10-Rep Learning ~ Teague's Tech Treks

Learning Technology & Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague


Jane Harts Top 100 Tools for Learning

The Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013 list (released today, 30 September 2013) was compiled from the votes of over 500 learning professionals (from education and workplace learning) from 48 countries.

Here are the top 5 tools for learning:

1. Twitter
2. Google Drive/Docs
3. YouTube
4. Google Search
5. PowerPoint
See more at: http://c4lpt.co.uk/top100tools/#sthash.Meek3WQ3.dpuf

For the complete list visit The Complete List.   For Jane’s analysis, visit Analysis 2013

Jane Hart  is an independent advisor on Workplace Learning & Collaboration, and Founder of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies.


Weekend Ed. Quote~September 28~Ayn Rand

reality by Ayn Rand

“You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.”
~Ayn Rand


More Additional Weekend Ed. Quotes


Participating in an Online Community~Week 4 Post 2

Disclaimer: This post is part of course requirements following this assignment: Extend your identity in the direction of your career path and participate in a new online community. Interact online using your projected identity for at least six weeks. Think deeply about identity and learning and blog twice a week about your experience. Take time to analyze the meaning, power, and constraints of the community on your learning.

Week 4, Post 2

Thinking about Marshall McLuhan and Etienne Wenger today. I am excited about the news that Wenger will be speaking to our doctoral group in just a few days.

I wonder if Wenger would agree with McLuhan who wrote, “Societies have always been shaped more by the nature of the media by which humans communicate than by the content of the communication.” The Medium is the Massage (1967) I tend to nod toward content being king, especially in print media. I received this email just a few days ago. What struck me was the shift in language used by companies offering credit services. In the early days of credit cards, the themed idea centered around extending credit and allowing users to request inclusion in the credit organizations’ community. As potential customers, we were on the outside looking in.

I see a distinct trending difference in media advertisements today. Companies are reaching not only one but two hands to embrace and welcome potentials to their community. Community invitation is built on welcomed engagement. Notice the copy below. What words highlight an enticing community experience?


What did you notice? I saw these words: Opportunity/connect/share/issues you face/online community/feedback/impact creation

What was that? “Impact creation”? I am invited to enter at advisor status and impact creation? Pretty heady stuff! The stickiness of the advisors concept matriculates a person from customer to user to account holder to advisor.

Dan Sullivan writes about the fan page of Nilla Wafers, “Validation is the currency of the social Web, and good communities thrive when the actions of the top content creators are appreciated, curated, and enjoyed by passive lurkers.”

In the community I recently joined, e-Learning in Developing Countries, I see that there are a few super contributors and faithful responders. The majority of 10,255 members, though, seem to be lurkers, like me. Dan Sullivan, in his post, “Lurkers and Superfans: Why You Need Both in Your Facebook Communities describes lurkers as “The Dark Matter That Holds Communities Together.” I have been a fan of the potential of lurkers. Last year, I created a curated board on ScoopIt called “Lurk No Longer.” My ScoopIt curated board seeks to nudge lurkers toward active participation with various web tools.

In contrast, the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Club has many superfans and faithful contributors. I am wondering if it is no longer the medium that is the message, but the community that is the message? Is the message only as important as the community that energizes it? No, I think all messages have importance to someone. But these important messages can be lost or fail to multiply in communities that do not foster rich, interchanges and intriguing topics. So, then, is the community only as vibrant as the members that populate it? Possibly. Do online communities need organizers, amplifiers, and faithful participants just as exist in face-to-face communities? Very possibly. Quite possibly actually.


Sullivan, D. (2013, September 26). [Lurkers And Superfans: Why You Need Both In Your Facebook Communities]. Retrieved from http://allfacebook.com/crowdly-dan-sullivan-superfans-lurkers_b125468

Book Sources:

McLuhan, Marshall (1967). The Medium is the Message.

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice, learning, meaning, and identity. (1st ed. ed.). Cambridge Univ Press.


Green Eggs and Ham and the New Media

“The medium is the message.”
Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, Title of Chapter 1 and of the book by the same name, also by McLuhan

Although this book was written in 1964, when three television channels were the sole source of televised media, much of McLuhan prophecy of media has reached fruition. Ted Cruz’s “fauxibuster” last night (Tuesday night) was a snapshot of the integration of new media and McLuhan’s classification of “hot” and “cold” media. CSpan, a network not in existence when McLuhan’s books were published, carried the entire 21 hour Texas-sized chat. Twitter tweets majoritized the hashtags #CSpan, #KeepCruzing, #MakeDCListen, #StandwithCruz. Senator Cruz read from selected tweets as the night progressed.

