Gift Is Forever

As a 13 year old going to his first rock concert, I did pretty well. It was the very first Roadside Attraction. Headlined and hosted by The Tragically Hip.

The first lines to come out of Gord’s mouth, that I witnessed live:

“Cold wind blowing over your private parts. I know a lack you’ve got and it makes a strong case for art”

~from “Lionized”

His words were always so weird, so smart, and so memorable. Someone should study whether or not obscurish words Gord used, like wherewithal, are statistically more used in Canada. I’d wager they get a little bump. I have been enthralled by his words ever since I first heard them.

To seal the deal for me forever, he even said my name in song.

Here’s the long version of the story: I got in to the Hip after Fully, Completely came out. Went to the Roadside Attraction. Was fully in. So the release of the next album, Day for Night, was my first to anticipate. I just so happened to also be getting my driver’s license soon before the release. There was one store, at West Edmonton Mall, opening at midnight and giving the first one away for free. I was allowed to drive with some friends to try to get that free copy. I ran a red light on the way. Didn’t even notice it. I wasn’t too good at driving yet and I was in a hurry.

We made it there despite my driving. I was first in line. I got the first copy of Day For Night in Edmonton. For free. Thanks HMV. Not such a big deal in world history, but a big deal to me.

The practice of getting a new album and carefully and meticulously going through the song list and listening to them one after another is one that I stopped doing years and years ago. Except for the Hip. I was still doing it for their albums right up until Man Machine Poem (what a great album to end off on btw). Obviously I did this with Day for Night as soon as I got home.

Hip songs are slow growers. I’m pretty sure no one likes them much on first listen. I don’t know at first that Grace, Too will still get me going 23 years later and that when Nautical Disaster comes on I just heard what may be their best song for the first time. I’m just listening to the words. Words like this that we all know now.

“It’s as faint as a sound in my memory

as those fingernails scratching on my hull.”

~From Nautical Disaster

And then the 9th song came on. It’s important here to note that my name is Terry Greene. “The Inevitability of Death” starts off. Upbeat. “Puffy Lips, Glistening Skin…” I listen through the chorus. I’m liking it. Let’s hear the next verse. Here it comes. First line:

“Terry’s gift is forever green…”

What? I just heard my name. Gord said my full name. In a song. My first silly reaction is to think I should change my middle name to “gift is forever”. I’m still considering it. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what the line meant, but he said my name. To me, one of the most amazing coincidences of my life. I love this band, I love Gord’s lyrics, and he happens to use my first and last name in a line.

The fact that the line is in a song about the inevitability of death just adds a little sadness to this memory for me, but the chunk of line in the middle of my name, “gift is forever” now takes on more meaning. We will be able to hear his gifts forever. We will benefit from him for a long, long time. I am thankful for that.

It’s just a shame to lose this masterpiece.

image credit “” flickr photo by Moyia M.Pellow https://flickr.com/photos/mpellow/8469999934 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) lice

Mash All Night

#OpenEdMooc. Reasons for this post, as a “response” or as “adding to the discussion” on copyright and the commons, being the way it is:

  1. It’s very late
  2. I’m behind on my #OpenEdMOOC reading/watching
  3. The Cars
  4. Haven’t seen an #OpenEdMOOC GIF yet

The only thing I can do with copyright, especially this late at night, is mash it.

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These three actual reflections on the week are so good. Please read them.

Opening the Citizenship Commons – Nate Angell

Don’t Gussy Up The Geese – Peg French

California Love – Lena Patterson

 

 

 

Open Passage

This is my kind-of, mini-reflection on #OpenEd17. The conference is still going though, so I am jumping the gun a bit.

Last year at my 1st Open Ed conference, I didn’t know anyone. This year, I am lucky to have lots of friends here. But open educators are open people. It hasn’t been this easy to make friends since grade 3. I even broke the toot barrier with my roomie, Ken Bauer, who I met at last year’s conference. I’m sure he heard it… I’m sure he heard them. I didn’t hear any from him, for the record.

But those unlucky souls who do not yet know about Open Ed do not know how nice it can be in our community. So they won’t come in without a pull.

Now I know it’s probably obvious, but I want to say it anyway. #OpenEd17, the real work of this conference starts now. I know you do this already. This is really just a message from me to me. A reminder to take it from here and pass it along. Or try to pass it along more anyway.

