Thursday, April 19, 2007

Virginia Tech Tragedy - Resources, Responses - "Learning Cures Sadness" (90 seconds MP3)

1. Request from Sally Gilbert of TLT Group for resources in response to the tragedy at Virginia Tech this week; and
2. "Learning Cures Sadness" - Response from Steve Gilbert

Also see: Link to Web page for FridayLive! special session "Staying Sane - in Insane Times."

Email message from Sally Gilbert:
"We're all struggling to understand what happened at Virginia Tech this week and to do whatever we can to support our friends at Virginia Tech...

"We've started a web page to compile resources to share and which might also be helpful to others.

"If you have something you'd like us to add to the webpage, please send it to Sally Gilbert"

Or add your contribution (comment, question, reference or resource) as a comment to this posting - click on "comments" at the bottom of this posting, below. You do NOT need to have a Blogger account. You are welcome to add your name and contact information if you wish.

Steve Gilbert's response to Sally's request: "Learning Cures Sadness"
Here is one of my favorite quotations - about "Learning Cures Sadness." As one of Merlyn’s responsibilities for raising the boy who is destined to become the king of England, he advises the young King Arthur about coping with frustration and sadness. From T. H. White's The Once and Future King, Berkeley Medallion Edition, July, 1966, page 183.

For audio-narrated QuickTime version click here.
(Click here to download free QuickTime player.) There may be some delay while the file downloads. If nothing happens AFTER the slideshow appears on your screen, find and click on the "play" button beneath the slider control - beneath the slides.

See below for other media options. Here's the text:

"'The best thing for being sad,' replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, 'is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails.

You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then--to learn.

Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the thing for you. Look at what a lot of things there are to learn--pure science, the only purity there is. You can learn astronomy in a lifetime, natural history in three, literature in six. And then, after you have exhausted a milliard lifetimes in biology and medicine and theocriticism and geography and history and economics--why, you can start to make a cartwheel out of the appropriate wood, or spend fifty years learning to begin to learn to beat your adversary at fencing.

After that you can start again on mathematics, until is it is time to learn to plough.'"

Choose Among 5 Versions:
These were produced almost automatically via LecShare Pro - which synchronizes MS PowerPoint slides with audio files - and YouTube and iTunes. Full audio is less than 5 minutes.

QuickTime Version (Click here to download free QuickTime player.)

  • You may experience some delay while the file downloads - time depends on speed of your Internet connection, etc.

  • If you do not see a slider control just beneath the slides, try a full-screen view option in your browser.

  • The slider control permits you to start/pause, skip a slide, etc.

  • If nothing happens AFTER the slideshow appears on your screen, see if there is another "play" button beneath the slider control. If there is, click on that "play" button to start the slideshow!

  • Just right of the slider control a slide title is usually displayed. If you click on that title you should see a list of all slide titles. You can click on ANY of those titles listed. Doing so will re-start the slideshow at the slide with the title you have selected.

YouTube Version (VERY similar to QuickTime version!); runs automatically on the YouTube Web site.

HTML Version

  • To see all of the controls and options you might need to scroll down or you may need Full Screen view from your browser.

  • You can and must control movement from one slide to the next or previous.

  • To hear the audio for a slide, click on "play".

  • This version may be the most useful for those who are dependent on using screen reader software.

MP3 Version

  • Audio only. Useful for creating podcasts.

  • You may experience some delay while the file downloads - time depends on speed of your Internet connection, etc.

MS Word Version

  • No audio

  • Suitable for printing - pictures of each slide.

  • Includes "lecture notes" - if any - embedded within PowerPoint slides by leader/presenter

  • Intended for reference or for writing notes while listening/watching some other version. Can write notes online via MS Word (or browser editing software?) or can print and write notes by hand.

  • Note that the images of each slide that appear in the Word document are pictures. They cannot be edited in the same ways that PowerPoint slides or Word text documents can be edited. Distributing only this version may ensure that any user will include citations, copyright info that appears on original slides and not change any slides - avoids potential for distortion or misrepresentation.

