Steez-Based Learning

According to the Urban Dictionary, Steez is simply style with ease. I am here today to offer you a way of learning with style and ease. In a world that fights to the death for your attention, you just might need to enhance your methods.

 what we do… we update our formulas

Guru, “You Know My Steez”

So with that, I present to you EZ Learning: Audio Books with Beats. This might be a silly idea no one digs, but it works for me. I tried it out on the Open University’s wonderful Innovating Pedagogy Report for 2023 and enjoyed the process. You can hear the results here. Now without asking anyone else if this was a good idea or not, I thought I would continue along and do it bigger: An entire open textbook that I wanted to read. Thank you for the gift of another show space on VoicEd Radio, Stephen Hurley!

Show description:

Get ready to experience learning-while-lying-down like never before with “EZ Learning.” This podcast series combines the power of technology, knowledge, laziness, and creativity to deliver a learning experience that’s informative, engaging, and truly for the laid-back learner. Let the learning come to you in this synergy of educational content and captivating beats which transform your learning journey into a more sedentary one (when you need it). Learning has never been this easy. Each season will be a chapter by chapter robot-voiced recording of an openly licensed text book, article, or report paired with some also-openly-licensed instrumental beats.

SEASON 1: The Theory and Practice of Online Learning. (An open textbook Edited by Terry Anderson, published by Athabasca University Press)

Each episode is an audio recording of a chapter and includes background beats from the Free Music Archive: Brown Lounge Volume 2 DJ Mixby Letherette. This project has no quality assurance so if please let me know if you find yourself listening to dead air lol.

If you want to do this silliness yourself, here is what you can use to make it happen:

You know my steez.

(featured image created by DALL-E)

The Universal Learn Assessment Tool

If learning styles were real, I would be a satirical learner. And satire is precisely what lets us get away with doing this. My teammate and fellow satire enthusiast Christian and I were chatting away about how to share our learning.

Thinking something like “I worked on _____ and all I learned was this stupid idea”. Low effort, decent impact, could still have fun with it. I’m picturing an intentionally shitty aesthetic.

Christian Metaxas, Electronic Learning Designer

This didn’t directly send me to think of primary school style worksheets. But almost. I sent Christian an example of an End of Lesson Exit Card. “Like this?”

end of lesson exit card. How do you feel about this lesson? circle one: (then 7 options of faces with different emotions to choose from) why?

image source

Ahaha exactly. Maybe give it a little Breaking Bad edge.

an image of the Universal Pain Assessment Chart taken from AMC's Breaking Bad

In the show, a young entrepreneur from New Mexico named Jesse Pinkman was in the hospital and the show used this device (the chart) to maybe hint that Jesse might be looking elsewhere for pain medication in the near future. Turns out this chart is based on a real chart which used the Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale.

Now to get silly. Would it be funny to replace “pain” with “learn”? Yes. Yes, it would.

Enter The Universal Learn Assessment Tool. I am not sure at this point what is intentional and what is unintentional, but the low production value aesthetic has not been harmed by my work here.

 this is an image of the universal learn assessment tool the learn assessment tool is intended to help patient care providers assess learn according to individual learner needs explain and use zero to 10 scale for learn self-assessment use the faces or behavioral observations to interpret expressed learn when patient cannot communicate his or her learn intensity so then there's a chart with a verbal descriptor scale the facial Grimace scale and activity tolerance zero is no learn :-) alert smiling activity tolerance no pain one two and three is mild learn no humor serious and flat the smile is low it can be ignored the learning can be ignored four and five is moderate learn furrowed Brau pursed lips breath holding this interferes with tasks and sleep five six and seven is moderate learn wrinkled nose raised upper lips wrap it breathing and it interferes with concentration 789 is severe learn slow blink open mouth interferes with basic needs 10 worst learn possible eyes closed moaning c

If you feel you have just experienced the worst learn possible, we advise bedrest immediately.

We have more plans for this. Stay tuned. Artwork by Christian.

a sketch drawing of plans for an online learning readiness assessment chart

The Making of The Liberated Learner

… As far as I can remember it.

This is for John, who asked me to write about this. Below I will try to tell the story of how it all came together. Check out the thread, too, as it explains what the Liberated Learner is all about.