We all got some great tips, and tricks. Some ideas for new things to try. New resources we didn’t know about that are slicker than snot. We’ve recharged our excitement for Open Education. But it’s a little bit of preaching to the choir after a while. What’s more important to do next than going out and trying to convince someone who doesn’t know anything about Open that it’s something important?

It’s a lovely group, but let’s go meet more new friends now and tell them about this stuff.

The most effective activity at the conference, for me, was the speed networking during the unconference (Thanks, Rolin Moe, for cajoling us into it). Not only because I met so many people, but also I worked my “who am I and what is open to me” spiel 5 or 6 times and now I feel much more ready to say it to anyone. I have my open passage more readily available at the tip of my tongue. Now I’m more likely to pass it along.

So how about this idea? Anyone who prepared and delivered a session here in Anaheim, try to deliver the same or similar talk at another conference. One full of not-yet Open Educators. Or write a post about your time here, but make sure to send it to places away from us to colleagues who don’t follow Open Ed (and towards us, too. We still want to read it!). Have your open passage at the tip of your tongue, ready for anyone.

Whatever you do with what you took from these days, pass it along more so than pass it back to us. Let’s not stand in a circle and say what we’re saying back to each other again and again. Turn around and say it to someone new. Talk to some students! It might be kind of uncomfortable, like making a sales pitch. Try. Make sure to listen to what they say in return, too. It’s not passing the baton, it’s passing the salt and pepper. You probably already do this but I want to say it.

Maybe someone new will break the toot barrier with you at next year’s conference. Fingers crossed.

image: “saltshaker showdown” flickr photo by athrasher https://flickr.com/photos/athrasher/15746721477 shared into the public domain using (CC0)

Looking at Stars

We grow up watching our stars and wanting to be like them. We can see them because they have to do their thing in the open. Because we can see them we can try to do it like them.

When I’m a pro skateboarder, I’m going to skate like Tony Hawk.

When I’m in a band, we’re going to sound like Tom Petty 🙁

When I’m a writer, I’m going to write like Margaret Atwood.

When I’m a teacher I’m going to teach like… I’m going to learn like… Umm, how can I know who to look up to?

When people teach and learn in the open we can see those heroes of learning. Of all shapes and sizes. I’m going to learn like Maha Bali. I’m going to teach like Jesse Stommel. I’m going to speak like Gardner Cambell or Rajiv Jhangiani. I’m going to experiment and share like Alan Levine. I’m going to care like Amy Collier. Well, I’m going to try to be more like all of them, anyway. And I’m going to do it in the open, too.

That’s why open matters to me. I can find and follow the people I look up to, try to emulate them and get better in whichever direction or area I think best.

photo: “STAR” flickr photo by jylcat https://flickr.com/photos/jylcat/120110649 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Sliding In

A fantastic new opportunity begins for me this week. I’ll be joining the wonderful folks at eCampusOntario as a Program Manager! Three other PMs are already well into the work: Jenni Hayman, Peg French, and Joanne Kehoe. The program managers work to aid Ontario colleges and universities in the pursuit of great technology-enabled learning. I’m more than pumped to join this team and get in on some of the amazing work they’ve been doing. Get your coattails ready for me, friends!

I know a few little tidbits of what I’ll be focusing on at first. Including helping to extend the Ontario Extend project (is that meta-extension?). What I promised to do for eCampusOntario in my interview is shared below. They asked for a three slide presentation. I went for minimalism; only adding one main word to each slide and to highlight the areas of the Anatomy of 21st Century Educators that these one-word promises hit hardest.

I missed one very important word that supersedes the others. It may be implied, but here I want to make it explicit.

I will listen.

And I mean Chuck Pearson levels of listening.

This listening, writing, speaking and (community) building will happen on the Web, in person, and on the radio. By promising to do these things, I don’t mean to just do it by myself. I will share the spaces, in any opportunity that arises, with any educator willing to share stories, plans, and ideas. This can help us all have a shorter climb to the top.

I hope you’ll join in. I think it’s going to be a wonderful experience and I can’t wait to get started. Add a comment below if you want to connect.