Friday, April 13, 2007

"Attending Genocide Conference" (4.5 Mins - Video)

Please watch/listen to "Attending Genocide Conference." (4.5 Mins - Video)

[Photo copied April 13, 2007, from "Portfolio - Being Human - Philosophy of Teaching: This, Too, Is Part of Being Human" by Kathleen Z. Young, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, Western Washington University,]

This was one of first, and most provocative, responses to my request for examples of "clips" yesterday. It is embedded in a Website and related "portfolio" of materials that provide an excellent model for one way to extend the possibilities of a brief clip. By sending this sample I hope to prompt more of you to share clips and suggest different ways of using them.

This simply constructed videorecording is disturbing, perhaps profound. Young describes the atrocities of Srebrenica and her commitment to "not looking away." She ends with a hopeful explanation of new international responses to genocide. This clip is presented as her response to "Why did you take your students with you to the International Genocide Conference in Sarajevo?"

Please watch/listen to "Attending Genocide Conference" at:

First click on the above URL, then to begin this videorecording, click on the "play" (left-most) button on the control panel that appears beneath the viewing screen as shown here.

You may also need to increase the audio volume or listen carefully. It is worth it!

Please don't be intimidated by this example. We need to find a wide range of useful models. Far below in this message, I include links to a few other valuable examples that are much simpler. I hope more of you will be encouraged to share your first modest efforts! We need the LTA approach to 5-minute clips and hybrid workshops!

In four and a half minutes Kathleen Z. Young of Western Wash. U. calmly describes how she came to take a group of "… students to travel to Bosnia with me to attend an international conference on genocide in Sarajevo and participate in the excavation of a mass grave and the Muslim mass funeral and reburial of 600 of the 8,000 Bosniaks killed in the United Nation's 'safe haven' of Srebrenica in 1995."

You can go deeper into this experience and learn more about Young's teaching and the responses of some of her students by visiting other parts of this extraordinary Web-based "portfolio".

Student Reflections (about Genocide Conference trip - includes photos):

Student Comments about Young as teacher:

Student Essay - text + photos - "Because I was There" - response to trip to Genocide Conference:

Excerpt from Young's website:

"The first time I taught the class on Islam and Conflict in Europe it was as an unpaid labor to prepare interested students to travel to Bosnia with me to attend an international conference on genocide in Sarajevo and participate in the excavation of a mass grave and the Muslim mass funeral and reburial of 600 of the 8,000 Bosniaks killed in the United Nation's 'safe haven' of Srebrenica in 1995. From the conference in Bosnia, the students traveled with me to Den Hague in The Netherlands and attended the trial of the Slobodan Milosevic. Students went with me to the new International Criminal Court, also in Den Hague, to meet with a judge on the new court and discuss the importance of anthropology in ending the impunity of the rogue actions of leaders committing genocide and crimes against humanity and helping the weak and victimized have a forum to speak their truths."


Comment added to TLT-SWG Blog Posting April 12, 2007

From Karen Casto, Director, Center for Instructional Innovation, Western Washington University,

At the Center for Instructional Innovation at Western Washington University we have been using the concept of short videos as part of our innovative teaching showcase published on the web each year since 1999. In past years the showcases have a theme, with last year's being "educating global citizens". We create both written and video materials for these showcases and our goal is for both faculty at our institution and faculty from around the world to be able to use this resource.

Last year for the first time we used Google to host our videos, in part because we had an ever changing campus video environment, but mostly because Google provides statistics for each video, and also allows users to download the videos, search for appropriate videos, and use them for their own purposes.

The two highest rated and most viewed and downloaded, according to Google, from last year can be seen at:
Teaching Russian [2 Mins 53 Seconds - teaching basic Russian by speaking (almost) only Russian from very first class session + other suggestions - SWG]

Inviting class to accompany teacher who was invited to give a paper at international conference about/at memorial to srebendsa genocide; description of what happened at the conference and roles and responses of students
Attending Genocide Conference

The full showcase can be seen at 2005-06 Innovative Teaching Showcase

These videos are all made here at the teaching/learning center, mostly by students.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Share 5-Minute Clips, 5-Minute Hybrid Workshops

Please add a comment to this posting in which you provide a URL (Web address) for one or more 5-minute clips and/or 5-minute hybrid workshops. (Definitions below.)

