LTGR Ep. #5 – Technology Choices of the Heart

In this episode, Dan and Susan explore questions about technology and humanity with radio producer David Balzer.

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Show Notes:
Special Guest David Balzer. (Yes, he is Dan’s brother.) David is a communicator who currently works in talk radio, but is moving toward web-based communications. He has been thinking about the values that drive him as a communicator using various technologies. He’s a LearningTimes member, too!

David shares that he was influenced by a course he took this summer. He asks: What kinds of questions do you ask when you harness technology and what kind of person do I need to be in that process?

Marshal McLuhan said technology is the extension of man. Is the technology still extending who we are or has it replaced our humanity?

Are we in a technomoral crisis? Read Quentin J. Schultze, Habits of the High Tech Heart : Living Virtuously in the Information Age.

These dilemmas are similar to the questions faculty ask regarding whether they can reach out to students.

Dan asked how David tackles the crisis, which led to commentary on Jonathan Finkelstein’s Real Time Minute #2 that addressed relationships. David would prefer meeting the Jonathan who is not a compressed file (wouldn’t we all!).

The value of embodiment: when you harness technology, how does it impact the physical experience of the participants? How human is it? Does it give students a voice? How are we using technology?

Humor and its importance in dealing with these issues. Humor reminds us that we’re the humans and the computers are the machines. Tell those crazy stories!

Listeners, ask the character and value questions when deciding to use a new technology. How does the technology make people more connected to each other? And keep telling those jokes! We want to hear your stories (serious or comical) at http://www.ltgreenroom.org or talk to us in LearningTimes. And if you prefer the more human voice, call us at 1-800-609-9006 x8055 (US and Canada) or 678-255-2174 x8055 (outside US and Canada).

LTGR Ep. #4 – Dan and Susan Go to Camp

The LT Green Room team recently delivered the keynote for the 2006 BCCampus online conference on podcasting. Podcast Camp ran virtually from September 25 to October 2, 2006, but also included a live, traditional meeting in Vancouver, October 2-3. This recording features the highlights of the session with Dan and Susan.

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Show Notes:
If you would like to learn more about the conference and the community, visit http://bccampus.learningtimes.net. Many thanks to Sandy Hirtz, BC Online Community Producer, and Randy LaBonte of Odyssey Learning, who edited the keynote session.

Introductions: S’mores and Old Dutch chips

Qualifier that we only talk about audio podcasting and why.

Poll results on why people may not have listened to podcasts.

Comments on the “time-shifted” nature of podcasting.

What makes a great podcast?

  • Something stimulating, something new
  • Clear theme, purpose and focus
  • Short
  • Audio quality
  • Makes you want to DO something

Another poll: How likely are you to use podcasting?

How is podcasting used?

  • Course-casting, prof-casting of recorded lectures … a bit of controversy
  • Value-added: context
  • Guest lectures and networks
  • Add freshness
  • Show/discuss application
  • Look at how you use your in-class time

Next Steps – Where we see the future (ideas from the participants)

  • Passing control and getting at situated learning experiences by having students produce
  • Not transmitting information, but interpreting information or making sense (wisdom)
  • The average person’s voice, grassroots movement

Continue the discussion. Talk to us in LearningTimes! We facilitate discussion in LearningTimes.org or call us at 1-800-609-9006 x8055 (US and Canada) or 678-255-2174 x8055 (outside US and Canada). Or comment at http://home.learningtimes.net/learningtimes.

LTGR Ep. #3 – Odd Jobs

In this episode, Susan and Dan reveal their former odd jobs and how these helped shape who they are as educators.

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Show Notes:
In this episode, Susan and Dan reveal their former odd jobs and how these helped shape who they are as educators.

Susan began her career in campus housing. From that she learned the essentials of community; shared vision, shared values, behavioral norms, responsibilities, freedom and the creation of a safe zone. As teachers, we do the same in our classrooms – virtual or face to face.

Dan worked as a science department paraprofessional in a large high school, cleaning test tubes and listening to teachers after their class. The lesson: love what you do! He also got to see a variety of methods.

Can you share your passion online?

Dan also spent a summer in Mexico City doing pantomime as part of community development program. He learned to communicate nonverbally! Today as a practitioner, he continues to focus on the visual and asks “How do you get the message across without saying anything?”

As a park district Senior Citizen Activity Director Susan took groups of older adults on real field trips and had to help them feel comfortable. Being a strong emotional support and a good listener are transferable skills she gained from that position. Plus she dances a mean polka!

Susan was also a pretzel baker at the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery in Lititz, PA between college and graduate school. We’re still wondering if there’s a twisted connection between that job and teaching!

Dan finishes with the story of his job as a consultant preparing high level execs and their families for the transition to another country. How do you decide what learners need? This reminded Dan of the importance of knowing your audience. Plus sometimes you have to make tough choices about what methods or activities you’d like to use, given restrictions in time.

Here’s what we want to hear from the community… What have you learned in your path that helps inform you in your practice? Name that transferable skill!