“Slide…..” flickr photo by Jinx! https://flickr.com/photos/span112/2350360329 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Dear Me

Ontario Extend #48 – Write a Letter to Your Past Student Self


Dear Me in 1996,

It’s me, your self. From the fuuuuutttturrree, oooooo! Good job getting through high school with barely good enough marks to get in to university. I’m so proud of you. I’m laughing at you right now because you’re about to go into a Forestry degree at the University of Alberta. To become a forester. Hahahahahahaha that’s not what’s going to happen! Not even close! You pick the right way for you eventually. But oh boy, you were way off! The foresters of the world are doing just fine without you. You are about to go in to a 4 year bachelor’s degree program that you’ll breeze through in 7 years because you’re not sure what you want to do and you keep switching and taking time off. And then you do a couple more programs after that. It’s not so clear cut, is it? Keep guessing and I’ll see you when you get here.

Love,

Terry

featured image”Clear cut – White Hill” flickr photo by Rob Hurson https://flickr.com/photos/robhurson/14962527635 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

A Piece of Thinking

I love the “scholarship” involved in this Daily Create:

Further instructions when you get to there is to just write the first paragraph. So now I will begin, but not complete, a thinkpiece about something I am not expert in. Ds106 is all about the moxy.

In Defence of Professional Scrabble

Scrabble needs its professionals. Not to work for it in spreading the popularity of the game or anything. We need them to stand vigil in defence of the rest of us against the evil forces that the game itself exerts on our language. You see, Scrabble has created a false economy that underscores the alphabet. There are subconscious waves at play in one of your cortexes that gives you a smug feeling when you use words in conversation that include the letters J, Z, Q. even F. We subconsciously think that we ‘scored points’ in our discussion because those letters were included. It doesn’t matter that we steered the conversation about weather patterns to include jazz. This is also the reason why quizzing is so rampant in education when there are far better forms of authentic assessment. The following is my five point plan for taking the letters back from Scrabble.

featured image: “scrabble” flickr photo by sammydavisdog https://flickr.com/photos/25559122@N06/8054926394 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Beautiful Learning

It’s a bit funny our positions in the Learning Design & Support Team. We love teaching and learning and we are tasked with helping Fleming faculty in their own teaching, but we don’t get to do it all that often any more ourselves. To really teach. So when we get a chance like the Fleming New Faculty Experience, I hope we don’t come across too strongly. We’re just very excited. I think we all started this week excited for the experience and ended it even more so. Y’all were beautiful learners.

Keeping these reflective posts short and sweet will help keep us coming back to write more and readers coming back to read more so I won’t dig to deeply into the week, other than to say thank you to everyone for playing along with us. I really, really enjoy reading your thoughts on how things are going through your blog posts and I hope you will continue to share them. To anyone reading this interested in seeing some of the posts, you can see them listed in the sidebar of the The Teaching Hub, which is a weekly blog post for Fleming College faculty by the Learning  Design & Support Team.

Oh and I want to share the results of our “First Presentation Slide of the Semester Beauty Pageant”. Everyone tied for first place. Except Liz Stone’s was more first place than the others.

In first pace: Benjamin Walters for his Forest Management Using GIS opening slide.

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Also in first place, Tom Brooke, for his Limnology III opener.

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And in first place, Matt Ryan for setting the stage for COMM 201 with tears of… joy?

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And finally, in actual real first place, we have Liz Stone’s first slide for Indigenous Perspectives. Looks great, Liz!

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I love pretty slides. Thanks for playing along and can’t wait to hear the stories of how your teaching and learning goes throughout the semester.

featured image: “2nd Annual “More than a Beauty Pageant”” flickr photo by UrbanPromise Camden, NJ https://flickr.com/photos/shannonoberg/16260674029 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

 

 

A Hoot

We used Kahoot briefly yesterday in the Fleming New Faculty Experience. It’s a quizzing tool that lots of people seem to really enjoy. It was easy to set up, easy to deliver and, I think, quite fun.

The way Kahoot works was involved in making it fun, but here’s what I found the most fun about our “hooting”: the banter.

See, we’re just beginning to build a community or culture of we’re-in-this-togetherness with each other. We threw the “hoot” together to get us to start thinking about what we do know and don’t know about learning outcomes and also to show Kahoot as a possible tool to use in the future. I enjoyed the banter more than the “hooting” itself in that we kept talking throughout about how we may or may not have any clue about the answers to these questions yet. We may not be activating any prior knowledge but instead getting the ball rolling on knowing our first things about the topic at hand. And that is more than okay. I especially enjoyed the banter coming back at me (Mary) about my choice of words in some of the questions and whether or not they made any sense. Talking about the wording drew us more deeply into the topic we were introducing. I’d like to say my poor choice of words was therefore planned, but I’m grasping at straws here.

