Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Presentation at AAEEBL California as part of Campus Technology’s conference

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2014 at 2:34 pm

I’m presenting in Long Beach on April 8 at the Campus Technology conference-on ePortfolios!

Use this link to find out more!


Friday 5: On Plagiarism

In Uncategorized on January 24, 2014 at 4:45 pm


Helping student write is the key (and that means teaching what plagiarism is and how to avoid it!)

Originally posted on April Yamasaki:

A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power and Jayson Blair at The New York Times – This documentary premiers on May 4, 2014 on PBS, including an exclusive interview with the journalist at the centre of the controversy. – If this website had existed back when I was teaching English, I would have recommended it to my students as a useful resource.

The Real Problem with Mark Driscoll’s ‘Citation Errors’ - okay, so it wasn’t plagiarism, it was the fault of the research assistant/ghost writer?

Why Pastors Should Plagiarise in Their Sermons - a catchy title for a post that makes a good point about drawing on the research and work of others.

6 Thoughts on Plagiarism, Creative Expression, and Sermon Writing – “Imitation is flattery, plagiarism is an insult.” Well said.

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Kudos to Kenneth Elliot Jones

In Uncategorized on June 28, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Legends of the Dark Knight exclusive preview

My proud promotion of a Batman comic (part of the Legends of the Dark Knights series) written by my son Kenneth Elliott Jones and his co-author, Derek Fridolfs.

The comic (the first of 3 issues in the series) is available online here.

Jumping in excitement

In Uncategorized on June 27, 2012 at 8:51 am


No stigma for mental illness!

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Elyn Saks

A professor with schizophrenia

Elyn Saks has chronic schizophrenia, and she is a professor of law, psychology and psychiatry at USC. She might have spent her life in the back ward of a hospital, but that’s not what happened.

She starts by telling of the time when Dr. White, her doctor after she graduated from law school, was getting ready to leave his practice. The idea of losing his care hit her hard, and she had a break. A good friend came to help, and reading from her journal, she says, “I opened the door to my studio apartment. Steve would later tell me that all the times he had seen me psychotic, nothing would prepare him for what he saw that day.” She describes a crumbling world, with voices saying: “Tell the clocks to stop. Time is. Time has come.”

She’s here to tell us her story. This is, she hastens to add…

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Twearning: The Experience

In assessment of learning, Education, innovation in teaching, teaching with technology, technology, Uncategorized on May 18, 2012 at 9:51 am
Chart Comparing Grades

Chart Comparing Course Grades Spring 2012 to Spring 2011

The jury’s in. The verdict is: Twearning was modestly successful.


Twearning is the use of Twitter in the classroom to promote student engagement and learning. In this post I explained how I had incorporated the use of Twitter in the Sports Marketing Law and Ethics class at my University. The class was composed of juniors and seniors at my university. It is a required course for the Sports Marketing major. Most students were Sports Marketing Major.  The class was taught as a face-to-face class. The class had 18 students. One student was female; the remainder male. Students represented a variety of ethnic backgrounds.

Use of Twitter in this Course  Follow Icon-Twitter

Students were required to do several things:

Tweet one time during class and twice weekly outside class (15/315 points)

Provide group summaries of tweets for the previous week (15/315 points)

Follow tweets of 3 professional athletes and write a social media policy based on the information (50/315 points)

Student Reaction

The following are unedited student comments.

Best of Using Twitter

  • it helped me with my classmates easier. If I had a comment or curiosity, it was easy to get a response and the information i needed.
  • Seeing how it can be used both professionally and casually as well.  As well as quick communication with a very wide

    variety of people.

  • Best thing was the social interaction in and out of the class. If someone needed to ask a quick question, they could easily send a tweet or direct message to someone and get a response back, fairly quickly.
  • Made me stay up to date with the course material, made sure that I was engaged during class time as well.
  • Following athletes (2 students)
  • That every chapter was summed up with the use of twitter and in our own words which helps us learn because most students can relate to the way we learn information.
  • That it made everyone post something about the course in their own words.
  • I got to communicate with my class mates and view the most popular topics and it helped me review and memorize course material
  • The best thing about using twitter was that it kept me active in the class and out of class.
  • learning new social media
  • I appreciated using twitter in class because it allowed us to read material and summarize what our findings. It also helped keep us up to date with a world of technology that is evolving very fast.

Worst of Using Twitter

  • It the hard was remembering to tweet all the time. it was not bad to use at all.
  • Sometimes the character limit.  But that forced me to be concise.
  • Having to tweet twice outside of class was probably the worst thing. Students would wait till the last minute to tweet and it would consist of some random fact in the book. I feel that tweeting during in class is more effective.
  • It was another thing to have to remember to do outside of class, also finding the tweets of my classmates for the group summaries was time consuming.
  • Posting 2 tweets outside of class
  • Saving the tweets and having to read through them for possible legal issues.
  • On the learning aspect nothing was wrong, just making every tweet count and worth giving the right information.

