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.

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 10.32.39 AM

 

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.

Jaz and Paris on Icy Throne

Jaz and Paris on Icy Throne

 

Paris on the Snow Throne

Paris on the Snow Throne

Paris in a Snow Tunnel

Paris in a Snow Tunnel

We parked beside the Viking encampment, leaving the parking lot was like travelling back in time.

Viking camp

Viking Encampment

 

As always there was a beautifully carved ice bar.

Ice Bar

Ice Bar

 

And this year there were some beautiful snow walls across from the Alberta Avenue Community Centre.

Snow Wall

Snow Wall

Snow Wall

Snow Wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were stilt walkers and polar Bears. It was a great way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon.

 

Friendly Polar Bear

Friendly Polar Bear

31. December 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: News · Tags: ,

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.

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

Paris, Jasmine and Katie

Paris, Jasmine and Katie

Hope the Hermit Crab

Hope the Hermit Crab

Jasmine sledding

Jasmine sledding

The sledding run

The sledding run

The sledding run

tree branches

Tom’s been making cookies for my cookie exchange at work and for the girls to bring to school.

Shaping the dough

Shaping the dough

Ready for the Oven

Ready for the Oven

Fantastic Cookies

Fantastic Cookies

17. December 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: News · Tags: ,

We’re celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas at work. Today was the judging for the Cubicle Decorating Contest. Every year there are more competitors and the competition gets harder. Here are some of the entries.

The Math, Arts and Communications branch won first prize with their Whoville display

The Entrance to Whoville

The Entrance to Whoville

 

The Whos

The Whos

 

My branch, Citizenship & Career Pathways came in second place with our version of White Christmas

White Christmas

White Christmas

 

The beautiful murals, Ind-spiring Christmas by the First Nations, Metis and Inuit education branch came in third place

FNMI Murals

FNMI Murals

 

The Sciences and Wellness branch received an honourable mention for their Canadian Christmas scene

Hockey Scene

Hockey Scene

Tom, Paris and I were at a fantastic Make Something Edmonton (#MakeSomethingYeg) event last night at the Windspear Centre. The fun started as we arrived at the front door with a light installation.

Light Installation outside the Windspear Centre

Light Installation outside the Windspear Centre

When we arrived inside for An Evening of Light, Sound and Motion we were greeted by a pair of fairies on stilts.

Fairies on Stilts

Fairies on Stilts

The atmosphere was electric as people mingled, explored, and listened to music by a live DJ and ate wonderful food.

The DJ with festive lights

The DJ with festive lights

It was a celebration of the Maker spirit here in Edmonton with nine #MakeSomethingYeg projects on display:

  • 7 Days of Yeg Fitness
  • Green Spectacle Creations
  • HackLab
  • I Heart Yeg
  • Intergenerational Placemaking in Holyrood
  • Makers and Mentors
  • Making our Mark
  • Open Piano Yeg
  • QA Crossroads
Paris at the QA Crossroads Display

Paris at the QA Crossroads Display

Paris and I added our ideas to the I Heart Yeg chalkboard.

Paris writes why she hearts Yeg

Paris writes why she hearts Yeg

And all three of us made paper snowflakes.

Tom and Paris making snowflakes

Tom and Paris making snowflakes

There was performance art everywhere I looked.

The Poem Shop

The Poem Shop

After exploring the displays for a while we moved inside for the main event, a live recording of parts of the score for a documentary, The Great Human Odyssey by Edmonton film maker Niobe Thompson. We learned that the film took two years to shoot, a year to edit but the score was composed in only seven weeks by local composer Darren Fung.

There was an explanation of how the score was written, and how it would be recorded for the next week. Then parts of the score were performed (for the first time ever) and we were treated to a sneak peak at parts of the documentary. It was the only time that the score would be played live for an audience, and the only time they would play it with the visuals from the film on display at the same time. It was fascinating to listen as the musicians performed and Niobe read the narration. Because we were hearing it live before the levels were adjusted there were times when the music overshadowed the narration. I can’t wait to watch the finished film in February.

Musicians getting ready, camera moving in front of the screen

Musicians getting ready, camera moving in front of the screen

On the way home Paris and I were talking about how well the evening blended the subjects she is taking, subjects that grade 7 students often study in isolation: music, film making, social studies and language arts.

Bravo to everyone involved, it was a great showcase of some of the great things that are getting made here in Edmonton.

If you have an idea of something you would like to make, make sure you check out the MakeSomethingYeg website.

This week I am helping facilitate a 5 day course about Open Educational Resources. The course started yesterday with an introduction to open educational resources (OER). The next few days feature case studies of OER internationally, in post-secondary and in K-12.

I’ve been working with Verena Roberts to create the introduction to OER and K-2 case studies and the discussion that will follow. I’m honoured to be working with the other facilitators, David Porter, Clint Lalonde, Sandy Hirtz and Verena. I’ve learned a lot from them already and am sure I will continue to learn from them even after the course ends on Tuesday.

If you’d like to join us, you can sign up here.

I really enjoy Twitter chats. They are a great way to connect with the people in my PLN and to explore different educational topics. For the past two years I’ve also been hosting Twitter chats, participating as myself and using the PostEtmooc Twitter account. I enjoy hosting Twitter chats even more than I enjoy participating, as long as I remember to create the Storify before the Tweets start to disappear from the feed.

Last year Maureen gave me the opportunity to spread the Twitter love, by teaching #leadEPSB participants how to lead Twitter chats. It’s been a great opportunity to think about what makes a good chat. (In fact I have a half finished post about hosting Twitter chats, I really need to find the time to finish it.) We often gather in the same room to chat, even though we are all working on our own devices – we look a lot like my teenage daughters when they gather with their friends.

On Wednesday I supported Janet Bell as she hosted her first Twitter chat. Janet, Maureen and I met at Block 1912 Cafe and surfed on their wifi. Too bad we were too busy Tweeting to have desert, their baking looked fantastic!

Janet and Maureen #leadEPSB Twitter Chat

Janet and Maureen #leadEPSB Twitter Chat

Here is Janet’s Storify of the chat. She was a a great Twitter chat host!

It was my birthday on Friday. It was a great birthday. I had meals with friends, Maureen took me to Hyperthinking by Phillip Weiss at Grant MacEwan. The girls were at camp with Pathfinders so I had a romantic weekend with Tom. And I took the weekend off, barely touching the keyboard, checking my Twitter feed or working on my reflections for #oclmooc.

But the highlight of my birthday celebrations was a gathering of Edmonton change-makers that I was invited to on the Morning of my birthday. Agents of Social Change: A Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration brought together changes makers in non-profit, government, design and entrepreneur sectors to collaborate to foster positive social impact in Edmonton. The event was hosted by Chantal Norman from Thrive Facilitation and Kali Gordon from Weavin.

Chantal set the stage by playing Shift and then talked about key trends in the social innovation sector including social labs and Impact Investing. Here is a video of Chantal talking about her vision with some of the footage from the Agents of Social Change event.

Kali shared Local and global case studies on how Architecture and Design can create dynamic social impact and lasting social change within our communities. Tad Hargrave from The Local Good talked about some of the great things already taking place in Edmonton.

Then there were table discussions about what is possible in our community of change makers and what are some radical ways we can come together to tackle social issues. These were organized, with introductions, conversations and brainstorming with a small group at one table, moving on to a new table, new introductions and more conversations. I met some very interesting people doing great work and there were some good ideas shared and connections made. The event wrapped up at 10 am, but the conversations and networking continued for another half hour. And I know that the connections and collaborations will continue for the rest of the year.

It was a great way to spend my birthday!