Presentation – Identity in the Open Classroom

I was asked to give a presentation for the From Courses to Dis/Course online conference last week, and chose the topic of identity as it relates to openness. My session, Identity in the Open Classroom, was a fun (for me, anyway) exploration of the issues, and I think served the purpose of framing discussion.

Here’s the video of the recording from the session:

the full chat transcript for the session is available, as well as the full Elluminate session recording.

and the slide that wound up framing much of the question and answer portion:

open_closed_control_chaos

Faculty Technology Days 2008

I was involved with two sessions at this year’s Faculty Technology Days conference on campus. The first one was a keynote panel on “Social Networking in the Academy” and the second was “Weblogs as Personal Repositories.”

Social Networking in the Academy

When we were planning the Social Networking panel, we realized that some of the faculty members might not be familiar with social networking, or with some of the aspects or implications of it, so we thought it would be a good idea to start the 2-hour panel session with a brief introduction to the topic so we were all on similar pages. Being the geek in the group, I volunteered to take that on. I wound up giving about a wiki-powered 25 minute intro to social networking (what it is, what it means, some samples, etc…).

This was followed by Paul showing some of the really cool stuff the library is doing with social networking (specifically, the Facebook groups for MacKimmie and Health Sciences libraries, and ad campaigns). Those librarians, I tell you. Always doing cool stuff to make their resources easily available to students and faculty…

Maria spoke about some of the issues she sees, specifically pertaining to compelling students to publish and engage in a highly commercialized and privacy-invasive environment. Maria also asked one of her grad students, Todd Andre, to join the panel, and it was great to hear some of the perspectives from the other side (as opposed to just making educated guesses).

After taking a few minutes for the participants to warm up, the session turned into a great discussion about social networking, covering a pretty broad range of topics. We talked about the geek stuff. We talked about intellectual property. Creepy Treehouse. Digital identity. Network as People. It was a really fun, interesting, and vibrant discussion. And we could have used another 2 hours because we had to wrap it up just as people were really getting into it.

Paul streamed the whole thing live via UStreamTV, and the video archive is still there.

Weblogs as Personal Repositories

It seems like every year, I get designated to “do a talk on blogging.” Usually, I try to focus on the reasons to do it – the network effects, contributing to the community, etc… This year, I decided to appeal to people’s sense of pragmatism. Blogging primarily as an outboard brain, for organizing and searching information that is important to you. And, secondarily, as a way to share information with others.

I think that was the right angle to take, but I’m not sure my implementation worked out very well. It’s still a pretty broad topic. I tried to do as much live demo as possible, showing concrete examples of how it works. I also created 2 blogs (one on WordPress.com and one on Blogger.com) to show what that looks like. The resources and links were all powered by a wiki page as well. Another form of outboard brain, but I used an institutional variation for this one.

I think the session went well. It wasn’t stellar, but I think people at the bare minimum got that blogging as an activity of documentation and organization can be an important way to manage the volume of information we have to deal with. If even one of them winds up starting a new blog, I’ll consider the session a success.

Michael Geist – Why Copyright?

Michael Geist - Why Copyright? - 6Michael Geist gave a talk at The University of Calgary on April 2, 2008, on the subject of copyright. He talked about the need for Fair Dealings, the dangers of the Canadian DMCA, and even touched on the benefits of open access and even open education.

Dr. Geist’s presentation was very compelling, interesting, and engaging. I believe he was able to communicate the benefits of less-restrictive copyright, and am hoping he helped plant some seeds to get an open content movement going here at The University of Calgary.

The video was recorded by Paul Pival, who used his very handy MacBook iSight Inverter Mirror to properly record the session without having to snap the lid off of his laptop. The sound was recorded by a microphone placed on the floor near the podium, so hopefully it didn’t turn out too badly. I thought it was interesting that an event like this wasn’t “officially” recorded, and it was trivially done by an attendee bringing a laptop to the session. The days of requiring enterprise support for event recording and broadcasting are over.