Where It All Began

There are a few things that had to happen to get this thing going. David Porter had to bring the “Anatomy of the 21st Century Educator” framework to eCampusOntario and anchor it as the framework for a fabulous professional learning program called Ontario Extend. And then, once that thing was going gangbusters, Lena Patterson had to think out loud “Hey, we should do this kind of thing for learners, too!” Years later, eCampusOntario had to roll out the VLS funding. And Trent Online had to give me the go ahead to work on a proposal.

Getting the Gang Together – Part 1

I think even before a word was typed in the proposal it was clearly student co-design as the central, fundamental approach to doing it right. So when I reached out to collaborators I reached out to ones that I knew would love the approach, and trust students enough to let them truly co-design this thing. Enter the likes of Giulia Forsythe, Dave Cormier, Jenni Hayman, Joanne Kehoe, Sarah Wendorf, Pat Maher, Heather Carroll, Alex Venis. Our 7 institution team was formed! (That’s Trent, Seneca, Nipissing, Cambrian, McMaster, Brock, Windsor if you’re keeping score).


Okay so obviously we were successful in getting the proposal funded. As soon as that was all set, we got together for the first of our weekly/bi-weekly meetings that would take us through the year. We were all set to follow up to the “Empowered Educator Framework” with The Liberated Learner Framework. It was pared down to 4 modules (from 6) and included: The Learner, The Technologist, The Navigator, The Collaborator. We divvied up the work. Windsor would take on the learner Module themselves, McMaster /Trent would tackle Collaborator, Nipissing/Cambrian the Navigator, and Seneca/Brock the Technologist.

Getting The Gang Together – Part 2

Next it was time for each of the module teams to find their student co-designers. We didn’t try to specify how each team should handle their student co-designer budget. They could hire one for a long time or a bunch for a short time. Whatever worked best for their context. I can only speak closely to how Trent went about it. We looked to hire 2 co-designers for the summer. Getting a fantastic response to the posting (around 1oo applicants), we decided to go with 2 rounds of group interviews. Those group interviews were actually wonderfully cordial and collaborative experiences themselves (even though it was a “competition”). We really couldn’t have gone wrong in our choices. But we were definitely extra correct in choosing Asa Reynolds and Dana Jamaleddine as Trent’s Student C0-Designers. And as a cherry on top, we got to add Liam Peart in to the mix in September. They weren’t just great to work with. They were clearly fundamental to making this thing turn out the way it did.

All the other teams have similar stories of finding just absolutely fantastic student co-designers. I think it might just be a really easy task to find great students to work with. You just have to invite them in. Have a look at our “end credits” video to see all involved.

Actually Listen

Dana recently said something along the lines “I was pretty skeptical.” or “I figured you were full of it” in regards to her belief that we were truly going to co-design with students. She was happy to be wrong. Early on a truly fundamental idea was brought forward by Asa. He suggested we need to hear the stories of the “wicked problems” that students face in their pursuit of education. That those stories should be what inform the content of the modules we go on to create. Most of the rest of us, in our heads, were like “holy shit. yes.”

From that nugget the Liberated Learner Design Sprint was born. We took a chunk of our budget and asked students to join us every day at lunch time for a week and we’d pay them $100 to tell us a wicked problem story. They would describe the story and suggest any lessons learned. They would also help us categorize them to see which module we might fit the story in to. The sprint was another example of the strength of student co-design. To kick things off, I gave a little context and told the sprinters about what we were doing, but then we handed everything off to student co-designers (Asa and Dana from Trent, Rana Kilani from Windsor, and Krisha Amin from Seneca). Giving the sprinters the chance to try out their stories with their peers (and not the “institutional staff” that people like me would represent to them) really allowed them to draw out the real stories.

I’ll take a moment here to recognize that I’m pretty sure seeing the work Dave Cormier does with his students at UWindsor Open Learning are the footsteps we were following here in our approach to co-design.

And we ended up with 99 problems! Too perfect. See them all here:

Trust Each Other

Okay so at this point we are in to summer, 2021. We have all these stories to work with, but people are drifting off on summer break kind of schedules. We keep meeting weekly with whoever is not off on vacation. But really this was a time of each module team just digesting what we have. Asa and Dana did a review of the stories and helped us summarize and code them in order to pass off a collection of stories to each module team (and each team kind of did their own review as well). We kind of let things simmer for the summer.

