Who’s Driving This Playground?

As a Program Manager at eCampusOntario, the program I’ve been managing the most is the Ontario Extend faculty development/enrichment experience. It has been a delight. But something even more delightful (and screamy) is on its way to our house soon, so I will be going Extend silent for June to September as my family prepares to welcome our third daughter to the mix.

What I have been doing in Extend is a lot of behind the scenes connecting and in front of the scenes cajoling of educators to join in on the Extend community. It’s not that hard really, because Extend is just too much fun and truly beneficial to educators. It’s not something to do so much as something to be a part of.  Something that will help you grow as a technology-enabled educator without you really noticing that you are, in fact, growing. I look forward to being a part of it again, but we have a hell of a replacement for you.

This feels a little bit like when I was learning to drive. I got to take over the wheel to drive around town a little, but after a while it was time to hand the wheel back to the real driver, who would take us to the next destination.

Soon I expect you will see a post on Alan Levine’s blog (cogdogblog.com) with not only some thoughts for what Extenders can do next, but also a way for you to get your hands on the steering wheel a bit, too, to help us decide where to go. Extend West will continue through the modules for the next few weeks and then, together, you can all decide where to go next. I look forward to seeing where it goes.

As a bonus for you for making it this far into my post, I want to point you to something that Alan made that may help convince you to hop on the Extend big toy this summer if you’re not already: Edupunk. It’s a mockumentary in the vein of Hard Core Logo or Spinal Tap. Some day I hope the ultimate Extend Activity is us all getting together to make the Extend Mockumentary.

I’ll be here for another week or so and then back in September, probably deeply in sleep debt, but raring to jump back on the ride. Have fun!

image: “Steering” flickr photo by icathing https://flickr.com/photos/icathing/11715638 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Does Helen get a Badge?

Yes. Yes of course she does.

I sat down this morning to check on Helen’s Ontario Extend work to see if I could award her a badge. I have now completed checking her work in the Teacher for Learning module. There was never any doubt in my mind.

Here was my process:

Navigate through the Teacher for Learning module until I get to an “Extend Activity”. Click “Take it To the Bank”. Scroll through the responses. Has Helen submitted one? YUP!

There you will see a link to a post on her blog which is a response to the activity. Repeat this process 8 times. Each time, it’s a yes. All of them wonderful responses. Here’s the evidence:

  1. Identifying a concept that is often misunderstood in a discipline and created an analogy to help make sense of it

https://fiveflames4learning.com/2018/03/10/analogy-for-learning/

  1. Creating a concept map of a syllabus for a course

https://fiveflames4learning.com/2018/03/10/mapping-a-course-for-oextend/

  1. Practicing note taking skills

https://fiveflames4learning.com/2018/03/13/combining-strategies-for-oextend/

  1. Brainstorming a list of “What’s in it for me?” from a student perspective

http://extending.hjdewaard.ca/2018/03/a-domain-of-ones-own-wiifm/

  1. Identifying a concept in a discipline that is like driving a car and specified the component skills that are required to master this concept of skill

https://fiveflames4learning.com/2018/03/14/like-driving-a-car/

  1. Creating an introductory activity, connected to a discipline, to get to know learners

http://extending.hjdewaard.ca/2018/05/introductions-selfie-me/

  1. Finding a nugget and making it as meaningful as possible

http://extending.hjdewaard.ca/2018/05/its-a-nugget/

  1. Articulating a metaphor to describe their teaching philosophy

http://extending.hjdewaard.ca/2018/03/metaphors-for-teaching-and-learning/

Take your badge, Helen! More to come!

Who’s next? Apply for your badges at the end of each module, like here for example.

 

The Cannonball Option

Hello Ontario Extend West!

Today, I invite you to have a little think about what you’d like to do with your time in the Extend West cohort and maybe consider another piece we have to offer you as a member of the community.

Let’s be clear, all of the settings pictured above are all completely unofficial. They are also all equally important. I think that a nice mix of levels of engagement are healthy for the community and you are free to move up and down the swimming-in-a-cold-lake analogy continuum as you wish.