But please, keep up the banter. I also really hope my incessant ‘verbing’ of Kahoot sessions as “hooting” will catch on.

Hoot, hoot!

Featured image: “Owl” flickr photo by Matt Biddulph https://flickr.com/photos/mbiddulph/4681820992 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Tempted By The Posts of Another

Grab your toothbrush and some toothpaste. A flannel for your face. Say to your reflection, “Let’s get into this place”. It’s time to build a big piece of our community.

Right after many of us have burned our retinas by staring at the solar eclipse, Fleming College New Faculty Experience 2017 members are getting together to make their own WordPress domains in which to grow forth together as college educators.

The reason? why, to give each other a head start! Our journey to the top of pedagogy mountain will now have a gondola that takes us halfway up. And we can climb the rest of the way together. That is what we can do for each other by sharing our thoughts, plans and reflections on our connected WordPress domains. By seeing the posts of each other, we will be tempted to borrow great ideas, adapt them to our own needs and otherwise get better by association.

So why am I sharing these instructions on my own personal domain? One reason is for you to see one of the WordPress sites you are about to make in action. Another reason is that I want you to know my domain and I want to know yours, so we will be familiar with each other’s as we begin to connect and share our ideas and plans. They will all appear together on the sidebar of our weekly Teaching Hub blog post. Fame awaits.

Here’s a quick intro video to WordPress. All I had to do to embed the video in this page was to paste the link to the YouTube into the editing area and it embeds itself. It’s super slick.

Below we have provided a set of instructions for getting set up in WordPress. These instructions, however, were created for COMM 201 students, not us. That means, we also have instructions for the instructions! In other words, amendments. Amendments are great. People are always talking about them in movies and stuff.

So, without further ado, here is a link to the PowerPoint instructions that George Fogarasi created for the COMM 201 students. Click the link to download it and either view them in PowerPoint or print them off for your reference: WordPress Instructions 2017


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Once you have those ready, also be ready to tinker a little bit with them through these amendments:

Instructions for the instructions:

These are amendments to the COMM 201 PowerPoint for our needs.

1st amendment– to slide 2 of the PowerPoint: You will not be graded, only judged… positively!

2nd amendment– to slide 5: Ignore ‘do NOT pick another theme’ PICK WHATEVER THEME YOU WANT

3rd amendment– to slide 6: Instead of ‘pick a FAKE name’, Pick an AWESOME name.

4th amendment– to slide 13: Instead of ‘This I Believe’, make the page ‘About This Space’

5th amendment– to slide 17-24: Instead of adding pages called ‘profile and reflection’, DON’T DO THIS PART AT ALL! INSTEAD, ADD A POST (NOT A PAGE) CALLED “LETTER TO MY THIS FRIDAY SELF” or “SOMETHING LIKE THAT” and then go ahead and write that post in which you describe a bit about what you’ve learned and what your initial plans are for using it in your teaching.

6th amendment– slide 30: Menu items won’t be the same. make a menu item for ‘About This Space’ and a category menu item for ‘NFE’ or ‘Reflections’. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with this.


Questions to know the answers to:

  • What’s the difference between a post and a page?
  • What’s the difference between the types of menu items?
  • Have I sent the URL to LDSTeam@flemingcollege.ca?
  • Is my menu looking goooooooood?
  • Do I know how to create a post? Find pictures that I can use? Add those pictures? Add links?
  • Did I just generally play around with adding, editing and formatting things in my posts?
  • Did I try to embed a YouTube video, just by pasting the URL into my WordPress editor?
  • Do I know how to get URLs for posts/pages to tweet them out/share them?
  • Have I ‘tagged’ my posts with #FlemingLDS?
  • Did I know how to Tweet out my post URL with #FlemingLDS?

featured image: “Fresh Fruit” flickr photo by James Ian L.A. https://flickr.com/photos/jamesherman/3428261662 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

image credit “Tinkering” flickr photo by Timitrius https://flickr.com/photos/nox_noctis_silentium/6156272159 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license