Take the Time

Let’s just take a minute to have a laugh about how I said in our proposal that we would have this all done by October. Lol! And now let’s take a moment for to thank eCampus for being flexible and being able to adjust dates. We took all the time, didn’t rush it, and were all the better for it. We did hand it in a few days early. But not months! In September we got into a routine of weekly meetings involving round table updates of where each team were in the process. This lead to discussions around what topics had been drawn out of the stories, which module it would fit in, where were there opportunities to “tentacle” from one module to another (for example, the technologist module “reaches” into the other modules by suggesting you use your new found awesome technological skills to make your responses to activities in the other modules more technologically fancy.) Some modules were moving ahead more quickly than others, and that was more than okay. We didn’t take meetings too seriously with task lists and agendas. We dabbled in that. But in deciding to take all the time we could, we released the pressure on the meetings and just allowed ideas to form a little more organically. I think this approach showed trust in the collaboration.

See Opportunity? Go For It

It was in the fall at some point a wee connection was made in my brain. I had often listened to “lofi hip hop” as I worked away on things. Specifically this channel. I thought hey this music is conceptually tied to studying and learning… The Liberated Learner project is about studying and learning… We’re making this thing for and by the students of Ontario Post Secondary (and beyond of course!)… Seneca College has an independent music production program… Maybe they could make us some of our own “beats to study to” and we could make some videos to go with it, reminiscent of the lofi hip hop channel that inspired this. One email to Seneca IMP’s coordinator John Switzer, and the ball was rolling.

I’m even listening to the playlist right now as I write this. It works very nicely for me. Those Seneca students really brought the goods!

Find Gold? Mine It.

Some hidden talents came to light as we worked away. Like it was clear from the start that all the co-designers could make things happen. That Bethany Brown (our graphic designer) was making beautiful graphics for us. But other skills appeared and we took advantage of them. For example, Harsh Bhavsar can make fantastic animations and Patrick Carnevale has the voice from the heavens as a voice over artist. And so we end up with 4 absolutely delightful animated videos that each kick off a module.

Help Set The Tone

At some point in November each of the module teams were at different stages of development. The Technologist Team had been quite focused in the summer and their student co-designers pretty much had their content wrapped up and ready to be moved in to Pressbooks ahead of the others. I was keen to see things start to form in there so I asked the if they would mind if I just went ahead and moved their stuff in. They said okay but don’t eff it up (they did not say that). I worked closely with Alex Venis on working out some details of the global look and feel, got some great stuff from Bethany to add, and voila, we had a prototype to show the others.

Be Cool That The Tone You Set Needed Some Work

The Learner gang were ready at this point to get in there and get their stuff into Pressbooks, so they did. I asked, once they were done, if I could try to make the look and feel consistent between the two. They said ok. But I went in the wrong direction. I should have used their format as the base rather than what I had done in the Tech module. I am happy to say that they weren’t afraid to let me know. We got there in the end (thanks to them!) Things were falling in to place now!


If you were granted editor rights to the pressbook, you could see that many pages have many revisions. I couldn’t stop tinkering. I would ask Alex for some coding help or Bethany for another icon (see them all here) or some Giulia Forythe doodles of things like sleeping bananas and Darth Vader! For a while there I could not stop tinkering.

Bring in Fresh Legs

Some things worked out quite nicely, timing wise. By January, Dave had some fresh co-op students at Windsor. Students who were not “in too deep” on this thing. We asked them to take on a global evaluations and formed the “Evaluation Strike Force Team” and they were wonderful in catching errors, fixing the ones they could, and giving us suggestions as to how to make things more meaningful or helpful or appealing. That evaluation took this thing to the next level.

The Final Touch

Jenni Hayman, out of nowhere at the last minute, finds us an even extra level of evaluation in the form of the one and only Kyle Mackie. Kyle has been building beautiful online learning experiences for what I assume is hundreds of years. To have him take a final global look, makes some very helpful suggestions and edits and call it “lovely” was, for me, a real thick layer of icing on the cake.

Just My Take

Please remember that this is just how I remember this happening. I have three small children. I am tired and may be mis-remembering the whole thing. I probably forgot to mention some very important contributors. I hope others are able to take their time to reflect on their experience making this thing. And, most hopefully, that in time the real story of this project is that learners found it, made use of it, and got some more joy out of their learny journey.

Bespoke Beats

It’s not every day, as an instructional designer, that you get to organize a bespoke soundscape for a learning experience.

But I got to do it this time!