Open, Connected, Social – the movie!

I had the pleasure of co-presenting a session with Brian, Alan and Jim for the MacLearningEnvironments.org group. We wound up breathing some new life into Small Pieces Loosely Joined, and building some demo sites and background wiki pages. Here's the video for the session:

Open, Connected & Social

The video is available in iPod format, and original lossless QuickTime format. Brian is also offering up an audio-only MP3 version of the jam session.

I had the pleasure of co-presenting a session with Brian, Alan and Jim for the MacLearningEnvironments.org group. We wound up breathing some new life into Small Pieces Loosely Joined, and building some demo sites and background wiki pages. Here’s the video for the session:

Open, Connected & Social

The video is available in iPod format, and original lossless QuickTime format. Brian is also offering up an audio-only MP3 version of the jam session.

Craig E. Nelson on Fostering Critical Thinking

IMG_3324.JPGI had the pleasure of attending a presentation/workshop by Craig E. Nelson this morning. The Teaching & Learning Centre hosted the event, which brought faculty members from the various sides of campus together to discuss critical thinking and implications on pedagogy.

It was a really interesting session, with Craig telling stories and modelling effective use of the strategies and activities he was talking about (and getting us to talk about). My takeaway points from the session:

  1. there are no broken students, only broken pedagogies
  2. successful students are the ones who can adapt to repair broken pedagogies for themselves (spontanously forming study groups, connections, etc…)
  3. “shut up and allow for processing time” – give students a chance to move stuff from short-term to long-term memory. simple 2 minute pauses and asking questions may be enough to start this.
  4. “bulemic learning” – binge/purge of stuff, leading to mental starvation
  5. an educator’s job is to educate students, not sort/filter them. The goal is not to enforce the bell curve, it is to maximize grade inflation through effective teaching and learning.

I was there (primarily) to take photographs. I’ve been wanting to record the activities of the TLC for awhile now, and finally just started doing something about it. This was the first “real” event I’ve photographed, so I’m sure I was doing many things awkwardly. But, the end result is something I’m at least not disappointed in. I learned some things:

  • for an indoor event, get a long, fast lens. the kit lens won’t cut it. I used the zoom lens from our old D30 on my XT body, with ISO cranked up to 1600. Even at that, the aperture was too small to get decent shots. Fast, long lens is required. Something like this one would do nicely.
  • get a big CF card. Or two. Or three. I was using my 1GB card, so left it in JPEG/fine mode. It would have been better to be shooting in RAW so I could adjust white balance properly later. I was afraid of filling up the card too soon, so reverted to JPEG.
  • plan shots ahead of time. I was able to get some of the “best” shots by picturing in my head where Craig would have to be standing/looking, and where I’d have to be, in order to take advantage of (or reduce the effect of) background items in the room. It didn’t always work out, but thinking ahead would help reduce background distractions like the overhead projector…
  • try not to distract. I found I was being extremely self conscious of the shutter noise, afraid I was distracting the other participants, or affecting the audio being recorded for the session. I refused to use the flash, because I didn’t want the paparazzi effect. Work to find the happy medium between getting the shot and not being noticed.
  • I overplanned. I brought in my monopod (which broke on the way in this morning. crap.) I brought 2 batteries. I brought the extra lens from the office’s D30, as well as my XT’s kit lens. I brought lens cleaning cloth and brush. I brought battery charger. I brought vertical grip. I ended up not using the monopod, nor the vertical grip. But they were there just in case.

I wound up taking almost a hundred photos. Many were unusable due to the slow lens producing blurry or excessively grainy images. The survivors are available in a Flickr album.

IMG_3324.JPGI had the pleasure of attending a presentation/workshop by Craig E. Nelson this morning. The Teaching & Learning Centre hosted the event, which brought faculty members from the various sides of campus together to discuss critical thinking and implications on pedagogy.

