Archive for the tag 'technology'

Trapped girls call for help on Facebook – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

I find this article entertaining and distressing at the same time, as it typifies the struggle between technology and culture beautifully.  Two girls, aged 10 and 12, get into trouble, real trouble.  No matter!  In their hot little hands they have their trusty mobile phones.  So how do they use them? 

For those of us born before the web, mobile devices, and other such technologies the answer is simple–dial 911.  But instead, these girls posted their plea for help on Facebook via their phones.  Is that really the lesson we want to be teaching our children?  Its worth pondering for sure…

I really enjoyed this Wired article talking about Andrea Lunsford’s meta study of student writing from 2001-2006. What was fascinating to me was to realize how much more writing students are doing, especially outside of class. Compared to any generation before them, the volume of writing is astoundingly higher. Yes I know, the vast majority of that writing may seem to consist of meaningless combinations of LOL, ROFL and links in 140 character burst, but Lunsford’s data reveals a rich landscape many of us may not realize exists. Its worth a quick read, and of course we work very closely with the Writing and Rhetoric program at Wallenberg and supporting their efforts in two of our classrooms.

Read the Wired article


Stanford…2 months later

At last, a new photo

Two months ago, I accepted a new position at Stanford University work for SCIL (Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning) which is housed inside of Wallenberg Hall. The history of Wallenberg is a rich one that started back in 2002 when the Wallenberg family funded a massive remodeling of Building 160. They have been a thought leader in learning space design ever since then, and I was given the opportunity to join them and work towards creating a “version 2” of WH.

Now that I am settled in and getting the know the community, I am still amazed at the diversity of energetic individuals pursuing interesting projects within the walls of Stanford. Innovative and stimulating ideas are constantly interjecting themselves into my daily activities and its often hard to focus on getting anything done, because you’re constantly pulled towards another idea path.

But, my move to Stanford was not entirely unnoticed, and I have received no small amount of haranguing for this writeup in Campus Technology’s February ’09 issue. Campus Technology has been a great partner while I was at SJSU and I’m humbled by this little spot. BTW, the photo credit is Bob Smith’s as we walked outside and he literally took a picture in two seconds. He’s the man.

At last, a new photo

Computer Awareness Class, circa 2001Based upon some work I did this summer, I had the opportunity to speak with T.H.E. Journal, a technology-focused education journal catering to K-12. The result was an article, called “A Moveable Feast” focusing on learning spaces and how K-12 is reacting to the higher ed trends in learning space design. Diana Oblinger from Educause was also interviewed, putting a nice overall perspective that complimented my up close and personal experience in the classroom. The contrast between my Crestview years and now was a powerful reminder of the feeling of many educators: the learning space is the last on the list of considerations, you make do with what you have. My room was converted from a swimming pool, made of brick, and windowless. They ran raceway for power and data along the walls, and we were not permitted to move anything in the classroom. I had 30 computers, and often up to 35 or more students. I brought in recycled machines from other places (thanks to my friends and donors at the local university) and made it work. I took ownership of the one projector in the building, ran a wire 30 feet across the floor, and did the best I could. The Incubator Classroom begs a different question: how would you like to teach today? Having been constrained in rooms that aren’t much better than mine at Crestview, faculty are flabbergasted by the choices. Its been a fun road getting here.

So what did this classroom look like? Well for your consideration and revelry I dug some up and put them on here for you. Granted they were taken with a digital camera that stored 30 images on a floppy disk, so keep that in mind.

Crestview Middle School Classroom Front Classroom DoorBrain DaySetting up for the first year

Learning Spaces Seminar at Campus Technology

When it rains, it pours! The last few weeks have been On December 11, I had the opportunity to present at Campus Technology’s Winter Conference with some great folks in learning space design. Robert Emery Smith from Stanford, Alan Cattier from Emory, and James Frazee from SDSU presented along with Mary Jo and myself. Its was a great time and we really had fun. I created a page on our website with info: or if you want to read about the session: While I prattled on longer than I had wished to, the sheer experience and wisdom assembled in the room made the whole day a great success.


Summer 2007 brings change!


Those lazy months of June, July and August have traditionally been busier than the rest of the year for us, and this summer was no exception. Menko foolishly believed that with his MA in Instructional Technology completed in June, he’d finally have that long awaited relaxation time. Instead, we spent a great deal of time travelling for conferences, family outings, and even a little time at the beach. So where did all that time go?

The highlight of it all however was Cami getting started at her new job as a tenure track faculty member at San Jose State’s College of Business. After completing her post doc at Stanford and getting several publications out of the way, she’s ready to start work in August. Go Cami!

Menko also had the opportunity to take part in a presentation at Campus Technology’s annual conference on August 2nd in Washington, DC.. The Incubator Classroom was selected as one of the top technology innovations in education for 2007. At the conference, I had the opportunity to explain how technology is enhancing instruction at San Jose State and how Instructional Designers help facilitate faculty course planning and implementation. After nearly 16 months of hard work, the award certainly was a welcome surprise and validation of the good work being done by faculty and staff in the Academic Success Center.

Summer also brought about the acquisition of some new toys including a folding bicycle for commuting on the train and a surfboard donation from Est, a long-time friend of Menko’s. While hardly the surfer dude, he’s atleast going to give it a go while the going is good.