Teague's Tech Treks - 10 Rep Learning

Learning Technology & Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague


Participating in an online community~Week 5 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 5, Post 2

The 4 C’s of Community Combinability

The principle of combinabilty and shared knowledge enhance online communities, especially the community to which I belong, The Science Fiction and Fantasy group on Goodreads. The word combinability is so novel that it still sparks the SpellCheck red underline. But it is also featured in Clay Shirkey’s Cognitive Surplus and his description of Dominique Foray’s research.

Foray's Combinability

Our book community meets entirely online. We have a clarity of shared purpose, hobby, and goal to read science fiction and fantasy books. This is an essential component of our culture. The cost is free, predicated only by the cost of the books we purchased for our Kindles or bookshelves. The facility of communication and convergence of the Science Fiction and Fantasy group is aided by the catalyst effect of the increased comfort to which people in online communities have grown accustomed. Our culture has been altered, whether positively or negatively depends on each individual’s experience.

Clay Shirkey writes in his book Cognitive Surplus that the first social networking website was not Facebook or Friendster but a site called Six Degrees. According to Shirkey, Six Degrees “failed because in 1996 not enough people were comfortable living their social lives online” (193). At the same time, the emotional distance fostered by Facebook and other sites can encourage a healthier candor, too. Seventeen years later, not only do we feel comfortable sharing online, many of us feeling comfortable oversharing!

Nicholas Carr warns of the “Web’s info-thickets” of information that requires us to scan and skim and skip lightly across miles of hyperlinks. Across those thickets, not all is inclusive and accommodating to Foray’s combinability theory.

Teacher, Andrew Simmons writes about the changes he has seen in his students’ writing, “It’s a really bad neighborhood. On Facebook and Twitter, students humiliate, jeer, and shame one another. They engage in antisocial, even criminal behavior—leaving belligerently racist comments on links, harassing classmates with derogatory posts.”

Things are far more civil in my online book community, but within our online culture, there are cultural differences corresponding to our different countries. Several folks in my online communities are taciturn in their responses which they attribute to their disinclination to share everything. Some of us are over-eager to traverse participation circles as described by Etienne Wenger and share with a fluency of what I’ve labeled the 3 R’s of Combinability: responses, recommendations, reports. Protected by my identity and closed profile, I enjoy a bookish version of anonymity.

  • Johan* notes that his posts are abbreviated because he has a limited amount of time online because he is late to the library where he must connect.
  • Trianna* writes that she does not have access to Kindle books since they have not been translated into her native language.
  • John* explains that he was especially sensitive to spoilers during the Harry Potter book roll-out because the sequels came out later than in the Potter’s U.K.’s home country.

Whether it is Wenger’s invitation to Communities of Practice, Foray’s Combinability Theory, or Shirkey’s fulcrum toward our cognitive convergence, the Internet is the catalyst that Carr describes:

“For me, as for others, the Net is becoming a universal medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears and into my mind.”


*=name aliases

Article Sources:

Carr, N. (2008). Is google making us stupid?. The Atlantic, Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/306868/

Simmons, A. (2013). Facebook has transformed my students’ writing—for the better. The Atlantic, Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/11/facebook-has-transformed-my-students-writing-for-the-better/281563/

Book Sources:

Shirkey, Clay. (2010). Cognitive Surplus How Technology Makes Consumers Into Collaborators. Penguin Books.

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

I created the Foray mindmap at Bubbl.us


Weekend Ed. Quote~November 16

I read so I can live


More Weekend Ed. Quotes


Advanced Care Directives

This post is part of course requirements for Dr. Farzin Madjidi, EDLT724.20, Ethics and Personal Leadership.

Advanced Care Directives

Advanced Care Directives are written wishes of patient and potential patients, but particularly the elderly regarding medical treatment, end of life decisions, and financial preferences. Also known as advanced healthcare planning, advanced care directives communicate

You may not be able to make health care choices for yourself if you are very ill or injured. The form tells doctor, medical staff and emergency medical attendants in advance how to proceed with medical care and end-of-life choices. Most hospitals have Advance Directive forms, such as the ones at the links below. Studies show that most people believe having an advance directive is a good idea; yet, most people have not created one for themselves.

