Friday, November 9, 2012

CEDO 599: Final Program Reflection

End of the Begining

I'd like to thank Louis Loeffler as well as all our other excellent instructors for making this program both enjoyable and enlightening.

When I came into this program I was pretty adept at using technology and that's part of the reason I thought this would be a good program for me. What I didn't know was how to put it all together. I had some ideas but had no conception of how much further you could go. I think the turning point was the course where we studied using Marzano's effective learning strategies with technology. From there, I really understood how this all worked.

Personally, I benefitted from getting the chance to work with a lot of new technology and web apps. in the past I had found a lot of them but rarely did anything more than tinker for a while, never really using it. Now I've had the chance to really test many of them out. I probably have over 150 new accounts at various websites and I've chosen a few favorites.

Professionally, I've learned how to learn in this field. Dubious before about social web apps, I now know how they can be used both academically as well as for professional growth. It's a lot easier for me to be introduced to or find new information to keep up with the times. Also, the introduction and reference to a lot of resources I didn't know existed has given me a much larger hat to pull tricks out of.

I think the course I enjoyed most was Digital Storytelling. Besides being such an enjoyable topic, I improved both my graphic skills and my project organizational skills. The most frustrating course was  Leadership. Frustrating because of my present employ and my powerlessness to implement most of the ideas and concepts. I am glad however to have learned how to be an effective leader (when I get the chance).

I didn't really view the Portfolio as a course but rather used it as an opportunity to create something unique that I'll really be able to use in my job search. I'd like to keep it but don't relish the idea of transferring it to my private account, along with all the supporting documents, graphics and relinking everything so it works again. It would have been nice to have been able to create it in our media and account of choice. I do hope it may help me to get a new job because I'm more than ready to begin doing what we've been trained to do (it's not going to happen where I work now).

1 Educational Technology Integration Specialist

(Maybe I should tattoo that on my forehead.)

It's time to take a break now and spend more time with the kids and wife. Maybe I'll be back in a bit to work on a WI DPI Technology Coordinator Certificate (92).

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

CEDO 565 Week 6:

I've never really sought out to be a leader but have always been comfortable doing the work. I've made plans in my head and some partially on paper (or silicon) for a few different business ideas I've had. I can see more now that if I'd ever move on any of my grand schemes, I'd have to be a great leader for it to be successful. Though the text was primarily about being a teacher leader in a K-12 setting, the principles are the same.

I don't know if my definition of leadership has changed but my understanding of it has. I didn't really think about it until now, but my position of Teacher Trainer in the Taiwan ESL school was a teacher leader role, though a formal one and not a more informal one as discussed in the book. At the time, I did a lot of the things mentioned in the text to facilitate improvement but not necessarily system wide change. Thinking about it now, I suppose I could have taken a more leadership role within the Teacher Trainer staff/community and discussed and initiated changes. It wasn't in my blood back then.

My opinion of my leadership potential has probably changed mostly because of the role of Administrator I've had for the past 2-3 years. I've learned a lot about clerical/administrative processes and procedures but have not either taken or been given larger "leadership" responsibilities and tasks. Although my knowledge of what is necessary at the "top" is greater, through this course I have procured a larger toolbox with a larger hammer to nail the role of leader.

I haven't had time to do a lot of formal anything with teachers or students at my school. My butt and brain get more tired than my feet. However, in thinking about some of the things that the book has been talking about I realized that there are things that I can and should do even in my limited capacity of workhorse administrator.

Yesterday, a K5 student who is constantly in the office because of [ insert behavior here ] was in the office again in the afternoon. The teacher however pointed out to me that he had had a really good morning. I made it a point to praise and commend him on the morning and encouraged him to keep it up and to try for a whole day. I'm not out on the floor a lot but I do travel through the school to do this or get that. Today I made it a point to tell a lot of the teachers that I want to assume the role of "good" cop. Whenever you see me, tell me something good that an otherwise difficult student has done and I'll praise and encourage them. A good morning or a good afternoon, a good period or a good assignment, whatever. This is one of the little things that I can do in passing to initiate positive change.

I do agree with the book about improving education from within. Yes, if everyone picks up a piece and puts it in place after turning and twisting it a bit to make it fit. Or perhaps picking up a piece and throwing it away. However, external, personal, societal and other factors are a large piece that factor in as context. Physical and intellectual resources and support that come from outside also play a large role for improvement as well. Change from within can only happen when the other pieces fit in place as well.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

CEDO 565 Week 5: The Change Process

The past two weeks during class we played a simulation game that revolved around the Change for Improvement Process in a K-12 setting. First off, playing the simulation online was a very good experience and gave a good example of what can be done with an online class. Second, the simulation was actually fun to play as well as being very insightful and informational about the change process. The frustrations were real. The successes gave us the feeling of "Finally! Results!" Having the end of game wrap up example sheet that outlines the process without playing the game wouldn't have been as enlightening. Looking at it now after playing the game I understand much better about how the change process can occur successfully. Substituting a High School English Department Chair with Vice President of Marketing you can adapt the process to business or other institutions.

Some rights reserved By JWILLOME

I've not been involved in a change for improvement process before. My present workplace is a very small private school and does not have many of the ingredients of the average K-12 public school system or even larger private school institutions. Many of the traditional elements of organization and of change just don't apply to where I am now. Never mind a thousand other contexts, conditions and variables, there are elements of the change process that I could use at my school, difficult as it may be.

Throughout most of this program, with the course of study and work we have done, I've been able to adapt it if necessary to fit my present situation. This leadership course however has been very frustrating to me because so many of the items covered and discussed do not apply in one context or another at my school. Frustrating also because the topics we are talking about are the things most needed at my school but the reality of setting them in place lies on Jupiter somewhere.

If and when I secure a position somewhere else, I feel I am better prepared to take a position of leadership for change. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

CEDO 565 Week 4: Teamwork & Change

This whole leadership thing is so hard to talk about in relation to my present employ. If you've picked up on anything I've talked about over the last year and a half you should have some idea. Rather, I'll talk about two contrasting change events that I wrote about for our Analysis of Change and Planning for Change assignment.

In both instances, I was in a leadership role, but of differing capacities and level of power. Both took place at a private English Language school in Taiwan.

Planning for Change:
Description: The addition of over 1000 new lesson plans and activities for 11 levels of English conversation classes for ESL teachers and students at Taiwan’s largest adult private English Language School (16 locations). I was the technical and writer’s team supervisor.

