Suru Kintsugi 

So, it happened.
BIG Kaboom.
As it turns out, two weeks is not enough to properly dry such a large sculptural piece. I was running out of time; the bust needed to be completed and moved out of its location. With only days to go, I decided to go ahead and fire her... and it didn't turn out pretty. I know what my problem was; according to many sites I looked at online, including Claygeek, it's not necessarily the air bubbles that cause for the piece to explode, but the trapped moisture within that air bubble. It takes time and patience to dry a large sculpture like that, and unfortunately I ran out of time. Our kiln also does not have a preheat function, and really, she didn't fit in a house oven, unfortunately.

Before event zero
After being bitten by a walking dead

As I took the pieces from the kiln, one thing I realized was, since the piece exploded during firing, the pieces fired separately and... they didn't quite fit together anymore. They bend and crooked and shrunk completely different. Not quite as simple as putting together a vase that cracked on the ground. Also, besides the obvious bigger pieces, I was left with a handful of shards which made no sense and fit nowhere -- or, could really fit anywhere.

So, the rational part of my brain suggested that I just throw the whole thing in the trash can, and move on to the next project (or, more realistically, to the project of cleaning the art room). But the emotional part of my brain still loved the poor broken statue, particularly after so many days working on her, trying to make her smooth and proportional and give her the right expression. My brain went through the catalogue of things I've seen in art, desperately looking for an answer to my predicament, while a lump formed in my throat... and an image flashed in my mind: a vase fixed with gold. I remember reading about an old technique from Japan: when a vase falls on the ground, instead of disposing of it, they fix it with gold, making the cracks even more prominent. I remembered that by doing this, the object was even more valuable, as it now had a story. I quickly looked online, and it turns out this technique is called Kintsugi. According to Wikipedia, their philosophy states that "part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise."

I had a caulking gun still leftover from my mural project, and a tube of construction-level strength glue (8 times the strength of normal construction glue) so I decided to give this a go. I thought that in the end, I could cover up the cracks partially with golden acrylic paint; I knew the cracks would be huge, but following Kintsugi, I might as well embrace those imperfections.

The patient lies on a soft bed of linens...
Close-up of caulking. Forehead is down, and half the chin.
After surgery, I filled the cracks with acrylic medium.
Drying overnight for a better bond.
After gluing everything together, I filled the holes with acrylic medium, as well as the cracks. I left the statue drying overnight before proceeding with the restoration process.

Below, the final result with the gold paint. I am happy with the results, and think it actually added a lot to her character. It looks intentional now, and the gold paint looks wonderful against the glossy surface of the statue. For now, I am done painting the cracks, but it's such a good effect that I might revisit it next week and add even more cracks to her, in places where she doesn't necessarily need fixing... but to decide where, I want to play with it in Photoshop first before committing.


She is now sitting on the shelf above my desk at school. Even though she has all those cracks, she still looks very serene.

Like my daughter said, "Now it looks like she's been around the block a few times."

So, it turned out to be a self-portrait after all. ;)

I have learned a lot about this process; I am confident that, should I try to do this process again, the statue would not explode in the kiln. I have also learned that sometimes mistakes can allow for even more explorations in art, and that there is a lot one can do to recover a damaged piece.  Finally, I have learned a lot about documenting and sharing procedures; as it turns out, I tend to take way less pictures than necessary. I get too enthralled on the process and forget to click the button. For this reason, many steps are missing; thankfully it is documented enough that you can get an idea of the missing parts. In the future, I want to focus on better documenting, so I can provide an even better benefit to others who may be walking the same path.

Fair Dealing / Fair Use 

While searching for the hashtag #copyleft, I found a video about Fair Use (Fair Dealing in Canada). It's by Tara Hunt, and you can see it in its entirety below. After checking out the video, I went to her Youtube account and found several videos that sounds extremely good to watch... a lot about Social Media and spreading information. I subscribed to her so I can come back later... if you want to do the same, you can do it here.

