It was another beautiful week in Edmonton. There are so many beautiful gardens around, in public and private spaces. Here is what I shared in the #31DaysofYEG Twitter stream this week.

 

July 15

Check out our local events page and choose an event to attend (and share a moment or photo from the event).

Tom and I planned to take in some Shakespeare in the park but I ended up napping on the front deck instead. I didn’t dream about Shakespeare.

The couch on the front porch

The couch on the front porch

 

July 16

Get involved in sustainable fashion by purchasing some clothing at a thrift store or at a yard sale.

I enjoy the thrill of the find when I shop at thrift stores and garage sales. My last find was a great sewing machine which we got for $35 thanks to Paris’s negotiating skills.

Load for the thrift store

Load for the thrift store

 

July 17

Visit a high point in Edmonton where you can look out over the city (and share a picture of your view!).

I love all of the different ways that Edmonton connects with the river, and the different ecosystems, neighbourhoods and views.

The River Valley from Glenora

The River Valley from Glenora

 

 

July 18

Visit a farmers’ market you have never been to before and talk to some vendors. Learn more about #localfood.

The next two markets I plan to explore are the Highlands market, which is on Thursdays, and Beverly market, which I think happens on Tuesdays. Depending on when they get to town, I might also take Tom’s parents and sister to the night market on Jasper tonight.

Downtown Farmer's Market

Downtown Farmer’s Market

 

July 19

Buy tickets to take in a live theatre performance and tweet your own review.

I spend a lot of time on my porch, taking in the neighbourhood theatre. Even if there are no players on the stage the set is beautiful and alive with the sounds of trees and birds (sometimes sirens).

 

Evening nap

Evening nap

 

July 20

Swim in the wading pools outside of the Legislature building — they are open all night long, and look extra cool in the dark!

I haven’t seen the new fountains at night but I bet they look fantastic.

The Ledge

The Ledge

 

July 21

Check out makesomethingedmonton.ca and share or contribute to your favourite project — bonus points if you create your own project page!

 I had a hard time picking just one Make Something Edmonton project, but tweets are so compressed, I probably couldn’t have mentioned more than one project. The Turtle Rock Effigy labyrinth was the first public art installation that we explored when we moved to Edmonton.

Community Medicine Garden

Community Medicine Garden

 

Here is The Local Good’s Recap of week 3. Have you been playing?

This Saturday afternoon Tom and I went for a walk on the Legislature grounds (the ledge). I love all of the different parts of the grounds, and how there are always all kinds of different people using the space. During my secondment at Alberta Education I worked a few blocks from the ledge and often picnicked with co-workers or walked through the grounds. I have never seen them empty. Here is what I saw at the ledge this Saturday.

One of the fountains and the legislature building

One of the fountains and the legislature building

The side door of the Legislature building

The side door

Kwakiutl Totem Pole

Kwakiutl totem pole

The Pools and some of the grounds

The pools and some of the grounds

 

The beautiful sunny weather continued in Edmonton this week, with one thunderous exception. Here is how I spent the second week of The Local Good’s #31DaysofYEG event.

 

July 8th

Find some plants that are native to our river valley and consult local plant expert Robert Rogers on its many potential uses.

Deb Merriam and Varina Crisfield  told me it’s called Common Plantain, not Rattle Snake Plantain and that it is anti-inflammatory (so used as a salve for itching) & edible (but bitter).

Common Plaintain

Common Plaintain

July 9th

Edmonton is known as a festival city. Take advantage of our thriving summer scene — attend a festival and share your favourite thing about it.

We went to the Street Performer’s Festival at noon on the hottest day of the summer so far, so I did really enjoy standing by the fountain at City Hall.

 

Street Performer's Festival

Street Performer’s Festival

 

 

July 10th

Take a photo of your favourite Edmonton landmark or public art — bonus points for a selfie with it!

I don’t take many selfies but Talus Mound is reflective so technically this photo is a selfie. That’s me reflected in the largest ball.

Talus Mound

Talus Mound

 

July 11th

Share a picture of our night-time sky — we often have beautiful sunsets and clear starry nights. Bonus points if you visit the TWOS observatory or the U of A observatory to learn more about the stars and constellations we are looking at.

