• Deconstructing productivity with Teams and Planner

    I’ve been working on some productivity tweaks, and with a BCcampus move to Office 365 and Teams, I’ve found myself really appreciating the seamless transition between Slack-like team spaces and synchronous meetings. I’m also loving MS Forms for survey creation, and this week I discovered Planner, the Office 365 project management Kanban tool. I dove right in and have realized that MS Office 365 is major rethink, and a significant workflow shift. But it has required some reflection about how all the productivity and workflow pieces fit together. The first thing to understand is that Teams, Planner, and to some extent Outlook are built on top of a files and…

  • Examples of open education practices enabled by OpenETC infrastructure

    For some time I’ve been wanting to share some examples of what open education practices (OEP) enabled by open ed tech looks like in practice.  OpenETC provides open ed tech infrastructure to the BC higher ed sector in the form of 3 types of services:  WordPress, Mattermost, and Sandstorm click and go apps.  The most visible examples of OEP are in the WordPress part of OpenETC, since Mattermost (open source Slack) is a more private class or group space, and Sandstorm uses-in-practice aren’t visible to us as administrators. So this is a round-up of a selection of uses of WordPress in OpenETC. WordPress E-portfolios Last year, the biggest uptake for OpenETC…

  • Student Conditions and Access in the Online Pivot

    It’s been just over a week since I posted a short piece on how to teach online with email and a smartphone and what a week it’s been. There’s continued to be great support and resources being shared and some of us are settling into a new reality. I’m encouraged by the emphasis on care and flexibility, and in reflecting on all that has gone on this week I think the first task in moving online is not deciding what technology to move to but what kind of access and conditions your students have in their new reality and take it from there. It’s a bit late for some educators…

  • Online Teaching with the most basic of tools – email

    How to teach online using only email and a phone and maybe one other tool There’s been a lot of a great resources being shared by so many of us who want to help with the move-online-quickly situation that COVID has found us in. I don’t link to any of it here but I want to acknowledge this great work and generous sharing of it. This is my small contribution. The great thing about moving online because of COVID is that it’s the middle of the semester so students already know your flow. You just need to translate that flow to online. There are lots of ways to do this,…

  • Week in Review Feb 14

    I don’t really know how to write about this week. BCNet, after 2 or 3 years of having 1/3 keynote slots for a female speaker, went back to an all male keynote panel. Over the years I’ve provided no less than 9 names of potential speakers, spoken directly to an organizer who told me how “hard” it was, left comments on feedback forms and online surveys. For what? So much of rattling the cages and pointing out this nonsense is tiring. But it’s just a keynote right? Unfortunately, this complicit blindness extends upwards to our entire sector who still feel that in 2020 it’s ok to have senior leadership teams…

  • Week in Review Feb 7

    This week it felt like all my planning pieces came together – thankfully, because I felt like I spend a lot of time overthinking certain things in an effort to be collaborative and cautious, but I’ll be honest that I’m ready to get going on the doing. Fortunately, there are lots of doing things that get me excited. I’m about 3 months in to these weekly reflections and had to do a check in with myself about them, namely, is this right format? Am I just sharing my laundry list? Does it make me feel bad when I don’t have much to report on? Should I maybe just focus on…

  • Week in Review – Jan 24 and 31

    As it was bound to happen, I missed getting to last week’s review, but sometimes the things we do don’t fall into tidy week long chunks. One of the things I’ve learned about myself is that I’m a perculator…if I’m working on something complex or something that involves synthesis, I have to think and read a lot before anything progresses to a writing stage. As someone who loves to cross things off a list, this is more than a bit frustrating, but I’ve come to understand it as part of my process. The plus is that usually I don’t have to spend a ton of time on drafts…one or two…

  • Imagining LXP-light or the open source alternative

    While I was at JIBC we had a demand and a need for unconventional online learning spaces and this pushed us in interesting ways. On more than one occasion we hired Alan Levine – aka @cogdog – to take our ideas and build them. The most well-known application of that are the Mural and Agora sites which combined SPLOTs, the DS106 features, Discourse and a plethora of other things (including his fantastic photography). But there are 2 lesser known JIBC/Alan Levine collaborations that are worth highlighting in our collective struggle to move beyond LMS. Constellations Constellations was the first attempt to move in a significantly new direction in the area…

  • Week in Review – January 17

    This week in review is coming a day early as I head to Edmonton for the Junior Nationals Olympic Weightlifting competition, perfectly timed with a deep weather freeze. Let’s start with the important stuff. I finished my 2 quilt blocks for #femedtechquilt. First is a rip off/inspired by Effin Birds, using a laser printed photo transfer. This is where you reverse print your image, then apply it to fabric with gel medium. Once dried overnight, you soak it with water and gently remove the paper. The removing the paper part is a bit tricky and you have to have a fair amount of patience (which I don’t have) but after…

  • Week in Review – Jan 10

    Well, coming back after a couple of weeks off was a bit harder than I thought it would be. First, here’s what the last couple of weeks looked like. I got a new pair of snowboard boots (first pair in 20 years!!), the kind with fancy turny things that tighten them so I don’t have to do up laces. I tried them out on a spectacular – and well timed for lots of fresh powder – week with the family at Silverstar. The RWA (of which I’m a new member) imploded. The romance writing industry has notoriously privileged white, female and straight and the industry and the association has basically…

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