According to Fair Dealing, using others' intellectual products in our work is legal under certain circumstances, even without permission. This includes video clips. There are a few rules to follow, but basically, we can reuse these bits as long as it is used for education (Wooo Hoo), research, parody, a review, satire, criticism and private studies, and as long as we don't use more than 10% of the copyrighted material in our work.

I think the whole point is the purpose of the modified videos you produce -- as long as you don't make money directly, you are ok. In fact, it's even OK to monetize the video if you are a small fish; but the bigger the distribution and profit, the more likely it would be for the material to fall outside of fair use, because one of the criteria, which is probably the most important, is -- by using the material, are we somehow taking profits from the original copyright owner? If all you do is get little clips of copyrighted material (less than 10% of the original work) and blend these with your own work, then you would probably fall under the fair dealing category. In fact, I would agree with Tara when she says that this would probably affect the copyright owner positively, as people may like the little clip so much, they may look for the whole video.

After checking out copyleft and understanding a little more the difference between something that is copyrighted and something that is part of the creative commons, I found this little video helpful in helping me walk the blurry line between copyright infringement and fair use as an educator. :)

Knowledge as a Common Good

A long time ago, when civilization was still in its infancy and the concept of knowledge was still developing, we used to share everything to whoever wanted to learn. Where to plant, where to hunt, how to trap animals, what roots to boil or herbs to eat in order to cure illnesses, all were a part of our knowledge base, and if someone had a better idea on how to do any of those things, then the idea was quickly modified to include the new shortcut.  The quick growth we experienced as humans was mostly due to this ability and willingness to share knowledge.
But soon, humans realized how important knowledge was, and started saving it in various ways. With writing came collecting knowledge; some civilizations restricted knowledge to only high-ranking people in their kingdom, while the rest of the populace could focus on their habitual lives, doing their tasks to keep the civilization going. These methods of saving knowledge, although often well-meaning, caused a large amount of human knowledge to disappear. Everyone knows, for instance, about the amazing library in Alexandria, which held the knowledge of the time -- several hundred thousand volumes with centuries of innovations and technology -- and how a fire destroyed it in the blink of an eye. If it wasn't for that fire, how advanced would we be today? Moreover, how advanced would we be if everyone was in charge of saving that knowledge?
I like the idea shared by R3D on his article "Authors' rights are broken -- but we can fix them" (it's in Spanish). It makes a great point for sharing knowledge by stating that there are two kinds of knowledge: the knowledge as pie and the knowledge as recipe. Imagine the owner of a pie shop; he makes a few pies a day, and these benefit a few people. He keeps his recipe under lock and key; when he dies, his recipe is lost forever, and so that knowledge is also lost. But what if the owner of the pie shop decided to share his recipe? New recipes with modified ingredients would soon appear, as the body of knowledge built upon the previous knowledge, thus growing the knowledge base of the people.
It works pretty much the same way with copyrighted material. When an author copyrights material, he is limiting access to the material to only a few people who pay for it; the "recipe" is locked away under copyright law, and there isn't much that can be done about it (besides using bits and pieces of the pie under fair use). The copyright in Canada, for instance, is life plus 50 years after -- which means that by the time the copyright is over, people may have forgotten about the pie altogether.

As educators and authors of content, we can ensure that knowledge continues to grow by making the material available through a Creative Commons License. Engines such as Google Images, Youtube, Flickr and others, all have the option to make the material fall under a Creative Commons License -- and you can decide how the License is to be used. So, if you have a video or a book, there are ways to make these products licensed under CC; and if you make a website, for instance, you can add a CC license to the whole thing by getting a link here. Finally, we can also search for CC material by following this link.


