2016 adventures in reading

12x12 Challenge #3 - 3

As the close of the current year draws near, I like to reflect on my plans, goals, accomplishments…typical change of the year stuff…and start to think of a couple new challenges to add to the mix. One of the ideas I had for 2016 was to tackle my goodreads list. Each month, I will randomly pick a number and read the book on my list that corresponds with that number. So, to start the year I have the following book on hold:

jan 2016 book selection

After finishing each book, I plan to post a short reflection, which led to some exploring of POSSE options for goodreads and personal webspaces…looks like there’s a couple options either in development or that would work if one had enough tech chops to set it up…although a bit beyond my current skill level. Always something new to learn 🙂

Hypothes.is webinar: notes and further ideas

Writing this now while it’s still fresh in my brain…

do not dump BRAINS to river.

I joined today’s Hypothes_is webinar, hosted by Jeremy Dean with several English professors who have used the tool in various ways in their courses.

Elisa Beshero-Bondar

  • Explained how her students used the tool in the course
  • Shared a short example of how a student incorporated her annotations into her final paper
  • Goal was to encourage students to think and work as scholarly editors
  • Concerns: quality control
    • alleviated through building a good research assignment and creating standards, such as using library databases

Larry Hanley

  • Used plug-in for his WP multisite class site
  • Anno-tate-a-thon (want to find out more about this…)
  • Provided students with a sense of agency
  • Built up a rich dialogue between the students
  • Headless class! (reminded me of the headless ds106 offering…)

Robin DeRosa

  • Led with an overview of hypothes.is in the larger context of open and why this is part of what it means to use open pedagogy
  • Showed examples of how authors could interact with students via annotations
  • Assessed peer review and reflection on class annotations
  • The rest of her slides

The questions from the other viewers were amazing…I cannot remember if they come through after a Hangout on Air is concluded, but the panelists had about ten minutes or so to respond after their prepared remarks concluded. Some of the respondents and participants mentioned student voice, agency, trolling, and the public nature of web annotations. It seems like it could be tricky to float between class audience and potential wider audience beyond the class. How to bring in the context without the class to support it?

One of the reasons I’m exploring this tool is to see how web annotations could be used in the context of ongoing training and development for student workers – to build a localized codex of information, for example. How might this function as a type of intermediary space between public-facing content (perhaps a wiki) and…something else, TBD…This may end up being part of the digital badges/ePortfolio project I’m hoping (planning) to roll out with our student workers.

Another way I would envision using this would be as part of a study group. Imagine how useful it would be to co-construct the study guide for your PhD prelims with a trusted group of peers…

Catch the recap and join the conversation: @hypothes_is

Replicable educational research?

Last week the Chronicle ran an article that discussed how a sample of psychology studies’ results could not be reproduced. While the article was focused on psychology, it spoke to something that I’ve been increasingly wondering about – the reproducible quality of higher education research about online learning.

There does not seem to be much discussion around this – perhaps as I’m now moving into the methods and focused seminar courses in my grad program this topic will come up. However, it seems that graduate students are encouraged to come up with new ideas and carve out a niche in the field. Is that one of the issues…too many niches, not enough research that leads to significant results? Many studies have been conducted with sample sizes that are too small to generalize the results, and as one of the findings, call for more research in this area. Perhaps instead of more research, the authors could challenge others to reproduce their work.

This is one of the ideas that my colleagues and I have been talking about as well, and thinking about how our group could contribute solutions to the research replicatory issues in the field of higher education online learning.  Definitely more to come…

Photo by Sukanto Debnath

DiGiWriMo planning

Blast Off Burlesque

In less than two weeks, I’ll be taking part in a new-to-me initiative: DiGiWriMo.

I have a loose idea for a digital literacy piece to complete during this month-long writing challenge, and am planning to use it as a starting block for personal and professional projects.

Also hoping some of the intrepid SAAJE members will join me…


The Art of WordPress

Placeholder post for the open online summer course about teaching with WordPress, led by Christina Hendricks and company. I’m hoping to use the WP platform to teach a course of my own at some point, so I’m looking forward to these discussions! Plus they had me at open pedagogy…

Weekly reflections

Week 9: February 23 – March 1 2015

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by rockcreek

Spring course work:

On the docket for last week: read two chapters and submit three assignments. Slightly behind on both counts, but I plan to take care of both yet this evening. We have been working on draft versions of our learning theories and philosophies, and are going to share those with one another for feedback.


High tech teaching and students with disabilities

Notes highlighted in Diigo:

  • Asking students to answer questions in class via clickers can also present problems for students who are blind or deaf.
  • In classes where clickers are used on a competitive basis or where students are given a limited amount of time to submit their answers, deaf students are at a disadvantage. Even with efficient translation, there’s often a lag time, and it may cause students who are deaf to submit their answers more slowly
  • Copyright regulations can also thwart efforts to make digitized works and videos accessible to people with disabilities

Recognizing team members who contribute in different ways…

…and what motivates them.

Alt-ac or bust

One of the best things that I think can come out of alt-ac discussions is the recognition by the broader academic community that pursing options other than TT positions are equally valid. Thankfully, that tide is starting to shift.

