Posts made by Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers

Hi Chris,
Good points. Thanks.
When working with people -- who are not only teachers, but other professionals -- I think it is about professional pacing -- not everyone gets the same support from a principle, from a budget, from their colleagues, or from themselves -- if they are stressed. I don't want people to feel more pressure. I think support is key and change will take time. My approach in schools would be to go with where the interest and support is from the people in the systems. In seeking out my own education in rather "unsupported" areas -- I learned that I had to be active and to find people who were in my case -- outside my working environment. Once I got the training, I was able to bring it back to those environments and teach many receptive colleagues -- some of whom went on to get their own training. It seems to me that the some of these same issues will apply to technology and its use for learning.

I liked the emphasis that you gave -- teachers are learners too.
I think this Scope Session is ending (Aug 31). Many teachers will be very busy at this time. Hope to see you again in another Scope session.
Jo Ann
Dear Nellie,
Thanks for sharing the reference and clarifying more about ning for us. I think that they are a good idea for groups with a focus as your nings.

I'm wondering how many people have started nings and if they are significantly different than blogs -- where people can comment? Is it that they can be private learning places online and emphasize a focus and a discussion? Any comments? I'm new to ning.

Thanks Jo Ann
Hi Paul,
I think it takes time for people to recognize the value of courses and programs where they do not get credits or grades. Learning through technology that is for either instruction or learning has its own rewards -- but that concept has to be learned in some way. For example courses that can be taken free for non-credit or you can pay and get the opportunity to earn a grade -- are now being experimented with and I wonder how they will be received.

I'm still catching on (steep learning curve) to using more of the technological options available through the internet. As a bottom line, I usually have to see that the learning will be of some value for me, or that I can apply it without too much difficulty -- or perhaps I need to quickly decide whether an opportunity is worth making it a priority with my limited time to practice it. I suspect that there are many who want at least some sort of recognition from their hypothetical boss or "credit" for their coursework in the form of a grade. This experience is fairly commonplace -- and yet it is relevant to the next part of your post -- what people consider "using technology". Perhaps if that same technology is part of their practical, everyday-experience -- they hardly notice that it is "technology" (e.g. you gave -- pencil and paper).

At what point does someone think that they would be rated as frequent users (not dabblers) of the latest technology -- say Second Life? Nowadays I've been taking courses that get me to ask "how do I judge" that the technology is worth knowing about or using it -- not just for the sake of learning it in a course -- but in applying it in my work?" "What makes universities stick to WebCT or Moodle?" What makes a university sure enough to spend money to change their systems or decide to keep what they have? Life seem demanding when all of these questions cost a lot of money -- and students or employee and employer time and success ride on the answers.
Jo Ann

Hi Chris,

I'm obviously Jo Ann -- not Nellie, but I thought I would look into "Ning".

Ning is one of many “platforms” that I understand as social software programs that you can change – codes provided to make changes as opposed to those that are set like Myspace.

Ning offers the latest social networking features, all infinitely customizable to meet your unique needs. The Ning Platform makes this possible. As a platform, you don’t have to appeal to Ning for the features you want. If you have the time and the inclination, you can build them yourself. It’s the software equivalent of Home Depot. Unlike other services that offer a “one-size-fits-all” offering, your social network on Ning runs on a programmable platform.”

Retrieved Aug 31, 2008 from

I have done some Second Life in a course and I get the idea of it being very interactive and it is an example of a ning. However, I too would like more insights into the advantages of having other specific "nings" set up. Perhaps Nellie or others will expand on their ideas. Jo Ann