This project was headed by my best friend of many years and colleague. His ideas, decisions and leadership were well respected by our boss and he was/is an effective leader. This project was his idea and he pretty much had free reign with it after approval by our boss, the company president.

Because my friend was a good planner and leader, this project was very successful. Working together as a team on this we all collaborated, discussed, modified and helped each other. Decisions were a group effort because our experience and input were valued and respected.

In the end, our schools got a lot of new material as well as awareness and training. Teachers and students at these schools are most likely still using some of these materials.

Analysis of Change:
Description: Planning, Development, Preparation and (near) Implementation of a Blended ESL program at the same English Language School in Taiwan. I was director of the program.

This project began almost immediately after the above project was ending. I gathered many of the same team members together to work on this project. Our work as a team followed the same general course as the previous project. I learned from my friend how to make these things work.

The difference was that the curriculum project was headed by an effective leader whereas this blended learning project was ultimately headed by our boss, the company president. Similar to my present situation, he micro-managed many aspects of the project. He also was ill informed about technical and pedagogical issues related to the project. He often refused to listen to and accept sound advice but rather acted unilaterally according to his whims.

The president's method of leading and managing the project delayed, postponed and ultimately resulted in the program never taking off, wasting a lot of time, effort and money.


I'm glad that I have had the opportunity to work on, with and lead successful teams. It makes me frustrated now where I am powerless to lead more effectively because of the context of leadership higher up. A positive result of working with ineffective leaders is that you know what not to do.

Monday, September 3, 2012

CEDO 565 Week 3: Reluctant Authority

Reluctant Authority:

I've been placed in a position of leadership that I didn't want. It's not that I shy away from leadership, just that I don't want this particular leadership position. Unfortunately (or so I seem to think), neither a new position nor a replacement has been made available at this time. Last year, I protested my position by not doing any actual leading but instead, doing work, work, work that needed to be done. Never mind the fact that the work needed to be done and that I only worked 1/2 time, I didn't go out of my way to lead. The school bumbled along just as it has in the past and I kept busy putting out fires.

Though my replacement isn't at hand I do have hope because there are now a couple of staff that I can train and hand over some of my work to, both clerical and administrative. I pray this will happen.

In thinking about the situation at my school I've come to the conclusion that as long as I am still there, I need to forget about thinking that my boss will change in such a way as to make dramatic changes in what happens at my school. I've now decided that as long as I'm there, I need to take on a larger leadership role to effect change that is within possibilities.

Image By: The Thinking Doll

Without much of a choice in the matter, I had to write a 5-year plan for our accreditation agency. It wasn't a team effort. There aren't enough people to form teams. Everyone else, including my boss, was up to their ears in other things. So, I've got this baby of an improvement plan. It's not too bad. It's needed. It's all my idea. Now I've got to run with it, with mostly an entirely new teaching staff not to mention mostly new students as well.

I like the idea in chapter 4 of the book about introducing programs with the benefits derived, not the details of the program itself. The benefits of successful implementation of the  5-year plan are potentially awesome and in a nutshell; resemblance of an achieving and functioning school.

If all goes well, I'll have the time to actually interact with my teachers and help build this school. I can already foresee some roadblocks and I will be tested. Wish me good luck skill.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

CEDO 565 - Week 1: Follow the Leader


I'm a workhorse. I thrive doing things in the background, preferably uninterrupted so I can just get it done and move on to the next. My rise to Administrator at my current employ is partially due to this. I found things that needed to be done and I did them. I've done this in every position I've had. There you have it. Now I'm stuck because now I know everything and know how to do everything and I'm the one who did it.

Top Down

I'm stuck because my place of employ is mostly a dictatorial oligarchy. I'm often a yes man though sometimes I try to play the king's fool (some kings used the jester to relate to them the true feelings of the people through muse because the king did not have access to this information being isolated and surrounded by aristocracy and yes men). I often compare myself to Radar from M*A*S*H; I run the place without being in charge. I'm also stuck in the middle and those beneath and beside me overestimate my influence.

Just recently, myself and several others in leadership all agreed on an item, based on financial considerations from one perspective. The top however based the decision on a different financial perspective and it was the final word without any further reasonable discussion after I begged to differ.
 © Copyright alan fairweather and licensed for reuse under thisCreative Commons Licence

We're too small to protest. What? We want the kids to miss school? No. We just plod along hoping to make lemonade.


The survey says .... I'm a structural kind of guy and this is true. I'm not inspirational, placating or diplomatic. I can be a good director and am getting better at trying to delegate. Without rehashing past gripes though, I really haven't had time to lead. I'm still a workhorse, but with a title.

However, there are certain areas, such as technology, where I do have freedom and have lead there where I could. Due to several variables and conditions, I just get to make a choice by myself because there is no team, committee or anyone else remotely qualified to give input. Then I try to lead with my choice. Perhaps through this course I will find avenues to lead that I didn't see on my map before.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

CEDO 555: Culminating Experience Project Introduction

Project Video Introduction


Where I currently work, there has not been a lot of integrating technology into the classroom for both lack of resources and time on my part. This fall, I hope at least the time I have to work with teachers and technology will change.

I want to introduce reflective blogging to both teachers and students. I chose blogging to begin my classroom technology infusion because the actual technology learning curve is relatively low. Getting both teachers and students into the habit may be a bit harder. Helping teachers assign meaningful weekly topics related to coursework will be important. I will most likely set up the logistical blogging administrative framework so teachers can focus on the blogging, training them only how to administer their classes once set up.

It is also hoped that once blogging becomes the norm, more creative types of media besides text and images can be used down the road to post in the blog with training in other expressive apps. Even though my aim is for reflective blogs, by doing so it may make the introduction of either cummulative or highlight ePortfolios easier in the future.

Foremost for teachers is that they become familiar with the media so they can assist students as well as provide working examples of what is expected from students. Teachers will be posting weekly, reflecting on their use of technology in the classroom, their successes, failures and challenges, both for their own use and for using it in the classroom and for teaching. It is hoped that the teachers participating will gain more confidence in the use of technology in the classroom as well as become peer mentors for others.

