OpenVA rumination

cropped-openva_headerRuminating about OpenVA

Wow! Two days of fun on a university campus. Who knew that could happen?

I came to this event, designed and sponsored by and for state university/college folks, as a kind of insider/outsider. The outsider is because I teach at a for-profit university. The insider is because I have known several of the organizers/speakers through ds106. I was glad to be a part of the event, and have quite a bit to take back to my own practice and to share with others.

I’ll summarize the high points by listing many of the bullets and phrases that ended up in my notebook as I attended the sessions Tuesday. Forgive me if they are misquoted or misattributed; such is the nature of open student/teacher life.

Andrew Feldstein on Open Textbooks and Digital Content :
An iPad (or other device) is not a book; it’s a problem to try to make it look/work like a book! This is a place to use as a jumping off- point, to start exploration, to find information on one’s own. [I am tasked with developing an iBook about fiber optic technology. How can I break the iBook mold so it doesn’t look/work like a book? How can I make it so it is a jumping-off point, from which knowledge and understanding can be built?]

Tom Woodward on an Open Definition of OER:
A big house with lots of rooms.
Search for links and items to include proactively, not reactively
A list of tools to be found online, including: gapminder, manyminds, google fusion tables, shorpy, fresh photons. [all to be explored later]

Gardner Campbell on Wisdom as a Learning Outcome:
School is a technology that facilitates learning.
Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman:
System 1: Got it! Thinking fast, automatic, can’t help it
System 2: hmmmm. Thinking slow.
To stimulate system 2, ask a hard question about a complex matter.
Metaphors are keys to making your system 2 work.
Quote from Robert Browning “Fra Lippo Lippi” [look up later]
Wicked problems, extremely complex, perhaps unsolvable.

Tom Geary on Digital Storytelling:
Multimodal assignments, as long as it’s digital
Transduction from one mode to another
Inquiries about larger issues

Panel on A Domain of One’s Own:
Personal publishing
The Digital Scholar, by Martin Weller [to read later]
Owning a digital identity.

And there are a lot of other notes, people, writings, etc noted down to look up later, that came up in conversations.

And that is the approximate total of my note-taking! Not even anything from Minding the Future. But there was so much more! The ruminating is beginning.


Now the fun times, the personal times, the personal fun times: ds106 people everywhere! If I was an outsider, at least I was in my home state. But Scott Lockman (@scottlo) came from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Andrew Forgrave (@aforgrave) came from Ontario, Canada. Paul Bond (@phb256) came from Pennsylvania. The speakers came from out-of-state, too, but think of Alan Levine (@cogdog) stopping off here between Alaska and Puerto Rico. And Talky Tina (@IAmTalkyTina) came in from who-knows-where, I think stowed away on an interstate truck. Tom Woodward (@twoodwar) came from elsewhere in Virginia. As did Melanie Barker (@indieschoollib). There were others that seemed somehow involved in ds106, but I can’t be expected to remember everyone… I learned that no one looks like their Twitter avatar.

Talky Tina visiting Casa Bava

Talky Tina visiting Casa Bava

Andrew Forgrave, ScottLo, Andy Rush sharing a thought

ScottLo, Alan Levine, Andy Rush sharing a thought

As visitors and not organizers or presenters, Andrew, Scott, and I enjoyed some time together. You guys have my respect for all you do, and instant friendship for who you are. And your respective work is inspirational to me. God bless you both.



Andrew Forgrave

Andrew Forgrave

With ds106, how can I not also think of everyone at UMW’s DTLT and associated folks: Jim Groom, Martha Burtis, Tim Owens, Ryan Brazell, Andy Rush, Robin Smail. Visiting them in the makerspace was fine, but I missed seeing the ds106tv couch and green screen.

In the world of ds106radio, I was glad to have dinner alone with Scottlo, after Andy Forgrave found the wrong restaurant. Many upcoming project possibilities, so stay tuned to his frequency. And we shared a bit of our lives. He inspires me to up the ante on my own future possibilities.

I wanted to spend more time with Alan, but that will happen in the future. No doubt.

Alan cogdog Levine

Alan cogdog Levine

And last but not least, a shout of thanks to Jim Groom for his encouragement and open-handed generosity. It was nice to see your workplace, nicer to see your home, even nicer to meet your family. Peace, Bro.

Jim Groom

Jim Groom


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