Online Learning Done Wrong

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward I’ve been talking to people quite a bit about online learning lately because of the new job. A number of conversations go back to my experience getting a master’s degree online through Virginia Tech. I was not a fan of the process. I hated every bit of it and felt completely divorced from the process. In other words, it was a lot like my usual traditional educational experience. In any case, I dealt with it by waiting until the last few days of each semester and did all the work in a few days. Today, I had to find my VT PIN so I could prove I got the master’s degree. In the search I came across the emails represented above. VT was doing their due diligence. As a matter of fact, I bet they were following some framework about “online quality.”1 This program was one of the “set and forget” models that keep churning out profit with low investment of time for years. There’s very little change in content and less interaction or leveraging of student knowledge/experience. It was particularly ironic when taking […]

Walking at Work and VSTE – Week 5

I spent the first two days at the VSTE conference so I’ll throw a few of those in here as well. My summary of the conference ranges from a conversation with Andrew Carle about all sorts of things from Markov and Beautiful Soup to the other end where I watched 50 or so people sit in a room to watch a woman Google Hang Out in (this needs a better verb) to show them how to click around a website. People came. Lots of people. No one walked out. I really don’t understand. VSTE conference attendance is about $350. I also did a few presentations at VSTE. One on OER stuff where I continue to try to convince people that content is the lowest bar and that the open tools, people, and communities are the things that make that content valuable. I’ve talked about that enough here before not to launch into it again. I did another presentation called something odd like “Rethinking Professional Development.”1 In this case I attempted to really provoke some conversation from the crowd by putting up some hyperbolic slides and then provoking additional chaos. My initial plan was just to sit in the audience until people got anxious and began to leave. My goal was to then say we were all there for the same […]

Stranger Portraits

I am fully back on the stranger portrait path. This image is the one I like the best out of those I’ve taken recently. The others were all at a recent VSTE conference and I’m not sure I’m even going to “count” them in the progression towards the 100 total. Taking photographs at a conference feels substantially different than what I normally do with stranger photography. Additionally, I’m not thrilled with the quality of the images. I could get better about talking to the person and trying to get them into more interesting locations/lighting. That’s not something I do currently. It’s not something I tend to do even with people I know. I much prefer candid shots in almost all situations. This is one of those things that I haven’t fully decided on. It’d certainly make for better photographs. cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward This gif is made of photographs, some of strangers and some of people I know, after the wireless failed at the VSTE conference. I put it forth as a mixture of art as therapy and gif magic.

Costic Acsinte – 30 Minutes of Healing

I found Costic? Acsinte1 which is a new Flickr Commons participant. It also has a Twitter account. I really like these photographs and the backstory is interesting as well. They almost seem to good to be true but I’d almost be more excited if they were. In any case, the images are awesome. A number of factors coalesced last night- these photographs, returning from taking too many present day photos for the VSTE conference, and some inspiration from Stephen Downes’ ‘Half an Hour’ site. I decided I’d spend 30 minutes each night making something. It’s not Daily Create (although it might be at times) and this isn’t a pledge to you in order to keep myself accountable. I tend to trend much more towards self-directed inspiration and react against most, if not all, outside pressures. With my self-analysis session out of the way, I decided last night to try to “repair” one of the photos from the Costic? Acsinte group. I say “repair” because I really love the artifacts of decay in the images. I don’t know if removing them improves the image at all. It may even make the picture less than what it is but I had never tried to repair a photograph in this way and I thought it’d be an interesting process. I set the boundary […]


Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

Horseradish Quotes by Lemony Snicket ““Most schools have a loud system of loud bells, which startle the students and teachers at regular intervals and remind them that time is passing even more slowly than it seems.” ? Lemony Snicket, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid” tags: weekly quote snicket school Ruby, Ruby on Rails, and _why: The disappearance of one of the world’s most beloved computer programmers. “_why’s primer, the (poignant) Guide, was only a slight improvement. Dada or post-postmodern, is perhaps a more apt descriptor for the guide than poignant is. It starts with a cartoon of a cat, standing alongside an “elf and his pet ham.” The text opens with a note from _why saying he included an onion in the center of the guide. Why an onion? Because everyone will learn to write code so beautiful they will want to cry. “ tags: programming strange literature _why ruby weekly The death and life of great Internet cities “The sense that you were given some space on the Internet, and allowed to do anything you wanted to in that space, it’s completely gone from these new social sites,” said Scott. “Like prisoners, or livestock, or anybody locked in institution, I am sure the residents of these new places don’t even notice the walls anymore.” tags: internet cities community […]