But perhaps the most demonstrative example of McLuhan’s foretelling that “the media is the message” came when Senator Cruz read to his daughters, having asked them to tune in to CSPAN at 8:00pm Tuesday night.

keep cruzing

I remember how strange it seemed to me as a child, when I saw my dad on television versus seeing him in real life. On television, he was smaller than me and black and white. In person he was larger than life and in living color! The media of reality and the media in my mind gave a science-fiction aspect to my experience. It is obvious from the picture that Ted Cruz’s daughters feel no such distancing or fragmentation, as McLuhan calls it, to seeing their dad on television. Media extended Cruz’s message, not only to his constituents and the country at large, but also, and most especially to his daughters, who may not forget that Dad read to them from Washington on a school night in September.


McLuhan, M. (1989). The medium is the message. New York: Simon & Schuster. (first published in 1967)

McLuhan, M. (1994). Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. MIT Press.

COMPLETE VIDEO of Ted Cruz Senate speech http://cs.pn/18pJVWV 


Participating in an Online Community~Week 4 Post 1

Disclaimer: This post is part of course requirements following this assignment: Extend your identity in the direction of your career path and participate in a new online community. Interact online using your projected identity for at least six weeks. Think deeply about identity and learning and blog twice a week about your experience. Take time to analyze the meaning, power, and constraints of the community on your learning.

Week 4, Post 1

e-Learning in Developing Countries is an open group on Facebook. It has over 8,700 members, from the US and international. After a quick scan of the first page of the membership list, I am pleasantly surprised to see the faces of  3 members of my EDLT cadre and 3 of my friends on Facebook. In addition, 3 of my LinkedIn connections are also members of the group. One author, Marc Pretsky, whom I quoted in a recent paper and an upcoming post on this blog is also a member of this group. One of my Professors is also a member of this group. I did not know any of this before I joined the group.

Here is the posted description of the group:

The challenges facing e-learning in developing countries are ongoing and require everyone’s attention. Global learning and cultural exchange via e-learning can unite and contribute to co-existence and world peace. Therefore, we have created a group on Facebook to collaborate and hopefully bridge the digital gap so that all learners can benefit from e-learning. Please join the group so we can collectively search for ways to promote, develop, and encourage others to see the value of connecting the world via e-learning.
What are some of the challenges developing countries face in implementing e-learning programs? How can we work together to overcome barriers? What are some of the success stories? Join us to better understand the realities and to propose solutions.

I joined this group to take literally the portion of the assignment that advised, “Extend your identity in the direction of your career path.” I reasoned that my career path will eventually embrace e-learning in developing countries. Because this group is located on Facebook, I must join as my authentic identity. (I supposed I could go to the elaborate measures of setting up a new identity/page on Facebook, but this seems a bit disingenuous.)  As I settle in to this community, I’m reminded of Wenger’s overview of the groups to which we belong:

“Yet, if we care to consider our own life…we can all construct a fairly good picture of communities of practice we belong to now, those we belonged to in the past, and those we would like to belong to in the future.” Etienne Wenger (1998)Communities of practice, learning, meaning, and identity (page 6).

There are contrasts between the participatory culture of the Sci-Fi group and the e-Learning in Developing Countries group. In the e-Learning in Developing Countries group posting is more spartan as are frequency of response and conversation. As I scan the posts,  it appears that four or five members are consistently engaged and posting.  Jenkins (2008) explains, “On all sides and at every level, the term participation has emerged as a governing concept, albeit one surrounded by conflicting expectations” (p.175). The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Club is a perfect “first-boyfriend” in my social foray into online groups: it is inviting, attentive, participatory, and fun. I am not sure about the transferability of experience to other groups. I have the “conflicting expectations” which Jenkins’ describes. Is it possible that different online groups can serve different needs?

Without the directive of this assignment, I do not think I would have sought to find this group on increasing learning opportunities in developing countries. I would have been content to wait for the latest dateline from Seymour Papert’s work or an Edutopia post. But, because of the impetus of this assignment, I am beginning to explore new ideas from innovators in eLearning. While I am remaining in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Club, I have also expanded my participation to the e-Learning in Developing Countries group.



Jenkins, Henry (2008). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. NYU Press.

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice, learning, meaning, and identity. (1st ed. ed.). Cambridge Univ Press.



Weekend Ed. Quote~September 21


Happy Birthday, Stephen King, 9-21-47

My favorite Stephen King quote, “If you wrote something for which someone sent you a check, if you cashed the check and it didn’t bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.”


