29

Digital Survival Skills

This was a presentation the other day on basic skills to survive in today’s digital jungle. The summary description is below but it feels kind of pompous when I read it now. I will likely revise it in some way in the near future. I do like the core idea that there’s a lot of change and lot of distraction in a digital environment and you might have to think in particular ways and do particular things if you’re going to do well in that world. 1 I feel I’ve got a decent idea what those key concepts/tips are after working with a large number of people across a number of organizations and disciplines over nearly 20 years. The confluence of distraction and rapid change in today’s digital environment can result in confusion and frustration. We’ll focus on limiting distraction and choosing tools and workflows that will help you do more with less effort. The foundation will be a quick overview of digital productivity patterns (pomodoro, GTD, etc.). From there, we’ll move into successful patterns for getting work done in key workplace applications. For my own amusement, I opted to use actual survival manual advice with a specific focus on the US Army’s Survival Manual to frame the conversation. The idea that you can’t control everything and there’s no use […]

13

Tweets as Presentation: Reflecting on #pressedconf18

I took the opportunity to participate in the #PressedConf yesterday. Described as “. . . a twitter conference (#pressedconf18) looking into how WordPress is used in teaching, pedagogy and research.” it was a pretty impressive number of people and topics covered on Twitter in roughly 20 minute “Tweet storms.”1 Presenting on Twitter was something new to me and I tried to think through some interesting ways to approach things. Given how limited Twitter was I tried to tackle complexity in a few different ways while taking advantage of the way Twitter treats different content integrations. The Post I ended up deciding to build out a WordPress post with various sections that were associated with a number of the Tweets I’d make. I used good ol’ anchor links in the Tweets to be able to link specifically to those sections without having to resort lots of little posts. For example – brings you to the Custom Composition section directly. Not very visual on the Twitter end and probably cheating in the scheme of things. The Videos I tried to tackle other complexity through videos. I made a number of new videos and took advantage of a few others I’d had to try to show more details. I kind of wonder if this worked well. They appeared in two different ways. Some […]

21

Critical Digital Fluency Revisited

I had the chance to talk to the kind folks from Middlebury about digital fluency Friday. I’ll probably do a better job getting into the depth of things with this as I was moving pretty rapidly for the 20 minute presentation. It’s also super-meta in a way that’s hard to articulate verbally so I’m going to try to use digital elements to allow that to surface more obviously. You can view the original presentation in the reveal.js framework here.1 I thought this was funny. I considered translating it to French to further emphasize the “this is not a pipe” thing but after surveying a few people in the office I became less confident anyone would know what I was talking about and I would have to rely on Google Translate for the French which seemed risky given Middelbury’s language focus. Part of what I wonder, now even more than a few years ago, is what people are thinking when they talk about digital fluency. There’s just so much there and it’s so entwined with so many other things. My goal was to have people vote on a 1-5 scale on how complex an example of digital fluency by holding up their fingers. That didn’t work to well because Zoom doesn’t let you do the gallery view of participants when you […]

website screenshot indicating blue div blocking access to central portion of embedded website

reveal js tweak for iframe backgrounds

*********UPDATE********* The stuff below sort of works, but since there’s only one parent element for all sections it won’t let you click on links later on. That’s no good. It’s also kind of weird to go from interacting with the iframe page to get back into the slideshow navigation (partially because I hid the navigation buttons). So . . . I went this route instead. The following code toggles the slide overlay. I set it up as a button at the top of my slides. It’s full width and black so not obtrusive. Click it lets me fully interact with the iframe page and clicking it again reactivates keyboard navigation for the slide deck. *********END UPDATE********* I’m a fan of reveal.js and have been using it to build all of my recent presentations. It feels like it fits what I do really well. The fact that it’s just a website that behaves a certain way means I can do all kinds of fun things that blend both the web-based examples and my ability to annotate and manipulate the web itself.1 There’s also quite a bit of beauty in tools that continue to offer more opportunities to grow as you learn. Anyway . . . One common action in my presentations is to embed a live website as a full size […]

Running Multisite Like a Boss

This is the presentation I ended up doing at #domains17. I did slide-ish things over here but they probably didn’t include all the asides. We’ll see how well I do at including them in this post. I went down the Church of the Sub-Genius route sometime the night before. It remains to be seen whether this was a good choice or not. I thought it was funny but many of my jokes are for a niche audience of one. Although Grant Potter and Brian Lamb seemed to be down with Bob. The goal of this slide was to portray me as a human. I have a number of other interests. I do not live in a dank cave with eyes eternally glazed from staring into the ether. I have a family. I sleep a reasonable amount. I enjoy the light of the day star. etc. etc. Once again, I’m trying really hard to convince people that I am not special and they can do this. I’m not a programmer. I didn’t study computer science. This is sometimes misinterpreted at times to mean you should do this or we’ve had the same opportunities to do this. I’m not saying any of that. I’m trying to say I’m no better than you and that with time you too can be a half-competent […]

