On Not Being a Thought Leader

My plans for the day — such as they ever are in the time of Covid-19 — have been scuppered by a barfing toddler, and I’m cuddled with him and the cat in bed. As I’m not as entirely carried away by Blue’s Clues as these two are, I’m thinking about the week that has been. It’s June of 2020, which I hope will mean something to scholars of the future. I hope this date…

I can’t go on, I’ll go on (with apologies to Samuel Beckett).

I had been an educational technologist for seven months when Covid-19 hit. I’ve been joking that the main thing keeping me going is my intention to keynote #OER40 with that opening line (I like a small, manageable dream), but I think about the insanity of this career move in this moment a lot. In my old gig, I would be finishing up my four courses, helping my colleagues navigate the new reality, probably being looked…

I just built a Twitter archive by hand. Learn from my mistakes.

We had a really great conference here a little over a week ago. (That “little over a week” is an important bit, as it turns out. Stay tuned.) The outcome of the conference is the emergence of a provincial network on academic integrity. After talking with our keynote, Dr. Sarah Eaton — who notes the lack of archival work around these networks and indeed the history of academic integrity is an impediment to research —…

Baby’s First Hackathon

Today, I participated in my first Hackathon. This one was hosted by Lumen Learning to help improve their OER courses, and it was the second iteration of an event David Wiley wrote up here. I don’t actually know anything about Lumen Learning (are they cool? do we like them? okay, okay… are they ethical?), but I got a lot out of today’s Hackathon. I signed up because this session was particularly focused on H5P, which…

Academia’s Default Mode is Ableist…

… so every minute that we’re not pushing back, we’re complicit. Of course, academia’s default mode isn’t just ableist. It’s also racist, sexist, transphobic, classist. I mean, the list goes on. And on. And on. But today I’m thinking about ableism, because I’m thinking about how hard it is to get a video captioned for education. My favourite hack is to run your video through YouTube, swipe their machine-generated captions, and edit them into a…

Faculty Book Club: Bandwidth Recovery, Part One

I joined the faculty book club at work this week, and the first book we’re reading is Bandwidth Recovery: Helping Students Reclaim Cognitive Resources Lost to Poverty, Racism, and Social Marginalization by Cia Verschelden. We don’t meet until the middle of the month, but I was eager to dig into it and found myself reading Part One today in between course approvals and answering Moodle support tickets. The premise of the book is pretty straightforward:…

A Teacher Without a Classroom

I’ve been facilitating learning and managing a classroom at the post-secondary level, in some capacity or another, since 2001, when I became a peer mentor at Carleton University’s Centre for Initiatives in Education. That’s eighteen years of teaching, almost non-stop. I took one semester off teaching at the beginning of my PhD, before figuring out that teaching was the entire point of being there for me, and I took five semesters off when my son…