2015 week 38 in review


What a great week. Started off by planning my goals for the year. It's going to be an epic year, both personally and for the department, and it's great to see things laid out (and with serious progress made across the board).

We had our Educational Development Unit ePortfolio retreat, where we started putting together the content for the department's ePortfolio. We're tying our activities to our EDU Strategic Plan, and making everything visible as a live ePortfolio. Lots of great ideas. Collaboration across the entire EDU. So good.


Early plans for our 2016 University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching. This will be the fourth annual conference, and it keeps getting better every year. Some great ideas brewing for the next one. Can't wait! And, it'll be the first one to take place in The New Buildingâ„¢, so it should be interesting just for that.

Beakerhead. The official blurb is "Beakerhead is a smash up of art, science and engineering, where everyone is welcome!" - it's a cool, public, all-hands, city-wide event that turns Calgary into a centre of weirdness and awesomeness for a week each September. There were a few events on campus this year, including a workshop rehearsal of Clem Martini's in-progress script for The Extinction Therapist. Fantastic. Weird. Thought-provoking.


And an event on Bionic Fliers, where Festo came to talk about their biomimicry work, and show a prototype of a drone designed after a dragonfly - 4 fully articulated wings with 13 ? degrees of freedom. Amazing. And it flew. Briefly. Who knew, that the altitude at Calgary would cause issues for a flying prototype that works right at the edge of what's physically possible for flight? Awesome. Lots of things learned through that process. Can't wait to see next year's model.

Festo's flying dragonfly drone

Then, my team volunteered (or was volunteered - #mwahahaha) to help with a school visit in our Taylor Family Digital Library. 80 grade 8 kids came to campus to play with various Maker kits provided by our Doucette Education Library. Arduinos. Snapcircuits. Mindstorms. And lots of other stuff. We worked with a group to plan, record, shoot, and edit a greenscreen video. None of them had ever done that, so it was fun for all.


And finally, we got a tour of the new "active learning classroom" in our Haskayne School of Business. It's a brand new room - construction was completed only a couple of weeks ago - and it's fantastic. 10 collaboration pods, each handling 6 participants comfortably, so a class of 60 students can use the room for intense small group collaboration. It's really fantastic. Can't wait to see what people do with it - it's almost physically impossible to just lecture in the room, so it's going to be used for much more interesting and fun things.


Now, I need a nap.




  • Jason Kottke: Children of Men: Don't Ignore the Background
  • Introducing Peace, my privacy-focused iOS 9 ad blocker – Marco.org ios9 safari content blocker by Marco Ament, powered by Ghostery.
  • Dan Frommer: The most popular paid iPhone app right now is an ad blocker - Who knew? People are fed up with invasive advertising. And then, this happened…
  • Marco Ament: Just doesn't feel good - Marco killed Peace. I bought that ad blocker, and then Marco had a change of heart and pulled the app because he didn't like blocking ads that his friends serve on their sites. He'd like to kill the evil ads (defined loosely as "ads run by people I don't know"), while keeping ads running on his friends' sites. Can't have it both ways. Adblocking in iOS9 has made the web much better, uses less data, sucks less battery, and doesn't invade my privacy (as much). Advertisers don't get to do that to me ever again.
  • Don't Let Your Stressed-Out Boss Stress You Out It's stunning how quickly your stressed-out boss can turn you into a stressed-out team member. This is partly because of the contagious nature of emotions. They spread like wildfire among people—and even faster if one of those people has some control over our fate, as bosses do. Another reason our boss's stress becomes our own is that many of us are already close to stressed-out ourselves. We too have been sacrificing and giving up a lot for a long time, and the cracks are showing. It doesn't take much to push us into a bad place.


This is the 52nd of these Week in Review posts. Wow. A whole year. I wasn't sure if I'd find it useful, or if anyone else would. Turns out, yeah. Both. I find it invigorating to take an hour each week to think about what we've done, what I've read, and about other stuff that's happened that week. A personal snapshot, but it seems to be useful to at least a handful of folks as well. Awesome. I don't know if I'll keep doing this - one thing I've realized, when looking at the archives, is that the number of non-week-in-review posts has dropped off. I need to fix that. Time to get back to blogging. Probably not to a Bava or Cogdog level, but more than simple documentation posts as well.

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