With an advance directive, you can let your doctor and your family know what medical treatment you want and don’t want. You can change your decisions at any time. Be sure to tell everyone involved — family, proxies, and health care providers — if a living will is changed. Copy, save, and share the new instructions with them.

What to consider before completing an Advanced Directive:

  • Know and understand your treatment options
  • Decide future treatment options you may want
  • Consider becoming an organ donor. You can fill out an organ donation card and also have this choice listed on your driver’s license.
  • Discuss your choices with your family

What to do after completing an Advanced Directive

  • Carry a copy of your Advanced Directives with you
  • Let your family know that you have Advanced Directives in place.
  • Keep a folder in a central place in your home with a copy of your Advanced Directives, your doctors’ names and contact information and any and all medicines currently prescribed, including dosage amounts.

The following information is from the Texas Hospitals’ Association website

There are four types of advance directives. You can execute one, or several, depending on your needs and situation. Download and complete the Texas forms below in English or Spanish. Share copies with your doctor and your family, and take copies with you to the hospital.

Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates (PDF in English | PDF in Spanish)

  • This directive allows you to specify for the provision, withdrawal or withholding of medical care in the event of a terminal or irreversible condition.
  • Your condition must be certified by one physician.

Medical Power of Attorney (PDF in English | PDF in Spanish)

  • This directive allows you to designate another person as your agent for making health care decisions if you become incompetent.
  • You do not have to have a terminal or irreversible condition for a medical power of attorney to be used.

Out-of-Hospital Do-Not-Resuscitate Order (PDF in English | Instructions in Spanish)

  • This directive allows competent adults to refuse certain life-sustaining treatments in non-hospital settings where health care professionals are called to assist, including hospital ERs and outpatient settings.
  • You should carry a photocopy of your written form or wear a designated ID bracelet.
  • This directive cannot be executed for minors unless a physician states the minor has a terminal or irreversible condition.
  • Note: The PDF form in English must be properly executed in accordance with the instructions on the opposite side (download Spanish instructions separately) to be considered a valid form by emergency medical services personnel.

Declaration of Mental Health Treatment (PDF in English | PDF in Spanish)

  • This directive allows a court to determine when you become incapacitated, and when that declaration becomes effective.
  • You may opt not to consent to electro-convulsive therapy or to the use of psychoactive drugs.
  • The declaration expires in three years, unless you are incapacitated at that time.



Kapp MB. Ethical and legal issues. In: Duthie EH, Katz PR, Malone ML, eds. Practice of Geriatrics. 4th ed. Philadelphia,Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 6.

Texas Hospitals Association website. Retrieved From: http://www.tha.org/generalpublic/advancedirectives/whataremyoptionsfor09c0/


Nursing Home and Elderly Bill of Rights

This post is part of course requirements for Dr. Farzin Madjidi, EDLT724.20, Ethics and Personal Leadership.

While searching the topic of a Bill of Rights for elderly citizens, I found this information*

Nursing Home Bill of Rights

Under Texas law, citizens over 60 years old have additional specific affordances.  The Texas Department of Disability & Aging Services regulates nursing homes and is required by law to assure that nursing homes receiving Medicaid funds implement and enforce the Rights of the Elderly.

Quality of Care rights apply to those who live in nursing homes. Nursing home facilities must provide “necessary care and services to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being” of its residents. Psychosocial well-being refers to the resident’s abilities to bathe, dress and groom; transfer and ambulate; use the restroom; eat; and communicate.Nursing home residents must undergo a comprehensive intake assessment with an individualized, comprehensive care program at the time of residency and at periodic intervals. These intervals for assessment must occur:(1) no later than14 days after admission
(2) after any significant change in condition
(3) at least once per year.

All residents must be treated with dignity and respect. Residents must be allowed to express their preferences regarding personal possessions, care, treatment, sleeping and waking times, Advanced Care Directives, and activity options. Components of the care program include medical, occupations, physical, mental, emotional, social, equipment, nutritional, services, and staff offered for the resident.