Walking at Work – Week 4

308 photos over 4 weeks of work (or slightly over 40 trips to/from my car). Some of the photos I’ve already used on web pages, some will end up in presentations, many I took just because I liked them and they’ll never “do” anything. A few that I liked from this week are below. Nothing mind blowing or earth shattering but something I look forward to doing each day I come to work.

Ephemera – Toucan Needs A Home

The Beauty of Craig’s List Toucan needs a home He doesn’t like his home but he can curse “keep away from children” Office desk free Some imperfections, will not hold. Have phone, don’t call. Pedagogical Agent The “pedagogical agent” camped out in the uncanny valley, built a home, and had generations of creepy kids. Awards The VA Attorney General rewarded me with this very special fireworks show for completing my conflict of interest training. I also got a retirement watch.

Markov Seeds

I started to comment on Alan’s recent post but realized I needed to document this a bit better than a comment. Every so often I kick over the #ds106 Markov generator and see what comes out. Sometimes I push it on to Twitter to share with the world. en You know what I understood characters (included. You to in inner pages @IamTalkyTina is Back? Where is YOUR photo? #ds106 #markov — Tom Woodward (@twoodwar) December 4, 2013 This one amused me so I did. @twoodwar en But I don't really understand what you just said. Like what #markov means? #ds106 #contextfelldownthestairs — Talky Tina (@IamTalkyTina) December 4, 2013 Talking Tina replied, justifiably confused. I explain. (There’s some additional side chatter you can see here but the more interesting stuff is below.) @IamTalkyTina random text assembler w #ds106 tweets as source material It's fairly fun (to me) although context free — Tom Woodward (@twoodwar) December 4, 2013 It could have died there but instead it went into a realm I could not have predicted- probabilistic programming in quantitative finance. @twoodwar Am I here ?? Probabilistic Programming in Quantitative Finance | Quantopian Blog – #ds106 — Talky Tina (@IamTalkyTina) December 4, 2013 Bill Smith chimes in with n-dimensional Hilbert space. @IamTalkyTina @twoodwar You R probably not here, but likely to be there. […]

Feedly to Diigo

Not perfect but control clicking on the title of the article in Feedly lets me choose Diigo Web Collector>Save to Diigo from the menu (on Chrome on a Mac with the Diigo plugin installed). I’m assuming right clicking on a PC will do the same. What’s funny is I’ve been trying to figure a decent way to do this for a while. I didn’t think it was worth the pro version fee. There are many people who want Feedly/Diigo integration (Delicious is the current default). I was about to go the very difficult route of trying to write a browser plugin similar to Alan’s Flickr CC attribution helper. I was already at the point of looking at Chrome’s API documentation. I was then in the place of wondering if a Chrome extension could impact a Chrome application . . . luckily I then thought of an amazingly easy straightforward solution. I know my reliance on the freemium tools of Internet is fraught with all kinds of drama. I’m working on it and I have backups. I will not weep if they wander off.

Stranger Portrait #29

It’s been a long time, almost exactly a year, since I did any stranger portraits. It remains a difficult thing for me to do which is a large part of why I do it. Additionally, driving into work this morning I saw the scene below. The park is a place where many homeless people seem to gather/sleep/live. I went back to check on the man but by the time I was able to park and walk back police and ambulance personnel were on the scene. It’s the kind of thing that makes me wonder about my own perceptions of my environment. If it weren’t for the bike would I have gone back to check? It seemed to add an element of action interrupted rather than someone passing out or sleeping in the open. Lots of questions about internal and external elements.