 The skies were so hazy from the wildfires, including the one in Jasper, the night sky show wasn’t as fantastic as it sometimes is.

Night Sky

Night Sky

July 12th

Support a local business and share a #ShopLocalSelfie

I ended up contributing a lot to the #31DaysofYEG Twitter Feed on July 12th. As Tom and I sat on the front porch in the evening a thunderstorm blew in. It temporarily flooded the intersection and destroyed the wasp nest on the bike.

Biking with Paris on 127 Street

Biking with Paris on 127 Street

Ice Cream Truck

Ice Cream Truck

Rainstorm

Rainstorm

Hail

Hail

Neighbourhood Street Flooding

Neighbourhood Street Flooding

July 13th

Have a meal at one of the restaurants featured at the Taste of Edmonton festival.

Yikes, Twitter rotated my photo. That looks really strange.

Art and Food Prep in Churchill Square

Art and Food Prep in Churchill Square

July 14th

Get more involved in politics — take a tour of the legislature, meet the candidate in your riding for the upcoming federal election or maybe even volunteer on a campaign!

 I love this photo take on one of the Fort Edmonton street cars. The hot button political issues were a little different in Edmonton’s past.

Fort Edmontong Temperence Movement

Fort Edmonton Temperance Movement

 

Here is The Local Good’s Recap of Week 2. It’s great to read how everyone is celebrating Edmonton.

 

Are you playing 31 Days of Edmonton yet? There is still time before the end of July.

This month the Local Good is hosting the second annual 31 Days of Edmonton Challenge

I learned a lot about Edmonton when I played along last year, from my own explorations of the city based on the Local Good’s prompts and from the adventures and photos shared by others in the #31DaysofYEG Twitter feed. I’m approaching the challenge a little differently this year, in a slightly more structured manner. Each day I am going address that day’s challenge prompt from the Local Good’s blog. So on July 1st I did the 1st challenge, on the 2nd I did the 2nd challenge, etc. As I did last year, I am trying to include a photo with each of my tweets. Last year I mixed and matched the prompts and also explored other corners of the city. Here are my posts from last year: week 1week 2, week 3 and week 4 and here is The Local Good’s Storify of Weeks 3 & 4.

Here are my adventures from the first week of July 2015

July 1st

Share a photo of one of your favourite hidden gems in Edmonton, and don’t forget to add it to our interactive map!

This year I watched the Canada Day light show and fireworks from a condo with a fantastic view several stories above Saskatchewan Drive – what a view!

#31DaysofYEG July 1st

#31DaysofYEG July 1st

 

July 2nd

Grow your own food this summer — in your yard, balcony or community garden!

I just started working in the gardens at Fort Edmonton again. One morning I saw a little rabbit run through this garden at Melon Farms. It was smaller and more Peter Rabbit looking than the giant jackrabbits I see in my neighbourhood but I bet it will love this lettuce as much as it loves mine.

#31DaysofYEG July 2nd

#31DaysofYEG July 2nd

 

July 3rd

Learn about Edmonton’s history (City of Edmonton’s resources are here) and perhaps even add to the Edmonton Heritage Council map!

I love all of the beautiful old trees in Edmonton, especially in the old neighbourhoods along the river valley.

 

#31DaysofYEG July 3rd

#31DaysofYEG July 3rd

 

July 4th

See the city from a different perspective by exploring it via bicycle.

When we took the tarp off the bikes we discovered this wasp’s nest so we went for a walk instead.

#31DaysofYEG July 5th

#31DaysofYEG July 5th

 

July 5th

Volunteer your time with a local initiative and share why you support it.

This one was easy since I spend so much time at the fort. I can’t imagine the challenge of riding a penny farthing in a dress. The turkeys dozing by the stage coach remind me of the peacocks that wander around the Calgary Zoo.

#31DaysofYEG July 5th

 

July 6th

Enjoy live music at a local venue — bonus points if the musicians are from Edmonton as well!

I planned ahead so that I could participate in 31 Days of Edmonton while we were in Jasper.

#31DaysofYEG July 6th

#31DaysofYEG July 6th

 

July 7th

Try something new from one of the many food trucks around the city.

I am always keen to sample the wares at one of the many Edmonton food trucks. I didn’t see any food trucks in Jasper and the food wasn’t as good as the food in Edmonton.