  • It kind of became too much after using it over and over again
  • I did not have any problems
  • I have nothing bad to say about twitter. It was fun to use for class.
  • use was unrealistic
  • I found that using twitter sometimes took away from personal interaction with classmates and professor. However, it seems that technology is taking us that way everywhere we look.

Preliminary Conclusions

Student performance, as measured by exam results and course grades, was better. An implication from the exam results (noted in earlier posts) and the course grades was that students in the middle performed better. Students at the top tended to perform well no matter what the format.  Note that I’ve only included raw, unedited student comments here. I have not yet conducted an analysis of the pre and post exam results nor have I compared the pre and post surveys of student perceptions of Twitter use and student engagement.

The following are first-blush comments. The student comments summarized here indicate:

  • It was a useful tool to communicate with each other
  • It was a useful method of learning by summarizing and seeing their classmates’ summaries of the material

Students liked least tweeting outside of class. That’s an interesting point because  the students also seemed to find the summaries of those tweets one of the best things about using Twitter in this course. One thing which I noted in a previous

post, is that permitting students to use their laptops and, gasp, cell phones, did not hurt students’ performance in the class. This was contrary to what I expected when  decided to, for the first time, drop the no cell phone rule.

This may seem like the end of the road. The exciting part is to conduct more analysis to determine what worked, what didn’t and why.

I’m considering this for one of my online classes in the fall; it may help foster more student engagement. Also, the withdrawal rates tend to be high in the particular class I’m thinking about and Twitter use might help reduce that rate. I’m also considering other uses.

This has been an interesting journey. More to come…..

Guitar Playing Wizard

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Joe Bonamassa: played at the Saroyan Theater in Fresno, CA. I attended his concert and it was great! The energy, the music, his complete mastery of the guitar and his band, especially the drummer, made for an awesome 2 hour concert. He started on time and played the entire 2 hours, even though he gave his drummer, keyboard player and other guitarist a break!

Tommy Emmanuel-Guitarist

In Uncategorized on February 18, 2012 at 7:53 am

He’s even better live! I attended his concert at the Tower Theater on February 17. Amazing guitarist and a caring human being!

Painful News About Women & Pain

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm

A recent study about pain attempts to debunk the commonly held belief that women have a higher pain tolerance than men. In a recent blog post, Dan Ariely, reported on a study whose conclusion, based on patients’ self reports, that women rate pain 20% higher than men.

To me, this does not debunk the commonly held belief about women and pain primarily because these are self reports. Women may be more willing to admit pain & less willing to “tough it out.” Second, men may be willing to underreport the amount of pain in order to not seem weak. So I continue to agree with Dr. Ariel’s teacher that women have a higher tolerance for pain.

Can I see your ID card please? Our President who is Black….

In integrity, Uncategorized on April 29, 2011 at 1:11 pm

I happened to turn on the news yesterday morning and watched in amazement while President Obama released additional birth certificate documents. 

It is disheartening to see that important issues, among those, helping students develop skills to become critical thinkers so that they can help manage issues now and in the future, have been disregarded by media figures who persist in attacking the president through subtle and not so subtle challenges to the President’s bona fides.  It smacks of the type of racism that is most difficult to combat-racism that is covered in a veneer of civility. The following video from Rachel Maddow’s show The racist roots of ‘birtherism.

I hope that this is the end of challenges to President Obama’s bona fides. It is a very frustrating and sobering look at education’s failure to educate media and the public about a true critical analysis and debate.

Building University Initiatives

In Uncategorized on August 14, 2010 at 10:26 pm

autumn-colors-redChange seems to be an issue for many people.

I must admit that I feel trepidation whenever I have to/need to/want to make a change or do something differently. Yet I tend to embrace the change if it is something that I think will help me do my job better. That’s especially so because teaching and improving learning is somewhat imprecise and isn’t represented by a tangible object that can be easily measured.

It’s interesting to watch others’ response to proposed change. The variations in response always surprise me, even though by now I should expect it. Although I think of educators as thinkers and innovators, not all are. Many are content to do what they’ve always done, just as others in non-education fields can be content.

A colleague once told me that when we redesign courses, we should not only look at those courses where the failure rate is high. We should also examine the courses (especially when they are the same courses) where the pass rate is extremely high. The issue might be that the standards in the course where the pass rate is extremely high either have answers that can be passed along or that that particular  instructor is not holding students to high standards.


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