Teachers that will be blogging will also have their students doing weekly reflective blogs on class content and topics. It is hoped that student motivation, involvement, learning and retention of subject matter will increase through the use of blogs. Though having the students blog is of equal importance in this project, the outcomes of their blogging is more of an unknown to me whereas my primary focus for this project is to get teachers using technology in the classroom with blogging as a first step and other uses of technology to follow.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

CEDO 555 - Post 2: Creative Commons

The question posed was, “How can you implement Creative Commons in the classroom or work situation?”

Before we discuss implementing the use of Creative Commons in the classroom with students, I think we need to step back and begin with some primer material in Media Literacy for teachers first as well as a Media literacy unit in some course or class for students.

Some good places to start are:

The use of Creative Commons will come as a result of first being informed of the issues of intellectual property, plagiarism, copyright, copyleft, fair use, public domain, citing sources and giving credit to works and the like. Activities focused on searching and finding media of all types that are acceptable to use in one form or another are necessary also.

At the same time, students will have to learn and to appreciate the value of their own work.This is a prerequisite to valuing the works of others and respecting any copyrights or attributions. Only then will students feel compelled to adhere to restrictions and guidelines set forth in copyright, fair use and attribution issues.

Of course, teachers must set examples for all of this for it to be effective. the use of Creative Commons media and attributions is just one part of a much larger topic to be addressed.

In using Creative Commons for finding images there is a distinctive skill that must also be taught and learned. When thinking of the image you want, often you have a picture in your mind and that's what you want because it will be perfect for what it is you are doing. However, easier thought than found. Quite often, the image you might be thinking of can be found at a royalty free stock photo site where you pay a fee or subscription. If you are looking for something free on the other hand, you need to be more creative and wise in your search.

First, give up the idea that you must find an image that matches the picture in your mind. (I know, sometimes you really need that Civil War battle scene because that's what you really need. Best of luck finding one you can use. Otherwise...) Think outside the box image. Think about what the feeling, emotion or main message is that you want to get across with the image. Try those words for searching. Try synonyms or two word summaries of those feelings and emotions. Or, think of another image that relates the same feelings or emotions. Example: I was trying to find an image to relate to the word "collaboration". Nothing came up really. "Cooperation"? Nada! How about an image of two people at two different computers? Too dorky and cliché. So I instead thought of "3-legged race", an activity that implied collaboration and cooperation. I found just what I was looking for.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

CEDO 555 - Week 1: Under Construction

I can see that it's time to get down and dirty. 
Now our real work begins as we put together our portfolio and have to justify ourselves.

Looking now at what we have to do for this portfolio I've a few thoughts about the MEIT program itself. I don't think we have been adequately prepared to complete our portfolio as best as we could.

I think in the very first course, Succeeding in Online Learning, we should have had a better overview of what we will be doing throughout the program. We should have covered Standards as well as a summary of our portfolios and how the Standards are going to fit into it.

I think in the next couple of courses, we should have spent a little time choosing which Standards we would like to focus on throughout the rest of the program.

If we had known ahead of time that we needed to work on projects that addressed certain standards, we could have planned accordingly as we were doing our projects and work. This would have affected a lot of things. In our portfolio we choose a standard, we have a vision and mission and in essence, will be documenting what we want to become. Having foreknowledge of all of this, I perhaps would have chosen to do some things differently. I would have focused more.

As it stands now, I for one, may struggle a little bit putting together Artifacts for my standards. This may be true to some extent for Artifacts for each course. I perhaps would have geared more projects and work towards what my chosen standard was as well so as to document my expertise within that standard.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

CEDO 550 Week 6: On Line Segment

Taking a look at online learning, on the surface, it seems as though just about all the best practices for face-to-face teaching and learning are the same. What this course highlighted for me was taking a look at how the medium and delivery are different and that different methods and strategies for core principals are needed. As always with the use of any technology, familiarity with the features and limits of specific tools is necessary for effective presentation and use. As I found out during my demo teaching with Collaborate, I was not able to screen share my OpenOffice documents. Had I had a chance to work with Collaborate beforehand I would have known. Luckily, I had a plan B in the wings and was able to show a video demonstration I had prepared of what I wanted to do with the screenshare live. Screensharing over the Internet itself seems to be a bottleneck and probably needs a couple of years for the technology & hardware to catch up.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be an online teacher in a a K-12 school but If I ever get a position as Instructional Technologist/Technology Integration Specialist, I definitely want to conduct some of my teacher training/tutoring online.

Something tells me that full on K-12 online learning will hit a big bubble in the years to come. And then after the studies start getting published we’ll realize that something is wrong. Maybe because nobody did a total radical overhaul of how K-12 online learning should be and what is needed to fill in the gaps to give students everything they need and should have. Will there be the infrastructure in the community for additional/alternative socialization, hands-on and physical activities. Yes, there are these kinds of things already, but often, many are for paying clients. Those who can’t afford will be left out once again. Free education online! Ok! $200 for 3 months of pottery class? Maybe we can afford it next year honey. Also, with the added numbers of online students, will the community infrastructure be able to handle the potential extras? Sorry, soccer league is already full and we can’t find any more coaches. What’s career day like for an online sophomore? Is there a counselor to advise about studying abroad/student exchange junior year? There are potentially lots of little things that happen in traditional schools that I think will be overlooked in the first big round of K-12 online education. Personally, I think that some kind of blended model will be one that works out best as opposed to 100% online.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

CEDO 550 Week 5: Fast Forward - online learning

My ouija board tells me that I’ll be working more with teachers directly than students. If I have my way, I’ll be an Instructional Technology Coordinator or a Technology Integration Specialist somewhere. My training will include a website/portal for teacher technology training. I’ll have my teachers get involved in some Personal Professional Development and Personal Learning Networks meaning I’ll give them the tools and resources to start finding and following relevant subject and grade specific information on the web as well as technology information and technology related issues and policies.

I’d also begin formal training face-2-face but would gradually wean them off into holding group, individual, formal and informal help-desk sessions online, even if a teacher might only be two rooms away. This would be so that they will become more and more confident with using technology so they could better help their students regardless of the form or amount of technology use.

The greatest impact this will have is that if my teachers are more prepared to use, interact and teach with technology, they will in turn be better able to help students do the same whether or not it is in an online/blended context or not. Chances are, that at some point in time, many of the students who have a solid grounding in the use of technology for learning will eventually do some online learning because it is becoming more and more prevalent.