Abuses of care include discrimination, unequal services administration based on the ability to pay, restriction of physician visits, involuntary seclusion, restraint (unless in case of emergency or fear of self-harm), unauthorized mail handling, restricted visitation, verbal, physical, or emotional intimidation, humiliation, harassment, hitting, slapping, and verbal abuse that includes disparaging or derogatory terms. Discrimination includes unequal treatment based on race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, handicap, marital status, or source of payment. HIPPAA confidentiality regulations regarding medical files cannot be waived in anyway.

Family members and nursing home residents have the right to participate in care-planning meetings in order to insure proper medical planning. An elderly individual may manage his personal financial affairs. If an elderly individual authorizes in writing a party to assist in managing his or her finances, that person must deposit those funds in a separate trust fund and provide the individual with a written receipt. However, if federal regulations prescribe a different procedure, those regulations prevail. An elderly person has the same rights as anyone to receive, spend,invest, save, or give away his or her money. If a family member or friend takes control of an elderly person’s money without permission, this may be a violation of the elderly person’s rights, and should prompt a call to Adult Protective Services.

Nursing home administrators must inform residents in writing of available services and applicable charges in instances where services are not covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or another form of health insurance. Service providers cannot transfer or discharge an elderly individual unless (a) the elderly individual’s medical needs require transfer; (b) The elderly individual’s health and safety or the health and safety of another individual requires transfer or discharge; (c) The elderly individual fails to pay for services, except as prohibited by federal law. An involuntary discharge may occur only under one or more of the three reasons listed above. Complaining about poor care is not grounds for a nursing home to evict a resident, nor is having a family that is outspoken regarding problems. If a resident needs to move for medical or safety reasons, if a resident is putting others at risk, or if the resident is not paying for services,then and only then may a nursing home discharge a resident involuntarily.

Except in an emergency situation, if a service provider intends to transfer or discharge an elderly individual, the service provider shall notify the individual, the responsible party for the individual,and the attending physician no later than five (5) days before the date of transfer or discharge. For example, in an emergency situation where the health or safety of other residents is jeopardized by another resident’s continued presence, that resident can be transferred to a hospital or another appropriate place for treatment without notice. Absent an emergency situation, however, all facilities must give five (5) days notice before discharge.

There is no statute of limitations on reporting of alleged abuses.

*Rasansky Law Firm

**The number of personal possessions may be limited for health and safety reasons, which should be documented in the resident’s medical record. The number of personal possessions maybe limited for the health and safety of other residents, as well.

Picture Source


Happy Birthday, World Wide Web!!!

Happy 23rd Birthday, World Wide Web!!! Although, science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke predicted in a 1970 Popular Science magazine post that satellites would “bring the accumulated knowledge of the world to your fingertips” it in the 1970 issue of Popular Science, Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau are credited as the implementation pioneers. writinThe proposal for a new global system of interlinked documents on the Internet was published on this date in 1990.

Computer scientist Berners-Lee wanted to create a more efficient method of information management and communication at his workplace of CERN, but soon realized that the communication benefits of the World Wide Web could impact the world. When his first proposal in 1989 didn’t generate much interest, he reached out to another computer scientist, Robert Cailliau. The pair’s proposal in 1990 included more details, elaboration, and a prototype Web page. Berners-Lee also developed the first Web browser and the first server on his NeXT Computer System workstation.

Berners-Lee and Cailliau considered the names Information Mesh, The Information Mine, and Mine of Information, before settling on the World Wide Web. And the “hypertext and hypermedia links” that connect all these files and Web pages are now known as “hyperlinks” or, even more succinctly, “links.” An important innovation of standardized communication formats across different servers and clients through HyperText Transfer Protocol, or HTTP Berners-Lee and his team.

The very first Web page looked far different than our today with pop-up ads, social media, emoticons, and LOLcats.

But it all began with Arthur Clarke’s vision and Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau.

Happy Birthday World Wide Web

Picture Source

For additional information, click here


Participating in an Online Community, Week 5, 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 5, Post 1

A great quote I’ve ever heard about writing science fiction is, “A good science fiction writer invents the car. A great science fiction writer comes up with the traffic jam.” A few months ago, I did not know about much about science fiction writers and their books. Now, thanks to the welcome and inclusion offered by the Science Fiction and Fantasy group at Goodreads, I have ridden in great space ships, conveyor belts, seen eerie sights and laughed out loud while reading Vogon poetry.