But today I want to make sure you know about the cannonball option. The jump right on in and see what happens option.

In other words, we have a number of self-hosted Domain of One’s Own sites to offer Extenders who would like to pursue the Ontario Extend badges. eCampusOntario has purchased (2 year’s worth of) some sites to help increase the open sharing of pedagogy by Ontario PSE educators. If you are interested, email extend@ecampusontario.ca and we will follow up with your next steps.

If you’ve already begun blogging on your own site, have no fear, we can help you move over to a self-hosted site.

So, what do you think? Make a splash?

Featured Photo by Drew Farwell on Unsplash

 

 

 

Chronicles of Sarnia and… Durango?

There is now a pretty strong neural connection in my brain between Sarnia, Ontario…and Durango, Colorado. 

This is not something I ever anticipated happening to my brain, but I am very happy about it. I was in Sarnia on Tuesday with a group of Ontario educators and we were getting outfitted to jump in to the Ontario Extend community.  As it turns out, we needed a little help from Durango.

Alan gives us a tour of The Daily Extend site, from Durango, to Sarnia

You see, Alan Levine (aka CogDog) is obviously the best qualified person to give us a tour of his architecture: the layout of the Daily Extend, Activity Bank and Domains sites of the Ontario Extend Studios.

I think that many Canadians should be rejoiced to know that Alan is, right now, MOVING TO CANADA!

Just think. He didn’t even wait until he was finished moving to start showing the Ontario Educators in the Extend West Community the ways of Extend and how it can greatly benefit their technology-enabled teaching and learning skills. He was on his way, driving from Arizona to Saskatchewan, and stopped for an entire day to join in on the Sarnia kick off via Zoom. His wonderful hosts in Durango gave him their kitchen and WiFi all day to make it happen.  He’s even stopping again a little farther along in Fort Collins, Colorado to whip up another blog post for us to keep us rolling. Look for that in the West Cohort Domains page tomorrow.

So, in trying to think of a way to say thanks and give something back to Alan, I think I came up with an idea for tomorrow’s Daily Extend. I am going to do it right now so that I can be ahead of Greg Rodrigo on the leader board, even for a short time.

Daily Extend #169: Welcome CogDog to Canada.

Alan Levine is coming. Let’s make sure he knows why we love Canada. Feed him some tidbits of Canadiana to make him feel at home.

Here is my response. On the way to Sarnia, I had my (ancient) cd binder with me in the car. It is full of 90s Canadian music. I popped in Spirit of The West’s “Save This House” and was struck by the lyrics to “Turned Out Lies”. They could be written directly to some of them big e-learning companies or publishers that may not have the best interests of learning at heart. I thought Alan would get a kick out of the lyrics.

I remember a promise for a new tomorrow
I remember a promise to save our youth
Well I remember security for our aging
But when you made the pudding
You left out all the proof

I seem to recall you mentioning the word hope
I seem to recall you mentioning solutions
You made it sound like an angel had landed on our doorstep
Gave us more like two steps back than any evolution

Your empty promises are filling people’s heads
You have us crawling round in circles
Instead of walking straight ahead
I remember what you passed for truth
Turned out lies instead
Yes I remember what you said
Yeah I remember what you said

Read more: Spirit Of The West – Turned Out Lies Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Also, Alan, “Home for a Rest” is probably one of the greatest Canadian songs FYI. Welcome to your new home!

images: “Bluewater Bridge” flickr photo by Loozrboy https://flickr.com/photos/loozrboy/3917569265 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license and “Rotary Park and Animas River Trail” flickr photo by daveynin https://flickr.com/photos/daveynin/9480978976 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

 

Extending Time & Space

You can give an Ontario Extend Cohort a name (and even a watch), but you can’t make it obey the normal rules of time & space.