CEDO 550 Week 4: Figuring Formative

Formative Assessment Web2.0 + Mobile
I found a students response system about a year ago when I got my first Android phone, Socrative which is a great alternative to expensive clicker systems for student response. I never really investigated it or played with until now and it seems just the right thing. It's built for education , unlike several other audience response systems available on the web and best of all, it's free.

Socrative uses a teacher login to create polls and quizzes. Students log onto the teacher account/vroom using a numerical code - done! There are single question spur of the moment polls as well as pre-made quizzes available and the best is the end of class wrap-up Exit Survey where students are requested to summarize some thoughts on the lesson.

The teacher interface is available through modern browsers, Andriod, iOS and Blackberry. Students may access through a browser or Android device with iOS and Blackberry coming soon. Optimal use scenarios include 1:1 programs, Bring Your Own Device schools or classes held in a computer lab because the program relies on live questioning and answering. As long as the teacher has made a question, quiz or exit survey live, students could also take turns on classroom computers to complete an item throughout the course of the day/period.

Single stand alone questions will have no name attached to the response and are best used for overall group assessment. Quizes and Exit Surveys will have student names associated with responses making it possible for individualized feedback and action.

Monitor the Response:
Responses are live in real-time and can be projected for all to see via the teacher login if desired. An Excel file of responses can also be downloaded or emailed for further analysis.

Diagnose the Response:
An Excel file of responses can also be downloaded or emailed for analysis.

Share Feedback Based on the Diagnosis:
This step is probably the one that is the most important but least used. For a formative assessment to be effective, students will need to know what's going on, what they are doing well with and what they need work on. Socrative offers no means for giving individual feedback so the teacher must do this by some other method.


I think with starting out simple and getting into the habit of using such a system, you and your students would gradually develop a good system for formative assessment. With practice, you would begin to start asking questions that address your objectives and in return, find out if those objectives are being met. With regular and consistent use and in turn feedback to students, you would have another tool to help you with formative assessment.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bad Day

We interrupt this regularly Scheduled CEDO 550 Week 4 Blog for this important private dilemma.

Stay tuned and come back next week for twice the fun and excitement.

Thank you for your understanding.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

CEDO 550 Week 3: 8 Shoes

Like spiders in boots, on-line instructors wear 8 shoes.

I don't think the roles for on-line teaching are any different than for F2F teaching. The context and delivery are different. The strategies and tools are different. But the roles are the same. Like a green teacher just off the boat and thrown into a class of 25 screaming kids, there will be a lot of learning as you go and mistakes made. I also know that after a few rounds, the comfort level increases dramatically and the quality increases exponentially.

I know I'll have a lot to learn if I ever wear that headset for a paycheck but I'm confident I'll be able to have a pretty good start and go up from there.

I thought I'd try a Popplet once.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

CEDO 550 - Week 2: Pondering Points - 3 Models of Education

F2F - Blended - On-line K-12 Education

I wasn't sure where to start while making this comparison so I started in the middle which gave me some things to think about. I'm beginning to think more and more that Blended Learning in one form or another is going to become huge in the not too distant future. F2F schools are increasingly using technology as well as content and activities available on the Internet from either dedicated vendors or self-made curriculum. I just have a feeling about this.

Another thing I was thinking about was social interactions and more specifically, bullying. I searched for anything I could find about bullying happening or beginning in a K-12 virtual environment but I couldn't find anything yet. I know cyber-bullying is rampant in unmoderated social venues and between people who know each other in the physical world. I just wonder about the kinds of cliques that are formed in virtual K-12 schools where the physical relationship aspect is non-existent (until/unless programs and activities are formed for students). Are there nerd, jock, Barbie, doper, "most likely to go to Ivy League" and freak groups in virtual schools as well? I don't know. I suspect it is much harder because students have limited contact only with students in their classes. They don't know about or interact with the "rest of the school" so they don't get a chance to either cling to or be repulsed by other students, forming opinions and participating in group behavior as happens in, on and around brick and mortar.

Blended models don't provide my perceived "bully free" sanctuary because there is physical contact. In order to be a bully, you need to exert threats of some kind of physical nature. In an on-line only school, distance as well as privacy severely limit physical threat. In addition, student interaction may be easier to monitor, being able to flag and deal with potential incidents.

My comparison was created using Conceptboard, a nice collaborative space. Teachers need an account but students can join in as guests, no account needed.
Open this in a new window. Log in as a guest (or your real name). Add to it if you want (I can't lock it unless I have a paid account). If you add to it, use the comment tool with an arrow pointing to a specific area.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

CEDO 550: Week 1 - Distance Education Goes the Distance


I remember when you found ads for distance education/correspondence courses on the inside of matchbooks or on a page in Popular Mechanics. I haven't had my hands on either for quite some time so I don't know if you can still find them there or not. I always wondered about those colleges. How could you get a degree without a teacher??? Actually, I still wonder how the total correspondence on-line programs work. Maybe I'll should try one of those once just to see how it is. Actually, besides this program and a couple of programming courses that I did miserably in a long time ago, I've learned just about everything I know about computers and technology by learning it by myself - no teacher but me. I have enjoyed this program though, as a catalyst for further investigation and exposure to new ideas and resources. I probably wouldn't have learned all that I have just on my own.

My On-line Beginnings

Way-back in the beginning of this program, I posted here how I got into computers. I got my start in on-line education as Director of On-Line Education in the ESL school I was working at in Taiwan. My computer skills and work on an ESL curriculum project got me the job. It was an ill-thought out project by the company president from the start but I learned a lot and gained a whole lot of skills.

The program I worked on was a program from a vendor called Quartet (now called Q English). It was a blended learning program with 1/2 & 1/2 classroom and on-line study. There was a lot of work to to to customize and localize the program. Originally on CD, the president decided to wait for the online version to come out. That took another long time to scrutinize, edit and test. I had to make a lot of changes for the vendors to correct regarding ill thought of design. There were a lot of other changes and delays for this or that. After way too long of a time working on it I got very frustrated because the president would not even give the go-ahead to begin pilot classes. He had to everything and more 100% spot on and ready before he would begin anything. I tried to tell him that we need pilot classes so what we really know what needs to be worked on and corrected. No go.

My On-line Non-Beginnings

I had been in noisy, polluted and crowded Taipei for 7 years and needed a change so my wife and son and I moved to a smaller city. I left my job and the program before it got off the ground. I don't know if it ever got off the ground. I was disappointed because I was really looking forward to directing the program full speed ahead and seeing how this on-line blended stuff was going to work. So, though I never really got the full on-line experience, I learned a lot of things in a variety if disciplines and areas including, LMS's, SCORM, test question writing for placement, project management, software testing, text editing, working with remote vendors, computer lab design and set up and a lot more.

