Friday, June 18, 2010

Meeting today with Peter at Starbucks

Dear blog,

Just met with my boss Peter today and here are some notes from our meeting.

First of all, we decided to push back the decision of who to award the contract to to June 25th, 2010. I informed Peter that Wagner James Au may have some recommendations of other designers that he knows of that would build and design for our island for the price that we wanted. Peter also wanted me to email the bids from the previous designers we are looking at plus the links to designers' portfolios. I also have to give Peter the name of one of the designer's businesses to see if we are able to send a PO to her without it raising any concerns to the people in charge of the grant.

On a side note, I also have to get Peter the number of attendees for the two COE recruitment events we held inworld. Peter also mentioned that he needed help on 2 workshops at Punahou, July 9th, 8 AM-9:20, 10:30-12noon where we will teach high school teachers about Second Life.

After discussing the development of the SL island, I talked about my article for AECT with Peter. I basically want to use the CAL model of Adult Learning Theory for my paper. However, I need to find out how to overlap it with Sherry Turkle's theory. Is there any overlap? Read Turkle and integrate the two and see if I can salvage my questions.

Also, I'll probably focus my research on just students who are taking classes in regards to the identity (characteristics part) and then focus on faculty for the learning part. In other words, do faculty take these characteristics into consideration when designing instruction for virtual environments. Also are there any instruments used to test CAL model? Surveys, etc... I need to look at the Personal and Situation characteristics of the SL student user. I need to ask Faculty what characteristics affect their desgin for instruction in SL? Is there a correlation between personal characteristics and situational characteristics? And how does the CAL model affect the design for learning within the MUVE?

I need to then review this then with Ellen and see if I have to redo the comps or not. If I have to do my comps again, I might consider designed based research instead. Possibly 2 iterations if I do it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

CAL model

Dear blog,

I met with one of my advisers yesterday and I would have to say that it went quite well. When I talked to him, I stated that I wanted to use K.P. Cross' Characteristics of Adult Learners (CAL) model as a theoretical framework. He said that the model is relatively new and he was not sure that it had been used in much research. However, if I am able to demonstrate that other researchers have extensively used it since it's creation in 1981. Then, I could possibly use it for my study. My adviser suggested that I use the "Social Science Citation Index" from 1982 and ask Susan Johnson, the education librarian at Hamilton.

If I do not find a lot of research regarding that model, he suggested using a similar model by Albert Bandura that goes a little like this environment --> behavior --> personality, but in a triangle looking format instead.

He also suggested that I look at the bigger picture of my study (what I am trying to find out --> how to effectively design a Second Life learning environment where University of Hawaii students and faculty can learn in) and how it connects to my dissertation (how the identity of UH students and faculty affect their learning).

Furthermore, he suggested that I mention the limitations of my study in regards to the type of education and economic status of the population I am look at.

I did change one my research questions as well. This time, #1 is "What do the affordances in Second Life provide to MUVE users?" I believe. I need to double check on that.

Finally, he states that I need to create a hypothesis in a sense. In other words, I predict that UH MUVE users are mainly local from various ethnic backgrounds within Hawaii, are both male and female, and are diverse regarding their ages from 18-50. Also that there is a 50/50 split of faculty verses students who use Second Life from UH. However, I am not sure of that, and I would like to test that out.

That's it from yesterday. I didn't work on my dissertation today, but I will tomorrow.


Friday, May 7, 2010

What I need to do for the summer

  • I need to Google "Online learning and virtual identity"
  • Look at the 605 list Peter gave me regarding which journal I should publish in.
  • Choose journal I want to publish in.
  • Consider IEEE transactions
  • Come up with a theoretical framework (paragraph what the theory is about how the theory is linked with the research questions (what is, what should be, how to propose to bridge the gap and the reserach questions).
  • See how the journals are theoretically driven
  • Consider how much time do I spend on my dissertation? spend about a consistent amount of time on the dissertation, e.go, Monday-Friday 2 hours a day on dissertation --> Goals, or 4 hours a day - dissertation and 4 hours a day - GA job

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Second Life island timeline

Dear blog,

I apologize for not writing for awhile. Don't know where the time flies. Anyway, here's what I need to do for my GA job.
  1. May 10th -Create a proposal for the new COE island and send it to Peter.
  2. May 17th - Finalize proposal (with island sketches, explanation, and timeline) and send it out to the 3 potential builders. Ask for quote by June 1st.
  3. June 5 - Award contract to chosen builder.
  4. Mid June to mid July - Builder works on College of Education island
  5. End of August - Get approval from SL COE advisory board
  6. September - Debut the new College of Education island.
Hope I can get it all done! My mom will be visiting me in the meantime. Plus, I need to get my proposal done. Sigh.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Notes from today

Hi blog,
Today I met with the head of my committee who gave me some great advice on updating my methodology. Here's a few things I need to do.

  1. Instead of using the words "The researcher," change it to "I"
  2. Do not use the phrases "I believe" or "I think." If I am not sure about a particular statement I make, back it up with "so and so answers this by" etc... (use references and citations). Or say "this method has been used by others such as..."
  3. For my lit review say in the beginning "This lit review is about (in general). The next three sections are...
  4. For my research design, I need to talk more about what a digital ethnography (field notes) is and that it will be in Second Life accompanied by interviews and surveys of the actual people. (Research methodology)
  5. Theoretical framework: Talk about identity also in the literature review. I need to put in a diagram showing the framework (or create one and include it in the methodology).
  6. I need to include a section on "role of the researcher" after the "Participants and Sites" section.
  7. State I am using the constant comparative method for data analysis. My coding will be based on concepts from the framework. (note: I asked Peter what method he called his and he said there wasn't a name for it, just basic plain organizing LOL).
  8. State whether I will be coding throughout the research process or if I will code that in the end. If I code throughout then the framework could change. Look at Chris' dissertation.
  9. Fill out course sheet of what I took and when. Email Ellen, if I can't find the course sheet.
  10. I need to fix the normal text in my proposal. Go to Normal --> Modify style --> Format --> Paragraph --> Double (line spacing) --> First line (line and page breaks) make sure it is check marked. Click ok
  11. Then change "Heading 1" by going to "Modify style," paragraph, special:none, spacing: Before "0" and After "0". Line and page breaks, make sure "Keep with next" is checked. Make it bold.
  12. Format document Header is 1"
  13. Go to Insert --> Header --> Footer/alignment footer # left. I think...
  14. Use Adobe Acrobat to skip pages and put the abstract and signature document in the dissertation. Signature page is actually hard copy and separate from the PDF.
  15. For the Chapter headings, use Shift + return when separating Chapter III and METHODOLOGY onto separate lines.
  16. Do video for Peter.
  17. Consider qualitative research course during the summer 6 weeks total.
  18. Work on PowerPoint for tomorrow, possibly do it in Second Life
  19. I want to defend in May

Friday, March 26, 2010

Notes from today's meeting with Peter (Starbucks)

GA Job work
  1. Might have to follow up with Margit/Deborah (training). Wait for Peter's response
  2. Follow up with Ari on our workshop on the SL workshop on the 8th…
  3. Reminder in April: COEDSA (9th), CESA (14th)
  4. Have a table out in the College of Ed: week of the 21st (11:30 AM) ( 27th evening 3:30-4:00. Prepare - Flyers for the table/banner/improve signage
  5. Advisory board meeting: April 7 (10-11)
  6. Revise map - Replace pictures with Second Life screenshots/hut structure for the classrooms. Screenshots of Mark's group's hale. Spoke wheel path around the island. This should be done before I leave.
  7. King Kamehameha land markers for navigation/teleport signs/outrigger (similar to RL in Hawaii)
  8. Write up -Propose a code of conduct for the island, privileges of where they can build. This should be done before I leave. Email Peter revisions and suggested privileges.
  9. Before I leave - Prep work April 8th, temporary router set up with Malia's group (8th) for training
  10. After Ari emails the announcement, forward the email announcement regarding training to COEDSA, Siobhan (email Peter
  11. Email Yoko about announcement as well.
690 tasks
  1. Conference proceedings (6-7 pages); separate from journals
  2. Journal articles 10-15 journal article (look at which one I want to submit to
  3. I need to review academic journals in the edtech field. 3 most recent issues of a journal to get a feel, qualititatve/quanititaivte, k-12 or higher education, in other words, what's their theme/preference?
  4. Give Peter a 690 update on April 7th (this means work on it before I leave!!!)

Monday, March 22, 2010

ETEC 750 Reading - Book Club

Dear blog,

Last week for the Book Club, we read Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology by Allan Collins and Richard Halverson. The book took a positive look at technology through recent education history in America to what it currently is right now. It does address some of the criticisms of technology today, but overall keeps the view of technology in the book to a positive.

Although some of the aspects of the book I did not exactly agree with, I did like the upbeat tone of the book. Many of the higher education writings about technology today focus too much on the negative deterministic driving of technology in our society and not so much on how technology can move us in a positive direction. Another aspect of the book that I did enjoy was the history of technology in our current education system. I am a big history fan, so that part made my day. I learned a lot about the start of our current education system and how it slowly came from parents being the main stakeholders in their children's education to the government creating public schools to ensure that the country's citizens were educated enough to vote.

Overall, though, I believe the two parts of the book that will help me the most with my current research is the section on "Interaction" (pg. 18) and "Games and Simulation" (pg.20). The authors state "Enthusiasts believe that by providing even more sophisticated dynamic interaction, computer-based learning environments are likely to make education much more engaging." This helps with my argument about the future of distance education using more immersive technologies to help their students learn. Also, the authors say "Enthusiasts argue that simulation is the key to letting learners explore new situations." Both need for immersion and simulation is recommended by distance educators, and virtual environments (which I am researching) helps with that. I believe that the use of technology in distance education does affect their learning to a point. I plan to write more about that later.

In conclusion, I enjoyed reading most of the book and found it helpful as well as informative. I plan re-visit the book sometime again and look over the arguments that the authors make. In the end, I found it quite interesting.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Feedback from last night

Dear blog,
Last night I was the guest speaker at Dr. Bail's EDEP 768C class. They were a great class to talk to and I was able to get some nifty feedback. See below...
  • MIT press series - Buckingham article on identity (3 types)
  • Hours they have been on
  • Add age of learners
  • Revise #4 - Informal vs. formal learning
  • Were they introduced by someone else vs. learned from a tutorial vs. entered SL on their own? Makes a big difference!
Now time to answer emails and get my list taken care of for today!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

To do list this week...

  1. COE open house movie. highlights - 10 minute video by next time… (before April 1)-Do a Screenflow video of COE island and new signs. Coming soon… Fall 2010), and comparison shot old building versus coming soon new building…
  2. Double check with COEDSA . wired projector Internet access, where it's going to be...
  3. Send a notice to Nick, we want to try out the jeopardy board for Fall 2010 and for COE open house...
  4. Tell Peter whether I can come April 14. Tell CESA, April 14… email Milli
  5. Advisory board - Redo the mockup. Incorporate photos into mockup
  6. COE SL open house - Speakers - Teaching as a career. why I choose to go into teaching, highlights going through the teaching program at COE, practicum, advice for people considering a career in teaching… Alumna experience perspective (ME), GET FIT, Curtis Ho
  7. - Promote: modify notecards. - Marketing: Ask Si and Nick about connections to target audience... Talk to Nick and Stephen about how they found about the UH COE council
  8. Email Elle back
  9. Send Peter email about meeting about 690 and redoing mock up over Spring break
  10. Write blog post for readings for ETEC 750 tonight
  11. Change dentist appointment date
  12. Look at Peter's PPT's

Monday, March 15, 2010

Two videos

Here are 2 YouTube videos I want to keep for reference.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ideas for future UH SL events...

1. Instead of dancing, how about a coffee hour where they have to introduce themselves to someone they don't know, and talk about their research or studies.


Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education

From UH Virtual Education

Today I went to one of the sessions at the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education online conference. There were so many sessions to choose from. Many of the ones I wanted to go to were overfilled. I ended up going to the "A Case Study of Using Second Life Simulation to Enrich Nursing Curriculum: Best Practices" session, which was quite interesting as well, even though I am not in nursing.

After going to the VWBPE I am thoroughly convinced that Second Life is no where near "down the tubes" like everyone in the media is saying. Although businesses have pulled out of it, educators and educational organizations are still inworld and using Second Life for a variety of classes, networking, and professional development. I think it is going to be here to stay but is evolving into something different than what it was a few years ago.

It's too bad that the UH Second Life St. Patrick's Day party overlaps with the VWBPE event, but oh well, you can only do so much. I forgot that the VWBPE was on the same day. I'm sure we can still get enough people to come to Diane's presentation. Just will have to advertise aggressively right before the presentation.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

8 days later...

Dear blog,
I seem to be writing less and less in here, but I am sure that will change once I start getting more feedback for my dissertation proposal. Speaking of my proposal, yesterday, I actually got my margins and headings down for the chapters. Hooray! I've been putting that off for so long. And then this morning I worked on revising the draft by moving a few things around. Surprisingly, Ellen got back to me in regards to feedback rather quickly. Looks like I only have to do a few more things for Chapter 1 before I'm almost done. Hooray!

As for today for my job, I went with my boss Dr. Peter Leong to the Hawaiian School of Knowledge to get inspiration for the possible design of the new College of Education virtual campus in Second Life. We were fortunate to have Rochelle Pi'ilani Ka'aloa give us a tour of the school. We especially liked the open air atmosphere the school provided through the architecture of the buildings. A lot of the artwork around the school was provided by former students who had gone on to become artists. The school really had a great cultural "sense of place." One of the main parts of the school was the Lo'i or taro patch. It had many spaces where students and faculty could meet in the open. It also had Wii-Fi which was a plus :) I'll try to include some pictures here, once I get them into my computer. We are hoping to design the island similar to the Hawaiian School of Knowledge in addition to the College of Education.

The next step in this project is to look up the Punalulu Virtual Lo'i and check out their site for further inspiration. Then, I have to contact COEDSA, CESA, and Get FIT to ask if they want Peter and I to do a presentation of the virtual campus or if they want to collaborate with us on the virtual campus before we create it.

This afternoon I was going to work on my survey questions for the article I was writing, but Peter said that we should take a break this week since we worked so hard getting the article in last week.

Tonight, I'm going to meet with Ellen and my dissertation support group. Hopefully we can help each other out tonight. I'm looking forward to it!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Meeting with Peter today

Hi Everyone,

Today, I met with my adviser one more time before I submit my article to AECT. I really am surprised at how quick he actually reviewed and critiqued my article. I emailed it to him at midnight and he had it reviewed by 7 AM in the morning. Here are some of the suggestions he made.
  1. Change the title. It's now Identity and the Education Community in Multi-user Virtual Environments.
  2. I need to email 2 different types of abstracts to him. The short 75 word one and the 1,000 word one, that I will eventually submit to AECT. When I actually do register for AECT, I need to choose the AECT/SL special interest group as the category.
  3. Change the opening header to "Introduction." Change a few words within that particular paragraph. At the end of that paragraph, add information from Sam's case study. (If I cannot find the case study, email Peter). Include information about other classes taught at the University of Hawaii such as Barbara's class, Diane Nahl's class, and the other psychology professor he mentioned.
  4. Change the second section's title. Call it "Problem/Need for study."
  5. Take out the entire next section called ETEC 649.
  6. Call the next section Methodology.
  7. The next section after that would be called Analysis and Findings.
  8. In this section, put in quotes that states how I came to this particular conclusion.
  9. Include statements from the Diehl and Prins study about general Second Life users.
  10. Label the next section Conclusion and Implications.
  11. See other comments for details
I need to get all of this into Peter by tomorrow. I cancelled my massage. Have to get at it later during the week. Hopefully, I'll have enough time to complete my readings by then for tomorrow's class. Oh, and download the pictures from Faye. And NO meeting on Thursday with Peter.


P.S. - At a later time and date, rearrange your survey questions into a graph, match them up to your research questions and then change them accordingly. Consider possibly turning them into Likert scale questions. However, that would make your study a mixed method study. Not sure if I want to do that.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Committee Meeting for COE Second Life Island

Hi blog!

Today we had a meeting in Wist 234 with our development committee for the COE island. We initially thought of designing the island like this...

However, we got some great feedback from the committee about our initial design.
  1. The Hawaiian museum should not be a museum since the Hawaiian culture isn't "history," it's alive and well. Instead it should be more like an open air Halau. Students can sit around the Lo'i. Holo exhibits were mentioned.
  2. Places all over the island should contain more open air meeting spaces, not stuffy buildings and classrooms.
  3. The island needs to have a welcome center with information about the different locations around the island and directions to these places. Comfortable, sense of place, welcoming, easy to find. It would be nice if someone was there all the time to answer any questions someone might have about the island or COE specific programs.
  4. It would be nice as a place for children to come to, a place for family connection. Also, a place for connection with the lab school and a places where children and Youth are represented.
Some good ideas! Any other suggestions for the island? Feel free to post them in the comments area of this blog post :)


Monday, February 22, 2010

ETEC 750 readings - Week 5

Dear blog,

We had a lot of readings for class week, but I managed to read the majority of them. Overall, the readings spoke about the different types of philosophies surrounding technology's integration into education and how these philosophies were viewed by others throughout the history of modern education. Each philosophy basically asks how (or to what extent) educational organizations should incorporate technology into learning. This issue is not clear cut in that sometimes too much technology is used in the classroom and is feared by some to have replaced instructors in the classroom, yet others see technology as a supplement when teaching and not necessarily a replacement for instruction. In addition, the readings stated that instructional design philosophy is very fluid and changes constantly.

I believe that these readings are particularly helpful, especially to me, since we all need to describe our philosophy of education (aka our theoretical lens) within our dissertations in order for the readers of the dissertation to know what biases we may have when conducting our research. I especially need to re-think my personal philosophy since it has changed quite a bit over the years. Still not sure what I am in particular. When I first started out, I took on a more isomophistic viewpoint. Nowadays, I believe myself to be more of a social cognitivist. However, I'm still thinking about it.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Goals for today

Hi blog,
I just met with my adviser Peter this morning for 690. I got a lot of good advice from him and I'll try to get my article to where it is suppose to be. He made a good point about creating a graph with 4 columns: Statements, Research questions, survey Questions, and Answers. And I will incorporate this into my analyzation of the data I received.

I am having a hard time with my dissertation though. I want to study one thing, but keep getting asked the same question over and over again: why is this (what you are studying) relevant? In return, I would have to ask, "Does relevancy really matter in these studies? What if you know that what you are studying is relevant but can't explain why? What if that point of relevancy won't exist for another few years? " Just rambling. I like what I am studying, it's just putting my finger on it's relevancy or putting it into words is hard for me. Frustrated again. Should have I stuck with something safer? Something I knew that I wouldn't necessarily be interested in, but would not provide so much frustrations?

I have a meeting at 3 PM for the Second Life committee. I am sure that will go well. In the meantime, I am going to clean my room. And then work on my 690 article either after the meeting or tomorrow.


Monday, February 15, 2010

ETEC 750 readings - Week 4

Last week I didn't have to do any readings for class. However this week, our class read Technology Matters: Questions to Live With by David E. Nye. No, not Bill Nye the Science Guy, although I thought the book was by him when I first looked at the cover.

The first chapter of Technology Matters was hard to read I have to admit. I kept having to put it down every so often because I couldn't concentrate on Nye's historical accounts of how cultural created technology instead of technology creating cultural, as society usually presumes. It's not that the first chapter was filled with superfluous academic discourse or that the words were tiny with no breaks in between paragraphs. Plus, I am a fan of history, so I thought I would be somewhat captivated by it. It was just that the chapter didn't seem like a story. It was mostly a stating of facts, not necessarily a linear narrative of how society or societies got to a certain point in their history.

However, when I arrived at the second chapter, I really got into his book because I am a fan of studying and critiquing the oh-so-famous concept of technological determinism. I first encountered the term back when I was taking a Rhetoric and Technology class for English back in my undergraduate days. Plus, the chapter had somewhat of a narrative format which I enjoy reading. It was also after reading this chapter that I realized that I needed the information from Chapter 1 to fully appreciate what Nye was talking about in Chapter 2.

Chapter 2 as well as the rest of the chapters after that were Nye's case against technological determinism. His main argument was similar to that of Chapter 1, that people, society, and their culture determine the adoption and distribution of technology. He also indirectly showed how one culture's technology doesn't necessarily "work" for another culture even though they may have the same problem that this particular problem. I also liked how he gave examples of how society often uses technology in ways that it wasn't originally intended for.

What I found most interesting was how Nye described how certain technologies come about in that inventors often "discover" their inventions and people explain the concepts behind these inventions rather than the other way around, where the inventors understand certain concepts and then "create" inventions out of them. Another factoid that I found interesting from the chapters is how companies would try to "feminize" products to make them appeal to the female consumer, but have little success in selling them even though they did this. I like how he explains how gender often plays a role in technology, but it is through culture that the gender role within the use of this technology is perpetuated.

Overall, I found this book a good read. It does make a solid case against technological determinism which I hadn't considered before. I mainly heard from fellow professors regarding how technology shaped our culture, but rarely heard the argument on how we shape technology. It is somewhat like the Matrix movies. Even though technology has taken over the world, it still represents itself in the form of human beings, at least within the Matrix. Will technology eventually gain a mind of its own and adapt to our culture or will it change our culture once and for all? Hard to say. I think I'm more on the side of humans shaping technology rather than on the "technological determinism" side, but I can see valid points from both sides. I think the human being is still too complex to ever be replaced by computers. Simply, computers and machines are an extension of ourselves but not necessarily a replacement.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Today was a busy day

Dear blog,

Today was a busy day today. I woke up a little earlier than I usually do and went to work to help out with the commercial we are working on today with Gary and Monica. We recorded footage off of Second Life. That took almost half the day. The other half I am taking care of emails and working on a PowerPoint for tonight's class.

Going to class in 2 hours. I'm going to grab my early dinner right now.


Monday, February 8, 2010

(In the near) future goals

1. Work on church website
2. Update my Google Pages site on my dissertation.
3. Update my official University of Hawaii page (I took it down a year and a half ago and need to put it back up)


Hey blog,
Today I watched the Super Bowl and hardly did any work on anything. Oh I did clean my bathroom. Hooray for me! LOL. Well this is what I plan to do for the next 3 days.
  • Prep for Wednesday's class. I need to bring in something to talk about. I think I'll go over strategies I used to prepare for my prospectus and comps. Also, prepare to talk about other studies that are similar to mine, research so far, etc...
  • Email Peter about my article I plan to submit to AERA.
  • Send out SL Valentine's Flyer with corrections, both in-world through groups and on any particular mailing lists I am a part of.
  • Do my taxes.
  • Work on my transcription work for my GA job.
  • Start reading the book club book.
  • Cook dinner
  • Schedule massage
See you tomorrow!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

SL Valentine's Day Social and Conference Paper

Dear blog,
I was planning to submit my new draft of my article to Peter on Thursday. However, I am almost done and wanted to work on it some more so I plan to submit it today. I think Peter is busy for the most part on his vacation, so I think a few days late won't matter too much. I think Peter should enjoy his vacation :)

So today I plan to submit my article draft today. Also I need to work on the flyers for the UH Second Life social and work on what I plan to do for the workshop on relationships in Second Life that will be held during the social. I feel a bit bad too because I keep bombarding my colleague Yoko with ideas about the social and this is her first time chairing one of these things. I hope I don't come on too strong.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

ETEC 750 readings - Week 2

Dear blog,
This week I had several readings to complete. They basically went over Educational Technology theory. After reading these readings, I came to a better understanding of why we read last week's readings. Last week's readings involved the definition of Educational Technology and now the theory part expounds on the definition of Educational Technology in regards to the "why" and "how" of it.

When I first started the PhD program, I had less understanding of why theory was important. However, now I understand that theory helps us understand the viewpoint that we are coming from when we do our research. Our biases are now out in the open and since we are able to admit our viewpoint, we can then proceed with the actual content of the research we are doing without much questioning from our peers. I doubt that NO questioning will occur, but at least some understanding will exist between researcher, peers, and advisers.

Also theory helps us frame our research project. What we intend to find out and how it will occur. In other words, it provides a basis of what we are looking at.

As for the readings, the first two readings basically asked the question, "How does technology affect the way we think and learn?" These two readings provided the framework for the rest of the readings which involved Educational Technology theory. Theory basically does ask the questions "why" something happens or "how." This then went on with the other readings which delved into the various theories possible for use within Educational Technology research.

Overall, I thought that the readings were a good review. I can't say that I have anything critical to say about them. They were more informative rather than controversial. I am looking forward to reading them again, to figure out which "lens" I want to apply to my research project. When I started out in the program, I had already decided on what my lens would be. However, my topic for my research was on videoblogging and not necessarily virtual worlds. I think I will need to apply a different lens. I have read through pretty much all of the articles, but I need to go back and review them again. Once I decide on my lens, I will update you on this blog.

Ideas for the new College of Education island

Dear blog,
Yesterday I met with Monica and Ritsuko about their ideas about the College of Educations island in Second Life. We all brainstormed some nice ideas. Here is a summary of what was suggested.

In General
1. Have a sign outside with upcoming events on the island.
2. Regular College of Education tours
3. CCC library/museum (showcase of what COE researchers have done, grant projects, etc...)
4. Info packet to new visitors (notecard of who we are, code of conduct, and a landmark).

A Place for Socializing
1. Student dormitories (a simulation of the actual ones reserved for College of Education students with information about the program in real life)
2. Coffee house/student-faculty lounge with a bar for drinks, couches and tables for socializing, and a stage for performances (singing, poetry slam, etc...). Low key lighting and carpet.
3. Areas for small meetings - beach area, courtyard area, and reading garden
4. Kennedy Theatre for large performances. meetings
5. Ampitheatre in Diamond Head?

A Place for Students
1. New student orientation area - A place for new students to get information on what to expect at the College of Education
2. Divide the college building (virtual Wist/Everly Hall) into sections with information on each department and the programs they offer (or at least links to their websites)
3. Showcase Area for dissertations and student projects
4. Meeting area for extension/non-credit outreach classes (i.e. - professional development for students)
5. Sandbox area for building

A Place for Faculty
1. Divide it the COE into sections for professors and showcase what they have researched. Have an email link where colleagues and set up appointments and meet with them to discuss about their research.
2. Research area for faculty to conduct research in a virtual environment

A Place for Culture
1. Sculptures, landmarks (i.e. Diamond Head crater, Hawaiian history museum)
2. Classroom under a volcano?, amphitheater in Diamond Head?
3. Bishop museum (some type of partnership with the real life museum) we would showcase some things from the museum.
4. Give visitors the Hawaiian experience. A greeting person that explains basic Hawaiian vocab, (Hawaiian word of the day). Hawaiian curiosity corner (factoid do the day)
5. SL culture - Something that you could do as you are flying or a place you can only get to by flying. Nest area with a great view.

A Place for Possible revenue or sustainability
1. A store on the island selling COE virtual merchandise (i.e. shirts, caps, etc...)
2. Places on the island for other colleges to rent out and use for teaching (i.e. pay fee to helps sustain the island, free for COE faculty)
3. A place to hold fundraisers for educational causes. Linden donations go to educational causes.
4. Donations boxes around the island

Possible events
1. A workshop on researching/how to access research articles
2. Student showcase
3. Have a "demo" class where a professor would teach a class in SL simulating what a "real" COE class is like (for potential students)
4. Dissertation showcase
5. Academic workshops (how to make a website, ePortfolios)
6. Teachers development classes
7. IT support, ask questions time

Other notes:
1. We need to design with this in mind --> General to specific (starting in Second Life and then specifying - we are UH island, what are the purposes of the UH island) --> Conclusion: All it how integrates
2. The thing that runs Second Life is the people, not the environment itself. The environment helps with the socialization/networking process, but does not enable it, as we can see with regular text-only chat rooms or audio conferencing places, i.e. Elluminate.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Working on readings.

Dear blog,
Ok, so I ended up cooking on Sunday, but I did work on the 690 article at the same time and got somewhat of a draft done. Today, I need to do my blog post for 750 class tomorrow and some transcribing work for my GA position. Some of my classmates have to submit their prospectus tomorrow, but I am wonder if I have to do that as well since I already passed my comps. Hmm... guess I'll have to look at the syllabus again.

Becca :)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

General Schedule for the semester

All day - Church/family stuff

All day - work on ETEC 750 work

All day - work on transcription work and Second Life COE island proposal


2 PM - Meeting with Peter for GA job
6 PM - Class time

9 AM - Meet with Peter for 690 for SL meeting
3 PM - Meet with Sam for SL meeting

All day - work on 690 article

All day (except lunch w/dad) - Work on dissertation

Update on article

Yesterday, I worked on arranging my survey data for the article and did analysis on two of the students who took my survey. Wrote the first two paragraphs of the article in the meantime. Now I am doing the rest of the students today and plan to complete my analysis of all students by today. If write up is not finished by today, I plan to go to online church on Sunday and then use of the rest of the day for writing. No cooking on that day. I need to get this done by Monday!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Advice from Dr. Catherine Fulford

1. Buy into what I am doing.
2. Ask, why am I doing this?
3. Every morning, edit and freewrite in your dissertation (in other words, write in your blog each morning you work on your dissertation on what you are going to do with your dissertation for that day).

MY definition of Educational Technology...BAM!

Educational Technology:

"Inquiry into how people learn complex concepts with the tools provided to them whether electronic, paper-based, or through indirect means…. and an exploration of how the outcomes are different among different people groups, location, and situations."

~Rebecca Meeder

I would like a copy of everyone else's definitions as well.

My Committee Members :)

Class time

Dear blog,
I am about to go to class. I bought a wonderful fruit plate from Safeway so I hope other people will partake of it. If not I'm going to bring it home and munch on some fruit. Hopefully the fruit won't be too sour.

Also, my dissertation support group did not show up today at 5 PM much to my dismay. I really thought we would be able to meet each week. However, I know that everyone is busy. Therefore, I guess I'll just participate in the weekly emails we send each other telling each other how each one of us is doing. Zzzzz... LOL j/k. I really hope that we can come to some agreement on meeting together and helping each other out. I really think that it is important. Even if we don't talk with one another in the meeting, we could at least dedicate one hour of our time to writing something for our prospectuses/proposals. We'll see...

Anyway. I'm about to head into class. I am super tired since I have been busy with family business the past 2 days. Thankfully, I've been able to do some work on my downtime.

Talk to you all later!
Becca :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

This week's readings

For class this week, we were required to read for articles that dealt with the definition of "Educational Technology." What I found interesting about these four articles was that they took the critiquing of the definition of Educational Technology from different perspectives. Overall, what the articles proposed was the need to solidify the definition of what Educational Technology is as well as come up with a better monkier in regards to what Instructional Designers "do" for a living. In other words, we need to call ourselves something different besides Instructional Designers in order for others to identify our skill sets better.

For example, in the article "Labels DO Matter! A Critique of AECT's Redefinition of the Field" by Patrick Lowenthal and Brent G. Wilson, the authors took on the perspective of recently graduated Educational Technology majors. They explained their struggle to find jobs or explain to others what their skill set is since the term "Educational Technology" is so loosely defined by the Education community. They also mention the struggle it is to explain to those what they do who aren't necessarily in Education but are in need of their skills such as the business sector, military, and medical fields. In addition, they state that most major job listings who are looking for those in Educational Technology use a variety of terms when posting jobs for instructional designers which only fuels the problem even more.

In the article "Wicked ID: Conceptual Framework for Considering Instructional Design," the author Katrin Becker defines Educational Technology as a wicked problem. What Katrin Becker means is that instructional design fails to often do is solve the problem in one step. Instead, instructional design only takes into consideration one particular problem in one type of environment with only one type of people it's solving the problem for, when in fact the problem often spans across different groups of people and environments, and often requires different solutions due to these factors. In comparison, a tame problem is something that can be easily solved in a few simple steps despite those involved. Overall, what I think Becker is trying to say is that the definition and concept of Instructional Design should be viewed in a more fluid sense and not view every problem as one type of problem.

Furthermore, Rocci Luppicini's article, "A Systems Definition of Educational Technology in Society," the author states that in the past Educational Technology was viewed as instruction through the use of visual media such as television and audio. However, now with the advent of computers and the rise of postmodernistic thought, Luppicini states that we need to take into consideration socio-environmental factors when looking at the system and designing instructional design modules for it. He also states that because of this new consideration, defining Educational Technology itself is somewhat including a more indepth analyzation of the System itself when designing for instruction.

Finally, I read the AECT article (or chapter?) on the current definition of Educational Technology and its need for an update. It also emphasizes the fact that Educational Technology is fluid and the current definition can only reflect the explanation of what EdTech is at that particular time. At the moment, the article suggested that we change many of the terms within the definition. For example, in the revised definition, which states

"Educational Technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources."

The author suggested the revised definition use the word "study" instead of the word "research" in the original version since the word study "implies a broader view of the many forms of inquiry" and "it makes an explicit commitment to ethical practice." In other words, using the word "research" places the field of educational technology in a narrow, cold view of instruction when defined.

Basically, what I got from all of these readings was that the term Educational Technology is constantly changing in definition, more so than other fields of study. The fact that Educational Technology is constantly changing and that society (mostly those from outside of the field) still have no clue what instructional designers are, calls for the fact that we as instructional designers need a more solid definition of what Educational Technology is. I often get this from friends, family members, or acquaintances who inquire about my academic background. When I say that I am getting my degree in Educational Technology they often say "oh so you are working with computers. Like IT right?" Much to my dismay I have to go into a really long definition on what Educational Technology is and sometimes I have to sit back and think about it because the actual definition of "Educational Technology" is not really defined well.

Although I found the articles interesting and related to the vexation the authors had about not having a solid definition of Educational Technology, it begs the question as to why we are reading it for this particular seminar class. Basically, what I see the class as, is a way to help ETEC PhD students with setting up a structure for completion of their dissertation, including choosing committee members, creating a schedule, forming a support group, etc… I do not understand how knowing the definition of Educational Technology would aid in this process. However, I am open to hearing from others who may beg to differ.

Monday, January 25, 2010

My, the days go by fast!

Dear blog,
The last time I wrote in here was last Thursday. Honestly, the days have gone by so fast that I barely remember what I did those past days. However, it's crunch time right now. I have a meeting with my boss on Wednesday, so I need to get some transcription work done and visit at least one college to get screenshots at. Also, I need to download the readings for Wednesday. I plan to read them tomorrow and write a response by tomorrow in this blog. Plus, I still haven't set aside time to work on my dissertation. Thankfully I backed up all my articles and writings on my external, so I think I am good to go. Oh and for 690, I need to analyze my survey results. Whew!
I'll fill you in tomorrow on how I am doing.
P.S. - Our Second Life island arrived last week Wednesday or Thursday. Hurrah!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Met with my advisor

Dear blog,
I met with my advisor, Peter Leong, in world in Second Life today to discuss the goals our 690 class. I told him my main goals was to publish more in order to become a more viable candidate for hire after I graduate. Currently, I only have 3 on my CV and I would like to add more to that number.

What was funny was that our talk eventually segway-ed into talk about my GA job as well. However, for the 690 class, I presented Peter with 3 ideas I had in regards to articles that I could write with him. These ideas included articles about
  • What Sam and I did last semester in regards to weekly meetings in Second Life.What we accomplished and how we set it up: the island’s code of conduct, monthly get-togethers, workshops, etc…
  • The process of designing an island.Either co-write an article with Peter on how we implemented the design process OR create a literature review article on how other academic institutions designed their island.Possible problem: there may not be enough literature on it, so I would have to interview island designers themselves or visit the other islands and take note of their design myself.
  • Other issues in Second Life, not necessarily related to my dissertation, but are mentioned in other articles I am using for my dissertation. These include the process of designing 3D environments for immersion, interaction, and integration; how environment design differs among different subject areas; or strategies for teaching virtual environments (I already wrote a lit review in Marie Iding’s class on this, I could possibly expand on this in an article).
After talking with Peter, we agreed that the first idea I could possibly do on my own with Sam. The next 2 I could do with Peter, but he did mention that I needed to focus on some other items first. These included....
  • Analyzing the results of my survey that I distributed at the end of the summer last year to the students of the ETEC 648 class. I could possibly turn this into an article for publication and use it as a pilot test for my research to include in my methodology. The write up would feature an analysis of survey at the end of class within an extended abstract 750-1000 words only, a look at the initial research questions, quick analysis of what I discovered. In other words what did the research questions answer as well as NOT answer.
  • Finding similar literature on environment design. In other words, designing spaces in the virtual world that would promote interaction, socialization...
As for my GA job. Here's what I need to do.
  • Collate resources from our summer 648 class including the students' annotated bibliography,
  • Train COE faculty on how to use Second Life
  • Finish up transcription work.
  • Organizing another round COE recruitment mid to end of semester
  • Clarify with Sam about how we will distribute prims once both islands are connected (we will probably have our own prims to ourselves, but just needed to clarify)
  • Set up initial advisory board meeting. Find people who would want to be part of our committee. Maybe post an announcement on the COE Facebook or Twitter.
  • For the board meeting, I need to visit other University sims and take screen captures of these sims and provide a brief description of how they are designed. I need to put these screen captures and descriptions in our virtual design blog.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

January's Book Club Book

Note: I apologize in advance for this blog post. The thoughts are disjointed and the grammar is horrible, but I wanted to get my thoughts about the book down quickly before I forget about them for the rest of the day.

Dear blog,
For our book club book this month, we read "Why Don't Students Like School?" by Daniel T. Willingham. Willingham makes several excellent points that I agree with regarding why students don't learn. One of which is that thinking is hard. I mean honestly, why think when you can already get the answer quickly somewhere else? However, he also states that students do like to think as a challenge as long as the challenge presented by the teacher is seen as having the ability to be solved.

Other important points that Willingham makes is that students need to "think" about what they are learning in order for it to go into their long term memory. In other words, students need to spend time and practice what they are learning in order for it to stay in their long term memory, so they can possibly use it later in life. He states many examples and studies that prove this. And I would have to agree with him. I have learned many things in my lifetime and I would have to say that the things that have stuck with me are the things I had to do over and over and over again. Or things that I thought about over and over and over again. That's why we tend to remember movie plots better than abstract concepts taught in school because we spend more time with the characters and story rather than the abstract concept that the teacher only presents us with for 40 minutes in class.

