Make it Stick – Self-Testing

I really liked the book, Make it Stick. It confirmed many of the techniques that have worked well for me in the past as a student. Many of the activities are ones that UAF eLearning has been encouraging faculty to incorporate into online-asynchronous classes. The book further confirms these practices.


paper 3 discussion


Bring it on

Please respond to the following discussion question. “Are mobile applications going to play a stronger role in the classroom setting? Yes or No? Can you provide an example?”

I’m not sure if mobile applications will play a strong role in a physical classroom, but if “classroom setting” can be anywhere that learning is taking place, then I would definitely say yes! I can see a lot of positive reasons to using mobile devices in a classroom setting and incorporating the use could mitigate some of the distraction issues.



6 second looping video, non editable

Could be used for explanation, interpretation, reaction, persuasion

upside: requires concise and thoughtful planning

downside: stream of public vines aren’t appropriate for all audiences and its popularity has created a library of crap

Explain Everything

Interactive whiteboard and screencasting tool

With only the mobile device a student could create all the elements for a presentation along with voice explanation and visual annotation.

upside: import and exports to a variety of file types from a variety of device or cloud-based services, annotate, zoom, pan, animate; multiple platform

downside: not free but at $2.99 it is well worth with the price


Socrative/Poll Anywhere

Get immediate feedback from questions you ask students through the device of their choice. By using the quizzing function, students get immediate feedback on how well they are understanding the material and the teacher gets an understanding of how well your students are getting your material or if you need to go back, move along, reinforce, etc.

Active Learning:


Having a teacher using an application such as Reflector on a classroom projector, the teacher can bring up work performed by a student or a group of students by selecting the name of their device. An instructor in an introductory Chemistry class checked out a “cart” of iPads and gave them to groups of students. She had Reflector installed on her laptop and walked everyone in the class through the process of connecting to her laptop through the same WIFI connection. She had students in groups and they were using the iPad to solve chemical equation problems. Then instead of having students come up to the board, she randomly selected one of the iPad groups to show their results and had them explain their solution. She could have had students working on the chalkboard, but by using the devices, the students had a copy of their work to incorporate in a homework assignment.

Discussion Comments

Devices equalization

Please respond to the following discussion question. “Should the school/district/State be responsible for providing a technology learning device to each student (to level the learning field) – similar to providing text books in the classroom setting?”

I think all students should have access to technology in the classroom. I’m not sure that it is practical to have parents purchase the device or that a student, especially at a lower grade level, be given a device to take home. If there is a technology requirement in the curriculum then the resource should be provided whether that be media carts or computer/device labs, it probably is school dependent.

At UAF, within the School of Education, I’ve heard they are working on an initiative that students entering the undergraduate program may be provided with a device in which they will be responsible for and will use while taking education classes. For this discipline, I think this is a very worthwhile endeavor for the providing resources to future teachers.

Discussion Comments

Are Physical School Settings Necessary?

Please respond to the discussion question “Are face-to-face, large school setting, still necessary? How has/can/will technology impact the look and feel of future school settings?”

“Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall”

I’m going to take a slightly different approach to the question for this week and talk more about the large face-to-face classroom in higher education. I do think that this approach will soon be replaced with alternatives that have been impacted by technology. One of UAF eLearning’s computer science course this semester is using a Udacity MOOC from Stanford as the basis for the material for the course. Students access the materials on the MOOC that were prepared but some of the top-notch experts in the field. The material are highly produced ($$). The UAF instructor is acting as guide and mentor to the students who are meeting both face-to-face and online. Both types of students are using Google Plus for class discussion and communications, as well as some sharing of assignments. From my understanding, the real “class time” is used for activities and for completing assignments which the online students are doing more on their own. The instructor is acting more like a guide, as suggested by Kelly in her post. i think that this model is a possibility for other types of classes, as long as the quality of the MOOC being used is reviewed and approved. Is this model scaleable — could the current instructor handle twice the number of students he currently has (I think he has about 55 students in two sections) with the same degree of feedback? It probably depends on how accepting more students fit into his workload or if he is given a TA for assistance. I see this as a win-win situation making the best of resources.


Impact of Technology on Learning

Please respond to the question of “How do you feel that technology has impacted learning both in and outside of the classroom?”


I returned to the classroom as a student about 7 years ago after having been out of a classroom, since 1986. I enrolled in “Anthropology of Southeast Alaska” thinking that this would help me to get a better understanding of the new community I had recently moved into and also as a way to meet new people. I didn’t think anything of taking my laptop to the first day of class as I had gotten out of the habit of taking hand-written notes. I found that I was much older than all of the students (closest might have been in the mid-20s), and that I as the only student who brought a device to class and used it openly. At the time it didn’t even occur to me that a laptop might not be accepted by the instructor and I didn’t even think to ask his permission. The instructor did use a powerpoint along with a whiteboard for his lectures and we had a lot of class discussion.

