In the beginning there was grad school. That ended in 2010. Now what do I blog about?

NEW BLOG - ACADEMIC AMPLITUDE

February 28, 2010

Quickie End of February Post

February was filled with head colds, flu-like symptoms and trips to the MD with hub. We had plenty of snow and opportunities to shovel. There were shows to hit and bands to see. A few run-ins with family members here and there but no major drama like we had in January when my nephew died unexpectedly.

In prep for writing final reasearch paper for school, I have been reading Groundswell. Excellent book! Great big ideas in simple language to help relate info to non-social media types. I think reading more stuff like this will help me push my social media initiative forward at work - what I lack is the ability to convey what I'm doing in a way that non-users can understand. Its simply a matter of learning to translate my native social media language to that of the powers that be. On deck after Groundswell is Clay Shirky's Here Comes Everybody.

Got some projects in development and am working with MDs from Washington DC and Chicago to develop conference workshop proposals. Conference acceptance might mean trips to Washington DC, San Antonio TX and Cincinnati OH in the fall. I have been wanting to hit Capitol Hill as an adult (only trip there I was 13 and soooooo not interested in history) and bring hub along. I think he'd really dig the Smithsonian museums, so I am hoping my work group and I get accepted for the DC conference. When I first heard about HEWEB2010 I was thinking Cleaveland not Cincinnati - so I'm a little bummed that I couldn't hit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on that one, but maybe a trip to WKRP would be cool, too.

Considering putting in an application to speak at commencement. The apps are due March 8th so that's not much time. Do I need the additional stress? No. Would it be fun? Maybe. Is it something that goes on my CV? Not likely. Do I like standing in front of people to talk? Yep. We'll see how my week goes. I'll jot down some ideas and see if anything gels.

Tomorrow is March 1st. I look forward to doing some brush burning. I look forward to warm sunshine in the afternoon. I look forward to robins in the yard, crocuses poking up in the garden, and deer eating the daffodil and tulip buds (must remember to put the garden fence up early this year!).

New stuff I learned about and got to play with included GoingOn.com, a social learning platform, and Google Buzz, respectively. Very excited about GoingOn.com. Shot some emails back and forth with one of the project leaders after attending a virtual meeting on the subject. The concept is dead-on with my grad thesis. I will be looking for opportunities to learn more, do more in respect to social learning environments and platforms. Google Buzz was sort of fun to play with, but more interesting was watching the media buzz on it - the entry, the fallout, the subsequent backpeddling. I think Google knew exactly what they were doing and intentionally side-stepped user preferences (they made it opt-out instead of opt-in) because of what they learned with their less than stellar release of pre-beta Wave. Google got much more useful info via user complaints about Buzz than they did user feedback about Wave.

So that's the haps, my friends!

February 08, 2010

eportfolios

A cosmic occurrence in my PLN this morning. My email delivered an invite to a campus tech users meeting at the end of Feb on ePortfolios. Then I got an email in my regular email from grad school detailing eportfolio requirements for graduation with a link to Chalk & Wire.

Because I didn't know we had Chalk & Wire at grad school, I have been building an eportfolio on my own. I have tried several platforms - rCampus and Epsilen have decent packages, although I do like opportunities that exist in free-form atmospheres like wikis and blogs.

At any rate, so these emails come to me this week and then as I catch up on Twitter and Google reader to find that @sarahstewart has blogged about a preso on eportfolios. So I check out the SlideShare she linked to and find it to be useful and informative info. It also helps to review the basics as I finish up building my own portfolio, and it ties into my social media initiative and our campus need for eportfolios. Cool, I think.

It is interesting that (according to the work event invite) the people who will present their eportfolio project chose Adobe Acrobat Pro as the format. I wonder how long they have been working on this project and I wonder why they made the decision they did. I also wonder if they are sharing the portfolios via Adobe server. If so, does that mean we have a functioning Adobe server and someone that can manage it? Important questions, I assure you, and the answers could be helpful to many of us looking for an internal mechanism to share forms and collect form data.

I know that the Acrobat Pro portfolio tool does offer some neat and easy to use tools for formatting, layout and color scheme. It is also fairly easy to slurp a folder of Word Documents into the portfolio without having to convert each individual file. That's cool. But I wonder about delivery of the portfolio, or sharability. Acrobat does have easy tools to make things look pretty whereas with a web option like a blog or wiki you have to a now a little bit about web publishing (although there are some platforms that are simple to use). I just think about who the portfolios are for. Why build a portfolio that only you and your teacher sees? You both have already seen your work.

Having to email the portfolio as a file requires that you make a decision about who is going to see it, and/or hope that someone asks you if you have a portfolio to share and provides you with their email address. If your portfolio is online, it may be discovered when someone Googles you; it could be a link on your Facebook, LinkedIn or Blogger profile. Why email an Adobe folder when instead you could include a link to a website in your email signature? Your portfolio is supposed to be exemplary work that you are proud to share as proof of your ability and knowledge and skill. Share it! You worked hard. Show it off!

Even though my grad school did not provide guidelines or platform for online eportfolios last year when I began building, I am happy to see they have ventured that way.

Below, what Sarah shared on her blog (org slide source: Helen Barrett).

Check out this SlideShare Presentation: