CCK08: Critique of Course Technology tools

I read Lisa’s critique of the course’s technology tools where she discussed the environment of learning. Right on Lisa. This fits in with my experience as an information architect. The environment has a huge impact on individual and workplace mood, processes, and options for technology tool adoption (including resistance). I wanted to add some comments form my user environment.

While I have learned lots from this course which will have direct application on both my jobs, I really wanted to experience Second Life as a “formal” part of the course. This would have addressed Lisa critique of the lack of “Visual” stimulation. (CMAP does allow you to drag and drop visuals into the CMAP I learned form Mauri Ahlberg). I am intrigued with Second Life and want to explore it for the possibilities of incorporating into my teaching and company operating environment. But, like many busy people, I usually need a “course” to kick-start me in that direction as there are many other competing priorities. Perhaps Second Life is too “early adopter” for mainstream use in a course like this?

I have found the Friday UStream sessions particularly bothersome because I can’t get the chat room to appear after logging in so I have no idea what the others are saying. Stephen also said we could Skype in once we he ran it alone, but that experiment has not been repeated again. In any event, my computer at Work, (a dual core HP 6235 circa 2007) and my computer at home (Dell Inspiron 600m circa 2004) both have difficulty running Skype as it is a resource hog that starts shutting down other apps even when you do not have Skype running. I am to the point I recommended to George and Stephen on Nov 7 in a email that they may want to consider dropping Ustream in favour of Elluminate because Elluminate is more particpatory and has been more stable (Ustream has not worked 2 or 3 times to date.)

I have a love/hate relationship with the chat room and Elluminate. Sometimes the verbal discussion/presentation wanes so the Chat invigorates me, other times if find the chat causes me to miss the verbal point.

I think the Wiki should be editable by the students. There should be a section for each week that allows students to submit their own suggestions for readings instead of having to rely on the Daily or Google Alerts or people blogs. I view the wiki as a potential resources “portal” of at least a minimum literature on the subject. If the George and Stephen want to restrict editing on the outline Page to prevent their outline from being accidentally edited, why not add a resources link to an editable resources wiki page?

While the decentralized knowledge and network building is an interesting and valuable concept, I think there is a valuable opportunity here to build the course into a “portal” into the subject. It would be a place I come back to see what is new (using RSS feeds of course!) in the future.



9 Responses to “CCK08: Critique of Course Technology tools”

  1. Keith Lyons Says:


    You and Lisa make a great pair.

  2. lisahistory Says:

    Oooh, I’ll go work on my CMap again now….

  3. suifaijohnmak Says:

    Hi Brad,
    I like your ideas of having Elluminate where more co-learners could be involved, and an editable wiki by learners. I feel sorry that I couldn’t attend any of the those sessions live, either because of the time zone, or that I have to work.

    We have often discussed in the forum, and so I’m not new to you. So, it seems that I am just chatting with my familiar “old classmate”. Do you see it that way?
    I am impressed with the advanced knowledge in history, and your insights into some of the revolutions really helped me in understanding the historical perspectives and implications. I really like to have more time in studying history, as I have only touched upon them in my high school.
    My background is on engineering and logistics, and I am interested in defence logistics.
    Your papers and posts on connectivism greatly interest me. It provides considerable food for thoughts. I could also see that you are having a busy time at work as an instruction designer with the military. I also found the netiquette (forum discussion) valuable. Interesting enough, I have provided service for Defence in the past years as an National assessor for a year. It was a wonderful experience to work with the officers and civilians in the department.

    I enjoy doing this course and am happy to meet you over this space.
    Wishing you every success in this course.
    John Mak
    You are welcome to visit

  4. arieliondotcom Says:


    I think the Wiki does allow editing or at least comments. I know the Daily does and so do the sites of Stephen and George. I also have no problems with the chat sessions other than missing them and getting frustrated when the recordings don’t get posted.

    My frustration has been mostly with Psgeflakes and Twitted. I haven’t been able to use either yet.

    I do see what I think you
    and Lisa are talking about but not with our CCKO8 course. I see George and Stephen leading by example with us. However I did notice that they do not practice what they preach with other venues. In all of the examples they’ve linked to that I can think of they are simply lecturing at an audience in front of a powerpoint slide that explains how lecturing to students in front of powerpoint slides doesn’t work in education. :). The irony (my favorite word) isn’t lost on me.

  5. mrsdurff Says:

    Never had any problem with Skype either on the laptop or on the desktop. Other VOIPS were a problem and they were deleted immediately after use. Someone once said (dembo i think) that the killer app is where everyone is. That is Skype worldwide.
    Have you updated you Adobe flash to 9 and/or your java ? I had to beg our IT to update at work for any videos to work properly. I use videos regularly in all classes, 3rd grade to 8th grade.

  6. Jon K. Says:

    Bradley –

    I haven’t experienced the same technical issues as you – but I feel your pain regarding the split focus of the chat vs. voice presentation. Being that kid that sat at the back of the room making fun of the prof all my life, I focus on the backchannel/chat in the Elluminate sessions then go back and listen to the presentation again at a later date. I think it’s interesting to have two different takes on what’s going on and almost always the chat is different than the presentations. I wish I had more opportunity to be vocal in the presentations – but on work time I have to sneak off to involve myself just to participate. The evening sessions are fine, and good stuff comes from them, but quite often the day ones are a bit better.

  7. Jon K. Says:

    Also, your idea about having an editable wiki would be a great place for feedback about the content of the course where students could actually debate the merit of an assignment. Sure, griping would occur… but maybe a public gripe shows where the weaknesses of the course are?

  8. What is that Groups and Networks argument all about? Says:

    […]… comment on……… […]

  9. George Appel Says:


    I have been following your use of Cmap in your course design and presentations.
    I am a big fan of cmap and invite you to look at something I have been working on for sometime. I use Cmap
    in conjunction with a blog.

    I also have developed this wiki

    to use with this blog.

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