What I found was that I did use the laptop to take notes, but more importantly (at least to me) was that I was able to look up terms, locations, ideas that were discussed in class that were new to me. I’ve never taken an anthropology course before, so the terminology was new and I wasn’t familiar with the geographical spaces of southeast, so the place names were new. Had I just been writing down the terms to look up later or locations, I might not have been able to get the spelling correct, or not bothered to revisit the terms when they were out of context, nor been able to connect the terms to whatever we were talking out at the moment. When it came time to submit papers, these were printed out and handed in, just like I did as an undergraduate in the 80s.

I never thought that bringing the laptop into class might be a distraction for the other students. Were they watching me as I googled terms? Were they watching when I went searching off on a tangent? In reflection, I’m pretty sure I was being a responsible student and I wasn’t checking email, chatting, or watching cats on video, but I may have been sketching out ideas for forthcoming assignments using a drawing program. I image that that might been distracting. I often wonder what that instructor is doing in his class these days. I hope he has embraced using some technology in the class, even if it is getting students to look things up and sharing what they find back to the class.

The idea about that classroom experience almost a decade ago, was sparked by this blog post, by Megan Egbert, titled, “10 reasons why I will continue to give my children handheld devices” on her site:

She made this post in response to a Huffington post called, “10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12.”

Egbert’s reasons:

  • Because banning things never, ever, ever works
  • Problem solving
  • Technology Skills
  • Expectations in school
  • Interest
  • Because I care about their brains
  • Girls
  • Balanced Life
  • Literacy
  • Reality

I think that Egbert has a very healthy and realistic viewpoint of allowing her children to use technology in their everyday life. While browsing through her site, she seems to have a good understanding of how to balance using and enjoying technology with non-wired activities and it seems like the technology use she allows her children is somewhat supervised. The idea of completely banning handheld devices from a child as suggested by Chris Rowan in the Huffington post, seems very much over the top. She does bring in some very good points, and she has some references to support her objections. But the reality of banning access to emerging technology is unrealistic.


Technology and Culture (advantages and disadvantages)

Write one page each (total of two pages) discussing your personal and profession production applications. Shoot for an equivalent of two pages of single spaced content.

In the write up, spend half a page or so, discussion apps that you use, name the applications, purpose, details of the application, i.e., computer, mobile device (both), cost, resides on the device or cloud. Discuss how you integrate the device into your life style. Is the application one that you would recommend to others or any other insights into the application.

I have never lived or worked in a rural area of Alaska and have limited first-hand experience with issues of culture as it is integrated in Alaska’s classroom. These are merely observations and I would benefit from those who are more experienced in correcting me.

Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA): Rural Development Course

Several years ago our unit worked in collaboration with the UAF Rural Development program to create an online, open course site for a specific class that provided an overview and analysis of ANCSA. The course’s audience, beyond the student’s enrolled, was targeted at CEOs, future leaders of native and village corporations, and those who may be involved in working with Alaska Natives or their corporations. It was important to the instructor that video interviews be recorded to document the stories of the leaders who were central to the movement and active in seeing the act adopted.

Using technology to record and edit the lectures and then posting the interviews online, in an open and public space, created a resource with an Alaska Native emphasis on the act that is a rich resource for all Alaska Natives. The videos of the elders can be used as inspiration and as examples of role models that the Native community might want their youth to have access to. This website also creates an opportunity for the Alaska Native Community to show their perspective, which may differ from others perceptions of the events or strategies used in moving the act forward.

This example may not seem as much like “culture” as other things like passing down traditional knowledge of hunting, medicine, or songs, but I do believe that historic events such as ANCSA has had a huge impact on subsistence, village life, and the interaction with western culture. As an example, this map can be viewed by both region and by language: which helped to shape how the corporations were created.

Another example of using technology in culture is shown at the Sealaska Heritage Institute Language Resources website:

John F. Pingayak, states that reviving and maintaining language is fundamental in keeping a culture alive. ( I’ve heard this statement before among members of the Native community. The Sealaska site provides resources and suggested curriculum for teacher to use to incorporate into their classes or events. I can only see this as a positive step towards language acquisition and steps towards fluency. How often and to what extent teachers are using this resource is unknown as an observer. What is the success or acceptance level of students when incorporating these kinds of resources into a class of students who might not all be Tlingit, Haida, Alaska Native or might not even be native-english speakers, is also a question that is unknown to me. Should these resources be used only in small communities like Angoon and not in larger communities like Juneau? I’m sure there are differing opinions!



Personal and Professional Application

Write one page each (total of two pages) discussing your personal and profession production applications. Shoot for an equivalent of two pages of single spaced content.

In the write up, spend half a page or so, discussion apps that you use, name the applications, purpose, details of the application, i.e., computer, mobile device (both), cost, resides on the device or cloud. Discuss how you integrate the device into your life style. Is the application one that you would recommend to others or any other insights into the application.


I’ve attached my PDF here. We’re also welcome to make comments (point out typos!) on google docs

ED650-Olson-Week2PersonalandProfessionApplications (PDF)

Discussion from peers