First Steps to A Farm of One’s Own

This post’s purpose is to help the Fleming College Sustainable Agriculture Program take their first steps into the Farm of One’s Own project. It is here as an example of what a post on a WordPress domain might look like.

First off, one thing you can do to add some excitement to your posts is to use Creative Commons Search to find pretty pictures that you are free to use because of open licensing. Like this:

But make sure you give attribution! Photo credit: “100_3695” flickr photo by dugsong https://flickr.com/photos/dugsong/4164468894 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

by the way, that featured image of the boots at the top gets attribution, too! “Clagett Farm Fall Festival 2009” flickr photo by krossbow https://flickr.com/photos/krossbow/4004610129 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

You can add your own images, too, of course! You may even want to be cool about it and openly license your images for others to use!

Another thing you can do is easily pop YouTube videos into your posts. All you have to do is copy and paste the URL into the page and it will embed itself! See it in action below:

And then you have a nice little video embedded right into the page. You can add your own videos to YouTube in order to do this, or use videos already on Youtube. Hopefully the video you post hasn’t broken any copyright rules by being posted. You may want to look into that.

Below is an example of a YouTube video embedded right on in the page. It is relevant to this post because it explains something you need to know about WordPress. It explains the difference between a ‘page’ and a ‘post’.

Another thing you can do is link to other posts or pages. Maybe you will want to link to one of your classmate’s domains when you are writing about where you got your inspiration for an idea, or perhaps to the original Farm of One’s Own page, or even another post on your own domain.

Your FoOO domain will be your space to grow as you reflect and share your Sustainable Ag experiences. You will also teach & learn with your peers as your domain takes shape.

Phase 1 of this project will be for you to reflectively blog while you are off on your co-op experiences. This will be a way to keep in touch with and learn from your peers and see all the other farms your peers are working with. You may even get lucky and not have to do a ‘what I did on my summer vacation’ presentation when you get back, because we will all know about each other’s experiences already!

So, let’s get started with these start-up instructions: Getting Started with WordPress SAG (Thank you to Dennis Vanderspek from COMM 201 for the starting point instructions btw)

The Open Ed Workout

Open Education is like going to the gym. Lifting the same weights together isn’t really what we’re doing (unless we work directly together) but mostly we’re just lifting our own weights and working out in the same place. We’re in the Open Ed Gym getting ideas from each other’s workouts, generally working towards similar goals and gaining inspiration and motivation from each other.

What’s in your Open Ed Workout? Domain of One’s Own? ds106Virtually Connecting? Bryan Alexander’s Book Club? Open Learning 17NetNarr? Antigonish 2.0?

#FeeltheLearn

photo credit “Workout” flickr photo by Carlos Varela https://flickr.com/photos/c32/3173303193 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Petition to Adopt Reddit into The Open Ed Family

“Fishing spot” flickr photo by Patrick McConahay https://flickr.com/photos/pat_mcconahay/15106445506 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

The way Reddit works is really quite conducive to open pedagogy. I think, if I’m understanding the meaning of this saying properly, it is one of those things that is ‘of’ the Internet and not just ‘on’ it. The structure wasn’t designed specifically for educational purposes, but it sure does a better job of it than most things designed with ed-tech in mind.

Here’s how it works, put simply:

Subreddits:

are subdomains with their own topic/category/culture/set of rules. r/hockey is a place to talk hockey. r/Toronto is a place to talk about Toronto (helpful if you live there!). r/Askscience is a place to ask science questions that you hope somebody who knows more than you to answer. r/shittyaskscience is the same thing only with deliberately shitty answers, just for fun. There is a whole suite of ‘shitty’ subreddits, which is hilarious. Subreddits can be whatever the community wants and you can create your own.

Posts:

You can post a link, image or just some text to a subreddit. See something cute and educational anywhere else on the Web? Go post it to r/awwducational

Comments:

Each post basically gets its own discussion board by default. Know some more info about that cute thing on r/awwducational? Add your knowledge and link to more in-depth info. Or just ask for more detail if you don’t know.

Voting:

Each post, and each comment, can be upvoted or downvoted. The stuff with the higher +/- in votes is higher up, with the idea being upvoted stuff is the best stuff. It doesn’t always work that way as hive-minds can get carried away, but it often lets you find the quality stuff more quickly. You can also sort by new comments or controversial etc.

