Monday, May 3, 2010

Blog Steward for ISWO

As you may know by now, I'm taking on the role of social media steward for ISWO. So I've created this blog as a kind of central organizer for the online community that we hope will form with ISWO learners at its core.

What you see here is a meta-blog that links to all the course blogs and a few "external" ones that may be of interest as well. Feel free to suggest any additions.
My postings in this blog will be mainly administrative. I've been doing my reflection elsewhere but I won't keep that hidden from you...

I'll start by pointing to the administrative-type instructions in my May 31 posting that show you steps for getting started with your own course blog if you choose to use Blogger.

Then I'll lead you to my most recent reflective postings in the educationally-focused blog that I've kept for a little over a year now. It's sort of a professional diary. When I have a bit of time for professional browsing online, I read and reflect and sometimes I make comments to get more information from the author or simply to say that my experiences have been similar.

And I also create my own blog posts to explore ideas I've found in more detail e.g.:

Ruth Reynard article: Facilitation to Constructive Partnerships
which is my reflection on an article that seems to be talking about exactly what is taking place here in ISWO. It's all about constructive partnerships in online communities.

Learning and Web 2.0 – supportive research from Europe
which describes (among other things) how informal learning through social media is outpacing the use of such media in formal situations.

AND (not my own reflection but one that I find to be very compelling)

Tony Bates writes: An essay on the impact of the digital age on scholarship and institutions which includes his statement:
As anxious as I am to see change in our institutions, I’m not sure I want it to be the result of desperately responding to a crisis, because the students in particular are likely to suffer, at least in the short term. I would though like to see government spending more closely linked to innovation and change in our institutions, but few politicians seem to be up to that battle here in Canada.

Bates wants to preserve what's working and writes in support of Richard Katz who "recognizes the value of the core functions of universities, but is seeking to find a way to foster and protect them and at the same time make them relevant in a rapidly changing world."

Do you believe there is any potential risk of students and employers finding traditional institutions (and credentialing processes) to be less and less relevant if those institutions don’t embrace the tools that are becoming ubiquitous outside of their walls? Do you think innovation is a priority? How can we achieve this without destroying what works?


  1. Elizabeth do you use a rubric for grading student blogs? Could you point me towards any good sources on that?
    thanks, Sally

  2. Hi Sally,

    Interesting question -- and when I googled it I found a very interesting answer by Cathy Davidson:

    I personally like how her approach models the collaborative process that blogging represents, rather than a top-down "grading" system.

    p.s. I'm just back after a week of traveling that basically didn't include computer access.

  3. Thanks Elizabeth - I have seen that post before - it generated an enormous amount of discussion too!! Thanks for your help - I will continue my blogging - but after enjoying some summertime off!

  4. I agree Sally -- sometimes the discussion around a post is as useful as the post itself. Anyway, enjoy your summer and I look forward to seeing your blog in the fall.