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After a little break, I’m back in throws of teaching. The mini-mester starts on Monday and I’m looking forward to this 3-week intense course which meets daily at the University of Maryland. I’ll be teachingYoung Scholars in a course for the computer science department 
The course is CMSC198 - Special Topics in Computer Science for Non-Computer science majors. I’m looking forward to this adventure as I transition from teaching at a for-profit school to a not-for-profit school. I trust that my delivery will engage students and challenge them as well.  If they don’t leave the course with any thing else, I want them to leave the course with understanding the basics of how websites work.
More posts coming soon.

Young Scholars

After a little break, I’m back in throws of teaching. The mini-mester starts on Monday and I’m looking forward to this 3-week intense course which meets daily at the University of Maryland. I’ll be teachingYoung Scholars in a course for the computer science department 

The course is CMSC198 - Special Topics in Computer Science for Non-Computer science majors. I’m looking forward to this adventure as I transition from teaching at a for-profit school to a not-for-profit school. I trust that my delivery will engage students and challenge them as well.  If they don’t leave the course with any thing else, I want them to leave the course with understanding the basics of how websites work.

More posts coming soon.

Filed under education highered edtech

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The Vocation of Web-Development

This quote is directly from the blog post titled “You don’t need a college degree to be a great coder” found on ReadWriteWeb on 1/7/2012 :

"Programming isn’t accounting. It requires creative thinkers and problem solvers, people unlikely to thrive in the confines of a college classroom. So why do hiring managers apply traditional methods to a nontraditional job?"

What a start to the new year. Last quarter ended with such a bang, I hadn’t had a chance to post. Last week started my first week in the new quarter at AI as a web development (javascript, php, mysql) instructor. While I try to stay away from over promising, I do have one resolution for the new year, and that’s to make my classroom more of a workshop/laboratory and less of a seminar. The main thing that I’m doing differently this quarter is to pay a little more attention to the curiosity and tenacity of my students and guide them through the course material like a coach instead of a docent.

Last week, one of my students brought up the fact that web development has become a vocation and less of a science however, when applying for positions in organizations it’s still a requirement to have a degree. I thought this was an interesting observation and a very really one.

This comment lead me to stumble upon a blog article about the very subject and I must say  I concur…. Why do you need a college degree to be a web developer? This may sound strange coming from an college instructor, however, I find that the skills needed to be noticed and hired for most development jobs, are not taught in traditional classrooms.

First and foremost, you must be a creative thinker and problem solver. With that said, it’s not enough to be a good designer or artist. You need to be able to think somewhat logically.

Secondly, you need to have a good professional network. Without the right people in your network, you will not get noticed by potential employers or even pick up contracts…why? because the right people don’t know who you are or you what you can do.

These two points alone are survival skills that are not emphasized in today’s traditional academic courses. The average compuer science graduate or information technology or information systems graduate may not be able to break into a career in web development, for missing at least one of the two skills I already mentioned. It’s as if their degrees are working against them, but they also have the terrible trifecta of also, not having enough hands-on experience to adequately perform the duties of a web developer.

So where are students getting it? And what is the actual valuation of their degrees?

As an instructor of web-development in a non-traditional school, I am fortunate to be surrounded by students that are looking to gain skills that will make them employable. I feel this incredible sense of responsibility as their instructor, and am compelled to give them the tools they will need to compete in today’s economy.

Filed under education highered edtech

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Digital Natives 2 vs. Digital Immigrants 0