Still, while as an educator, it is great to be able to publish and access CC items for our use, it is difficult to see how someone who makes a living out of producing intellectual property could be blamed for wanting to copyright their material. In this case, I see a painting or a design a little bit like a pie; if the pie shop owner can't sell his pies, and that is how he makes his money, then how can he survive? As educators, there is a murky line between what should be shared, such as best practices for education and ideas for lesson plans, and what could be potentially something that an educator charges for -- such as books detailing years of research, visual aides and new methods of teaching. I believe that waiting 50 years after the death of the author is not feasible or relevant, but that it should be up to the content creator to share their work under CC if and when they feel like the pies they sold have made them some money to live.

One last thought. We are at a strange crossroads in terms of knowledge; we have built our own Alexandria library on the cloud, and while we may think that the internet is indestructible, the reality is that it is a very tenuous thing, relying on electricity, servers and manpower. Our reliance on this method of saving knowledge alone is probably not a great thing for future generations. In case of a global calamity where electricity is lost, we would suddenly have no access to the Internet, and the few people who carry the knowledge would be extremely important. Perhaps this is something to think about -- how can we save our recipes for the future in a way that they can't be easily destroyed? Knowledge is our most important asset, and finding a way to reliably keep it and build upon it should be a priority for everyone. 

Hair and Surface Decorating, and the Fear of Kaboom.

After completing the hollowing of my bust, I left it alone for a couple of days as I wrapped my head around how I was going to deal with the hair. Part of me wanted to do it more realistic, and part of me wanted to do it more stylized. I looked at some pictures online to help me decide. Here are some marble busts with realistic hair:

As you can see, the style is not well defined, making the surface look very soft, like actual hair. This would have been the easiest route -- after all, I was almost there already with my "twisty glom" style of hair. But I thought that maybe it would be fun to try something a little harder and more time-consuming, something that would have a little more fun to it, and be a little closer to my own style. So, I looked at more pictures, and found this kind of style which was very common on older, Classical Greek styles of sculpting:

So, I decided to go for it, and try my hand at creating a stylized curly hair with clay. I didn't know how to start, so I decided to just copy the way the marble hair style was done. If you look at the hair, it looks as if it is divided in sections; so, I divided my hair in sections, and worked curl by curl. I first decided what was the general way that each curl's hair was going to follow; then, I made little coils out of clauy, scored them and scored the head, and attached these cois on the hair. But not on every line! I followed a "do one skip one" pattern, adding more dimention to the hair this way.
Adding lines to the curl
Adding coils to the area -- leaving spaces in between!

To ensure each curl became part of the whole head, I worked with my tools and pressed each side of the coil, on its whole length, so that it would attach really well. I also cut some of the coils in half, creating thinner strands of hair. I think this really added differences and interest to the hair. Finally, I sometimes added two coils together and then skipped a space; in other words, I did this very unevenly, based on what looked good and what felt most uneven and messy.
Attaching things really well!
Some strands thin, some thick, hopefully adding some interest

Picture


This is the result of all my work. It took me a few days to finish, and it was very fiddly, but it was worth it, in my opinion. I can't imagine how hard it is to create this effect in marble! I like how uneven and messy it looks, and how some areas have so mjuch more volume than others, just like real hair. If I had to do it again, I would change some things... I would like to make the curl effect a little less obvious. Maybe find a middle ground between realistic and stylized. But I am happy with my first attempt. 

I was afraid the strands were going to dry faster and end up detaching from the statue, so I painted the whole thing and bagged it to dry really slowly. After a week of drying in a bag, I removed the bag and left it drying on the open air.


I think all in all she turned out looking good. She has been drying for a couple of weeks outside now, and it is time to finally fire her. I don't want to fire her, though! I am so afraid she will explode. If she does, these are the only photos I have of her... this makes me very nervous. But not firing her means that she will forever be brittle and delicate; already, she has a chip on her right shoulder from moving her to this location (I covered it with paint, but it is still a little noticeable on the leftmost photo below).

All I can do right now is fire it and see what happens. Wish me luck, everyone... tomorrow is the day. The good thing is, now I know I can do another one! But let's be positive -- maybe she will be fine!