It was a really interesting session, with Craig telling stories and modelling effective use of the strategies and activities he was talking about (and getting us to talk about). My takeaway points from the session:

  1. there are no broken students, only broken pedagogies
  2. successful students are the ones who can adapt to repair broken pedagogies for themselves (spontanously forming study groups, connections, etc…)
  3. “shut up and allow for processing time” – give students a chance to move stuff from short-term to long-term memory. simple 2 minute pauses and asking questions may be enough to start this.
  4. “bulemic learning” – binge/purge of stuff, leading to mental starvation
  5. an educator’s job is to educate students, not sort/filter them. The goal is not to enforce the bell curve, it is to maximize grade inflation through effective teaching and learning.

I was there (primarily) to take photographs. I’ve been wanting to record the activities of the TLC for awhile now, and finally just started doing something about it. This was the first “real” event I’ve photographed, so I’m sure I was doing many things awkwardly. But, the end result is something I’m at least not disappointed in. I learned some things:

  • for an indoor event, get a long, fast lens. the kit lens won’t cut it. I used the zoom lens from our old D30 on my XT body, with ISO cranked up to 1600. Even at that, the aperture was too small to get decent shots. Fast, long lens is required. Something like this one would do nicely.
  • get a big CF card. Or two. Or three. I was using my 1GB card, so left it in JPEG/fine mode. It would have been better to be shooting in RAW so I could adjust white balance properly later. I was afraid of filling up the card too soon, so reverted to JPEG.
  • plan shots ahead of time. I was able to get some of the “best” shots by picturing in my head where Craig would have to be standing/looking, and where I’d have to be, in order to take advantage of (or reduce the effect of) background items in the room. It didn’t always work out, but thinking ahead would help reduce background distractions like the overhead projector…
  • try not to distract. I found I was being extremely self conscious of the shutter noise, afraid I was distracting the other participants, or affecting the audio being recorded for the session. I refused to use the flash, because I didn’t want the paparazzi effect. Work to find the happy medium between getting the shot and not being noticed.
  • I overplanned. I brought in my monopod (which broke on the way in this morning. crap.) I brought 2 batteries. I brought the extra lens from the office’s D30, as well as my XT’s kit lens. I brought lens cleaning cloth and brush. I brought battery charger. I brought vertical grip. I ended up not using the monopod, nor the vertical grip. But they were there just in case.

I wound up taking almost a hundred photos. Many were unusable due to the slow lens producing blurry or excessively grainy images. The survivors are available in a Flickr album.

TED Talks – Technology, Entertainment Design

I've been following the TED Talks videos as they're published – recordings of the various presentations at the 2006 TED Conference/Symposium. There are some absolutely amazing presentations, ranging from Al Gore, to Nicholas Negroponte, to Mena Trott (and many others).

TED Talks in iTunesTED Talks in iTunes

The video production and publication is sponsored by BMW, who are hoping to be associated with the innovation and Deep Thinking presented at TED, and I think it's a great example of how online advertising can work.

BMW's last big online advertising campaign was with their series of awesome original episodes starring Clive Owen, and directed by many Big Director Types. Very cool stuff. I watched every one several times over, and it just fueled my craving for the Ultimate Driving Machine.

But BMW's sponsorship of the sharing of these TED presentations is much more important and meaningful. By helping to bring these sessions to a wider audience, they've done a great thing.

I've been following the TED Talks videos as they're published – recordings of the various presentations at the 2006 TED Conference/Symposium. There are some absolutely amazing presentations, ranging from Al Gore, to Nicholas Negroponte, to Mena Trott (and many others).

TED Talks in iTunesTED Talks in iTunes

The video production and publication is sponsored by BMW, who are hoping to be associated with the innovation and Deep Thinking presented at TED, and I think it's a great example of how online advertising can work.

BMW's last big online advertising campaign was with their series of awesome original episodes starring Clive Owen, and directed by many Big Director Types. Very cool stuff. I watched every one several times over, and it just fueled my craving for the Ultimate Driving Machine.

But BMW's sponsorship of the sharing of these TED presentations is much more important and meaningful. By helping to bring these sessions to a wider audience, they've done a great thing.

ETUG Social Software Workshop Debriefing

Our session this morning went really well. I think we were able to walk the line between force-feeding the participants with the relentless firehose of super-cool social software stuff, and having a fun interactive session that served as a solid starting point for people wanting to play with Web 2.0 toys.

The session was completely full, with Harry quietly jamming to the groovy vibes of Sesame Street. It was pretty cool having Harry in the session, and he was good enough to let Keira participate.

I think that Brian and I got into a pretty decent flow, and wound up demonstrating some cool apps and concepts, with participants doing as much hands-on activity as possible (tagging, blogging, playing with Flickr and Flickrlilli, etc…) SocialLearning.ca was used as a concrete example of social software, a tagging and blogging platform, and as a "client" app for a 3rd party tool (receiving photos from Flickr).

It was a blast, as always, riding on Brian's coat tails. I've got to find a way to invite him to UCalgary, assuming Keira is forgiving enough to let Brian keep travelling…

Our session this morning went really well. I think we were able to walk the line between force-feeding the participants with the relentless firehose of super-cool social software stuff, and having a fun interactive session that served as a solid starting point for people wanting to play with Web 2.0 toys.

The session was completely full, with Harry quietly jamming to the groovy vibes of Sesame Street. It was pretty cool having Harry in the session, and he was good enough to let Keira participate.

I think that Brian and I got into a pretty decent flow, and wound up demonstrating some cool apps and concepts, with participants doing as much hands-on activity as possible (tagging, blogging, playing with Flickr and Flickrlilli, etc…) SocialLearning.ca was used as a concrete example of social software, a tagging and blogging platform, and as a "client" app for a 3rd party tool (receiving photos from Flickr).

It was a blast, as always, riding on Brian's coat tails. I've got to find a way to invite him to UCalgary, assuming Keira is forgiving enough to let Brian keep travelling…

Ready for our Social Software workshop for BCCampus

Brian managed to swing me an invite to co-host his Social Software session at the BCCampus Spring Workshop on Educational Technologies 2006, which will be held at North Island College in beautiful downtown Courtenay BC. (actually, I’ve never been to Courtenay/Comox, so am looking forward to seeing the area – I’m flying in on a Beech 1900D, so that leg of the trip should be interesting).

The session should be fun. Brian and I are going to demo a few concepts of social software (Web 2.0 *gack*) and then turn the reigns over to the participants. We’ll be using SocialLearning.ca as the “hub” to bring together activities like tagging, bookmarking, blogging, and commenting. I really like the approach, especially with a concrete piece of the web bringing it together. It should make the freaky concepts of decentralized social aggregate tag clouds a bit easier to grok.

I spent some time this week pimping the SocialLearning.ca instance of Drupal – opening up the tag clouds, tweaking a few bits here and there, so it should work really nicely as a platform for a workshop – as well as supporting the BCCampus community afterwards.

The SocialLearning.ca tag cloud will be on centre stage for the workshop, so the participants can see how their contributions affect it (hopefully in quasi-realtime).

As always, I’m so totally looking forward to working with Brian (and his planted ringers). This should be a great workshop. I’m also really curious to see what the participants come up with…

Brian managed to swing me an invite to co-host his Social Software session at the BCCampus Spring Workshop on Educational Technologies 2006, which will be held at North Island College in beautiful downtown Courtenay BC. (actually, I’ve never been to Courtenay/Comox, so am looking forward to seeing the area – I’m flying in on a Beech 1900D, so that leg of the trip should be interesting).

The session should be fun. Brian and I are going to demo a few concepts of social software (Web 2.0 *gack*) and then turn the reigns over to the participants. We’ll be using SocialLearning.ca as the “hub” to bring together activities like tagging, bookmarking, blogging, and commenting. I really like the approach, especially with a concrete piece of the web bringing it together. It should make the freaky concepts of decentralized social aggregate tag clouds a bit easier to grok.

I spent some time this week pimping the SocialLearning.ca instance of Drupal – opening up the tag clouds, tweaking a few bits here and there, so it should work really nicely as a platform for a workshop – as well as supporting the BCCampus community afterwards.

The SocialLearning.ca tag cloud will be on centre stage for the workshop, so the participants can see how their contributions affect it (hopefully in quasi-realtime).

As always, I’m so totally looking forward to working with Brian (and his planted ringers). This should be a great workshop. I’m also really curious to see what the participants come up with…

Intro to Podcasting

I’ll be giving an “Intro to Podcasting” workshop/presentation/session on Wednesday April 19th here at the Learning Commons Teaching & Learning Centre. I’ve only got an hour, and it will be an “intro” session, so I’ll follow Levine’s Law and start with the demo. Then, I’ll stick with the demo, showing different tools used to create, publish, subscribe, and listen to podcasts. I’m hoping to keep the session rather informal, with some audience participation. I’ll be recruiting some “volunteers” from the audience to create a podcast right then and there. Should be fun.

The workshop registration page is available now, but we’ve got no idea how many people are interested. We could either wind up crowded around my desk, or in a big lecture hall, or somewhere in between, depending on the number of people who sign up.

I’ll be giving an “Intro to Podcasting” workshop/presentation/session on Wednesday April 19th here at the Learning Commons Teaching & Learning Centre. I’ve only got an hour, and it will be an “intro” session, so I’ll follow Levine’s Law and start with the demo. Then, I’ll stick with the demo, showing different tools used to create, publish, subscribe, and listen to podcasts. I’m hoping to keep the session rather informal, with some audience participation. I’ll be recruiting some “volunteers” from the audience to create a podcast right then and there. Should be fun.

The workshop registration page is available now, but we’ve got no idea how many people are interested. We could either wind up crowded around my desk, or in a big lecture hall, or somewhere in between, depending on the number of people who sign up.

Media Master Class

Patrick Feng attended a recent Alberta Ingenuity Media Master Class event on campus aimed at discussing the communication of science and research with the general public and in The Media. He live blogged the session, and has some interesting thoughts on the various presentation styles used by the 5 presenters as they talked with Jay Ingram and the audience about their research.

I’m most interested in what seems like an emphasis on conversational (or at least natural, less formal) presentation styles. I think we need to figure out ways for more professors to take advantage of this style. Many stick to chalk-and-talk (or ppt-and-talk) because it’s an easy, low effort presentation style that feels like they’re accomplishing something (I have 150 bullet points in this ppt! it’s great!).

The conversational style can take more preparation because you may not know exactly where you’re going to wind up. On the other hand, it can take less preparation if you really know your stuff and recognize that the “audience” may know as much (or more) on a topic than you do.

Patrick Feng attended a recent Alberta Ingenuity Media Master Class event on campus aimed at discussing the communication of science and research with the general public and in The Media. He live blogged the session, and has some interesting thoughts on the various presentation styles used by the 5 presenters as they talked with Jay Ingram and the audience about their research.

I’m most interested in what seems like an emphasis on conversational (or at least natural, less formal) presentation styles. I think we need to figure out ways for more professors to take advantage of this style. Many stick to chalk-and-talk (or ppt-and-talk) because it’s an easy, low effort presentation style that feels like they’re accomplishing something (I have 150 bullet points in this ppt! it’s great!).

The conversational style can take more preparation because you may not know exactly where you’re going to wind up. On the other hand, it can take less preparation if you really know your stuff and recognize that the “audience” may know as much (or more) on a topic than you do.