You Can’t Do That on WordPress

I submitted something like this already to NMC but it failed . . . and I did not have a backup copy. They happened to extend the deadline so I’ve resubmitted and I’m sticking a copy here for future reference. It might also be useful just for a handy list of examples. 100 Word Summary 1 Open Source, highly flexible, and running 1 in every 4 sites on the Internet today, yet many still put WordPress in the “cat diary” box.2 In the initiative’s third year, we have 21,000+ sites. See examples of WordPress as a single-use tool and how it can be used to build truly customized courses.  All examples are open to the world (no passwords). We’ll explore design patterns (build fast at scale) and powerful plugins (use the community). Mind expansion is the goal. The code’s on GitHub. Warning: 1980s Canadian TV show references will occur. These are all public examples. They’re in real courses in a large, public university. This is work that is accessible and possible for anyone. Additionally, all the plugins and themes we create are on GitHub (here and here). I’ve also done my best to document how it all works on many posts on my site. I want people to be able to do this on their own or with their institution […]

API Nirvana – The Content

Long, long ago Kin and I did the API Nirvana presentation at Open Ed 2016. The following images are screenshots of the presentation embedded above. I described the construction in reveal.js here. There’s a good chance the images below link to the right slides in the presentation. I need to think through how this particular workflow might work better as it seems wasteful to take screenshots this way . . . 1 Slide one is a visual mashup of Kin’s logo and Nirvana’s smiley face font/color. I find the API path one of temptation. It leads me to question many things and I struggle with what I should be spending the time to tweak, to massively modify, to try to make perfect for me. It is a battle but a better one than tolerating whatever I’m given with no recourse. API tools allow me entirely new levels of IFTTT types of flow– and a flow where I’m dictating far more of the process without the need for a 3rd party intermediary. There’s lots of power there and lots of potential to eat huge chunks of my time as well. It brings up lots of big picture questions about who owns what. With APIs I can increase the percentage I own and make the services/data interchangeable should I need to move […]

API Nirvana – Functional Details

I am way behind on blog posts. I’m also bad about telling the difference between blog posts I’ve written in my head and blog posts I’ve actually written. I am glad that being able to tell the difference between reality and fantasy is not that important. Sparked back to reality by this Tweet involving many of my favorite people on the Internet . . . I figured I’d write at least part one of that imaginary post. If my ability to tell fiction from fact continues, I’ll actually write up the content of the presentation this week. Has anyone played round with Reveal.js for slides? @cogdog perhaps? Thinking on using with @Flickr @creativecommons images Maybe fork it? — Ken Bauer (@ken_bauer) November 27, 2016 I got the opportunity to do a talk with the rather hopeful title of API Nirvana at #opened16 with Kin Lane (the API evangelist). The original proposal had doing something like the description below with a focus on the Buddhist concept of Nirvana. Kin Lane, API Evangelist, has long been a traveler on the API path. Tom Woodward has newly come to it. Kin will explain API Nirvana, that it’s more a journey than a destination (you are already on it), and Tom will explain the path and patterns of his early progress towards that destination. […]

Thinking About Digital Literacy

I was asked to speak at the VCU School of Education’s Teaching Literacy in a Digital World Conference this past Saturday. I’ve haven’t spent much time thinking about “digital literacy” in the past few years. It’s been somewhat mashed together with other terms that overlap like- digital fluency, computational thinking, etc. – and like those terms there’s not much agreement on what it is. I glanced at a few definitions prior to making this but didn’t really stick with one. When Dr. Leila Christenbury started the conference she referenced the “find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content using information technologies and the Internet” definition of digital literacy so I added that while I waited and it makes as good a framework as anything else. A chunk of the presentation is on GitHub here or you can fork it here. I opted to do the presentation with reveal.js and on GitHub mainly because I need to be expanding my own competencies (digital and otherwise). I struck the “differently” portion because I wanted to orient things more towards the idea of doing things and didn’t want people getting caught up in the nuances of whether it was really “different.” This was an attempt to connect with the audience. I believed they were mainly k12 teachers or faculty in the School of Ed (who […]

My Chunk of the VCU ALT Lab Educause Presentation

I got a chance to present at Educause with Gardner, Jon, and Molly. The session was about 45 minutes so we each had about 7 minutes. The session description is below. I figured I’d throw my slides/comments up here- mainly because I will forget everything if I don’t write it down. In the past, centers supporting excellence in teaching and learning tended to follow models of faculty development focusing on incremental change in widely accepted practices. VCU’s Academic Learning Transformation Laboratory seeks to change that paradigm. This session will begin with our story thus far. Come help us write our next chapters! from the program This is a list of my greatest fears (although I left out hypocrisy which I find myself repeating almost as much as workflow). It’s easy to scare people out of doing things. It’s easy to end up aiming for mediocrity. That feels like a high bar at times. Don’t call warming up dog food a victory. It’s really almost worse than leaving it cold. At least cold dog food isn’t pretending. I’ve had to do it at times but don’t let it ever become a goal. Excuses are easy. Figuring out real limits on capacity and aspiration is hard and a constantly moving target. It’s a tightrope to walk but walk it. Many places support […]