The end of my journey with SCORM

For my second evidence of learning in OLTD 505, I have chosen “My Learning Journey” in which I was to learn something new about any topic of my choice, and to record my venture. This learning project was to be done using a variety of free online materials.

What Will I Learn About?
The first step was to decide what I wanted to learn about. I was debating if I should learn something for pleasure and my schooling (i.e. Photoshop) or something more oriented towards my work (i.e. delivery of course content). There were talks at my school that we might be changing LMS once again and I wondered if there might be a way to make the transfer of courses from one LMS to another less painful.

In the past, I had been told by a friend, who previously took OLTD, that course content created in SCORM was compatible with all LMS. With this information in mind and with the fact that I live a busy life  with a family, schooling and work, I decided to focus my learning journey on something that I could use right away. SCORM seemed to be the best choice at this point in my life. 
​During the time spent creating a French Immersion program online, I discovered an affinity for developing course content with the goal being to allow students to learn the language in an online environment similar to what they would experience in a French Immersion face-to face classroom.  I have to be honest that although I did not know much about SCORM, I made the assumption that creating course content in SCORM would be a similar experience as in an LMS. So, I embarked on this journey thinking that I could learn how to use this platform while at the same time working on something that I am passionate about: creating content for French Immersion courses. I was excited to think that I would no longer have to experience the painful transition from one LMS to another as I thought that it could easily occur using SCORM. This was going to be a win-win situation.  
                                                                                                                                                                               source
Although I did not know much about SCORM, I began my learning journey pretty sure of myself that it would be very productive. However, it did not take long for me to realize that this was not going to be as easy as I thought. I first searched what was SCORM about and its history. Lots of the documentation that I read and pictures that I looked at made SCORM seem pretty complicated to use, but some did not. 
                        complicated                       source                              less complicated                                           source

At this point, my enthusiasm for learning about SCORM was still strong. Next, my online  research led me to its key terms and how it was put together. I realized that compared to creating course content and setting it up in an LMS, working in SCROM required a course designer and a content computer programmer. I felt pretty confident with the designing aspect but I was definitely not a computer programmer. At this point, my motivation to learn more on this topic was fading fast.  However, since the option of stopping my search was not an option, I just kept looking online for some sort of resolution. So, when I first learned that SCORM was being replaced by Tin Can API, my hopes of creating course content in a platform compatible to all LMS grew. However, I learned that Tin Can API is a tool to use to track the learning journey of a student. With this tool a student can create statements about what and how it was learned which can either be stored in SCORM Cloud or an independent server. At this point, I realized that I was getting further away from my end point of creating course content in a platform universal to all LMSs. However, I decided to create a statement in the Tin Can API lab to be able to say that I had tried it. The outcome of my statement looked like something that had been coded, which I was not comfortable with. In some way, I feel like my learning journey was a failure but in reality like this image says, it was just the beginning of a learning journey.
Reflections
Now that my learning journey in SCORM has come to an end, I realized that although I did not end up with a final product, such as course content created on SCORM, I still learned a lot about myself as a learner and how to learn using free online material. The idea of learning something new at first was not really stressful for me; but, as I kept moving into the unknown, I felt more and more disheartened. Every time, I would sit in front of my computer to attempt to learn more about SCORM or Tin Can API I felt like quitting but that is not how I usually face adversity in life so the same applied to this venture. Perseverance helped me to get through the five weeks of my learning journey. Every week, I kept searching hoping to find something that would be familiar to me. I realized that learning something new can be challenging, frustrating and also demands commitment and innate motivation. 
                                                                                                                                                                        source

In general, I enjoy searching information online to learn about a variety of topics, to find the answer to a question, and to find new to me resources for my courses. The outcome is usually a positive experience. However, I found this learning journey was difficult mostly because I was doing it on my own. Usually, when I find myself in a situation where I am facing difficulty and I cannot find the solution on my own, I ask for help from people around me. This time, I did not know anyone who knew about SCORM or Tin Can API. So, I was on my own and this made it even more challenging for me.