We’re reaching the end of building the Liberated Learner project, built as a “learner version” of the Ontario Extend Empowered Educator program. Like the original for educators, there will be modules aimed to help learners empower themselves in various areas in order to become a more well-rounded and prepared-for-anything learner. The Pressbook is still under construction, so I will save sharing that out here for later.

But I cannot hold back any longer in sharing our “Chill Beats To Study To”. Early on in the project, we thought it might be cool to link learners out to something like the lofi hip hop radio playlists to listen to while they worked their way through the materials and activities. But then we thought… Maybe we can have our own beats, just for this, crafted by some of the very students that might be working on this program to support their learning. Why the heck not?

After all, every step of the way we’ve been very intentional about inviting learners in to co-design and develop this with us. We held a design sprint to collect the stories of the difficulties that learners have faced in their learning experiences. We then used those stories to inform the content. We have all the aforementioned student co-designers who have been absolutely integral to the development. The graphic designer was in the middle of her program when the project began. The translation is all being done by students in the Humber College French To English Translation Program. The evaluation team is comprised completely of students.

Enter the Seneca College Independent Music programs (Production, Songwriting and Performance). I reached out to John Switzer, who coordinates the programs, to see if he thought his students might be interested in the idea. He said “sounds cool!” and reached out to his students with the idea. Once a number of students showed interest, we figured it was an idea worth following through on. With John’s ongoing help, we’ve now received a playlist’s worth of “lofi” beats to study to, crafted by some of the very learners that our original funding was designed to help, Ontario post-secondary students.

And here we are today with our own Soundcloud playlist of chill beats to study to, specifically made for Liberated Learner Project participants.

And there’s more to come! We’ve also crafted, for Youtube, some video versions that hearken back to the lofi hip hop radio videos that originally inspired the idea. Here’s a draft version of one of those.

Once the project is all ready and released to the world as an Open Educational Resource that anyone can make use of, we hope people make great use of our beats to study to along with the program itself. It has been an absolute delight seeing the talents and efforts of all involved bring this thing together.

Picking Out The Highlights of The Scenery

Pickin’ out the highlights of the scenery. Some some little clouds they looked a… little … like… me.

Gord Downie, New Orleans is Sinking

So I’ve been just sitting here working away on an eCampusOntario funded project, with a multi-institutional team of people whom I like to refer to as radical pedagogues, and an unexpected treat has revealed itself. This post, I hope, will serve to reveal it even more.

But first, how about a little bit more context, yes? Ok then! The project itself is called something like Ontario Extend: Liberated Learners Edition. We have not actually settled on the name’s final form, but the idea is that it is Ontario Extend, But For Learners This Time. So, whereas Ontario Extend for Educators has the Empowered Educator Framework which includes modules in teaching, collaborating, Curating, Technology, Experimenting and SoTL, Ontario Extend for Learners has the Liberated Learner Framework including modules in learning, technology, collaborating, and navigating.

That multi-institutional team (Trent, Cambrian, Nipissing, Seneca, McMaster, Brock and Windsor) of rad pedagogues is oh say about 10% of the way to completing the development at this point. One piece of our plan, the one I think that we value the most, is to have students co-designing with us at every level of the development. So we hired a bunch of student co-designers to join in on the fun. Once the co-designers were in place, we had a bit of a realization: We have budget for subject matter experts. The subject matter is basically “How to Student”. Hence, the students ARE the subject matter experts. That’s their money. Let’s get it to them.

And thus was born the Liberated Learners Design Sprint. It ran in late June, and it invited students of all stripes to join us and we’d pay them tell us the stories of the “wicked problems” that they’d faced in their journey before/during/ after/between their programs. The sprint sessions were held at lunch time every day of the week. Monday was a more traditional kick off what-the-heck-is-this webinar where we told them what we were asking them to do, and then Tuesday to Thursday were opportunities for everyone to come and “try out” their stories. They would join breakout rooms aligned with whichever of the four modules their story best aligns and to tell them, and listen to the others. Student co-designers lead these rooms and these sessions really served us well in drawing out rich, authentic experiences. Friday was then a showcase event in which four people who were able to already complete their stories shared them to everyone. And then we asked everyone to have their written stories in to us by the end of the next week.