My On-line Future

Waiting to see if I get any response from Wisconsin Virtual Academy in McFarland, WI. I applied for an on-line teaching job. My sister-in-law knows the director and either still works for them or had recently. She said the Academy is looking to double in the next year or two. I'm hoping the director notices the same last name and takes an extra look at my application.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

CEDO 540 Week 6: To LMS or Not To LMS - SCORM is the Question

It's a tricky question about whether I liked using a Wiki more than Angel LMS for a course.
Years ago  was pretty excited learning about and investigating Learning Management Systems (LMS). I thought at the time that these were going to be wonderful things. Angel was open source back then and was a pretty nice system. I chose instead to follow Moodle and eventually played around with it here and there installing it on my own computers and testing it out at my school once.

On either an LMS, a Wiki, a Google Site or even other shared content tools, it's easy enough to post homework and links and such for a course. You can even get some collaboration and interaction. Some services even provide gradebooks and attendance and so on. The magic about LMS's are the kind of interactive courses you can use with them called SCORM content.

Simple, isn't it?

Simply put, a SCORM learning object provides a way to interact and automatically grade work done. Many of you have probably interacted with SCORM content in one way or another. If you've ever tested out that math site to see what it's like and it automatically grades you, it was probably a proprietary SCORM learning object, written for that particular site. All those fancy comprehensive core content material you can buy for your school are most likely SCORM content as well.

The problem with SCORM is that you need to find the right vendor with the right product and hopefully it will work with your LMS. Many times it will use a proprietary LMS not connected to the one you use at your school. This means you have another system to learn and maintain. This is the case with a lot of online educational content services as well now. Their content is SCORM, but it is proprietary and won't hook up to your LMS. Either they don't want to make it possible to do so or it is too difficult for them because it was not designed the right way from the start.

Another problem with SCORM content (or at least it used to be) is something called cross-domain scripting. For a SCORM learning object to keep track of all the students grades, which assignments they have done, which skills they need more work on and more, there is a lot of interaction with the program and the database behind it using some kind of scripting language. Ideally, it would be nice to find a program on the web and have it hooked up to your school LMS. But this is difficult to do because the severs with the program and database on the web need to interact with with the server running your LMS. Both are on different internet domains. There is an internet rule that says a server on one domain cannot send a script to run on a server on another domain. It's a good rule and keeps things safe and secure on the Internet. But this rule makes it very difficult for offsite SCORM packages to interact with your onsite LMS. This is one reason all those nice core content sites on the web have their own grading and tracking systems.They don't want to deal with the cross-domain scripting issue.  They may have fears about opening up their servers to attack. Cross-domain scripting can be done with some hacking, and done safely, but you need to know how to do it (I don't).

Another disappointment I've found with SCORM is that by now, I would have thought there would be a lot more high quality interactive content for downloading and inserting into your LMS. I thought the open source community would have been active in this. This isn't the case. I have had a hard time finding any quality free/open source SCORM packages. Yes, you can find a lot of courses that have text content, links, perhaps videos and so on. All the stuff you could put into a blog or find in LiveBinders but not the kind of interaction you find on that awesome math site such as BuzzMath. I think the open source community has in the past focused on programs and apps that do things. It's time now for a greater movement into the open source content. It's starting but it's not there yet.

For now, to effectively use an LMS to it's full potential, you either need to purchase expensive course content, have interactive content made for you or have people in-house working on creating all the content and an administrator that can make it simpler for everyone to use. Not an easy task no mtter how you look at it.

Because there are so many options now for delivering and interacting with content, it seems that going with what works best for individuals may work just as well. There will probably never be a comprehensive suite LMS that will give everyone just what they need and want. It would be super bloated as well. Yes, we'll still have to manually enter math grades into the grade book either paper or on the computer. You will still have to mark and grade those collaborative mindmaps separately. Using all these different web tools actually makes administration of things a bit more difficult. But if those who can have at least some freedom to choose the tools they are comfortable with, then perhaps it makes some things a little easier. Do your course here. Enter grades there. Mark attendance here. Collaborate there. Simple enough.

CEDO 540 Week 5: Data is a Droid

I always liked Data (Brent Spinner) in Star Trek: Next Generation as a replacement for Spock. Nice to have someone(thing) to be able to interpret all those Yottabytes (1024) of information. So one of our real life droids is Google with Google Trends and Insights, trying to give some sort of sense of a lot of data. They don't have voice search yet so you can't talk to them like you can to Data. I suppose someday we'll get to interact with something like Watson from IBM (Jeopardy playing computer with voice recognition). Pair this up with a Dick Tracy watch and we're good to go. iOS seems to be moving this way, at least according to the ads. Ask a question - get an answer. I wonder what Apple is using for background data for this?

This sort of thing is I suppose a little bit easier with a slew of programmers writing complex algorithms than asking a high school student to make sense of some of the data available. What seems to be the trend with a lot of technology will be that troops of hard core coders do the grunt work and the rest of us need to learn how to use the apps that go along with what the coders come up with.

So do we really need to teach students how to find data, analyze it and interpret it? I suppose we still do now for a while until the critical mass of data has been organized and is easily searchable and usable. Then the task will be a bit simpler. Bring it on Web 3.0! I think the pat that students really need to know is  some of the basic stuff that we have learned in class. How data is used and can be interpreted meaning students need to understand how data can be manipulated to tell a lot of different stories based on the agenda of the interpreter. Media awareness. Knowing this, students will have a much better crap detector (a reference to Postman & Weingartner's Teaching as a Subversive Activity).

Thursday, March 8, 2012

CEDO 540 Week 4: Survey Crunch

Num - Number - Numbest

When our group decided on a topic to do a survey on, I volunteered to create the form using Jotform. After I got started, I realized that our method of trying to get meaningful results was flawed. Our original idea was parallel to asking this to get some kind of ranking of importance of items.

On a scale of 1-10, rate the following:
1 = no no never never uh uh uuuhhh, 10 = super duper double scooper.

  1. Do you like chocolate ice cream?
  2. Do you like chocolate cake?
Well, it will be hard to get anything meaningful to compare the two items using this method. Those that like chocolate will most likely rank both very high and those that don't will rank them both low, giving us a meaningless comparison.