Overall, this learning project helped me reflect on what a learner needs to be successful. Students need to be driven by motivation, to receive support when they face adversities and to work in collaboration. They should also be taught that the process of learning is more important than the final product. Life is changing so fast. Who knows, what students are learning now may not be relevant in the next decade. What they really need to learn is how to be critical thinker and to motivate themselves to learn something new. 

Workflow – Ideal versus Reality

After checking out Dean Shareski's video, Sharing - a Moral Imperative, I began to understand more the core importance of sharing our work as educators. Small things, such as lesson plans and material we use to help students understand a certain subject, can be extremely helpful to other teachers. I loved the math video series by Dan Meyer, and how he shared his video series through his blog. I liked his ideas so much, I am now following him on Twitter... which means I now have one more awesome resource which I won't have time to read.

Looking at my own current workflow as an educator (below), I find that I have not yet found my footing, or my groove. Things have been happening very fast, and there is so much -- SO much I want to read and learn -- that it frustrates me to no end when I see days and weeks and months going by, and still not being able to organize the little time I have and actually use these resources.

Due to my lack of time, health and energy, I find that my line of judgment regarding resources -- both made by me, or other people -- is that they must be extraordinary in order to propel a response from me. That's a really tall order, and really bad in the long run.

If I create a project, I look at the resources, and if it is not extraordinary, I don't waste the little time I have with cataloguing and documenting the process. I save the idea, and take a few pictures, and keep it on my Dropbox for a day in the future when I have the time to revisit it and spice it up. Worse, when I make something that is extraordinary, and document it and save it, I only share it with other educators (through Twitter or Facebook) if it looks good enough, based on my own idea of what is aesthetically pleasing or not. In other words, I am a visual snob with my own things, kicking my poor little projects under the rug when they are not perfectly polished.

If I discover something online, or find a good link with information, I only really read it if it can be done in a couple of minutes; otherwise, I find myself saving the bookmark for later, when I know perfectly well that I don't ever look at them afterwards. I guess hope springs eternal.

I think the most frustrating is when I find a good tool to use, that would possibly save me time and help me become more organized... and then I just save the link on a folder in Dropbox and never see it again. I want to be so much better than this!

Thinking of what a perfect workflow groove would look like for me, I came up with the simplified chart below. Instead of considering if something is extraordinary or not when I create a project, I analyze if it engaged students in some way, and if so, then ideally everything that gets documented is then shared. Also, if something is not engaging, then I would look online for ideas, and if I found something that I could merge with my original project, I would use this to instruct my practice and change the project into something better.

Also, when it comes to info or projects I discover online, I would like to save it first and foremost. I checked out some tools that can be used for this purpose, such as Diigo, Pocket, Evernotes and Pinterest -- I haven't used any of these properly, not even Pinterest. Getting used to these tools would make a huge difference for me. Having these available on my phone and iPad also would help me save anything that is valuable for later use (which I currently don't do).


It all comes down to organization and confidence. Organization will allow me to save projects and links I find, and actually be able to share them. Confidence (which hopefully will come with time -- this is just my first year teaching) will allow me to share everything I make without worrying if it looks pristine or perfect. If all of us educators share everything we make, then we are getting one step closer to making our knowledge a unified force, with good practices bringing change everywhere, and education in itself improving by leaps and bounds.

Sidenote:

I created these graphics using Lucid Chart; it is extremely intuitive and easy to use, with features including docked arrows that move organically as you move your bubbles. It comes with a 7-day free trial. After the 7-day trial, the basic price is $4.95 monthly, which would be great if all I did was use charts, but not for something I would only use once in a while... sigh. After I finished my charts, my husband pointed out Gliffy, which is an older competitor to Lucid Chart. While the paid version is $3.99 a month, there is a free account option, and while it doesn't let you save, you can simply finish your chart and take a screen capture of it. I tried Gliffy out and found it harder than Lucid Chart, but it is still a considerably free option. 