I like the car and even the traffic jam! I’ve continued to spend time in my Goodreads group. I have finished three books and learned a lot about theme, plot, arc, conflict, and innovation. I caught myself offering a consulting client a far-fetched idea as we brainstormed possible solutions for a shipping problem that would cause even Zaphod Beeblebrox to smile (or, more accurately, to take the credit).

My adopted group responds quickly and energetically. After a week away at face-to-face classes, one email I see informs me: “You have 419 new posts from 43 discussions on Goodreads”   Discussion Topics are very pertinent and rich with titles such as  Fantasy based on nonwestern myths?The Consciousness PlagueMalthusian settings?Give Us Your Themes!What are Your Favorite Anthologies and Short Story Collections” 

Last week there was an interesting discussion in our group about our preference for paper vs. ebooks. Over 70 responders expressed their opinion with a mixture of enthusiasm and respect for the preferences of others. I am noticing that my identity is not as timid and confining as it/I once was. Is “Goodreads ByTheFire” is more confident and expressive than me? Is it easier for me as “Goodreads ByTheFire” to respond to questions? Is it easier to communicate when we are operating behind other identities?
In a discussion of specific features of science fiction, “C”* wrote: “I agree that too much emphasis can be put on the societal commentary aspect of sci-fi, but it is a feature of many classics.” “D”* asserted, “It’s quite a narrow way of looking at a genre and seems to devalue novels that are examples of good storytelling that just happen to be in a sci fi setting.” Another contributor, “E”* adds, “The technology angle also forgets that some of the biggies in the genre are not ‘about’ the technology, but about the tendencies already present in human nature and society as a whole; technology is just an enabler.”
Not your average Jerry Springer smack down! The ease of interplay and virtual dialogue illustrated Clay Shirkey’s claim that in the Publish then Edit neighborhood, the emphasis aims to “Convene but not control.”
he is not a vegan2
I thought about joining many groups before I settled on the Science Fiction and Fantasy group. I lurked in a cooking group and saw the preceding messages. There seems to be a self-regulating system to the internet in general and online communities specifically. Members enforce the official and unofficial rules of their particular system. Admonitions to stick to the subject of the “OP” (original post), to move off-topic posts to appropriate forums, and to avoid spoilers serve as an informal blending of civility and order.
“Don’t try to outweird me, three-eyes.  I get stranger things than you free with my breakfast cereal.” ~Zaphod Beeblebrox in “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”


Adams, D. (1995). The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy. Del Rey. Link

Shirkey, Clay (2010). How cognitive surplus will change the world | Video on TED.com. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/clay_shirky_how_cognitive_surplus_will_change_the_world.html

*=not the actual initials


Veteran’s Day Thoughts and Activities

Veteran's Day Courage

“To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan.” ~Abraham Lincoln

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars. The day honors military veterans with parades and speeches across the nation. A national ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau – Facts for Features: Veterans Day 2013: November 11

Additional Curriculum Resources for Veteran’s Day: http://4oops.edublogs.org/?s=Veteran%27s+Day

Additional Veteran’s Day Sentiments: http://thestir.cafemom.com/in_the_news/163696/12_veterans_day_quotes_to


Weekend Ed. Quote~November 9


“The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.” ~A. A. Milne


More Ed. Quotes


Tips for Using Google Books in Research

Richard Byrne thoroughly describes how to guide students to conduct research  using Google Books.

Writes Byrne in his blog Free Technology for Teachers, “Google Books is one of the research tools that Google offers, but a lot of students overlook. Google Books can be a good place for students to look for books and look within books that can help them with their research projects. In the short guide below I provide updated directions for the basics of Google Book search.”

Click this link to see the step-by-step directions.




Weekend Ed. Quote~November 2

5 Balance Landscape Post

“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.”
~Stephen Hawking

“The great obstacle to progress is not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge.” ~Daniel Boorstin

Interesting reading and perfectly descriptive picture here with a post by David Icke

More Ed. Quotes

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