Please add at least one sentence for each example in which you describe it. Please add your name and email address and any other contact info you would like - including times when you would prefer NOT to be contacted about this! If you have any trouble adding a comment, or simply prefer an alternative, send your info to

Thanks for your help!
Steve Gilbert

For more examples in many formats/media and other resources go to:

"5-Minute Hybrid Workshops" & "Clips"
Working Definitions - As of April, 2007
Use of term "hybrid" here is confusing to some. We welcome clearer 1 or 2 word alternatives.

Clip vs. Workshop
A "clip" is a pre-recording produced as a single computer file. It may include a variety of media elements: sound, images, text, etc.
A "5-minute hybrid workshop" is the combination of a "clip" AND some other files, activities, documents, ... intended for use together with a group of people in 5 minutes or less. (Of course, some groups may find the materials so fascinating that they extend the session well beyond 5 minutes!)

5-Minute Hybrid Workshops

  • Less Than 5 Minutes
    When run without interruption, the pre-recorded elements require less than 5 minutes!
    [Note: The person "playing" the pre-recording may be so intrigued by some references that she/he may interrupt the session to examine those items more closely. Such activities may quite legitimately extend the required time well beyond 5 minutes!]

  • Faculty/Professional Development (and the improvement of teaching/learning in specific courses)
    Its purpose is to support faculty development, professional development, teaching, or learning.

  • Combination
    It combines SOME of the following: media, modalities, resources, plans, and activities.
    It can have both synchronous and asynchronous components.
    Example A: Entirely synchronous. Within a face-to-face meeting, use of a 2-minute pre-recorded explanation of a technique in conjunction with 1 minute of silent thoughtful reflection and 2 minutes of open discussion.
    Example B: Synchronous + Asynchronous: Within a synchronous online meeting, "play" a 2-minute pre-recorded introduction of a new topic, ending with clear instructions about how to submit questions and comments via a blog for an assignment that is intended to require each student to continue or extend his/her thinking about this new topic for a few more minutes whenever convenient within the next week.

  • Individual or Group
    It may be intended for independent individual use or for group activities such as workshops. For example, a recording of an audio-narrated set of PowerPoint slides could be designed to introduce and demonstrate a single skill to a faculty member working alone in his/her office. Alternatively, an audio-narrated set of PowerPoint slides could be designed to explain a simple teaching strategy, describe one or two examples of its use, and suggest several questions for discussion among a group of faculty during a small portion of a departmental meeting.

  • Internet-Accessible Components
    It includes at least some components available via the Internet.

  • Low-Threshold
    It is to some extent an LTA [Low-Threshold Activities/Application]

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

New Learning Spaces: Health Care Embraces Electronic Info + "Bodies...the Exhibit "+ Valparaiso Univ. Lab

While pornography may be the industry to most rapidly adapt new information technologies, the health sciences are often the academic disciplines to do so. If you want to find some examples of innovative integration of technology, physical space, and virtual realities, look into medical education - whether in colleges and universities or hospitals. E.g., visit "Bodies...the Exhibition" when it comes to your city [see below] or see silent slide show (< 2 minutes) about Valparaiso University's Virtual Nursing Learning Center, and read the article excerpt below about Integrating Electronic Medical Records.

This slide show ends by taking your browser to a Web page where you will find more info about this fascinating learning/teaching space, including a longer, full-motion narrated video about it. Click here:

"Bodies... the Exhibition" - slightly controversial mix of art and anatomy education - human cadavers extraordinarily preserved, displayed, annotated, and explained. For more info, see: . I saw a version of this exhibit in Chicago a couple months ago and was astonished, fascinated, educated, and exhausted. I need to go at least once more.

"The electronic medical record is the most important single development helping to usher in the Era of No Excuses in modern medicine. It is an age in which clinical decision-making, physician performance and patient outcomes are increasingly transparent; patient safety is mechanized; and the once-secret medical chart is sometimes open to contributions from the patients themselves.

"Electronic medical records make confusing and physically unwieldy masses of data instantly available, portable and searchable -- altogether more useful than when the information was stored on paper. Computer-accessible records have the potential to save the cost-strangled American medical system billions of dollars in waste, repetition and error. They may also prove to be essential tools of research, allowing scientists to examine patterns of medical practice, drug use, complication rates and health outcomes."

