Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Desire2Learn Fusion and Unconference

The D2L Unconference was held in Chicago, coordinated by Kyle Mackie. A fun-filled social event with lightning presentations (mine was "Barbecued Twitter Sandwich), Karaoke PowerPoint, and Kyle leading a sing-a-long on ukulele. Antonio Garcia @a_m_garcia was the guest speaker sharing inspiring words to take time to be creative, it's OK to make mistakes, Life is Beta http://amgarcia.com/

Desire2Learn's Users Conference was excellent. Keynote speaker Joel Coen, writer producer for the Simpsons was a highlight. I was proud to help those I supervise develop and submit proposals to present with success.
This video shares about the conference experience better than I can (I'm in it too!).

Monday, November 8, 2010

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX

Thankful I was able to visit the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX in Feb. of 2010.

The other side of the building makes it appear to be sitting right in the water.

I am always interested in the chance to see works of art in person (the actual physical view) instead of only from reproductions. I have never been much into Anselm Kiefer's work but seeing it person does help. Because of the large size I was able to make out that this is a picture of a room and then all covered with stuff (emulsion, ash, paint..stuff).

Here is a sculpture made only out of tens of thousands of wintermint, plastic wrapped, hard candy.

There was also a very nice exhibit of Andy Warhol's work from the last part of his life.
The walk back to the hotel was very long. I encountered the longest extension cord plug in I have ever seen-it went on for a few blocks, I still do not understand but here are some pics.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What's All the Buzz? Web 2.0 Presentation

Just posting the Web 2.0 presentation, feel free to use parts of it or the whole (Creative Commons).
What is Web 2.0? There are several facets to this answer the main aspect being: in the past the internet had very few "authors" now WE as a collective have the capability to write/share/create on the web thanks to the multitude of web applications being developed (blogger, flickr, youtube, etc). Also in the past we had to buy software and load it onto a single computer, web applications allow us to use them from any computer...and many cost nothing!
Please ask questions or leave comments about this Web 2.0 presentation .
I have presented it at the American Association of Collegiate Independent Study conference 09 and the MNSCU ITeach 09 conference, as well as multiple groups at Central Lakes College, MN.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

ITC eLearning 09

Instructional Technology Council Conference, eLearning 2009.
My 2nd time at this conference and once again the best group to connect with if you are interested in online learning and teaching with technology. ITC had excellent keynote speakers this year that were chock full of new info and were flat-out good presenters, see Bryan Alexander and Brian Lamb. Plus it was engaging and fun to have Minnesota's own Barry Dahl throw down the gauntlet in the Grand Debate: Topic – Virtual Worlds are the Second Life for Online Education. Barry was on the snarky, negative side.

Other highlights for me: Being fully integrated with twitter-chatter and back-channel during the conference.

CLC instructor Jackie Lindquist awarded an outstanding elearning educator award.

Having a long-time instructor new to teaching with technology attend and comment, "I have not been this inspired in such a longtime, I am excited to be a teacher again" (!!!!! a major highlight).

I was able to meet-up with a former art student/family friend and catch-up.

Spend time with my mentor now working in Beaverton, OR.

And finally, it was a privilage to be a presenter at this conference--
Remix Culture Appreciation
(aka Art Appreciation)
More people are advocating the use of creative commons
instead of copyright. Michael Amick will explore the history of
reusing and remixing prior-created material and how it is valid
and valuable from a visual arts perspective. He will explore the
“myth of originality” and discuss why artists and designers are
instructed to “borrow” from previously-created work. Imagery
will be the main aspect of this presentation, with the latest art,
music and video creations of current remix culture.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Portland OR Art Museum

In Feb, 2009 I was able to visit the Portland Art Museum. As blogged previously, I typically find great joy in the chance to visit and see high quality art. But my visit was very uninspired, I was shocked and disappointed in myself, not so much the museum. Things got off the a rough start in the contemporary, modern art building. I am always the 1st to advocate for and explain modern art and discuss why certain pieces are considered great art. Why didn't I like anything? I had a real hard time with the collection in this entire building, it had pieces from all the right artist and all the right movements but it was overwhelmingly filled with 2nd and 3rd rate examples from modern movements and famous artists.

At last, after walking though nearly all the galleries I finally found a great piece from an area of art history that typically does not rivet my attention. But was glad to experience the thrill of Nature's Fan by William Adolphe Bouguereau 1881. An amazing use of light and value contrasts.

Monday, November 17, 2008

AACIS Conference 2008: Alien-Robot-Authentication Device Not Needed.

I was glad to be able to present at the American Association of Collegiate Independent Study 2008 in St. Louis, MO hosted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
A session that I was most interested in attending was Troy University's Student Authentication System. I saw the beast up-close.

This little guy is plugged into a computer that a student is using for an online course and authenticates the student by scanning their thumbprint and then taking a 360 degree video or photo every few seconds while a student is taking a test to make sure it is indeed the correct student and that they are not cheating.
Some folks from MN really wanted me to confront the problems that this system brings up but
presenter Deb Gearhardt conceded and pointed most of them on my list before I had a chance.
1. Student authentication can be an issue in a face-to-face course and no intense method like the alien-robot-device above is used. the presenter shared this video.

2. Who will review all the photos and videos that the alien-robot-authentication device gathers from all tests by all students? Do faculty have time for this? No. Do they review all photos and videos? No.
3. The most important area I did speak out during the presentation was clarifying the info and language in the Higher Ed Act about this issue. Everywhere I go folks say a device like this is now required by law-not true. Thanks to Barry Dahl for his clear publication on this issue and the work done by the Instructional Learning Council Board to get clarification language into the bill.
See detailed language here, Distance Education Authentication- Just the Facts by Barry Dahl
4. The bill language also makes an important statement about student privacy: "The Conferees do not intend that institutions use or rely on any technology that interferes with the privacy of the student..." Specific examples were shared during the presentation that are violations of student privacy and this technology provides no way to protect privacy.
5. An additional cost of 150 dollars is passed on to the student for authentication device, which can only be used on ONE computer.

Affirmation: Alien-robot-authentication device is not needed.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Desire2Learn Fusion Conference 2008

What I learned: A really nice conference that involved valuable, fun learning and FUN!
My first experience of the conference, next to the registration table, was an invite to play guitar hero. It was only my 2nd time playing, afterwards I received a ribbon for my conference badge with the Rock Star label.

I was able to attend several valuable sessions on manging massive online courses, online quizing and a session hosted by D2L Felix on training methods. I also always enjoy a chance to hear Barry Dahl share on web app tools, I invariably learn something new (this time it was major clarification on how to embed items into D2L content). The Keynote speakers were excellent and actually offered thought provoking info about the current state and future of education. One highlight was a roundtable that brought the backchannel to the fore. It was chaotic, funny, distracting, insightful, and innovative--read more at Barry Dahl's Post on Backchannel at D2L Another item of high value was the ability to sit down with D2L reps and walk though a list of questions and concerns and have many of them addressed on the spot.

D2L also did a great job of letting folks have some fun by taking everyone on a tour of Graceland and other activities.
I loved Memphis, hot and humid temps are my thing in the summer and Memphis did not disappoint. Thanks D2L!