#31DaysofYEG July 7th

#31DaysofYEG July 7th

 

 

Here is The Local Good’s recap of week 1 of #31DaysofYEG. Did you explore your community last week?

On July 1st I had one foot in the past and one foot in the present. I started the day working in the peony garden at Fort Edmonton. It was quieter than usual when I arrived at 8 am but by the time I left the crowds had started to gather to celebrate Dominion Day.

Dominion Day at Fort Edmonton

Dominion Day at Fort Edmonton

Later, as the sun set we watched the Canada Day festivities at the High Level Bridge from a condo high up on Saskatchewan Drive.

High Level Bridge Canada Day light show

High Level Bridge Canada Day light show

Jason Kodie and Scott Peters arrived at the party in time to catch the light show after the Captain Tractor Canada Day gig in Fort Saskatchewan. At 10:50 CKUA broadcast Jason’s composition Edmontunes, a musical mosaic of 50 years of Edmonton musical history as the lights on the bridge lit up to Scott’s programming. It was the most complicated lighting done on the bridge since it was first lit up last Canada Day. After Edmontunes and a great rendition of Oh Canada by Asani, there were fireworks.

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Here Global TV’s live broadcast of the event:

I am excited to announce that an article I co-authored was just published by Educational Media International, a Francis & Taylor peer-reviewed journal.

Here is the abstract:

Imagine the challenge of being immersed in a dynamic learning network where you play brinkmanship with being overwhelmed by a plethora of information, comments, and conversations on a topic of intense interest to you. Through adept facilitation, the comments and encouragement of fellow participants, and your own perseverance, you develop a network of personal connections which serve as metaphorical flying buttresses creating enough stability that you are able to learn in a new, yet profoundly meaningful way – the connectivist massive open online course (cMOOC) way. Through the lens of autoethnography, five seasoned educators collaboratively reflect on their motivation for participating in their initial cMOOC. They analyze their lived experience, what they found most engaging, and most importantly, they grapple with why cMOOC communities often endure past official end-dates. This article attempts to provide insight into the thrill and depth of learning and connection possible through participation in cMOOCs.

You can view the article here.

On the weekend I had the pleasure of participating in the Good 100 Experiment with an amazing group of Edmonton do-gooders. It was an inspiring experience.

The Good 100 Experiment

The Good 100 Experiment

I had the opportunity to get to know agents of social change of all ages and from many diverse sectors who are working to make Edmonton a better place. The event was structured to create many opportunities to get to know new people and find out the projects and ideas that they are passionate about.

Tad and Nadine setting the stage for the Self Care sessions

Tad and Nadine setting the stage for the Self Care sessions

The lunches by Knosh Catering were fantastic, and there was a wide assortment of potluck snacks.

The lunch buffet

The lunch buffet

Late Sunday morning I sat in the sun to a discussion about meditation led by Antoine Palmer from Sustainival. As Antoine talked, a small flock of geese waddled beside us to graze and model meditation-in-motion.

Antoine talking about meditation

Antoine talking about meditation

I turned around and took a photo of this snacking gosling.

Meditating Gosling

Meditating Gosling

Between the engaging conversations and the Edmonton colouring pages, I took very few photos and sent very few tweets. You can find out more about the weekend in The Local Good‘s Storify.

White Avenue Colouring

White Avenue Colouring

 

It was a great way to spend the weekend and I am sure that I will stay connected to some of the people I met, and I’ll probably see at Green Drinks events throughout the year. As Nadine Riopel, one of our hosts, pointed out – I couldn’t believe the amount of awesome that was there!

Maybe I’ll see you at the Good 100 Experiment next year. In the meantime you can sign up for the Local Good newsletter to find out about other fantastic events throughout the year.

 

It was hot and sunny this afternoon as Rachel Notely was sworn in as Alberta’s seventeenth Premier. It was the first change of power in Alberta in 44 years and people were hungry for change.

Rachel Notley is sworn in

Rachel Notley is sworn in

 

Instead of the usual ceremony behind closed doors Premier Notely invited Albertans to join her on the grounds of the Legislature and they came out in droves. As Paris and I walked towards the grounds it felt like the Canada Day parade due to the number of people and excitement. Here is how the crowd covered the event on Twitter as curated by the Edmonton Journal.