Continue the discussion. Talk to us in LearningTimes! We facilitate discussion in LearningTimes.org or call us at 1-800-609-9006 x8055 (US and Canada) or 678-255-2174 x8055 (outside US and Canada). Or comment at http://home.learningtimes.net/learningtimes.

LTGR Ep. #2 – Spirited Online Conversation

In this episode of the LearningTimes Green Room, Susan Manning and Dan Balzer review the anatomy of an incredibly lively online discussion. They welcome LearningTimes.org member Katherine Grocott of Australia into the Green Room to share the fascinating backstory behind a discussion she initiated on "Theological Education" several months ago, and find out where it has led her and so many members of the LearningTimes community worldwide.

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Show Notes:
Commenting on exciting developments in LT community. This is based on a post within “Theological Education” first posted in March by Katherine Grocott, Registrar at Tabor Bible College. In short, she asked what she needed to know if her institution were considering online learning program.

More than 140 replies, very global. Good example of connectivism, of people pointing her toward resources, information or people to help her solve the problem.

Dan identified 3 categories of responses

  1. Those that directed her to a tool or person
  2. Those offering services
  3. Those that offered a paragraph or two addressing conceptual issues

Kat read and responded to almost every post, usually with a follow-up question. This kept opening the door for more and gave us an opportunity to see her understanding blossom.

A couple of our favorite themes:

  • Teaching, learning and questioning.
  • How environments need to be safe, empowering, communal and organized.
  • Posts from a theological perspective, unique contexts and connections
  • Didn’t shy away from tricky issues like faculty compensation, copyright, stakeholders, and so on

And now the interview …

Kat reflects on how surprised she was at how willing respondents were to share information.

What prompted her to post the first question? The question was part of a class assignment (participation in an online community), but also addressed the Tabor College need. LearningTimes was the community she selected.

Next step in learning? To do analysis of all that will impact online learning at Tabor and then to design a plan, a “root” for Tabor.

If she hadn’t had the LearningTimes community … we agreed it would not have been as rich a learning process as the discussion has been. Fresh and relevant!

Dan and Susan thank Katherine for her transparency and authenticity. Closing comments about the value of the LearningTimes community.

Continue the discussion. Talk to us in LearningTimes! We facilitate discussion in LearningTimes.org or call us at 1-800-609-9006 x8055 (US and Canada) or 678-255-2174 x8055 (outside US and Canada). Or comment at http://home.learningtimes.net/learningtimes.

LTGR Ep. #1 – Pregnant Pauses

In this inaugural episode of the LearningTimes Green Room, Susan Manning, Dan Balzer and Jonathan Finkelstein discuss the importance of pauses, reflections and time away from the computer in fostering meaningful learning experiences.


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Show Notes:
Inaugural podcast with Susan Manning, Dan Balzer and special guest Jonathan Finkelstein.

The hosts first explain the name of this podcast and the conceptual thinking of the Green Room. The Green Room is a place where people prepare to go on stage, the informality of what happens before you go into the spotlight. So much of what makes educators and trainers is the work that happens behind the scenes. We want to give listeners (and ourselves) an opportunity to reflect on what they’re doing behind the scene that results in an effective learning experience.

Our invitation to join our team, pull up a chair to our kitchen table and tell us what you’d like to talk about!

Looking at reflection and its importance on learning. Being able to think and draw connections.

Jonathan, Dan and Susan share what they did recently to step back and refuel. Jonathan went to Ireland. Dan went to the Wisconsin Dells for 3 days of water slides. Susan went kayaking and had a bald eagle swoop overhead.

We all need a few green moments without a computer. What’s the role of these pregnant pauses that allow us to produce effectively?

Do blogs and eportfolios support the idea of learner reflection? Beyond having a task to complete, reflection takes discipline and good teachers build this into their practice by providing structure (guidelines) and opportunity.

Invite learners away from computer to accomplish tasks that take them back into their communities.

Dan suggests that what we do behind stage, how we think about what we’re going to do when we move into the limelight, is to facilitate the ability of our learners to reflect.

What do we want from our listeners? What should they reflect on (and tell us about):

  • What our listeners did this summer
  • What non-tech things still give thrills and can be tied into the learning experience
  • In what ways do you structure experiences for your students so they are reflecting?

Talk to us in LearningTimes! We facilitate discussion in LearningTimes.org or call us at 1-800-609-9006, extension 8055. Or comment at http://home.learningtimes.net/learningtimes.

LT Green Room – Coming Soon!

Stay tuned for the launch of the LT Green Room — a podcast for Renewal, Retooling and Conversations about Learning. It is co-hosted by Susan Manning and Dan Balzer and its show topics are drawn from members and online activities at LearningTimes.org, a free online community of education and training professionals from across the globe.

The LT Green Room is a podcast for Renewal, Retooling and Conversations about Learning. It is co-hosted by Susan Manning and Dan Balzer and its show topics are often drawn from members of LearningTimes.org, a free online community of education and training professionals from across the globe. The LT Green Room gives listeners (and ourselves) an opportunity to reflect on what they're doing behind the scene that results in an effective learning experience.