Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the second annual TEDx Youth Edmonton event at the Royal Alberta Museum.
Here are the inspiring speakers, the did a fantastic job!
Words, Photos and Ideas
Yesterday at the Palliser District Teacher’s Convention I had the pleasure of co-presenting a session about Open Educational Resources (OER) with my friend Verena Roberts. It is always great when I get to see Verena face to face, as we usually communicate through email, direct message on Twitter and hangouts, but this was special because we were presenting a topic that we are both passionate about. It’s too bad that Stephanie Krammer wasn’t able to present with us.
Preparing the presentation was a challenge because we knew that there would be no WiFi so we couldn’t count on participants being able to access the Moodle OER course that the session was based on. We had to prepare a much more Stand and Deliver presentation than the blended style that we prefer. However, despite the limited internet access, it was a good session.
We talked about “the binder”, sharing, creative commons and OER. There were great conversations in the room and a backchannel on Twitter, despite the lack of WiFi.
If you missed the session and would like to learn about OER you can take our open OER course. It explores open educational resources, open policy, open research, open practice and everything related to working towards and advocating for open education.
Today after work I’ll be heading to Calgary for my annual Teacher’s Convention. I believe in lifelong learning and participate in and deliver professional learning opportunities on a regular basis but I never look forward to convention because there is no WiFi so I need to disconnect from my learning network in order to learn, and I learn better when connected to my network.
When I first started teaching at Innisfail Junior Senior High School and attending the Palliser District Teacher’s Convention seven years ago WiFi hadn’t fully penetrated our lives yet. Students were not allowed to have their cell phones during class time and the computers in my lab were connected to the internet via Ethernet. By the time I left Innisfail five years later attitudes had changed, students were allowed to bring their own media devices to class and connect to the school WiFi. I now have WiFi access when I am at the airport, coffee shop, library and even in the middle of Churchill Square.
I’m still obligated to attend our annual Teacher’s Convention, and they still don’t provide WiFi access. This year I’ll be helping my friend Verena deliver a session about Open Educational Resources (OER), which is based on a course we taught for Ed Tech Open. It’s a challenge to plan a session about accessing OER when participants won’t all be able to access the internet. Ironically, I first met Verena on-line and the OER course was planned and delivered entirely on-line. If you’d like to learn about OER but would rather do so when you are connected to the internet instead of during Convention, we’ll be offering another session of Exploring Open Education and OER from April 17 – 22, you’ll have to register to access the course, but it’s free.
I’ll be off-line learning for the next few days, sorry if I don’t connect with you. I’ll reply to your Tweets, emails and posts once I get home. I”ll be going from famine to feast because TEDx Youth@Edmonton will be taking place on Saturday and I’ll be live tweeting all day.
On Thursday January 29th I was at ERLC’s CTF/CTS Day at Harry Ainley and Louis St Laurent schools. Dave, Danielle and I did a session about CTF in the morning, there was a big crowd with some great questions and comments.
In the afternoon we participated in Dennis Pratt‘s session “Projects Plans & Presentations”. He gave an overview of CTF, pointed out where to find information, and talked about how he has been starting to implement CTF in his classroom.
And then the fun began. He told us he was going to let us do a CTF challenge – bottle rockets. He showed his rocket and did one demo launch. He showed the launcher and explained that his his CTF class students would only build the rockets, not the launcher but that we were going to make both. He divided us into groups and here is what happened:
After all of the teams finished their rockets we tested them out in the parking lot.
What a great session. Thanks for showing us what a CTF challenge might look like Dennis.
One of the projects that I am working on right now is Startup Weekend EDU Edmonton which is taking place March 6-9, 2015 on the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) campus. It’s the first education-centric Startup Weekend hosted in Edmonton. Several of the organizing team held the first ever Startup Weekend EDU in Western Canada last year, Startup Weekend EDU Calgary. I’m excited to be involved as they bring it to Edmonton.
Startup Weekend is a global, grassroots movement of active, empowered, and aspiring entrepreneurs who are keen to learn the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. The non-profit organization hosts events in cities around the world – From Mongolia to South Africa to Canada to Brazil.
Startup Weekend – Education is an opportunity for people who have ideas for education-related solutions, we are sending a call out to students (junior high, high school and post secondary), teachers, designers and coders to join us for an intense weekend exploring their entrepreneurial spirit and learn the basics of starting a business. There will be experienced, qualified designers, developers, and top businesspeople who are volunteering their time to coach and mentor participants.
At the end of the weekend groups will pitch their businesses to judges, Dragon’s Den style, for prizes in two different categories:
Edu Track – bringing entrepreneurs, developers, designers and educators together to develop education-related solutions.
Student Track – bringing together youth entrepreneurs in grades 9-12 and students enrolled in postsecondary institutions together to develop their ideas with the support of experienced mentors.
Why not come out and join the fun, learn about starting a business and contribute solutions to education related problems. You can find out more and register on the website.
On Tuesday many of the participants from #etmooc, the Educational Technology and Media Mooc, gathered together for a Twitter chat to celebrate the 2nd Anniversary of #etmooc. We were celebrating the second anniversary of the launch of #etmooc, because although the scheduled events for #etmooc ended almost two years ago, the community that developed during #etmooc continues to evolve and grow.
It was a great chat, with tweets flying by too fast to keep up with them all. Many #etmooc alumni have stayed connected with monthly, or sometimes more frequent, #PostEtmooc tweet chats and hangouts, but this week was a much larger group than usual. Alec Couros, #etmooc’s lead learner led the chat, although there were many side conversations and catching up.
Here is Paul Signorelli‘s Storify of the chat.
Tomorrow PostEtmooc is holding the 2nd anniversary #etmooc Twitter chat. Alec Couros will be hosting and I’ll be taking wing with Susan Spellman Cann, Erin Luong, Paul Signorelli, Karen Young and Christina Hendricks. I can’t think of a better group to co-host a Twitter chat with, or a better topic.
It is hard to believe that it has been two years since the Educational Technology and Media Mooc, #etmooc. It was my first ever MOOC, when I joined, a week after it started because I had to talk myself into it, I had no idea what to expect. Now, two years later I’ve participated in many MOOCs and this fall I ran a MOOC for Alberta educators which was modelled on #etmooc.
Participating in etmooc shifted me into a philosophy of open and community building. Once I learned how to thrive in online connectivist learning communities I became a serial cMooc addict, and part of a fantastic learning community that feel fortunate to play and learn with every every day. I am looking forward to the chat tonight and reconnecting with the #etmooc and #PostEtmooc communities. I’m sure it’s going to be as fun as last year’s 1st year #etmooc anniversary Twitter chat.
See you tomorrow at 7pm MST, we’ll be the animated group catching up with the #etmooc hashtag.
We explored the Deep Freeze Festival yesterday afternoon. It was a great time to go, the sun was shining on polished ice and it was the warmest it had been in days.
We parked beside the Viking encampment, leaving the parking lot was like travelling back in time.
As always there was a beautifully carved ice bar.
And this year there were some beautiful snow walls across from the Alberta Avenue Community Centre.
There were stilt walkers and polar Bears. It was a great way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon.
I got a smart phone for Christmas, the whole family did. The girls were ecstatic. I am enjoying my new phone, but have no plans to turn into one of those smart phone addicted zombies that surround me that seem more interested in their phones than what is taking place all around them.
My phone, a Samsung 5, has a great camera and I also got a fantastic set of 4 lenses that I can use with it. I’ve been having a lot of fun playing with the fish eye lens.