Next week, we kick off The Ontario Extend West Cohort at Lambton College, and live online! (If you’d like to join in, pop your name in at bit.ly/ExtendWest)

This cohort follows in the footsteps of the Ontario Extend East Cohort that kicked off in March. But what does “East” or “West” or “a set time and place” mean to an Extender? As it turns out, not much. Extend East was kicked off in Peterborough which is kind of in the east part of Ontario. Extend West will kick off in Sarnia, which is west of Western University, so that must count as west, right? But none of that really matters because anyone and everyone are and were invited to join any and all cohorts no matter where you are.

What I mean is that a cohort is more like an on-ramp to joining the greater Extend Universe (if Marvel can make its own universe, so can we. Extender super hero costumes, anyone?). Have a look at what joining the Extend Universe has meant to one such participant (and as a bonus, Lynn will be joining in on the Extend West fun, too!)

If you’re wondering how Ontario Extend works, I am happy to quote my past self from this post:

Together we’ll experiment, curate, and collaborate with technology for teaching and learning. We’ll do it all in the open.

It works a little (maybe a lot) differently than most P.D. events you may have come across. There are four pieces. One of them stays still and the others are on the move. The one piece that stays still are the modules themselves. Six of them: teacher for learning, curator, collaborator, technologist, experimenter, scholar.

The moving parts are where the fun happens.

  • The Activity Bank – A place to add your response to all of the various module activities. You get to see what your peers do with it rather than everyone hiding their work in a dropbox. For example, the “Please Allow Me to Introduce My Field” activity already has a few responses. You also get to add more activities. It’s a bank where any deposit one person makes can be withdrawn by anyone and everyone.
  • The Daily Extend – A place for short and sweet daily activities. Why? Two good reasons are that it allows us to easily connect with each other on a regular basis and gives us all low stakes opportunities to dabble with new tools and ideas. This is the Experimenter module reaching full actualization. And it tries to be fun. Like this one: Taylor Swift Curriculum Design
  • The Domains – This is the flow. Maybe sometimes a trickle, sometimes a babble, sometimes a flood. A central place where all of everyone’s work will appear. You’ll see blog posts that are responses to module activities, posts that are new activities, reflections, calls to action, new ideas and new plans. Hopefully even stories about misprinted fundraiser tickets.

What I hope and believe the Extend community can be is a slightly informal and loose yet strong and lively connection of faculty members engaged in teaching and learning with technology in the open. If you’ve ever felt lonely in your pursuit of providing great learning experiences to your students, you can say goodbye to that. It’s going to be awesome.

That was from the post I sent out a week prior to the Extend East Cohort Kick Off. I was right. It was awesome. And it still is awesome. It’s like that because the people extending didn’t worry about time and space or getting it done, they worried about sharing what they do with each other. they worried about connecting and building a network of shared experience.

I can’t wait to kick things off again, with that shared experience behind us and still with us. As you can see here, we have an outrageous check out policy. See you next week!

Image credit: “Brokenness” flickr photo by col_adamson https://flickr.com/photos/57855544@N00/340654162 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Might as Well Get Weird With It

This past weekend saw Toronto host, for the second year in a row, the 2018 Creative Commons Global Summit.

I attended last year as a participant but this year I wanted to do a little more by submitting a proposal to run a session about The Open Patchbooks. Rumour has it that my proposal arrived to CC as the very first submission. Fact has it that my session was accepted (YAY!) and slotted in as the very last presentation. Sunday evening at 5 p.m. (LOL!)

I’d been having fun throughout the weekend claiming that, technically, I am one of the headliners of the event. Like Beyonce at Coachella.

On the other hand I realized that in reality most people would be on their way home when my session occurred. Not to mention that the weather outside was utter nonsense.

Anyway, I figured I might as well get a little weird with it. I very much appreciate the eight of you who did attend. You are my heroes. You’re weird too, though.

The 31 embedded tweets below should explain things

image credit: “Warning Strange Dog” flickr photo by bixentro https://flickr.com/photos/bixentro/319724127 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

One Set of Infinity

This is a response to Loop It from the Ontario Extend Activity Bank:

Highlight  a topic or concept for _____________, math, literature, philosophy, etc., by creating one of those looping GIF things.

