Link Love for my Tweople

twitter-34dSome of my favorite tweets from recent days with links to useful stuff. I learn more things from the people I follow than any other network or learning group or anything else, by far. They’re smart, they’re engaged, they’re connected, and they’re relevant to my day-to-day life. Here’s a baker’s dozen (in no particular order):

Action Analytics at MnSCU

During this academic year I will be working on a project called Action Analytics with the Office of the Chancellor at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU). I will still retain my position at Lake Superior College, but part of my time will be devoted to this project.

Dr. Linda Baer of MnSCU was a recent guest blogger on Donald Norris’ blog Linking Analytics to Lifting Out of Recession. Dr. Baer described several data analytics initiatives that are ongoing within MnSCU as serving diverse populations and also the underserved populations. As a more recent step, she describes the following: “Linking Activities and Metrics. The second foundation step is to begin to link these many activities. The technology and infrastructure capacity of the system was supporting a large data warehouse with selected data mining capabilities. The dashboard enabled full display of campus and system accomplishments. Yet, the question remained: What activities were contributing to the most student learning and student success?”

Boosting Analytics and Predictive Modeling. Dr Baer continues with the following: “Realizing that the next big step was to develop analytic and predictive modeling capabilities … using national, state and local data, we could develop student information dashboards so each faculty member could review where the student was academically and then advise the best academic choices for ongoing success. Curricular assessment could be made to see what components of course learning worked for students and what needed more emphasis so tutoring and advising could further align best learning experiences to accomplish successful learning.”

The desired end result is to create an informational system that can be used to provide students with timely advice about how best to succeed in their current courses and in their more long-term programs oif study. To that end, I am working as part of a team to create a proof of concept for this project. We are analyzing sudent engagement data harvested from their activities inside Desire2Learn during the spring 2009 semester. Early results have favorable indications that the student engagement data might indeed be useful as a predictor of success in the course, although that analysis is not complete at this time.

Stage one is to create an advising model where advisors would be able to quickly see which of their advisees might be at risk academically and to help make suggestions as to which type of actions (interventions?) might be useful in bringing the student closer to a successful outcome. This work is ongoing and I expect to have much more to report about it over the next weeks and months.

BuzzTweet Bingo for EAT-IT 09

EAT-IT 09 (Emerging Academic Technologies and Instructional Techniques) starts tomorrow at Inver Hills Community College. During the keynote presentations (there are now five of them over two days) I’m going to try out a new game that I hope will be fun for the attendees. I always think it’s pretty funny to play Buzzword Bingo at conference sessions, but that is just a little too low tech for a tech conference. Enter BuzzTweet Bingo (copyright, trademark, patent, DRM, and all licenses and royalties belong to me – Barry Dahl). (You can Google it (I did) and you’ll find no reference to the term except probably this one and all future derivatives from this one.)

Here’s how it works. Prior to the start of the keynote presentation or breakout session, you send a Twitter direct message to the game administrator. In the message, you identify who the speaker is and then you list five buzzwords that you predict the speaker will use during the session. Here’s the catch. One word must start with a B, one word with an I, one with an N, a G, and an O.

During the presentation, you send a tweet immediately after you hear each one of your words, for example:

  • @EATIT09  John O’Brien just said “BillyBob” (which let’s assume was my B word)
  • @EATIT09  John O’Brien just said “Interwebs”
  • @EATIT09  John O’Brien just said “Nervous Nelly”
  • @EATIT09  John O’Brien just said “Giddyup”
  • @EATIT09  John O’Brien just said “”OMG”  – BINGO!!! Hallelujah!! I’ve got a BINGO!

First person to post their five words and Tweet “BINGO!!!” is the grand prize winner (a prize to be named later). NOTE: most of those sample words above are not good tech buzzwords, but were chosen based solely on their first letter for purposes of this demonstration.

Why a direct message? That keeps your predictions private so your cheating neighbors won’t copy your great buzzword ideas. The admin (me) will be able to keep you honest by checking your predictions in the dm, and compare them to your regular tweets during the session.


  1. Rule #1, Obey all rules!!!
  2. Admin makes the call on whether something is a good buzzword. No simple words, no conjunctions, don’t use the speakers name, etc. This is BuzzTweet Bingo for rice cakes – USE BUZZWORDS and stupid acronyms and stuff like that.
  3. Admin settles disputes about whether the speaker actually said your buzzword or not. If necessary, the archive of the video stream will be checked and re-checked. Don’t make me pull this car over.
  4. No crying, and check rule #1.

If you’re ready to play – here’s the steps to get started.

  1. Follow the game administrator on Twitter. He needs to follow you back so you can send direct messages to him.
    • If I (barrydahl on Twitter) already follow you, then you’re good to go. Just send me your direct message.
    • If I don’t follow you on Twitter, follow the special account I created for the game (EATIT09 on Twitter) which is set up to automatically follow you back. This should happen very quickly (We’ll see). Otherwise just tell me to follow you so that you can send me direct messages.
  2. Send the dm to the game admin (either barrydahl or EATIT09 on Twitter) prior to the start of the session, or within the first couple of minutes (can’t include buzzwords you’ve already heard). Make sure you identify the speaker’s name in addition to your five buzzwords.
    • Example:  d EATIT09  John O’Brien keynote: BuzzTweets – BillyBob, Interwebs, Nervous Nelly, Giddyup, OMG
  3. Send a regular tweet (@ reply to EATIT09) the first time the speaker uses each of your five buzzwords (see the examples above under the picture).
  4. Feel free to yell out BINGO! during the session when you send your fifth tweet – sort of like a tweet heard round the world.

Finally, if this idea falls flat on its face, then I clearly stole the idea from someone who is far less entertaining (see previous post) than I am.

CC Flickr photo by Annie Mole