And all those things together gives us what?

What we end up with is a place where we can create our own community, easily contribute ideas and things, discuss, and vote on (to give more/less visibility). If the Open Education community were to post the awesome things that they find or do on Reddit (say, anything that someone would Tweet out) what we would have is a stream with a little more permanence than your Twitter feed. If Twitter were a rushing creek or waterfall, Reddit could be a slowly plodding brook or river full of life meandering through it.

The most interesting Subreddits seem to grow organically. Here are some neat communities:

Explain Like I’m Five

Cool Guides

A whole bunch more

Thanks for the inspiration to blog, Gardner!

 

 

Dispatching The Patchbook

Patches the cat almost did me in. We’ve been conceptualizing our Open Faculty Development Textbook for a few months now and were searching for a foundational idea to build the project around.

The other day, on a not-directly-related search, I was trying to find an image for a badge or patch for faculty to wear once they’d agreed to contribute to the text, so I CC Flickr searched for ‘patch’. I was inundated with images of Patches the Cat, sometimes with his owner, sometimes not. I’m glad you love your cat, buddy, but it wasn’t helping me.

I thought it was funny to see so many pictures of Patches, but was disheartened that I wasn’t finding what I was really looking for. And in the back of my mind that this project didn’t have a hook yet. I don’t remember exactly the mental steps it took to go from Patches the Cat, to The Faculty Patchbook, but it happened, and here we are with our hook.

Patchwork. A community quilt. This is what we’re trying to make. A community built collection of ‘chapters’ or whatever you want to call it. Each individual telling the story of one pedagogical skill in order to build an entire quilt. Tales about pedagogy for teaching in-class, online, designing/redesigning lessons and courses. Whatever the community quilt needs to cover our teaching and learning needs.

It seems serendipitous that in further searches for ‘quilts’ and ‘patchwork’, I came across a very fitting image by the cogdog himself, whom I take a great deal of open learning inspiration from. This image is now the feature image on the About this Project page for The Patchbook. The link is coming, don’t worry! 🙂

Farm Quilt flickr photo by cogdogblog shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Check out the quilt in progress here. There you’ll see a description of what we want to do and how you can get involved, too. Fleming College’s main campus is in Peterborough, Ontario, (also known as The Patch!) and we are dispatching The Patchbook out to you and with you.

Maybe it should be dedicated to Patches the Cat.

Feature photo: “Patches” flickr photo by Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue https://flickr.com/photos/waffleboy/8918477914 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

 

A Spartan LMS

Spartans flickr photo by Masked Builder shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

I am currently in an in-between phase of figuring out what is wrong with the traditional way we use Learning Management Systems and how to move along. Although I do like to refer to them as Learning Constrainment Systems. What would you put in a basic, spartan learning management system? You know, the things that are actually pedagogically helpful, but so you still end up with no bloat. The current LMS that I work with, which I do not desire to reveal at this time, has a huge whack of tools, most of which don’t get much use. What can an LMS do better than just a Domain of One’s Own system? What can we get rid of to finish with something more SPLOTy that would actually be really helpful? Is the ideal a combo package of the two? I’d like to know what people think.

I’m thinking, if anything, include in the LMS:

  • A class roster. Basically a tool to show which students are in which courses with which instructors.
  • A grade book with good feedback functionality
  • Assignment dropbox (where students submit links to the assignments actually housed in their own domains that they wish to submit for feedback). Possibly it could also be used for submitting sensitive type work that really shouldn’t be out on the Web.
  • A ‘journal’ type discussion thing for sensitive discussions that only certain people should be involved in like instructors or tutors with the students. Certain subjects like Counselling would find this more useful maybe.
  • A quiz tool (just a ‘grandfathered’ tool to get the masses to come there and then slowly make it fade away)

I’m thinking the things that should not be housed inside the LMS, but outside in the World Wild Web include:

  • Syllabus and week by week instructions for what is going on.
  • Assignment instructions. Ideally a place that allows students and others to also submit assignment ideas. Students are then able to choose the ones they want to do.
  • A central list of URLs to classmate’s domains
  • Any content delivery including instructional videos of talks with lecturers and guest speakers and slide decks, set up instructions, readings
  • Any live video chats or collaborative annotation exercises
  • Collaborative notes produced by students
  • Obviously all posts and pages students create for their domains (in a central flow as well as on individual domains)
  • A general discussion board.
  • A social media layer like Twitter for students to informally share and discuss things they are working on and connect throughout the course

Housing these tools outside the LMS invites openness, collaboration, riffing, remixing and generally (hopefully) bootstrapping everyone to a higher level of performance and creativity.