 

The Festivities at the Legislature

The Festivities at the Legislature

 

Here is the new Premier and her Caucus, which has an equal number of men and women. It was interesting to watch the formalities involved in the process of swearing in a new government. As I think of the many bloody transitions of power that have taken place in other countries in the last 44 years and I am happy and proud, once again, that I am Canadian.

The new Premier and Cabinet

The new Premier and caucus

 

She introduced her new cabinet.

The new cabinet

The new cabinet

 

There was a lot of cheering and celebrating and many people played in the water or stood in the fountains to watch.

Cooling off in the fountains

Cooling off in the fountains and celebrating

 

The even turned on the new fountains in front of the Federal Building to celebrate. It was a great afternoon.

The new fountains at the Federal Building

The new fountains at the Federal Building

For the next two weeks I have the pleasure of helping coordinate Open Education and OERs with David Porter, Clint Lalonde and Sandy Hirtz. It’s an EdTechOpen course, the second iteration of a course that originally ran in December, 2014. It’s a real privilege for me to have the opportunity to work with Clint and David again, I have so much respect for their knowledge and experience with open education.

History

Unfortunately Verena Roberts isn’t at the party this time around. She was a co-facilitator for the first course in December, in fact she is the one who brought me into the project. Once the initial course ended she ported an open version to the Palliser Beyond Borders Moodle server.

When Verena and I did our Beyond the Binder session about OERs at the Palliser District Teachers Convention in February, we initially planned to have participants make their way through the open version, but the limited wifi made us change to a more stand and deliver format. We’er both pretty happy with what we came up with. A few weeks ago I remixed the slide deck for an Introduction to OER in K-12 for the Alberta Distance Learning Centre.

Changes for this Iteration

I am excited about this version of the course, it’s longer, running from April 13- 24. Participants can earn a badge if they like and there are e-facilitators from India, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Botswana supporting the fifty participants who are have joined from around the globe.

Webinars

We’ve also added two webinars this time around. I missed the first one, which was today at noon. with Paul Stacy from Creative Commons. Fortunately the archive is available for those who missed the live session.

The next webinar is Monday April 20 at 10am MST with Megan Beckett who will be talking about Making education accessible in the developing world and Siyavula. I’m looking forward to it, I hope I will see you there.

Hello #rhiz015

I am looking forward to playing in the #rhizo15 sandbox for the next several weeks, even though I haven’t been very active yet. I’m co-facilitating a course in Open Education and OERs for EdTechOpen and that is where most of my attention will be for another week. I’ve taken a more lurkish role than usual, mostly watching the #rhizo15 Twitter feed, following a few conversations and smiling at the familiar avatars that scroll by. I’ve read a few blogs, but not commented yet.

I’m not beating myself up about it, just thought it important to include in an introduction. I guess I should also mention that I’m a media and computer teacher, community builder, ed tech nerd, and a cMooc social butterfly, I guess you could call it – my basketball coach had me pegged way back in grade 11. I see #rhizo15 as a great way to stay connected to people I have been playing and learning with since #etmooc and to meet new ones, have great conversations, think, blog and collaborate.

My #rhizo15 Learning Subjectives

  • Connect/reconnect with PLN playmates from #etmoc, #rhizo14,#oclmooc and other spaces
  • Pay renewed attention to my blogging, and especially my commenting practice
  • explore the cool connectivist space Dave Cormier creates as #rhizo15 unfolds. This time around there isn’t (yet) a Google Community or course hub, even on P2PU. I say yet because this is one course where once a need is identified for a new community, I have no doubt the community space it will be created. Since I don’t use Facebook it will be interesting to watch things unfold with only Twitter and participant blogs forming the initial greenhouse structure for the rhizomes, although Laura Gibbs has already set up a blog roll.
  • I’m sure I’ll also spend time imagining the role that learning subjectives could play for CTF students. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about assessment and assessing competencies lately, I am sure that will colour how I play in the #rhizo15 playpen.

Subjectives = Freedom

Dave asked how subjectives free us, in a way that objectives don’t. I think/hope subjectives free us to

  • explore to the extent that we are drawn to/can afford
  • choose our own learning path
  • get lost/try something outside of comfort zone
  • connect with a learning community ‘just because’
  • adjust involvement as needed