I found this assignment particularly challenging. It has opened my eyes to several of instructional design, blogging, and earning a Ph. D. in general.
The first thing to strike me as I read these edublogs was the technical expertise of the bloggers. I work everyday with faculty members helping them with technology. I have a pretty good idea of how ‘technical’ the average college professor is. This is not a put down. Weber State has some brilliant professors. They know chemistry, literature, nursing, foreign languages, etc. etc. etc. What most of them don’t know are the finer nuances of technology. I spent my day with faculty who didn’t realize you can copy and paste, or undo a mistake. I’m worshiped as a techno god at least 3 times a week by fellow human beings with the title Doctor before their name.
So I felt completely overwhelmed by posts like this and this. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, instructional technologists and educators who are blogging are going to have a higher degree of technical expertise than your ordinary professors, but as I read through blogs this week I had a hard time feeling comfortable about jumping in and posting. I could see an exchange in the back of my mind.
Blogger: And so my RSS had a problem with the ASP, XML and SPGXML feeds. I wrote an application that isolated and repaired, but then flickr rendered python and you know what that did to plone and the rss.py. So has anybody else solved this little conundrum?
Marion: Ummmm… Whenever my computer doesn’t work… Uuuuuh. I try restarting it. I don’t know, maybe you’ve already tried that, but I’ve noticed when my computer doesn’t work… I just… restart… Sometimes you have to pull out the cord… I mean the primary power supply… Ummmm…..
That being said, I’m excited to continue monitoring these sites. There are some exciting ideas being discussed. I doubt there is a group anywhere that is closer to the bleeding edge than many of the authors of the blogs I read this week.
The second, and perhaps more troubling revelation of the week, is the problem I realized while reading these posts. I saw several references to Flickr, a program that has something to do with graphics. I’m very curious about this program and would like to try and figure it out. However, I came to the conclusion I don’t have the time, nor did I have the time to do this assignment correctly. Personally I need more than five hours before I feel I can post something of merit to many of these blogs. This idea that I don’t have the time frightens me. I am beginning to realize that perhaps a Ph. D. is not something you do in your spare time. I currently work full time and am a dad in my spare time. That means whatever time is left has been devoted to reading, writing papers, and fulfilling class assignments. But the ‘deeper’ I get into this program, the more I realize that this is not how one earns a doctorate. I am realizing that a doctorate is something you immerse yourself in. Sure, you still have your life outside of the program, but earning a doctorate, if you are serious about it, is going to take up a significant amount of time. If work is taking 50 hours, and kids and dinner is taking another 20, is the remaining time enough time? The ‘five hours’ we were supposed to read and post was all I spent. I did not explore further, I did not download or play with Flickr (I’m not even sure it’s a downloadable). How can dive into this community of bloggers while wolfing down a plate of beans and in between faculty asking questions about their online course? I simply need more time.
Anyway, that is something I’m going to have to grapple with.
Back to the assignment. Using the RSS I read blogs for the required time, including reading back on fellow students’ blogs. I replied to these sites.
A message from a Wiki Spammer I couldn’t resist this one, the blogger used the phrase “crapping and leaving their fetid roach turds.” How can you ignore inspired prose like that?
I found several of Gulfidan’s posts interesting, and replied to them.
I also posted to The Flying Car. Jim had an interesting idea on the Zone of Proximal development and how that related to he Bazaar article we read in class.