So, we’re left with 5 tools in the Spartan LMS (one of which has an expiry date) instead of the 42 in my current LMS. That means there are 37 tools I don’t really desire 2 use. 

So, do we need any of these LMS tools at all or should we leave the LMS to head off into the sunset? Throw out the bathwater, the baby and then smash the tub while we’re at it? I’d be interested to hear about anyone who uses both by choice (or if they have to). Comment below to let me know!

Sunset flickr photo by Jason O’Halloran shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Terry Greene

@greeneterry 

Shropin The #NETNARR

From Aspen Extreme, ‘Top Gun on the Slopes’ Touchwood Pictures 1993

Shropin’ The Gnarl is slang for really killing it on the slopes. Maxing out your skills and mixing it up to try to do something new. You know, like, really shredding.

But those gnar-gnar two-plankers hucking sick filth off booters got nothing on the digital alchemists playing in the #NETNARR (Networked Narratives) world (@cogdog & @MiaZamoraPHD being chief alchemists). I’m trying to keep up with it all but just wanted to say, here in my space, keep on shropin’ every day and helping us make new connections.

from Networked Narratives Digital Alchemy 

p.s. my vote for what OPML stands for is Overly Practical Magic Lens.

See more about #NETNARR here (while I try to catch up)

Agent Sneeky

Daily Create #1845

The Secret Agent name generator has dubbed me ‘Agent Sneeky'(sic). Is this because I told my kids that the ice cream truck only plays music when it’s out of ice cream?

Nonetheless, I will join the 2017 leaders in sneakiness from the National Park Service in being sneeky sneekersons.

 

 

Flopping Right On In To Open Learning 2017

Not too sure what it’s all about exactly (yet), but I’m going to belly flop my way into Open Learning 17. Why? Because I see Laura Gogia, Gardner Campbell, Autumm Caines, Chuck Pearson, among others, are involved. That’s enough for me to give it a go. See you out there!

#DoOO #DoOO #DoOO Lookin Out Our Backdoor: Toward A Domain of One’s Own

backyard flickr photo by gagilas shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license Moving Toward a Domain of One’s Own

My wife takes our daughters out every day to Early Year Centres, the library or any other drop-in she can find. The girls can enjoy the crafts and songs and socializing with other kids and she can commiserate a little about the trials and tribulations of raising these little hurricanes. (Lucky hurricanes to have such a good mom who takes them to these hurricane meet-ups every day. She should have a business card with Storm Chaser as her title). One of the songs that’s invariably sung goes simply something like:

a smooth road, a smooth road, a smooth road, a smooth road

a rough road, a rough road, a rough road, a rough road

a windy road, a windy road, a windy road, a windy road

a bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road

You have your kid(s) on your lap and you bump them up and down according to the lyrics. It’s fun and easy enough that I remember how to do it for the most part.

At my work, we’re on a road with similar varying conditions. One which I hope is leading us toward being a Domain of One’s Own (DoOO) college. It’s baby steps, it’s not written down anywhere yet, and we don’t want to force it. But it’s one of them number one, ultimate goals. We don’t need to call it DoOO yet, for now it’s just “Hey! Blog a bit! Put your work out there! Have a look at your peers’ work!” To me, DoOO truly encapsulates all that online learning can and should be. It’s open, it’s human, it’s connected, it’s constructive. It’s not Internet bells and whistles so that a machine can teach you something and then tell you what you should do next. It’s sharing your take on something so that we can all scaffold off of each other. So we can understand each other. Choral explanations, in a sense.

It’s a smooth, windy, rough, bumpy, smooth road. It’s been a little windy lately so I wanted to write this down, for myself, to remind me that the journey is the best part. So today I’m just stopped, looking out the backdoor, and remembering to enjoy the journey. I hope we get there. it’s worth it regardless.

Now back to those hurricanes.