more time of the teacher may be freed for creative teaching”

“A lot of other students I have worked with are denied access to technology to support their learning.” ClaudiaM
It is not only denied access because of learning disabilities. Edtech is a blessing for students in remote parts of the world. Edtech is also the possibility of translation. Students and teachers could communicate with other humans in another language. Translations by computer are improving.  You could try to translate with help of google translate this page on media skills.
Computers could read a text of a website.
Youtube offers texts in their video in more than 20 languages.

Anna Cow did write a proposal for an online learning workshop. Her proposal makes me think of a presentation.




week 19 potcert Learning Theories

online on the beachBehaviorism cognitivism constructivism connectivism as the four main theories for teaching. The theories do not exclude each other?
These four activities — reading, writing, critical thinking, and calculation — should make up, for Larray Sange, the vast bulk of a liberal education.
Larry Sanger does not mention technical and vocational education. Is there a future in liberal education?
Social learning could not replace these individual, “Cartesian” activities without jettisoning liberal education itself. Is social learning constructivism? connectivism?
Is rote learning not necessary? you need knowledge in order to know what questions to ask. Knowledge is not obsolete. To possess a substantial understanding of a field requires not just memorizing the facts and figures that are used by everyone in the field but also practicing, using, and internalizing those basics. (Larray Sange)
(In order to write this post I must know a lot of words and how to use these words, and have information about education theories)

In connectivism We build competence, make sense, learn, and growth through our connections.  George Siemens:  it’s important to note that educators play a vital role… They serve as curators of ideas, connections, philosophies, and world views. They create frameworks of interpreting and understanding history, new technologies, and trends through their work and public dialogue.
What kind of change do you want to foster in students?

Education is about to learn to cope with life.

Potcert week 18 classroom management


Reading Ko & Rosen (Susan Ko and Steve Rossen, Teaching Online: A Practical Guide (3rd ed)

About privacy.

I do use a  but it is only for ‘business’. Same for my Facebook account it is for work only Ko & Rosen  want you to use separate accounts for private and for ‘business’ profiles. If you do, you will need a different email account for every Facebook account you sign up for. I do have doubts about using Google for teaching just because of privacy matters. They are an advertising agency after all. Compare what Lisa M. Lane writes about the build-in pedagogy in LMS systems. Google has a build-in pedagogy too.

The quiet student.

Ko & Rosen discus the quiet student. They mention two strategies, a third strategy could be to require student to student feedback just like in the forum on potcert. K & R stress the need to keep a record of teacher to student conversations, email is a nice way to keep a record.

Eric Robertson is using hands and bodily expression in a way adapted to video. I like that.


LMS and CMS often are a problem for teaching  and most of time  not a good solution. LMS offers a gradebook, a tool for submitting assignments, and it is a management tool.  Jennifer Demski writes about the the walls inherent in the design of an LMS. School should connect to the outside world as much as possible.
When using tools be it LMS or any other tool, pedagogy must be emphasized before features and tools. The TPACK could be useful for this pedagogical training of novice online teachers.

tpack schema800I did some experiments in Moodle, of all closed teaching systems this is the one I like most, because it is free to use. You could install Moodle right now on your computer if you like. I would like to improve a tiny bit the Moodle Tool Chart. The first collumn should be the last. Because pedagogical questions should be first.

Free speech

Joanne mentions a (for me, a Dutchman) remarkable and fascinating discussion about free speech for teachers in USA. It is about blaming Republicans and Tea Party for closing down government. Think before you post is what Joanna wants to tell us.  You should think before you post because posting online is different from f2f communication.

Blended Education

J Ohlaker mentions providing online course tools to students in F2F courses and she found that this increases overall student interest and achievement. Online parts of  a course could give additional opportunities and support to learn concepts. Online course tools could give opportunities for students who want to excel and learn more in depth about topics. Providing online course tools to students in F2F courses will improve teaching and learning. That is a fascinating development. Will most f2f grow into blended learning?

Posted for #potcert