October in 25 sentences

Four weeks have passed since I started the 9x9x25 and I’ve been hard pressed to keep up with the pace. In my ideal world, I was going to comment on everyone’s posts, link back to all the brilliance in my network and write my own posts connecting all of it together. But I don’t live in an ideal world, despite everyone’s best intentions. I’m sorry that what follows will read like a required report but sometimes “done” is better than “perfect”.

Autumnal activities
Since my first post, back in the first week of October:

  1. I submitted a super secret nomination package for a colleague for a distinguished career award.
  2. I helped make Thanksgiving dinner for 14.
  3. I went to Open Education 18 in Niagara Falls which had some incredible keynotes (like Jess Mitchell). Got to play tourist in my backyard.
  4. There I added local newspaper information to Wikipedia
  5. Other highlights include catching up with the CUNY crew and finding out about their cool Manifold tool
  6. Went to many other great sessions but the web annotation was really great, as it’s now baked into eCampusOntario’s Pressbooks (yay!)
  7. Learnt about the Go-GN network which makes making a grad student working in OER much less lonely
  8. Went to a heated and hilarious session by Steel Wagstaff and Billy Mienke with a treasure trove of follow up reading about use of student data 
  9. Got my Catching Air mug from Terry Greene!
  10. I also caught up with so many beautiful wonderful people whom I respect and adore.
  11. I went to the Digital Pedagogy Institute at Ryerson in Toronto with Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel. This was an intro session and not much was brand new to me, as I closely follow both Sean and Jesse and read Hybrid Pedagogy very regularly but it’s always wonderful to be in the presence of people who care so deeply about learning. Definitely I also signed up for the Digital Pedagogy Lab in March.
  12. I presented to Senate Teaching & Learning Policy about OER (much thanks to Rajiv for sharing his slides CCBY). Related, my students in ADED 2P50 Online and Blended in Post-Secondary continued to work through developing their modules and mid-October they watched Rajiv’s talk at Brock from last December. Unsurprisingly, comments ranged from “Wow, what an eye-opening talk” to “I’m going to do everything I can to ensure I use open resources”. Many of my students are college professors in Ontario, so I consider this a huge advancement and very rewarding as a teacher. I can’t thank Rajiv enough for his passionate advocacy, which put him on the UN agenda with other incredible educators and scholars.
  13. I went to a terrifying but terrific talk by Dr. Natasha Tusikov about how Toronto is selling off our personal information in the name of Smart Cities
  14. Worked with the amazing and wonderful Peggy French to deliver a workshop on open textbook platforms, specifically Pressbooks and Scalar.
  15. I gave a drawing workshop for Teaching Assistants on Universal Design for Learning.
  16. Gave a similar workshop to senior staff at Student Wellness and Accessibility Services on drawing and UDL
  17. Attended a super session by Karen Julien about the Magic of Feedback
  18. I presented with my colleagues to Academic Review Committee on how we can help with the curriculum mapping process.
  19. Oh, yeah, and I became the Associate Director of Teaching & Learning at the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation.

Autumnal activities

So it’s been a busy and wonderful time and each of those sentences could have been their own 25 sentence blog post (at least!)

IDIG Ontario

Today I presented at the Instructional Design Interest Group at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. It was a great group of about 60 IDs from across Ontario.

I’m giving a similar workshop in Gimli, Manitoba in May so I was happy to experiment with some ideas and get some feedback from folks who know about teaching and learning.

The day started off with Dr. Joe Kim, a cognitive psychology professor from McMaster who shared some excellent insights about how we can improve teaching and learning in lectures.

@ProfJoeKim #idigOntario keynote #viznotes Durable Learning

I used this as a jumping off point to discuss how I use doodling in class as a way to self-regulate towards effortful, focused attention. This facilitates moving the content of conference talks from my working memory into my long term memory. Since 2011, I have drawings for over 300 talks. It seems mind boggling to me but I love how my drawings act as anchor points for my memory and allow me to recall so much from each session.

I was able to incorporate some really cool stuff into the session, starting with the standard, “I can draw” circle that I learned from Nancy White so many years ago. After that, we played around with Nick Sousanis#GridsGestures activity, to map the shape of our day.

I’ve been a big fan of Nick for ages and I love to reference his book Unflattening whenever I can. Breaking the barriers of text in academia is a huge accomplishment. Also, the book is stunning and brilliant so I think everyone should have a copy.

After practicing shapes, we then did a Liberating Structures activity: Drawing Together to identify a professional challenge only using 5 basic shapes. I used this as an icebreaker for this new group to get to know each other and connect. I always get mixed reviews with this activity. People love connecting and discussing but constricting the drawing to just 5 symbols annoys people who love to draw. On the other hand, it liberates those who feel they can’t. I’d like to make both groups happy, possibly by adding the option to create your own symbols but I’m afraid that would make the activity too complex.


As part of this new domain, edudoodle.com, I’ve been trying different subdomains and in particular, SPLOTs. I am totally chuffed that my gallery.edudoodle.com  totally worked as an image collector. [[side note, I’m very grateful to cogdog for his work in creating these smallest possible online tools (or whatever the acronym du jour is). I have recently become a patreon supporter and I recommend others do too]]

I did discover that some emails did not work because of SPF (Sender Policy Framework) set up by their mail client servers. Not sure how to get around that other than ask everyone to use their gmail. There is a feature on the splot collector to just have a form but I love the ease of emailing. I’ll have to revisit this before May!

I rounded out the session showing some ways people can practice their new visual skills. They can see examples at the Extend Assignment Bank and I encourage everyone to play along. ExtendEast is going on right now and Extend West begins in May. Get on board the Extend Ontario fun train!

Another side note: this is my first real blog post at ideas.edudoodle.com and I feel sad for abandoning gforsythe.ca. I wonder if each of these can have a specific purpose? Thoughts or ideas welcome.


Update: Resources from the day at IDIGOntario