Still fussing over Lucid Chart, I did a search on Google for Lucid Chart Education, and found a link which allows for teachers to request a free upgrade to their account. This is very exciting! I changed my email to my school email and did my request... hopefully this will be upgraded soon.

A Closer Look at Ted Ed as an Online Educational Resource

For our third week on 505, we were encouraged to take a closer look at an OER and analyze it as a resource for educators. I decided to try using Ted Ed and see how easy it was to use and navigate. The site offers a large, very visual slideshow in the middle area, with links to the lessons created by other educators around Ted Ed videos. It also displays arrows on both sides so you can move from lesson to lesson. If you scroll down, you can subscribe to the page, which can be good as you can get updates on new lessons and ideas.

The very first thing I noticed on the site, however, was their "call to action" button, inviting the teacher visiting the site to create a lesson.


I decided to give it a go, and create my own lesson. When you follow the link, you are taken to a different page, which asks you to type a keyword or a Youtube link. Right below, you can see this box:
Wait a minute. Track their progress? I am most intrigued.
I decided to pick a subject that is interesting to me and that I will be using next year: Biomimicry. I was surprised to see all the videos that were available to choose from.

Once I selected my video, however, the site asked me to log in or register; usually this process takes time, but with more and more sites allowing for Facebook login, I was back looking at the video in no time. I previewed part of the video and decided to continue with it; clicking on the "continue" button took me to a lesson creator tool.
So far, the experience at Ted Ed OER had been pretty smooth, but this page takes the cake. As it turns out, you can plan a whole lesson for your students to work on individually, and respond to, all on their own. This lesson creator offers five sections, which can be customized or omitted. "Watch" allows for the student to watch the video; "Think" allows for the teacher to create multiple choice questions as well as open answer questions, bringing a level of response and interactivity. "Dig deeper" is an area where you can bring points that would not otherwise be thought of, and that force the student to think beyond the subject viewed; this would be a good place to add "what if" questions, or otherwise engage the students in a deeper thought process. Under the "Discuss" link, the teacher can create discussion boards about the lesson, and so the students can interact with one another and debate what they have learned. The last link, "And Finally", offers the opportunity for the teacher to conclude the learning session, leaving with the students a few last thoughts to consider.

I easily created two questions for my students; one, an open-ended question. The second question was multiple choice. I was happy to see that they offer students a hint button, in which they can see the exact second where the question was answered in the video; this makes students less likely to become frustrated, as they would not need to watch the video again if they didn't remember the right answer.


I absolutely love this lesson planner idea. This is an excellent way to get students individually engaged on the subject at their own pace, as well as building community around this subject with other students through the discussion link. I also love how this can be used as easily in an online course setting as in the classroom; when building a course online, every one of these tools come in really handy, but as a classroom teacher, I also see the benefit this brings to day-to-day course delivery. Ted Ed lesson creator transforms the usual watch videos-produce response to a more personalized experience. Finally, the ability to easily look through other teachers' lessons, as well as share my own, is really inspiring.
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I love sharing information with other teachers, and theoretically understand how beneficial it is for us to unite and make it easy for others to find the nuggets we come up with along our teaching path. But even though I make an effort to organize and catalogue projects and ideas, I find I don't tweet about it, or share those ideas with others on a broader sense. I say that I like my ideas enough, but I don't post them on places where people will actually find them. I post them on Facebook, where I have a handful of friends who are teachers, but I still find hard to blog about it, tweet about it or otherwise make these projects public. So, on one hand, I love these ideas enough to organize and catalogue, but maybe not enough to share.

The thing, I think, I keep forgetting -- and many of us do as well -- is that not all of our ideas have to be clear winners, and not every project has to be super amazing. If someone looks at one lesson plan and feels inspired to use a small portion of our idea on their next lesson, then that's already a great help. What may not be excellent for us, may be exactly what someone needs to spice things up in their classroom, virtual or otherwise. And for teachers like me, this Ted Ed platform offers a great way to get started offering ideas to a broader audience.



