Controlling your Digital Tattoo

Photo by Kordula0867, CC0

The term “digital footprint” is misleading. A footprint in the sand is washed away by the waves. It isn’t that simple or quick in the digital world. The term “digital tattoo” is more apt because a tattoo cannot be easily and completely removed without leaving signs it was once there.

While we cannot control what other say about us on the Internet, we can control how we represent ourselves. I use several social networks, and all of them are geared towards a slightly different audience. I am highly aware that no matter what my privacy settings are, and that as soon as I put anything on the Internet, I am no longer in control of how it will be used, copied, and distributed. There is no magical erase once something is posted. It’s there forever.

The following are my personal guidelines for using Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Facebook. Continue reading

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Six Lessons I Learnt from my Master’s Degree


Two years ago I was enthusiastically preparing to plunge into earning a master of education. I was a part-time student with a full time job and I knew I’d face time management challenges … surely that was going to be my only problem.

As I reflect back on the last two years, I can see how much my thinking and approach to life has evolved because of my tenacity to complete a graduate degree in the same amount of time as full-time students. Today, I arrived in Victoria, BC to realize a dream that slowly emerged while working on my master’s degree … embark on a Ph.D. in education.

I’m know that the valuable lessons I learnt along the way will help me wade through the Ph.D. challenges that I’ll face over the next few years. Continue reading

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What is Curriculum?

I’ve taken a number of course in my bachelors and masters programs that focus on designing curriculum, but what struck me is the inconsistency definition of curriculum. I’ve heard some college educators define curriculum as their lesson plans. One of my university professors described curriculum as the process of putting together learning outcomes, which is supported by lecture material, readings, and assignments.

These definitions are correct, but they do not capture the essence of what I believe curriculum is, which is the input (process), output (interactions with students) and the objectives (learner success). Continue reading

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Sequencing Curriculum

There are several different approaches one can take to sequencing learning, such as subject expert, general to specific, simple to complex, book, known to unknown, and problem to solution. This post will provide a brief overview of these six sequences

Subject Experts Sequence– Among other qualifications, educators are hired because they are subject matter experts in their field. Whether the subject is history or physics, the subject matter expert has intimate knowledge of the field and thus should instinctively know what should be taught first to provide a foundation for the further learning. The problem that I’ve seen some subject matter experts face is that they know too much and believe everything is important and nearly everything is foundational. Consulting with a curriculum designing can often help the subject matter expert identify levels of learning material. Continue reading

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Welcoming the First Six Months of 2013

I dislike the hype surrounding resolutions, and fortune telling that occurs this time of year. As a result I tend to stay away from both news and social networks and focus on my six month personal plans.

Six months may seem like a very short amount of time, but if a project cannot be completed in that amount of time, six month is surely enough time to accomplish much towards the project’s completion. Continue reading

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Writing Accountability

November was a very productive month as I move closer to completing my masters of education thesis. On Twitter I discovered a group of academic writers using the hashtag #AcwriMo (short for academic writing month). As I began following the hashtag I read posts about people’s writing accomplishments, which started to influence how many words I was writing. Could I keep up with everyone? Was sharing accomplishments really that helpful?

On November 6 I discovered that not only did people tweet their writing accomplishments, but there was also a Google Doc where the writers state their monthly writing goals and the log how many words they have written each day. Continue reading

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Writing Tip: Literature Review Word Selection

I recently wrote the literature review chapter for my master’s thesis. While it wasn’t the first research lit review I’d written, it had been a few years and I was, admittedly, more than a bit rusty. Feedback from my supervisor indicated that while my logic was well presented and the chapter flowed well, I had to take my writing up a notch.

I thought of the tools at my disposal and quickly came up with a three-point plan.

  1. Read research papers for writing style and not content
  2. Re-read my previous research papers
  3. Generate a word list

Continue reading

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All Social Media Sites are not Created Equal

Communicators can make the mistake attempting touse all available social networks.  With new social networks created almost weekly, it’s becoming more difficult to know which ones to use and how to use them to achieve maximum impact.  But each network offers its users a different experience and a different type of audience.

Here are three tips that can help you save time, energy and help you reach your target audience. Continue reading

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Are Luddite Professors Effective Educators?

Fliker – Erica Glasier

I was recently had a conversation with a college professor about the use of social networks in the higher education classroom. I mentioned that Twitter is an excellent tool for learning, but she disagreed, saying that is a waste of time. Instead of attempting to enlighten her, I heard her out because I wanted to understand how she perceives social networking as a teaching and learning tool.

Her main argument against using social networks, both in education, and in her life, is the invasion of privacy, or lack of privacy, and that very little useful information is actually shared on social networks. Continue reading

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Preparing Case Studies for College Students

Long and detailed case studies have been used extensively in universities for decades, but short, well-prepared case studies can be effectively used in colleges to stimulate thinking and interactive discussion or debates.

The Internet, newspapers, and magazine are littered with interesting stories, and there will most likely be hundreds, or even thousands, or articles to choose from.  Continue reading

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