Take Your Kyle to Work Day (take 1): @ The Letter M Marketing

photo-2As part of my “Take Your Kyle to Work Day” project, I had the unique opportunity to spend a day with the fine people who work at The Letter M Marketing. TLM has a long history, and an impressive list of clients.

What struck me most about TLM is their engagement with the community. They approach marketing as a genuine conversation. This conversation helps businesses and organizations tell their stories, build connections and co-create meanings.

Learning Analytics: The Holy Grail for Education?

Learning and Knowledge Analytics is a conceptual and exploratory introduction to the role of analytics in learning and knowledge development….We live in digital times. The conversations that used to evaporate around the water cooler are now digitized, waiting for a clever algorithm for analysis.


I’m a bit late to the game, and just getting caught up on LAK ’11, a Massively Open Online Course (MOOC). My first impression, is that the quest for the answer to how to effectively implement and use Learning and Knowledge Analytics is a bit like this:

Logically, if she weighs the same as a duck, she’s made of wood, and therefore…a witch!


Excellent summary from @davecormier. We’ll need to know about this, for later discussion:

You can choose what you do, how you participate and only you can tell in the end if you’ve been successful. Just like real life.”

Ultimate Mobile Lifestyle

At the University of Guelph, this week is the pedometer challenge. Friday’s my day, so I was planning on walking to and from work and out and about at lunch. It struck me Thursday afternoon, though, that this might be a good experiment in the “ultimate mobile” lifestyle to experiment what it would be like to work and learn and all that stuff while being truly mobile (and counting steps as I go).

Here’s my plan: I’ll spend as much time as I can walking Friday, connecting with work as needed through phone and email, making heavy use of social media like twitter and flickr and mobile reflection/journal tools to document my journey. I’ll share this in real-time. I’ll also plan to consume some podcasts and books on mp3, access library services, etc. Also, do some kind of live GPS tracking. At the end, I’ll compile all these artifacts and reflections into some kind of presentation and mash it up with some resources on mobile learning in general.

Rules (an evolving list):

  • Accomplish as much work as I would on any other day.
  • Don’t sit at my desk.
  • Wear typical work clothes.
  • Document as much as I can
  • Don’t text while crossing streets

If you’re around Guelph today, and you want to join me for a short/long stroll, let me know. We can talk about work, life and all that.

4squarEd: Foursquare for Teaching and Learning?

I was interested to see that foursquare was has partnered with 20 US Universities to launch Foursquare For Universities. From Foursquare’s site:

Foursquare for universities helps students, alumni, and staff connect with each other, find new and interesting things to do, and earn rewards for exploring their campus and nearby areas. We combine a communication platform and a campus guidebook to create a fun experience for our users; students earn points, win ‘Mayorships’ and unlock badges for checking in to places and trying out new activities on campus.

Some big names in higher-ed have already climbed on board (Harvard, Stanford, Syracuse…). Others are sure to follow. This partnership makes good sense. An institution can create a page on the service, broadcast information, make recommendations, etc. Students can share tips on campus services and events. On-campus hospitality and entertainment venues can promote themselves.

But, what I’m interested in here goes beyond the gimmicky location-aware check-in and broadcasting what a user is eating for lunch. Higher-ed institutions need to think about how they can build upon the social-grid that service like foursquare are helping to foster to build a learning-grid where students and instructors can share in an easy, social, “knowledge-aware” way. It should be fun too.

Here’s my pitch: “Foursquare for Teaching and Learning” (or maybe you prefer “Foursquare for Education”) YES! 4squarEd. Here’s the script to the not-yet-created-and-maybe-never-will-be promo video:

Wish you were more aware of all the incredible learning experiences around you? With 4squarEd, you can unlock your learning and find happiness. You will need 4squarEd, a mobile device, and a passion for education.

