2012: My Year in Numbers

It's not like I have nothing else to do but when people ask "Where do you find the time?" it's usually not because they think what I've done is so amazing but rather so dumb or insignificant. 

Thanks for the compliment. 

I take solace in Clay Shirky's statement that "even the stupidest creative act, is still a creative act". If I've not created something in a while I feel a little stale. These web and media tools are my paintbrushes and my canvases. I love that folks like Alan Levine and others are constantly making and fiddling with stuff. They inspire me and remind me to just do it. 

So after thinking about Dan Meyer's 2009 Annual Report and sharing it often as a example of using data to tell storie, I decided to give it a shot. While Dan used a wack sack of tools and does a much more professional job that took him weeks to produce, I wanted to see if I could use Keynote to tell the story of my year in numbers. So after an evening of planning, data mining, watching a few tutorials, I built my 2012 report. I spent most Read the rest

Your Research Matters

Cross posted at the Huffington Post

John Spencer is quickly becoming one of my favourite reads. He's clever, succinct and more importantly works with kids everyday. His recent post about why he doesn't believe in research comes to me after experiencing a few issues around research of late.

Much of my own feelings about research are a result of reading a lot of Dave Weinberger's writings. Weinberger talks about the changing shape of knowledge and that network knowledge is negotiated as opposed to traditional knowledge which was more accepted. Print and books are designed to contain and be the final word on truth. You don't ask questions to paper. Now with work being online, our reaction is always to want to have a discussion around ideas. Of course this is extremely liberating both also problematic when everything is questioned and conversations involved many perspectives. Welcome to democracy. 

While preparing for an upcoming presentation I came across a slide I've used citing that our brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Sounds impressive and useful for convincing folks to use more images to help understanding. The problem is the research, as far as many can tell is not true. Read the rest

Guitar Lesson 6

This video showcases a new little strumming drill I learned as well as highlight some others diving into a musical learning project. 

 

If you want to participate in helping others with their learning project, considering gifting one or more of my students with a little comment, whether or not you're an expert in any of these fields, a kind word of encouragement can go miles in helping them realize that learning in public is a good thing. 

​Dan…learning to make sushi

Danielle…learning to sew

Jeneane….learning sign language

Jennie…learning to read Chinese

Josh.…learning graphic designRead the rest

Do you have something to share(ski)?

I'm honored to be providing the pre-conference keynote for the 2010 K12 Online Conference. I've been involved in this conference since its inception in 2006 in various capacities and believe it to be not only a wonderful resource but a great model of sharing and generosity that epitomizes what networked learning can be.

While I'm sorting through a few ideas for the keynote, I'm planning on making a case as to why we have an obligation to share and teach to students beyond our own institutions and how that makes your own school a much better place. This is where I need your help.

In the spirit of Alan Levine (see Alan, this is what happens when you have great ideas, other people steal them), I'd love for you to post your story. To be more specific, I'm looking for examples of sharing that directly impacted students and curriculum. Maybe it's simply using a resource created by someone else, perhaps it's an idea you shared that someone else built upon. It could be anything that you used with students in your school or classroom. Ideally, I'd like to have stories from a variety of grade and subject levels.

Given … Read the rest

My hometown

mapInspired by Doug Peterson, who was inpsired by ZeFrank that then inspired Stephen Downes and others I’ve created a little video of my life growing up in Morden, Manitoba.  Thanks to the every growing database of Google Streetview, it’s now reaching even small towns like the one I grew up in.

This one’s mostly for me. Yet, it’s been interesting to learn about other’s experiences growing up. Lots of similarities largely due to a very different attitude toward safety and community. (By the way, I recall a blog post/website a few months back where someone detailed the changes in how far kids are allowed to roam from home, if anyone knows it please leave a link)

Besides the content, the use of Google Maps/Streetview as storytelling tools is largely underused as Alan Levine has said a number of times. Watching Jim Groom’s video, was like literally like going for a walk with him.

I created this with about 3 Jing movies stitched together and then uploaded to blip and youtube. One take. No rehearsal or editing, other than adding a title and one image I had handy. It lacks polish but most of our stories … Read the rest