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

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.

We Go Down East

The University of Alberta Ski Team put on a fundraising party in the fall of 2002-ish. Being of the “drinking team with a skiing problem” mentality, they had themselves a fun slogan to print on the tickets.

We Go Down Fast

The only reason I still remember this is because the ticket printers made a little mistake and printed something else.

We Go Down East

Why did they think “we go down east” was a ticket-worthy slogan? They must have thought the fundraising was for a ski race in Quebec or something. Who’s to say? All I know is, as far as misprinted ticket stories go, it’s my all time favorite.

In another story of going “east”, a group of intrepid Ontario post-secondary educators are about to kick off the Ontario Extend East Cohort on March 6th. 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. See the “East Cohort” central flow here. You’ll see this post there, because I threw my blog into the mix. We’ll show you how to do it.

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.

So far there are approximately 60 people from across Ontario signed up to participate. As in the misprinted ticket story, “east” doesn’t really mean much. Everyone is invited. And if March doesn’t work for you. We’re running the “West” cohort in May. We’ve even got a couple of current students lined up to join in and keep us on our toes.

If you want to join in, add your name here: http://bit.ly/ExtendEast

Comment below if you have any questions or comments. See you “down east”!

image credit: “No Fast Skiing” flickr photo by Joe Shlabotnik https://flickr.com/photos/joeshlabotnik/349939582 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Take Note

I am currently in the process of collecting exemplars of the Ontario Extend module activities for an in-development activity bank. It’s looking pretty slick thanks to the Internet construction machine that is Alan Levine (aka cogdog). Stay tuned for that!

I thought it couldn’t hurt to do a couple myself. This is the last one, I swear! I did one yesterday, too.

This is my take on the Extend activity at the bottom of this page in the Teacher for Learning module. See the module itself for the ol’ how-to do it stuff.

Try watching a TED talk or conference keynote video yourself to practice your own note-taking skills using Cornell Notes.

I took this opportunity to revisit one of the most wonderful keynotes I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Thank so much to Robin DeRosa for Periscoping it so that I was able to relive this!

Gardner Campbell from the 2016 Open Education Conference in Richmond, Virginia. Gardner discusses insight and how we might be able to stop stifling it so much in higher ed. My Cornell notes are below, but ignore those and watch the periscope. I still think about it often, 15 months later. Layers upon layers!

Date/Subject: Nov 2016, Keynote at OpenEd Conference by Gardner Campbell

Key Points

-Insight

-The Eureka Hunt New Yorker Article

-The Insight experience

-alpha, beta,gamma waves

-gamma rhythm is when the insights happen

-brain cells can be restructured often an insight

-you have to wait for it the insight

-A summary and response to the eureka hunt-

-clenched state of mind

-these insight killing activities even spawn industry like Course Hero

Deadly Mantras of student success

Notes

-Opens with footage of Bob Dylan in Sweden answering questions from reporters… being cagey about his answers

-Gardner introduces smokejumper story. Robert Wag survived a forest fire bc of insight. The others perished because they couldn’t believe it.

-insight was to start another fire before he jumped into it. it would burn out before he landed and he would be ok. it worked. others didn’t believe him so they died.

-etymology of insight. synonyms of insight… all would be on the banned ‘sinister 16 verbs in your learning outcomes. don’t dare put them on there

-but insights are obviously deep learning experiences

-The Eureka Hunt- new yorker article

-The INsight experience: concentrate, search, mental block/impasse, walk away/relax……… problem solved. what’s in the gap? gamma rhythm…

“students will have made distant and unprecedented connections”

neurons in the right hemisphere are less precise but better connected.

maybe an apple watch could let you know when you’re having a gamma wave

“you may now say OMG!”

-let yourself/students prepare for an experience when they can make a connection. you have to wait for it

-showed a student response to the eureka hunt. boring and uninsightful. not the students fault as it was what was asked. it was the asking that did not allow for insight. summary and response and insight maybe don’t mix.

-“insight into insights” we could be getting Watson to produce this stuff algorithmically

‘flash cards on the eureka hunt’

“get the answer to YOUR response to the Eureka Hunt”

Deadly Mantras of student success: students don’t do optional, define more pathways, we need to graduate more students (students graduate we don’t do that to them), our students are our products.

-The Aha moment is well within the competence of the average person

-will it scale? if we want it to.

-The blog is where the insights occur

-how about an opportunity to write without a rubric

-“i don’t even know how I would put that in a rubric”

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my favorite thing about blogging for school is being encouraged to take an active role in my own education.”

-“I just wanted something real to happen in the room”

Summary

Insight, and the experiences that may lead to insight learning is amazing and addicting. Typical and traditional outcomes/activities/assessments, so lock step, may be counter- productive to and prevent actual insights

See, my note taking is suspect. But in the Cornell note-taking style, it’s easier to find out that you should take your own, better notes!

OH and if YOU would like to add an exemplar of your own to any of the Ontario Extend module activities, even if it’s something you’ve already done, please let me know by commenting below!

image: “… is taking notes” flickr photo by Jon Åslund https://flickr.com/photos/jooon/2712042772 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

 

 

 

And We All Dine On

This page of the Ontario Extend Collaborator Module includes words that, when you read them, make your brain think that you might want to create an image of a dining table representing a project that you’ve worked on.

“Okay” my brain thought upon reading these words. “I’ll do that.”

Using the latest of bare bones basic visual editing software (Microsoft Paint for Windows 10) and the wonderful people of the world who openly licence their photography, I was able to piece together the dinner table for those involved in the making of The Open Faculty Patchbook. In reality, this meal would cost a bit over my budget since I’d have to fly people in from Tennessee, Ohio, and Cairo.

Oh and hey! Check out The Open Learner Patchbook and let me know if you know anyone who’d like to be at that dinner table by commenting below.

Who’s at your collaborative dining table?

(“lauren’s mermaid party” flickr photo by mom2sofia https://flickr.com/photos/mom2sofia/15479145327 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license)

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)