Step 1: Download the 4squarEd application to your mobile device, and instantly connect with your library account, your institutional LMS, your ePortfolio, your social networks, registrarial services and more! Connect with your classmates and other learners within and outside of your institution to see what they’re learning. Build your Personal Learning Network (PLN).

Step 2: Tell your friends what you’re studying, what you’re learning and what you want to learn by checking in to one of the learning activities you’re institution’s 4squarEd lists, based on your current courses. Leave tips and resources for other learners. If the learning activity isn’t listed, you can add it to 4squarEd.

Step 3: Check out tips from your friends in your PLN and others outside it. Find recommendations for resources and suggestions for other activities.

Step 4: The more you use 4squarEd the more you’ll get out of it. Capture your activities, unlock learning objectives and earn points towards competencies based on what you’re learning. Check out stats at 4squarEd!

Step 5: Check-in frequently to become a mentor for a learning activity or competency.

Step 6: Use 4squarEd wherever you go: in museums, on your co-op placement, with your extra-curricular club or while you’re volunteering. You never know when you’ll come upon a little piece of learning!

What do you think?

Canadian EdTech Landscape, version 1.0

A status report based on the post below.

Canadian Edtech Landscape (version 1.0)

  • 29 responses to date
    • 4 from British Columbia
    • 2 from Alberta
    • 2 from Saskatchewan
    • 1 from Manitoba
    • 14 from Ontario (most/all within a 2 hour drive of Toronto)
    • 2 from Quebec
    • 3 from New Brunswick
    • 1 from PEI
    • zero from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, or the territories

We’ll keep this up for awhile yet. Participate via the links below if you’re interested. Fill the form out out for yourself, or someone you know.

Help me map the Canadian EdTech Landscape!

I was putting together my notes and slides for a workshop last week on Understanding and Using Social Media, and quickly noticed that nearly every example and every website I referred to was Canadian.

Here’s a smattering of my references:

This got me to thinking. Seems to me that there are a bunch of great Canadians who are involved in Educational Technology at some level: teaching, researching, developing, administering. And wouldn’t it be great fun to have a list of who and where these people were, with links to their professional and personal websites and their Twitter IDs? I think it would.

awesome canadian edtech

And here’s how I’d like to gather it: fill out the form to help map the Canadian EdTech Landscape. Fill it out for yourself, or someone you know: mentor, colleague, friend…

The results might look like this.

Social Thinking

Preparing to lead a workshop tomorrow for University of Guelph faculty and staff: Understanding and Using Social Media. Here’s a sneak peak at the part where we’ll talk about “Social Thinking”:

Here’s what I learned from #a4a10

Coming down from a conference high. #a4a10 – Aiming for Accessibility: meeting standards, making change was a tremendous event. Congratulations and thanks to the speakers, attendees, organizers and sponsors.

Word clouds from the event:

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Here’s (some of) what I learned and was inspired by:

  • “Meeting the requirements of the AODA really isn’t the goal in itself…we need to nurture a culture of accessibility and inclusion, which is different than simply accommodation and compliance.” (Mike Ridley)
  • Chronic conditions are the health care challenge of the 21st century.
  • Accessibility means revenue. People with disabilities are an untapped resource.
  • Apple & Accessibility
  • WAVE toolbar
  • D2L & Accessibility
  • Accessible Course Templates cc: No Rights Reserved License)
  • Vanilla Ice references have a place at most conferences (e.g. “Stop. Collaborate and Listen”, “If there’s a problem, yo, I’ll solve it.”)
  • Simply Accessible (Derek Featherstone). Design ideas for disabilities.
  • “It’s more than getting into the interface. It’s about being able to participate.” (Stephen Hockema)
  • Good design is accessible design.

See you next year!

Toxicology. The (Family) Musical.

Minutes ago, I posted the following to my Twitter and Facebook pages:

RT @kylemackie: I (admittedly) know precious little about toxicology, but maybe you could help me write a musical about it: http://bit.ly/dCxUjP #toxmusic

The results so far.

Join in!

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