After decorating my office door with more flare, I realized that the 10 year anniversary of the term Digital Native is now. With the inner visions of the innovative educational thought leader Marc Prensky, we have been able to re-shape the way education is delivered through consumerized technology and devices.
The idea that the entire popular culture of westernized-societies have shifted and will continue to shift is not without its challenges. Many think of the term as another parametrization based on age or generation, when in fact the term has evolved to include all users that embrace the use technology in such a way that they are digitally dependent or stimulated.
The numbers are growing so quickly, that resistance to the new paradigm shift is self-defeating and in vain. Educators, now more than ever, are losing leverage as knowledge gate-keepers in their classrooms, and are being forced to continue the education process iteratively to stay relevant.
But is that a bad thing? Is it so horrible to expect our knowledge administrators or educators or teachers to continue to learn?
As an adjunct faculty member, I find it most rewarding when a student challenges the relevancy of information or data they find, and I enjoy the discovery process of disseminating the truth from credible sources. I don’t just consider myself just an educator, but a researcher and coach.
Maybe, someone reading this right now, will be inspired to think differently about the way they view the teaching and learning process. Perhaps, I’ll change the world with this single post, or even better, I’ll keep the conservation going; until enough voices are engaged and interested in making a difference.
Or it will swirl around the digital wasteland of cyberspace….

Digital Natives 2 vs. Digital Immigrants 0

After decorating my office door with more flare, I realized that the 10 year anniversary of the term Digital Native is now. With the inner visions of the innovative educational thought leader Marc Prensky, we have been able to re-shape the way education is delivered through consumerized technology and devices.

The idea that the entire popular culture of westernized-societies have shifted and will continue to shift is not without its challenges. Many think of the term as another parametrization based on age or generation, when in fact the term has evolved to include all users that embrace the use technology in such a way that they are digitally dependent or stimulated.

The numbers are growing so quickly, that resistance to the new paradigm shift is self-defeating and in vain. Educators, now more than ever, are losing leverage as knowledge gate-keepers in their classrooms, and are being forced to continue the education process iteratively to stay relevant.

But is that a bad thing? Is it so horrible to expect our knowledge administrators or educators or teachers to continue to learn?

As an adjunct faculty member, I find it most rewarding when a student challenges the relevancy of information or data they find, and I enjoy the discovery process of disseminating the truth from credible sources. I don’t just consider myself just an educator, but a researcher and coach.

Maybe, someone reading this right now, will be inspired to think differently about the way they view the teaching and learning process. Perhaps, I’ll change the world with this single post, or even better, I’ll keep the conservation going; until enough voices are engaged and interested in making a difference.

Or it will swirl around the digital wasteland of cyberspace….

Filed under education elearning digital native highered edtech

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Team Teachers: Today is the First Tumblr Teachers Check-In

gjmueller:

How it works:

  1. In a brand new post, share one thing that went well this week (at work or in your personal life).
  2. Share one thing that has you stressed, concerned, etc.
  3. Let us know if there is anything the Tumblr Teachers Community can do to help you with your teaching (resources needed, ideas, classroom pen pals, donors choose projects, etc.).
  4. Reblog this post so that people know that it is check-in time (if you see this late, you are welcome to check-in late).  Use the tag TTCI (Tumblr Teacher Check-In).
  5. Help any fellow teachers that you can.

via teamteachers

Filed under TTCI education faculty highered Edtech

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To Skype or Not To Skype.

This webinar presentation at the University of Maryland was an intro into skype and using it on campus in our capture enabled classrooms. I had the pleasure of working with a faculty member set up a bonafide skype session as a learning technology for the duration of his Israeli Studies course and that prompted the webinar topic.

Playing with technology to help faculty solve problems is fun. Especially, when you use them in unconventional ways.

Technology du jour :

- Panopto (camera for skype)

- Skype for Mac

- Bootcamp

(Source: youtube.com)

Filed under youtube skype learning technology edtech education highered

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This was a weekly webinar held at the University of Maryland that compared the different blogging and wiki options officially supported on campus. Currently, the campus provides support for MediaWiki and Wordpress. We also use Learning Objects Campus Pack tools, however we use them as a Blackboard extension only.

MediaWiki and Wordpress provide a robust alternative for faculty and staff who want a solution that lives outside of an LMS.

(Source: youtube.com)

Filed under mediawiki wordpress blog wiki edtech highered

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This was a weekly webinar at the University of Maryland describing how to embed a Google Calendar widget into a Blackboard course space. This main motivation for doing this webinar was to accent the wonderful capabilities of widgetry, and to replace the not-so great calendar feature in Blackboard.

(Source: youtube.com)

Filed under google calendar widget edtech highered blackboard