A time to reflect…

Since being introduced to Popplet, I have been thinking about how to apply its use into the courses that I teach (web programming). Not only would this tool be great for brainstorming but it could also most definitely be used in website layout. After you go through the conceptualization and analysis steps within a website development life cycle, the next step is the design and layout of the site, enter Popplet. You could easily create a visual representation of a website’s architecture that can be shared with everyone. I will definitely be trying this out with my next website. A big thumbs up for Popplet!Thumbs up emoji!

This week in class, we also examined Twitter and its uses and learned about RSS aggregators. I have been using Twitter since 2009. I invite my students to follow me on Twitter and follow industry experts as well. It’s a fantastic way to stay connected with what’s happening in an industry that you’re interested in. Since I teach in a technology industry, which seems to change every minute, it’s almost a full-time job to keep current on technology trends and the next “new” thing on the horizon. Twitter allows me to stay current, follow what’s going on industry, and connect with industry experts, my colleagues, and peers. Another thumbs up for Twitter! Thumbs up emoji!

A few years ago I was really into using a news aggregator, then it seemed to fall by the wayside because I put my time into growing my Twitter presence and connecting with my students through the Twitter social media platform. Introducing news aggregators this week in class made me realize that I need to incorporate its use into my daily routine again – I need to “reconnect” so to speak. It’s another very effective way to stay current on trends and focus on getting information on a specific topic, or multiple topics, within one location. I registered for Feedly, selected the topics that I want information about, and bam! All the topic news and information in one place. I have also been spending time on Flipboard, which is another topic-focused news site that I can enjoy reading during the morning with a cup of coffee.

Connecting with all of these different social media tools has enhanced my ability to stay current in the industry in which I teach, connect with peers and colleagues (both old and new), collaborate, and connect and share with my students. I recently read an article titled Keeping Up-to-Date on Your Industry and the tagline read “Staying Informed”. I couldn’t agree more!

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PLNs using Popplet

I have never heard of the web-based tool called Popplet until it was introduced this week in CEP810. Popplet allows you to visualize ideas in a graphical way –  excellent for mind mapping! You can export or share your Popplet with others or simply save if for your own personal use. Very cool and useful tool! The focus was to examine Professional Learning Networks (PLNs) and use Popplet to visually create our current PLN.

Current PLN created using Popplet

Going through this exercise, I realized the amount of web-based resources that are an integral part of my current PLN (over half of  my PLN is web-based). I now teach 100% online, so the social media and online learning portions of my PLN fit nicely into what I teach (web programming) and also allows me to stay current with what’s going on in the industry in a convenient and flexible way. I refer to a lot of YouTube and online learning resources within the courses that I teach, as well as using many of the same resources for my professional development and assignment/project ideas which I can in turn incorporate into my courses. In fact, just this week I was listening to a Podcast from the “A Responsive Web Design Podcast” website while at school working on course development.

I have expanded my PLN to include my MSU peers since starting the MAET program at MSU, which will complement the industry connections that I have built and maintained while working in the corporate world for over 16 years. I continue to be amazed at the wealth of knowledge available at our fingertips and to be able to share, collaborate, learn, and connect with experts and peers in the industry, is so incredibly awesome!

 

Networked Learning Project (Post #1)

Something that I have wanted to learn for a few years now, is how to use Apple’s Swift Apple iPhoneprogramming language and Xcode IDE to create a simple, functional app that I can deploy to an iOS device so I have chosen this as my learning goal for the Networked Learning Project. I have been an Apple fan and user since being introduced to Apple computers in 1985 and have had, and currently have, multiple Apple devices, but I have never ventured into the area of actually creating an iOS app. I will be removed from my comfort zone over the next few weeks (my background is in design, not computer programming) and embark on an educational journey that I believe will be very rewarding.

I have already identified a few online resources that I plan on using to get started on this learning process. Apple has informative “Getting Started” tutorials on their Developer website in their iOS Developer Library. The Start Developing iOS Apps (Swift) online tutorial will be my starting point after reviewing the Xcode 7 + Swift 2 Resources page that contains guides and references, videos, sample code, and free iTunes U Courses.

Another resource that I will be using is the Lynda.com library. I have a subscription to Lynda.com and there are multiple training courses that I can access for additional information, references, and video instruction.

There is also a short five-part series on YouTube created by Skip Wilson titled Swift for Absolute Beginners that I discovered during my research, and I will be including the series as part of my research and instruction.

Through the use of a variety of resources that include videos from Lynda.com, YouTube, iTunes U, and Apple, online tutorials, and sample code, I hope to successfully create a functional iOS app using the Swift programming language and Xcode IDE that will make its proud appearance on my iPhone and/or iPad in the weeks to come.

Learning with Novices & Experts

During the first week of class in CEP 810 at Michigan State University, I was asked to write an essay based on my reading and understanding of Bransford, Brown & Cocking’s (2000) How People Learn. The Learning with Novices and Experts essay can be found and responds to two key questions:

  1. What is learning?
  2. How do the learning processes of experts and novices differ?

I reflect on the definition of learning and the differences between novice and expert students and how each can complement each other’s learning which in turn, can alter their perceived way of entering into a situation based on their understanding of new ideas. I hope you find my reflection on the topic interesting and I openly welcome comments and feedback. Enjoy!