What We Can Have With Open

Think of one of your favorite bands. Think of who influenced them and whom they in turn influenced further. Think of the bands that they toured with or were ‘competing with’ at the time. They all relied on each other to be what they were and are. They all knew what the other bands were doing with their craft. That’s what we can have if we share our teaching and learning more. Much more.

Music is not quite open like education can be. Musicians mostly retain their copyright and want to make money off of it. But it is open as in we mostly have access to hearing it. Whether it’s on the radio, online sharing or even actually buying music, we mostly all can pretty much hear what’s out there.

Not so much in education. Not enough anyway.

We wouldn’t have the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin without the blues. We wouldn’t have Kendrick Lamar without Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. We wouldn’t have much anything without The Beatles. Heck, Canada wouldn’t have The Tragically Hip without the Rolling Stones. This would make Canada sad.

We wouldn’t have lots of things without being able to hear about lots of other things. Look at how many sub-genres of “Rock” there are on the Free Music Archive

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What would music be like if the only time you could ever hear The Clash was inside the one classroom where Joe Strummer was teaching his Writing the Future class? It would be crap, I tells ya.

Here’s what we can have a lot more of if our educational practices were shared as openly as music:

We can have “influences”

I am influenced in my thinking about teaching and learning by Maha Bali, Alan Levine, Gardner Campbell, Audrey Watters and Robin DeRosa among a whole bunch of others. Good thing they are all super open, or I wouldn’t know who the heck they are. More sharing so I can have more influences, please.

We can have “scenes”

Did you hear that the Indie Ed-Tech scene in Oklahoma is so hot right now? Well, you can hear about it, because open. Let’s have Seattle Grunge, Montreal Indie Rock, and Chicago Hip Hop-like scenes for education.

We can have “new genres”

I for one want to be associated with the Trailing Cutting Edge genre in which we don’t think ed-tech is cool until it’s like ten years old at least. We’re weirdos.

How will this happen?

Not much to it but to get yourself writing about your teaching. And sharing that. On a blog, probably. And tweet it out, too. Tweet it to me (@greeneterry). I’ll check it out.

featured image: “Showcase @ Diablo •  Dia 3 • 10/05/2017” flickr photo by Festival Bananada 2017 https://flickr.com/photos/bananada2017/34428700640 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

 

The Huck Finnification of Education

“83” flickr photo by Sharon Gerald https://flickr.com/photos/sgerald/24608048596 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Earlier this week I attended a Creativity Workshop put on by the International Center for Studies in Creativity.

I want to share just one activity we went through in which I inadvertently Huck Finnified education. Now to be fair, all I really remember about Huck Finn is him + raft + river = freedom. That seems like a good direction for some (lots) of education to go.

The activity was a story-boarding exercise that is meant to help you to plan for reaching your goals. You get a 6 or 8 panel sheet and start by drawing your starting point in panel one and your end point in the last panel. You then fill in the blanks in between, making them up as you go. It being a creativity workshop you were free to be free thinking, so somehow mine involved a gondola and Huckleberry Finn. Despite (or maybe because of) those silly bits, I was able to maybe see some stepping stones to a less silly goal.

Here is the legend for what you are about to witness

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…and here is the sheet, pre-‘art’

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The beginning: a class with PowerPoint stinking onto students. PowerPoint really is the Nickelback of ed-tech, isn’t it?

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The end goal: learning whilst floating down a river on a raft like Huck Finn

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How do we get there? I don’t know! Maybe this is step one: Screen share from devices to screens on the side of the room.

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And then what? I don’t know! Maybe this is the next step. Why even those side screens. Step 2 was silly. Let’s just share device to device. Also less walls now somehow.

20170524_152148What is even the next step? Who knows! Maybe this ridiculous step. We can just share device to device now so we can take the imaginary gondola down to the river. How come gondolas aren’t used as public transit options by the way?20170524_152748

And then what? This is so ridiculous now does it even matter? Oh yeah! We’re at the river. Let’s get on these rafts. Huck Finn time.

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Now we can go full Ed-Huck Finn.

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The whole silly affair.20170526_131602

You may be able to use this story-boarding activity to actual good use yourself. try it out!

 

Introducing the PhysicaLMS

Now available at low, low prices from my as-yet-unnamed ed-tech startup: a physical Learning Management System. The physicaLMS. It’s real life. Outside of the Internet. It’s in your hands. For reals.

Here’s the assignment dropbox in action..

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Simulation of receiving assignment instructions for PhysicaLMS dropbox
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Exporting work from PhysicaLMS to put into the drop box

Here’s the quiz tool in action.

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Submitting a quiz
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Receiving graded quiz

Here’s the grades tool in action.

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Searching through physicaLMS for grades. It allows you to add up your scores yourself.

Here is the content tool in action.

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physicaLMS allows you to add the content that you want.

Here is the workspace tool in action: Not entirely sure if this one really exists in a traditional online LMS. I guess it sort of does here and there.

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Take work out of physicaLMS if you want. Put it back in if you want. Do work in it or out of it if you want.

What physicaLMS can do that your traditional online LMS can’t:

  • Learner choice of what’s in it and how it’s structured.
  • Learner choice of what comes out of it.
  • Learner security of not being surveiled at any time.

What physicaLMS can’t do that a traditional LMS can:

  • Ummmm can’t like do a discussion board, I guess.
  • Can’t add up grades for me. I’d have to do that myself.
  • Can’t decide for me which content I should see.
  • Can’t let a bunch of people look into my ‘behaviours’.

Here’s how to share your work in physicaLMS

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Take your work out to share it.

Here’s what happens to your work in physicaLMS at the end of semester.

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Here’s what happens to your work in the traditional LMS at the end of the semester

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Oh and physical LMS comes in 3 sizes:

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Tall
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Grande
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Venti

 

Stay tuned for our next product! It does all the things that the physicaLMS does only online! Like an online binder!

featured image credit:”pen and paper” flickr photo by mlpdesign https://flickr.com/photos/mlpdesign/23643416 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license
GIFs of physicaLMS in action source: https://www.youtube.com/w-goSoxUfzE
Delete gif source: https://giphy.com/gifs/P7PmvHY6kzAqY

Getting To Open

Resources for Getting to Open Session at Advancing Learning 2017
Terry Greene and Dennis Vanderspek

This page includes links to things mentioned in our talk today.

Presentation Slide Deck

5 Rs of Open by David Wiley

Where some of the background images came from https://search.creativecommons.org/

Where the others did: https://unsplash.com/

Domain of One’s Own reading: https://www.wired.com/insights/2012/07/a-domain-of-ones-own/

Farm of One’s Own http://cgfarm.ca/farmsite/example_portfolio.html (also set up instructions for this project

The Teaching Hub – LDS Department Blog https://fleminglds.wordpress.com/category/teaching-hub/

A Spartan LMS: What should go in LMS and what can be out there in the wild.

https://unsplash.com/@jorisoi Shared under Creative Commons Public Domain CC0

 

 

Is There a Problem Here? An Instructional Alternate Reality Game

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

It’s not too late to share this. This is the biggest thing I can give to the Creative Commons. I made it well before I knew about The Commons and am only now remembering to do this. This is many many hours of my time. This is the scholarly project which completed my M.Sc. in Instructional Design and Technology.

It is an exercise in embedding instruction into an alternate reality game. Or it’s an exercise in deeply embedding narrative into learning. Either way I tried my best and I want the commons to have it.

It is an alternate reality game in which players need to learn about problem gambling behaviors and harm reduction strategies in order to bring a story to its end. That story is the dognapping of a mildly famous and much-loved English Mastiff.

Oh and it’s so low tech it’s hardly ed-tech at all.

Chance on the Rick Mercer Report

Here is the zip file of all the pieces to the game Missing Chance. The main piece to look for to guide you through are the ‘Puppet Master Instructions’. Here is a little excerpt:

The Story:
Jack Berlian is a YMCA board member who fought to get the original funding for the Youth Gambling Awareness Program. He was one of the first people to realize the potential harm that gambling is doing to our youth and was in a position to do something about it. We just found out that his dog, Chance, has gone missing from the YMCA and there was a clue that made him think that Chance was stolen to help pay off a gambling debt. Chance is actually a bit of a celebrity dog, so she is worth quite a bit of money. Since we know a little something about risky gambling behaviours and ways to reduce the harm, we are in a unique position to help Jack. You (the puppet master) have been up all night, prior to coming to the YGAP meeting, preparing a plan to help Jack. You feel like this is our chance to pay back Jack’s efforts in creating YGAP, by helping to find Chance. You also feel like this is an opportunity to truly validate all of the work that YGAP does.
The Rabbit Hole:
The beginning of an alternate reality game (ARG) is called a ‘rabbit hole’. This is the point at which we enter the alternate reality of the game. For this game, the rabbit hole is simply the lost dog poster that Jack has prepared to try to get people to help find Chance. This poster will be posted in and around the site that you are running the game, in places
where your game players will likely see it before coming to your session. This will add some ‘reality’ to the story when you tell them that we will be spending our time today trying to help find this dog.
The Puppet Master:
The remainder of the document is a set of instructions for you, the Youth Outreach Worker, to follow in order to take this game to its conclusion. You will be in front and behind the scenes, pulling the puppet strings.

If you know of any organization that works with problem gambling behaviours that might like to use this, let them know about this and let me know if I can help them.

Featured image from: https://unsplash.com/@bkotynski CCO

The Ghost of CC Future

The whole reason the Ghost of Christmas Future shows up is just to say “Don’t eff this up, Ebenezer. Get your act together and avoid your terrible future”. It worked for that cranky old bastard and it could work for us.

On Saturday at The Creative Commons Global Summit in Toronto, Ashe Dryden showed us some of our past futures. Things that we used to think might be our future. What I take from that is the need to think about the things that could have happened, the things we hoped would happen, the things we hoped wouldn’t happen and what actually did happen to help us try to forge the best future that we can. The ruby red-lipped, shark people of Jupiter with 8-pack abs have not yet taken over, but we still want to avoid it. Maybe they are super chill, though, so who knows?

So in that spirit, I want to make sure I don’t squander the opportunities that attending the #CCSummit afforded me and forge the best path that I can from here. If Scrooge can do it, I can, too.

Here’s my quick list. It is not exhaustive of all the things I want to take from the summit, but it’s my start:

  • Read my signed copy of ‘Made With Creative Commons”.

Popping into Helen DeWaard’s Virtually Connecting Session with Rajiv Jhangiani (@thatpsychprof)

  • Get CC certified and hope that they go with tattoos as their form of certificate/badge because that would be tight.
  • Use those pretty pictures on unsplash. Hopefully they can get themselves a button on the CC Search page. Found a pretty sweet one of a ‘ghost’ for the featured image of this post, I think.
  • Finish colouring my Women of The Commons colouring book if I can get it back from Alice.

  • Work to put a project in place to make sure we’re using all of the open textbooks that we can and move towards contributing as well. All the amazing work BC Campus has done for open textbooks is soon going to be adopted by eCampusOntario so that we can join the party, too!
  • Convince Matt Ryan and Tom Jenkins to get on Twitter and join the party.

What’s your CC future?

 

Feature photo: https://unsplash.com/@luisdelrio

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

p.s. Here are the culprits who broke the news/Internet

 

Digital Pedagogy: It’s Like Riding a Digital Bike

The saying, ‘it’s like riding a bike’ means you just don’t forget. Even if you don’t use a skill for a long time. You can pick it right back up. I can see that has truth to it, but it got me thinking about what it is actually like to learn to ride a bike.

It starts out with just about as much support as possible. A grown up literally supporting you, balancing you, giving you instant feedback and encouragement. And oh the rush of emotion when you actually do it on your own! Just a few months ago, I witnessed this happen. The boy shouting “I’m doing it! I’m doing it!” as he rode away for the first time. It struck me that I witnessed an event that boy would probably remember for the rest of his life.

After that first time you ride away from your support person, what kind of ‘formal’ instruction do you really get or want in your bike riding skill acquisition program? Not much at all, really. Now it’s all about experiential learning. You learn from the crashes what not to do. You learn from exhilaration what to do. You try different bikes and they feel weird at first, but then you figure it out. You roll over new terrain shaky at first, but then you get used to it and enjoy the challenge.

I can remember most of the actual instructional events in my life to do with biking. Probably because they are so few and far between. Any formal tips or tricks for biking have been searched and sought out on my own here and there in magazines or from other cyclists and I have just been ‘experientially learning’ the rest of the way (the experientalliest learning being the year I spent as a bike courier.)

But I digress and lose sight of the point I haven’t yet made. So, to review what I’ve been trying to say: learning to ride a bike includes large amounts of start up support and then you’re mostly on your own.

I think that the bike-learning methodology is kind of what it’s like to wade into the digital world as an educator. You can find those opportunities for the start up support to get going, but from there you’re on your own to choose your path. Going into new systems is like trying out a new, different bike. WordPress might be your all purpose commuter and a flat-tired unicyle might be your Learning Management System. And like biking, you can get more out of it by adding some accessories (Slack, Twitter, etc) and joining a club or community (Virtually Connecting, #OpenLearning17, #ds106 etc.). Your friends are here to help, but it’s up to you to ride through new terrain and feel the wind blow your hair back. It’s great fun that you have to work for.

“Bike near campground First Landing State Park” flickr photo by vastateparksstaff https://flickr.com/photos/vastateparksstaff/33089545372 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

featured photo: “riding bikes” flickr photo by jonny.hunter https://flickr.com/photos/jonnyhunter/1043775061 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