And now we have 110+ stories of the authentic issues learners have faced, that we’re working to align to and inform the content and activities that go into the modules that we will now begin to create. A rare few were some pretty weak submissions. Very short, not-well thought out. Bummer. But on the other end, and completely overshadowing the weak submissions, are these rich tales of the trials and tribulations of the learning journey that we would never have had a sniff at including into the program without first hiring student co-designers and then asking them to take the lead in the sprints.

Just look at some of the titles of the stories:

  • Anti-Social Sociology Major
  • Crayola markers got me through the first year of University
  • Captain Depresso
  • Teaching Incon-(ass)istant
  • Extra-Curricular Extremist
  • Fake It Till You Make It
  • The Social Caterpillar
  • zzZZzzzzZoom University
  • Fishing for 60’s

You know you want to read those stories! Well, as luck would have it, there is a place to see these stories coming out, one at a time over the next (many) weeks! I’ve had the Open Learner Patchbook sitting a little dormant for a while, but it dawned on me slowly that the stories we’d drawn out of these students are the same types of stories that the Open Learner Patchbook had originally invited, so I all of a sudden had a bunch of new fodder for the site!

So, while we comb through all the stories we’ll align them to and allow them to inform the upcoming Liberated Learner modules. But, we can also pick out the highlights of the scenery and share them out one at a time on the patchbook. We’ll pick a new one and work with its author to turn their stories into a post, and release them pretty much weekly for the next many weeks.

In fact, go have a look at the last two posts, which came from the design sprint:

Oh and one final update. The Liberated Learner project was funded as an eCampusOntario Virtual Learning Strategy project. They are kicking off a series of community webinars with a student panel discussion about this very design sprint on July 22 ant noon Eastern. Wanna join in? Register here:

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

One of Those Times When A Dream Comes True

Somewhere towards the end of the podcast episode I am about to share, I try to tell the host how I felt about the opportunity. I didn’t quite say it right, so I’ll try again here. While Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show was a bit before my time, I do have the sense that getting asked on to the show, for entertainers at least was the ultimate sign that you’re doing well at the thing that you love to do.

In that sense, I think that the Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast, with Bonni Stachowiak, is the Tonight Show for post-secondary educators, and to be asked on and to have the opportunity to be interviewed by Bonni is absolutely a dream come true for me. It’s also hugely validating of any efforts I have made in the world of open education and just generally being an educator and instructional designer. Whoever’s next up to bat on Bonni’s show, you’re in for a treat!

So without further ado, have a listen here to hear me realizing a dream

A couple of notes from the show. Bonni is so incredibly humble that she says she was intimidate to ask me (?) on her show! I crunched some numbers and it turns out her show has approximately 150 times as many downloads as mine lol! Also, before we began recording, we plotted a way to try to discuss how a twitter joke I made relating *NSYNC vs. Backstreet Boys to the *ASYNC vs synchronous debate of online learning. During recording, Bonni set me up to talk about it nicely and I totally whiffed on it, giving like 5% of the context needed for it to make sense to listeners. Thank you to editor extraordinaire, Andrew Kroeger for cutting that part out and saving me from myself! And one final note, I am quite fond of the list of “resources mentioned” on the episode page because they look so random. The list includes a keynote I admire, some resources I’ve worked on (which makes sense) but also books about hip hop and David Cronenberg movies (which seem to make no sense to be included, but hopefully do, if you listen!)

Anyway, if you have a listen, I hope you enjoy it. I certainly did!

The College Drop-In

That image you scrolled by to get to these words… that’s the Nacho Ramp. It’s named that because we ate nachos off of it instead of skateboarding on it. I mean, we’re trying to skateboard on it, but we are so far more successful at the nacho eating thing.

The notion of dropping in on that thing is absolutely frightening to 42 year-old-not-much-of-a-skateboarder me. What can I do to prepare? Probably a lot of things. Purchase lots of padding. Work on my balance, agility and flexibility. Visualize it happening. Play some Tony Hawk video games and watch Youtube videos of others doing it. Get connected to people in the skateboarding community. Sure those things will help. One thing for sure is that the path to my success in this endeavor lies in pain and failure. And it relies on me actually following that path myself. And at some point I will be prepared to drop right in and down that ramp and skate away into the sunset and it will be glorious.

Now that the embargo has been lifted, I can tell you about another thing I’m about to drop in on. I am part of a project that’s been awarded funding, through eCampusOntario, to design, develop and deliver a sibling to the Ontario Extend Empowered Educator micro-credential. This time for learners themselves. The original Extend is built around the “Empowered Educator” framework. This time we’re working up the “Liberated Learner” framework.