So, I thought, how can we rank and compare a list of items, many of which most people will rank high. Then I thought of a couple of surveys I've taken where they ask you to choose between 2 or 3 items, sometimes where you really have a hard time choosing because you think all the answers are almost equal, but you have to choose. So it became more like this, "Would you rather have chocolate ice cream or chocolate cake?" Now we'll really see which people like better. Even those that don't really like chocolate would still have to choose the lesser of two evils. 

Image CC By Jorge Franganillo

I figured out how to do it and then did it, letting my group know I had made some changes. They didn't really get it at first. I didn't really know how I was going to analyze the results either and I certainly didn't expect my classmates to figure out how to crunch the numbers of something they didn't really design. I dug the hole and now I had to climb out. So I ended up learning more about spreadsheets again. Copying formulas works this way but not that way. Named ranges and cells are an enormous help with copying formulas. Taking the lazy route and doing all of the calculations and charts on the same sheet as the raw data makes for a messy sheet but saves you from having to reference the other sheet in a thousand times.

I learned a lot about creating surveys. I can see how getting reliable data from a survey really does take a lot of careful planning. In real life a survey would have to be piloted first to work out any kinks. I found out that my matrix of questions had a minor flaw, but flaw that wouldn't cut it in scientific journal. I don't think I want to be in the survey business or the research using statistics business but knowing more about it now will be good when someone tells me, "Oh, and we need a survey by Thursday when the newsletter goes out."

The survey is here. If it is still live, feel free to take it. The report is here.

Monday, February 20, 2012

CEDO 540: Week 3 - Jotform Continued

Bedfellows?: Secret Service & Godaddy 


Since last Saturday night when I found out about the Secret Service shutdown of survey site I've been following this story because I'm truly interested in whether or not this story will make mainstream media or not. I think SOPA/PIPA or any related action of the like is a very important issue. It can become very scary.

How can this impact educators? Think of all the nice new Web 2.0 tools you've come to know and love. Now think of the time you have spent (or will spend) convincing admins to allow use of it and then the time training teachers and students to sign up and use it. Then...BAM! Tuesday morning just as your class is ready to go to work, the service has been shut down. "Wait. Wait. I don't understand? I was working on it last night getting everything all set up and now it doesn't work???"

I know the issues involved in SOPA/PIPA are complicated and believe that, yes, there needs to be some kind of legislation in place for people who are misusing privileges and content on the Internet. I don't believe the latest versions SOPA/PIPA are the answers.

Tuesday Update: To be fair, here is an article I found that provides some insight from Godaddy.

Other interesting artifacts in the aftermath:

I sent Fox 6 News Milwaukee an investigative tip about this and perhaps they may do a story on it. We'll see. I'm not counting on it but it may be good for them because as far as I know this story has not hit the mainstream yet. Here's what I sent them.


To editorial/investigative teams at Fox 6,

SOPA/PIPA Internet piracy and related issues Acts did not pass congress recently. However, the issue is still very active. Last week on Feb 15, the Secret Service shut down a legitimate online survey site,,  without warning or judicial warrant to its owners or users. Reasons for the shutdown were not given and the company is still in the dark about why it was done. The Secret Service has not provided them with any information so far. Business for Jotform as well as thousands of their legitimate clients was disrupted by an act of the Secret Service that did not follow Due Process. This disruption may cause loss of business for Jotform as well as loss of business that rely on Jotform's services.

This single act is prompting many people and businesses who do business in the USA using USA domain names to consider moving business to other countries, moving revenue and jobs to other countries. This act by the Secret Service is not good for USA business.

I encourage you to investigate this story. It has not showed up in any major media so far that I know of. It is of an issue that is increasingly important for the American people and business. The issue has many sides and is a complicated one. Basically, if a business on the Internet allows some form of misuse of its services, SOPA/PIPA would be able to shut down the entire website based on the misuse of just one person, including the use of it for the thousands/millions of legitimate users. Even though SOPA/PIPA did not pass, this is what the Secret Service has just done with Jotform.

Official Jotform response:
An article about it:

There are several more articles about it but none mainstream TV or Newspaper.

Google Search, Google+ or Twitter search for "Jotform" and you will get an idea of the reaction this act by the Secret Service has caused.

Also research SOPA and PIPA to understand the issue more.

Your kind attention to this matter and a report would help your viewers become more informed about some important issues with the Internet and doing business in the USA.

Thank you,

Curtis Siegmann

Sunday, February 19, 2012

CEDO Week 2: SOPA/PIPA & Survey Shutdown Shut Down By US Secret Service: SOPA/PIPA v. 2

I knew there must have been a reason that this post was late in coming. In doing work for our Survey Scavenger Hunt, I revisited many services that I had found previously while independently looking up the  subject of online surveys. During our group meeting I talked about the features of Jotform and it ended up being the online survey form of choice.

After our meeting on Tuesday night, I decided to go back to my Jotform account and check things out again a little further. My form wouldn't load. Google could not locate the nameservers for Jotform. Oh great I thought! Here I go and suggest a service and closes just as I give it a good recommendation. Just like Web 2.0 for this to happen.

I did a Whois to see if anything was going on with the domain. I noticed something strange. Something in the record said this about the Nameserver, "NS1.SUSPENDED-FOR.SPAM-AND-ABUSE.COM". I didn't give it much further thought.

On Saturday night, I was checking some mail and found a message from Jotform. It told me to direct my form URLs to instead of . Checking further into this, I searched and found out that Jotform had been shut down by the US Secret Service without any judiciary approval (meaning no warrant or judge's orders). GoDaddy, the domain registrar for Jotform and a SOPA/PIPA friendly domain registrar and web host appears to have let the Secret Service walk right in and flip the switch to off for Jotform. Apparently, it all has something to do with content on somebody's form. had and has continued to be uninformed about details of the investigation from either Godaddy or the Secret Service. Jotform also responded quickly to events and within 2 days of being shut down, had services up again under a new domains (.net & .us) not registered with Godaddy. Jatform appears to be very successful online survey service and has lots of corporate customers.

Reading the comments on the on the official Jotform response to this, it appears that a lot of the customer responses indicate that they are clueless about SOPA/PIPA and are demanding information from Jotform that they are not even privy to.