He also goes into using examples when presenting students with a problem and emphasizing the need to give the students something concrete for students to use when explaining abstract concepts. Furthermore, he states that making a lesson like a story (or like a movie) helps students better remember what is being taught, whether it's a history lesson or math lesson. The diagram he has in his book showing the story arch of the beginning of World World II from the Japanese perspective reminds me a little bit of the instructional design hierarchy we learned about in the ETEC master's program.

One other aspect of the book that I like is that he makes an argument against one of the main key points of progressive education. Progressive education emphasizes the need to be all inclusive to ALL cultures in order for students to learn and relate to the material provided. However, Willingham states that that is not necessarily the case. It's the background information that students need and that they need to spend time with in order to learn and for it to be a challenge. I'd have to agree with this. I am Chinese-Caucasian, but I love learning about Japanese and Indian culture. Those cultures are not my own, but I love learning about them because I have spent a lot of time learning about them and have always challenged myself with learning about them.

Overall, I am not sure I would use this book in an Educational Technology class. It is quite useful in regards to teaching in general but specifically for instructional design, I am not sure. It does present some key points that can relate to instructional design (example vs. non-example, using a story like diagram to design a lesson), but overall I cannot say I would use it. I'd have to think about it.

Frustrations abound

Dear blog,

I am so frustrated today. Not only did my gaming computer (which I do some of my work on) crash last night because a griefer in Second Life decided it would be fun to create an explosion inworld where my computer's graphics card and motherboard or whatever it's called would freeze twice, but I get a call from Linden Labs stating that they cannot create the College of Education island right away because they did not receive a ticket from the person who owns the University of Hawaii island, giving permission to place our COE island next to his island. However, the person who owns the UH island stated in an email earlier that he did give permission to Linden Labs. (Just to reiterate, I'm not blaming him, I think really there is a misunderstanding, but I wanted to vent and get this down on record so I don't forget about it later).

The Linden Labs person said that he needs to hit reply on his email to get it sent to the them. Um, what the hey? Plus they mentioned that the person who owns the UH island opened up 2 customer accounts and that they need to merge them. (I have no clue about this, so I'll just leave it). Okay… So basically everything else is okay I think…. Then again the person from Linden Labs was basically speaking over my head about Purchase Orders and invoices and what not. I think I cleared up with her that our main money guy Brian is NOT Peter the professor who is suppose to be in charge of the island, who I think she was confused about. However, the LL person also said that Peter should have received emails that needed replies to. However, I am not sure even if Peter received any emails or not.

(Note: Emails sent to Peter/Brian on Dec 11 & 12, check if these emails have been responded too)

I am just so confused. I think there's too many people involved in this. The Linden Labs person said she would clear it up on her end and I thanked her for that. You know I think they should have just put everything in my name and we should have created our own separate island and when I leave my grad assistant job I would just transfer the island over to Peter. Errrrgh. So frustrating. In addition, I feel really stupid because I have no idea what is going on. Either I'm stupid or Linden Labs needs to figure out how to do their invoicing better. In my position, I try to be the consummate professional, but at times like these, I feel like a kindergardener.

And now i have to blog about the book club book I think. I'll try to do it now. I guess.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Well it's Tuesday and I do not think I have to do a blog entry on the 3 different definitions of ETEC. However, I believe I do have to write about the current book club book. I will probably do this in my next post. Today I am mainly focused on transcribing for my job and getting everything I need for class done tomorrow. I really need to schedule some time during the week to work on my proposal. Thursdays maybe? Not sure. I really just need to sit down and hurry up and think about this...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lazy Sunday

Dear blog,

Today I went on Second Life and church online, talked to my boyfriend on the phone, finished up chapter 2 of the bookclub book and cooked beef stew in my crockpot. The church website is finished and I still haven't touched my room or dissertation. How sad.

I better check on what I need to do for class on Wednesday. I think it's only the bookclub book, but I could be wrong. Oh, just checked. Apparently there are 3 different views of what ETEC is and I need to write about it, I think. I did go over this last time I was in this seminar. Wonder if I have to do it again? We'll see...


Friday, January 15, 2010

My timeline

Dear blog,

This is how I see myself in the next 2 years.

April 2010 - Finish proposal and get it reviewed by committee
Summer 2010 - Complete IRB
Fall 2010 - Enroll in EDUC 800? (The one credit course)
Spring 2011 - Finish my dissertation and graduate.

Whew, I have plenty to do, but if I stay on track then I will have graduated in 4 years! Yay! Keep me accountable ok?

Becky :)

Dear blog...

Hi Everyone,

I think I'm going to write in a "dear blog" format to make this experiment a little more fun. I haven't written here in ages, but I should start to keep a record of my progress.

Anyway, I just came back from Winter break and now starting classes. Classes are going great so far. I'm back with my old classmates (and a few new ones), which is great because I like meeting up with them. We have decided to meet every Wednesday at 5 PM to check in on one another and see how we are doing in regards to our dissertation progress. As for the dissertation itself, our group has decided to write out a timeline of what goals we want to accomplish and when, so that will be in my next post.

Also I am currently reading a book for our monthly book club called Why Don't Students Like School? by Daniel T. Willingham. Very interesting read. If I was going to teach an education foundations class or educational psychology class, I would probably make my students read this book. Not sure if this book would apply to Educational Technology, but I could be wrong. I've only read the first chapter so far, so we'll see.

Today, I plan to work on a few personal things such as my church's website, since I haven't worked on that thing in ages and my Pastor has to keep reminding me. I really need to get my butt in gear and start mapping out my proposal too. Oh but I want to clean my room as well. It's a complete mess and I want to start thinking more clearly (clean room = less stress). We'll see...

Until then,