I always thought that a great use of the under appreciated GIF could be to have them looping all over the place at a gym rather than diagrams of how to perform an exercise. I had to find the silliest exercise video I could to make examples. And that video is called “This Aerobic Video Wins Everything

These examples are silly, but i do think a GIF of someone doing a perfect squat or deadlift on a tablet next to the squat rack would go a long way to helping people use proper technique. Although it may just drive you crazy that they seem to be able to keep going forever.

Photo by Jesper Aggergaard on Unsplash

 

Did I happen to mention I’m imPRESSED?

The PressEd Conference (still going as I’m putting this together) was today. It’s a conference on Twitter, about WordPress in education. No travel. No expenses. No fees. Maybe not even pants.

THERE WAS SO MUCH COOL STUFF. Take the rest of the year off and sort through #pressedconf18.

What better way to collect the stuff from my presentation than on WordPress (good suggestion, fellow #pressedconf18 presenter, Alan Levine!)

Here’s my collection of tweets about Ontario Extend.

Walk, Don’t Run

There’s no rush. This week in the Ontario Extend East Cohort, we are kicking off the Collaborator Module. There’s a high chance that you haven’t finished any of the previous three, yet. And that is more than okay.

This is open learning. The modules are there waiting for you to go back to them when you’re ready.

One of the main influences to the way Ontario Extend was built and is delivered is something called ds106, a wonderful community/way of life. Its content is all about Digital Storytelling and it grew out of a more traditional course at the University of Mary Washington. We mimic much of the structure of ds106 through our Daily Extend, Activity Bank and, most importantly, by asking participants to house their work on their own domains so that we can syndicate it all to our Domains page. In fact, the person that built the WordPress themes that make this happen for ds106, did it for us, too! Thanks CogDog! What a treat it was for me to get to work directly with him.

source: I think Giulia Forsythe made this image. Update: YUP https://www.flickr.com/photos/gforsythe/7016352577/

I started in on ds106 as an open participant in Fall of 2015 and there are still a couple modules I haven’t been through yet. I have every intention of doing so. But because I am a part of that community (#ds1064life), I feel no rush to get through it all. I don’t want to move on. I moved in.

I’m lucky to have a nice and healthy PLN and I owe its inception to ds106. I hope that what we have tried to bring from ds106 to Ontario Extend can do similar things for you. DS106 contributes to a PLN simply due to asking that everything we do be in the open. So I got to know the others involved in it. I followed others liberally on Twitter, curated a blog roll, read those blogs, commented on them. Following someone who interests you gives you a glimpse into their network, too. Many of the leaders in ed-tech and pedagogy whose thinking excites and influences me now are only known to me because I saw that they were followed by other ds106ers and I checked them out. As you make new connections to people who interest you, their influences must be interesting, too. As you can see (look at the sidebar to the right if you’re on a desktop/laptop) by the not-at-all frightening doll/friend who authenticates me as an official character of the Internet, the connections themselves can be very interesting.

We hope that, by being involved in Extend, you can expand and super charge your PLN. My advice, should you want to heed it, is just to start walking towards the things that interest you and get to know the people there. No running.

So head on over to the Collaborator module and let the wonderful creators of it (Michel Singh from Collège La Cité and Joanne Kehoe of  McMaster University) guide you to start pumping up your PLN. See you there!

“Discovery Walk” flickr photo by Mark Morgan Trinidad B https://flickr.com/photos/markmorgantrinidad/6191026012 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

I’d Like This Better If It Looked Like That

This tiny post is a response to the Ontario Extend Technologist module activity “Tell a Tiny Tech Tale” where you share a little software thing that you find helpful.

Mine is not new and likely widely known, but I just use it so much and it is a very satisfying tool to use:

The Format Painter aka Make This Look Like That.

Select some stuff that you like the look of for something else, click on the format painter, and then select your target. It will automatically change the format allowing you to remain blissfully unaware of what font/size/heading etc. it even is.


You can find the format painter in any of the Office products and all the Google Drive thingies. Look for a little paintbrush.

“painter” flickr photo by tinou bao https://flickr.com/photos/tinou/453593446 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license