So, the online survey business is big business but as seen now, it too is subject to Big Brother's watchful eyes. Even though SOPA/PIPA did not pass, it is not stopping non-judicial action from the Secret Service. Just as opponents of SOPA/PIPA have claimed, this kind of action is disrupting the legitimate business interests and concerns of many (thousands, millions) based on the (perhaps) wrongful action of one person (the person whose content is suspect).

Monday, February 6, 2012

CEDO 540: Week 1 - Stats 101 (revisited)

I enjoy stats as much as the next guy. How much the next guy enjoys stats would require a little bit of polling and some standard deviations so go figure for yourselves. I've always been leery about the "every 3 seconds another [insert a catastrophic phenomena]" stats you always see. If half of these were true the population of the world would be about 537 right now and there would be exactly 2.468 acres of forest left.

I was ok with the stats class I had way back when. The part I liked most was learning how (true/valid) numbers can be manipulated to tell just about any kind of story you wanted. It was good fuel for my BS detector.

I haven't check out all the materials yet and not quite sure where this course will take us but I'm hoping we get into data driven instruction as that is one area I know nothing about at this time.

I liked Hans Rosling's videos #1 & #2 from the getting hooked on stats suggestions in the course sidebar. I had found Gapminder a while back when I was searching for a topic for some project. The data visualizations are pretty cool to play with. I just downloaded their desktop app but haven't played with it yet. I found a lot of other good sites about data and visualization that I didn't pursue for my project but are in my Diigo bookmarks/tags: datadatasources, and visualization. These may come in handy in this course??? I've also seen/used some nice Google Fusion Tables as well.

So here below is a visualization from It cites 7000 high school dropouts per day. Hmmm .... (continued below)

From Google/US census data, there are about 40 million 10-19 year olds. Now follow some rough calculations with me.
  • 7000 dropouts/day X 180 school days per year = 1,260,000 dropouts per year.
  • 4 years of dropouts = about 5 million = about 12.5% of the 10-20 year old range.
  • Are they really saying about 1 out of 8 students eventually drop out? If this is true then WOW!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Iterim: EdDroid

As a follow up to the previous post, I'm beginning to start my quest for a niche in the Instructional / Educational Technology market. I'm going to try to make a name for myself in the Andriod Education world an am starting with a new website / blog, EdDroid.

There is  lot of work to be done... names, logos, linking, networking ... not to mention filling the site and blog with useful content.

My first task is reviewing Web 2.0 and Andriod apps. The testing will be done on Android tablets/phones and will focus on the usability and practicality of actually using them in an educational setting, not a review of the app itself, but how well will this actually work. For example, will Aviary actually work on an Android tablet for image editing? How easy will it be to create a Glogster or an Animoto? Can teachers actually use Engrade on a tablet? Things like this.

After a threshold of reviews are complete, I'll launch and start to reach out and market the site/myself. I hope then to build a community of teachers/schools that use Android tablets.

I also will be including a section on adoption and deployment of Andoid tablets in schools. Hopefully I'll get a few people to notice what I'm doing and that all of this will help me professionally.

  • Twitter @eddroid was already taken by someone a long time ago and has nothing to do with either education or Android. I decided to go with a new Twitter account as me as opposed to drguru - get my name out there. I'll also use my real G+ account as well.
  • When I've got enough content to put the site out there I'll be using #eddroid tags on Twitter (@CPSiegmann) and G+ (Curtis Siegmann).
  • Do I need to do Facebook too? I've been trying to avoid it for as long as I can.
  • is already taken by some software company. The home page doesn't even go to their site but is a mostly vacant site where the menu links don't go anywhere and a thing to click on that says "Make a Free Small Business Website". This link actually takes you to the business site. The real site is actually and seems pretty active and current based on 28,000 Twitter followers. I'll be watching the domain expiry date of to see if it comes available.
Now, to put everything together, Twiiter, G+, LinkedIn and the site/blog.

BONUS POINTS: Be the first to comment if you understand my EdDroid logo.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

CEDO 535: Week 6 - Looking Forward

I've been thinking a bit lately about what I'd like to do. I think I'd like to focus my attention on Andriod tablets in education. This year, 2012, will be the year of Android tablets coming of age. It will take about another year and 1/2 for the software to catch up to Apple but it will come. There are already some nice apps you can use for education and you should be able to get quite a bit of content using web browsers as well. I'd like to get in on the ground floor somewhere with an Android 1:1 program. If nybody is reading this - I'm In!

My SMART goal is as follows: Created using Tagul.
Words on the first 3 will take you to a somewhat relevant link.


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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

CEDO 535: Week 5

Looking back, I know I've changed my thoughts about social networking. I now find myself checking my feeds more and more. I find that RSS will give you a lot of stuff to look at and think about and investigate and ... Twitter and Google+ on the other hand I now realize are very useful for getting up to the second information as well as using as a search tool. Not everything makes it to G+ & Tweets though. To my utter disappointment, I did not receive My Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade to my new Asus transformer Prime last Thursday as expected. I did a little searching, discovered, investigated and found out that my unit did not have the serial number hard coded into it - "serial number unknown". Without the serial number, the unit would not receive Over The Air updates.

Searched for more information. There were a few posts here and there about it. Almost nothing on Twitter or G+ about unknown serial number. The best source of information I found was on XDA Developer forum. Besides the unknown serial number problem I also found out about WiFi and GPS problems the TF201 was having. Blah Blah Blah to Asus was all over the place. Trash the Transformer Prime people were saying. I did some hard thinking and decided to return mine back to Best Buy before the return grace period ran out. I didn't want to get stuck with a $500 lemon.

After returning it, the guys on the floor were like, "What? You had one and you returned it!?" Yes I did. I might be regretting it a bit now. After a few days of silence from Asus and them not even acknowledging that the problem exists, there was a rep from Asus on the forum trying to help out (too late for me though). A temporary update fix is there and most likely a permanent fix will be forthcoming. Perhaps I jumped the gun. Anyways, I was surprised that I really didn't find much on Twitter or G+ about it since it was affecting quite a few people and this particular tablet has been hot news for a few months and was finally shipped recently. The issue is popping more frequently now on G+ and Twitter. G+ tends to have different sources of information posted whereas Twitter has lots and lots of re-tweets tweets from the same Engadget post. Interesting.