Partnership for affordable content

Neat new Libaries grant program open to U of M faculty and instructors to help them integrate openly licensed content into their courses.


Received littleBits order over the weekend. We experimented with some combos for an hour or so. May need to put this project on the back burner with next week being consumed with birthday celebration and end of the trimester ongoings.

Weekly reflections

Week 8: February 16-22, 2015

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-ND ) flickr photo shared by piglicker

Spring class work:

Read chapters three and four of our course textbook. Detailed explanations provided for learner, contextual, and task analyses. Also took away some great ideas for the training reorganization project. Submitted two response papers and draft version of learning philosophy.


The secret lives of codebreakers: The men and women who cracked the Enigma code at Bletchley Park.

Finished the last of this book over the weekend. The Bletchley story fascinates me, particularly how thousands of individuals were able to keep their war involvement hidden from their families.

Techniques for unleashing student work from learning management systems

Primary tool for connected learning = aggregation of student blogs, websites, Twitter and other social media accounts to main class website. Students own their work and communicate beyond the class learning space.

Twitter Journal Club

Live-tweet an article as you read it. Or even better, gather a group of like-minded souls and make it an event, like @GoogleGuacamole is doing:

Weekly reflections

Week 7: February 9-15, 2015

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-ND ) flickr photo shared by las – initially

Spring class work:

Read chapter two of our course textbook. It discussed needs assessments, goal analysis, and performance assessment (used mainly in a training context). Submitted weekly response paper and situational evaluation.


Social media and open access

Two distinct cultures in academia developing? Those who use social media might have a different set of publications they regard as core compared to others who are using library driven systems. And how might that serve to influence scholarship (way) down the road?

Creating color-blind accessible figures

Principles of universal color design. Bookmarked for future online teaching resource.

Scalar now available for Reclaimers!

Very excited to read this. I’m collecting resources for my digital dissertation (fingers crossed my advisor will be amenable to that idea). I also read through some of the features of the tool, and am amazed at how powerful it is. They also offer a series of webinars to get started – nice. If you missed any, there’s a helpful archive.

(25 years ago) The first school one-to-one laptop program

Edtech history never fails to fascinate me. Sadly, much of it seems to sound like this:

But to see the early one-to-one laptop initiatives as a corporate-led marketing campaign erases the intentions of the Australian educators and it certainly erases the serious intellectual pursuits undertaken by the students who first used laptops for learning.

ALT Lab Agora

Always curious to see what other academic technology groups are up to…I love the idea of purposely creating time to host an open, informal lab space.

Registered for:

littleBits P2PU course. Planning to go through this with my girl, and have fun making some cool stuff. Or maybe we’ll just #inventanything we feel like.

Weekly reflections

Week 6: February 2-8, 2015

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC ) flickr photo shared by darrellrhodesmiller

While searching through Flickr for an interesting image to accompany this post, I came across the above shot of the abandoned Six Flags amusement park in New Orleans. The photographer included the back story in the image description – a testament to the ongoing aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The photo composition is beautiful, in an eerily haunting sort of way.

I’ve been reading through other weekly update style posts that those in my PLN regularly write, and am slowly coming round to the practice. Thanks to the new organizational system:

and in an effort to go along with being more open as a general practice (hmm…post about this later), I will give it a try for a month. I’m also hoping it will prompt me to blog more regularly.

Spring course work:

Read chapter 10 of our course textbook. Submitted first draft of learning philosophy. I will (hopefully?) include a link to it in next week’s updates.


Assessing, measuring connected learning outcomes

Really enjoyed the video chat between Howard Rheingold and Jaimie Hoffman. What she described is exactly aon the lines of what I had hoped to research with Connected Courses – more specifically, what are the cumulative “after effects” that participants took away three months after the course officially ended? Six months? And how do those after effects translate into pedagogical changes? Jaimie inadvertently answered those questions as she described her courses. (Plus, wouldn’t it be great to be a student in her classes?!)

Mentorship as you know it is dead

High points: peer-to-peer mentorship leading the way to the new norm. (As well as sink or swim for new employees) Traditional “grooming” of employees no longer exists. Every (wo)man for oneself.

Access Monitor: WordPress plugin to monitor accessibility

Plan to install this plugin shortly. While the review cautions that using this plugin does not automatically make your site accessible, it can provide a good starting point.

Getting good at getting good #deliberatepractice

Practice without feedback ≠ improvement. Who can provide input to reach higher levels?

Open pedagogy: the importance of getting in the air

Post phrases highlighted in Diigo: “How can the potential impact of open pedagogy on learning be even greater than affordability’s impact on open learning? Making progress in open pedagogy is critically important to winning the long-term OER adoption battle. The field desperately needs more work focused in this area. Powerful examples of open pedagogy will give faculty a specific and and direct reason to adopt OER.”

How to break a big project into small steps

Great question to keep in mind: If I only had ten minutes to make progress on this every day this week, what would I do?

Gender bias in academe: An annotated bibliography of important recent studies

Policy implications for P&T processes, talking points for further discussion and reflection