Whereas the Empowered Educator is meant to help educators develop the skills and abilities they need to teach in a digital age, whatever the learning context, the Liberated Learner seeks to help learners develop the skills they need to learn, whatever the teaching context. It’s not really just one nut to crack. It’s a bowl of nuts we’ll need to crack one at a time and then, hopefully serve them up to you in a big bowl of OER.

Who’s the we? Well here is one of the best parts. The team is chock full of some of my absolute favorite heroes of teaching and learning whom we are lucky enough to have working right here in our province. It’s a team effort from 7 different Ontario post-secondary institutions. I am listed as the lead, but I’ll probably mostly just need to keep myself from gawking at all the awesomeness coming from this group. I plan to coax and cajole everyone involved into blogging some of their journey as we go, so stay tuned for updates and to find out just who these heroes are. I’d also love to invite you into the discussion. Hop into the comments below to let us know what nuts you think we need to try and crack (and if you know how to crack them, tell us that, too!)

Let’s pop back to the Nacho Ramp again for a minute. I didn’t acquire this wooden learning environment just so that a 42 year old can finally learn to hit a skateboard ramp. Oh no, no no. Like the Wu Tang, it’s for the children. And like me, it’s up to my kids to follow the crashy, ouchy journey themselves to be able to do it.

It’s like that with the Liberated Learner framework, too. The more seasoned (read: older) members of the team are not involved in this just so that we can figure out how to liberate our own learning, although that’d be cool if we did that a bit. Built in to the proposal is a plan to co-create this with members of the target audience of the project itself. Student co-creators are being brought in to every phase of the project. The more experienced team members will be there, maybe modeling, maybe advising, nudging. Maybe just trying to keep up or getting out of the way. Mostly we just want to help put the ramp there so that the student co-creators that we are working with can show us all how to shred.

The bullseye of our target audience for the liberated learner framework is that student who is getting ready to drop (back?) into higher ed. Whether that’s just the beginning of a post-secondary career, between semesters or years of a program, or coming back to a new program after some time off. It may be a crashy, ouchy, bumpy journey, but we hope to help make that drop in happen with as much padding as possible

After all, that ramp needs to be remembered for shredded knees more than shredded cheese.

Thems the Breaks

It took today’s release of the Praxis Pedagogy Podcast’s newest episode to realize I hadn’t blogged about something big yet! Anne-Marie Scott and I were interviewed by host Tim Carson about a project that we are calling Check The O.L. in which she and I aim to get the stories behind how some of the most ground breaking online learning experiences have come to be.

If you happened to read an earlier post of mine entitled Let’s Get Explicit, in where I attempt to liken the potential of open educational practices to the constantly innovating and groundbreaking world of hip hop, you’ll see in this post that I’ve not only gone deep down this rabbit hole, I’ve also dragged Anne-Marie down there with me. Thanks for helping me dig, Anne-Marie!

Let me break it down with a list of revelations that slowly came to me as this project was formed:

  1. (June 2020): When you’re just sitting there, building courses all summer, your ears have a lot of free time to hear things. Like music!
  2. (Same time frame): If that music is hip hop, it puts me right into the flow I need to in to be quite productive.
  3. (July 2020): I want to know more about hip hop. I really loved it when I was little, but I seemed to forget about it for a good while and I need to get caught up! Maybe there is a book.
  4. (July 2020): There is a book! Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip Hop Junkies, By Brian Coleman. This book is dope. I love learning the stories about how these groundbreaking, innovative hip hop albums came to be. There are so many ways to make great hip hop.
  5. (Late July 2020): Oooh there is a sequel! I should read that, too!
  6. (Early August 2020): Hmmm. I kind of think that hip hop and open, online learning have some things in common.
  7. (Mid August 2020) I wish there was a book just like this but for innovative, groundbreaking, probably open online learning.
  8. (Also Mid August 2020) Hmm. Could I make that book? I should see if anyone else thinks this is a good idea.
  9. (Still Mid August 2020) Anne-Marie Scott thinks it’s a good idea so it must be. And she’s willing to help. LET’S DO THIS! LET’S MAKE A BOOK!
  10. (Late August 2020) I really dig how Martin Weller’s 25 Years of Ed-Tech is planning an audio version and a podcast about the book. We should do that too when we get to that point.
  11. (Still Late August 2020): We should do that first! Podcast our way into a book. LET’S DO THIS! LET’S MAKE A PODCAST AND THEN MAKE IT A BOOK!