So, I have been using these tools now and feel more comfortable being able to teach how to use them. I think feeds about the elections will be good ones to use in school though it will be worthwhile to find some good hashtags and sources where people are actually informing or giving sane opinions rather than ranting. It just kills me how the Apple haters and the Windows haters and the Linux haters and the Andriod haters just can't stop bickering back and forth on just about any comment section or forum. Perhaps there's a lesson there we can teach about how not to post. How about you set up a imaginary topic and then have kids post, bickering (with appropriate language of course) back and forth. It would probably be fun for them. Then at the end you could look back and reflect on how nothing got done or solved. Nobody was really informed of anything useful and the time wasted writing and reading was just that, time wasted. Then turn it around and try having students give useful constructive posts. Just a thought.

Back to finishing up my work.

Links to sites I have been working on for my assignment if anyone cares to look.

1) Vanilla-CPS
2) Tech-Infusion:
3) Dr. Brenda Noach Elementary & Secondary School and DBN Connect:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

CEDO Week 4: Google Sites

When I first started my job at my school several years ago, I was excited to be able to set up Moodle and give it a try. Well ..., it was only used a little at the time and because of various reasons hasn't gone anywhere since. It just happens to be our school website with info on it right now. It happened before and it just happened again, either an intruder hack or code inserted by our webhost, Hostmonster, has caused the rich text editor to disappear. It's a known issue (not just with our hosting provider) and there could be various causes. Perhaps I don't have all the security settings correct or perhaps there isn't much I could do to prevent it. It makes it very difficult to post anything without the editor. Rather than wasting  hours trying to investigate and fix it or recreate the site with the latest Moodle version/installation, I decided to move our school website to Google Sites.

Though I would still love to see how a fully utilized Moodle would work, I've decided to put it onto the back burner and go with Google Sites. I think using it, administering it and maintaining it will be easier to both do and teach others. I think teachers will find it easier using Sites for their classes. Moodle requires you to know it's workings inside and out. Since I have my teachers and students using Google Docs, it's a natural next step to Sites. So for our upcoming assignment I shall display my new school website. It's nice to kill two birds with one code.

One thing about Google Sites that's a pain is the inability to embed objects and widgets like you can in Blogger and Google has no intention of changing this. You are limited to inserting what they let you insert, pre-made gadgets from other coders/vendors or writing your own widgets. Since learning to code widgets is not on my agenda right now I try to find simple hacks if I can.

I was searching for a way to embed a Voki into Sites. <embed> and <iframe> codes won't work because Google strips those kind of codes from your HTML when you save. Thank you RSS & Twitter feeds. I remembered a post about embedding Voki into Glogster and found it again. Basically you need to copy and paste an embed code into a document or note so you can see the whole thing. Then you need to find the part that references the actual URL of the thing you want embedded (minus all the other gunk and formatting information). Once found, paste into a browser and go there to make sure it works. You should see the thing you want embedded on a plain blank page with nothing else. If this is what you get, you are good to go.

Here is an example of the embed code from Voki. The highlighted part is the plain vanilla URL.

<img style="visibility:hidden;width:0px;height:0px;" border=0 width=0 height=0 src="*xJmx*PTEzMjYxNjY2MzY*MjMmcHQ9MTMyNjE2NjY1MTczNyZwPTk3NTA3MiZkPTAwMCUyMC*lMjBWb2tpJTIwV2lkZ2V*Jmc9/MSZvPWM4MjhkMWZmMDVlMTQ2OGY5NGFiOTNjMjZjNjBhNmQwJm9mPTA=.gif" /><object height="267" width="200" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"codebase=",0,28,0" id="widget_name"><param name="movie" value="" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="width" value="200" /><param name="height" value="267" /><param name="allowNetworking" value="all"/><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><embed height="267" width="200" src="" quality="high" allowScriptAccess="always" allowNetworking="all" wmode="transparent" allowFullScreen="true" pluginspage="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" name="widget_name"></object>

Try pasting the highlighted URL into your browser and you will see what I mean.

In Google Sites, you need to insert a "more gadgets..." widget/gadget. Search for iFrame. IFrames let you embed a whole web page into a Google Site. Thus, if you can find the plain vanilla URL of the object you want embedded, you can put it into a Google Site using an iFrame gadget.

It works with Voki and I'll be trying out some more such as Animoto ... and others I've already created. Cross my fingers.

Here is my sample.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

CEDO 535 Week 3: Connected Minds

Feeding My Twits:

I signed up for a Twitter account about a year or so ago but never used it. I never investigated the uses of it. I just thought people used it to exclaim about how good the coffee is at ... (which they do) or to post the location of the insurgents during a revolution.

Since learning more about it and using it I can see the benefits. I like to search and skim the #edchat and #edtech tags more than following certain people because sometimes you get a lot of tweets that you just don't care about. I also have started using Google+ and follow the same tags there. I haven't started using tags yet mostly because I forget. As I get more comfortable I'll probably start joining the conversations so I'll be heard and found.

Just as important as learning how to use these services for professional work is seeking out and finding the right tools to use them with for all your devices and getting widgets on your sites and such.

As for the RSS, it's pretty much the same as Twitter (for finding new or important things) except you get the whole story instead of a link to it. My problem with both of these is you just get too much information and then I spend more time exploring, trying out new things ... instead of getting any real work done.

Photo Sharing & Licensing:

I started using Picasa a while back when I was looking for a good photo program for my Linux box and was pleased that I could use Picasa Web with it. I never really thought about licensing my photos at the time (and in fact I only have  handfull posted and shared, some for friends/family and some for use with other Web 2.0 apps so I'd have a URL for an image).

Here is a slide show of my submitted photos for the assignment this week.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Picasa Web Albums (Google) offers a blanket CC license for all images in your account which now applies to Google+ Photos as well since the two are now intertwined. Here is the sticky part. if you go here: Picassa Web / Goggle+ : Links to the album Fashion
, both link to the same album on the respective sites but the Picasa Web link redirects to Google+. When I work in Picasa Web logged in, I can see my license but Picasa redirects to Google+ for anyone else and Google+ does not show any copyright information nor does it show any tags.

Picasa/Google+ Photos are a great way to easily upload and share your vaction or party pics. However, for someone who really cares about their copyright such as a budding photographer or graphic artist, Google is not the site to use. You only get to choose a one license fits all. Additionally, Google reserves a non-exclusive right to any image uploaded to their services. This means a photographer cannot sell exclusive rights to someone else.

Further reading on Google's Copyright information and related issues:

Artists Bill of Rights: