Interrupt Yourself

Yesterday morning I had a moment where I realized I wasn’t too sure what to do next, work-wise. So I decided to take the moment to check in on Benjamin Doxdator‘s writing, because that stuff will fill you right up with things you maybe need to think about. It’s so good.

I think I was drawn to click on a post called “What Should Give Educators Pause in 2018” because I was kind of taking a little pause from just constantly trying to “do stuff” and taking a moment to read a few things. I mean, obviously I check out and read things often enough, but I haven’t been consciously telling myself to stop and take in rather than just trying to keep putting things out there. As a self-described open educator, I want to remind myself to take and take as well as give from the commons that we have. And by take, mostly I mean take in more the openly shared thoughts, ideas and plans that open educators tend to share on their blogs or podcasts.

Benjamin’s post was a two phase thing in which he originally asked people to contribute audio about “what should give them pause” and he then put it all together into a podcast and updated the post with the final product. It’s a wonderful, peaceful piece with eight responses from around the world. I especially enjoyed joining Alan Levine on a walk with Felix.

It just so happens that later that day I was chatting with Helen DeWaard and she brought up something that fell together with Benjamin’s “productive interruptions”, for me. That was the #OneWordONT challenge in which you choose a word to focus on for the year. Helen chose “frames” so she will spend the year being cognizant of the frames she sees the world through and see if she needs to do something about it.

I am going to take a simpler route and choose “pause”. I’ll take a cue from the cows above and look at the vista views. I’m going to interrupt myself when I feel the wheels are spinning, stop, and just take in what’s around me. I guess I don’t have an answer to Benjamin’s question “what should give educator’s pause?” other than to say, “Good idea! Let’s pause.” Maybe I’ll even pause the pause to track what I’ve read during these little pit stops so I can see how productive my interruptions have been.

Featured image: “pause” flickr photo by amysphere https://flickr.com/photos/amymichon/2482489038 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Overjoyed – A Ghost of Ed-Tech Past

If there were an ed-tech museum, there would likely be a whole wing dedicated to the overhead projector. In its day, it was used and abused like it was going out of style. You know, like PowerPoint.

Also like PowerPoint, it had its moments. One of my all time favorite school moments is owed partly to the overhead projector. And human error of course.

It was the typical elementary school assembly, holiday edition. Everyone sitting cross-legged in lines on the gymnasium floor. The biggest overhead projector they had in the centre, spraying its light on the big, white screen. Christmas carols playing on the speaker, an acetate with hand written lyrics to each song. I remember the handwriting and little doodles of sleighs and holly in colour around the words. “Deck the Halls”, “Santa Claus in Coming to Town”, “Jingle Bells”. Me sitting there, mouthing the words and not actually voicing them.

And then it happened. Time for “Joy To The World”. (play the song below to get the tune in your head now)

I remember the doodles. A frog. What the heck did a frog have to do with Christmas?

And then we all started to read/sing the words we saw:

Jeremiah was a bullfrog!

He was a good friend of mine.

Whoever had taken such care to lovingly write out the lyrics and add doodles to the acetates, had written out the lyrics to the Three Dog Night rock song version of Joy to the World. The music and the kids screaming “Joy to the fishies in the deep blue sea!” did not quite match up harmoniously.

They had meant to bring us closer to Bethlehem, but we ended up closer to bedlam. And it was amazing.

And it wouldn’t have happened without the overhead projector.

 

Gettin’ Bigger Air

A ways back I told you how I was getting a little bit of air time on voicEd.ca. In that post was a link to the pilot episode of Gettin’ Air.

Now we are up and running with 7 episodes!  Using the analogy of getting some air on our bmx bikes, we are now at the point where we are not petrified to ride up to the jump. And we will do it with a little more speed. That means we get a little more air time, which is more exhilarating. We are also at the point where we don’t crash land so much and do not need too many stitches in the aftermath.

But definitely when we are in the air/on the air, it’s nothing but fun. Well, fun for me anyways. You’ll have to ask the guest stars if they had a good time or not.

So far it has been fantastic to host the likes of Giulia Forsythe, Jenni Hayman, Joanne Kehoe (and to in turn be hosted by Joanne), Peg French, Ali Versluis, Claire Coulter, Sean Kheraj, Tom Peace and Aaron Langille.

We’ve chatted about open and technology enabled learning with all of these fine people and we can’t wait to do it again! Add a comment if you want to get some air with us and listen to an episode or two if you’d like.

Photo by Pamela Saunders on Unsplash

Don’t Save a Thing For Later

My tanks aren’t empty, but I want to try my best to use it all up while I’m here.

I’ve been on secondment to eCampusOntario for two and a half months now. Its official end is March 31st, 2018. I know it could possibly go longer, But I want to work with what I for sure have to the best of my ability. I feel it’s time to make a concerted effort to extinguish all my resources, connections, and ideas while I’m here.

By that I mean I want to try to make and share out all the connections I can. Not just between myself and the people of Ontario’s Post-Secondary Education-isphere. I also want to help connect others together, connect people with resources, connect resources with resources.

eCampusOntario has a lot of cool stuff going on. I’m going to list a few of the things I’m involved with and beg of you to help me make some connections.

Let’s try to run out of ideas together.

The Catch – This is a “fortnightly” blog post. The idea is reporting on the technology-enabled learning things that the four eCampus Program Managers catch on to in their day to day program managering. It’s doled out in bite-sized categories. So, would you like to see something you are working on written about with levity and brevity and shared to all? Nominate yourself or your friend or an idea here > thecatch@ecampusontario.ca. You can see one of the recent issues of The Catch here.

Ontario Extend – These are resources that can help educators fill their buckets in the different areas of Simon Bates’ “Anatomy of the 21st century Educator”: Teacher (obviously), Experimenter, Scholar, Curator, Collaborator and Technologist. What I would love from you is your take on one of the activities to add to the Ontarioextend.ca site. This will help to help bring it all to life and leave a trail of participation for those that follow to learn from. It will also help to build a community of “Extenders” who like to dabble in this stuff. Call dibs on an activity here. You don’t need to have done the whole kit and kaboodle to add your take on something. You can also just email me tgreene@ecampusontario.ca to chat about it.

Gettin’ Air – Another way I’m trying to connect with the people who do the things we admire (namely open and/or technology-enabled learning experiences) is through a radio program on voiced.ca radio. The program is called “Gettin’ Air”.  Each episode I connect with someone to get them some air time to share a bit of their story. I have done two episodes so far and I really enjoy hearing about what people are up to, how they got there, and where they are hoping to go with their work. So, if you’re up for a 30 minute chat on the air (or recorded beforehand), I would love to chat with you! Email me and we can set up a time for a call: tgreene@ecampusontario.ca

Here’s a “rough cut” of episode 2, which is a chat with Dr. Aaron Langille of Laurentian University. We chat about his work with gamification and how he also plans to leverage open educational resources into that world.

As I said, I want to try to empty the tanks. Help me use up all the ideas and plans and connections we can and let’s see where it takes us. I hope to hear from you.

“Empty Empty” flickr photo by DaveFayram https://flickr.com/photos/davefayram/4744862344 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

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

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


6156272159_c8b0340366_o.jpg

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

 

Things Open

How did I become involved in things open? Funny you should ask because I’ve been asked to contribute to www.101openstories.org to tell my Open Education origin story. I’ll be on a live video call on that site on July 27th telling this story. If my past video experience can predict the outcome of this one, it should be funny for you and embarrassing for me. Luckily for me I haven’t been in the open game long, so I seem to still have access to most of the memories. I’ll tell you the story here, too. Spoiler alert if you want to watch the video!

It was a dark and stormy night way back in the fall of 2015. And by dark and stormy night, I believe it was actually quite mild and the middle of the day. I was in the office of Judith Limkilde, then the Dean of General Arts and Science of Fleming College, for my performance review. As any good boss would do, Judith asked me what I would like to do for professional development over the next year. I knew this question would be coming and I had prepared an in depth answer that was probably something like: “Umm, I’d like to brush up on some, like, digital skills and stuff.” I had come across some weird, free thing that was called ds106 that promised to show you a thing or two about digital storytelling. I wanted to do it, but I wasn’t sure exactly why at the time. Judith said okay, go right ahead.

I know what it was that drew me in now. I wasnt looking for “open” or “free” or anything. Just some online learning. There’s a lot of learning stuff on the Internet: Coursera, Udacity, Lynda, whatever. It all looks slick and umm… what’s the word? Lifeless. ds106 was different though. It wasn’t all that polished looking, but here’s a lesson for all the other slicker than snot venture capital funded bore-o-systems: You could see the work of the students everywhere. What? I get to see what the other people do with these instructions? I can take their ideas and build off them? I could add my ideas for how to participate in the course? I might see my own stuff on this site?  That was my fire for open all lit up right there.

I’ve been opening up ever since.

Since then, and directly or indirectly from participating in ds106, I have been able to:

  • Grow a pretty darn good professional learning network on Twitter where I can actually ask questions of and get response from superheroes in Open Education. You can, too.
  • Volunteer with Virtually Connecting, where I get to be involved with and help others get access to educational conferences all over the world that we would not otherwise have access to. Another chance to connect with and have access to open thinkers around the world.
  • Participate and practice regular, reflective and creative open practice through a few different domains. These include one for my own personal professional learning banter (this one), a weekly professional learning blog for Fleming College faculty which adds about 500% more fun to my day job (The Teaching Hub) and The Open Faculty Patchbook. (More about that one in the next bullet point.)
  • Help create a how-to-teach manual for higher ed pedagogy called the Open Faculty Patchbook in which faculty from all over tell us how they deploy specific pedagogical skills. What we’ve collected so far is being published into the first iteration of the manual. You can see it on its Pressbook site here. All of the patches are wonderful tales of the trials and tribulations from people in the thick of higher ed teaching and learning. It’s a testament to the wonderful character of the people of open that these 21 people took the time to write a chapter of our book and share it openly with everyone for no incentive other than the desire to contribute.
  • Use and contribute to the Creative Commons by openly licensing my work and using the openly licensed work available. For those of you out there who openly license your photos, my blog posts and slide decks thank you dearly for the added panache!
  • Be added to the roster of Ontario’s Open Education Rangers by eCampusOntario. I believe this means I am able to deputize people into the movement.
  • Become known in certain open circles as the #crapbadge hander-outer. I wrote a reflective blog post after attending the Open Ed conference in Fall 2016: An Opening Move. In it I awarded a very poorly drawn badge to someone whom I thought did a great presentation. I now use my sub-par artistic skills and the Snipping Tool to award crap-badges for simple but awesome deeds on request. Sometimes on demand. Here’s my latest, awarded to Chuck Pearson for his amazing patch of the Open Faculty Patchbook. You can just see the artistry oozing out of it:DFQjOlNUMAADMlS.jpg
  • Oh and, to me, the ultimate sign of making it as a member of ds106 culture and open in general; look up and to your right and see that I am an Official Talky Tina character of the Internet. This fact will be on my gravestone or urn or whatever I end up in.

It’s been a pretty great time opening up so far. Join in! You can find me in twitter @greeneterry

“Open the door” flickr photo by hernanpba https://flickr.com/photos/hernanpc/15475728248 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license