The Changing Faces of MOOCs

Photo credit: leted, CC BY-NC 2.0
,Changing faces or evolution? In the "The Pedagogy of MOOCs", Paul Stacey extols the pedagogy employed by the early developers of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) who, according to Degree of freedom, extended a connectivist vision by creating an environment in which participants share information and engage in joint teaching and learning experiences through technological social networking. I wonder if perhaps the subject of the majority of these cMOOCs had anything to do with this, many being about education and learning theory. While some of the more recent developments are more professor-centred, they’re calling them xMOOCs, such as the majority of the Udacity courses, are primarily in computer related subjects which might be more likely to attract less socially-minded students, or am I just stereotyping?
 
I find it interesting that David Cormier video on 5 steps to success in a MOOC put the onus on the student to build interaction by starting a blog, building a network and nurturing a cluster of like-learners. This presumes a blogging-minded group of self-motivated learners. It’s pretty impressive that students of Udacity courses have organized themselves into study groups and Udacity supports this by providing a community site.  I took one of those accidental diversions that sometimes happen on the web and ended up at the MeetUp website where I looked for groups interested in statistics (I had recently taken a Udacity course in statistics) around the globe, and found there were 100s from Victoria to Mumbai and 11 within 100 miles of me. If I was seriously interested in the study of statistics then this would be pretty cool!

It appears that the social component of online learning - blogs, chat, discussion forums, wikis - can be set up for global classrooms and require minimal maintenance, but group assignments would seem to require some oversight which wouldn’t be available for a free program? How do you bring that approach to the 160,000 students from 190 countries taking a course like the Introduction to Artificial Intelligence taught by Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig as a Stanford MOOC? And as Chantelle pointed out in “Wading Through the Muck…er MOOCs, these Massive Open Online Course cannot reach their extraordinary potential for bringing all the benefits of higher education to the masses unless the learning is recognized by on-ground institutions but how can a student gain credit without some form of assessment and how do you go about assessing 160,000 students?

Learning Project Summary: My map is launched and I’m ready to pass on what I’ve learned to others.

I set out to learn Geographic Information Systems (GIS) so I could develop a community mapping project and found instead that with a minimal understanding of GIS terms and processes I could create my own annotated map project using Google My Maps. Google Maps help was very useful for learning how to do this as were several YouTube how-to-videos. Along the way I acquired a smart phone and learned how to use it and several GPS apps. In order to add photos to the map I opened two online photo storage and sharing applications, Flickr and Imgur, as well as Google Picasa  (which Google has now converted to Google Photos) and  followed a frustrating path of outdated forums and YouTube videos, and a lot of trial and error until I was successful. I made a short instructional video inviting people to contribute to the map and sent it by email to colleagues and friends and was thrilled with their additions and comments on how useful they thought both the project and the mapping program are.

While the Baynes Sound Shellfish and Marine Life Story Map itself (sorry no embed code) is publicly available, I haven’t made the invitation to add open to the general public yet. That awaits a website to house it. Another step I have yet to complete is an instructional video on how to build a community map with Google Maps that includes updated information on how to add photos and videos, since I see a need for this on the web. I’m very pleased with how my learning progressed on this project using internet based learning tools for most of it and just a few face-to-face tips and suggestions for polishing it. If you are motivated to learn how to do something, from reading your Smart meter to writing a novel, then you will find lots of resources to learn with on the web.  The resources aren’t equally useful but then neither are suggestions from friends, so you just have to find the ones that work for you.

Open Education Resources-My Summary of Learning

Here is a video summary of what I’ve learned about open educational resources and my reflections on what I've learned.
The linear thinker in me chose to present my learning as a progression of the 6 weeks of the OLTD 505 course along a timeline and  I settled on a tool called timetoast that allows links to other media including my blog postings, and it's where you can view the details of my summary. 
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