More Weekend Ed. Quotes


Tech BFF: Busuu

BFF is an acronym for “Best Friend Forever.” These websites and tips are so good that they will become your technology BFFs!


Since I would like to use digital tools to reach populations that are technologically under-represented, I would like to find an international or multi-cultural community. Not only do I find an option-I find a huge option!

Busuu is an online community with over 30 million users in 230 countries. There are over 15 languages available to learn. The website explains that “Busuu is an online community for learning languages! You can learn directly from native speakers around the world.” Members are encouraged to learn and teach a language via the Language Garden. The Free membership I have gives access to vocabulary, reading, and writing exercises, interactive exams, and something called “Goal Setting.” The Free membership does not give access to official certificates and access to grammar units.

I really liked the description of Busuu in the About Us tab:

Busuu is a language spoken in Cameroon – based on an ethnological study conducted in the 80ies, apparently only eight people are able to speak this language…We have the dream to contribute to the diversity of languages all over the world – therefore we will continuously extend the languages offered at our website…and maybe one day, you might even find the possibility to learn Busuu throughout our website…;-)

My first set of exercises is a series of audio phrases in Spanish (the language I am review–learning) with a short assessment after three phrases. Correct answers earn a busuu-berry.

Interactivity on the site is robust. Within a few seconds of creating my profile (I chose the name of my course for my profile name), I received an Instant Message from “Michael” wanting to know if I, as a “Native speaker of English” would help him learn English as well.

If you have been thinking of reviewing or learning a new language, give Busuu a try!


Click here for more Tech BFFs


Participating in an Online Community~Week 3 Post 2

Disclaimer: This post is part of course requirements following this assignment: Extend your identity in the direction of your career path and participate in a new online community. Interact online using your projected identity for at least six weeks. Think deeply about identity and learning and blog twice a week about your experience. Take time to analyze the meaning, power, and constraints of the community on your learning.

Week 3, Post 2

social iconsI like participating in the SciFi and Fantasy book club.  I have not made my reading list public and have continued in my identity of “ByTheFire Reading.” In my postings, I try to keep my language gender neutral. My reasoning is that responses from my group may be different if my newbie status is coupled with my female gender. However, as I read over my discussion posts, my choice of flowery words, hyperbole, and oversharing proves I am not fooling anyone!

The participation in the group is robust. Whenever I log-in, I see that there has been recent activity within the hour, whatever hour it is. I think this is because the group has an international membership so it is daylight somewhere. Also, I’ve learned from reading the discussion posts that many of the group members work during the day and read/connect at night.

There is an ardent commitment to shield readers in process of reading a certain book from plot spoilers. Posts are moderated and mild spoilers are redacted. Heavy spoilers are moved to discussion forums for those who have finished a particular book. I receive email communication from the group in a digest form. I chose the weekly digest email and it reflects daily posts and invitations to monthly book clubs and announcements and author chats.

The emphasis on connection and interaction reinforces Wenger’s explanation:

As we define these enterprises and engage in their pursuit together, we interact with each other and with the world and we tune our relations with each other and with the world accordingly. In other words, we learn. Over time, this collective learning results in practices that reflect both the pursuit of our enterprises and the attendant social relations. These practices are thus the property of a kind of community created over time by the sustained pursuit of a shared enterprise. It makes sense, therefore, to call these kinds of communities communities of practice. (p. 45)

…just as it would be in the galaxies far, far away in the Sci-Fi group from whose members I learned so much.


Book Source: Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice, learning, meaning, and identity. (1st ed. ed.). Cambridge University Press

Wenger, Etienne (1998-07-28). Communities of Practice (Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives) (p. 45). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.


Apple iOS7

This day is significant for many reasons: the birthdays of author, Samuel Johnson and French physicist Jean Bernard Léon Foucault, the commemorative date of the first issue of The New York Times, and even the opening of the first Tiffany’s store in New York.

But, in the geek land that I live in, this day is especially important because, as one geek enthusiast whispered in awed admiration:

“It is the day that Apple OS7 debuts!!!” And, he added, “That means free iMovie!!”

Indeed! The new features that arrive with Apple iOS7 are Control Center, AirDrop for iOS, faster processing and, yes, free iMovie.

Happy Apple iOS7 day!


Favorite Pinterest Board: It’s All About Wonder

Author, friend, and mentor John Barell emailed a great link for a Pinterest Board featuring his work on the subject of Wonder.

There are so many excellent educational resources on Pinterest. But I have not seen a board dedicated to the subject of Wonder.

Check it out! Did You Ever Wonder?

did you ever wonder

What is your favorite quote about Wonder?


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