Your Daily Sauce

This is my Ontario Extend 9x9x25 Challenge post #8

If I were asked to name the top 2 things that have helped me to not only develop and hone my abilities as an educational technologist, but also lead me down rabbit holes that have crafted my attitudes and values and love for this whole ed-tech thing, here is what I would answer without hesitation:

  1. Doing Dailies.
  2. Making Dailies.

Now you might be asking, what the heck are Dailies? It’s not a tool. It’s not really content or curriculum. It’s not part of a module. It’s a sauce. A sauce for your learning community. Sauce adds flavor. If it were up to my 4 year old daughter, there would only be sauce and no actual food to put it on. Is that so wrong? (well for actual food… yes definitely she is wrong)

I first came across the Daily with the ds106 Daily Create as I was partaking as an open participant in the legendary ds106 (a Digital Storytelling learning experience). Holy guacamole has participating in this been huge for me. If I were to completely map my professional learning network, I would guess that 99% of the most meaningful connections have roots in Tweeting out responses to Daily Creates/Daily Extends.

Oh yeah, what are Dailies? Simply put, they are short (10-15 minute) creative activities posted (you guessed it) every dang day to a learning community. They are fun. They introduce you to and get you some practice with new tools. They show you how others respond to the activities. They bring about new connections to peers. They get you in a routine that builds your digital skill, your network, and your joy for doing this stuff. What the heck more can you ask?

I have responded to the ds106 Daily Create 342 times. We forked the idea over to Ontario Extend and I have responded to those 215 times. That’s a lot of ketchup. All 550+ of those represent trying something new, making a connection or two and growing in little dollops.

They are usually fun. They are usually creative. Some take longer than others. With the ds106 Daily, they are a little more artistic. With the Daily Extend, they relate to technology-enabled pedagogy and are tied to the modules. You are expected to do exactly as many as you would like to do. There’s value in just checking out the daily every day without actually doing it. Here are some of the Daily Extend titles, just to show you the level of levity and brevity we’re working with here

  • #oext125 Stop your crying, it’s a line of the times. (a timeline activity)
  • #oext302 Ed-Tech Detectives
  • #oext152 Reclaim Fake News
  • #oext145 An Outrageous Checkout Policy
  • #oext138 Subterranean Scholarship Blues
  • #oext72 Slide Deck Beauty Pageant
  • #oext64 Taylor Swift Curriculum Design

It goes deeper.

You are not only welcome to try each and every Daily posted. You are also welcome to put in ideas for new Dailies: (ds106Extend). I’ve submitted a number of them to ds106 and as the program manager of Ontario Extend, I’ve done a fair chunk of those, too. Coming up with these is so very fun. I shouldn’t have all of it. I am currently collecting ideas for Daily Extends when we re-launch in early January. Here is my complete list:

  1. Who is on your personal Mt. Rushmore. Create an image representing the four people who have made you the you you are the most.
  2. …. Okay I only have one so far. What are your ideas? add them in the to the Extend Daily site or tweet me your thoughts.

And it all goes even deeper.

If this blog post were an episode of a reverse Scooby Doo Mysteries where someone is causing all kinds of havoc, only for good and not evil, we are now at the part where we pull the mask off the one making all these shenanigans happen. It’s Alan Levine! The cogdog! I’ll be adding him as one of my Mt. Rushmore heads. It was him all along, designing the Daily sites, creating countless daily activities in ds106, Extend, and a number of other projects. AND…

he gives it all away for you to host your own on GitHub. What a guy. Here is another place you can find him.

I hope to see you in January in the Extend mOOC when the Extend Dailies re-launch! In the meantime, the ds106 Daily Create is still going strong every day. Why not warm up over there?

Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash


This is my Ontario Extend 9X9X25 Post for week 7.

I was holding my five month old daughter when I snapped this photo of the final slide of Robin DeRosa’s keynote at eCampusOntario’s Technology-Enabled Seminar and Showcase. (You can read the whole transcript here.) Out of 250 or so attendees at TESS, I held the only squeaky baby in attendance.

I simply had to bring her or not attend the day. I checked with the boss the night before.

“How bad would it look if I showed up tomorrow with Hattie?”

“It’s reality, man.”

Break given. Relief felt. Thank you, David.

How lucky was I also that Robin kicked the day off with a message of embracing instead of erasing our humanity in our work. Among other things, she described College Unbound and how many of the students bring their children to class.

Standing there at the back with that squirmy wormy in my arms I again felt a break was given to me. More relief. Thank you, Robin.

I was worried how people would feel about this little distraction being in the midst, but throughout the entire day I did not see one disdainful look on anyone’s face. I saw nothing but the opposite.

Those were all little breaks given to me by everyone in attendance. Thank you, everyone.

So, as a recent receiver of these little acts of humanity that helped me to be a part of TESS when I otherwise would not have been, and in the spirit of Robin’s talk, I am inspired to think about how I can make things easier for people.

We are in week 7 of the 9x9x25 writing challenge. I sometimes see in these posts claims about being late, being behind and being sorry about that. Is it stressing you out? What you’ve all done throughout the 9x9x25 has been fantastic whether you’ve dropped off for whatever reason or not. Can I give you some relief here by saying take the week off? What would help give you a little relief?

What are some things you can do to embrace the complexity of humanity in our lives and maybe provide some stress relief to those around you?

Now if we can only get the squirmy wormy to give us a break, too.

Check out Giulia Forsythe’s viznotes on Robin’s talk!

Inspiring @actualham #TESS18 keynote, A Human Framework for Institutional Innovation #viznotes





What a crazy coincidence ! The weird fellow who is currently running the Squad Goals Network‘s social media game has some randomizer that chose me to write a short piece about three people I admire. Thanks weirdo!

The prompt prompted me, as prompts are wont to do, to think about a bittersweet situation that is currently forming. The PMers are starting to break up. PMer is the nickname for the ragtag group of eCampusOntario Program Managers. We do all kinds of things to further various initiatives for eCampus. There are four of us which means there are three of them who I admire very much. I think the Squad Goals Network would love to meet them!

This post is called Slackers because that is where we connect. We use Slack as a digital hallway to stay in touch and draw ideas and inspiration from each other, to get quick feedback, to ask for a boost, sometimes to vent. We are decidedly not slacking in the slacker sense of the word. The featured image for this post is piles and piles of rope and cord. That represents how much slack I believe we will have for each other going forward through our careers wherever we all end up after our eCampus opportunities come to an end. Which is the bittersweet bit: Joanne is heading back to her home institution soon.

So who are these amazing peers? I’ll tells ya with a series of bullet pointed facts about them.

Amazing peer #1: Peg French

  • Crafty in every sense of the word
  • Probably would be the greatest neighbour of all time
  • Knows how things should actually work
  • Oh the treats she makes/knows where to get!
  • She sends you books that you need to read
  • Blogs here
  • Tweets here
  • The best.

Amazing Peer #2: Jenni Hayman

  • Has been Dr. Hayman for just under a fortnight (congrats again!)
  • Will stay up facilitating and leading open initiatives for 24 hrs straight
  • Makes it seem like she can whip entire communities of learning up with the greatest of ease even though it takes a lot of hard work
  • Probably created a MOOC while I was writing this post
  • Blogs here
  • Tweets here
  • The best.

Amazing Peer #3: Joanne Kehoe

  • Designs instruction in the way that I wish I could
  • Should run webinars on how to run webinars
  • Her ed-tech tool box probably glows when you open it like the briefcase in Pulp Fiction
  • Hopefully realizes that the PMer Slack space has a Hotel California-esque checkout policy
  • Blogs here
  • Also runs the IDIG blog
  • Tweets here
  • The best.

Having these three as your closest colleagues all together at the same time has been a  jackpot level of a gift. Follow them and help me draw them in to the Squad Goals Network, too!

Photo by Emma Louise Comerford on Unsplash

Ajar Educational Practices

Ontario Extend 9x9x25 Post #6

It’s not a binary, open or closed.

I have written this sentence before, as I reflected on attending the Open Ed Conference in 2016.  I think I kind of forgot about it as my work got more and more ensconced in Open. I was almost always talking to, working with, and working for The Open (i.e. those who are fully… in… to… it.). I think I’ve become less and less relatable to those who are not (yet… hopefully) fully on-board with Open Education.

I need to think more about The Ajar. Those who, though they may have some questions and concerns, would very likely see the value and the power of openness if given the motive, means, and opportunity to really check it out.

I know a lot of fantastic educators who would not say they know much about or are among those who identify themselves as open educators. They are probably truly too busy to get to know enough about it to start making a move. Maybe they can’t do much about it right now in their current situation.

There are just so many facets to open education that going hard and fast about all these things to someone new could just be overwhelming. Imagine being a hard working educator who had never heard anything about Open Education watching Rajiv Jhangiani‘s (fantastic) talk at the UN about the power of Open Education? It might make her or his head spin a little. We need a progression. Rajiv’s video is boss-level stuff!

Last weekend I had the privilege of attending OpenCon, at York University. This conference would also be an overwhelming experience to just wander into for newcomers to openness. However, they have designed the conference, like an elaborate lesson plan, to help us (The Open). We are lead to a place where we are ready to go back home, find The Ajar, and try to nudge their doors open a little more. The whole conference has a Design Thinking progression where, in the end, we have something to continue to work on. The group I was in came up with a term that maybe we can shoot for when we get an opportunity with The Ajar.

Jazzerwhelmed. What can you show someone that would leave them jazzed about it all but just nicely whelmed? I have in the past thought that showing people how to find free images through CC Search or Unsplash could be the rabbit hole we are looking for, but I don’t think that is enough. Some of our Awesome Open Things (AOTs) would not be the greatest to start with. A possible example: we all love H5P, but when we talk about it we usually talk about how it is awesome to add interactive content to your website. Someone who is mired in the LMS and has not considered what they can do on the open Web would not easily relate to that, even though H5P could be used there, too.

What do you think? How many and which AOTs should you start with? What is the perfect cocktail for nudging The Ajar in to The Open?

Photo by Jan Tinneberg on Unsplash