TBR Keynote – Clicker Responses

Here is a SlideShare deck from the opening section of my keynote address at the e-Learning summer Institute on Web 2.0 held at the University of Memphis by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR08). There is a 10-min audio file attached – click the green triangular Play button at the bottom of the slides.

I used clickers to get a sense for how Web 2.0 immersed the participants were prior to embarking on a 2.5 day adventure into learning about Web 2.0 and what they can do with those tools in their classes. Yes, I realize that clickers are not Web two-point-oh-ish, but they were useful in gathering info about the crowd. Here are a few things that I found interesting. 1) At the beginning of the conference (when the slides were captured), 56% of the group did not have an account at any of the following: Skype, SlideShare, Twitter, UStream, or Zoho. By the end of the coference I’m sure that everyone had accounts with at least some of those services. Ditto for several other tools. 2) Only 22% feel well-versed in web accessibility issues. 3) No one (except me) in the group had read the Cluetrain Manifesto (they need to).

One slide (#5) got messed up when uploading the PPT slides to SlideShare. This happens occasionally when text wraps to a second line in SlideShare even thought it didn’t do that in PPT. It’s always a good idea to not run your text too close to the edge of the slide if you are going to upload into SlideShare. Maybe I’ll get that fixed, and maybe I won’t.

Microsoft Vista – The End of an Era

Alas, this will likely be my last Vista rant. I gave it several second chances, stuck with it a few months longer than could be expected of any rational person, about seven months in total. In the end it just wore me down to the point where I decided it was time to upgrade my OS – to Windows XP.

Vista Sucks comic strip

That’s a pretty good cartoon (cite at bottom). Yep, I’ve never been so close to leaving Microsoft completely as I am right now. Not sure that Mac is the answer that I’m looking for, but I do want to learn more about Linux on the desktop.

I’m not going to bore you with the whole story, which actually starts back on my old blog with posts about 1) it can’t find the disk drives, 2) no driver available for a very popular digital video cam, and 3) just general Vista suck-i-ness. Then I quit posting about it because I didn’t want to turn into one of THOSE bloggers.

So here’s the latest (and final) edition. I was in Tennessee last week for a 3 day Web 2.0 summer institute. At the end of the first night I decided to answer affirmatively to Windows Update which was literally begging me to install SP1 to make my Vista experience so much more pleasurable. Now I knew that there had been plenty of issues with installing SP1 in the previous months, but those just had to be resolved since they have had so much time to fix it and there’s no way that Microsoft would let Windows Update automatically push out to me something that was going to cause problems. Right?! Of course not.

I realize that installing a major Windows Update in the middle of a 3-day workshop is the height of stupidity. Actually, I think it’s just short of the top of the mountain. At the top of the stupid mountain sits Microsoft who continues to push out crappy (even damaging) product updates and somehow expect the users to figure out what will work and what won’t. So who’s the most stupid? Me, or Microsoft? That’s a rhetorical question.

Again I will spare you the details. Let’s just say that I was never able to boot my computer again during the last two days of workshops when I was making five presentations. After I returned home I had one of our very skilled (seriously) technicians get Vista up and running again. That lasted about half a day and then I am met with the blue screen of death and several problems such as no wireless driver any more and a whole multitude of other problems. Imagine how bad this would be for someone who doesn’t have a staff of I.T. folks in his own department.

Finally, we decide that it is not the worth the huge number of labor hours that are going to be required to possibly get Vista running properly again. Tomorrow morning I will have my convertible laptop/tablet back in my possession – running a bright and shiny installation of Windows XP. Still, I know that XP is not the long-term answer (although they are now promising support until 2014) so I will continue to evaluate options that will eventually lead me off Microsoft OS platforms altogether.

“There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” If that reference doesn’t mean anything to you, then you’re the only person in the connected world who hasn’t seen this. That same sentiment perfectly sums up my attitude right now about the Redmond Demon.

Photo/comic courtesy of mringlein, Creative Commons licensing, Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic

Closing Keynote – Michael Grant

Michael Grant, Professor of Instructional design & Technology at the University of Memphis is the closing keynote speaker to at the TBR e-Learning Summer Institute on Web 2.0. Michael is the director of the Advanced Instructional Media Laboratory. The title of his presentation is Teaching & Learning with Web 2.0 – Purposeful, Promising Potentially Precarious.

Open separate window for CoveritLive notes and comments (starts at 9 AM central)

Final Day at TBR08

Today will be the end of the Tennessee Board of Regents e-Learning Summer Institute about Web 2.0 at the University of Memphis. This has been a blast, much as I expected it to be when I first heard about it from Gary Storts of TBR. Gary called to offer me the opening keynote for the institute and asked if I might do a breakout session or two later that same day. The implication was that I would come in for the activities on Wednesday (day 1) and then go back home. They offered me a speaking fee plus expenses which I readily accepted. I think I caught him a bit by surprise when I asked him whether it would be OK for me to stay for the rest of the institute. I offered to do more of the hands-on workshops and that they wouldn’t have to pay me any more money. I wanted to stay because I knew it would be a great opportunity to be immersed in Web 2.0 for three days with like minded people.

Me in the Zone

Let’s just say that it has been everything I hoped it would be and then some. The photo above (courtesy ofThe Zone at U of Memphis Gary Storts) is from the keynote in THE ZONE, which is is this very cool Star Wars-like lecture hall (at right). The best part of all has been the people, There have been about 70 people in attendance and I have got to know many of them and all of them have been incredibly nice and fun and engaged. Our hosts here at the University of Memphis have been wonderful and the TBR staff has been a joy to work with.

For the record, I’m sure some people (back home anyway) are mainly concerned about the financial side of this event. Before you need to speculate (any more than you already have), I have taken annual leave from my college in order to spend this time in Tennessee. That’s the rule, before I can accept any money personally for events like this I have to ask for and receive permission from my boss and also taken vacation days while I’m gone from campus.

Cover it Live – Clarence Maise

Clarence is the keynote speaker for Day Two of the TBR e-Learning Summer Institute on Web 2.0 hosted at the University of Memphis. WordPress won’t allow embedded windows as I would normally do with Cover it Live – so click the link below to open a new window. You can follow along as I comment on his presentation and you can add your own comments as well.

Open Cover it Live Window