- started placing orders for items to add to the fledgeling "technology lending library" that will be managed/provided by my group in the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning. So far, it's a very small library, but I'll be adding things to it as I'm able, and offering it all out for instructors to explore/experiment/use. So far, we've got a Swivl robot camera mount, a couple of iPod Touches for recording video, a GoPro HERO4 Silver for HD video and wifi goodness, and some microphones. I'll be adding iPads and a MS Surface Pro 3 tablet in the next couple of weeks. More to come… I need to figure out a good process for making sure people can sign the stuff out and actually use it, and track what they do with it so we know what's needed…
- tweaking our D2L environment so faculties can ramp up their use of ePortfolios, now that email addresses aren't considered Super Secret Private Information after the switch to O365 and everyone activating their @ucalgary.ca addresses.
- I was volunteered to a new General Faculties Council subcommittee on learning spaces - the Campus and Facilities Development Subcommittee (CFDS). This should be a great group to be working with, and we're being asked to look at physical learning spaces across the university.
- working on a regular report to our Teaching and Learning Committee on the state of learning technologies at the UofC, and tracking our implementation of the Strategic Framework for Learning Technologies. I'll miss the TLC meeting next week because I'll be
dodging bulletsattending Open Education in DC.
- Explorable Explanations - essay on post-static-text modern ebook-type-thing, by Bret Victor
- HuffPo article on "hottest ed tech" (which seems rather similar to our own list of stuff to explore)
- UToday article about augmented reality in education, with 3D brains popping off the printed page.
- Another UToday article, about flipped classrooms, featuring Alice Woolley from Law.
- more on banning personal devices in class, and still not getting that this is about power and control more than it is about technology.
- I found my next bike.
- EdTech Magazine article on using Oculus Rift VR headsets to give tours of learning spaces. Yup. We'll be playing with that. Previsualizing renovations and new spaces? You bet. And some other ideas I'm working on…
- Stephen Downes linked to the Mozilla Badges wiki - lots of info and links there.
- 20 Linux system monitoring tools every sysadmin should know - could come in handy, when trying to figure out why a server is suddenly acting funky for no apparent reason cough.
- they landed a robot on a freaking comet
- a great presentation on Badges from an anonymous person from UC Davis
- sustainable technology via biodegradable materials?
- Amazon selling student work without consent? Unpossible! But check out the last paragraph - that's basically my take on TurnItIn and its ilk - it's not OK to force students to upload their work to a third party so it can be sold back to them (and others). It's the same model as academic journals taking the work of researchers, and then selling it back to them. But people don't see the problem there, either…
"I am also concerned by the fact that some institutions are requiring that dissertations be run through a check against the Turnitin database before submission," Stommel wrote. "This creates a culture of suspicion around student work that I find directly hostile to the enterprise of education.... Ultimately, I'm not opposed to people choosing to sell their dissertations, but I am opposed to institutions requiring graduate students to upload their dissertations to corporate platforms like Proquest and Turnitin."
- the latest Pop Loser issue is a good'n.
- Twitter came up with an insanely lame corporate strategy statement. This stuff is hard, but if done well it can set the tone for an organization. Actually, if done poorly, it sets the tone, too… Tone-deaf organizations who are writing strategy and marketing copy for investors instead of people seems to be a thing this year.
- Audrey Watters writes about the "20% time" policy, and why it won't work if the stuff people do in that 20% time isn't valued. I posted a comment:
"I've tried to implement a 20% "pure research and development" setup in my group. It worked great for a month. And then "real" deadlines began to stress everyone out so much that it got ditched. We weren't trying to mimic Google, as much as trying to carve out time that wasn't tracked by Gantt charts so people felt free to actually experiment, read, write, etc…
I need to figure out a better way to set it up. I think it's important, but it can't just be a bolted-on "hey! look! innovation hour! if there's time. or not. OK â€“ back to work!" sigh."
- Getting ready for Open Education next week, followed by Reclaimapalooza. Some extremely interesting sessions on the OpenEd schedule. Can't wait. Just hoping I'm not too tainted by the LMS for that crowd…
- got a Nest thermostat. choked down my distaste for the all-seeing eye of Google. It's very shiny. The Nest, not the Eye. Maybe also the Eye. But being able to better manage my home's furnace as we dove into the first Polar Vortex of 2014 was nice. It'll pay for itself in weeks at this pace…
- picked up a Fitbit Flex. I'd tried an el cheapo iBody pedometer thing to see if I liked the personal analytics. Turns out, yeah. I do. Go figure. So I sprung for a decent device, and am really liking the Flex so far (like 2 days in).