And if we fast-forward to today, you’ll see that we’ve made some pretty good headway. We have a juicy list of online courses/ communities/ experiences to cover and we’ve released 5 episodes of the podcast, which have included Laura Gibbs’ (THE Online Course Lady) Indian Epics & Myth folklore , Bonnie Stewart’s #Antigonish2, Mia Zamora and Alan Levine’s #NetNarr, and Whitney Kilgore’s #HumanMOOC. Anne-Marie sees these things more clearly and easier than me, but I can assure you that some interesting common threads are beginning to reveal themselves as we go.

Next up is the release of our chat with Al Filreis on the long running MOOC known as #ModPo (Modern Poetry). This course was one of the most recommended to us, and we sure as heck found out why when Al blew our minds with meta-pedagogical delights. Stay tuned for that to be released late next week!

Grab the feed to the podcast here, keep them suggestions for courses to cover coming, and let us know what you think!

Gettin’ Air Top Ten

Stephen Hurley of VoicEd Radio, likely sick of me sending him new podcast recordings to release on his platform, recently upgraded his Spreaker account to allow me access to publish new episodes myself. An extra bonus is that I can now see the stats.

I was curious to see which was the most listened to episode of my main podcast: Gettin’ Air: The Open Pedagogy Podcast. And surprised at the answer! Not that I think the all time leader is not worthy. When it comes to shmooshing technology and learning together, he is probably one of the world’s best. No hyperbole in that statement. It’s just, you know, look at the list of guests! There are some big names on there!

So I took it to Twitter, to annoy people into guessing who it was at the top of the list. The suggestions were the ones I would have guessed, too! Maha Bali, Audrey Watters, Sheri Spelic, Bonni Stachowiak, Robin DeRosa. All absolutely fantastic guests, but not the number one. Not today anyway. Some of these episodes deserve more listens!

Sure thing, Jesse! Now keep in mind that these are the stats for downloads of the podcast. Gettin’ Air is also a radio show on, and I don’t have those stats. An episode may have had a decent showing of live listeners when it was broadcast. Who knows? I do believe there is some weird luck going on in the timing of the release sometimes. It’s like a game of Plinko sometimes. This would all be moot if everyone just listened to every episode. OK?

So let’s see that list!

  1. John Stewart: Assistant Director for the Office of Digital Learning at the University of Oklahoma
  2. Chad Flinn: Student advocate and Open Pedagogy enthusiast
  3. Audrey Watters: Writer at Hack Education
  4. Jim Groom: Co-founder of Reclaim Hosting
  5. Jesse Stommel: Founder @HybridPed @DigPedLab
  6. Catherine Cronin: Ireland’s National Forum for Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
  7. Lee Skallerup Bessette: Learning Design Specialist at Georgetown
  8. Sheri Spelic: The Edified Listener
  9. Mia Zamora: Associate Professor of English and Director of the MA in Writing Studies at Kean University
  10. Frances Bell and Anne-Marie Scott: The FemEdTEch Quilt

There you have it! The list will likely need to be updated once Robin DeRosa’s mom gets in on this, so stay tuned!

And tune in soon for new episodes from Valerie Irvine and Tim Owens! As always, if you are interested in being a guest on the show, I’d love to set something up (even if you’ve been on before!). Get in touch!

Photo by Joshua Golde on Unsplash

Gettin’ Air with Bryan Mathers

The release of last week’s episode of Gettin’ Air came with bonus material… A new logo! I’ve loved Bryan Mathers’ work for a long time. My laptop is covered in work he’s done with the likes of Reclaim Hosting, Audrey Watters, OpenETC … just to name a few. I wear his work on my belly often in the form of my Hack Education t-shirt. His stickers are also on my tablet, my bike. It even makes our mini van a little cooler than it already is. So to have some Bryan Mathers art as a logo for Gettin’ Air is just like… you know…. frickin’ awesome. I have considered getting it tattooed on my person. Check out all his work here, and consider how valuable his process could be in any number of projects you work on.

Have a look through the Twitter Moment below for links to the things we chat about in the episode as well as some other responses shared after the fact. And if you’d like me to send you a sticker, shoot me your address in a Twitter message.