Excerpt from: "VA Takes the Lead in Paperless Care - Computerized Medical Records Promise Lower Costs and Better Treatment," By David Brown, Washington Post, April 10, 2007; p. HE01
VA Takes the Lead in Paperless Care -

Thursday, April 05, 2007

"Touch of Greatness" - Video about teacher; "Geranium on the Windowsill Just Died...."

"Students are turned on by greatness and bored by mediocrity."

"Children who get early exposure to great art, great music, great literature, don’t run away from it - ever in their lifetime - it’s like a friend."
- From preview clip of PBS movie, “A Touch of Greatness.”
Preview and 2 other BRIEF clips from PBS documentary film about teacher Albert Cullum - teacher, author who died in 2003 - See this URL available as of 4/5/2007 at:

Cullum is perhaps best known for his book: The Geranium On The Windowsill Just Died But Teacher You Went Right On (written 1971, reprinted: Harlin Quist Books, 2000)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Watch for Cell Phones on Campus! Why?

8 to 12 year olds are using cell phones. Wake Forest Univ. students can check their laundry status via cell phones.

See below for more... including "5. Class resources like a mobile periodic table at your fingertips" from list of" 20 reasons" student should "...join MobileU" [cell phone system at Wake Forest]

What's the difference between a cell phone, a pocket pc, and a clicker?

A. $100
B. 1 year
C. 2 ounces
D. Students' dependence
E. Faculty attitudes
F. All of the above

  • Pocket PC = very small handheld computer; over-developed PDA = Personal Digital Assistant; Handheld device; Palm; etc.
  • Smart Cell Phone = whatever works on latest cell phone models!
  • Clicker = Personal Response System; students individually and anonymously answer multiple choice questions in class

Following excerpt is from "Three Dads, a Kid-Oriented Cellphone Service" By Kim Hart, Washington Post Staff Writer, Washington Post, Monday, April 2, 2007; p. D02
URL as of 4/3/2007:

"Daniel Neal scoffs at the notion that children are too young for cellphones.

'Kids are using more advanced mobile devices than even their parents,' said Neal, co-founder of a new cellphone service geared specifically toward 8- to 16-year-olds. 'They're adept. They're swimming in technology, and they're comfortable using it.'

" is the 'tween' market of 8- to 12-year-olds that is considered to the be one of the last frontiers for wireless companies, according to a 2006 study by the Yankee Group, a market research firm. More than half of the 'tween' population will be wireless users by 2010, the study predicted.

"Most of the 'tweens' already using cellphones are on family plans -- the earliest attempts by wireless companies to capture business. In the past two years, a handful of companies entered the 'tween' market. Disney, LeapFrog, Verizon and LG rolled out kid-friendly phones with parental controls.

Following is from Wake Forest University Website about it's Mobile University plan
URL as of 4/3/2007:

"MobileU Spring 2006

Registration is open NOW for spring enrollment in Information Systems’ MobileU™ pilot program. Join! If you know nothing about technology – or know everything – MobileU is for you! As a member of the Wake Forest community, you have the opportunity to join in one of the nation’s first Pocket PC phone pilot programs. See for yourself what everyone is talking about!

Use the Mobi to lead your sorority more effectively. Keep in touch with your teammates about changes in practice or game strategies. Prepare for the technology you’ll be expected to use in the real world. Or, just love it as a phone!

The $279 cost includes the Cingular 8125 (Mobi), warranty, insurance, free 1 GB storage card, PLUS 20% discount on Cingular service.

The top 20 reasons YOU should join MobileU:
20. Free Wi-Fi!
19. 1 GB Storage card
18. No service plan contract!
17. 20% off Cingular service plans
16. E-mail on the go
15. Instant messaging on the go
14. Track the campus shuttle arrival time
13. Check laundry from anywhere
12. Unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes
11. Enhanced cellular coverage on campus
10. Mobile versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint Viewer, Campus Map, WIN, and more!
9. Leave virtual messages in campus buildings for others to find
8. Use it to store your music files
7. It’s a camera!
6. It’s a video camera!
5. Class resources like a mobile periodic table at your fingertips
4. Mobile class schedule that turns off the ringer when you’re in class
3. Insurance through May, 2008
2. Great on-campus support team
1. And oh yeah, it’s a cool phone!